Rivals Play by the Same Rules,
Adversaries Have No Rules,
Enemies Fight

Avoiding Thucydides Trap 


I. The Russian View: American Lies, Betrayal of Russia?
. China Today and Tomorrow
. GZERO Reports
. Analyzing China's One-Road Investments
Trump's Trade Policy Update
requires successful implementation of a

Grand Strategy
. China's Post War Economic Development
Japan is Becoming a Player

Epilogue: In examining the Geopolitical advantages and disadvantages among nations,
comparisons should be among the Russian/Chinese governments
and the US Government, Business, and Wall Street.
Not doing so is an unique kind of
Fake News

Related Sites

Understanding China of Today a required foreign policy prima
Trading Blows: The US-China Trade video
Misconceptions Concerning US-China Trade
Free Trade Analysis
21st Century Free Trade Analysis
21st Century Foreign Policy

    10/11/19    editor W Antoniotti       return to   Geopolitics   
Please link to and Share



Avoiding the Thucydides Trap

“It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta
 that made war inevitable.”

History of the Peloponnesian War

Of 16 Challenges to a World Hegemony Over Last

500 Years-16 Challenges-12 Major Wars

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides Trap? 3 min video

1. US Rivalry With China Just Got Serious



Has the Thucydides Trap already sprung?

 There is a newly formed Committee on the Present Danger: China 

 Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has advocated reviving the
 House Un-American Activities Committee, originally set up to fight the Nazis.

 The U.S. and China must agree to keep open two-way flows of scholars. Source



2. Harvard's Thucydides 16 Case Files 30 second video

Larger Graphic

Is war between China and the US inevitable? | Graham Allisonvideo

1960 Economic and Political Analysis


This analysis was in many economic textbooks and the CIA, President
 Ike and candidates RN and JK kept it from Americans. marginalrevolution

"Russiagate is this generation's WMD"

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi posts an emergency chapter
of "Hate Inc.: How, And Why, The Press Makes Us Hate One Another,"
which he calls a "serial book, delivered by email

3. You Should Know
A “Cyber-attack” on China

Despite encouraging signs in the US-China trade war,
we’re watching for a possible US escalation against suspected Chinese hacking after
 revelations of a massive Beijing-sponsored infiltration of the US hotel chain Marriott.
 In coming days, the US may claim China has violated the cyber-espionage agreement
Chinese President  Xi Jinping made with ... Obama.
An indictment of Chinese security service workers as the hackers would be
 a significant escalation in the broader US-China standoff over cyber-security. GZERO

Over the past  yew ears under Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin,
have drawn closer and closer.
Forming a unified block that dominates Eurasian
could be the most important geopolitical trend early in the 21st century.

Disunity  resulting from Brexit, Italian discontent,
increasing authoritarianism in Poland and Hungary
makes a cohesive US partnership more difficult. thoughts

Bloomberg's J. Stavridis

A Possible Bigger Problem Loss of Exorbitant Dollar Privilege

U.S. Russia, China, Rivals, Adversaries, Enemies

1. The Russian View

2. China Today and Tomorrow

3. GZERO  Worldwide Threat Assessment

I. The Russian View

U.S. Lies Betray Russia? Blaming Conservatives

Prelude: Bush 2 ignores Russia's support for the Iraq War and moves Russia from a rival to adversary. Putin rebuffs Obama's attempt to move Russia back to rival status.

Trump's initial batch of sanctions imposed on 8/10/18 will be of little practical effect but a second round of harder-hitting sanctions looms if Russia fails to make certain assurances on chemical weapons. Trump has already expelled 60 diplomats and closed a Russian consulate in Seattle, agreed to provide lethal weaponry to Ukraine in Kiev’s fight against Russian-backed separatists, signed into law sanctions designed to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. Trump came into office considering a roll back Obama's Russian sanctions, rather than imposing new ones. Yet the punishments keep piling up on his watch.

"How is this administration taking tough actions on Russia while the president actively avoids them? That’s the question everyone is trying to answer".

Author Jeffrey Tayler is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and the author of seven books. He has traveled the length and breadth of Russia, both to report for magazines and for his books, three of which concern Russia. He has lived in Moscow since 1993, and outlined his proposal for a new detente between the US and Russia in an essay for the web site Quillette called "The Deal Trump Should Strike with Putin" We ended the Cold War by lying to Russia. They remember.

