The threats of hegemonic displacement
This threat of China displacing the US may seem to have just exploded with the trade war, but it is a storm that has been bubbling for decades. For a long time, the US has been sending warning shots to China, telling them not to try and challenge the US hegemony.
In 1998, the National Bureau of Asian Research predicted that China would want to create a pipeline that would integrate Northeast Asia and Europe (like OBOR). They knew that such a pipeline would exclude the US and make Northeast Asia less reliant on the US on things such as trade. Furthermore, they knew this network would be powerful and the US wouldn’t have much if any, part in it since they wouldn’t be connected to that pipeline. This was seen as a threat to the US because China’s “potential independence may prove an impediment to diplomatic settlements.” This threat, among others, was one of the reasons why China was regarded as “a prime potential enemy by Washington hawks, and much military planning [was] geared to that contingency.”
The National Security Strategy declared by Bush in 2002 was another one of those firing shots. China paid special attention to the Strategy because “China [was] well aware that it [was] a target of the radical nationalist designing policy in Washington. That meant that China knew they were “presumably the prime intended recipient of the message in the National Security Strategy.” If you will recall from Part I, the National Security Strategy from Bush stated that the US was prepared to use military force on any nation that threatened to surpass the US’s power. China understood that the US was threatening China with military action if they dared try to surpass the US.
In 2012, in a speech to the State Department, Xi stated that he hoped the US and China would be able for form a “new type of great power relations” moving into the future. Many speculated what he meant. Some thought it was about the two states respecting one another’s power and treating each other as equals. Others thought it was China implying the US needed to step down. This offer to form a “new type of great power relation” also came with a warning from Xi. If the US and China couldn’t find a way to establish a “new type of great power relations,” Xi warned it could end disastrously. Obama didn’t respond warmly to Xi’s offer. Reportedly Obama and his aides were wary of what the underlying motives could be and were “unwilling to cede much if any power to Beijing.”
As China grew increasingly more powerful and implemented plans to extend their international reach, the US increasingly responded threateningly. On October 4th, Mike Pence made a speech decrying many aspects of China like their bribery of Hollywood, their authoritarian surveillance state, theft of American intellectual property, the intimidation of Taiwan, and the expansion of their military. He announced that the US would not stand for any of that and that the Trump administration had “now pledged to fight back hard on all fronts – and win.”
Analysts and political scientists studying China have predicted either this war for decades now. While the prospect of finding peace and coming to a negotiation with China is the more favorable option, many scholars view the war as almost inevitable with slim opportunities for peace.
War is inevitable – Thucydides’ Trap
The outlooks that predict an oncoming war take into consideration Thucydides’ trap. The term refers to “the natural, inevitable discombobulation that occurs when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power.” In the majority of cases in history where a rising state’s power started to threaten the leading state’s power, the two nations have gone to war. Graham Allison from the book Destined for War wrote that “over the past five hundred years, in sixteen cases a major rising power has threatened to displace a ruling power. In twelve of those, the result was war.” That means the odds of going to war in broadly generalized Thucydides’ cases are 75%.
Considering the situation between China and the US has followed a similar pattern to the previous twelve instances, the odds aren’t in favor of peace.
The history of hegemonies has led political scientists to believe we are likely looking at war. In 2004, political scientist John Mearsheimer predicted that “the United States and China are likely to engage in an intense security competition with considerable potential for war.” Four years later in 2008, G. John Ikenberry wrote a detailed essay that predicted the rise of China, the decline of the Western hegemony, the onset of war, and the changes that would happen in a post-Western hegemony.
He predicted that China would gain economic power and use their influence to reshape the international system in their favor. Consequently, the US would see China as a growing threat and the conflict would turn into a “drama of China’s rise [which would] feature an increasingly powerful China and a declining United States locked in an epic battle of rules and leadership of the international system.” He predicted that war would break out between the two countries because:
…when the power of a challenger state grows and the power of the leading state weakens, a strategic rivalry ensues, and conflict — perhaps leading to war — becomes likely.
This is nearly exactly referring to Thucydides’ trap that predicts war is inevitable when a rising power threatens to displace the ruling power.
