Op/Ed:The United States versus China

By Allan Topol*

The greatest threat facing the United States in the twenty first century is the risk of war with China.  That issue is rarely discussed in the popular media.

Rather, our military obsession is with the three ongoing wars:  Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.  We agonize over whether those wars are “winnable,” when can we reduce our troops and military expenditures, and whether these wars are spreading our army too thin, driving the country further into debt, and producing unacceptable casualties in view of the benefits.  In fact, none of these wars poses an existential threat to the United States.

We do have an enormous concern with China.  However, economic issues predominate.  It is only a question of time, decades at most, until China surpasses the United States as the world’s largest economy.  Chinese universities are graduating five times as many engineers as the United States.  They are now our bankers holding the treasury bonds and notes which keep the United States afloat.

History is change.  Unless the United States does something radically different or unless the Chinese miracle of operating a booming economy in a repressive society implodes, the question is when China will surpass us economically.  Not whether.

Last month, I was having dinner in Washington with a couple who had just returned from their first trip to China.  They spoke about what they saw:  The enormous building; the overnight development of huge factories and mega cities; and the incessant energy.  I imagined that similar conversations took place a hundred or so years ago in London when a couple returned from a visit to the United States.

It would be convenient to view China’s competition with the United States in purely economic terms.  But that would be naive and foolish.  We can no longer close our eyes to the growing Chinese military and to the risk that the United States and China could be drawn into a large scale war with horrendous consequences for both nations.

The March/April 2011 issue of the respected Foreign Affairs had on its cover:  “Will China’s Rise Lead to War?”  And I know from a source in the Pentagon that a special unit is dedicated to carefully monitoring China’s military expansion, while at the same time playing war games that pit the United States against China.

Recent developments underscore this looming threat.  In January of this year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited China with the objective of improving defense ties. While he was there, China’s military conducted a test flight of a new stealth fighter jet.  This bold, in your face, show of force was bad enough.  What made it even worse was that the civilian leadership, including Chinese President Hu Jintao, claimed that they were uninformed that this test would be taking place.  But were they?  Was this really a rogue operation?

What occurred is so close to the plot of my newest novel, The China Gambit, which will be published in January, that I had to remind myself the book was completed.  The plot wasn’t stolen from the headlines.

Then on June 4, Defense Secretary Gates had a response to the Chinese provocation.  Gates was in Singapore addressing a high ranking delegation of Asian defense ministers and military commanders, including China’s Minister of Defense, Gen. Liang Guanglie.  Gates threw down the gauntlet to China by declaring that the United States would not be denied access to key sea routes and lines of communication by “new and disruptive technologies” being developed by China.  And that the United States was developing a new air-sea battle strategy “in defense of our allies and vital interests” in Asia.[1]

Secretary Gates’s comments do not suggest that a military confrontation between the United States and China is inevitable.  However, it is certainly possible.  Our “vital interests,” using the Secretary’s term, could collide with those of China at a multitude of potential flashpoints.  One is Taiwan.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade Chinese province, not an independent nation.  And the Chinese have reserved the right to retake Taiwan by force.  On the other hand, the United States not only has treaty commitments to defend Taiwan, but continues to sell arms to Taiwan despite Chinese objections.

It is possible that the decisionmakers in Beijing are biding their time on Taiwan while their military continues its exponential growth and the United States reduces its defense budget.  Under this scenario, some time in this decade Beijing may launch an attack to retake Taiwan.  Then the United States President will have a choice:  Going to war to honor our commitment to Taiwan, or backing down and virtually ceding military dominance in Asia to China.[2]

A second potential flashpoint is oil.[3] China has surpassed Japan as the second largest consumer and importer of oil. For both the United States and China, oil is the lifeblood of the economy, and oil is a limited resource, which moves on the seas and often through narrow straits.

Beijing has cultivated increasingly close ties with Iran, our avowed enemy, with both oil and military components.  This is part of China’s larger effort to tie up oil supplies around the world in a throwback to mercantilism.[4] A war over oil supply or its movement on the seas could easily occur.  All it would take is a bellicose Chinese leader who wants to hasten their economic domination by limiting the United States’ oil supply.

A third potential flashpoint is Japan.  The Chinese still have a score to settle with Japan for World War II, and there are plenty of issues between those two nations, including such topics as fishing and navigation rights.[5] Moreover, a Chinese attack against Japan would be a way of asserting Chinese hegemony in Asia.  At the same time, the United States has treaty obligations to Japan.  Thus, the United States could be drawn into the conflict.

In these and in other scenarios, war between the United States and China is not inevitable. However, it’s time we began confronting the risk of this occurring and revising our military preparedness and diplomacy to deal with this possibility.

The views in opinion pieces and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Glenn Beck or Mercury Radio Arts.


* Allan Topol’s newest thriller novel, The China Gambit, will be published in January 2012.  Visit his website at www.AllanTopol.com.

