How Ham Can Prevent War With China

Noah Feldman on the need to tread lightly in the coming 'cool war'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2013 12:58 PM CDT
Slices of a Smithfield boneless ham are displayed in Montpelier, Vt.    (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

(Newser) – China and the US are not-so-secretly on the verge of, if not a new cold war precisely, at least a cool one. When someone steals your top weapons secrets, then says they want a "new type" of relationship, you "start thinking he was planning to drink your milkshake," reasons Noah Feldman at Bloomberg. China is a "classic rising power," and because geopolitics is "almost always a zero-sum game," that means another power—the US—is declining, and great powers never take that well.

But if you're looking for optimism, recall a Chinese company's purchase last week of Smithfield Foods, America's (and the world's) largest pork producer. Never before have two rival superpowers been so economically interdependent—China holds 8% of our debt, and we have a 25% market share on Chinese exports. Any violent conflict would wreck both nations—think of it as "mutually assured economic destruction." The US must make clear that it won't abide by future cyberattacks, but the long-term strategy is clear: "Keep the pork foremost." Click for Feldman's full column. (Read more China stories.)

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