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Stupidity Rules Under Biden, Just As It Did Under Trump

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Biden starts so deeply prejudiced so that he is even less intelligent, and more hostile toward Russia, than was George W. Bush, who had said of Putin, he “looked in his eyes and saw his soul.” Biden says, instead, he saw no “soul”, but just a “killer.” However, Biden’s stupidity is even worse than that.

On March 19th, The Daily Beast headlined “Biden White House Sandbags Staffers, Sidelines Dozens for Pot Use” and reported:

Dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, frustrating staffers who were pleased by initial indications from the Biden administration that recreational use of cannabis would not be immediately disqualifying for would-be personnel, according to three people familiar with the situation.

The policy has even affected staffers whose marijuana use was exclusive to one of the 14 states — and the District of Columbia — where cannabis is legal. …

In some cases, staffers were informally told by transition higher-ups ahead of formally joining the administration that they would likely overlook some past marijuana use, only to be asked later to resign.

“There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers — rather, ex-staffers,” one former White House staffer affected by the policy told The Daily Beast. “I was asked to resign.”

“Nothing was ever explained” on the calls, they added, which were led by White House Director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic. “The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained.”

Biden isn’t doing this to satisfy his voters — quite the contrary: Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to this draconian anti-marijuana policy that he’s imposing. Pew had headlined, on 14 November 2019, “Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization”, and reported that 55% of Republicans did, and that an even more overwhelming 78% of Democrats did. And the only age-group who didn’t were Americans older than 70. So, not only is the self-contradiction by Biden on this issue not politically advantageous for him, but especially younger voters will be disappointed by his arbitrary and self-contradictory policy-enforcement about this matter. It reinforces the public image of him that he really doesn’t much care about the public’s welfare — he’s simply ruled by his prejudices. His campaign statements for legalizing marijuana were fakery, and he is now actually punishing young staffers who had believed his statements and acted on that belief. The Daily Beast’s news-report closed by asserting that “would-be staffers in the Biden administration whose dream jobs were derailed by an opaque system now feel their own truthfulness has been used against them. ‘It’s exclusively targeting younger staff and staff who came from states where it was legal,’ the former staffer said.” This scatter-brained policy is obviously counter-productive, in every aspect.

Biden’s policymaking is stupid and driven by prejudices he has had his whole life, not only regarding domestic affairs (such as marijuana), but also regarding foreign affairs, as is shown in the following internationally embarrassing incident, which therefore makes even clearer that this is the type of person that he is — an old fool who is now just an older fool:

On March 17th, ABC News headlined “TRANSCRIPT: ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interviews President Joe Biden” and it included this discussion:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under — denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well. And I — the conversation started off, I said, “I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, “We understand one another.” It was — I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.”

I said, “Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.” And looked back and he said, “We understand each other.” Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re — that — don’t expect him to — or her to — voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he’s gonna pay we’ll — you’ll see shortly. I’m not gonna — there’s — by the way, we oughta be able that ol’ — that trite expression “walk and chew gum at the same time,” there’re places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.

That’s why I renewed the START agreement with him. That occurred while he’s doin’ this. But that’s overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity, that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange. But that and SolarWinds as well. He’s been — they’ve done some mischievous things, to say the least. And so we’re gonna have — I’m not gonna announce what I’m doing, but he’s gonna understand that —

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How about Mohammad —

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: — it’s not free.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: — bin Salman? You said during the campaign that you would personally punish the Saudi leaders if they were found to be responsible for this death of Khashoggi. They were found to be responsible. Mohammad bin Salman — Salman was found to be responsible. He was found to have acknol — authorized it. Yet, you didn’t personally sanction him.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well —

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Three things. One, I’m the guy that released the report. That report had been done for a while. It wasn’t released. I insisted it be released, number one. Number two, when I spoke to the king, I made it clear to the king — the king, his father, that things were gonna change. And I insisted on several things. Number one, we held accountable all the people in that organization —

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But not the crown prince?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Not the crown prince because we have never, that I’m aware of, when we have an alliance with a country, gone to the acting head of state and punished that person. And — and — ostracized him. But here’s the deal. We said, number one, end the war in Yemen. End the starvation there

