By Joe Ragonese
China and the United States are on a collision course toward war. China is preparing for it, while America is not. It could be ignorance or arrogance, or a combination of both; however, we are not taking the threat of a major war with China seriously.
China is preparing for war because it wants territorial expansion, to take advantage of the raw materials that its neighbors have that they do not. The most important to them is food. China only has 7% of the world’s farmland within its massive borders, while those same perimeters hold 25% of the world’s population. That’s right, one in four people alive today is Chinese.
To feed that massive population takes agricultural production unavailable to them. The response to address the problem is to expand their borders to lands that do produce food in sustainable quantities, much like Russia did after its communist revolution, when it forcibly incorporated adjacent nations when it could no longer feed itself. Eleven million Ukrainians died from starvation as Stalin took every crop they produced to feed Russians over those who produced the crops. When all the Ukrainian farmers died, Stalin replaced them with Russians and turned their farms into cooperatives.
Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, all produce excess quantities of food; while India has the farmland available, even if it is not presently productive. Conquering any of these nations, or a combination thereof, will alleviate China’s need to import food.
Couple that with the lack of fresh water. Because of the massive amounts of chemical fertilizers used to grow crops in China’s limited agricultural spaces, they have over fertilized their farmlands, causing the underground water supply to become non-potable. Aside from contaminated water, a large amount of the fresh water they do have is used to irrigate arid farmland.
Their need for food is so great that they are destroying their reusable acreage trying to utilize land that needs to rejuvenate more naturally before it can once again become productive, while at the same time destroying their fresh water supply. This is a recipe for disaster that needs to be reversed, and quickly.
China knows this and has already planned to address the problem, in fact, they implemented those plans several years ago. They included improving their military to equal or exceed that of the U.S., as well as building defensive and offensive weapons capable of being victorious in any battle with any foe. China’s future plans not only are to become self-sufficient, it wants to control world events.
The reason China is insisting on control of the China Sea and all its islands and lands contiguous to it, is China knows that it needs to be self-independent in order to be the masters of the world. To be free of the need for foreign products, and therefore free to impose itself on the world, they need to become food and material independent first. It was the exact position that Japan found itself in prior to the start of World War II.
Right now, China imports 60% of its foods from America; however, in response to President Trump’s tariffs on industrial products, the first thing China did was place a 60% tariff on soy products, followed by corn, wheat and meats. Tariffs on their major food source is a self-inflicted wound, yet they decided to punish Trump by placing a high tariff on products that come from the heartland, where most Trump voters are located, in an effort to reduce his standing with the voters that elected him to office.
Why, you may ask, would China risk food shortages in an effort to change the political structure of America? The answer is simple, neither China nor the U.S. seem to remember what happened when Japan did the same thing in the 1930s. In 1930 America imposed sweeping tariffs on trade with all of our trading partners. At the time Japan had a very lucrative silk trade with us, but due to the tariffs, it ceased being a profitable income source. Due to its loss of income from America, the next year it invaded Manchuria in order to gain minerals and income from that region.
The tariff started World War II, after Japan attacked America because of an embargo on oil that was imposed in July 1941. For Japan, that was the final insult; however, it started its war of hegemony in 1931, and only ceased when defeated by America and our Pacific partners. World War II started because Japan decided that all of the Pacific would be under its control so that they would be free of the need for western imports to survive. Japanese politicians called it the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Do not draw the wrong conclusion that President Trump’s tariff on China is wrong; it is not. In fact, it is long overdue. China has had free sway to steal American technology and products using unfair tariffs towards us, with none in return, ever since Bill Clinton was President.
Clinton took huge payments from China to overlook its theft of intellectual property, including military grade technology and top secret information. The information stolen under Clinton’s watch is the technology now in use to gain military superiority in space, in anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile technology and naval warfare.
The intelligence they gained under Clinton has made it unsafe to purchase any electronic item from China today, because they can spy on any end user with those electronics. Did anyone wonder why the military has ordered that all Chinese products are no longer allowed on military installations? They can control our military drones that were purchased and manufactured in China, using long distance technology, while listening in on our conversations through use of radios and equipment produced by them.
Every electronic product manufactured in China is suspect of having been infected with the ability to monitor every end user, including service members and military installations. They include the Amazon Echo sitting next to you, and any Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Apple computer or tablet that you own, or any cell phone built there. It is the largest Trojan horse the world has ever known, which can intercept communications at a level far above the intrusiveness of the NSA and DIA combined.
China was so bold during Clinton’s terms that they built specially designed “warehouses” in Long Beach, California where their industrial espionage was based. In return, Clinton took huge donations to his legal defense fund as well as other illegal donations and contributions.
