Seen from afar, China’s current all-fronts offensive gives the impression of a rising power on the march. China is simultaneously starting a border skirmish with India, militarizing the South China Sea, cracking down on Hong Kong, pressuring Taiwan, confronting Japan over disputed islands, and quelling internal unrest—all while fighting a resurgent coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, it is investing billions of dollars in a bid to dominate emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced semiconductors. And then there’s the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s $1 trillion program to build the transportation infrastructure for a China-centered world.
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