Since the Cold War with the Soviet Union was the last major bout of geopolitical rivalry that the United States was involved with, it’s natural that people default to discussing the U.S.-China relationship in those terms.
But every time I read a take like Bernie Sanders saying “don’t start another cold war” with China, I think these analogies end up obscuring more than they reveal.
For example, a big part of the change in the D.C. consensus on China is that most people now seem to think that the Clinton/Bush/Obama approach to U.S.-China trade policy was wrong — and as Sanders himself says, he agrees with that new consensus and dissented all along from the old consensus. And then Sanders goes on to say that not only was he right all along about the trading relationship, but he agrees that the People’s Republic is doing all kinds of bad stuff.
The Chinese government is surely guilty of many policies and practices that I oppose and that all America…
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