ANALYSIS – Déjà vu all over again. Just like the establishment back in the 1960s and 1970s facing a massive Soviet nuke buildup, Team Biden and his top general Mark Milley, are simply throwing their hands up in despair.
“We are probably not going to be able to do anything to stop, slow down, disrupt, interdict, or destroy the Chinese nuclear development program that they have projected out over the next 10 to 20 years,” said the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.
“They’re going to do that in accordance with their own plan.”
Yes, this is the same top general who has overseen a cascade of woke policies at the Pentagon and thought the Capitol riot was about “white rage.”
Well, under (sometimes) conservative president Richard Nixon and his Machiavellian national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, the U.S. stopped our nuke arms race so the Soviets could catch.
Jimmy Carter then bent over backward to appease the USSR. According to our establishment ‘nuclear luminaries’ then, nuclear parity was more stable than U.S. superiority.
Is Joe Biden hoping to do the same with China now? If not, Milley needs to wake up.
At least one expert believes America can do something to slow down the rapid rise of China’s war machine, and it doesn’t involve us unilaterally surrendering.
Gordon Chang, a respected academic, China hawk, and the author of The Coming Collapse of China, argues that economic warfare is America’s trump card (no pun intended).
His advice, similar to Ronald Reagan’s approach against the Soviet empire, is simply – “bankrupt China”.
Chang writes in The Daily Caller:
Milley is wrong about China’s nuclear weapons ambitions. He is, unfortunately, expressing the same pessimism that pervaded the Nixon, Ford and Carter years, when the American foreign policy establishment took the Soviet Union as a given and therefore promoted détente.
America can stop China’s nuclear weapons development and other monumental programs. The Chinese Communist Party needs America for, among other things, money, and the U.S. does not have to provide it.
Like Reagan and the Soviets before him, Chang focuses on the severe economic conditions plaguing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that are hiding in plain sight.
While in hindsight we all now accept that the USSR was a third world country with a huge military, few see analogies with the modern, vibrant and growing Chinese economy. One that is allegedly either equal to, or rapidly closing in on, the United States.
But many argue China’s economy is a house of cards. Specifically, Chang identifies China’s lack of cash, or liquidity.
He quotes Gregory Copley, the president of the International Strategic Studies Association and editor-in-chief of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy as saying:
“The one resource which Xi Jinping’s ambition has overreached is cash. Beijing cannot, in the short term, provide the cash needed to dominate the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and other places.”
Chang adds: “The fundamental problem for the audacious Chinese ruler is that China’s economic growth is stumbling. China’s official National Bureau of Statistics reported that gross domestic product last year grew 3.0%, well below the regime’s announced target of ‘around 5.5%.’”
This is especially salient as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been steadily taking much larger slices of the Chinese economic pie. Last year, China’s military budget, according to official sources, increased 7.1% while the economy, ‘officially,’ grew only 3.0%.
The reality is likely far less.
The PLA needs more cash to keep growing. But the Chinese economy isn’t growing nearly fast enough, if at all.
That’s China’s dilemma, and its Achilles heel.
Chang goes on to describe myriad factors in China’s economic stagnation, before issuing his verdict: “In sum, the Chinese economy is anemic.”
“China, therefore, needs factory orders from abroad and foreign investment.”
He then makes his case for economic warfare against Beijing: “The American president can crimp both of these lifelines by, among other things, using his authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 and by joining or liberalizing free-trade agreements with other countries.”
He adds a few other policy proposals to hit Beijing where it hurts – its pocketbook.
They may not have an immediate impact, but with a little time, they will hold China back.
In the short term, therefore, China can afford its nukes, but the budget of the Chinese central government is strained because of Xi Jinping’s other grand ambitions, such as his building and maintaining an enormous surveillance state — this costs more than the Chinese military — and his Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) worldwide infrastructure-building program.
The China hawk notes: “Xi has diverted the state’s resources for nuclear weapons. He can do that for a time, but soon the cash will run out.”
Chang concludes: “So here is a message for General Milley: There is a lot America can do to stop China’s fast buildup of its most dangerous arsenal, and in any case Americans must not under any circumstances fund, with trade and investment, the weapons pointed at them.”
“President Ronald Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union by reducing the flow of cash to Moscow. It is now time to bankrupt China.”
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.