US-China relationship at ‘quite dangerous’ point, former World Bank president Robert Zoellick warns

US-China relationship at ‘quite dangerous’ point, former World Bank president Robert Zoellick warns

  • ‘US hostility almost seems sharper because there’s a sense of rejection. It’s always useful to recognise China as it is rather than how we might want it to be’
  • Some analysts, however, question the former US official’s argument and policy recommendations

Relations between Washington and Beijing are slipping dangerously with growing risk of a military confrontation and potentially dire implications for the global order unless both sides take a step back and learn to better coexist, says a former World Bank president.

The United States needs to do a better job dealing with China as it is rather than how Washington would like it to be, said Robert Zoellick, who also held senior positions at the White House, State and Treasury departments and in the Office of the US Trade Representative before joining Harvard as a senior fellow.

“The relationship right now is in free fall. It’s quite dangerous,” Zoellick said on Tuesday at an event sponsored by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “People need to be aware that miscalculations can happen, and issues with Taiwan and others can move to a danger zone.”