OXi Jinping addressed his 1.4 billion citizens on Thursday to celebrate the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party. Xi said he will spare no effort to ensure that China becomes a “great modern socialist country” by 2049. Those who seek to curb China’s advance, Xi said, would face a bloody response.
China intends to supplant the United States as the preeminent world power, ordering the world around autocracy and feudal mercantilism. The United States has a duty to stop China’s march.
If Xi was successful, it would mean China’s ability to profit from trade in exchange for political appeasement. This would mean Beijing’s ability to set the rules of the international order in the service of its interests.
How can the United States ensure that our interests and those of the world continue in the 21st century?
A strong economy and a credible army will be important. But we also need to engage in some soul-searching. Measuring China’s challenge demands that we reconsider some of the easy choices we make as citizens and as a government.
Amid our growing partisan divide, it has become clear that too many people even consider the very act of debate to be debatable. The Conservatives see our First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech and assembly under attack. The Liberals see Donald Trump looming over the political ramparts again, ready to unleash another crowd. We are all seeing an increase in crime and disorder. Very few of us want to seek serious bipartisan solutions. But it will be nearly impossible to restrain Chinese authoritarianism if we forget what makes America so special: our freedom, our small communities that exist within our larger community of the nation.
We must do better. Take a break before jumping on the offensive. Take a break before jumping into hyperbole and conspiracies. Take a break before insulting yourself. Pause to consider the other and the country before ourselves. Ironically, China’s unique challenge seems to be an area where we can begin to strengthen our national ties. With bipartisan support, the Senate recently passed a major bill that would invest in and isolate areas of strategic vulnerability to China. Hopefully the House of Representatives now approves this legislation.
Second, what patriotic responsibilities do we expect from our largest corporations?
It is scandalous that the titans of the American economy have turned into poodles of the Chinese Communist Party. Hollywood and the NBA are perhaps the worst offenders. Always proclaiming their human rights credentials at home, they are also proud to cover the grotesque human rights violations in China. But the rot spreads further. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Hewlett Packard, Pepsi, and Walmart devote entire sections of their websites to what they say is their unwavering commitment to human dignity. But when asked their answer to what China is doing in Hong Kong, for example, they remain silent. Nike CEO John Donahoe recently summed up this dynamic. Nike, he said, is “a brand of China and for China.” Americans must begin to wonder: is it patriotic to buy from companies that support a regime bent on subjugating American values and a better American future?
Third, what do we need our military to do?
If the purpose of our military is to provide the deterrent defense of the United States, our allies and our interests, we must have a frank conversation. Because when it comes to the threat posed by China, we continue to prioritize the military industrial complex beyond what is necessary to defeat China. Let’s look at two specific examples.
For starters, the aircraft carriers. Costing billions of dollars apiece, the Navy’s aircraft carrier fleet remains the darling of admirals. Unfortunately, the carriers also seem to be the darling of the People’s Liberation Army missile forces. Carrying 6,000 Americans and planes that might struggle to come close to Chinese forces (see our friend F-35 below), aircraft carriers are increasingly vulnerable to a range of powerful Chinese platforms from anti-ship ballistic missiles.
Then there is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Long delayed, laden with resolved and unresolved weaknesses, and expected to approach $ 1.75 trillion in lifetime costs, the aircraft’s utility in a potential conflict with China is also very questionable. The F-35 is a mess. Many members of Congress love it because it creates jobs and appeals to Lockheed Martin.
Our point is simple. China has a clear game plan for how it will subdue America in the 21st century. Xi just exposed it. If we’re not so keen on seeing Xi reign supreme, Americans had better start asking tough questions.
Original author: Washington Examiner
Original location: Communist China at 100