Out With the Trade War Against China, and In With the Culture War Against It | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Out With the Trade War Against China, and In With the Culture War Against It

‘Now we can get back to normal.’ That was the sigh of relief, tinged with at least a frisson of Schadenfreude, with which many international-relations commentators greeted the defeat of President Trump. The subsequent arrival of effective Covid-19 vaccines added to their mild delight that an extraordinary final year of a singular four-year US presidency would soon be behind us.

Many think that Western politicians and diplomats can now revert to their postwar multilateralist ways, without having to deal with an unpredictable and erratic American president. No more unilateralist antics. No more disregard and contempt for America’s allies. And no more capricious provocation of China, with the dire potential consequence of a military standoff.

But this expectation of a reassuring return to international norms could actually be much more dangerous to global peace than anything Trump initiated. A resumption of Western complacencies about international affairs would only compound the existing deep-rooted challenges – challenges that have in fact been exacerbated by the response to Covid-19 far more than by Trump.

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