Danger of crisis between beijing and washington: two nuclear-armed countries. Since the cold war there have been multiple confrontations. Tensions over rule of taiwan have cooled over. If they find themselves in a showdown, they may resort to force: china wanted to claim sovereignty to taiwan. However, other potential flash points have emerged: china and neighbours are fighting over rule of island and seas, u. s is allies with japan, philippines and vietnam who are in squabble over land. China might be less cautious about triggering a crisis: less cautious about firing first shot if crisis ensues. China has 200 mile wide exclusive economic zone : u. s disputes freedom of navigation of seas and airspace. Situation resembles the cold war: todays environment might be more dangerous. Both have nuclear arsenals keeps them in check. China believes military conflict would not escalate too far: no first use nuclear policy, prepared for conventional war, less cautious about firing first shot.