Ikenberry didn’t foresee the US winning the war. He wrote that the drama would “end with the grand ascendance of China and the onset of an Asian-centered world order.” Martin Jacques from The Economist similarly predicted that the US would lose to China. He wrote that the current “rise of illiberalism in America is not an accident” and that the rise in illiberalism coincided with the dawn of Americans realizing their nation was in decline.
War will not happen
While there is a strong case that war is inevitable. People have proposed reasons why war may not happen for the two countries.
For one, it would be disastrous for both countries because we are now a nuclear world. Both China and the US are nuclear weapon holding states and therefore war in any escalated sense cannot happen because it is absolutely unjustifiable. Allison said strategists and leaders recognize that nuclear war would be MAD: mutual assured destruction. He continued saying that “any leader contemplating a nuclear attack on a state with a nuclear arsenal capable of retaliation must confront the specter of killing tens or even hundreds of millions of his own people.” Even though many don’t have much faith in the Trump administration or a similar administration to act rationally, any nuclear attack on a state as developed as China would be undeniably horrific.
A war would be economically disastrous for both states as well. Allison noted that the US and China are so interdependent on each other economically that war between the two would be MAED: mutual assured economic destruction. He pulled the 2016 RAND study which reported that “after just one year of severe non-nuclear war, American GDP could decline by up to 10 percent and Chinese GDP by as much as 35 percent.” This economic decline would be a major factor for China since a strong economic base is the foundation for all their China Dream plans.
Finally, many point out that China doesn’t want war. Allison pointed out that China favored pragmatism and strategy over resorting to force. He cited that China is built on philosophies like Sun Tzu’s from The Art of War who wrote: “the highest victory is to defeat the enemy without ever fighting.” China would much rather use their economic power to subdue opponents. For example, they would rather strategically deny their opponents trade and push them to cede power through the sheer size of their economic power rather than exert military force.
Jacques also noted that China would not enter into a war. He pointed out that contemporary China has fought very few wars and that “for many centuries, East Asia was far more peaceful than Europe.” He reasoned that China will most likely not respond in the same “aggressive military fashion” as Europe and the US tend to do.
If China does win, how will they change the world?
Say China does win whether it be war or through a slow transition as the global hegemon. How would the world change under China?
Jacques commented on the change that would occur in a China-led world. He took into consideration the differing values between the West’s liberal values and China’s traditions. He said people should not expect nor require that China become Westernized and democratic. People also shouldn’t assume that China will try to erase the Western world for some new world order.
What changes would exactly occur are still uncertain with Xi. Nevertheless, people should expect the change that does occur with China’s hegemony to be “on a much greater scale than either Europe or America, mainly because [China] is that much larger.” For people to believe otherwise, Jacques wrote, would be “both unrealistic and ahistorical.”
Positives of a China-led world
One possible positive is that contemporary China is not usually an imperialist nation. Jacques, the P.H. Yu from the South China Morning Post, and Allison have all pointed out that contemporary China is based on yin and yang values and most likely will not impose themselves in imperialist fashions. Jacques argued, “unlike the West, [Chinese people] do not consider themselves to be a model for anyone else.” Yu from South China Morning Post reported that “China continues to reassure the West that it is not nurturing imperial or expansionist ambitions.” Likewise, Allison came to a similar conclusion writing that the “Chinese believe that others can look up to them, admire their virtues, and even attempt to mimic their behavior. But they do not try to convert them to these values.”
Essentially China wants to be the hegemon. They want to be respected around the world and for the world to recognize that China, Chinese culture, and Chinese people are superior. But China does not want to make everyone else Chinese. In fact, China believes the only people who can be truly Chinese – or the superior culture – are Chinese people, no one else. This differs from the US who, historically, has forced nations to adopt democracy and their Western values to “better” their countries. China wants to be the “emperor” that everyone bows down to and respects but can never become.
Another positive of the Chinese order is how they view their role as leaders of the nation. China is a nation that focuses on the long-term. China has a history that spans five millennia compared to the US is will just turn 250 years old in 2026. While the US often thinks politically in four-year terms (but often in two-year periods with mid-term elections), China views their society in “terms of centuries and millennia” and “gives priority to maximizing long-term gains.”
Allison writes that “Chinese leaders see themselves as trustees of a sacred inheritance, and act accordingly.” This means that Chinese leaders “are careful to distinguish the acute from the chronic, the urgent from the important.” They aren’t likely to respond rashly to conflicts and are more likely to approach the problem with strategic patience. For them, “as long as trends are moving in their favor, they are comfortable waiting out a problem.” This can be seen as a more sustainable and holistic way to progress a nation compared the US.
