“Sloppy” Analysis Is the Bane of a Smart China Policy

Source: Eunomia
by Daniel Larison

“Buried in the middle of this David Ignatius column from last week is a remarkable claim that needs some explanation: ‘Xi is convinced that the two countries are heading toward war, according to an American who knows the Chinese leadership well.’ If Xi is truly convinced that the U.S. and China are heading for war, that would be an important insight into his thinking, but Ignatius has nothing more to say about it. This is the sort of claim that cries out for further elaboration, but we are left to guess why Xi thinks this (assuming that he does) and when he started thinking this way. … It is impossible to judge the credibility of Ignatius’[s] single anonymous American source, since we don’t know who is telling us this and we don’t know what it means that the source ‘knows the Chinese leadership well.'” (11/07/22)

https://daniellarison.substack.com/p/sloppy-analysis-is-the-bane-of-a