The Eagle (USA), The Bear (Russia) and The Dragon (China)

The eagle, meanwhile, has massively raised the stakes. It has launched, what amounts for all practical purposes, a progressively weaponised encirclement of the dragon (“I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority”).

The eagle is making a series of moves that amounts to inciting nations bordering the South China Sea to antagonise the dragon. Moreover, it’s repositioning an array of toys — nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, fighter jets — closer and closer to the dragon’s territory. The name of the game, according to the eagle’s Ministry of Deadly Weapons, is exactly “repositioning.”

What the dragon sees is a battered eagle trying to muscle its way out of an irreversible decline by trying to intimidate, isolate or at least sabotage the dragon’s irreversible ascent back to where it has been for 18 of the past 20 centuries; enthroned as the king of the jungle.

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