A China expert offers evidence suggesting the U.S. and China are heading toward a clash of civilizations.
What’s different with the challenge as laid out by Biden is in part personal. As vice-president, Biden was privately sceptical to the point of disdain of the notion that China and its ruling Communist party could ever become a peer competitor to the US. The US, in his view, not only had an innately superior system of government, but also overwhelming leadership in hard and soft power, backed by an unmatched system of global military and intelligence alliances. Biden has clearly changed his mind and he is now rushing to instil an urgency and unity into US policymaking of the kind that his predecessors failed to manage to meet the China challenge. China has changed as well, something that has belatedly sunk in across all levels of the system in the US.