China has no need for the United States, for now

Jun 9, 2023
Two chess king on chess board US and China flag.

In ordinary anticipatory history the game is waiting for Trump. 

I think China will wait for the next US administration before making any serious steps towards dialogue. They would reasonably expect that administration to be led by Trump. No one else will break the bipartisan establishment hating China. It’s not a long time to wait until the election, and the Americans’ self imposed restraint will last that long, not least because they claim it as some kind of victory.

Apart from conversations between defence force chiefs, which are ongoing and secure a line to cope with accidental flare-ups, who is there in the Biden Administration for China to talk to? Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, spent a whole day in Vienna in conversation with Wang Yi, a former foreign minister now elevated to State Council (cabinet) rank in May. The White House issued this terse readout. I have not seen any Chinese mention of the meeting. Secretary of State Blinken was to visit China early this year but that visit was cancelled by the American side in a fit of balloon hysteria. In recent days Blinken has been talking in opposition to negotiation in Ukraine, instead about arming Ukraine to be a great force when [1] the arms are running out and [2] the Ukrainians are running out of manpower as their country is destroyed. Blinken is a great advocate for others to die for his glory. Nothing in his day to day utterances is something for China to connect with.

Nothing has changed since the March 2021 U.S.-China meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and then Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

[Blinken]… Our administration is committed to leading with diplomacy to advance the interests of the United States and to strengthen the rules-based international order.

[Yang]… Our values are the same as the common values of humanity. Those are: peace, development, fairness, justice, freedom and democracy… What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called rules-based international order. The United States has its United States-style democracy and China has Chinese-style democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the world, to evaluate how the United States has done in advancing its own democracy…”

Robert McNamara, former head of the Ford Motor Company, former US Secretary of Defence, master intellect shaping the Vietnam war, and former head of the World Bank (a US appointment) wrote a book called Blundering into Disaster. I’m not sure what I’ve done with my copy, You can get one from Amazon for $462. It was published around the time Reagan and Gorbachev shoved everyone else out of the room in Reykjavik … blunderously trying to save the world. Officials later returned discussions to more staid mode. You can get more thoughts on McNamara from this documentary.

Blundering is more necessary than ever now to save the planet. Beware the methodical all-knowing political leader and the gentry of world dominance.

In ordinary anticipatory history the game is waiting for Trump.

That delay is Albanese’s only chance to find a decent place in history, to escape from his strategic dead end. He needs the time to learn about the world. It’s no simple caper to skip from dodging bullets in the NSW Left faction to standing on the podium with the dying masters of the universe. The hardest thing in political manoeuvring is to find reverse gear, matched only by explaining why it’s needed. It is also China’s best approach to wait for Trump. Biden is weak and not amenable to sensible agreements.

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