The one common and peculiar aspect of most Shakespearean tragedies is the fact that the catastrophic events and unfolding misfortunes seem almost inevitable. While characters within the play are well aware of the fact that things are quickly going from bad to worse, it seems almost impossible to change the course of events. Unfortunately, the current U.S.-China relationship seems to be showing the same tendency.

Many Shakespearean tragedies were caused by accidents, which in turn were a result of carelessness and miscommunication. U.S.-China relations have never been smooth and peaceful, and have in the past experienced various ups and downs and dangerous crises such as the 1999 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and the 2001 military aircraft collision incident, among others.

The main reason why none of these incidents developed into a major tragedy, despite their severity, was owing to the different generation of political leaders, diplomats, and military officials on both sides, who shared a high level of mindfulness and sensitivity toward this fragile relationship. Throughout their years of association, both sides took extra care and preventive measures to avoid misjudgment and accidents.