Warren Buffett says US, China can compete and both ‘prosper’ amid rising tensions

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said the United States and China can compete and “prosper” simultaneously amid rising tensions recently between the two countries.

Buffett said at his company’s annual meeting on Saturday that the two countries need to understand that they cannot push each other too hard, as either country is capable of destroying the other.

“Both places are going to be competitive, and both can prosper,” he said. “That’s the vision that is out there that China will have a more wonderful country. The United States will have a more wonderful country.”

Buffett said a situation where both countries can succeed will be “imperative” for the next century, and leaders of the two nations should avoid “inflammatory” actions that would raise tensions.

His comments come as the U.S. and China have had heightened tensions over the past few years and especially in recent months.

China has increasingly stepped up military drills near Taiwan recently, at times in response to U.S. contact with the self-governing democratic island. A series of drills happened for days around the island in August after Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was serving as House Speaker at the time, visited.

U.S. intelligence has also indicated that China has been providing at least nonlethal aid to Russia to help with its invasion of Ukraine, despite China’s officially stated policy of neutrality in the conflict. Officials also believe China has considered sending lethal aid to support Russian troops, which Beijing has denied and the U.S. has strongly warned the Chinese government against.

Tensions also rose after a surveillance balloon that officials identified as owned by China traveled across the continental U.S. in February. China has said the balloon was only to track weather and was blown off course by wind.

The U.S. military shot the balloon down after a few days, but the balloon was reportedly able to gather some intelligence about sensitive military sites.

Buffett said the U.S. used to be in a similarly tense situation with the Soviet Union during the Cold War with a policy of mutually assured destruction, a recognition that nuclear war would destroy both sides in a conflict, preventing a war from breaking out. But he said the principle also came with a “very, very, very close call” in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“Now you’re playing with a game that you can’t really make a huge mistake in,” he said, referring to the current situation between the U.S. and China. “The better that’s understood in both countries, the more the leaders feel that their citizenry does understand that, the better off we’ll be.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.