As outlined in Carden’s brief letter there is much to like in the democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s proposed foreign policy: end endless wars, climate change, a tougher stance on Israel but he, like other candidates, still has weaknesses with regard to Russia and China. He is still subject to Russophobia and the support of an outdated and irrelevant NATO. I’m unable to understand why he and others cannot see NATO equally a threat to Russia as they see Russia a threat to NATO. Everything in anti-Russian rhetoric is couched in terms of US national interest without appreciating that other countries, such as Russia and China, have their own national interest. NATO troops sitting on the Western border of Russia can certainly be regarded as a threat to Russia’s national security but never is any mention made of this in American’s mainstream media or by the US pundits. There is no mention of Ukraine in this letter so I do not know what Buttigiege’s is position is on Ukraine with regard to NATO. But surely any sensible person must realize that to bring Ukraine into the fold of NATO would create serious problems regarding relations with Russia. A Ukraine in NATO would exacerbate the tensions between the West and Russia and understandably so. The leaders of other countries, such as France, Germany, and many others have personal contact with Putin but not the United States. During the Cold War US presidents frequently met with Soviet leaders but not now. it seems any attempt to speak with Putin is tantamount by both to treason by both US political parties. This is surely ridiculous. The US must get out of the Cold War mentality and have close contacts with its perceived or designated enemies. As a result of sanctions and other economic pressures, Russia has moved into China’s orbit, something the US worked hard to avoid for both in the 1960s and 70s. The net effect of this has been to create an increasingly strong partnership between Russia and China, still short of a formal alliance but the more pressure placed on those two countries the greater the possibility of a formal alliance. Can that be in the interest of the US? It is certainly proving beneficial to both Russia and China. China is becoming increasingly reliant on Russia for energy supplies and advanced armaments, while Russia is benefiting from increased Chinese investment in its economy and Chinese technology, most recently the adoption by Russia of Huawei 5 G technology..
The other topic not covered in this letter about China is the nature of the trade war. Several pundits, both in China and in the United States, have pointed out that the trade war is more about technology than trade. It is true that geo-economics is now playing a greater role in geopolitics but even more important now is geo-technology, whether it be about artificial intelligence or 5G technology. The problem with the latter is not a threat to US National Security, it is the US national insecurity and the fact that the US 5G technology supports a more expensive and less efficient Spectrum system Millimeter Wave (mmWave). This argument was put forward in great detail by the Defense Innovation Board a consultant to the Department of Defense in April of this year. While the US supports the mmwave system which is a more narrow band requiring more cell towers to cover a territory, the Chinese Spectrum system has adopted Sub, 6 a transmission system less expensive and with a wider reach than mmwave. The Chinese Sub 6 spectrum, therefore, has a greater appeal for developing nations looking to a less expensive system than mmwave. There is a lot of talk about the threat of the Chinese system and in fact, it does have greater appeal. What we’re looking at here is a possibility of a bifurcated world technologically and politically, something mentioned in the DIA April report. There is much criticism by people such as Buttigieg about the authoritarian Chinese political system but there is no such criticism about a very similar political system in Singapore. They are both authoritarian and they are both technocracies, as are several other countries in Asia as pointed out very clearly in Parag Khanna in his books, “The Future of Asia” and “Technocracy in America, the Rise of The Info State”. Developing countries, especially those in Asia, now look to the success of China’s centralised policies and Singapore’s technocracy as models rather than the Western less efficient liberal democracies. Technocracies are based more on the expertise of people holding political office rather than political positions held by political appointees. Climbing up the Chinese political ladder requires more expertise and prior administrative success expertise than political connections. And China’s model is much more akin to Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore model. Both China’s reformers, Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping, looked to Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore model in the process of reforming China’s system in the 1980s. Buttigieg and other US politicians must accept that the imposition of the Western liberal democracy systems is simply no longer relevant in Asia. The mindsets and value systems are different historically.
We are indeed headed for a Bifurcated world.