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Outside encouragement of such discontent, especially from the United States, is unlikely to help and quite likely to hinder any change.

Beijing has concluded that the United States would never fight a war it could not win.

Washington, Xi believes, is highly unlikely to recover its credibility and confidence as a regional and global leader.

MANAGED STRATEGIC COMPETITIONThe deeply conflicting nature of U.S. and Chinese strategic objectives and the profoundly competitive nature of the relationship may make conflict, and even war, seem inevitable—even if neither country wants that outcome.

This occurred even between the United States and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

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