This essay uses the tools of Western empirical reasoning to analyze the origins and driving forces of the ongoing geopolitical contest between China and the United States. The essay argues that the origins of the geopolitical contest lie in China’s rapid growth from the Deng era, the relative socioeconomic decline of the United States, and the failure of the United States to work out a rational, comprehensive strategy for managing China’s rise. Finally, in the fallout of the global COVID-19 pandemic, where the relations between the two countries have been further strained, the essay argues that the two countries can manage their geopolitical rivalry if they concentrate instead on five “noncontradictions” that also characterize their relationship: that between the fundamental national interests of both countries; in tackling climate change; in the ideological sphere; in the American and Chinese civilizations; and in their worldview.

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