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The Chinese are committed to pushing U. The Chinese commitment makes perfect sense from their point of view. They see the South China Sea the way American strategists saw the Caribbean in the 19th and early 20th centuries: the principal blue water extension of their continental land mass, control of which enables them to thrust their navy and maritime fleet out into the wider Pacific and the Indian Ocean, as well as soften up Taiwan.

It is similar to the way dominance over the Caribbean enabled the United States to strategically control the Western Hemisphere and thus affect the balance of forces in the Eastern Hemisphere in two world wars and a cold war. But the Americans will not budge from the Western Pacific. The U.

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This is an emotional as well as a historical commitment: something I have personally experienced as an embed on U. In fact, the U.

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Defense Department is much more energized by the China threat than by the Russia one. China is the pacing threat the U. As for the so-called restrainers and neo-isolationists, when you boil it right down, they are really about getting American ground troops out of the Middle East, something that may actually strengthen the U. Remember that the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was forced to publicly disown the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement because of pressure from her own party. Regarding the trade talks themselves, what really riles both the Trumpsters and the Democrats moderates and progressives alike is the very way China does business: stealing intellectual property, acquiring sensitive technology through business buyouts, fusing public and private sectors so that their companies have an unfair advantage at least by the mores of a global capitalistic trading system , currency manipulation, and so on.

Trade talks, however successful, will never be able to change those fundamentals. China can adjust its business model only at the margins.


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And because economic tensions with China will never significantly lessen, they will only inflame the military climate. When a Chinese vessel cut across the bow of an American destroyer, or China denied entry of a U.

With the waning of the liberal world order, a more normal historical era of geopolitical rivalry has commenced, and trade tensions are merely accompaniments to such rivalry. In order to understand what is going on, we have to stop artificially separating U. There is also the ideological aspect of this new cold war. But under Xi Jinping, China has evolved from a soft to a hard authoritarianism. Rather than a collegial group of uncharismatic technocrats constrained by retirement rules, there is now a president-for-life with a budding personality cult, overseeing thought control by digital means—including facial recognition and following the internet searches of its citizens.

It is becoming rather creepy, and American leaders of both parties are increasingly repelled by it. This is also a regime that in recent years has been imprisoning up to a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in hard labor camps. The philosophical divide between the American and Chinese systems is becoming as great as the gap between American democracy and Soviet communism. Keep in mind that technology encourages this conflict rather than alleviates it. Because the United States and China now inhabit the same digital ecosystem, wars of integration —where the borders are not thousands of miles, but one computer click away—are possible for the first time in history: China can intrude into U.

The great Pacific Ocean is no longer the barrier that it once was. In a larger sense, it has been the very success of decades of capitalist and pseudo-capitalist economic development throughout the Pacific that has generated the wealth required to engage in such a high-end military-cum-cyber arms race. Truly, the new age of warfare would be impossible without the economic prosperity that has preceded it: The glass is half-empty precisely because it is half-full.

As a believer in Christ, it is not about saying I will do this and I won't do that and then dropping the idea or falling short. It is more about asking the Lord to help us each day, to fall deeper and deeper in love with Him. This way our focus will be set on the things of heaven and not on all this earthly stuff. If I were to make a New Year resolution, it would be to have a deeper commitment, a deeper love, and a deeper worship for the Lord. In the beginning of this past year, He spoke to me in that still small voice in prayer and said, "I am more than enough.

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I am more than enough in every area of your life. This year I am determined to make Him my all and all. He wants our undivided attention in spite of the distractions and temptations that lie waiting around the corner. He has to be our main focus. How we will end this year will be determined by how we started it. I looked up the word intimacy and the meaning is to be close, familiar, very personal and private.

Do you want a new ending this year? How do you want the ending of your life? If you're not a Christian, please know that this could be the best New Year of your life. Your life can be filled with hope and peace. To know what the ending will be is an extra bonus. Why should every year be the same as the one before with nothing really changing? After all, the New Year resolutions may or may not get accomplished. If you are a Christian and you feel stagnate in your relationship with the Lord, then now is the time to rekindle the love affair with Him.


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  7. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered--just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.

    Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk.

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    You have to be willing to take those risks They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. Mcintyre "Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

    It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? You know more than you think you do. Benjamin Spock "Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries.

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    They just don't let these feelings stop them. Harv Eker "You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can't have it. Robert Anthony "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.