It’s one thing not to want a conflict. It’s just dumb to announce that to an enemy who has made a point of pushing your boundaries.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will tell China in upcoming talks that while Washington welcomes competition with Beijing, there needs to be a level playing field and guardrails to ensure that does not veer off into conflict, senior U.S. officials said on Saturday.
“She’s going to underscore that we do not want that stiff and sustained competition to veer into conflict,” one senior U.S. administration official said ahead of the first high-ranking, face-to-face contact between Washington and Beijing in months
“The U.S. wants to ensure that there are guardrails and parameters in place to responsibly manage the relationship,” he said. “Everyone needs to play by the same rules and on a level playing field.”
What Communist China hears is, “Please don’t hurt us” and “We’re afraid”.
The competition has long ago veered into conflict with multiple massive hacking attacks, the latest one on Microsoft, with Biden announcing that he won’t take any action.
Sherman’s message would be fine to bring to the EU or any country that we’re in a tight economic competition, but not a civilizational conflict with. It’s laughably pathetic when confronting an enemy nation which is beating us economically and hopes to defeat us militarily.
China has no reason to alter anything it’s doing because it’s winning.
The Biden administration is talking about “guardrails” and a “level playing field”, but China has become such an economic monster by refusing to “play by the same rules” while making a mockery of any kind of “level playing field”.
Why should China abide by any “guardrails” we put in place? The vague threat that the situation might “veer into conflict”? If you’re going to threaten that way, you do it like Reagan, not like Carter. Rhetoric about veering into conflict is big on a passive voice when what China needs to hear is an “or else”.
Biden and his people have no intention of presenting an “or else”. They’re trying to save face. That’s a concept that their PRC opposite numbers understand quite well. And China will respond with the familiar rhetoric about responsible competition in public even as its media barks and howls up a storm. The PRC has no reason to fear us and the Biden administration’s behavior only reinforces that conclusion.
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