Inventing the Chinese Threat

Inventing the Chinese Threat

John Glaser,  August 17, 2012

                                    “Since the disappearance of the
Soviet Union,” writes James Dobbins at RAND Corp., “China has become
America’s default adversary, the power against which the United States
measures itself militarily, at least when there is no more proximate
enemy in sight.”

I know what you’re thinking: What has China ever done to us? What
villainous offense have they committed to our well-being or our
interests? It can’t possibly be the case that China is our “default
adversary” just because the Soviet Union is gone, can it?

Well, yes it can. As Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and
retired four-star general, said about the fall of the Soviet Union,
Washington was remorseful that we “lost our best enemy.” The system –
the “whole structure,” Powell explained, “depended on there being a
Soviet Union that might attack us.” He said Mikhail Gorbachev sat
across the table from him at the time and said apologetically “Ah,
General, I’m sorry, you’ll have to find a new enemy.”

When people in Washington and their surrogates in the mass media
punditry crow about our other trumped up threat, they at least have a
laundry list of alleged transgressions. You know the list: they
support terrorism, they want to wipe Israel off the map, they’re
secretly building nuclear weapons, they killed US soldiers invading
and occupying neighboring Iraq, etc. With China, there is no such
list. China’s mere existence as anything other than a vassal state is
the major transgression. As James Holmes has written in the National
Interest, China “presents the sternest ‘anti-access’ challenge of any
prospective antagonist.” In other words, they resist US
interventionism and military presence. China is gaining power and
influence, which ought to be solely American prerogatives, as far as
Washington is concerned.

This is the reasoning behind President Obama’s strategic shift into
Asia-Pacific, announced by the administration last year. This
so-called ‘Asia pivot’ is an aggressive policy that involves surging
American military presence throughout the region – in the Philippines,
Japan, Australia, Guam, South Korea, Singapore, etc. – and backing
basically all of China’s rivals.

More than that, the Pentagon is drawing up new plans to prepare for an
air and sea war in Asia. “As part of the Air-Sea Battle concept,”
reports Military.com, the US is refurbishing old WWII bases, looking
“to disperse its air forces stationed at its handful of major bases in
the western Pacific in the event of a major conflict with China.”

Source: BBC

The idea is to have enough US bases peppered throughout the region so
that China would be too surrounded to safely attack. “Doing so would
make it more difficult for China to wipe out entire squadrons sitting
on the ground with surprise attacks from its long range ballistic

Chinese officials have not appreciated this unprovoked bellicosity. In
May the Chinese Defense Ministry accused the Pentagon of hyping a
Chinese military threat out of thin air. Others have said these
Pentagon moves could start an arms race. “If the U.S. military
develops Air-Sea Battle to deal with the [People’s Liberation Army],
the PLA will be forced to develop anti-Air-Sea Battle,” one officer,
Col. Gaoyue Fan, said last year in a debate sponsored by the Center
for Strategic and International Studies.
“Some Asia analysts worry that conventional strikes aimed at China
could spark a nuclear war,” according to the Washington Post. Other
“critics see a dangerous tendency toward alarmism that is exaggerating
the China threat to drive up defense spending.”

“While China’s overall military capabilities will not equal those of
the United States anytime soon,” Dobbins puzzlingly warns, “it will
more quickly achieve local superiority in its immediate neighborhood,
first in and around Taiwan and then at somewhat greater distances.”

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Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

It is highly dangerous for the American foot soldiers who are thinking with the feet and thought a limited conventional warfare with China is possible. Such empty heads will think that war is like a street gang fight with a fixed location and a fixed number of hooligans.

When the USA declares hostility and starts a war with China, everything is on the table, including all the bases in Korea, Japan, and other Southeast Asia countries and all the major bases and cities in the US. No country is going to fight a losing war.

Armageddon is what the Americans can expect in a war between the two super powers. There will be no holds bar and the difference is how many times is the overkilled in each country.

The need for a default enemy of the US need no further elaboration as the US is built on war, on an arms industry that needs war, on a people that wants to rule the world as the number One superpower. On a political and economic system that needs an enemey to generate supports, a us and them psychic.

Anonymous said...

Unlike any other industry, the arms industry is one perpetual field that is needed and will be needed to feed the ever weapons-hungry smaller nations with arms, whether for defence or offence.

And the irony is that you can create great demand for arms at any time by starting wars or just create an illusion of threats anywhere in the world.

And the irony is also that the biggest arms producer and supplier in the world wants to monopolise this industry by prohibiting others from selling arms, whether they think by doing so is hypocritical or not.

Therefore, so long as the US economy is largely built on the arms industry, there can be no peace in this world. Trust the most peace loving nation in the world to continue to talk about peace.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The US monopolised 78% of the world's arms sales last year. Imagine their vested interests to promote war and tension to maintain this lucrative business.

They will do everything possible to agitate countries to be on their edge for war, arms race. That's where they are getting their money from.

The said...

Let's invent some of our threats:

1) If you don't buck up, your women will become maids and prostitutes in other countries.

2) If we don't admit foreigners by the millions, the Singapore economy will go down the tube. (Funny thing is, pre-1990 before the immigration tsunami hit Singapore, the economy managed to hover around 8-9% a year, year in and year out.)

3) If we pay the destitute $30 more a month, we will go down the slippery slope of a welfare state. (Funny thing is, it is okay to blow hundreds of millions of dollars on the Juvenile Olympic Games, or should I say puerile? What, you want to eat in a hawker centre, foodcourt or restaurant?)

please add on.....

Anonymous said...

The US can concentrate on China, but it is obviously playing a dangerous game, ignoring the discreet military progress the Soviet Union has undergone since their 'disappearance' from the US radar screen as a major threat.

Anonymous said...

US politicians need a bogeyman in order to play to the gallery.
Just look at anti-China rantings of Mitt Romney. We all understand
these are all political rhetorics .All presidential candidates done it but this moron is the worst.
So far, China's response has been quite measured and muted in order not to raise tensions.
We can all call his bluff because in the unlikely event he got elected, he is unlikely to carry out his threats against China without simultaneously affecting his own backyard.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Donald Trump calls China "you motherfuckers".


Someone please start shooting!

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