The war between China and the United States is highly unlikely today. There are ongoing cyber escapades and strategic pivoting, but neither of these countries wants to push this conflict into a world war. The logic behind avoiding another cold war is clear. Such a war needs nuclear weapons for a nuclear attack. If this nuclear war is something these two countries choose to engage in, it will translate to two nations causing instability around the world.
In the Improbable War iii, Professor Coker mentions that the low probability of the war occurring does not mean the war iii is not a possibility. The threat to peace globally is highly likely in such a situation. Instead of putting our focus away from the likelihood of an impending third world war, Coker suggests a greater focus on ways to combat the risks that come with it, should it happen.