Tug Of War For The World

Simmering superpower tensions were on display this week, casting doubt on the notion that Washington and Beijing are keen to dial down dangerous rhetoric and generally reduce the temperature amid a tense tug of war for global supremacy. US lawmakers are again toying with the idea of a technical sovereign default for the purposes of domestic political grandstanding, an absurd (if familiar) state of affairs the Chinese previously lamented as "dangerously irresponsible." With D.C. brinksmanship ba
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6 thoughts on “Tug Of War For The World

  1. Xi is in a losing position, he knows it. His attack on tech giants was a panic move. His blood letting of moderates in the Party was a panic move. COVID-zero was a panic move. Authoritarians only engage in such illogical/desperate/aggressive maneuvers if they are threatened. These panic moves (to name only a few) indicated to me that he was “doing the math” and didn’t like what it told him. It’s hard to know as a westerner what the most acute problem is, but Xi has been panicking for the past 3 years or so.

    My best guess is that Xi has come to understand the CCPs window to achieve global hegemony is closing specifically because its domestic hegemony is waning. The greatest specific threat, as far as I can tell, is the Last Generation movement in China. I recently became aware of the Last Generation movement, but I’d highly recommend those who are interested to google it.

    External forces can only slow down a dominant nation’s progress, but won’t stop it. As usual in a modern world, dominant powers usually collapse from within.

    1. Hopium – cracking down on tech duopolies was in line with communist ideology, pure and simple. And … don’t you think the USA should follow his example to some extent?

      Fer instance, X’s crackdown on teen online gaming time. Here in the US parents were whining and complaining about how online gaming was ruining their kids lives. What was done about that? Zero, as a matter of fact.

      As well, do we all welcome being held beholden to four or five companies who pay little or no taxes and make their money selling your personal information?

      Much of Xi’s crackdown looks rational to me.

      Covid Zero was something else. The dangerous result of seeking to save face and national pride.

      In the west we are so anxious to look at China and see another “Arab Spring” in the making. How did that end up? And why should it be different in China?

  2. So if China and the US are supposedly in a battle for global supremacy how will the winner be chosen? The US hasn’t actually “won” much of anything in open warfare since WWII, maybe kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, but the rest is mostly very expensive stalemates. Our hospitals are shut down by malware terrorists. Our power grid regularly attacked by hacker/vandals. Where I live in KC 1 in 7 children doesn’t have regular access to food. The homeless abound. Mass shootings are now taking place at the rate of nearly two a week or more. Our government is in the process of creating a recession to cure the inflation they helped create trying to solve a pandemic that killed tens of thousands and is still not really under control. Then there are the Chinese. They couldn’t control the pandemic either. Who knows how many are dead? Millions? Across the country different cultural groups disliked by Xi’s government are under constant attack. The government attacks its most successful tech companies regularly. There are thousands of empty housing units in every big city. I ask, is either country worthy of world domination? On top of my list I have Switzerland and Norway but I doubt either country wants the job. Instead of fighting amongst ourselves to decide who should run the world shouldn’t we be working to save it? My grandson is 13 and he could easily live long enough to see the end.

  3. Would we even be having this discussion were not for manifest dispossessing of aborigine followed by mass slave labor all firmed up by exceptional natural resources. Conquerable lands and slave-able people are un-obtainium, and our momentum resources are evaporating at the present moment. We still have American exceptionalism, but we also have seditious traitors walking around loud and proud and an amplified mother nature kicking us in the teeth routinely.

  4. Granted, when Kissinger visited China and crafted an initial agreement with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, they set in motion China’s renewal, benefiting both countries and enabling a radical transformation of Chinese society.

    I wonder whether Kissinger imagined the possibility of what we’re seeing today from Beijing. He doesn’t lack vision, so I expect he and the US presidents took the risk because it was worth it. China has been an example for other southeast Asian countries, which are ramping up their capacity to compete with China. These countries present a choice for the US economy to further outsource its supply chain for common goods and bypass China’s autocratic political leadership. I hope that proves in fact to be what we will see.

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