[1] New York Times, A5, June 4, 2011.

[2] For a discussion of the Taiwan issue, see Glaser, Charles, Will China’s Rise Lead to War?, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011, pp. 86-88.

[3] For a discussion of the pending squeeze of oil supplies, see Deffeyes, Kenneth S., Beyond Oil, Hill and Wang, 2006; and Simmons, Matthew R., Twilight In the Desert, Wiley, 2005.

[4] For a discussion of China’s aggressive approach to tying up world oil supplies, see China’s Energy Industry Makes a Bold Push Into Developed Markets, New York Times, B7, March 15, 2011.

[5] For a discussion of the depth of animosity between China and Japan, see, Chang, Yung and Halliday, Jon, Mao, Globalflair Ltd., 2005.

Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Left's latest move — canceling six Dr. Seuss books due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity. And now, school districts are jumping on board after President Joe Biden seems to have dropped Dr. Seuss from the White House's annual "Read Across America Day" proclamation.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn argued that deleting books is the perfect example of fascism, and asked when we as a country will finally realize it.

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?"

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


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Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Beck don't agree much on policy, but they're in lockstep on principles.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Tulsi spoke with Glenn about one of her last acts in Congress, introducing the "Protect Women's Sports Act," which she says would "strengthen, clarify, and uphold the intent of Title IX to provide a level playing field for girls and women in sports." But since then, the Biden administration has gone in the opposite direction, and has supported allowing biological men to compete in women's sports.

Watch the video clip below to hear why Tulsi took a stand for female athletes:


Watch the full interview with Tulsi Gabbard here.

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Later this week, former President Trump will attend CPAC and give his first major policy appearance since leaving office. Sources close to the President reveal he will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

The future of the GOP is a question that demands real discussion before elections in 2022 and 2024. Right now, I can see three possible answers for how you act:

  1. Those in power and senior positions will ignore the reasons behind Donald Trump winning in 2016. They will be vindicated in their minds because they outlasted him, as they view DC as a job for life. These leaders will go back to business as usual and seek forgiveness from the left, hoping for unity and acceptance in the future.
  2. The second outcome is another section of the party that is understandably very angry over the left's Presidents treatment. They still support and believe in Trump. They think it's time to take off the gloves and treat Biden/the left exactly how they treated Trump.
  3. The few policy positions offered in public will be centered solely around opposing the left. They will also make the case how the left suck, are dangerous, and how you need them in power. The next four years are merely a countdown for Trump to run again and right the wrong of 2020.
  4. The third outcome is very similar to the second, but with one key difference. While they appreciate everything Trump accomplished while in office, they feel it's time to unite behind another candidate.
Question

Which of these three positions will work best for the American people? Which helps built a political base for elections in both 2022 and 2024?

If you seek to help save America, it is critical to do some soul searching. Whether you love or hate him, Donald Trump got 75 million votes and made advancements in key demographics. What did he do well that you can develop further? In what areas was he poor, and how can you improve?

I want to raise six principled points everyone on the right should be forced to consider in the run-up to 2024.

1 - Understanding American Exceptionalism

FACT: America is an exceptional nation. If you read enough of world history, you will find ample evidence that America acted in ways that made it unique and significantly different from other countries in the past and modern times. These reasons must be understood and promoted through the culture and body politic.

One of those reasons is the layout of your Declaration of Independence. If you look around politics today, you will see people on all political sides telling you what they hate, why the other side is the enemy, and how they must be defeated.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also made that case against the English when he listed 27 grievances against the King. So how is the layout key? It took Jefferson 357 words to get to those grievances. Your Declaration is your mission statement: it tells everyone in the world what America aspires to be. It states the belief that all were created equal, all had certain rights that come directly from God, and that it is the government's job to protect rights -- not give people rights.

The left is successfully painting everyone on the right to be a terrorist who enjoyed the Capitol Hill riots. If you ever want to win another election, it will be critical to explain what you stand for to the American people.

After all, ask yourself which makes you the most passionate to vote - removing someone from office or voting for a vision and change you believe in?

2 - The Constitution

Is there a better place to start this vision than the Constitution? Yes, it is mostly ignored today by those in power and is only referenced by politicians and media when it fits a narrative.

The Constitution is a beautiful and complex document but is primarily based on a straightforward principle. The government should be extremely limited in its power, but it should be as close to the people as possible where there is a clear need for government. Who can argue with this principle?

Who wants someone they have never met, dictating how they live their life?

This is why the Constitution grants the President no real power, and gives Congress 18 clauses of power, listed under Article 1, Section 8. Any and every power not mentioned there belongs at the state level.

