US-China Relations in the Shadow of the Future

China is often seen as a rising power challenging the dominant position of the United States in the international system. Theory and history suggest that this is a dangerous situation, and Chinese leaders have called for a new type of great power relations. This article applies some of the concepts developed at SCICN in an effort to see how the risk of war might be mitigated. Four questions, relating to the future, to trust, to loss, and to equity, are discussed. These questions map well onto the China–US relationship and suggest ways in which the risk of war might be reduced. Past experience suggests that the challenge by a rising power can be dangerous, but the appropriate response is to focus on a shared future.