Nowadays, they just seem to be shooting bullets through them. Daniel Blumenthal’s attempt to understand and convey the nature of the Chinese “cognitive prism” is a valuable contribution to Sinology, and well worth reading. Equally worth reading is the conclusion to his piece:
. . . The West (the democracies of the world) is quite satisfied with the current liberal order. The key American foreign policy task of the 21st century, then, is to better explicate, legitimate, and defend that order at a time when it is under tremendous pressure from China. A strong defense of the Western system will help avoid the tensions we have seen over the past year. Chinese leaders must see that power is not shifting, that the U.S. means to protect the world order it created, and that attempting to change it would lead China once again to ruin.