Saturday, November 27, 2021
Nov. 27, 2021

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Ambrose: The threat from China looms

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China recently launched a test missile that whirled around the entire planet traveling at five times the speed of sound and previewing hypersonic duplicates someday possibly threatening nuclear obliteration all over the place. Getting their adjectives mixed up, some say this could be the beginning of a second Cold War. The more worrisome issue could be a hot war.

A China invasion of Taiwan could be the starting point even though Chinese President Xi Jinping recently promised peaceful unification. Sadly, he is trying to get there with such tactics in Taiwanese skies as 150 Chinese fighter jets showing off with nuclear-capable, submarine-detecting technology.

Taiwan once ruled China, but then, 70 years ago, a civil war spurred a splitting of ways that robbed Taiwan of power even as it became a prosperous democracy.

Right now, a whole lot of shaking is going on because Xi, after all, is a chest-thumping superpower contender of totalitarian character.

He has talked quite a bit lately of bringing hostile Taiwan into the pack again, no matter how much force it might require. The east coast of China, after all, is just 80 miles away from Taiwan, and China has the largest army in the world, 2.19 million soldiers.

Then there are its modernizing adventures, such as the hypersonic weapons representing advanced technology that the U.S. military has barely touched. The New York Times has noted that, for the second time, the Chinese government is setting up 110 silos to hold such missiles of apocalyptic celebrity. The Times refers as well to China furthering its presence in space, also a threat.

China is not yet pretending it owns space, but is behaving as if it owns the South China Sea, saying who can and can’t cross portions of these international waters and not so pleasantly correcting neighbors on orders they don’t salute.

Stay out of all of this, Xi has warned America even as he seems confident China would win a Taiwan war with us. Not a few American intelligence agents have been quoted as agreeing because of China’s advantage of being nearby and its growing military potency, compared to U.S. problems of being far away with declining military potency.

President Joe Biden said on TV we have a commitment to protect Taiwan, later hiding in ambiguity. The risks, if we do, include a deficiency of up-to-date Navy ships, most of our military aircraft being old beyond usefulness and the military not getting enough recruits.

Budgets passed by Congress have not allowed for needed improvement and hypersonic missiles are seen as a threat to our defense systems that some experts say won’t work anyway.

We are right now far too dependent on China economically as it controls ever more small countries through duplicitous trade, and Chinese leaders seem to be playing games with climate change.

The best war deterrent is strength that we surely know we must regain when looking at Chinese evil: clamping down on hustling, bustling Hong Kong; killing off Chinese Muslims; and suffocating human rights wherever else it can. A vital step is persuading other nations in Europe and Asia to join us in deflating Chinese desires to rule the world that could eventuate in World War III.

Are there reasons for hope?

Yes. One of the most sweeping Pentagon measures is something called the Air-Sea Battle in which the United States is setting up small bases for the Air Force and Navy in all kinds of strategically located spots in Southeast Asia. These are in addition to major bases in Japan and South Korea and could get our retaliation forces where they need to be in a hurry.

An amazing move has been Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States forming AUKUS to fend off Chinese aggression, as in the United States supplying China-hectored Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. Another boost would be for the White House to quit contradicting itself.

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