China: What’s Next?

Will the Democrats help China defeat the USA?        

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 24, 2018

Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore wrote in these pages. “America today is in a world-wide conflict to determine how mankind will live in the years ahead.  This conflict engages all aspects of national power: military, economic, diplomatic, and the competition of values.” (October 12, 2018) As Chairman of the Gilmore Commission (1999-2003) which presented a comprehensive study of America’s national security status and options, as well as his current position as head of a Washington think tank, Governor Gilmore is widely respected as an analyst of American foreign policy. On my radio show, he added that America is already in a non-shooting war with China. His opinion is shared by many other keen observers.

Governor Gilmore cites a little-known document published by the Trump Administration called the National  Security Strategy (2017), which enunciates clearly the goals of a successful outcome for the United States in the contest with China for maintaining our position as the world’s primary superpower.

Why do we care? Because America’s status as the most powerful nation in the world has been essential to avoiding World War III, since America took over world leadership following World War II. Prior to 1948, under British leadership, there had been two world wars in the prior two generations, both originating in Europe and spreading to the much of the world because of European colonialism and the industrialization of Asian powers. 

Acceptance of this position is not universal. On the contrary, the Democrats have a large contingent of people who believe that American ascendency has been the cause of the “minor wars” which have occurred with unwelcome frequency through this period, as well as the growing menace of Islamic terrorism. These people were very influential in the last administration and succeeded in nearly decimating America’s war readiness. The results in the Middle East saw the rise of the Islamic State and an exponential rise in worldwide terrorism. Whether these two phenomena are linked as cause and effect is, of course, debatable – and we are about to witness that debate as the new Congress is seated.

The Nation Security Strategy (NSS) does not question the necessity of putting America’s security first, as the only practical means of defending our population from domination by China in the years to come. There is no question that China’s goal in precisely that; they have made no secret of their intentions. If we accept the goal of continued supremacy, the NSS is a very helpful summary of what must  be done to advance the USA’s interests.

The NSS delineates four pillars which comprise America’s national security (as summarized by Gov. Gilmore):

  • “Pillar I protects the Homeland, its borders, and recognizes threats from international criminal and terrorist organizations
  • “Pillar II of the National Security Strategy calls for economic growth, fair and reciprocal trade agreements, energy dominance, and fostering technology and innovation.
  • “Pillar III covers the traditional strength of America through its military, industrial base, space, cyberspace, intelligence, and diplomacy.
  • “Pillar IV calls for advancing American influence and values through present and prospective allies and international organizations.”

We cannot summarize a 68-page document here (See the National Security Strategy, The White House, December 2017, 68pp). There are several reasons for another look at this document at the present time, however. For one thing, this administration has been accused roundly and often of operating on an ad hoc basis without any consistent logic. Before another commentator makes that accusation, he or she should read the NSS. There the reader may be surprised at the cohesion and consistency of the actions and positions of the President in relation to the extended explanations in the NSS – issued long before most of the controversies occurred.

The main reason, however, is to call attention to the Democrats in the House who are about to take charge of the nation’s purse. Several underlying realities should be given careful consideration before action is taken.

  1. Most people do not agree with the idea that our adversaries will be nice to us if we are nice to them. They will give us respect long before they will give us love (if ever). Allowing our military capabilities to deteriorate to the point of uselessness does not gain respect; it gains us disdain. The secret to getting what we want from foreign countries is power. If we have it, and they know we have it, we won’t have to use it. Ask Mikhail Gorbachev.
  1. The key to military power is economic power. An important factor in economic/military power is manufacturing capacity, including steel and energy, in addition to food production.
  1. The USA is currently in a test of wills with China regarding two major areas: control of the South China Sea and trade policy. The South China Sea “creation” of islands for airports is just the tip of the iceberg of Chinese military build-up, much of it using captive US technology. If we allow the Chinese control of the sea lanes, we can forget about winning major concessions in trade. It’s all connected.
  1. We know the Chinese have been waiting for the outcome of the midterm elections to see how much leverage the President will have in his trade negotiations. If President Xi thinks that the Democrats will undercut President Trump’s ability to wait him out in the trade talks when they meet at the G-20 meeting next week in Buenos Aires, he will not agree to Trump’s major demands. (And that may well happen.) If he believes that Trump still holds a winning hand, he will agree. Because the fact is that China is hurting already from the US tariffs. If he believes that Trump cannot get the support of the House, however, he can wait. After all, he is not dictator for nothing!
  1. Americans are not well conditioned to be pushed around by the Chinese, the Russians, or anyone else. Democrats won’t like it either. The trouble is that some of them don’t see the threat. They won’t believe that America can become a second-rate power until after it happens.

But then, of course, it will be too late!

 

© 2018 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.


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