The double-standard there (calling Putin “a killer” and also threatening him — all based on evidence that’s incomplete and dubious — but holding harmless Crown Prince Salman, against whom the evidence that he is a “killer” is indisputable) is probably obvious to everyone except Joe Biden himself. Furthermore, it’s even worse than that, because the Sauds wouldn’t have invaded Yemen if the U.S. hadn’t supported them in doing so — it was always a war by the Saudi, UAE, and U.S., Governments, to exterminate the Houthis in Yemen. Biden, too — and far more clearly — is a “killer.” Also, Biden’s publicly announced 100% trust in what the U.S. Director of National Intelligence says is grotesque, given the U.S. ‘intelligence’ community’s 100% record of neoconservative lies which were always accepted unquestioningly by Biden and which were cited by him as being reasons why the U.S. should invade Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other countries that the U.S. has invaded and destroyed. Who exceeds that record, as a “killer” (in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and more)?

Furthermore: Biden’s retrospectively now pontificating “We said, number one, end the war in Yemen. End the starvation there” is the exact opposite of what had been his position as the U.S. Vice President under Obama, because he was always even more of a neocon than his boss Obama was, and his boss was complicit with Crown Prince bin Salman al-Saud and with UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in perpetrating this extermination-campaign in Yemen. The U.S. leadership is an international war criminal in Yemen. These late pontifications, from America’s new President, don’t diminish that guilt.

Biden’s holier-than-thou hypocrisy was being displayed there for all to see, in any nation where the press would choose to broadcast it. His especially targeted object of contempt in this particular matter, the head of state in the other nuclear superpower, Vladimir Putin, took advantage of that hypocritical public display, not only by responding to it in a gentlemanly fashion, but by challenging the U.S. President to allow the world community to listen-in on, and to view live in real time, their next conversation.

On March 18th, Reuters headlined “Putin offers Biden public talks after U.S. president says he thinks he is a killer”, and reported that “President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he and U.S. President Joe Biden should hold talks in coming days that would be broadcast live, after Biden said he thought the Russian leader was a killer and bilateral ties sank to a new post-Cold War low.” Their report continued:

“I want to offer President Biden to continue our discussion but on the condition that we do it live, online, without any delays but in an open, direct discussion,” Putin said, asked in a television interview about Biden’s comments. The two leaders last spoke by telephone on Jan. 26 soon after Biden took office. …

Suggesting Biden was hypocritical in his remarks, Putin said that every state had to contend with “bloody events” and added Biden was accusing the Russian leader of something he was guilty of himself.

“I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard with each other we used to say: it takes one to know one. And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke. The psychological meaning here is very deep,” Putin said.

“We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are. And as a result we assess (a person’s) activities and give assessments,” he said.

Biden has the same holier-than-thou ‘policy’ on Iran: he demands that though the U.S. — under Trump — broke the Iran deal, America won’t even negotiate for a return to it unless Iran will first come back into full compliance with it and (in addition) reduce its missile forces (which weren’t part of that deal). On March 19th, the Washington Post headlined “Biden’s window with Iran is starting to close”.

The big bully, the U.S., under its new President, is having a big tantrum. So: What’s new? How will he respond when the nations that he hates and demands to conquer reject what he ‘offers’ for their capitulation? Will it be yet more invasions by the U.S.? Whom will that benefit, except, perhaps, corporations such as Lockheed Martin?

As regards Putin’s offer to have a live telecast debate with Biden, the White House promptly said that the U.S. President is too busy to do that.

NOTE regarding “GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer? PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do. … It was when President Bush had said, ‘I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.’”:

This type of U.S. Presidential talking about Putin goes back to the following interview of George W. Bush on 29 May 2003 (which Biden correctly quoted there but turned now against Putin):

My main focus has been to deal with Vladimir Putin, leader to leader, because I firmly believe that if we can establish trust between each other, then we can see to it that others in our administration begin to trust each other more. And trust is an important concept.

I never forget my first question I was asked, after having met Vladimir Putin in Slovenia [in 2001], was from an enterprising U.S. reporter. He said, “Do you trust Vladimir Putin?” And I, without hesitating, said, “Yes.” And he said, “How do you know?” I said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.”

