Business Standard

That Thucydides Trap again

Does China have to inevitably face confrontation from the US and seek domination over India?

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Illustration: Binay Sinha

Jaimini Bhagwati
It is almost de-rigueur in contemporary professional commentary on relations between major powers to refer to Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian war. This “war” took place in the 5th century BC between the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta, and Thucydides lived in Athens around 500 BC. Athens was the established military power and was challenged by a rising Sparta. Eventually, Sparta prevailed over Athens with the help of the Persians. It is conceivable that Athens did not anticipate Sparta’s ambitions and growing strength in time.

An inference from the Peloponnesian war for current great power rivalry is the antagonistic
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 9:56 PM IST

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