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President Joe Biden participates in a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, November 15, 2021 (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As Great Power Competition intensifies with China and Russia, the Defense Department looks to add military capabilities, but rivals remain stable and avoid war for a variety of reasons.

  • Michael Mazarr, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and co-author of the report “Stabilizing Great-Power Rivalries,” said he and his colleagues found multiple variables indicate the relationship between the United States and China is moving in the wrong direction, towards instability.
  • Mazarr said stability between rivals requires striking a balance of recognizing the interests of the other side while also showing strength and credibility.
  • He said the term “rivalry” is a better term than “competition” for describing a clash of interests between two major, generally equal, powers.
  • While conversation alone does not resolve conflicts of interest, President Biden’s November meeting with President Xi was helpful in continuing the process of senior leader discussions, said Mazarr.
  • He said the United States’ relationship with Russia is also becoming less stable but has some hope for that to change.

Watch the full interview:

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