In the US, particularly as of late, constant different issues are shuffled in and out at rates that are often hard to keep up with. Increasingly, administrations have started to prioritize what actions will make their four- or eight-year term the most impactful rather than prioritizing acts that would benefit the nation 100 years from now. Lee Kuan Yew called the US the United States of Amnesia with “every day [being] new, every crisis ‘unprecedented.’” There is a volatility to how the US system functions because plans or acts can be eliminated if the incoming president or congress doesn’t approve of them (e.g. the Affordable Care Act). That kind of volatility can lead to an ineffective government where little progress can be made.
China is using the US’s myopic vision to their advantage. They expect that the US will be distracted by our war in the middle east and Russia that they won’t be able to pay close attention to China’s strategic moves. While China’s long-term perspective may not play in the US’s favor, it is something they could probably learn from.
China’s economic system is also an aspect the world may benefit from. Yu wrote that people should recognize that “China’s economic model – which has proved effective in boosting growth and reducing poverty in a sustained way – is a genuine alternative to the Western approach.” With this, Yu is simply asking people to consider that the Western approach may not be the most effective.
Hua Chunying, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, added to this noting that “it’s unreasonable that money coming out of Western countries is praised as good and sweet, while coming out of China, it’s sinister and a trap.” In other words, people shouldn’t view China’s economic model or wealth growth as inherently corrupt and evil.
Many others in forums have agreed with this sentiment. They have pointed out that there are plenty of rich white people who are put on a pedestal and made into celebrities simply because of their wealth. However, rich Asians are often seen as corrupt, materialistic, and as pests infiltrating the wealth class that “de jure” belongs to white Westerners.
Negatives of a China-led world
Now I have to pause here and say this is where it gets sticky for me to continue writing. I knowingly have thus far portrayed China in an overwhelmingly positive light. But at the end of the day, Xi is a dictator. China is an authoritarian state. The human rights violations are severe. And I myself may be subject to them, which is why this next section could mean trouble for me.
Once Xi became president, he started carefully shifting power in his favor so that there were no other figures in the party who were realistically his deputy or successor, it was essentially just Xi in power. Xi worked on purging leaders from the party who could oppose him in a move to consolidate power. This means that “Xi has taken more than a dozen titles for himself, including chairman of a new national security council and commander in chief of the military, a title even Mao was never given.”
“Xi had so firmly concentrated power in his own hands that he was often referred to as the ‘chairman of everything’.”
In February of this year, Xi made international headlines when the Communist party removed term limits from the constitution. Previously, the constitution stated that the president and vice-president of the People’s Republic of China could “serve no more than two consecutive terms.” The removal of term limits meant that Xi could be the leader of China for the rest of his life if he so pleased. Bill Bishop wrote that this move made Xi “Putin-plus”. Xi was like Putin, but “much more effective, much more powerful, and frankly, much more ambitious.”
When the news broke out, many Chinese people on Reddit were crying out. Reddit was one of the few Western websites that were still allowed on the Chinese internet (now it is banned). Young Chinese people were expressing how they were scared of their government, scared that they were now officially under a dictatorship, and scared because they knew they were powerless and couldn’t protest Xi or the party.
The censorship in China is fairly infamous. It is called the Great Firewall. It is well known that nothing shows up when you search 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in China’s search platform. The Chinese internet blocks mentions of violent incidents that happen in Tibet or to the Muslim Uighers. VPNs were blocked in February 2018. VPNs or Virtual Private Networks allow users to “encrypt traffic, circumvent censorship, and experience the Internet” from whatever country they choose. And Winnie the Pooh is often censored.
Wait… Why is Winnie the Pooh blocked?
Many people think Xi Jinping looks like Winnie the Pooh and use Pooh to mock Xi. It is about as harmless as people mocking Trump’s toupee but apparently enough to warrant censorship.
My friend Harry from England, who was studying abroad in Shanghai, said that he and his friends never stated their location when they chatted in WeChat. They knew that China’s government monitored their texts and would use their authority to arrest and detain people for things they said in their private conversations.
