New cold war shock horror carnage looms

Chinese officials snottily reprimand the US for imposing tariffs, violating oh-so sacred free-trade principles and behaving irrationally. Behind this self-righteousness and bravado is shock and fear.

Half the newspaper columns in the free world ponderously conclude that even if Donald Trump vanished tomorrow, the trade war would continue – the West has finally woken up to China’s systematic predatory and exploitative gouging of the rules-based international economic order. A few commentators are drawing on ‘cold war’ clichés to broach the subject of a looming major ideological divide between China and the West.

From Beijing’s point of view, this growing hostility is an attempt to keep China down. This is not just self-serving and self-pitying propaganda. The West assumed and hoped from WTO-accession days that China would mature into a more open, market-based economy. But this implies the Communist Party giving up its powers to allocate capital, rig markets, guide industrial development, pick winners and stuff its elites’ pockets. To the CCP, maintaining control over economic levers is indistinguishable from keeping itself in power – otherwise known as ‘restoring national greatness’.

From the West’s point of view, the time has come to stop accommodating China’s ruthless mercantilism, and reciprocate. If the West is cohesive and determined about this, and assuming that the CCP can’t/won’t let go of the economy, this leaves the Mainland moving closer to autarky in the future. It wouldn’t be the first time in history that China’s refusal to open its markets hasn’t ended well.

Global markets meanwhile seem unfazed. Perhaps they know how cohesive and determined the West is likely to be.


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5 Responses to New cold war shock horror carnage looms

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    And meanwhile in Taiwan…

    I call this kind of commie/murderer worship and nostalgia for the “good old days” the benefit of living in a free society and having the right to be a twat. One has a nice social net and way too much free time for idle hands.

  2. Ook says:

    Can you explain again the difference in behavior between the CCP monopoly and the Dem/Republican duopoly? Other than the latter American version having more military power to back up its ability to allocate capital, rig markets, guide industrial development, pick winners and stuff its elites’ pockets?

  3. @Ook (been reading Terry Pratchett, eh?) Probably not much difference in many ways, but so far as I’m aware the US has not yet thrown millions of its own citizens into re-education camps to cure them of having the wrong religion – and much as Donald Trump would probably like to do that, there are quite a lot of checks which would keep him from doing so. Nor does it censor the Internet and media for anti-government content, or drive army tanks over squares full of peaceful demonstrators. With the shameful exception of Guantanamo Bay, those accused of a crime mostly get an open trial (if the police don’t shoot them first, of course) at which the verdict is not predetermined by the ruling party. And best of all, the people get an opportunity to change their dictator every four years – though the system doesn’t always make the most popular candidate the winner!

  4. Stanley Lieber says:

    The difference in behaviour can be illustrated by the following question:

    Where is Fan Bingbing?

  5. hank morgan says:

    @Old … haha … starting my second round with the disk …

    @stan … Xu Zhiyong explains where Fan Bingbing is … something about seeds sown now for plants 8 years in the past giving certain drinkers of its wine insight into the future … per Pratchett

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