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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Nov 8, 2021, 03:16 PM

21. Needs to be read:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/11/us-china-war/620571/

Analysts and officials in Washington are fretting over worsening tensions between the United States and China and the risks to the world of two superpowers once again clashing rather than cooperating. President Joe Biden has said that America “is not seeking a new cold war.” But that is the wrong way to look at U.S.-China relations. A cold war with Beijing is already under way. The right question, instead, is whether America can deter China from initiating a hot one.

Beijing is a remarkably ambitious revanchist power, one determined to make China whole again by “reuniting” Taiwan with the mainland, turning the East and South China Seas into Chinese lakes, and grabbing regional primacy as a stepping-stone to global power. It is also increasingly encircled, and faces growing resistance on many fronts—just the sort of scenario that has led it to lash out in the past.

The historical record since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 is clear: When confronted by a mounting threat to its geopolitical interests, Beijing does not wait to be attacked; it shoots first to gain the advantage of surprise.

In conflicts including the Korean War and clashes with Vietnam in 1979, China has often viewed the use of force as an educational exercise. It is willing to pick even a very costly fight with a single enemy to teach it, and others observing from the sidelines, a lesson.

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