The US-China Rivalry Could Be More of a Noble Fair Play
The big question, not only for both tech behemoths China and the USA but also for the rest of the world, is whether the above countries are enemies or allies?
Unfortunately, no matter what you read on the net, it is not so simple to determine, as the relationship of these countries is based on a practically infinite amount of aspects, influencing the core of the bond itself.
Before skipping to solid conclusions, it is safe to say that the interlink between the western and eastern superpowers respectively is definitely based on technopolitical rivalry, making it even harder to determine who’s “right” and who’s “wrong’ in this case.
More specifically, we could probably talk about whether the US and China are friends or foes in the scenario where one of the countries produced and sold just pants, and the other produced and sold shirts.
Depending on their respective customers-base, they could be either working together to provide both customer batches with a uniform or play against each other promoting only American shirts or strictly Chinese pants.
Technopolitics is the new politics
Once again, and unfortunately, the case is not limited to pants and shirts, and the main controversy tackling with the relationship of the countries is based on technology, modern politics, intel propagation, and monetary dominance.
In early 2000, politics used to be the top shelf science that seemed to act as the determining power on where we’re heading as a society, and even as a species, and technological advancements were undeniably subject to political influence.
Today, that is clearly not the case, especially when Facebook can influence a political campaign, Russian hackers can alter an election’s outcome overseas and China’s politics are pretty much relying on physical and digital monitoring technology.
The Huawei incident last year sparked the ongoing US-China trade war, and regardless of their excuses on why this technological war is happening, the real practical reason was the fact that Huawei was and probably still is the only commercial company that has ready-to-go 5G infrastructure. Even titan-scale alternatives such as Ericsson, Vodafone, and Nokia, confirmed that their own solutions are partly based on Huawei equipment.
This is a perfect example of technopolitics, and US’s major problem was the fact that they’re losing technological power once perceived as a ‘cheap-copymaker’ China, who now is capable of deploying better products tech-wise and design-wise, for a cheaper price, and on a bigger scale.
Practically whoever owes the majority of the 5th generation telecom medium frequency, can theoretically also access delicate behavioral and other personal information otherwise impossible to harvest in large quantities and so fast.
Economy, Religion, and Arts are already absorbed by the tech domain
Traditional diplomatic politics may be the last standing influencing force unaffected ‘fatally’ by technology’s hyper-growth in the last decades, but all the other major points of social interest have been already integrated within the digital realm.
Talking about the economy nowadays essentially means talking about the ‘digital economy’, even if we save some time and intrigue during the spelling. Take for example an economic article from 2000, and compare it to modern economics.
On one side you have fancy-dressed European gentlemen talking about investing in cattle, or how the Euro should be fixed internally in order to be able to keep beating the USD, always under the Pound’s skirt.
On the other hand, today, economic developments are nine out of ten times focusing on blockchain technology, decentralization, stablecoins, government-backed digital currencies, electronic banking, PayPal, Libra, SWIFT, etc.
As a matter of fact, President Xi Jinping publically announced the country’s intention to become a global leader in electronic payments using distributed ledger technology, a tech-aspect that was previously considered as a tool for Ponzi-schemes.
To make it short, digital economy is so deep-rooted into society nowadays, that in China, homeless people are not sitting down with a hat or a jar, but a QR code.
Furthermore, the domain of fine arts, not only has shifted its referential point towards digitalism but what ‘art’ means as a concept has also changed into a new sack of conditions.
Human units are now able to generate audible frequencies dubbed as ‘music’, paint, and even sculpt 3d objects using nothing more than their personal computers, and not only it works, but art consumers on the other side will purchase these creations electronically, using their digital banking account, PayPal, or cryptocurrencies.
Conservatives would call this a ‘thin-air’ for ‘thin-air’ trade, while Y-gen and latter generations understand that the ‘data-for-data’ is the only way things get done in the digital era.
Last, religious-wise, we might be in a chronological point where a bearded old-man behind the clouds doesn’t make much sense but summing it up, the concept of a situation where you are being monitored by a third authoritarian party, that can judge you based on your choices, and grant you social privileges and status or deny it at any moment, is not as far-fetched as ‘God’ seems.
Technology today does everything God was supposed to do, and more, as it even stores, carries, and distributes data regarding the concept of God himself on a worldwide scale through the internet.
Skipping the boring part about how we got here without even realizing it, we should focus on maintaining the current condition, where mankind is still relevant and evolving.
USA and China, should not be considered as just two rivals, that want to prove to each other who’s better in a diplomatic cock-fight. Instead the two countries should examine why Ancient Greeks believed in ‘Noble Fair Play’ (Ευγενής Άμιλλα), and how following a set of decentralized, pragmatic-focused rules can lead to a better era for everyone, not just for the US or just for China.
It is known that an unbiased code-of-conduct was agreed among friends and enemies, even during wars in the past. From the samurai’s respect between each other, even when in opposing battlefronts, to the Mafia’s code where you had to follow a certain set of rules even if your enemy is sitting right next to you, a Noble Fair Play is what’s missing from the US-China relationship, which is pinched everyday by people who are short-visioned and don’t even think about what’s yet to come.
I believe that this is eventually unavoidable, as both countries are focusing on tech innovation, and working together is not just the best option, but in fact the only option, considering that an extreme rivalry-based alternative will eventually lead to a physical war we so far managed to avoid for more than half a century.