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China Capitalizes on Washington's Crisis

David Callahan

The political crisis in Washington is becoming an international embarrassment for the United States, with the head of the IMF now reprimanding us for threatening global chaos. But the crisis is also becoming a big opportunity for China, America's main rival for primacy in the 21st century. 

Recently, China's official government news agency, Xinhua, said regarding the crisis that “it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanised world.”

A de-Americanized world could mean a number of things, many of which I'm all for: like less U.S. dominance over the World Bank and the IMF, less reliance by other nations on American military power to police the world, reduced U.S. veto power of great multilateral ideas for making the world a better place (see: climate change), and so on. 

But a de-Americanized world could also mean an increasingly China-ized world, which could be a decidedly mixed bag. Do we really want the Chinese authoritarian model to have more sway as America's democratic model shows itself incapable of functioning? I don't think so.

As the world's second largest economy, it would seem only a matter of time before China demands more geopolitical influence. Conservatives in Washington seemed determined to speed up that process.