Capitalism will prevent a hegemonic war between China and the United States. China is a rising power relative to the U.S., both economically and militarily, but a war between these nations is not likely. Profit and economic stability are the goals. China has just over 10% of the nuclear warheads as the U.S., however, the estimated 300 they do have is more than enough for Mutually Assured Destruction. Money, not military deterrence, will prevent this war.
China bases its decisions on foreign policy at least partly on mutual respect, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful coexistence, equality, and mutual benefit. Moreover, China says it “never seeks hegemony”. A United States cost/benefit analysis would obviously favor peaceful trade with China without disrupting the U.S. imperialist pursuits in weaker and unprotected countries. China will not threaten their biggest trade partner and the U.S. does not want any trouble because the import/export exchange is mutually beneficial and China is a major source of lending for U.S. Therefore, peace is in the common interest.
As 21st century political values tend to put more emphasis on profit and the major military powers refine their military capabilities (deterrence), economic cooperation will become increasingly important. We have insured peace by creating a system of mutually assured economic interdependence.