【明報專訊】CHINA and the US are in the thick of a trade war, but there has long been more to it than trade disputes. It is also a part of the rise and fall of the two countries and the rivalry between them. While many academics are worried that China and the US will fall into the Thucydides's Trap, some White House officials have added fuel to the fire by framing the China‑US rivalry as the clash between Eastern and Western civilisations and even racial struggles. It is a global trend to emphasise mutual benefits and win‑win cooperation. Once any narrow‑minded racial bias is brought into play, it will become a zero‑sum game. In the first Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations that is ongoing in Beijing, the Chinese government has called for equality and respect for all civilisations. The appeal has a special meaning as a note of caution to the world.