An article in the South China Morning Post (April 30) by Alex Ho and captioned 'Beijing must prepare for a drastic reversal ahead of China’s rise and America’s fall' candidly warned China not to underestimate the US. It said, "Washington’s domestic agenda may be confused, but its new foreign policy consensus is extraordinarily coherent, comprehensive and bipartisan, and is intended to be a guide for a multi-generational struggle against its adversaries well into the rest of the 21st century". Identifying three theatres of conflict, he said "The other two theatres are eastern Europe and the Black Sea, against Russia, and the Persian Gulf and rest of the Middle East, against Iran. The Chinese need to appreciate what the fight in their own corner of the world means in the context of America’s attempt at restoring global hegemony. China, Russia and Iran are all at the receiving end of the same overall strategic goal. They are being drawn closer together, not because they have much else in common other than a fearsome enemy." The article said "Under the illusionary and self-congratulatory narrative of the inexorable rise of China and the inevitable decline of the United States, many Chinese now think Washington’s “contain and roll back” strategy will prove to be futile and self-defeating, the last hurrah of a superpower that can’t accept its own fall from grace". He cautioned that "A hegemon in decline maybe even more dangerous than when the global order is stable. In the West, especially the United States, much has been written about the dangers posed by China’s rising global status and its threat to the international order". He added "Chinese need to think through the other end of that equation – that is, whether a hegemonic power struggling to retain its dominance will become even more violent, confrontational, ruthless and destructive. Powerful people and empires alike rarely leave the stage in good graces". In its concluding paragraphs, the article said "Chinese need to reflect deeply and appreciate their own weaknesses and the enemy’s extraordinary strengths and ability to recover from catastrophes. Unlike Americans, we do not have the same luxury to make so many egregious mistakes and still recover.
Their assets – both tangible and intangible; in the military, technology, diplomacy, financial markets and soft power – run wide and deep. By contrast, we only have a very small margin of error".

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