America has long prided itself on being one of the most open and globalized economies in the world. The truth is that it is not. Even before Trump’s orgy of protectionism, this was not the case. The tariff and nontariff barriers to free trade, investment, capital, technology, and talent markets are still formidable — even for America’s closest allies. The core truth is this: if the United States wishes to remain the center of the free world, then creating an increasingly seamless international market across the national boundaries of its major North American, European, and Asian strategic partners and allies is essential.
P387 / 2022-08-13 16:07
America needs time. Indeed, for America to succeed with an effective national China strategy, it will need sufficient buy-in across both sides of American politics so that the 2020s becomes a decade of rebuiid- ing American power, no matter which party holds political office. This will require unprecedented bipartisan consensus to guarantee strategic continuity across administrations rather than limiting US strategy to something that is truncated every time there is a change in the White House.
P385 / 2022-08-13 16:00
the United States and China must both develop a clear understanding of the other’s irreducible strategic redlines in order to help prevent conflict through miscalculation. Each side must be persuaded to conclude that enhancing strategic predictability advantages both countries, strategic deception is futile, and strategic surprise is just plain dangerous.
P362 / 2022-08-12 16:07
The first remains the long-term sustainability of the emerging Chinese economic growth model, given Xi’s move to the left on Chinese economic policy, and the uncertain effects this will have on private-sector business confidence. The second is the extent to which China’s rapid demographic decline brings about earlier-than- anticipated impacts on domestic consumption, labor market cost, and government finances. The third is whether China can succeed in closing the semiconductor manufacturing gap between itself and the US and its allies, given that silicon chips underpin the future drivers of the global digital economy and military technology, including the unfolding artificial intelligence revolution. Finally, it remains to be seen how China will resolve its current internal dispute between its rising wolf warrior generation and its older traditional cadre of professional diplomats on how Chinese diplomacy should be conducted. Taken together with the most critical variable of all — the future trajectory of US strategy toward China — these five factors will do much to determine the outcome of the great strategic race between Washington and Beijing over the course of the next decade.
P354 / 2022-08-11 16:43
America and much of the rest of the collective West appear to have lost confidence in themselves, their mission, and their future. The danger of this loss of common purpose is highlighted when contrasted with the ruthless discipline of China’s Leninist state and the softening economic seduction of access to the world’s largest market.
P350 / 2022-08-11 16:34
What is the likelihood of such a scenario coming to pass? On the bal- ance of probabilities,Xi’s current prospects for success appear reasonable. However, this outcome depends on three critical variables. First, the suc- cess or failure of Xi’s adjustment of China’s domestic economic model in generating sufficient long-term, sustainable growth while avoiding social instability and also funding China’s large-scale military needs.Second,the success or failure of China’s new national technology strategy in closing the gap between Beijing and Washington on the critical technologies of the future-particularly artifcial intelligence, semiconductors, and quan- tum computing. And finally, the ability or inability of the US system of divided democratic government to successfully rebuild American power at home and harness the collective energies of American allies abroad in order to meet the China challenge.
P350 / 2022-08-11 16:30
three fundamental sources of political legiti- macy remain for the CCP: Marxist-Leninist ideology, economic pros- perity, and Chinese nationalism (the latter also incorporating selective extractions from the Chinese classical tradition).
P328 / 2022-08-11 11:36
Nationalism in recent Chinese history has often proven to be a double- edged sword.The party sometimes authorized the expression of nation- alist public opinion to send messages to foreign governments by arguing that “we Chinese have to manage domestic political opinion too.”At the same time, it has sometimes proven difficult to put the nationalist genie back into the bottle after having released it.
P326 / 2022-08-11 11:29
Moscow has always been prepared to push back, both militarily and in foreign policy, against the Americans and Europeans much more aggressively than Beijing. This suits Xi well, as Russia’s inter- national reputation as a potential global “spoiler” has enabled China to project an image of being a more conservative, consultative, and responsi- ble actor in the eyes of the wider international community-characteristics that, in Beijing’s eyes, are seen as more befitting of the world’s next super-power.
P184 / 2022-08-08 14:44
In this view, sea power has an axiomatic relationship with global great power status, including the power that subjugated imperial China during the Century of Humiliation. They, therefore, see this as an important stra- tegic lesson for China in the twenty-first century. As a result, China has concluded that the PLA’s maritime power must be expanded, not only to defend China’s shores but also to offer an important means of asserting Chinese power, influence, and prestige into the wider Indo-Pacific region and perhaps,in time,other theaters beyond.
P154 / 2022-08-08 10:25
Zou, by instinct, is what I call a “Marxist nationalist.” His analytical framework is deeply Marxist-Leninist, and it shapes how he sees and interprets the world. His political economy is equally Marxist-Leninist — both in terms of his belief in socialist values (albeit with some traditional Chinese overlay) and in the paramount importance of the power of the party and the state. He is, as a consequence, not a natural believer in markets. At best, he sees them as a necessary evil — of instrumental importance in increasing living standards and enhancing national economic power, but they are not a natural part of his deepest ideological beliefs. For these reasons, if there is a conflict between the power of the market and the future power of the party, Xi will instinctively side with the party, which marks a radical difference between his worldview and Deng’s.
