Are America and China Headed for Military Conflict?

February 21, 2023 Topic: China Region: East Asia Tags: ChinaUnited StatesWarConflictGreat Power Competition

Are America and China Headed for Military Conflict?

Two experts discuss whether a U.S. conflict with China is inevitable, or if it can be headed off through strategic cooperation.


A suspected Chinese spy balloon has exacerbated tensions between America and China. Is conflict inevitable? Or can it be headed off? Do the two sides have more incentives, particularly in the economic realm, to cooperate than is often assumed?


To address these critical questions, the Center for the National Interest invited two leading foreign affairs analysts for an expert discussion:

- Elbridge A. Colby is cofounder and principal of The Marathon Initiative and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. He is the author of The Strategy of Denial.

- Paul Heer is a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a former national intelligence officer for East Asia.

Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest, moderated the discussion.