Guest essay by David Archibald
As we warned back in February, the UN Climate Change Commission is on a path to rule the world and mere facts are not going to get in its way. But there is another party that is running interference on the UN’s plan even while using the UN’s climate scare to get a leg up.
Last November the left-leaning Council on Foreign Relations, founded in 1921, praised China’s complicity in helping President Obama hobble U.S. industry with a U.S.-China climate announcement, thus enabling President Obama to better sell the EPA’s restrictions on carbon dioxide. The US Senate had long been saying that there was no point in the US restricting carbon dioxide emissions while a much larger emitter in the form of China remained unfettered. At the time the Council on Foreign Relations was nonplussed that China wasn’t making a big deal of the US-China climate agreement internally.
It looks like the scales have fallen from their eyes now though with the release of a report entitled Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China. Amongst other things, the report says that:
…intense U.S.-China strategic competition becomes the new normal.
And these statements:
Because the American effort to “integrate” China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could eventually result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.
Only a fundamental collapse of the Chinese state would free Washington from the obligation of systematically balancing Beijing, because even the alternative of a modest Chinese stumble would not eliminate the dangers presented to the United States in Asia and beyond.
This statement suggests that there will be no more panda-hugging:
This conception, shared by all Chinese leaders since 1949, reflects a vision of politics that views conflict as intrinsic to the human condition.
This statement reminds us that Steven Mosher wrote a book in 2002 entitled “Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World”:
More fundamentally, it requires that others accept this order as legitimate, which the historian Wang Gungwu has described as a “principle of superiority” underwriting Beijing’s “long-hallowed tradition of treating foreign countries as all alike but unequal and inferior to China.
Mr Mosher was well ahead of the pack on that. The Council on Foreign Relations report goes on to suggest some courses of action and in that is aided by its ability to hold two contradictory opinions at the same time, for it says that:
Nothing would better promote the United States’ strategic future and grand strategy toward China than robust economic growth in the United States.
Doesn’t the Council on Foreign Relations realise that President Obama is using the EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations to hobble the U.S. economy? That is why China made some vague promise about carbon dioxide in the year 2030. They were following Napoleon’s dictum of “Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake.” If President Obama needed to co-opt China in the optics of hobbling the economy, China would have been only too happy to help, as they did.
The ability of the United States to cope with the troubles of the world depends upon how much economic freeboard it has. That in turn is to a large extent dependent upon how cheap its energy is. The global warming debate has now become very serious indeed.
A Chinese fort under construction in the Spratley Islands. Flak towers make a comeback after seventy years.
David Archibald, a visiting fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of Twilight of Abundance (Regnery, 2014)