nye239_ Ryan SeelbachU.S. Navy via Getty Images Ryan Seelbach/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

Popping China’s Balloon

If the Sino-American relationship was a card game, one could say that America and its longstanding allies have been dealt a good hand, especially in light of China’s growing economic, demographic, and political challenges. But even a good hand can lose if it is badly played.

CAMBRIDGE – When US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met in Bali last November, they agreed to hold high-level meetings to establish “guardrails” for the Sino-American strategic competition. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to visit Beijing to inaugurate that effort last month. But when China sent a surveillance balloon (visible to the naked eye) over American territory, Blinken’s visit was shot down even faster than the balloon.