China’s Vision of Victory

Nathan Levine
Reuters

Nathan Levine

Security, Asia

Jonathan D. T. Ward’s book has the potential to serve as a starting point for a new stage of the conversation on China, one that America desperately needs to have.

China’s Vision of Victory

The core theme of Jonathan D. T. Ward’s recently published book China’s Vision of Victory is clear from its striking cover art: Lady Liberty struggles to hold her torch of freedom aloft above red waves, under which she has been almost completely submerged. The message is obvious: the United States, and the ideas it represents, are about to be swamped by the rising tide of a Chinese empire.

Only a few years ago this kind of imagery would have signaled to America’s foreign-policy establishment that the book could be dismissed out-of-hand, an alarmist screed to be set carefully aside like Peter Navarro’s “Death by China” (replete with a jagged, “Made in China” dagger plunging into the heartland of a bloody America).

Times have changed, however, and today the book no longer feels out of place. Indeed it captures better than any other the current zeitgeist in Washington, which finds itself rapidly reorienting to embrace a new era of “strategic competition” with Beijing. This helps explain why, despite being a relatively young scholar, Ward’s work has achieved a notable degree of attention and influence inside the U.S. government—and the Pentagon in particular, as evidenced by a foreword by Adm. Scott Swift and glowing endorsement by Gen. David Petraeus.

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