Monday, June 3, 2013

The Coming Cool War With China

Someone steals your most sensitive secrets. Then, planning a face-to-face meeting, he says he wants to develop “a new type” of relationship with you. At what point, exactly, would you start thinking he was planning to drink your milkshake

Ahead of the first summit meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China on June 7, the two nations are on the brink of geopolitical conflict. As its officials acknowledge, China is a classic rising power, poised to challenge U.S. dominance. In historical terms, the sole global superpower never gives up without a fight. 

“China’s peaceful rise” was a useful slogan, while it lasted, for China’s leaders. “America’s peaceful decline” will get no one elected, whether Democrat or Republican. Geopolitics is almost always a zero-sum game. If China can copy or work around U.S. missile defenses, fighter jets and drones, the U.S.’s global position will be eroded -- and the gains will go directly to China. 

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