1. Putin's political activities reminds one of the early Cold War CIA and FBI activities.
2. C
ontrol of Russian resources  from 1991-1989 went to Russian and Western Oligarchs under Boris Yeltsin.
. Putin is popular because he ended the chaos under Yeltsin, returned resource control to the state, and his popular management of the Ukrainian crisis and Russian Crimean activates to reverse the 1954 Supreme Soviet
transfer of 
Crimea to Ukraine.
Source: Real News Network
Editor's Note:
 Author Taylor used the words handed over with no explanation of process.
Russia being our enemy is a default position created and managed by our military industrial complex.
5. Obama traded control of Libyan oil
for free access to Gaddifi.
Russia wants to be engaged against ISIS more than the American.
7. Trump's pro Russia Middle East attitude
battles the deep-seated Cold War interest of the U. S. Intelligence Community.
8. Trust but verify because this makes me nervous.

9. Readings

See Is Russia the "Adversary" of the US?

Putin Popularity and Oil Price Go Hand in Hand

IV. GZERO Reports

US Foreign Policy Failures

China's uncertain future & its new 3-child policy

Russian Motivation Important
Source: Ian Bremmer: What is Motivating Putin?

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

1. Putin's Motivation
Reacting to U.S. pushing NATO Eastward,
Additions to missile defenses, Energy Diversification away from carbon Moving stuff to Europe, Not Russia from Capiar Fostering coup in Ukraine

Policy Benefits
Putin more popular Russians more likely to sacrifice after Putin power move in Syria Some benefits went to China
Policy Cost

Failed to foster US interest Russian cyber crime can do much harm Western Banking System
Policy Benefits
Putin more popular Russians more likely to sacrifice after Putin power move in Syria Some benefits went to China
Policy Cost

Failed to foster US interest Russian cyber crime can do much harm Western Banking System

2. Recommended Policy Guide
Self Interest guides policy
Understanding Foe's Motivation
maximizes success
US Media, Intellectuals and Government won't understand Russia

3. Ukraine key to Putin's military supply chain
Problems and US forcing expensive relocations is similar to Russia putting missiles in Cuba.

4. Russia is correct that the Golan Heights annexation shouldn't be recognized because it violates international law, Leonid Bershidsky writes for Bloomberg Opinion. But the same should apply to Crimea, too. There's no UN Security Council resolution about Crimea because Russia blocked attempts to pass one. The post-World War II rule against recognizing land grabs is perhaps the most important one in the current international order.

6/4/19 Update
Russia and China are seeking closer cooperation but relationship which is based upon animosity toward the US is still limited by mutual suspicions and meager economic ties beyond oil. Russia doesn't even make China's top ten trade partners.

GZERO Worldwide Threat Assessment

Iran's economy is forecast to contract by 6% this year, and inflation is expected to rise to 50 percent. Iran's oil exports have more than halved since the US announced its decision to abandon the nuclear deal last year. China and India may continue to buy small amounts of Iranian crude, but the loss of Iran's other customers can only make a bad situation worse. Talking with Trump might bring Iran some relief.

II. China Today and Tomorrow

A Concise Business View
Eurasia Group's Dr. Ian Bremmer

What China's Done Right

1. Maintained stability without Western expectation of needed political reform.
2. Building World Infrastructure helps them join US as a leading influential world power.
3. Technology Ability substantially replaced steeling technology due to government and private investment.

What China's done wrong
1.High consumer and government sponsored debt, especially for  inefficient government sponsored corporations
   which primary value is providing job.

2. Government control of economy means it owns blame for economic failures like environmental problems
    like pollution, lack of water and arguable land, cyber attacks

3. Lost low profile on trade growth as first Trump and now Europe, are tighter trade controls and
    Chinese foreign investment. Much will depend on Xi Jinping’s success


Former  Australian Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd 4/18 video  See Latest Video from Kevin Rudd 12/5/18

Is China's President Xi Jinping under increased domestic pressure?
1. Recent Internet criticism from an academic has stayed on line for a week.
    His is very unusual  though party leaders being on a vacation/retreat may be relevant.

2. Xi has more pressure than three months age. He under estimated Trump's strong stance and resolve regarding trade liberalization.
    Surprised by Europe's willingness to join US trade restrictions and Chinese Foreign Investment limitations.

3. He has been very aggressive when dealing with international questions.

4, The Cult of personality around Xi has received Internet questioning.

Analysis: Trumps China Foreign Policy

Positive: Trump has forced internal Chinese discussions concerning their pro-Chinese mercantilist policies.

However, the lack of an apparent trade war exit policy is troublesome.
Especially if China is forced to save face1 with an increased nationalist policy centering on stronger security …

Obama main success was involving China in the Paris environmental discussions.

