China is growing old in a hurry, which may inhibit any desire the country may have for empire or even regional expansion (i.e. Taiwan). From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:
In The Inequality of Man, the great evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane noted that fanaticism was one of the great inventions of the pre-modern world. Obsessive enthusiasm, especially for an unattainable thing like paradise, makes the fanatic a violent force of nature. We see that with the current Afghan debacle. The open borders fanatics have immediately seized on the crisis to justify importing millions of Afghans into your neighborhood. They never miss a beat.
Similarly, the same people responsible for losing yet another war for the empire are now using the Afghan mess to demand money for their China project. The logic here is that the willingness to abandon Afghanistan, as if it was the crown jewel of the empire, means China will think the US will abandon Taiwan. They may make a play for reclaiming the island nation as a result. The remedy is to give the brain trust of the military industrial complex more money for more new stuff.
The “heads we win, tails you lose” psychology of the military industrial complex is one of those signs of rot that does not get enough attention. The truth is, Afghanistan fell victim to the same disease that afflicts everything else. It quickly became a racket for rich people to skim money from Americans. Billions went to NGO’s and civilian contractors, who then used some portion of it to reward their favorite politicians back in Washington for their support of Afghanistan.