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China and the U.S. are playing pretend war to vent their mutual frustrations and avoid a real one, according to a report by the Guardian. The State and Defense departments participated in two hypothetical-conflict sessions last year, and another round is planned for May. The war games were designed to prevent a “sudden military escalation” amid burgeoning anger in Washington over cyber attacks that the U.S. says are originating in China. For its part, China is feeling a bit bellicose, the Guardian reports.These war games are designed to let officials talk about hypothetical conflicts in a way that indirectly addresses their pent-up frustrations. The Guardian extensively quotes Jim Lewis, a senior fellow and director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, who helped organize the war games. During the first round, officials had to talk about what they would do if they were attacked by a computer virus like the Stuxnet worm that disabled nuclear facilities in Iran. Then they had to discuss how they’d react if they found out the attack was launched by the other side. “Known as "Track 1.5" diplomacy, it is the closest governments can get in conflict management without full-blown talks,” the newspaper reports.