We had just come from a very long conversation where we talked about family matters and we talked about our own personal lives. And I found in Vladimir a very genuine person, somebody with whom I could place my trust. And that doesn’t mean we agree on every issue; don’t get me wrong. But it does mean that we have the platform necessary to have good, positive relations so we can move our relations throughout our Government forward.

Obviously, Biden starts so deeply prejudiced so that he is even less intelligent, and more hostile toward Russia, than was George W. Bush, who had said he “looked in his eyes and saw his soul.” Biden says, instead, he saw no “soul”, but just a “killer.”

Biden, ever the plagiarizer, is actually picking up, there, not only from Bush but from Bush’s ‘Defense’ Secretary Robert M. Gates’s 2007 comment, which Gates repeated in 2014, that “I had looked into Putin’s eyes and I saw a stone cold killer.” Whereas Gates was plagiarizing from Bush and turned it against Putin, Biden plagiarized Gates’s twisted-negative version of Bush’s favorable comment.

This is what a ‘democracy’ gets from having the owners of its mega-corporations, such as Lockheed Martin — corporations that thrive on invasions — be also the predominant funders of its political Parties. The result isn’t democracy; it is imperialism; and that’s what had produced both of the Twentieth Century’s two World Wars, and could be on the way toward producing this Century’s WW III.

Author’s note: first published in strategic culture

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

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Roads and Rails for the U.S.

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For those who expect the newly announced $2 trillion Biden infrastructure program to be a goodbye to potholes and hello to smooth-as-glass expressways, a disappointment is in store.  The largest expenditure by far ($400 billion) is on home/community care, impacting the elderly or disabled.  The $115 billion apportioned to roads and bridges is #4 on the list. 

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) keeps tabs on our infrastructure and their latest report (2020) gave it an overall grade of C-.  Although bridges worsened, this is a modest improvement on the previous report (2017) when the overall grade was D+.  If $115 billion in spending sounds adequate, one has to remember it costs $27 billion annually for upkeep.

Astounding it might be the backlog in spending for roads and bridges runs at $12 billion annually.  Go back 20 years and we have a quarter trillion shortfall.  Add all the other areas of infrastructure and the ASCE comes up with a $5 trillion total.  It is the gap between what we have been spending and what we need to.  Also one has to bear in mind that neglect worsens condition and increases repair costs. 

One notable example of maintenance is the Forth rail bridge in Scotland.  A crisscross of beams forming three superstructures linked together, it was a sensation when opened in 1890 and now is a UN World Heritage Site.  Spanning 1.5 miles, its upkeep requires a regular coat of paint.  And that it gets.  Rumor has it that when the unobtrusive painters reach the end of their task, it is time to start painting again the end where they began — a permanent job to be sure though new paints might have diminished such prospects.

Biden also proposes $80 billion for railways.  Anyone who has travelled or lived in Europe knows the stark contrast between railroads there and in the U.S.  European high-speed rail networks are growing from the established TGV in France to the new Spanish trains.  Run by RENFE, the national railway, Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) trains run at speeds up to 310 km/h (193 mph)  — a speed that amounts to a convenient overnight trip between Los Angeles and Chicago.

The hugely expensive new tracks needed can be considered a long-term investment in our children’s future.  But it will take courage to contest the well-heeled lobbies of the airplane manufacturers, the airlines and big oil.

If Spain can have high-speed rail and if China already has some 24,000 miles of such track, surely the US too can opt for a system that is convenient for its lack of airport hassle and the hour wasted each way in the journey to or from the city center.  Rail travel not only avoids both but is significantly less polluting.  

Particularly bad, airplane pollution high above (26 to 43 thousand feet) results in greater ozone formation in the troposphere.  In fact airplanes are the principal human cause of ozone formation.

Imagine a comfortable train with space to walk around, a dining car serving freshly cooked food, a lounge car and other conveniences, including a bed for overnight travel; all for a significantly less environmental cost.  When we begin to ask why we in the US do not have the public services taken for granted in other developed countries, perhaps then the politicians might take note.