This is exampled with Yang Qingsong who “used an expletive in a WeChat post to question the intelligence of police for doing [drunk driving] checks in the rain.” The police detained Yang for five days because his post “created negative social effects.” Chen Shouli was also detained in jail for five days for making an “off-color wisecrack about a rumored love triangle involving a celebrity and one of China’s most senior government officials.”  These posts, which are barely even dissents, are taken seriously by the surveillance state and are enough to warrant detainment.
In December 2017, two French artists went “missing” in China after they painted a Liu Xiaobo tribute. Liu was “China’s most prominent human rights and democracy advocate” but is censored on the Chinese internet. Pro-democracy advocates like Liu and Joshua Wong are seen as major threats to the Communist party. The two artists were Hu Jiamin and Marine Brossard. They were both French citizens, with Hu being of Chinese descent. It didn’t take long for the police to cover up their Liu tribute mural. The newspaper, Mingpao, reported that the couple was separated and dragged away by plainclothes police, popularly referred to as government thugs.
Patrick Poon from Amnesty International commented that they were worried over Hu and Brossard disappearance. Poon said, “given China’s poor human rights records, they were at risk of torture or other ill-treatment if they [were] detained access of a lawyer of their own choice.” Hu and Brossard were released after a week of no contact with friends, the press, or French government.
Dissent, even with the common Chinese citizen, is not taken lightly in China. China is infamous for imprisoning journalists. As of February 2017, thirty-eight journalists have been imprisoned in China. In 2018, at least ten journalists were “detained without charge.” Detentions don’t just happen with journalists but happen all the time in China which is starting to be seen as a hostage state.
Recently, China detained two Canadians, Michael Kvrig and Michael Spavor, in what seems like retaliation for the US’s extradition of Meng Wanzhou. The two Canadians were accused of “undermining China’s national security.” However, the crimes were not specified and the supposed threat to national security they posed seemed minor, if at all. This has sparked speculation that the underlying motive of these arrests was to send a warning message to Canada about partaking in the detainment of Meng Wanzhou.
Furthermore, an American family is currently being held hostage in an effort to try and force their father, Liu Changming, to return to China and face criminal charges. The family was detained in what is called an exit ban. Exit bans detain people in black jails, or unofficial jails, and they are banned from leaving China. These exit bans can either last days or last years. The most insidious part of exit bans is that they knowingly let you into the country without informing you of any conflicts. Only once you get to the airport, expecting to return home, do you find out that you are barred from leaving.
The family in question are all American citizens and have stated that they severed ties with their father 6 years ago and have no connection to the crimes he committed. The two children, Victor and Cynthia Liu, wrote to John R. Bolton, the US national security advisor that they are “being held [in China] as a crude form of human collateral to induce someone with whom [they] have no contact, to return to China, for reasons with which [they are] entirely unfamiliar.” Chinese authorities have apparently told the siblings that “’the reason [they] are [there] is exclusively to lure’ their father.”
Leaders from the US have called on China to release them and asked the US government, particularly the Trump administration, to do something to get the family out of China. These leaders include Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward J. Markey, and Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III.
This is just one of the many examples but the one that is most relevant to me. Why? Because it could happen to me when I go to China next.
I could be detained if I go back to China
Right before I left to go to China, I got a travel advisory from the US Department of State. It warned that people traveling to China should:
Exercise increased caution in China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.
This sparked my attention because I knew about the French couple who went missing less than a month ago at the time and I knew that I was classified as a “U.S.-Chinese national”. The advisory continued with:
U.S. citizens visiting or residing in China have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained for reasons related to “state security.” Security personnel have detained and/or deported U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.
This is largely why I never really posted anything dissenting about China in my blog posts. I wanted to post about my conversations with people I came across who were criticizing the government but refrained because I knew at some level that could put me in danger. More so, I knew it would put the Chinese citizens that I had talked to in more danger.
The warning finished with:
China may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Chinese nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from China.
That is clearly an international rights violation. In fact, Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
So how can China do this? Well, China views “people of Chinese descent, even if citizens of another country, [as] members of the Chinese community and hence in some measure subject to the authority of Chinese government.” This means that they believe they have the authority to treat people like me, naturalized foreign citizens who were born in China, as Chinese citizens.
