Dec 7, 2022
In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson is
joined by Professor Michael Beckley.
They discuss his new book Danger Zone, the role of China and the
threat that exists, as well as how it could affect places like
Taiwan and how the U.S. should be responding to it.
- According to Professor Michael Beckley, there is such a
different narrative about China than the one we see going on in
mainstream American politics, where China is inevitably going to
- When looking at Chinese history, one can notice that the last
40 years are an anomaly. In Danger Zone, Prof. Beckley argues that
China's exceptional rise has been the result of a few exceptional
circumstances, all of which are rapidly turning against China and
affecting its economy.
- Prof. Beckley and Paul Johnson discuss the concept of peak
China and why China's current socio-economic situation will make it
almost impossible to grow the economy.
- Prof. Beckley explains that, typically, rising powers will
exist peacefully when things are going well. However, when their
economy starts to slow and they start to get encircled and realize
their system is no longer working for them, they try to reorganize
the system in a better way for them.
- In his book Danger Zone, Prof. Beckley makes the argument that
China isn't really an 80-year threat, but rather that it has a
- Paul Johnson and Prof. Beckley talk about Lenin's theory of
capitalist imperialism, the challenge China will face in regards to
its growing debt, the concept of danger zone, and potential
repercussions for Taiwan and the United States; including military
- Prof. Beckley illustrates the concept of encirclement and the
long-term challenges it will create for China.
- Paul Johnson and Prof. Beckley go over their optimism, but also
the fragility and challenges toward the United States.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Previous episode featuring Prof. Beckley - America’s Strengths Are
books Danger Zone and Unrivaled
Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson