The events of 2021 confirmed that the US political class sees containing China as its No1 foreign-policy goal. Indeed, China is now one of the few issues that publicly unites Republicans and Democrats. Treating China as the biggest external threat to America can no longer be regarded as a Trumpian aberration. The Joe Biden administration has been similarly focused on China, building on a theme that goes back at least to Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ 10 years earlier.
America’s growing antagonism towards China owes less to the rise of a new power and to a rapidly changing world than to the domestically driven insecurities and drift afflicting the US elite – a situation with parallels in Britain and the other ageing Western powers.
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