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Congress and the Biden administration should end FBI immunity overseas

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Image source: U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan

The FBI notably has an extended international presence running 63 offices in select countries overseas. The offices are called “legats” and are situated at the US Embassy in the host country. One of the major reasons for FBI’s international presence is fighting international terrorism.

The FBI legat personnel at the US embassies are fully accredited diplomats enjoying full diplomatic immunity but that poses several questions that are worth asking, such as: how is it possible for law enforcement to be diplomats and is that a good idea, legally speaking?

Police work should not enjoy diplomatic immunity because that opens the door to abuse. Does the FBI’s immunity overseas mean that the FBI attaches can do no wrong in the host country? How do we tackle potential rights infringements and instances of abuse of power by the FBI towards locals in the host country? The DOJ Inspector General and the State Department Inspector General would not accept complaints by foreigners directed at the FBI, so what recourse then could a local citizen have vis-a-vis the FBI legat if local courts are not an option and the Inspector Generals would not look into those cases?

This presents a real legal lacuna and a glitch in US diplomatic immunity that should not exist and should be addressed by Congress and the new Biden administration.

While FBI offices overseas conduct some far from controversial activities, such as training and educational exchanges with local law enforcement, which generally no one would object to, the real question as usual is about surveillance: who calls the shots and who assumes responsibility for potentially abusive surveillance of locals that may infringe upon their rights. It’s an issue that most people in countries with FBI presence around the world are not aware of. The FBI could be running “counter-terrorism” surveillance on you in your own country instead of the local police. And that’s not nothing.

When we hear “cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism”, as recent decades show, there is a great likelihood that the US government is abusing powers and rights, without batting an eyelash. That exposes local citizens around the world to unlawful surveillance without legal recourse. Most people are not even aware that the FBI holds local offices. Why would the FBI be operating instead of the local law enforcement on another country’s territory? That’s not a good look on the whole for the US government.

The legal lacuna is by design. This brings us to the nuts and bolts of the FBI legats’ diplomatic immunity.

Diplomatic immunity is governed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, under Chapter III on privileges and immunities. The US is also a state party to the Convention, along with most states around the world. While there could be some variations and disagreements on bilateral basis (including on weather for example one state could be hosted and represented through the embassy of another state in a third state), on the whole there is a universal consensus that the Vienna Convention sets the rules establishing diplomatic immunities and privileges.

Under the Vienna Convention, only top diplomats are given the highest degree of immunity from the law. This means they cannot be handcuffed, arrested, detained, or prosecuted by law enforcement officials of the country in which they’re stationed. Diplomatic immunities and privileges also include things like diplomatic “bags” (with very peculiar cases of what that could entail) and notably, protection and diplomatic immunity for the family of diplomats.

It is a universal consensus that not everyone who works at an Embassy has or should have diplomatic immunity.  Immunity is saved for diplomats whose role has to be protected from the local jurisdiction of the country for a reason. Not all embassy staff should enjoy diplomatic immunity. Granting law enforcement such as the FBI full legal immunity for their actions is bad news.

Only the top officials at an embassy are diplomats with an actual full immunity — and that’s for a reason.

It makes sense why a diplomat negotiating an agreement should not be subjected to local courts’ jurisdiction. But the same doesn’t go for a law enforcement official who acts as a law enforcement official by, for example, requesting unlawful surveillance on a local citizen, in his law enforcement capacity, while thinking of himself as a diplomat and being recognized as such by the law.

Law enforcement personnel are not diplomats. Dealing with extraterritorial jurisdiction cases or international cases is not the same thing as the need for diplomatic immunity. If that was the case, everyone at the export division at the Department if Commerce would have diplomatic immunity for protection from foreign courts, just in case. Some inherent risk in dealing with international cases does not merit diplomatic immunity – otherwise, this would lead to absurdities such as any government official of any country being granted diplomatic immunity for anything internationally related.

