Sino/US tensions risk boiling over into something much more serious than already.
Washington considers China’s significant political, economic, trade, and military strength as a threat to US national security.
Accusations by US officials against China, Russia, and other countries are all about wanting no nations compromising Washington’s hegemonic agenda – its aim for unchallenged control.
The Trump regime slammed what it called Beijing’s “unfair trade” and other practices, along with accusing the country of intellectual property theft, cyberwar, interfering in America’s electoral process, militarizing the South China Sea, and controlling offshore islands it claims belong to other regional countries.
The US also claims the right to conduct freedom of navigation operations close to Chinese waters its officials consider provocative.
Imagine the outcry by Washington if Chinese and/or Russian forces were deployed along America’s northern or southern borders – or if their warships patrolled close to its Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf of Mexico waters.
A September Pentagon report titled “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States” claims “aggressive (Chinese) industry threatens US national security.”
Citing what it calls 300 US vulnerabilities, it claims “China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to US national security.”
It says 90% of world circuit boards are produced in Asia, over half in China, enabling its leadership to cut off supplying vital materials to America.
The Pentagon “risks losing visibility into the manufacturing provenance of its products,” the report claims, naming five major challenges as follows:
- uncertainty of government spending;
- decline of critical markets and suppliers;
- unintended consequences of US government acquisition behavior;
- aggressive industrial policies of competitor nations, especially China; and
- loss of vital domestic workforce skills.
“Combined, these challenges – or macro forces – erode the capabilities of the manufacturing and defense industrial base and threaten the Department of Defense’s ability to be ready for the ‘fight tonight,’ and to retool for great power competition,” the report states, adding:
“(S)ole source suppliers create (vulnerabilities and possible failure) within the industrial base, as well as fragile suppliers near bankruptcy and entire industries near domestic extinction.”
America lacks enough experienced technicians, engineers and scientists, it says. Shipbuilding and components for vessels largely shifted abroad.
The US has only six shipyards run by four companies. The report slammed China most of all for American vulnerabilities, saying:
Beijing “relies on both legal and illicit means, including foreign direct and venture investments, open source collection, human collectors, espionage, cyber operations, and the evasion of US export control restrictions to acquire intellectual property and critical technologies,” adding:
Its “actions seriously threaten other capabilities, including machine tools; the production and processing of advanced materials like biomaterials, ceramics and composites; and the production of printed circuit boards and semiconductors.”
America’s aircraft industry “is experiencing a shortage of workers with critical hardware and software design capabilities due to large retirement populations, limited platform knowledge transfer opportunities, and skyrocketing demand for software engineers outstripping supply in multiple product line sectors.”
The report is all about calling China a major strategic US threat, along with pushing Congress and the White House to increase bloated “defense” spending more than already at a time no real US enemies exist – only invented ones, notably Russia, China, and Iran.
America already spends as much or more on militarism as the rest of the world combined – with all categories included. Huge Pentagon and intelligence black budgets alone may total hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
Known total defense spending is more than double annual National Defense Authorization Act budgets – way exceeding $1.5 trillion each year.
China reportedly spends about $150 billion annually on defense, Russia around one-third this amount. Saudi Arabia spends more than the Kremlin.
Longstanding Pentagon operations reflect a black hole of enormous waste, fraud and abuse.
Earlier it was disclosed that the Pentagon can’t account for $6.5 trillion in spending. According to a 2017 Michigan State University study, a whopping $21 trillion has gone missing from the federal budget throughout the 1998 – 2015 period.
Most of it went for militarism, warmaking, so-called “homeland security,” espionage, and subversion – a monumental unaccountable black hole abuse of power.
The grandest of grand Pentagon theft amount is around 50 times Iran’s 2017 GDP, exceeding its combined GDP throughout its 39-year history.
Doctored Pentagon ledgers conceal massive waste, fraud and abuse. US military spending needs to be greatly slashed, not increased.
Above all, challenging and stopping its war on humanity is vital. Continuing it risks direct confrontation with Russia, China and Iran – possible nuclear war endangering life on earth.
A Final Comment
China’s Global Times (GT) responded to the Pentagon report, saying it “will have an exacerbating effect on the tension already in place between the two countries,” adding:
“It will also strengthen US misconceptions about China, fueling (greater) ‘strategic rival’ sentiment.”
“The issues…will eventually become part of a campaign platform led by US political elites, designed to harm, or even sever, China-US relations.”
Washington “restrict(s) high-tech exports to China to prevent military-related manufacturing.” It pressures allies to do the same thing.
Hostile US policies are “deteriorat(ing) what is arguably the most important global relationship of the modern era.”
China is greatly concerned about what’s happening, GT saying it must meet the challenge “with a peaceful mind.”
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.