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.

The conditions in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule — for Americans, allies, Christians, women and more — continue to deteriorate, and the people there continue to plead that we will not forget them. On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck gave an emotional update on current evacuation efforts, including the tragic story of one girl — an American passport holder — who was not rescued in time.

"I have a pit in my stomach like I haven't had in a while. What is happening in Afghanistan is both miraculous and horrendous," Glenn began. "What's going on right now one of the most amazing things I've ever personally witnessed — the evacuation of Americans, those [Afghans] who helped us, Christians that are dying, women that are under incredible conditions. I see things that I can't show you. I see the pleadings from people who are in safe houses, 'Please, don't forget us.' I see what they're being sent by the Taliban.

"If I die today, my entire life will have been worth it for what you have helped get done, in just the last three weeks. You have saved well over 5,000 people," he continued.

Fighting back tears, Glenn added, "I ask that you pray for those in the Middle East, that are in the midst of doing work, that a Moses-style miracle will happen. ... There are several people that are in dire need of medical care. Friday, we told you — along with the congressman from Oklahoma [Rep. Markwayne Mullin] who had just returned — [about] a father and two daughters that were blue passport Americans, and a mother who had a permanent residence, a Green Card. The daughter was very ill. And they thought, that if we couldn't get her out of there, that she would lose her legs. I got a call on Saturday morning, that we were too late, that she didn't lose her legs. She lost her life, waiting. There are now two Americans, instead of three."

Glenn showered his audience with gratitude, repeating that "well over 5000" lives have already been saved because of their incredible generosity, but lamented that there are still thousands more people yet to be saved.

Watch the video clip below to hear more updates from Glenn:

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To donate to these rescue efforts, visit NazareneFund.org or MercuryOne.org.

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Megyn Kelly pulled her sons out of the private elementary school they attended after she learned that the boys were asked "weekly" if they were still sure they were boys. But that's not all that this "experimental transgender education program" taught.

Megyn joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to tell the story, which she thought had ended when the school apologized, and to talk about what's next for America as our leaders refuse to promote actual psychological support for our kids and instead "parade" transgenderism as the solution to their problems.

"When [my son] was in third grade, I found out they unleashed a three-week experimental transgender education program on these boys, with really inappropriate videos. The kids were confused. These are 8- and 9-year-olds, Glenn. They have no idea what the school is even talking about with the trans thing. They got really in-depth, with really in-your-face videos — and then parents complained. And the school did something it hasn't done in its 400-year history, which was they apologized. Even they realized they had done wrong," Megyn explained.

"But, then I said to my son a year later, so did they ever round back to the trans thing? Like, whatever happened with it? And he said ... they bring it up every week. ... [They ask] how many people here still feel confident that they're a boy? Do you still feel sure you're a boy?" she continued. "This is not support. This is not nonbullying. This is indoctrination. And it's deeply confusing to the children, and wrong."

Megyn went on to give examples of how she's seen trans ideology turn "support, nonbullying, kindness, friendship, allyship, on its head."

"The absolute surrender of the medical community to this insanity is a scourge on this nation. It's disgusting what is happening with our doctors," she added. "There are people who are legitimately transgender, or who have gender dysphoria. And for those people, we should be supportive and they should get the care that they need. But what we've done instead, is taken everyone who expresses any kind of gender confusion and said, you're trans. You're trans. And we have our psychiatrists doing this."

"It's crazy," Megyn asserted. "The fact that we're doing this so willy-nilly in the name of allyship and support, it's abusive. It's criminal."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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"Never forget" is not only a tribute to those we've lost, it's a warning that it could happen AGAIN. On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck looks back 20 years ago to the modern generation's Pearl Harbor moment. A day of infamy we're STILL feeling repercussions from.

But in remembering 9/11, we need to look toward the future because the Biden administration is setting us up for the NEXT 9/11. They bungled the Afghanistan withdrawal, and now we have video of top al Qaeda commanders — who served with Osama bin Laden — returning to the country. But could America survive another terror attack?

Glenn asks former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the leader who brought America back from the brink. He tells Glenn about the moment he learned the Twin Towers were struck, the actions he took to prevent more terrorism, and if he thinks NYC could survive another attack under Mayor de Blasio's leadership.

Glenn is also joined by Rev. Johnnie Moore, author of "The Next Jihad." He warns that Biden's policies in the Middle East are Obama 2.0, and "if you thought ISIS was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. We must keep our eyes on Iran."

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:


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