In an interview with James Chau Editor-at-Large of China-US Focus, Harvard Professor Joseph Nye likens the current state of the U.S.-China relationship as a “cooperative rivalry.” He says that there are going to be elements of rivalry— take for example, issues like the South China Sea, but there are going to be areas of cooperation, areas like climate change. “We have to learn to realize that the relationship is going to be complex, but if we lose sight of the cooperative part of the relationship, we're all going to be the worse off for it,” he says.
Nye also dismisses the assertion that China is an existential threat to the United States. “I think in the long run, the US and China do not present existential threats to each other. Neither of us is trying to destroy the other. And that means that the rivalry is something we can manage.”