10 Jul 2020

‘The US will need to come to terms with the reality of a China which may be larger and more impactful’ – Victor Gao

Europe Editor and Presenter

Some theorists have called it Thucydides Trap after the historian of the war between Athens and Sparta – the idea being that a declining power and a rising power will always end up at war, even if they try to avoid it.

In our time those powers are America and China, and the growing tension between them over trade, Covid and Hong Kong. Can they be managed, by changes in Washington and Beijing, or is this now the shape of the era to come?

We spoke to Victor Gao – a Chinese international relations expert – and started by asking him whether these tensions were down to the Trump presidency.