Looking past common prognostications, this article focuses on the conditions for an alternative possible future of China-U.S. relations, beyond the trade war or a new cold war. Its aim is to map out a possible future that would open up if the U.S. political system takes a leftward turn in 2020 or beyond. Taking stock of the present, this article argues that information logistics (or control/lack of control over information) affects the structure of the political-economic system, including international relations. Fundamental changes in the ecology of information make a “democratic socialist” presidential administration in the U.S. a significant possibility, and make international communication more feasible – including communication between China and the Western public. This represents an opportunity for China to augment its soft power, while overcoming its most pressing economic and social challenges. Focusing on conditions of ecological emergency and the crisis of capitalist democracy, it is argued that new opportunities exist to facilitate the international cooperation required to avoid climate catastrophe, and for warmer relations to develop between China and the U.S.
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