Will the U.S. Stand Up to China?

Traveling Minds - - Table Of Contents -

In Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings on Jan­uary 11, Trump's pick for Sec­re­tary of State, Rex Tiller­son, for­mer CEO of Exxonmo­bil, said "We’re go­ing to have to send China a clear sig­nal that, first, the is­land-build­ing stops and, sec­ond, your ac­cess to those is­lands also is not go­ing to be al­lowed."

China's for­eign min­istry spokesman Lu Kang re­sponded with a state­ment that China's right to carry out nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties in its sovereign ter­ri­tory in the South China Sea is in­dis­putable. In re­al­ity, China's ter­ri­to­rial claim to the South China Sea is il­le­gal and noth­ing more than a land-grab, ac­cord­ing to the Per­ma­nent Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion in The Hague.

Chi­nese con­trol over the South China Sea is of con­cern to many coun­tries be­cause more than $5 tril­lion in trade flows through it ev­ery year, the area con­tains fish­eries not yet de­pleted and the area is po­ten­tially rich in nat­u­ral gas and oil. If China were to fur­ther re­strict ac­cess to the South China Sea it could have a sig­nif­i­cant neg­a­tive im­pact on many na­tions.

Af­ter Obama piv­oted the at­ten­tion of the U.S. mil­i­tary to East Asia, some coun­tries started piv­ot­ing away from the U.S. and to­wards China.

As the Amer­i­can em­pire has shown in­creas­ing signs of over-reach and de­cay, China has qui­etly ex­panded its in­flu­ence around the world and more coun­tries have been align­ing them­selves with China. Even the Philip- pines co­zied up to China af­ter The Hague ruled in its fa­vor on China's grab of its ter­ri­tory.

Much of the world no longer wants the United States to be their po­lice­man and un­der­stands that the world is now much more multi-po­lar. But, the U.S. does not seem to un­der­stand this and con­tin­ues to try and dom­i­nate the world and sus­tain more than 800 mil­i­tary bases around the world.

The U.S. can­not de­feat China in a mil­i­tary con­flict. With a pop­u­la­tion of 1.4 bil­lion com­pared to Amer­ica's 320 mil­lion, China's po­ten­tial for boots on the ground, in the air or un­der the sea is vastly greater. It has con­trol over much of the world's met­als, in­clud­ing rare earth met­als needed in mil­i­tary hard­ware and it has the fac­to­ries to con­vert those met­als into weapons. China also has the money nec­es­sary to wage a pro­tracted war, Amer­ica does not.

China has stolen most Amer­i­can mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy and de­vel­oped it fur­ther, so Amer­ica no longer has any sig­nif­i­cant tech­no­log­i­cal ad­van­tage.

Don­ald Trump is a deal-maker who op­er­ates from a po­si­tion of strength and it could be that Tiller­son's state­ments are just part of Trump's deal-mak­ing strat­egy, or Trump may ac­tu­ally want to pick a fight with China. If he does pick a fight, Amer­ica and the rest of the world will lose.

Chi­nese am­phibi­ous trans­port ship Chang­bai Shan.im­age: Van­der­wolf Images

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