fredag 14. juni 2024

Professor Odd Arne Westad: Sleepwalking Toward War. Will America and China Heed the Warnings of Twentieth-Century Catastrophe?

China today shows many of the same signs of hubris and fear that Germany exhibited after the 1890s. Leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took immense pride in navigating their country through the 2008 global financial crisis and its aftermath more adeptly than did their Western counterparts. Many Chinese officials saw the global recession of that era not only as a calamity made in the United States but also as a symbol of the transition of the world economy from American to Chinese leadership. Chinese leaders, including those in the business sector, spent a great deal of time explaining to others that China’s inexorable rise had become the defining trend in international affairs. 

In its regional policies, China started behaving more assertively toward its neighbors. It also crushed movements for self-determination in Tibet and Xinjiang and undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy. And in recent years, it has more frequently insisted on its right to take over Taiwan, by force if necessary, and has begun to intensify its preparations for such a conquest.