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The theory predicts the probability of war and the firmness of alliances. It maintains that in any circumstance where a revisionist state to the super power is in fairly accurate parity with the super power nation and is discontented it will result into a war of greatest magnitude and longest duration.
The rise of China to power which is an upcoming challenger will be a threat to the superpower United States. This will result into war because as the super power nation (United States) will retaliate by using their power to maintain their status quo as the dominant state as the revisionist nations (China) look for a place in the international system. The challenger will find war as the best option since the war will ensures that the system is transformed to fit the new system of distribution of power and also ensures a reorder of the essential components of the international system.
The war on the other hand, no matter its outcome it will ensures an instantly recognizable chain of command of prestige in line with the new international system of power distribution. The war will also clearly determine the country to preside over the new international system and the country that the international system will primarily serve its interests. Since the two countries have an equal distribution of national capabilities such as military, economic and political this will create a likelihood of war.
The likelihood of conflict between the two nations that is United States and China will be greatest in close proximity to the power transition point between the dominant nation and the challenger. This is because before China attains equality it has no intention to attack the United States though still dissatisfied since they look at it as still powerful. But when the two nations attain equality in power the probability of war will be greatest. This is because China will have overtaken the United States which was responsible for forming the status quo.
The war will be initiated by the power which has been gained by China in terms of increased number of people who can fight and work, booming economic activities and the effectiveness of the Chinese government in the extraction of resources fighting for dissatisfaction based on historical, religious, territorial, ideological, cultural or personal factors.