The current conflicts between the United States and China - including trade, espionage, international politics, propaganda, "soft power" and territorial claims - have been described as a Cold War.
Could this turn to active warfare (sometimes euphemistically described as "kinetic conflict") in the near future?
Some Australian analysts think so. Chris Joye writes in the Australian Financial Review:
When I asked Professor Hugh White about this eight years ago, he handicapped war between China and the US at a 10 per cent probability over the so-called forward planning horizon.
The tiny minority of foreign policy and security experts who saw this coming at that time now put the likelihood closer to 20 to 30 per cent.
My own best guess is that the chance of a low- or high-intensity kinetic conflict of some kind between China and the US is around 25 to 50 per cent. We ain't going to be exporting much up north if that happens.
On the other hand, it could be said that China hawks have predicted 10 of the last 0 wars with China. In 2014, Gerard Henderson pointed out Hugh White has repeatedly - if equivocally - predicted wars that have not happened, saying we "may" face a naval battle in 2005, shouldn't be "too surprised" if the USA and Japan go to war with China in 2013 and in 2014 war is "a possibility we can't rule out".
Will there be active warfare between the United States and China before 2027?
This question resolves in the affirmative if, at some point between now and 31 December 2026, at least two credible news sources (e.g. the Australian Financial Review, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, Associated Press, etc.) report that the United States and China have exchanged fire, engaged in "kinetic conflict", fought a battle, fought a war or otherwise engaged in active warfare (and they are not talking metaphorically/about a "cold war").