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What is the best lens through which to examine the current crisis in US-China relations? A Marxist would predict that mutual economic self-interest will lead, sooner or later, to a cessation of hostilities. Followers of the “realist” school of international relations would conclude that a serious clash between an established power like the US and a rising one like China is inevitable. While someone who believes that history evinces no discernible pattern would point out that prediction is useless, since outcomes turn on the behaviour of unpredictable human beings.

Gideon Rachman, in his column this week, argues that there is something to be said for each of these approaches. But, given that military tensions in the Pacific are growing as trade-based antagonism deepens, he concludes that the “realist” assessment of Sino-American relations is the one most likely to be vindicated.

John Thornhill suggests that French president Emmanuel Macron is right to believe that there is a “third way” for European technology policy to carve out between the freewheeling libertarianism of Silicon Valley and China’s digital authoritarianism.

Anne-Marie Slaughter writes that local solutions to stubborn policy problems are offering a pragmatic alternative to partisan gridlock in Washington DC.

Robert Shrimsley concludes that, for all their bluster, Theresa May’s hardline Brexiter opponents have been outmanoeuvred and outfought by the UK prime minister.

Writing from Moscow, Henry Foy discovers that EU sanctions have been an indirect boon to Russian cheesemakers.

What you’ve been saying

Historical studies are a danger to nationalists: letter from Conor Magill, London, UK
No one minds being called a patriot ( Letters) but nationalists — and nationalism — have acquired a bad name. Ernest Renan’s 1882 essay “What is a nation?” goes some way to explain why. To be truly a nation, he said, common memories (which he considered its soul) were essential. He said, “Forgetting history or even getting it wrong, is one of the major elements in building a nation, which is why the progress of historical studies is such a danger to nationalism.”

In response to "In praise of Theresa May, a serious leader in an age of pygmies", Adrian Tan says
"She's reaping the results of her stupidity: her hard line views on immigration, triggering Article 50 without thinking through the issues, and fighting a general election that was premised on her ability to connect with voters."

We should respect the views of the 63 per cent: letter from Elizabeth Mortimer, Burford, Oxon, UK
Richard Oldfield wants to know ( Letters) whether one can argue that the people did not decide to leave the EU in the referendum of 2016 or whether we have to respect the result. The fact is that 63 per cent of the electorate did not decide to leave the EU, and many abstained because they did not feel competent to vote on such a complicated issue. We should respect the views, not the will, of that majority.

Today's opinion

Lex: Babcock International: chopper cropper
UK group is suffering for its membership of the much-maligned outsourcing sector

Lex: Magic Leap: face time
Market forecasts require the same sort of imagination as creating virtual worlds

Brexit hardliners have shown they are not up to the job
Their final hope rests with killing Theresa May’s deal and limping to a no-deal exit

Lex: Renault/Nissan: Ghosn, Ghosn, gone
Scandal will increase Japanese resentment of outsized pay packets

US midterms show a shift to a positive populism
Approval of voting reform initiatives springs from the changing nature of local power

Lex: Facebook: a crude analogy
Slowing volume growth in US imperils group’s plans

Lex: Brexit/sovereign bonds: net loss
Leaving the EU means the UK will no longer be serving the strawberries and cream

There is a ‘third way’ for Europe to navigate the digital world
Silicon Valley’s libertarianism and China’s authoritarianism are not the only paths

Tail Risk: EU must find its own post-Brexit path, shorn of British expertise
Brussels’ latest rules are intended to capture high-frequency traders

FT Alphaville: Creative destruction concerns

Dear Jonathan: How do I move from the public to the private sector?
Your questions for our expert — and readers’ advice

Russians say cheese to Vladimir Putin’s EU food import ban
Locals have seized upon the gap in the market to build up a domestic dairy industry

A deal between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will not last
Growing military tensions make the US-China trade dispute harder to settle

FT Alphaville: Markets Live: Monday, 19th November 2018

Free Lunch: How blue-collar aristocracy was laid low
Globalisation was not the cause of job losses among low-educated factory workers

FT Alphaville: The Trump administration seems to like what unions do

Lex: Realia/Carlos Slim: weak foundation
Spanish property developer’s motives for another capital raising need challenging

The UK shale revolution that never was
Shareholders in Cuadrilla have been too tolerant over the past few years

Inside Business: Why Eve Sleep is proving a bit of a nightmare for investors
Lossmaking etailer is asking for more money, but questions remain over new strategy

FTfm: Green bonds’ newer shades help investors meet social aims
After the first ever ‘blue bond’, the next evolution is sustainability across capital markets

Exciting rule-breakers rarely rise through the ranks
Big companies may want to hire mavericks but most organisations are built on rules

Markets Insight: Japan’s biggest overseas M&A a sign of things to come
Takeda could be just the first of many looking for growth through acquisitions abroad

Instant Insight: In praise of Theresa May, a serious leader in an age of pygmies
The British prime minister has been criticised as weak and a sellout, but there is no better alternative

FT View

The FT View: Hubris is an ever-present risk for high-flying chief executives
Allegations against Carlos Ghosn send a warning to corporate globetrotters

The FT View: Romania’s government assaults the rule of law
Progress made since the 1989 pro-democracy revolution is at risk

The Big Read

The Big Read: Is Interpol being manipulated by authoritarian regimes?
Critics say global police organisation is being used to target political opposition

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