Contributors: China’s rise doesn’t need to end with war against the United States

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Bangor Daily News


The liberal arts may be in decline on college campuses, but they are enjoying a resurgence in the White House, as its staff is reportedly reading Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian war, a 2,500-year-old account of the war between Athens and Sparta.

The sudden interest in the ancient conflict has much to do with its parallels with the United States’ rivalry with an ascendant China. Athens’ rise in power stirred fear in Sparta, an established ruling power, and the two nations ultimately went to war. This dynamic of a rising power threatening the hegemony of a ruling power could lead the U.S. and China into what scholars refer to as the “Thucydides’ trap.”