Post-truth world loves ‘China to replace US’ meme

The decline and withdrawal of the US – as exemplified by the abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact – creates a space that China can and will occupy. The South China Morning Post is a predictable proponent of this indisputable concept/meme/dream/fact…

…but similar commentary appears in the much of the Western media…

There must be a reason why not only Donald Trump, but Bernie Saunders and (in desperation) Hillary Clinton promised to ditch TPP. That reason is that the TPP was over-weighted towards producer rather than consumer interests. The media commentators’ fondness for these institutions and structures is a bit of a puzzle. Is it the trips, lunches, giveaways at press conferences, or what? (Another example is the commentators’ freak-out over Brexit – as if the EU wasn’t a bloated bureaucratic-visionary over-reach that neglected the interests of people. Another is taking Xi’s blather, or anything at Davos, seriously.)

Donald Trump clearly has narcissistic personality disorder, and this will create messes and trouble until he leaves office. However, the Chinese Communist Party has an even bigger institutional, collective problem. The CCP is not only sociopathic, egocentric and (it seems) victim to a fantasy-based world-view – it has full-blown paranoia.

It can’t relax enough to consider grand strategy. It’s too busy putting out real or imagined fires and making everything up as it goes along. It has no values to expound. It cannot handle, let alone establish, rules-based systems, or otherwise set positive examples and standards. All it knows is raw power and control, and brutality. It has no capacity for enlightened self-interest (a la Marshall Plan) or shared responsibility (say, NATO).

The good news is that a CCP-led China won’t get bogged down in pointless interventionist adventures. But it also means it can’t/won’t provide ‘leadership’ for the world’s economy – they can’t even face basic reforms to their own.

The CCP’s only agenda is keeping itself in power in China, in a world full of enemies. Everything else must be subservient to that. Mercantilism, protectionism and IP theft work. Strutting around with a second-hand aircraft carrier and cultivating tributary regimes in Pakistan and Cambodia conceivably help. But anything else – certainly even-handed multilateral engagement – is a dangerous distraction. Replacing the US on the international stage isn’t an option.

A replacement for Trump, on the other hand, is realistic, and only a matter of time.

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6 Responses to Post-truth world loves ‘China to replace US’ meme

  1. pd says:

    China is at present incapable of having friendly relations with any other country. All other places are either vassal states or out to get her.

    How long Trump lasts is not important. What is, is his willingness to expose the nudity of the Chinese empire’s posturing, stealing and bullying for all the world to see.

    It’s possible China may outmanoeuvre him, by fair means or foul; but at least we’ve escaped the pattern of every new president thinking he has to at least try being nice to the butchers of Tiananmen.

  2. Goatboy says:

    Wow. Best post ever?

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Goatboy: You beat me to it!

    Laser precise and that para before the last line…Fairbairn-Sykes commando knife straight in the gut!

  4. Walter De Havilland says:

    I was thinking we are most fortunate to live in an era that allows us easy access to such critical and apposite comment of the world around us. The mainstream media struggle to give such insightful observations. Anyway, enough blowing smoke up Hemlock’s lower regions. Happy Year of the Cock!

  5. gweiloeye says:

    I think its ‘Sanders’ not ‘Saunders’…must have been watching Jennifer recently?

    Other than that it now obvious that CCP lives in the world of ‘alternate facts’ and done so for last 60 odd years. Probably will claim they invented it. Only thing they have possibly invented in the last 200 years.

  6. Knownot says:

    Let’s call a spade a spade.
    In Hong Kong’s election
    The choice has been made.
    It’s a selection.

    Let’s call a spade a spade.
    China is no model of free trade.
    And peering trough its dim polluted air,
    What can less developed countries learn there?
    Let’s call a plough a plow.
    Uncle Sam’s in trouble now.
    But the Dragon in its pride
    May be sick inside.

    Let’s call a spade a spade.
    The prudes, in fear,
    Produced a
    Here’s a shock:
    It’s the Year
    Of the Cock.

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