The bar for diplomatic immunity is very high and that’s by design based on an international consensus resting upon international law. Simply dealing with international cases does not make a policeman at a foreign embassy a diplomat. If that was the case every policeman investigating an international case would have to become a diplomat, just in case, for protection from the jurisdiction of the involved country in order to avoid legal push-back. That’s clearly unnecessary and legally illogical. Being a staff member at an embassy in a foreign country does not in and of itself necessitate diplomatic immunity, as many embassy staff do not enjoy diplomatic protection. It is neither legally justified nor necessary for the FBI abroad to enjoy diplomatic immunity; this could only open up the function to potential abuse. The FBI’s arbitrary surveillance on locals can have a very real potential for violating the rights of local people.  This is a difference in comparison to actual diplomats. Diplomats do not investigate or run surveillance on locals; they can’t threaten or abuse the rights of local citizens directly, the way that law enforcement can. Lack of legal recourse is a really bad look for the Biden administration and for the US government.

The rationale for diplomatic immunity is that it should not be permitted to arrest top diplomats, who by definition have to be good at representing their own country’s interests in relation to the host state, for being too good at their job once the host state is unhappy with a push back, for example. The Ambassador should not be exposed to or threatened by the risk of an arrest and trial for being in contradiction with the interests of the host state under some local law on treason, for example, because Ambassadors could be running against the interests of the host state, by definition. And that’s contained within the rules of diplomatic relations. It’s contained in the nature of diplomatic work that such contradictions may arise, as each side represents their own country’s interests. Diplomats should not be punished for doing their job. The same doesn’t apply to the FBI legats. Issuing surveillance on local citizens is not the same as representing the US in negotiations. The FBI legats’ functions don’t merit diplomatic immunity and their actions have to be open to challenge in the host country’s jurisdiction.

The FBI immunity legal lacunae is in some ways reminiscent of similar historic parallels, such as the George W. Bush executive order  that US military contractors in Iraq would enjoy full legal immunity from Iraqi courts’ jurisdiction, when they shouldn’t have. At the time, Iraq was a war-torn country without a functioning government, legal system or police forces. But the same principle of unreasonable legal immunity that runs counter international laws is seen even today, across European Union countries hosting legally immune FBI attaches.

Congress and the Biden administration should end FBI immunity overseas. It can be argued that for any local rights infringements, it is the local law enforcement cooperating with the US Embassy that should be held accountable – but that would ignore that the actual request for unlawful surveillance on locals could be coming from the FBI at the Embassy. The crime has to be tackled at the source of request. 

When I reached out to the US Embassy in Bulgaria they did not respond to a request to clarify the justification for the FBI diplomatic immunity in EU countries.

To prevent abuse, Congress and the Biden Administration should remove the diplomatic immunity of the FBI serving overseas.

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Competition and cooperation between China and the United States and the eighth priority

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In mid-March U.S. President Biden held his first press conference since taking office. Speaking about Sino-U.S. relations, Biden said: “I will prevent China from surpassing the United States of America during my term of office”. At the same time, he also stressed that he would not seek to confront China, but to keep up fierce competition between the two countries.

Focusing on competition between major powers is one of the important changes in U.S. foreign policy in recent years. As the strengths of China and the United States draw closer together, the United States increasingly feels that its own ‘hegemony’ is threatened. During Trump’s tenure, the United States has caused a trade war, a technology war, and even a complete disagreement with China in an attempt to curb China’s development momentum and erode Chinese positions.

The expansion of the competitive field and the escalation of the competitive situation have become the hallmarks of Sino-U.S. relations during this period. Although Biden’s policy line has made substantial changes to ‘Trumpism’, it still has much of its predecessor’s legacy with regard to its policy towards China.

The first foreign policy speech made by U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken listed China Challenge as the eighth priority, preceded by:

1) ending the COVID-19 pandemic;

2) overcoming the economic crisis, reviving the economy at home and abroad, as well as and building a more stable and inclusive global economy;

3) renewing democracy;

4) reforming immigration and creating a humane and effective immigration system;

5) rebuilding alliances, revitalising U.S. ties with allies and partners with the system that the military calls force multiplier;

6) tackling climate change and leading a green energy revolution;

7) securing U.S. leadership in technology; and

8) confronting China and managing the greatest geopolitical test of the 21st century, i.e. relations with China, which is the only country with economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the international system and equilibria.

