China Is Not Germany Before World War I,

Paul Heer , Distinguished Fellow at the Center for the National Interest

In characterizing the emerging threat that China poses to its neighbors and the rest of the world, many observers have invoked the analogies of Japan before World War II and Germany before World War I. This reading of history seems to indicate that the hegemonic ambitions and expansionist appetites of both empires probably made war inevitable. Today, China has similar ambitions and appetites.

The German example was invoked in a recently published book, The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order, which was written by Rush Doshi, a scholar now serving on the Biden administration’s China policy team. Doshi noted in an op-ed at one point “the rivalry between China and the United States in the twenty-first century holds an uncanny resemblance to the one between Germany and Great Britain in the nineteenth.” Analysis of the comparison invariably cites a famous memorandum written in 1907 by British diplomat Eyre Crowe (1864–1925), which examined British relations with France and Germany but focused primarily on an assessment of German foreign policy. Läs artikel