US' Futile Containment of China
By Finian Cunningham
February 28, 2021 "Information
Clearing House" - America's
global power depends on a strategy of
"containment" towards China. Containment is
just a euphemism for aggression, hostility
and confrontation. And such a strategy is
bound to fail.
State planners in Washington seem to think that
a Cold War policy towards China will deliver the
same kind of victory that America claimed
against the Soviet Union.
A recent set-piece
published by the influential Atlantic
Council argued for "containment" of China which
would subordinate and eventually bring about
regime change in Beijing. The objective is to
make the United States the sole global hegemonic
power with no other competitor.
The problem with such thinking is that
applying Cold War strategy is futile in today's
world. Containment of the Soviet Union may have
succeeded for the Americans because during that
era the world was largely a bipolar division of
power. Also, the Soviet Union was a relatively
closed entity in terms of economic relations
with the rest of the world.
Today, the world is wholly different. Instead of
a bipolar configuration, there is the reality of a
multipolar world. The global economy is much more
integrated and China – set to become the largest
national economy – is a key exporter, importer,
investor and market.
The previous Trump administration launched a
trade war against China three years ago in an
attempt to bully China into submission. But that
policy failed. Trump only ended up
hurting American producers and consumers which
reflects the reality of how the American economy –
like much of the world – is dependent on China.
Trump's trade war was tantamount to cutting your
nose off to spite your face. It was a folly of
arrogance and no intelligence.
The new Biden administration is equally obsessed
with trying to contain China, which shows how
presidents in the US come and go but the deep state
planners and imperial policy remain.
Biden may have dropped Trump's trade war rhetoric
and tactics, but as the Atlantic Council article
cited above indicates, Washington is still pursuing
the objective of
damaging and weakening China to furnish a
government in Beijing that is subordinate to
American global power ambitions.
American corporate capitalism depends on
acquiring global dominance. Partnership, cooperation
and multilateralism are anathema to the workings of
US capital. This is why the American planners must
defeat China and any other perceived rival.
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But the reality of a multipolar world and
integrated global economy makes the
American Cold War strategy obsolete.
Unlike Trump's "America First" doctrine, Biden
and the Democrats have a softer, seemingly more
amenable approach to Western allies. Biden talks
about "engaging" with allies and revamping the
However, this new "engagement" is all about
Washington trying to enlist Western allies in a
hostile camp towards China so as to better achieve
At both the G7 summit and Munich Security
Conference earlier this month, Biden repeatedly
flagged up China and Russia as adversaries and
threats for the Western "allies".
The trouble for Biden and his deep state handlers
is that Western allies cannot afford to accommodate
his policy of isolating China and Russia. It is
detrimental to their own self-interests.
Global Times commented this week: The vitality
of the Chinese economy is unstoppable… For the
world, detaching from the Chinese market is becoming
more and more inconceivable than detaching from the
China is now the
biggest trading partner for the European Union,
having surpassed the United States. China is a key
market for Germany's export-led economy and Germany
is the de facto leader of the EU. Russia is also
essential for supplying Germany and Europe with
affordable secure energy.
There is no way that Washington's attempts to
polarise the world as it did with the Soviet Union
will succeed. It is futile. The multipolar world
that China and Russia often speak of is a reality,
which means partnership and cooperation between
nations is the only viable way forward.
American power is like a lumbering dinosaur
living in a world whose political and economic
environment has been transformed. It's a beast whose
modus operandi has expired and no longer applicable.
There is of course the danger of military
confrontation prompted by a desperate waning
American power facing extinction. But fortunately,
China and Russia are formidable military powers
which America cannot realistically conceive of
attacking. (How damnable that such a contingency
could even be contemplated, but that’s the nefarious
nature of American power for you).
Which leaves us with this consideration. If US
power-play against China (and Russia) is futile and
war is inconceivable, what will become of America?
If it wants to avoid internal collapse – a
process of decay already underway – American society
and its capitalist economy must in some way be
radically transformed into a more democratic,
egalitarian and drastically less militarist economy.
Can the American people mobilise for this challenge?
Finian Cunningham has written
extensively on international affairs, with
articles published in several languages. He is a
Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and
worked as a scientific editor for the Royal
Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before
pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is
also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20
years, he worked as an editor and writer in
major news media organisations, including The
Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. -
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