"Biden Seeks Allies For War On China.html"
by b
Moon of Alabama (June 10, 2021)

U.S. President Joe Biden is currently in Europe.

Democracies excel against whom?

According to the Democracy Perception Index 2020 73% of the people in China say that their country is democratic. Only 48% in the United States see their country as such.

China is indeed rising to the "enormous opportunities of this new age". The U.S., well, not so much. And that is the crux of the whole situation [emphasis added].

Biden's tweet is gibberish. A good translation of what he really meant is probably this:

Biden is in Europe to ask its leaders to support the U.S. in its efforts against China (and Russia). But that is not in Europe's interest:

Europe won't line up behind the U.S. for its great war on China. And a war it is gonna be:

China will also continue to grow and expand - only at a faster rate than the U.S.

The U.S. lost the competition when it, in the early 1990s, declared itself to be the sole superpower. It lost when it pushed for globalization and free trade. It lost when it let its finance, insurance and real estate sectors of its economy run amok in 2000, in 2007 (and again now). It lost when I broke its promise not to expand NATO to Russia's border. It lost when it decided to a wage a war of terror in the Middle East [emphasis added]

All the above gave China the 30 years it needed to catch up and to overtake the U.S. It has three times the population. It now has all the necessary infrastructure and industries. It graduates some 4.7 million per year in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while the U.S. has only 600,000 STEM graduates per year [emphasis added].

The U.S. became the primier power after World War II because the industrial capacities of all other powers had been destroyed by the war. To regain such a position the U.S. would have to engineer a war that would destroy China's industrial capabilities. A civil war within China could achieve that. But the color-revolution the U.S. incited in China in 1989 has failed and any new attempt to incite some strife will now be much more difficult. An external war waged on China is even more difficult because China is a nuclear power which can shoot back.

What the U.S. could do is not to attempt to out compete China. I could instead try to make it instrumental for its purposes.

Despite being on the winning side in both World Wars the British empire did not survive the carnage. Its role was taken over by the more powerful United States. But Britain did keep a role on the world stage that was (and is) disproportionate to its size. It managed to do so by making itself useful to the U.S. and by fostering a special relationship with its successor.

Could the U.S. try to get into a similar position in its relation with China? I believe that might be possible to a certain degree. It would be useful for China to grant the U.S. some special privileges if that avoids the costs of outright hostilities. But I also think that the U.S., for cultural reasons, will never try to get into such an agreement. It simply does not want to play number two [emphasis added].

So where do we go from here?

The most likely path is a more aggressive United States which uses its presumed advantages to attack China's capabilities below the level of open warfare.

Cyber warfare is a field in which the U.S. has already invested a lot. If its uses those capabilities, unacknowledged and in a destructive way, China's industries could be seriously harmed. The effects of random electricity failures, burning refineries and unreliable communication networks would accumulate to a slow down of China's growth. Ransomware like attacks on the Chinese banking system could leave its markets in chaos.

I am sure that there are a number of people in the Pentagon who are wargaming such scenarios. If history is any guide they will downplay the reactions and capabilities of their opponent. They might even be able to lure a president into signing off such a mission.

In the big picture though that would not change much. China would hit back against badly defended U.S. cyber targets. The skirmish would continue for several months but would end in a no-winner situation. After that it would be back to a cold war. The strategic situation would still be the same.

The U.S. can not win against China. How long will it take for it to recognize that? [emphasis added]