In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

How China ended up getting the best deal

Posted by seumasach on June 17, 2018

There seem to be two factions inside the US ruling class: one which favours a permanent Cold War and the Trump faction. Trump has now prevailed and duly moved to end the Cold War. He has thus cleared the way for constructive engagement with China. As China is America’s largest creditor and provider of consumer goods it is only logical that the US should try to reach an agreement with her. This not about free trade but free movement of capital and the reinvestment of US debt in means of production inside the US thus eliminating the US trade deficit. This would also enable the creation of a new global currency system. Obviously, there is opposition to such an outcome inside the US elite but apart from a prolonged paralysis and humiliating decline the only other option is a war with China. Many on the left, in particular, seem to regard this as an inevitability. However, the USA has no history of taking a major power head on and the military balance is no longer favourable if it ever was. Furthermore, Trump has already created facts on the ground which gravitate against such a scenario. He has undermined the so-called special relationship with the UK, always a willing partner in any recklessness. He has also undermined the whole notion of the “free world” as the West likes to style itself and, thus, the possibility of a coalition of the willing. For all the contrast in style and ideological posture, there is some continuity from the Obama presidency. Obama undoubtedly sought detente with Russia but his deal was killed stone dead by factions within the US military when they attacked the Syrian army. A similar derailment of the Trump deal cannot be ruled out but he has gone to great lengths to guard his back: he has spent recklessly on the military and, unlike Obama, he has appeased the Israeli lobby. He also appears to have brought on board those within the military who particularly fear reckless overseas engagements.

Foreign Affairs

15th June, 2018

On June 12, all eyes were on U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, in the first ever meeting between the heads of states of the two countries. Athough pundits debate whether it was North Korea or the United States that benefited the most from the summit, there was a less visible player that came out a clear winner: China.

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