George H. Bush overlooked most of China’s most egregious attacks on America, mostly in the form of theft of intellectual properties, currency manipulation and unfair trade practices aimed at America. Bush is/was an international elitist who did not wish to upset the order of international trade, even if the deck was stacked against America, and no matter how badly it hurt us.
Obama was so bold in his support of China that he overlooked the most inflammatory warmongering by China as they built islands on top of coral reefs, and then militarized them. China’s assault on America was in high gear under Obama, who took bribes from them, both him and Vice-President Biden, in the form of favors to relatives and close business associates that sealed one of the most shameful ‘deals’ between the two countries.
Candidate Trump knew what a sham those trade agreements were and ran on a platform of undoing them to better level the playing field in trade between the two countries. This is what he has done, and in doing so has upset those who had benefited at the expense of the American worker and farmer. So, Trump’s tariffs are not only fair, they are extremely necessary.
China; however, doesn’t see it that way. They have been able to bully America for almost a quarter of a century and are having a hissy fit that they can no longer get their way. Hence, they cut off their nose to spite their face. In other words, they imposed a tariff on soy, corn, wheat and meats trying to hurt Trump, but it will devastate them instead.
Shortly they will seek alternative sources for their imported foods; Argentina and Brazil seem the most likely spots. If they succeed in doing so, the American farmer will not be hurt, as our surplus foods will go to those clients of Argentina and Brazil who are no longer served by them, as they transfer their food stocks to China instead of elsewhere.
Food for its people is so important that China knows that it will have to go to war to secure it, or else the people will revolt and it could be the end of the communist regime in China. They know this, yet are so arrogant that they try to hurt Trump by increasing the tariffs on food supplies rather than submit to fair trade practices. This arrogance is why they have been preparing for war for the last two decades or more.
China has been preparing for war ever since Clinton enabled them to reach the level of technology that America has long held. On their own they would not have been able to develop the necessary skills to deploy space interceptors, fifth and sixth generation avionics, integrated command and control and land to ship and anti-aircraft missiles making our aircraft carrier fleets useless.
Yet, they are now there. They have a plan to be superior in all military arenas no later than 2025, but are near enough now that if pushed into a military confrontation with America they will have no qualms in doing so. While they would like a few more years to build more ships and aircraft, they may feel empowered enough to attack now, especially if food stocks become short. If that happens, they will find themselves in a position where they must attack in order to keep their people occupied against America rather than their empty stomachs.
My guess is that the first place they attack will be Vietnam. That nation produces huge quantities of rice and rice could see China through hard times. Would America go to war with China if it attacks Vietnam? Your guess is as good as mine, but we have recently sent an aircraft carrier to Haiphong, the first warship to land in Vietnam since our exit from that nation after our war there.
Vietnam may become the next Manchuria, and although we strenuously object, do nothing in retaliation. It would be a wise move on China’s part. They get the food they need to survive, while gaining enough time to completely build their armed forces to challenge America.
After America does nothing to aid Vietnam, could Chinese leaders mistake it as a sign of weakness? Could they see an opening to attack Taiwan, or even Japan? Would an invasion of Taiwan spark war between us? Good questions, but that is only if America does nothing after an invasion of Vietnam by China.
I would hate to see America once again fighting on Vietnamese soil, especially defending the very same people that killed 58,000 American servicemen, but my gut tells me that it would be the best option. The last thing we should do is wait for China to strike after they have completed their military build up. Then we are the underdog and it is not a position we should be in.
A new battle in Vietnam, with lines of communications 10,000 miles away, against a near peer foe whose lines of communication are only hundreds of miles, may seem a fool’s errand, but confronting China now, before their war machine is complete, makes a lot more sense than waiting to take them on afterward.
No matter what avenue we pursue, China and America are headed on a collision course toward war; whether we want it or not. It isn’t our choice, it is Chinas, and they seem bent on subjugating us. What President Trump has done in trying to level the field of business between our two nations only strengthens America and weakens China. And that is a good thing.
The winds of war are blowing straight from China to America, with Russia as a wild card. It will be our next world war, and unlike the dire predictions of every doomsdayer, planet earth will not be vaporized nor will humanity become extinct. The outcome will be horrendous in lives lost, and the ecology will suffer; however, both mankind and earth will survive, even the ravages of a nuclear war.
I can’t believe I just said that, the cost in lives will set us back to the dark ages and rebuilding will take decades, but it will happen. I only hope it doesn’t, but that prospect seems slim unless we build our military to the point that China is afraid to confront us. MAD, mutual assured destruction, kept us out of a nuclear war with Russian madmen, it will work with Chinese madmen too. But, it takes a very strong armed forces on our part, something that is deteriorating everyday because no one seems to see the actual threat.
Deterrence through strength, truly, is our only hope of staying out of a war with China. Now we need someone in power to see that vision; President Trump doesn’t seem to share that vision of our future, or he would have already begun the buildup.