China rising 1

Lending weight to the depressing forecasts examined in our post Is America in decline? (March 1, 2010), here is news of China’s ambition and intention to become militarily mightier than America:

As America unilaterally disarms, a Chinese officer in a new book touts a new reality — that China is prepared to rule the roost, and the U.S. better keep off the grass.

On April 5, 2009, in Prague, President Obama gave a speech in which he pledged America would work toward a “world without nuclear weapons.” Almost a year later, it seems we are moving toward a world without American nuclear weapons.

“To put an end to Cold War thinking,” the president said, “we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy and urge others to do the same.” The others, such as China, seem to have other plans.

“China’s big goal in the 21st century is to become world number one, the top power,” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Col. Liu Migfu writes in a newly published book, “The China Dream.” This dream could rapidly become America’s nightmare.

These are heady days for China, flush with American cash and holding large chunks of our debt.

China today has nearly $2.4 trillion in foreign exchange holdings, with roughly $1.6 trillion of that in dollar-based assets. It’s the No. 1 holder of U.S. debt in the world.

The Chinese military, infuriated by America’s sale of $6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan, recently wanted to dump some of China’s vast holdings of U.S. Treasury and corporate bonds on the market, hoping to punish us economically. China has too much at stake to do it, perhaps, but the threat is real. And in an actual crisis over Taiwan, who knows?

It would be easy to dismiss all of this as bluster, but we’d do so at our peril. China’s economic advancement and military buildup are real, as is the threat in both areas. The leadership in Beijing does not let its military speak so publicly and bluntly unless it wants to send a message that is clear and unmistakable.

Col. Liu argues that China should use its growing revenues to become the world’s biggest military power, to the point where the U.S. “would not dare and would not be able to intervene in military conflict in the Taiwan Strait.”

That possibility is increasingly real. As Defense Secretary Roberts Gates said in a recent speech to the Air Force Association: “Investments in cyber and anti-satellite warfare (by China), anti-air and anti-ship weaponry, and ballistic missiles could threaten America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific — in particular our forward air bases and carrier strike groups.”

Of specific concern is a new Chinese missile, the land-based DF-21. It’s the world’s first ballistic missile capable of hitting a moving target at sea and is designed to attack and sink U.S. carrier battle groups. The conventionally armed missile has maneuverable warheads and a range in excess of 1,000 miles.

Against this backdrop we see the U.S. almost unilaterally disarming. The administration ended financing for a new nuclear warhead to replace our aging inventory …

The new strategy will also seek to abandon Bush administration plans to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons known as bunker busters to penetrate hardened underground targets like the nuclear facilities in North Korea and Iran.

We have abandoned long-range, ground-based missile defense in Europe and cut planned deployment in Alaska and California. We have stopped production of the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor and have no plans for a follow-on strategic bomber or to replace our aging strategic missiles in their silos.

“I’m very pessimistic about the future,” writes another PLA officer, Col. Dai Xu, in another recently published book. “I believe that China cannot escape the calamity of war, and this calamity may come in the not-too-distant future, at most in 10 to 20 years.”

  • philabor

    How can our administration be so stupid? What's next? Maginot line? Polish horse cavalry?
    It sends a chill down my spine to think of a war that starts with all our carrier battle groups taken out, and our satellites smashed.

    How do you say “Yes Master” in Mandarin?