The West's universalist pretensions increasingly bring it into conflict with other civilizations, most seriously with Islam and China; at the local level fault line wars, largely between Muslims and non-Muslims, generate "kin-country rallying," the threat of broader escalation, and hence efforts by core states to halt these wars.
it is undeniable that there is a very real conflict between the West and at least the Red Chinese and the Islamic world. But even this is deceptive. Islam is a special case which we'll address later, but China is merely the last remaining Communist power and even it is now really only a fascist regime (in that it combines capitalism with authoritarian government, rather than relying on the totalitarianism of a Communist system). There does not appear to be any reason that China will not evolve into a relatively Western style state over the next several decades. Many, like Huntington, seem to be nearly hypnotized by the sheer size of China and by the human, natural and resulting financial resources it has at its disposal. But if you look at China with a cold eye, it has just as uncreative an economy as Japan did twenty years ago, and we all know what has happened to Japan. A China which is permanently sentenced to cheaply assemble machines and clothing that we design is not any kind of threat to our economic hegemony. They will have to loosen further or remain a Western sweatshop.
A similar caution should attend worries over China's military potential. Sure they have a huge army, but they are equipped by an essentially backwards armaments industry. Does anyone realistically think that they could withstand an assault by American weaponry ? The USSR pretty conclusively demonstrated that no matter how much money such an inefficient, unproductive, and uncreative society invests in its military, it can not compete with the West.
Finally, as regards China, it seems improbable that a single state of over a billion people can...
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