The eighth medium-term guideline for the national security strategy sees China as an important competitor. These guidelines clearly show that competition still sets the tone in the way President Biden’s Administration’s manages relations with China, as was the case in the previous four-year period.

At a press conference on March 26, 2021, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the above statements were not surprising. It is clear that China and the United States are competing on different interest levels.

The key factor, however, is to compete fairly and justly and to improve oneself. The appeal to the other side is moderation and restraint, not life or death, or a zero-sum game. These words are along the same lines as Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s statement when he spoke about Sino-U.S. relations at a session of the National Congress of People’s Representatives of the People’s Republic of China (the Chinese Parliament). It is not only a response to the U.S. strategy of competition with China, but it also provides a model for the future way in which superpowers should proceed together.

The reality of Sino-U.S. competition is unavoidable, but competition can be divided into benign and vicious. The former is a winning model for “improving oneself and understanding the needs of the other side”.

Since Deng Xiaping’s reforms and opening up to international trade, China has begun its own reconstruction. It has continuously widened the scope for benign competition and has changed its mindset by actively embracing the world’s different political parties and participating in international competition. It has also inspired enthusiasm for innovation and creativity and made progress in various fields.

At the same time, development has also provided ample opportunities for countries around the world and injected growth momentum into the global economy: this is a typical example of China’s good interaction and common development with all countries around the globe.

Conversely, fierce competition means breaking rules and systems and even breaking the demarcation line to prevent or contain the opponent, and this is usually followed by fierce conflicts.

The two World Wars of the last century were extreme examples of violent competition between great powers: the first as a clash between capitalist imperialisms in search of new markets; the second as a result of mistakes made in the peace treaties that ended the Great War, plundering the losers and causing misery, resentment and chauvinistic desires.

In today’s world, competition without respect for the other side has not disappeared from the scene of history. Trump Administration’s frantic anti-China activity over the last four years has not only failed to make the United States ‘great again’, but has caused a linear decline in its national competitiveness, at least according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020 published by the Lausanne-based International Institute for Management Development, which sees the United States dropping from third to tenth place. Besides the fact that its international image has seriously plummeted and Sino-U.S. relations have hit the lowest ebb since the establishment of diplomatic relations. It can clearly be seen that fierce competition will only restrain its promoters and ultimately harm the others, themselves and the international community.

In December 2020 General Mark Alexander Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a body that brings together the Chiefs of Staff of each branch of the U.S. military and the Head of the National Guard Bureau), said in an interview that ‘great powers must compete. This is the essence of the world’.

There is no problem with this statement: it is not wrong, but it is important to maintain a state of competition and contact between major powers, precisely to ensure that it does not turn into conflicts or wars that are fatal to mankind and the planet as a whole.

The gist of the speech shows that some U.S. elites also believe that China and the United States should adhere to the principle of ‘fighting without breaking each other’. The importance and the overall and strategic nature of Sino-U.S. relations determine that no one can afford the zero-sum game, which is a lose-lose as opposed to a win-win game – hence we need to ensure that competition between the two countries stays on the right track.

Competition between China and the United States can only be fair and based on rules and laws. This is the basic rule of international relations, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations as its point of reference.

Regardless of the common interests of China, the United States or peoples in the world, both countries should make this system promote healthy and fair competition, thus turning it into the greatest value of sharing and cooperation.

China’s goal has never been to surpass the United States, but to advance steadily and become better and no longer a prey to imperialism and colonialism as it has been the case since the 19th century, when Great Britain waged the two Opium Wars (1839-1842 – 1856-1860) to have not only the opportunity, but also the right to export drugs to the Middle Empire – hence Great Britain was the first pusher empowered and authorized by the force of its weapons.

Although – by its own good fortune -the United States has never been England, it should not always be thinking of surpassing the others or fearing being overtaken by the others, but should particularly focus on Secretary of State Blinken’s first seven priorities and raise its expectations.

China should show its traditional political wisdom and manage Sino-U.S. relations in accordance with the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, so that Sino-U.S. relations can develop in a healthy and stable way for the good of the whole planet.

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