A future surprise may be US reaction to Chinese involvement close to U.S. boarders

Where China Wants to Go
1. Unilateral Local Sphere of Influence with no U.S. interference.
2. Promenade Indispensable Economic Partner to much of world.
3. Lead Global Economic Reform

Trump’s Australian refugee dilemma

Factchecking Trump on Australia refugees

Trump's Treatment of Australia

Understanding China under Xi Jinping



1. Anti-corruption has spread across economic and political classes allowing key Xi to control important agencies.

2. Success variables
Undue or live with developmental damage.
b. Develop manageable relations with other strong nations

3. Paramount Goal Maintaining party control is always first

Rudd on China US Trade War

In the next month or so there is likely a current tariff war agreement between China and the United States.

Both Donald Trump and Xi Jinping know its really the economy, stupid.  The final quarter of 2018 saw their economies began to slow much more rapidly than they could politically tolerate. And the trade war was a big part of the slowdown. In 2017-18 China, domestic economic policy measures resulted in the Chinese private sector lowering investment resulting in plummeting growth. A fresh wave of fiscal and monetary policy interventions to re-stimulate growth resulted. Also, a series of policy corrections were instituted to rebuild private sector business confidence. But the trade further eroded business sentiment and politically, employment levels must remain high to absorb the 20 million annual new worker entrants . Party members know unemployment breeds social instability which in turn breeds political instability. Xi wants any deal.

Trump took fright by the November Dow collapse concluding the Fed rate increases was  a major cause as well as the end of an unnaturally long period of sustained economic growth. He also worked out that his trade war was having a negative effect on sentiment. To fix it he began publicly thugging the Chair of the Fed so that no further rate rises would occur. He signaled the re-constitution of a negotiating process fix the trade war as soon as face-savingly possible. His divided  White House on what was an acceptable deal would be ignored because Trump wants a clear an economic glide-path to next year’s presidential election.

Trump wants to do a large part in final round negotiation brinksmanship with his opposite number. Unfortunately the Chinese don’t do it that way.  In the post-Deng period they will not risk a possible loss of face for their leader. For a  high-profile summit everything must be signed in advance. From the Hanoi outcome we learned China would never allow the disgrace of no deal. The Mar-a-Lego Summit  between Trump and Xi will work only if signed off in full by both capitals beforehand by vice premier Liu He and his American counterpart Bob Lighthizer.  For Trump it that way or the highway.

Probability of Success
A core question concerns their inability to solve a proposed 2013 problem related to government sponsored corporate inefficiency. This will hurt productivity and maybe growth. Solution was delayed  for political reasons.  Xi wants continue in control. This is an additional problem to the usual developing nation problems related to environment concerns, civil unrest, and rigidity of a one-power state …

Reform Contradictions Facing

China's New Leadership, Yukon Huang

Old Before Rich

Five economic disruptive forces identified in by Bloomberg Economics in a New Economy Forum: climate change, populism, protectionism, digitization and automation will disrupt pathways to prosperity. 

Our Drivers and Disrupters Index measures countries according to traditional markers of success—workforce, investment and productivity. By these measures, China is a star performer.

We also estimates how well economies will hold up in the face of massive disruptive forces that have gathered momentum in the past several years. China is particularly threatened—its coastal cities by floods, its exports by tariffs, its workers by robots.

Only a handful of developing economies have ever joined the ranks of the wealthy, among them are the Tigers of South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. For others, the bar is rapidly moving higher. 

IV. Analyzing Chinese Investment
Seven Challenges Created by Chinese Investment


  1. "Erosion of national sovereignty: Beijing has obtained control over select infrastructure projects through equity arrangements, long-term leases, or multi-decade operating contracts.
  2. Lack of transparency: Many projects feature opaque bidding processes for contracts and financial terms that are not subject to public scrutiny.
  3. Unsustainable financial burdens: Chinese lending to some countries has increased their risk of debt default or repayment difficulties, while certain completed projects have not generated sufficient revenue to justify the cost.
  4. Disengagement from local economic needs: Belt and Road projects often involve the use of Chinese firms and labor for construction, which does little to transfer skills to local workers, and sometimes involve inequitable profit-sharing arrangements.
  1. Geopolitical risks: Some infrastructure projects financed, built, or operated by China can compromise the recipient state’s telecommunications infrastructure or place the country at the center of strategic competition between Beijing and other great powers.
  2. Negative environmental impacts: Belt and Road projects in some instances have proceeded without adequate environmental assessments or have caused severe environmental damage.
  3. Significant potential for corruption: In countries that already have a high level of Kleptocracy, Belt and Road projects have involved payoffs to politicians and bureaucrats.

These challenges associated with China’s Belt and Road are not limited to a particular region or type of infrastructure project. A survey of 10 lesser-known Chinese projects across the globe shows that all feature three or more of these challenges."



