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In this Cold War between Trump and China, beware the enemy within

Niall Ferguson
 

By Niall Ferguson (Original source The Times)

“If you’d told me 30 years ago America would be in another Cold War with another communist superpower by 2019, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me that, simultaneously, socialism would be the height of fashion with young Americans, I would have directed you to a psychiatrist.

But here we are. Three decades ago Francis Fukuyama published his seminal essay “The End of History?”, hailing the victory of liberal capitalism overall its ideological competitors, but especially over communism. The essay he needs to write today is “The Upend of History?”

In 2016 a Cold War between the United States and China seemed like the febrile fantasy of Steve Bannon and a few fringe academics. Even Donald Trump’s campaign threats to impose tariffs on Chinese goods struck me as a throwback to an earlier era. I remember patiently making the counterargument that the incoming Trump administration would be better served by improving relations with China and Russia and making the permanent members of the UN security council act like the five great powers after the Congress of Vienna — maintaining a global balance of power.”

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