While there are 1.4 billion people living in China and 330 in America, there are still 6 billion people
living outside. In the Cold War that America launched against the Soviet Union, many countries
around the world joined America’s side, including the West Europeans and major Third World
countries, like Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia and China. This time around, in the
contest against China, virtually no country has explicitly joined America’s side. By looking at case
studies of countries like Australia and Europe, India & Japan, this week explain America
will find it difficult to marshal a strong coalition against China. Instead, most countries of the world
are likely to develop closer trade and investment links with China and not take sides in the US-China geopolitical contest.
Bearing in mind all the points made above an in earlier weeks, this course will conclude by
recommending that a wiser course of action for America to take would be to realise that fundamen-
tally there are five non-contradictions between America and China. The term non-contradiction is not
often used in Western discourse. The Western mind is used to black-and-white distinctions. One side
is right; one side is wrong. The Chinese mind is different. Both black and white can be right, as
spelled out in the philosophy of yin and yang.
Hence, for example, if the primary goal of America is to improve the well-being of its people and if
China has a similar goal for its people, both sides can cooperate and fulfil their goals. Similarly, both sides share a common goal in overcoming global challenges, like global warming and Covid-19. Even in the area of values and civilizational differences, both sides can adopt a philosophy of live and let live.
The strategic goal of this course therefore is to enable the students to engage in deep reflection on this
major geopolitical contest that has broken out. Deeper reflection will show that a wiser course of
action for both sides would be to avoid an outright zero-sum geopolitical contest and thereby improve
the well-being of their own people and the six billion who live outside. In short, huge stakes are at
play in this contest. A course like this is absolutely critical and vital now.
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