Contemporary China-Japan Relations:
 the Politically Driven Economic Linkage



V. Trump's Trade Policy Update

Trump Leaves Xi No Room to Make a Trade Deal
Kevin Rudd video See Latest Video from Kevin Rudd 12/5/18


Trump trade negotiators use extremely difficult tactics for deal making with China. Until tactics change, there is little chance of Trump reaching his goals.

A crucial fact about modern China is as Xi adds to his power, economic and diplomatic success related to a prosperous future with boundless new opportunities became tied to his Cult of Personality.

Humiliating inflicted by a Western power would be a disaster. Xi must keep China’s economy growing, generating jobs and raising incomes. Some might believe this should encourage a trade agreement as U.S. tariffs slow economic activity.

Eleven countries signed a Comprehensive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), defying the barely-disguised efforts by the Trump administration to kill the treaty. A vanguard of Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, Canada and New Zealand activated the treaty over the weekend, ripping down barriers to trade in almost all goods. It eliminates 18,000 tariffs and slashes others in stages over coming years.

Latest News: 5/10/19

Trump is losing the fight to ban Huawei from global networks. Close allies are ignoring the U.S. president’s calls to blacklist the Chinese company from their 5G plans. Not a single European nation, not even the U.K., has fallen in line. See Daniel Gros: This is not a trade war, it is a struggle for technological and geo-strategic dominance


Is it possible to overturn the most damaging aspects of Chinese mercantilism.?

Recently the Xi administration recalibrated policy when private businesses became alarmed by the economy's statist turn and sharply curtailed job-creating investments. These companies got tax cuts and other incentives to resume spending.

Disengaging from China would compound the hurt from tariffs.

Bloomberg app: It's available for iOS and Android.

Want more news about China? Sign up for our new Next China newsletter, a weekly dispatch on where China stands now and where it's going next.


Editor's Note: 5/16/19
This is a trade war and until concluded one way or the other, voters will suffer. Trump has the personality to stay the course. China also has a strong will.

Politics can influence both sides. Stay tuned!


China's Reaction: A Lower Yuan


Editor's Note: Devaluation is the traditional method of enhancing trade. Germany uses it as a weak Euro helps her economy. 

 The Washington Post

A few shafts of light on trade offensive on 5/15/19 Wednesday. 

He said negotiators are also close to reaching a deal with Canada and Mexico that would lift steel and aluminum tariffs the administration imposed a year ago.

He would delay for six months a decision on imposing import duties on foreign cars and parts, avoiding a move the auto industry has said would be crippling.

Trump administration does not want to wind down its trade fights any time soon. 

Trump declared a national emergency to protect American communications networks from espionage by foreign suppliers. Then reports stated the Commerce Department effectively banned the sale of American tech to the company.


Editor's Note: Totalitarian Governments Seems to Create Conservatives
Who May be More Tolerant of Fascism.
Watching China in this regard is worthwhile.

See Trading Blows: The US-China Trade video
Pacific Trade Deal


VI. Japan Is Becoming a Player

Politics & Policy Japan, a Sleeping Giant of Global Affairs, Is Waking Up Bloomberg.com

Japan has drastically altered global history with  three  modern era profound international shifts.
1. The forced opening of the country by the West in the 1850s resulted in a modern economy, a strong
     military, and the emergence of Japan as a power that thrashed China and then Russia in major wars.
2. The 1930's challenges to Japanese objectives in China led Japan to 
embrace militarism.
3. Japan’s postwar leaders 
responded to American control by outsourcing foreign policy and security to the U.S.

Now China is challenging Tokyo’s control of the Senkaku Islands and is menacing Taiwan, which shields Japan’s southern flank.
China is building naval and air capabilities and its leaders indicates they may want ravaged Japan's World War II atrocities.
Simultaneously, the U.S. security blanket is becoming less reliable as she withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership intended
to keep China from economic regional domination.

Recently the US has restored a more normal rhythm to U.S.-Japanese relations,
but problems include a trade deal and a 
deteriorating regional military balance.

Japan has responded by fostering a “free and open Indo-Pacific” by sponsoring
Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, with Australia, India and the U.S.
Japan continues to unwinding constitutional military constraints.
The U.S.-Japan alliance has taken on an anti-Chinese character, as
Japanese air and naval forces 
help American patrol maritime flashpoints.
There are hints tat Tokyo might 
assist the U.S. in a regional war to defend Taiwan
and to beat back Chinese aggression with antiship missiles on the Ryukyu Islands,
plus using her submarines to choke off China’s access to the open Pacific.

Also, Tokyo and Washington work to secure supply chains and
speed developing democratic nation technological

China's Post War Economic Development


see visualcapitalist


Thucydides Trap!