Why the Warmongers Are Wrong about ChinaTags War and Foreign PolicyWorld History
In an earlier article, “No War with China,” I discussed the plans of braindead Biden and the neocon gang that controls him to start a war with China. This of course would be a disaster, but it leads to another question I’d like to talk about this week. Do we have to quarrel with China at all? Why can’t we have peaceful, friendly relations with China? The warmongers say otherwise; let’s look at some of their so-called “arguments.”
One of them is that the Chinese state suppresses dissent and keeps people under surveillance. This is true, but why is this a reason to go war, and who are we to talk? As Harvard history professor James Hankins points out, “Our educated elites have largely abandoned their country’s traditional advocacy of free speech, free exercise of religion, and private property. Woke leftists embedded in universities, large corporations, and professional societies are now determined to brand our country as ‘structurally racist,’ offering up declarations of guilt that CCP propagandists have seized upon with glee. They are bent on establishing a form of ideological tyranny that resembles Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which even the CCP has repudiated. In that context, to deploy the standard U.S. weapon of attacking China for its violations of human rights will hardly seem other than absurdly hypocritical. The Left and the Democratic Party can be counted on to continue their assaults on capitalism—an aspect of American culture genuinely admired by Asians—and to advocate radical experiments in sexuality and family life—a side of American culture that the vast majority of Asians find embarrassing or repulsive.”
Another argument that China is our enemy is that we have an unfavorable balance of trade with China. Chinese dumping takes away jobs from American workers, and the Chinese don’t respect American IP rights. As always with the neocon warmongers, their “argument” reverses the truth, and these “former” Trotskyites echo Leftist bromides. As the great Murray Rothbard said, “First, of course, there is economics, never the . . .left’s strong suit. While [William A.] Williams certainly uncovered an important cause of American imperialism in the continuing drive to subsidize American exports, he unfortunately also contributed the egregious misconception of ‘free-trade imperialism.’ In this view, free trade is just another variant of imperialism, less messy perhaps but just as effectively imperialist as colonial conquest or the neocolonialist blend of political pressure, undercover intrigue, and economic aid. It seems impossible for socialists to understand the peaceable and mutually beneficial nature of free markets and free trade. Sir Norman Angell and other nineteenth-century liberals may have been overoptimistic in their paeans to the peaceful influence of free trade, but they grasped a vitally important point. The old motto ‘If Goods Can’t Cross Borders, Troops Will’ still makes sense.”
Now we come to the key “argument” of the warmongers. Doesn’t China aim to expand its power in the Pacific and to take over Taiwan? Here the answer is simple: why should this matter to us if they do? Pat Buchanan explains very well the basic issue: “Is who controls Mischief Reef or Scarborough Shoal a matter of such vital U.S. interest as to justify war between us and China?
Tuesday, in Singapore, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirmed the American commitment to go to war on behalf of the Philippines, should Manila attempt, militarily, to retrieve its stolen property.
Said Austin: ‘Beijing’s claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law. … We remain committed to the treaty obligations that we have to Japan in the Senkaku Islands and to the Philippines in the South China Sea.’
Austin went on: ‘Beijing’s unwillingness to … respect the rule of law isn’t just occurring on the water. We have also seen aggression against India … destabilizing military activity and other forms of coercion against the people of Taiwan … and genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.’
The Defense secretary is publicly accusing China of crimes against its Uyghur population in Xinjiang comparable to those for which the Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg [LR: There is, by the way, good reason to question the claim that the Chinese are persecuting the Uyghurs. In any case, who appointed the US to be in charge of the world’s problems? Does China have the right to attack the US to take back property stolen from Mexico and from the Indian tribes?]
Austin has also informed Beijing, yet again, that the U.S. is obligated by a 70-year-old treaty to go to war to defend Japan’s claims to the Senkakus, half a dozen rocks Tokyo now occupies and Beijing claims historically belong to China.
The secretary also introduced the matter of Taiwan, with which President Jimmy Carter broke relations and let lapse our mutual security treaty in 1979.
There remains, however, ambiguity on what the U.S. is prepared to do if China moves on Taiwan. Would we fight China for Taiwan’s independence, an island President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger said in 1972 was ‘part of China’?
And if China ignores our protests of its ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ against the Uyghurs, and of its human rights violations in Tibet, and of its crushing of democracy in Hong Kong, what are we prepared to do?
Sanctions? A decoupling of our economies? Confrontation? War?
This is not an argument for threatening war, but for an avoidance of war by providing greater clarity and certitude as to what the U.S. response will be if China ignores our protests and remains on its present course.
Some of us can still recall how President Dwight Eisenhower refused to intervene when Nikita Khrushchev ordered Russian tanks into Budapest to drown the 1956 Hungarian revolution in blood. Instead, we welcomed Hungarian refugees.
When the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, President John F. Kennedy called up the reserves and went to Berlin to make a famous speech, but did nothing.
‘Less profile, more courage!’ was the response of Cold War hawks.
But Kennedy was saying, as Eisenhower had said by his inaction in Hungary, that America does not go to war with a great nuclear power such as the Soviet Union over the right of East Germans to flee to West Berlin
Which brings us back to Taiwan.
In the Shanghai Communique signed by Nixon, Taiwan was conceded to be a ‘part of China.’ Are we now going to fight a war to prevent Beijing from bringing the island home to the ‘embrace of the motherland’?
And if we are prepared to fight, Beijing should not be left in the dark. China ought to know the risks it would be taking.
Cuba is an island, across the Florida Strait, with historic ties to the United States. Taiwan is an island 7,000 miles away, on the other side of the Pacific.
This month, Cubans rose up against the 62-year-old Communist regime fastened upon them by Fidel and Raul Castro.
By what yardstick would we threaten war for the independence of Taiwan but continue to tolerate 60 years of totalitarian repression in Cuba, 90 miles away?” Read this.
In point of fact, China doesn’t threaten us. The US is threatening China. Tom Fowdy fills in the details: “But what has changed recently? The answer is that, unlike in past decades, the US has pursued an increasing military encirclement of China’s periphery and has forced Beijing to respond in tandem; Xi Jinping’s moves have not emerged out of thin air. Unless China’s rise was completely on terms the US has sought to impose, opposition to it from Washington was always inevitable no matter what it did. It is one thing to claim ‘China wants to seize the East China sea!’, but another to overlook the fact that Japan deliberately sought to provoke China in the early 2010s by incorporating the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands as a prefecture, which then-US President Obama announced was covered by the US-Japan defense treaty.
These kinds of provocations are part of a broader effort of China containment, which spawn tensions and inevitable responses from Beijing, which is then accused of being aggressive and expansionist. This all creates a vicious circle of militarization from both sides as China strives to defend its ‘national sovereignty’ against perceived foreign intrusion. Consequently, the narrative of a ‘more assertive and coercive’ China takes Beijing’s actions out of context, and fails to see that a regional competition with the United States becomes a need to attain security, as opposed to a global ‘good vs evil’ battle for hegemony and a lust for power. Brands and Beckley talk about the aspect of encirclement in China’s strategic point of view, yet fail to understand and appreciate what it actually means.
In conclusion, if you don’t want a war with China, stop trying to encircle it militarily. These types of articles that argue that Beijing has a ‘closing strategic window” to get what it wants and that it ‘must resort to war’ are extremely dangerous because they can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think that your enemy has no other choice but to pursue war against you, what does that make you do? It makes you prepare for one in response and miscalculate that there is no other option.”
Knowing the truth is important, but even more important is to act on it. Let’s stop the gang of criminal lunatics that controls Washington while we still can.