“Keep your sex life, money and your next move private.”Al Capone
John Ratcliffe, the former Director of National Intelligence, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in December 2020 as saying “China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II.”
“The intelligence is clear. Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically.”
Americans See China As A Threat
As of December 2021, according to a survey conducted by Beacon Research, 52 percent of Americans consider China the greatest threat. 71 percent of Americans believe there will be a war between the U.S. and China in the next five years.
According to the U.S. Intelligence Community’s 2022 Annual Threat Assessment, Beijing will continue the largest-ever nuclear force expansion in its history. Beijing will not participate in negotiations that lock in U.S. advantages.
Beijing has the most powerful Navy and Air Force in the Pacific region. China is capable of launching cyber attacks on critical infrastructure services in the United States, such as oil and gas pipelines and rail systems.
China has transformed what was an obsolete military into one that can challenge the U.S.
Beijing has engaged in a protracted effort to systematically infiltrate U.S. defense bases and steal critical technologies. The strategy is “target, copy and transfer.”
Former Pentagon leaders have warned that the Department of Defense is overburdened with bureaucracy and waste and is not modernizing its military to match China’s newest technologies.
During a webinar hosted by the Hudson Institutue think tank on February 16, Arnold Punaro, a retired major general of the U.S. Marine Corps said, “China has not only modernized their military, but they have quadrupled their military. We are spending more on our military in constant dollars than during the peak of the Reagan buildup, yet our fighting force is 50 percent smaller. We are drowning in beauracracy and waste.”
Cooperative Aggression From China & Russia
China and Russia proclaimed their partnership on February 4, at the Beijing Winter Olympics, with a joint statement in which the two leaders said there would be “no forbidden area of cooperation.” New gas and oil contracts worth over $118 billion were also announced.
Within a month of this announcement, Russia invaded Ukraine. Putin would not have invaded without assurances of supprt from China, in light of the inevitable Western sanctions.
China has provided tacit support of Russia by refusing to call Moscow’s attack an invasion. China denounced the enlargement of NATO, a key justification for Russia’s invasion, while Moscow backed Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is a part of China.
During a Senate Committee hearing on March 8, Admiral Charles Richard, head of U.S. Strategic Command, expressed deep concern about potential “cooperative aggression” from China and Russia, now that the two nations have deepened their ties.
Richard has long been sounding the alarm on China’s rapid modernization of its military capabilities. In August last year, he said the United States was “witnessing a strategic breakout by China.” He described the Beijing regime’s modernization of its nuclear and conventional forces as “breathtaking.”
China views the self-ruled island of Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to bring it under their rule, by force if necessary.
Beijing’s Taiwan ambitions stem primarily from its desire to get its hands on the island’s semiconductor-making capability. Taiwan is home to TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker.
According to U.S Indo-Pacific commander Admiral John Aquilino, at least three of several islands in the disputed South China Sea have been fully militarized by China with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems.
CIA Director William Burns told a House Committee on March 8 that the Chinese did not anticipate the depth of the difficulties now faced by Russia and failed to comprehend how fully “Western nations would cooperate.” This will impact their decision on when to try to take Taiwan.
Ukraine was invaded without the United States and Britain deploying troops, despite a 1994 agreement guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Instead, both the United States and Britain made sure their troops and diplomats were out of the country before the invasion started.
China is closely watching the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It will have a bearing on China’s calculations and plans for Taiwan.
Photo by Anadolu Agency