Will the Israel-Hamas war prevent the deterioration of U.S.-China relations?
The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas is likely to prevent the deterioration of U.S.-China relations. While China isn’t quite as neutral in the conflict as some of its statements suggest, its relatively detached position may allow it to serve a mediation role going forward, and perhaps gain in the long run by forging closer ties with different countries involved in the conflicts.
“Beijing is likely to use the Israel-Hamas war to try to diminish Washington’s global influence while boosting its own.”
— VOA News
Wars have historically been associated with complex interactions in U.S.-China relations, and while they can sometimes temporarily disrupt relations, they can also serve to prevent a deteriorating relationship. Here are several instances in history when wars played a role in preventing the deterioration of U.S.-China relations.
The Korean War (1950 to 1953)
The Korean War was part of the broader context of the Cold War and the ideological and geopolitical competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, in which China was aligned with the Soviets. While the Korean War did contribute to significant tensions between the two countries during the conflict, it did not lead to a direct military confrontation between the United States and China outside of the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean War erupted in 1950 when North Korea, which was communist and supported by the Soviet Union and China, invaded South Korea, which was supported by the United States and other Western nations. The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the use of force to repel the North Korean invasion. The United States led a UN coalition to defend South Korea, and the war continued until an armistice was signed in 1953, essentially ending in a stalemate.
The Korean War did have an impact on U.S. actions and policies toward Communist China in different ways.