You've heard of the Thucydides Trap but have you heard of the Kindleberger Trap?

Both invented by Harvard professors (respectively Graham Allison & Joseph Nye), they both describe mechanisms when an emerging power displaces an existing one.

That's where the similarities stop.
Kindleberger was an economist who argued that the disastrous decade of the 1930s was caused when the US replaced Britain as the largest global power but failed to take on Britain’s role in providing global public goods.
What are public goods? Simply put, things that everyone benefits from - clean air, public security, etc.

Internationally public goods are things like financial stability or freedom of the seas. Great powers mechanically have to play a bigger role to provide them.
Why so? Why do great powers need to do more to provide global public goods?

Simply because small countries have little incentive to pay for them. Their small contributions make little difference to whether they benefit or not so it's rational for them to get a free ride.
Take financial stability. If you're small Lichtenstein, what are you going to do?

You'll benefit from financial stability anyway whether you contribute not.

And you're so small that your contribution would probably not make a meaningful impact anyhow.

So you free-ride.
However if you're the U.S. or China whatever you do will have a disproportionate impact on financial stability and financial stability has an enormous impact on you so you're kind of obliged to shoulder this responsibility.
The trap is if we get a rerun of the 30s where the U.S. pulls back from running the international order that it created - something we've seen a preview of under Trump - and China doesn't step in for one reason or another.
Global public goods would then be unprovided as it were, something the whole world would be negatively impacted by.

My take is that I can totally see the US pulling back from the responsibility of providing public goods. After all, it had already largely done so under Trump.
The danger, in my amateur opinion, doesn't lie so much in China not wanting to shoulder the responsibility of organizing a new system to provide global public goods but in other countries being unwilling to work within that system.
Take climate, a global public good par excellence.

We can easily imagine a scenario where China wants to take the global lead on climate change but the US is run by climate deniers and just refuses to submit.
Other example: pandemics prevention.

Again not too crazy to imagine a world where China, wants to share its expertise on stopping viruses from spreading for everyone's benefit but where on grounds of "individual freedom" Western countries just don't want to hear any of it.
Anyhow just wanted to share this concept.

We always hear of the Thucydides Trap but the Kindleberger Trap, which is easily as likely a scenario, is barely ever mentioned.

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More from @RnaudBertrand

8 Jan
To understand what drives the systematic lies on China in Western media, I like the neighbor metaphor.

What story would you tell yourself if your formerly poor neighbor, who incidentally is of a different race & culture than you, was suddenly to become much richer than you?
What if, to top it all, he proved wiser than you in many respects, foreseeing trends so as to make decisions that prove correct one after the other?

Would you accept it all with a smile or would you be incredibly bitter about it?
Would you say it’s all well deserved or that he somehow must have cheated or, worse, cheated you?

Sadly we know about human nature…
Read 8 tweets
8 Jan
History will undoubtedly find that those who most undermined human rights are those governments and organizations, like Human Rights Watch, who most pretended to defend them.

When you weaponize and politicize something, you kill it. It's that simple.
People will wake up to the fact that when those gvts and orgs defend a so-called "human rights" issue it isn't only often false but there are hidden self-serving motives behind.

Like with the boy who screamed wolf, this will lead to deep cynicism. Increasingly, it already does.
Take for instance the Xinjiang "slave labor" issue which, when you study it 👇, is disguised as wanting to "help people" when it in fact aims to destroy their livelihood so they'll - presumably - be more inclined to revolt.
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
Wow! If you ever needed more proof that the Huawei/5G security concerns were totally made up by the US.

Here's Vince Cable, former UK Secretary of State under David Cameron:

"I happened to deal with [the Huawei issue] in government over a 5-year...

...period and I was repeatedly reassured by the intelligence community, who should know, that our dealings were totally safe.

And the same judgement was followed by Theresa May when she succeeded the government I was in.

The reason we have disengaged from China and...

...Huawei and 5G has got nothing to do with British national security.

It's because we were told by the Americans that we had to."

Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
Setting context with a few data points on Kazakhstan:
1) The world's largest producer of uranium 👇
2) Shares a border with China & Russia
3) Currently has good relations with its 2 big neighbors
4) Asked Russian-led CSTO bloc for military help
5) Key partner in China's BRI Image
Other data point: the "ordinary protesters" seem trained enough to know how to use military-grade weaponry and were well privy of highly strategic and confidential information such as where the government stored its weapon arsenals.
Other data point: one of the 3 key demands from the protesters is to "withdraw from all alliances with Russia".

If I were protesting gas prices I would definitely make this one of my key demands as well 😏
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
Bondaz's "method" is clearly to spread anti-China sentiment in the French public while retaining plausible deniability for himself.

E.g. He lets the media quote him to justify the existence of a "Uyghur genocide" but when confronted about it he denies it on technicalities...
Same thing now for Taiwan.

He is trying to spread the ridiculous notion that "No one in Europe ever acknowledge [sic] the One China Principle", something he has to know couldn't more wrong.

He is a "China scholar" after all 😉
I confronted him about it yesterday 👇

Demonstrating that not only France does recognize the One-China principle but De Gaulle was actually the first Western leader to do so all the way back in 1964.

And France's policy hasn't changed since.
Read 10 tweets
5 Jan
Bondaz truly is the European Gordon Chang...

He should know that not only France does recognize the One-China principle but De Gaulle was actually the first Western leader to do so in 1964.

It was China's ONLY requirement for establishing diplomatic relations with France.
This is clear from the archives:…

When Edgar Faure (then France's prime minister) negotiated France's recognition of the PRC with Liu Shaoqi (then President) and Zhou Enlai, they both set One-China principle as the ONLY condition for establishing relations
So One-China principle isn't only acknowledged by France, it is the very basis for the relationship between France and the PRC for now 60 years...

And Bondaz as a so-called "China expert" now claims no such thing was ever acknowledged. Where do they find those guys? 🤦
Read 4 tweets

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