Today’s generations in America and Western Europe would not have won the first Cold War

Global Times:

Can the US treat China simultaneously a fierce rival and an inescapable partner?

“US political scientist Graham Allison said in an interview with the Global Times that he applauded the Biden administration’s current search for a conception of the “rise of China” challenge that recognizes “China is simultaneously both a fierce rival and an inescapable partner.” His views show the kind of China-US relationship that the Biden administration is aiming for: the US seeks both containment and cooperation in its China policy.”

Reagan would never have said “Soviet Union is simultaneously both a fierce rival and an inescapable partner.”

One of the reasons why some commentators can refer to facts seemingly refuting the claim that Cold War 2 is already here is a situation where corporations, citizens and politicians in the West have become so greedy, decadent and spoiled that many will rather cooperate with authoritarian China instead of building a real democratic alliance in support of Tibetans, Uighurs and Han Chinese in Taiwan.

The West is full of fake liberals and fake socialists. These people are so lazy that many don’t even want to work. Their goal in life is to have all work done by robots. People not willing to work are certainly not going to fight a war. If China points weapons at underwater fiber cables and the GPS system, thereby giving Westerners the option to choose between the Internet and Taiwan, almost all of them will quickly ignore Taiwan.

AUKUS and the Quad will probably be able to build up a deterrence which protects formal allies of the US, preventing a domino effect if China attacks Taiwan. America will also probably win the AI robot arms race, eventually giving the West renewed military power to crush both China and Russia, this time for good, but it will take maybe 1-2 decades or fifty years before these capabilities are ready. In the meanwhile it’s a real possibility that China wins the global economic game, because today’s Western generations are too egoistical and hedonistic, without sufficient discipline, without enough self-control. We are a bunch of Internet addicts, many getting anxiety (withdrawal symptoms) when contemplating a future without digital connectivity.

But the more China grows economically, the more it can spend on conventional weapons, nukes and 4IR weapons: AI, drones, nano-tech, synbio weapons and all the other dual-use technologies that are part of the fourth industrial revolution. Will Pentagon be able to convince myopic hedonists in the EU that military security is more important than luxury consumption? Maybe. Climate changes demand a reduction of consumption in any case, so this will perhaps make EU leaders more willing to respect basic principles of defense and security during a global arms race. If this change of policy occurs we’ll probably get a new Manhattan Project. Governments will build (secret) cutting-edge semiconductor facilities, better than TSMC in Taiwan.

It’s a possibility however that corrupt politicians and greedy CEOs will continue “business as usual” while hoping that the “mafia turf war” between Washington and Beijing will stabilize over time, into frozen military blocs, one in the East and the other in the West. But 4IR tech developments will never stop (unless a cataclysmic event destroys it all). The AI robot arms race is a zero-sum game. Neoliberals and neocons will destroy CCP and Kremlin at first available tech opportunity, in the same way they attacked Serbia, Iraq and Libya.

In principle and generally speaking, the AI robot arms race is a zero-sum game because military leaders can’t afford to treat it as a win-win situation. The future is just too uncertain. The existing escalation we have already seen between East and West has proven that good or stable relations don’t last forever.

The economic competition between East and West can be a win-win game, but it’s almost a “sideshow” compared to the AI robot arms race. Temporary good economic relations will not stop this (secret) high-tech arms race. So what are Beijing and Moscow going to do about it?

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