In HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the most impressive single force on a very complex battlefield is the trio of dragons mastered by Queen Daenerys Targaryen. As she says, “We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!” The symbol of China, of course, is the dragon. The U.S., whose symbol is the eagle, will need to learn to fly in uneasy company of the dragon in the decades ahead. These metaphors can fly independently, but they are going to have to deconflict the airspace. Let’s begin with a hopeful disclaimer: I do not believe we are headed toward a war with China. Our interests are far more likely to converge than to diverge overall, and our economies are deeply intertwined. Yet the competition, assuming we can avoid outright conflict, will be fierce. A recent cover of the Economist talked about Chinese “sharp power,” meaning the combination of traditional “soft power” (hospitals, medical diplomacy, humanitarian operations) with more coercive tools (trade, economic dominatio...

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