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Destined for War (mini-review)

Excellent book by Graham Allison about the rise of China and whether their growing influence will push the United States into war.

As a recent transplant to California, I’ve been disappointed by the state’s housing shortage and crumbling infrastructure. Therefore, the following struck me hard:

Over the past decade, China has constructed the world’s longest high-speed rail network: 12,000 miles of rail lines that carry passengers between cities at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour. In the US, that much new track would stretch from New York to California and back, twice. At 180 mph, one could go from Grand Central Terminal in New York City to Union Station in DC in just over an hour; from Boston to Washington in two. Indeed, China now has more high-speed rail tracks than the rest of the world combined.

During this same decade, California has been struggling mightily to build a single 520-mile high-speed connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Voters approved the project in 2008, but the state recently admitted it will not be finished until 2029, at a cost of $68 billion—9 years later and $35 billion more than was originally promised.

So much good literature has been written about China’s ascension and you can read the author’s central thesis at The Atlantic. Highly recommend.

Notes & Observations at Goodreads!