If you are a French citizen born in France, but your parents were born in China, you are seen as subject to China’s rule. If you are like me, born in China but a US citizen, you are still seen as a member of China and subject to the government’s rule.
At least two dozen similar cases to the Liu family have occurred in China over the past year and a half. Although the actual number of cases is kept quiet because the US State Department declines to comment on the cases because of privacy concerns. In many cases, the targets of these exit bans are US citizens of Chinese descent because the US often refuses to extradite fugitives to China. Which is an understandable decision from the US because “human rights groups have warned that fugitives may face torture of death back in China.”
China largely uses these detainments as tools to exert pressure on criminals on economic crimes to return to China. This has become such a frequent tool of China’s that Foreign Policy said China “treats kidnapping as just the price of doing business.”
It doesn’t just happen for US-Chinese crime-connected nationals but happens for regular Chinese citizens as well. Foreign Policy reported that in 2010, a government hospital “refused to hand over a newborn baby to his parents so they would pay up for the birth costs. The baby was kept in the hospital for more than three months.”
Now I hope the chances of me being detained if I go to China again are slim. I have little to no significance or influence on this blog. I am also not connected to any fugitives or criminals who are the prime targets of exit bans.
However, the mere fact that people like me (full US citizens who just happened to be born or descended from China) could be subject to exit bans and detainment is a human rights violation. The fact that this happens all the time to Chinese citizens for mocking their government on WeChat or to journalists who report news that doesn’t favor the Party is human rights violations.
There are many more things I wish I could go over. I wish I could dive into my fears that a rise in China would mean the fall of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang. I wish I could point out all the horrifying parts of their new social credit system. Or how Brad Pitt was banned from China just because he was in a film about Tibet. Or that many people, from your regular Joe’s to major celebrities, have been banned from China for criticizing or mocking the China or Chinese culture on their social media accounts.
While I would love to dive into those, I think I’ve outlined enough dissents for now. Even though there are some possible positives of a China-led world, I think Allison stated it best when he said that these two countries, the US and China, need to recognize that “neither ‘decadent’ democracy nor ‘responsive’ authoritarianism is fit for meeting the twenty-first century’s severest tests.”
My fear, even with all the damning negatives about China, is not with China.
It is still with the United States.
I predict that this is the fall of the US. Not just that, I think it’s the fall of the Western hegemony. Jacques agrees. He says that “The West – both the United States and the European Union – is, in historical terms, in precipitous decline.” He continued by adding that the “Western hegemony has left a huge imprint on the world, but it was never destined to last forever.”
I don’t think the fall of the US will happen next year or even five years from now. But it will be something the American public realizes after many conflicts with China and many years of denial. It is those coming years that are the most dangerous to me though because “the greatest danger is not the rise of China, but how the United States will react to China’s rise and its own consequent loss of primacy.”
The US is not a humble nation. We tout our flag everywhere, run fighter jets over football games where the national anthem is blared out and kids are forced to recite the pledge of allegiance every day. Patriotism and nationalism are ingrained in this nation. The US being number one is arguably part of our national identity.
Therefore, to be displaced by another nation would be a blow to what the US’s core identity is. More significantly though, “for America to be displaced… by an Asian people long despised and dismissed with contempt as decadent, feeble, corrupt, and inept [would be] emotionally very difficult to accept.”
That’s where my fear comes in.
When the US displaced Britain as the hegemon in the late 1800’s, the Britons accepted it because they could “console themselves with the thought that although Britain was by most measures no longer number one, it’s values would remain dominant… and the ‘English-speaking peoples’ would continue to rule the world.”
That cannot be the case with China. An undeniable factor in this conflict that distinguishes it from previous conflicts like Britain vs. the US is race.
I predict that the US will use the most obvious distinguishing features, race and culture, to demonize China and justify American acts of war. This is not a lofty prediction as bigotry and racism, in the forms of Native American genocides, slavery, Jim Crow era, Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment camps, and the War on Terror (and those who look like terrorists), are arguably also foundations of the US.
Parts III, IV, and V will transition from the political and the economic to the people.
Part III will look at how white supremacy and the Western hegemony are closely linked and examine cases where the US intentionally used racism and bigotry to justify their war acts.
Part III will be published on Wednesday, December 26th so as not to unnecessarily depress you on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.
 Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival (New York, Metropolitan Books, 2003), 152.
