Our thirst for competitively priced products and the legitimate interests of our companies in the Chinese market therefore generate vulnerabilities.
The concept is also a convenient answer to an important contradiction of our democracies. China’s regression to full authoritarianism generates a backlash from the public opinion of democracies. This is not, however, an existential issue for most citizens, especially as they are also consumers. China is far away, and people will not take to the streets over South China Sea atolls and islets, the fate of Uyghurs, or the breach of an international treaty in Hong Kong, as opposed to issues that are emotionally closer. There is more than a whiff of the famous interwar years in Europe, when many in Britain and France didn’t care about "countries far away about which we know little", nor did they want to "die for Danzig".