P138 / 2022-08-04 12:12
As has been amply demonstrated since November 2020, Xi no longer cares what the Chinese billionaire class thinks is the best direction for China. He no longer cares if they (let alone some Wall Street investors) lose money as he pursues his core national strategic priorities. And he no longer cares if his policies are not, as the superwealthy would point out, the most efficient way to grow China’s national GDP. Instead, Xi is laser-focused on a different, much larger constituency, “the people” — or, as he would define them, China’s vast working-class and lower middle-class masses. It is their support — gained through addressing income inequality, cost of living, lack of good jobs, lack of equal opportunity, urban-rural divides, and their sense of social malaise — that Xi cares about now.
P118 / 2022-08-03 16:27
by 2020,the NDC came to embody the confluence of three key priorities: nationalist self-reliance, his protectionist concept ofa dual-circulation economy, and his new redistributive doctrine of common prosperity.
P112 / 2022-08-02 15:28
But the principal contradiction, accord- ing to Xi,became “the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.”This meant that,to resolve this contradiction,the “central task” of the party’s economic and social strategy would again have to shift to create what is described as “more balanced,better-quality development across regions and sectors” and provide more equitably for the people’s needs. After all, state media noted at the time,”common prosperity is the hallmark of socialism.”
P111 / 2022-08-02 15:22
Since 2020-2021, Xi has been implementing a new comprehensive economic strategy-now called the New Development Concept-to prioritize security,political stability, and economic equality over rapid individual wealth accumulation; societal cohesion over economic efficiency; and national self-sufficiency over the benefits of open international exchange. This new economic era also reflects a deeply waning commitment to the continuation in the future of the market reforms of the past.
P109 / 2022-08-02 14:50
Xi finds himself wrestling with five major interconnected, and in some cases conflicting, challenges in China’s unfolding political economy: (1) to maintain economic growth to provide employment and rising living stan- dards; (2) to do so while maintaining an optimal internal balance between the state and the market without ceding the party’s political control to a new generation of entrepreneurs; (3) to ensure that growth is better dis- tributed than in the past so that economic inequality is reduced; (4) to impose new carbon constraints on China’s previous economic develop- ment model to deal with the now accepted reality of climate change; and (5) to manage the external economic pressures now being applied by the United States on trade, investment, and technology.
P104 / 2022-08-02 14:31
Increasing living standards and improving the quality of life for the Chinese people is a core part of Xi’s effort to build the party’s political legit- imacy in the post-Mao era. This is the unspoken social contract between party and people: that the public will continue to tolerate an authoritarian political system under the party so long as the people’s material liveli- hood continues to improve.
P103 / 2022-08-02 14:25
Xi, unlike his recent predecessors, has been indifferent to international reaction. He believes that the national security imperatives of “complete security” are more important than any foreign policy or wider reputational cost to the regime. Xi also believes that the rest of the world now depends on the Chinese economy so much that international political reactions to Chinese measures will, in the main, be superficial, symbolic, and temporary.
P102 / 2022-08-02 10:44
The overall political message is clear: Western notions of democratic governance, civil liberties, and religious faith are not only ideologically unacceptable to the party but also alien to what it is to be Chinese.
P94 / 2022-08-02 10:21
in 2001 that the party had concluded this internal debate; there would be no systemic political change. It was decided that China would continue as a one-party state. It might be a less authoritarian state than during the Maoist era, but the Leninist party would retain its place. The party’s leadership had concluded that this was a necessity for their long-term survival. They also believed that China could never become a global great power in the absence of the party’s strong central leadership and that in the absence of that leadership, the country would simply dissolve into the bickering camps that had so often plagued China’s past.
P86 / 2022-08-01 13:29
The net result of China’s entry into the WTO and unprecedented access to global markets, coupled with its currency’s deeply advantageous fixed exchange rate, was that over the next decade and a half, China became the world’s leading manufacturing power, as factories relocated to the country from many advanced economies, including the US. This led to China also becoming the world’s largest trading country and the world’s second-largest destination for global foreign direct investment. It set the scene for the decline of American industry and the rise of populist resentment against globalization in general—and China in particular.
P41 / 2022-07-29 13:26
In many respects, the seeds of the current crisis in US-China relations originated in these different expectations. To put it another way, from the outset, Beijing saw the relationship as a transactional one, as a means of enhancing China’s national security and prosperity. Whereas Washington came to see it, at least in part, as transformational, carrying with it the deeper objective of changing the fundamental nature of Communist China itself.
P34 / 2022-07-28 13:49