The British Empire saw the rise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in much the same fashion as we’re now regarding the threat of an emergent China.

WWI was the inevitable outcome of years of the talk of war in which each side demonised the other about its sins.

So far, China’s aggression has related to securing what it sees as “its” borders. It doesn’t have the west’s recent history of expeditionary wars: but who knows? Taiwan?

Wouldn’t it be better on this occasion for the US and China to engage, and remain engaged, in steady diplomatic conversation, instead of each party engaging in trade and/or rhetorical reprisals in order to curry favour at home?

Can’t happen? Won’t happen? Well that’s not good because it’s otherwise obvious the 21st century is likely to outdo the obscenities of WWI (and of WWII for that matter, which was the logical outcome of Germany’s initially impossible WWI reparations, its 1920s property bubble and the ’30s Great Depression).

Chest-beating at the top is whipping up popular foment on both sides. It isn’t looking good.

Just thought I’d brighten your pandemic day, as we also head relentlessly into the financial depression.

Happy days!