Sunday, June 3

Don't fear China

A lot of news this past week on the Pentagon's China risk assessment. We had a post on Ares and a fairly pessimistic comment, which finally prompted me to go on the record, reprinted below:

+ China's economy depends on ours and Taiwan's. they go to war with us, their economy goes in the tank
+ they've got the biggest urbanization in the history of the world going and still hundreds of millions of rural, dissatisfied poor
+ the 'trade deficit' is mostly old accounting, stuff we ship there for assembly and then get back to sell
+ on the contrary, China is funding our military deficit operations by owning roughly a third of our sovereign debt (which they own because it's a rock solid investment. in fact, some argue it's too conservative a place to keep their money)
+ very little oil flows from the Persian Gulf to the West. most goes east to India, China, and Japan
+ China's 'aggressive' military spending is still only about a fifth of ours. if we can't build a better military than theirs forever with those kinds of numbers...
+ they want to be more capable. they want to be seen as a player. they want strong defense. they don't want Taiwan to declare independence for the time being (they're fine with the status quo)

they have said they want to rise peacefully. we can hedge against an alternative path, trust and verify, and benefit from their economic explosion or we can try to set them up as a 'near peer' that we need a new Cold War with. i sure hope we choose the former path.

Post a Comment