Every Friday, I present a topic or question for our merry band of thinkers, leaders, and pirates to discuss in an open thread. Normally, this feature is only for paid subscribers, but this week’s thread is for everyone.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) yesterday, China’s president Xi Jinping said, “The Chinese people have never bullied, oppressed or enslaved the peoples of other countries, not in the past, not now and not in the future … At the same time, the Chinese people will never allow foreign forces to bully, oppress or enslave us … Whoever nurses delusions of doing that will crack their heads and spill blood on the Great Wall of steel built from the flesh and blood of 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
Question: How can the United States confront and roll back China’s efforts to reorder the international system, while not needlessly provoking Beijing into escalating hostilities? Is this possible?
For sure, possible. Thinking back to the cold war with the former Soviet Union it was the economic power of the United States that led the free world to success, coupled with the practicality of Mikhail Gorbachev. Don't know when we'll have practical Chinese leadership but the United States can knuckle down and do the hard work of leading the world economically while resisting all the ways China tries to "pick our pockets" and ultimately China will have to play along to engage the rest of the world. Problem is this will take domestic leadership, real investment in our own future, and long-term dedication to the outcome, and perhaps one or more of these are bit lacking. So, possible? Yes. Probable? Not so confident about that. We're too busy squabbling about relatively inconsequential domestic choices to look ahead I think.
The first order of business is not to be intimidated by their posturing.
In this regard, President Trump had the right approach.
Living a lie provides ample opportunities to make delusional statements.
Chinese leadership falls into the afore-described category and willingly professes as much; furthermore, shows by not so subtle threats, the insignificance of its persuasive “power.”
To be Christ-like is firstly to be humble; Chinese leadership is consumed with false pride and shows it with much obvious evidence, thereby disregarding the Proverb: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
China’s leadership, like many, disregards further another Proverb, “Wisdom is the principal thing;therefore, get wisdom and with all your getting, get understanding.”
China’s “leadership” is woefully lacking in the ability to read the writing on the very wall of division that it creates between itself and the rest of the Nations.
Wether it's possible or not, I do not know. However, we should do everything within our power to try. IF our country were to unite around the kind of thoughtful, deliberate strategies that Mr. Klon Kitchen suggests, I think we have a chance. WE are still respected and could lead many countries to unite under the same policies and approaches.
We can learn a lot from our experiences with China since the Nixon administration engaged with the CCP. To provide economic energy and fuel to a political party that is oppressive does not bode well for our future, or the future of the world at large. To ignore this lesson would be to be willfully ignorant and party to future abuses and complications.
Klon- As much as I support facing and dealing with China as the intractable global competitor and enemy that it is, we are our own worst enemy with inconsistent policies.
To me, the Taiwan situation is an unfortunate example. We demand that Taiwan be allowed to operate independently from China and that Taiwan remain our ally. Yet, in the late 1970s under the Carter administration, China was prepared to allow the UN and US to recognize Taiwan as an independent country, The Republic of Taiwan. Instead, the US supported Taiwan’s absurd claim that it was the “real” China and demanded it be recognized as such.
The Chinese Communist system cannot become our “friend” in the global system because we impede their dominance of Asia and the Pacific and they - rightly - see our demands for “human rights” in their country as domestic political interference.
It is possible if we regain our senses about national debt, American manufacturing, data protection, and military training.
Chinese strategy has been to weaken our country from the inside- sowing unrest to divide. The infiltration and plan has been gradual but now in all sectors of society. Media has only amplified the hate.
Easy. Ensure the $ remains the international reserve currency. Get our own house in order. Let Xi be Xi, let Putin be Putin. Wait.