At the close of World War Two, the US had the most powerful navy ever. It alone dominated all the oceans. This is the one single component of US grand
strategy since 1945 that has not changed. Because of its vastly superior navy the US can invade any place it needs to, or wants to, and at the same
time, no other nation can invade the US. The world and the United States are now one full decade plus into the second half century of US policy that
uses superior naval power as the one strong leg of its worldwide hegemony.
China OTOH, was a shambles in 1945. Never a strong power in the measures of Western industrialized nations, China had been helpless to prevent
humiliating armed intrusions on its soil by any number of European powers from the late 18th century through the end of 1945. In 1821, Great Britain
introduced opium to coastal Chinese cities to further its control over and to profit from China. In 1839, The Chinese government tried to stop it in
what came to be Known as the Opium Wars.
In 1940 demographers - on little evidence - estimated China’s population at 400 million. India was estimated to have 350 million people. Both
numbers were “guesstimates.” More reliable numbers coming from today’s demographers who assign China a population of 1.3 billion and India 1.1
billion. By 2030 or 2040, India will pass China at 1.5 billion. Of the earth’s population, 35%, or one person in 3, live in China or India.
Since 1977, China has engaged in the most remarkable period of economic growth since England’s Thomas Newcomen developed the first functional steam
powered engine in 1712. This new power source applied to English cotton spinning mills, ushered in the world’s first industrial economy. By the
late 1980s, India - more related to the rapidly expanding electronic world wide web - was fast moving deeper into the ever growing shift of production
and services from the industrialized world to the developing world.
So how did we get to 2006 from here? Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland in 1979, and encouraged Poles to stand up and they did that in
spades. Poland’s Catholics never accepted Soviet Communist ant-God theology. In 1980, in the Gdansk Shipyards, a young Lech Walesa founded
Solidarity. One thing led to another as we often say, and by 1989, looking now to East Berlin, but all over Eastern Europe, the popular resistance to
Soviet style life, was growing exponentially. It all climaxed on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. “The moving finger writes; and having
writ, moves on; nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it.” Omar Kayyam
A second event turned out to be crucial for the world happened in 1985. Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary the Communist Party. He oversaw
what came to be known in the West first as “glasnost,” loosely for openness or transparency and then for “perestroika,” loosely, to rebuild or
reform the system. It was Secretary Gorbachev who ordered the Red Army to “stand down” again and again as peaceful revolt after peaceful revolt -
so-called velvet glove revolution - liberated one Eastern European country after another. Our own Pres. Regan helped mightily after his meeting with
Gorbachev at Reykjavik when he became persuaded Gorbachev was for real. He gave Gorbachev the “cover” he so badly needed when it was still open
to debate how it would play out and the Politburo was divided on the response to make.
Russia is now number 9 of large countries in GDP per person, at 12% of the United States. China’s GDP per person is barely 4% of the US, and India
is only 1.5% of the US. OTOH, China is now number 2 in world economies, because of the number of people. Link
So what’s it all mean, this “New World Order” as Pres. Bush 41 labeled it, on September
11, 1990, in a speech to Congress? Link www.sweetliberty.org...
The most important Sino-American issue left over from War Two is Taiwan. It is the one issue with the greatest potential for harm. In 1949, Mao
Zedong’s Communist 8th Route Army, defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Party which fled to Taiwan. Except for an interlude between 1897 and
1945, when Japan occupied the island the Portugese had named Formosa - beautiful island - China has exercised suzerainty over it for thousands of
years. As we say in the West, “Till the memory of man runneth not to the contrary.”
(1) Taiwan is not a survival issue with the United States. Oh so few Americans would be willing to trade Los Angeles and San Francisco for Taiwan in
a nuclear slugfest with China. Not to speak of the annual loss of $200 billion worth of quality manufactured Chinese goods sold at Wal-Mart and etc.
Nor even imagine the probable impact a saber rattling show-down with China over Taiwan would have on the worldwide price of petroleum products. $10 a
gallon gasoline is not too hard to envision. Which would devastate the American economy. .
(2) China OTOH, has a vital national interest in keeping the Pacific shipping lanes open. China imports indispensable iron ore from Australia for
example. China imports much needed copper from Chile. China imports rubber from Indonesia. And China is a large consumer of fish. For reasons of
national pride and many other reasons including the basic trade issue, China has a strong interest in the Pacific Ocean, at least on the far western
edge of it.
Yet, the United States, in the form of the Seventh Fleet, exerts military hegemony over this very same region. Homeported in Japan, and major
facilities in South Korea, it is made up of 50 to 60 ships including 350 aircraft and 60,000 men and women. The Navy says it is our largest “forward
deployed” force. The 23 knot 20,000 ton USS Blue Ridge is the flagship of the Seventh Fleet and serves as its command and control center. The
ship’s crew numbers 800 and the CCC adds another 400 to the ship’s compliment.
The interests of the US are not necessarily the same as the interests of China. Or vice versa. Therein lies the real potential for problems, if not
to say trouble. China’s military has been in a purely defensive mode since 1949. The single war with the United States fought in Korea, was
technically not a war with China as the Cheese soldiers were “volunteers” to help their Communist brothers in North Korea repel the foreign
devils. The Chinese stopped when the US and UN forces were pushed back to the 38th parallel. The DMZ line drawn then is where we are today.
China OTOH, is buying from Russia and making its own, anti-ship and anti-plane missiles. These are to be installed along China’s east coast,
proximate to the Taiwan Straits. This strategy offers China two distinct gains. First, it does enhance their ability to make a long range plan for
the take-back of Taiwan. But more importantly, it will push the US into spending $10 for every 1 Yuan China spends because it is so much more
expensive to protect than it is to attack. We who have the blinders off have seen the fallacy of America’s unlimited Homeland Security budgets and
how little bang for the buck we are getting. We know we must change our course before we do go bankrupt. Leverage is working hard against us, at home,
and in the Western Pacific.
Or, we could try John Lennon’s advice, “Give Peace A Chance.”
[edit on 6/2/2006 by donwhite]