We hear almost daily of what a growing problem China is becoming.
But is China a serious threat?
I realize that we need an enemy to keep the defense industry profitable…..I mean we have Russia right now but is that perceived threat going to last?
According to the MSM and the Pentagon China is just that.
Again I ask…Is it?
China’s recently concluded 20th Party Congress was highlighted visually by the Godfather-like scene of former president Hu Jintao being abruptly escorted off stage as an indifferent Xi Jinping mumbled a brief word to his predecessor and then let him depart. The results of the Congress were to consolidate control even further for Xi, as he prepares for a third five-year term in office with no signs of slowing down.
Onlookers have understandably worried about a strengthening autocracy under Xi. Given that China has become more powerful during Xi’s reign, less tolerant of dissent at home, and more menacing to its neighbors as well, Xi’s strengthening position would seem to portend a more dangerous China in the years ahead. Together, these developments seem to support the Biden administration’s view, as expressed in its new National Security Strategy, that China represents America’s “most consequential strategic challenge” — even as it is Vladimir Putin’s Russia that rains down missiles and artillery on Ukraine, while driving up global energy and food prices and issuing nuclear threats to the world.
There is ample reason to worry about China, to be sure. The Pentagon has good cause to describe it as our “pacing challenge,” given that China’s military budget of some $250 billion to $350 billion is far and away the world’s second largest, its research and development efforts with national security relevance the second largest as well, and its manufacturing base easily the planet’s biggest. These realities combined with China’s avowed desire to absorb Taiwan back into the motherland as soon as possible, and its dangerous military activities in the western Pacific in general, give serious pause.
But we need to approach the China threat with perspective. For all its potential seriousness, there remain at least three objective realities and structural restraints on China’s behavior to date. Factoring them into the equation should not make us lower our guard, or relent in the various kinds of economic and military efforts we are now making in the interest of vigilance. But our outlook should be tempered by a certain calm, especially in regard to handling crises that may occur in the western Pacific. China may now be the No. 1 strategic challenge to the United States, but it is not public enemy No. 1.
All I am saying is that all aspects of the ‘threat’ needs to be looked at….we should not take the words from people and institutions that are on the payroll of the defense industry.
I am sure that there will be many more reports on the ‘seriousness’ of the Chinese threat….and we should make sure of the threat before we do anything stupid.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“kego ergo scribo”