The focus this time is on a particularly powerful response by a highly regarded member of the Chinese intellectual class. Jiang Shigong (强世功), the Director of the Rule of Law Research Center of Peking University, and a Professor of Law, has produced, for publication in the important journal Qiushi (Seeking Truth), no. 12, 2019, an essay entitled 《美国陷阱》揭露了一个骇人听闻的霸凌主义案例 [Jiang Shigong, "The 'American Trap' Exposes a Shocking Case of Hegemonism"].
It represents a truly important intervention of an important Chinese intellectual in the increasingly high stakes negotiations between the United States and China for the control of the normative discourse on global trade, and for the way in which global production consequentially will be ordered. His work, always worthy of careful consideration, is worthy of even closer examination now.
Empire is now certain, the only question is whether it will come on U.S. or Chinese terms. The dress rehearsal for this was the great battle over the Trans Pacific Partnership--a great battle that the U.S. had won except for the phlegmatic action of the Obama administration and the calculated hostility of the Trump administration, both of which, and in very different ways, history might judge, made regrettable choices for very political reasons. The former might be understood to have disastrously dragged their feet in the face of an inward looking intellectual and political class who in retrospect might be judged to have arrogantly played class politics with the tools of the state apparatus; and the later might have succumbed to a temptation which later generations might judge as misguided to use TPP as a sacrificial lamb whose slaughter might have been necessary, in their minds, to launch their new vision, the America First Initiative.