Mike Pence Announces Cold War II

The administration is orchestrating a far-reaching campaign against China.

Did Cold War II break out last week while no one was watching? As the Kavanaugh confirmation battle raged, many Americans missed what looks like the biggest shift in U.S.-China relations since Henry Kissinger’s 1971 visit to Beijing.

.. Denouncing what he called China’s “whole of government” approach to its rivalry with the U.S., Mr. Pence vowed the Trump administration will respond in kind.
.. The speech sounded like something Ronald Reagan could have delivered against the Soviet Union: Mr. Xi, tear down this wall! Mr. Pence also detailed an integrated, cross-government strategy to counter what the administration considers Chinese military, economic, political and ideological aggression.
.. Navy plans for greatly intensified patrols in and around Chinese-claimed waters in the South China Sea were leaked to the press.
.. the recently-entered trilateral U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement was revealed to have a clause discouraging trade agreements between member countries and China. The administration indicated it would seek similar clauses in other trade agreements.
.. Congress approved the Build Act, a $60 billion development-financing program designed to counter China’s Belt and Road strategy in Africa and Asia.
.. highlighting the danger that foreign-based supply chains pose to U.S. military capabilities in the event they are cut off during a conflict.
.. Mr. Pence warned that even higher tariffs are on the way. The White House report highlighting supply-chain vulnerabilities could provide the basis for new and more far-reaching restrictions.
.. Business and investors may still be underestimating both the Trump administration’s determination to challenge China and the amount of economic disruption that greater U.S.-China tension can bring.
.. To the mix of longtime China hawks and trade hawks now driving U.S. policy, national security matters more than economic friction, and many of the protestations from the U.S. business community may fall on deaf ears.
.. Both China and the U.S. are likely to move quickly, unpredictably and disruptively as they struggle for advantage; Wall Street should brace itself for further shocks.
.. Democrats who have relished attacking Mr. Trump for allegedly being soft on Vladimir Putin will have a hard time explaining why a hard line on Russia is a patriotic duty but a tough China policy is a mistake.

.. Replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement, reshaping the Supreme Court, and launching a new Cold War in the same week is quite the trifecta. America may or may not be on the road to greatness under Mr. Trump, but it is certainly going somewhere, and at an accelerating pace.

a16z Podcast: Connectivity and the Internet as Supply Chain

3 forms of connectivity:

  1. transportation
  2. energy: 2 million km pipelines
  3. communications: 1 million km fiber on ocean floor

We think that states are the organizing unit, but we are moving:

  • from nations and borders to flow and friction
  • things become organized by connectivity

The more pipelines you build between Russia and Europe, the more resistance to turning off the routes

In the gig economy, your connectivity will affect your prosperity.

People’s loyalty is more to their employer because their employer gives them greater access to places where their citizenship would otherwise not.