3 - Finances

The power structure in DC has changed many times over the last twenty years, with both parties having the opportunity to rule the different federal branches. There have been two periods where one party controlled all the power in DC:

  • 2008-2010: Obama / Dem
  • 2016-2018: Trump / GOP

Despite these changes, your government continually grows, you continue to spend money you don't have, and in ten out of the last thirteen years, you have added over $1,000,000,000,000 to your national debt, which now sits just under $28 trillion. Does this seem sustainable to you? Of course not, but sadly your finances only get worse.

America has revenue of over $3.2 trillion every year, yet DC has not passed a budget since 2008. Can you imagine any business running that way? Do you think Apple, Amazon, or Disney have a budget? It is time to get America on a path to financial sustainability, work towards a balanced budget, and explain to the American people how you will achieve it.

4 - Taxes

Do you remember discussing taxes during the Tea Party?

We used to make the simple moral case to the American people: any money you earn is yours, you should use it to plan your life, and the government has no right to take it from you. This was so successful around 2012 that Herman Cain ran for President with one primary policy: the 9-9-9 plan.

If America is to return to prosperity after Covid, lower taxes and a simpler tax code must be a central theme.

5 - Cutting Government

Look at the size of the US government in 2021. Are you happy? Can you name the numerous departments? Is it now the freedom-loving Americans' position that agencies like Education, Energy, EPA, and Commerce are constitutional bodies of government and are well-run?

How about the IRS, which targeted Tea-Party groups under President Obama? Do they deserve support, or is it time to start sharing a vision of the departments that should be abolished?

This principle used to be a big part of the Conservative platform. It played a massive role in 2012 when Rick Perry ran for President. His campaign was destroyed in 45 short seconds when he could not remember the three agencies he would abolish.

Maybe it's time to refresh this debate but change the parameters. How about we discuss the agencies that should be kept?

6 - Bill of Rights

Today, the Bill of Rights is under constant attack. The far-left/woke mob hates free speech, and they seek to cancel anyone with an opposing view. However, the attacks on the Bill of Rights don't always come from the left.

America has a second amendment that guarantees you the right to bear arms. The last time the GOP held both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they banned bump stocks - but who really NEEDS a bump stock?

As the years have passed, some have admitted they are open to red flag laws. Is this still the case?

While the second amendment may be under attack, it is clear the fourth amendment is dead. Regardless of which party holds power in DC, the NSA is given continuous ability to spy on Americans. The simple, principled case from Rand Paul of "get a warrant" always falls on deaf ears.

The Bill of Rights should be a unifying document for most Americans, as the principles are self-evident and a significant part of any freedom platform going forward.

Conclusion

America will face significant challenges over the coming years. As the government continues to grow, the far left get more hostile, and central planners seek a great reset. If you share my concern, then now is the time to forget our tribes and ignore the debate on who should be President in 2024.

It's time to work hard to build a platform by raising a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. We must share a clear vision to the American people of a bright future where they are free, prosperous, and can pursue their happiness.

When the platform is built and successful, people can identify the best candidate to run in 2024.

"First, you win the argument, and then you win the election." — Margaret Thatcher

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is under fire for questioning President Joe Biden's nominee for an assistant health secretary position, Dr. Rachel Levine, about her alleged support for giving children puberty blockers and sex-change surgeries.

During a confirmation hearing Thursday, Paul pointedly asked Levine, who is a transgender woman, about her support for allowing children to change their sex, and whether she believes children are capable of making such life-altering decisions.

Levine evaded the question, answering instead with a vague statement about the complexities of transgender medicine, which she would again reiterate for Paul's subsequent questions.

Watch a video clip of the confirmation hearing here.

Predictably, Paul has been labeled "transphobic" and accused of trying to derail Levine with "transphobic misinformation" by the leftist media.

On the Glenn Beck Radio Program Friday, Paul said his questioning Levine had nothing to do with who she is or the fact that she is a transgender adult, but was about the question of gender changes for children.

"The interesting thing is, none of it was directed towards her personally or who she is. It was directed towards the question of whether children can consent. And this is an intellectual question. It's not an inflammatory question. It's a question of serious consequences," he explained. "Most people would argue that children can't really make an informed consent. You know, we have laws against a man having sex with a 12-year-old, even if the 12-year-old says 'yes', because we don't think a 12-year-old is capable of consenting. They just aren't old enough to make the decision."

Paul went on to add, "I guess the danger is, you have to have some chutzpah. You have to have some guts, some courage to stand up because it is a culture out there where ... everybody is saying I made transphobic comments yesterday. All I did was ask whether a minor could consent to this kind of dramatic surgery. Nothing I ever said was hateful. I said nothing hateful about these people. I said nothing hateful about adults who choose to do this. But the culture is out there is so strong that so many in office are afraid to speak out. And it's getting worse.

"There's a handful of us that will speak out in the Senate. There's a handful in the House, and we just have to grow our ranks. But we have to resist or it just will roll over us. And we'll live in this terrible cancel culture world where nobody speaks out, and everybody is afraid to say anything."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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