 Ibid., 227.
 Jane Perlez, “China’s ‘New Type’ of Ties Fails to Sway Obama,” The New York Times. The New York Times, Nov 9, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/world/asia/chinas-new-type-of-ties-fails-to-sway-obama.html, accessed Dec 19, 2018.
 “America’s new attitude towards China is changing the countries’ relationship,” The Economist. The Economist, Oct 18, 2018, https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018/10/18/americas-new-attitude-towards-china-is-changing-the-countries-relationship, accessed Dec 19, 2018.
 Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap? (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2017), xvi.
 G. John Ikenberry, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West,” Foreign Affairs. Foreign Affairs, Jan 28, 2008, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/2008-01-01/rise-china-and-future-west, accessed Dec 19, 2018.
 Martin Jacques, “Can the West’s democracy survive China’s rise to dominance?” The Economist. The Economist, Jun 14, 2018, https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/06/14/can-the-wests-democracy-survive-chinas-rise-to-dominance, accessed Dec 20, 2018.
 Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap?, 207.
 Ibid., 155.
 Ibid., 150.
 Martin Jacques, “Can the West’s democracy survive China’s rise to dominance?”.
 P.H. Yu, “China’s rise will continue, whether the West likes it or not,” South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post, May 8, 2018, https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2145155/chinas-rise-will-continue-whether-west-likes-it-or-not, accessed Oct 21, 2018.
 Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap?, 144.
 Ibid., 139.
 Ibid., 145-146.
 Ibid., 146.
 Ibi.,, 116.
 Ibid., 115.
 Liangyu, “CPC proposes change on Chinese president’s term in Constitution,” Xiahua Net. Xiahua Net, Feb 25, 2018, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/25/c_136998770.htm, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Tom Phillips, “’Dictator for life’: Xi Jinping’s power grab condemned as step towards tyranny,” The Guardian. The Guardian, Feb 26, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/26/xi-jinping-china-presidential-limit-scrap-dictator-for-life, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Simon Denyer, “China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works,” The Washington Post. The Washington Post, May 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinas-scary-lesson-to-the-world-censoring-the-internet-works/2016/05/23/413afe78-fff3-11e5-8bb1-f124a43f84dc_story.html, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Eva Dou, “Jailed for a Text: China’s Censors Are Spying on Mobile Chat Groups,” The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal, Dec 8, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/jailed-for-a-text-chinas-censors-are-spying-on-mobile-chat-groups-1512665007, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 “France couple in China unreachable after Liu Xiabo tribute,” BBC News. BBC News, Dec 22, 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42454865, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Beina Xu and Eleanor Albert, “Media Censorship in China,” Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, Feb 17, 2017, https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/media-censorship-china, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Elana Beiser, “Hundreds of journalists jailed globally becomes the new normal,” Committee to Protect Journalists. Committee to Protect Journalists, Dec 13, 2018, https://cpj.org/reports/2018/12/journalists-jailed-imprisoned-turkey-china-egypt-saudi-arabia.php, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Steven Lee Myers and Dan Bilefsky, “Second Canadian Arrested in China, Escalating Diplomatic Feud,” The New York Times. The New York Times, Dec 12, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/asia/michael-spavor-canadian-detained-china.html, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Edward Wong and Michael Forsythe, “China’s Tactic to Catch a Fugitive Official: Hold His Two American Children,” The New York Times. The New York Times, Nov 25, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/25/us/politics/china-exit-ban.html, accessed, Dec 21, 2018.
 U.S. Department of State, China Travel Advisory, China – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, Jan 22, 2018, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html.
 Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, “Beijing is Holding U.S. Citizens ‘Hostage’ in China,” The Daily Beast. The Daily Best, Jun 18, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/beijing-is-holding-us-citizens-hostage-in-china, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap?, 138.
 Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, “Beijing is Holding U.S. Citizens ‘Hostage’ in China,”.
 David Dawson, “Hostage Taking Is China’s Small-Claims Court,” Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy, Aug 8, 2017, https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/08/chinas-police-think-hostages-arent-their-problem/, accessed Dec 21, 2018.
 Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap?, 238.
 Martin Jacques, “Can the West’s democracy survive China’s rise to dominance?”.
 Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydide’s Trap?, 140.
 Ibid., 200.