tirsdag 25. desember 2018

US-China Tensions Enter a New Phase: Ceasefire or Escalation?

In his masterpiece The Master and Margarita, the Ukrainian playwright Mikhail Bulgakov envisions a debate on the streets of Moscow between Satan and two intellectuals, an editor and young poet, who question the existence of God. The devil, masquerading as a foreigner, asks: “If there is no God, then who, one wonders, rules the life of man and keeps the world in order?” The young poet replies that, of course, man rules himself. “I beg your pardon,” the devil retorts with a smirk, “but to rule one must have a precise plan worked out for some reasonable period ahead.”

As the geopolitical struggle between the United States and China takes form, one wonders what will keep the world in order. What is the precise plan in U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s trade war? In the reasonable period ahead, what more can we expect? The conflict entered a new phase on December 1 when Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was detained by Canadian authorities, at the request of the U.S. government, while transferring at Vancouver International Airport.