Fareed Zakaria continues his serious journalism on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS program. Today he brought China into the mix discussing something I had seen firsthand in the part of the world I am from, Central America.
Fareed Zakaria points out a danger most are ignoring
Fareed Zakaria laid out an unfortunate reality that is occurring under Donald Trump, the transfer of power from the United States to China. Zakaria wrote the piece "Trump prepares to pass the world leadership baton to China" that details what most American citizens and journalists seem oblivious to at our peril.
He points out that while Trump is aggressive and pompous when addressing China, he ultimately caves thus diminishing the country's level of response.
Trump railed against China on the campaign trail, bellowing that it was “raping” the United States. He vowed to label it a currency manipulator on his first day in office. But in his first interaction with Beijing, he caved. Weeks after his election, Trump speculated that he might upgrade relations with Taiwan. In response, Xi froze all contacts between Beijing and Washington on all issues, demanding that Trump reverse himself — which is exactly what happened. (Perhaps just coincidentally, a few weeks later, the Chinese government granted the Trump Organization dozens of trademark rights in China, with a speed and on a scale that surprised many experts.)
Zakaria made it clear that Trump is playing right into China's hand. While Trump is busy cutting foreign aid and money to the U.N., China is busy enhancing its influence throughout the world by investing Chinese assistance broadly. In other words, they are ensuring long-term influence and support in places where America would be the leader of choice.
It is striking that America's behavior today is not unlike the Soviet Union of the past where they had the false belief that military might is stronger than diplomacy and soft power. Zakaria wrote:
The Trump administration does want a bigger military. But that has never been how China has sought to compete with U.S. power. Chinese leaders have pointed out to me that this was the Soviet strategy during the Cold War, one that failed miserably. The implication was: Let Washington waste resources on the Pentagon, while Beijing would focus on economics, technology and soft power.
Trump’s new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, once remarked that trying to fight the United States symmetrically — tank for tank — was “stupid.” The smart strategy would be an asymmetrical one. The Chinese seem to understand this.
If that does not concern most Americans given the current state of what used to be the Soviet Union, I don't know what will. America, please wake up and wake up soon.