US courts cold war with China – Lowell Sun


Why is the United States – its president, its politicians, its experts – determined to create a cold war environment and an arms race with China?

CIA Director William Burns has created a new center whose sole function is to collect intelligence on China and to combat Chinese espionage against the United States. President Donald Trump leaving tariffs in place despite opposition from US business leaders.

Biparty majorities in Congress support increased defense spending and the modernization of nuclear weapons, even though the size of the U.S. military is already disproportionate to the Chinese threat. And in a further effort to counter China, the president also struck a deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarine technology, even though the United States has not provided such technology to any nation since the end. 1950s and that the Australian treaty violated the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of the late 1960s.

China’s response to the surprising submarine deal has been swift and forceful. Last week, nearly 150 Chinese fighter jets flew into the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone, placing military tensions between China and Taiwan at their worst level in four decades. Chinese President Xi Jinping did not mention thefts in his speech commemorating the 1911 revolution that overthrew the last Chinese imperial dynasty, but he did promise to achieve peaceful “unification” with Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry is bracing for a confrontation with China and releasing Beijing’s worst-case assessments. An underwater collision involving a US nuclear attack submarine in the South China Sea last week should serve as a wake-up call to political and political communities mired in group thinking about China. Chinese foreign policy experts compared the South China Sea dispute to the Cuban missile crisis.

We hear nothing from government departments and agencies that might approach the China issue more realistically with measures to improve bilateral relations and temper the public atmosphere. The Commerce Department should focus on economic security and civilian technology to counter the Pentagon’s emphasis on military security and technology.

The State Department remains understaffed and there is no indication of arms control measures that could ease tensions in US-China relations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has ceded his role in bilateral diplomacy to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the administration’s public voice on relations with Beijing. There are many bases for an important strategic dialogue between the United States and China; they share many concerns in East Asia, especially regarding North Korea’s missile program.

The key to establishing an effective dialogue with China may be arms control, but the Defense Ministry recently removed its Deputy Secretary of Defense for Arms Control and Disarmament from office. The two powers need traffic rules to navigate the South China Sea. The United States could limit its aircraft carrier deployments; China could limit its anti-ship forces. And both sides must end the bashing syndromes of China and America that have worsened during the pandemic.

The US strategic position is still unassailable, even in East Asia, with military superiority in various fields. China lacks strategic allies. The United States has important relations with Australia, Japan, India, South Korea and various Southeast Asian states, a group that looks like an anti-China partnership. China makes no effort to project its power into areas outside its neighborhood; the United States has hundreds of facilities and bases around the world. President Biden must end Asia’s militarized approach and institutionalize serious bilateral dialogue.

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a former CIA intelligence analyst from 1966 to 1990. He wrote this for the Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com.


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