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A nation must think before it acts.
(This is the fourth and final column in a series on China’s efforts to supplant the U.S. as the world’s pre-eminent geopolitical power. Read the other parts here: A Global Military Threat | Exporting an Ideology | A Worldwide Web of Institutions)In the first three installments of this series, I’ve explored the changing nature of China’s challenge to U.S. interests and the existing international order, with a particular focus on three issues: China’s progressively more global military ambitions, its promotion of authoritarianism and subversion of democratic practices abroad, and its efforts to build new international institutions more responsive to its own interests.
All of this is in addition to other, more familiar aspects of the Chinese challenge: Beijing’s efforts to overturn the military balance in the Western Pacific, its coercion of U.S. allies and partners, and its audacious plans to establish economic dominance in an array of critical sectors.