You see dried grass over rough cut logs
The bells toll for us: But will we wake to them?

Money may talk but good strategy roars


ADELAIDE – China knows that money talks and has acted accordingly.

This is a shrewd strategy as well as making long term economic sense.

Meanwhile, in the USA, the division, disputation and denunciation between the only two political parties that matter continue unabated.

So does the arm wrestle with China for dominance in the South-West Pacific.

Australia and Papua New Guinea are largely helpless bit players in this struggle for power and influence between the two titans of our era.

The only certainty is that China will resume its place as the most important power in South East Asia. This is being pragmatically recognised by ASEAN nations.

What this might ultimately mean in geo-political terms is anyone's guess right now.

Two wild cards in this new Great Game are whether China can maintain its spectacular economic growth rate as its economy matures, and whether Xi Zinping succeeds in his efforts to suppress aspects of China's rampant crony capitalism.

If he can do this, he will achieve the redistribution of wealth he calculates is needed to keep the masses satisfied, thus shoring up the Chinese Communist Party's support base.

For the USA, dealing with the historic legacy of slavery and racism which lies at the very heart of the current internal political and socio-economic divisions is the great task before its leadership.

This problem is hugely enervating and distracting for the current political elites, Republican and Democrat alike, who seem incapable of creating a consensus based strategy for the inevitable transition to a majority coloured USA.

While the demographic end game for this problem is actually clear, getting there without major political and civil uproar looks unlikely at the moment.

So, right now at least, China is winning the Great Game.

But history suggests there will be many challenges and surprises ahead before it becomes clear just which of these two great powers ends up in a predominant position.


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