A new book says China wants war with the United States. So why are we financing China's massive military buildup?
We read a lot these days about the growing economic rivalry between the United States and China. Every time gas prices go up, the experts say the main culprit is the insatiable demand for oil in China.
The U.S. trade deficit has reached historic highs as Americans pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the Chinese economy. China is now the largest creditor for the U.S., keeping our economy going by loaning our government money to run up those huge deficits.
The headlines talk about "China's Century," the "China Challenge" and the "Awakening Giant." U.S. News & World Report magazine predicts China's economy will surpass Japan's by 2020, becoming second largest in the world, behind the U.S.
What is China doing with all its new-found wealth?
While the United States has been preoccupied with the War on Terror since Sept. 11, 2001, China has embarked on a massive military buildup that can have only one objective — to challenge the United States as a world superpower.
That's the conclusion of a chilling new book, "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States," by Jed Babbin and Edward Timperlake, released by Regnery Publishing.
It appears that Islamic fanaticism may not pose the only threat to our way of life.
The defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War was only a partial victory, the authors argue. A Pacific Cold War awaits the United States and its dwindling Western allies, according to Babbin and Timperlake.
"If war does become reality, it will be because China has chosen, clearly and decisively, to make war on America, its allies and its interests," the authors argue. "It will not be an accident, the result of an economic clash or a misunderstanding — and our diplomatic efforts need to bear that in mind. We believe China has already decided in favor of war."
Beyond the facade of free markets and Western-style capitalism, the Chinese communists continue to rule with an iron fist over the largest captive nation on Earth and preside over the largest military buildup in decades.
China has the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, behind the U.S. and Russia. China has the largest standing army in the world — 1.6 million men (compared to 502,000 men and women who serve in the all-volunteer U.S. Army, half of whom are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan). China has another 255,000 conscripts in its navy and 400,000 in its air force.
There's also 800,000 Chinese in the nation's military reserves and an unlimited supply of fresh recruits from China's 1.3 billion (and rising) population.
Since none of its neighbors pose a military threat, why is China building such a massive naval force, including attack submarines?
The last time an Asian nation had such a large navy was Japan in the early 1940s. We all remember what happened on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese navy steamed thousands of miles from its home ports to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.
China has a history of aggressive behavior. Chinese soldiers attacked U.S. forces during the Korea War, leading to a stalemate that left the Korean peninsula divided to this day. China also invaded and continues to occupy Tibet.
China's support of North Vietnam was a major reason the United States lost the Vietnam War. And China continues to threaten invasion of the island-nation of Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway state that should be reunited with the mainland.
China also poses a threat to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and even Australia and New Zealand.
The authors of "Showdown" point out that China is not going to wait until the current War on Terror is over.
"The war will begin when China decides the time has come," Babbin and Timperlake write. "And unless we are very lucky, very smart, and very resolute in our preparations, it will be as massive in loss of life and economic damage to America and the world as either of the two world wars of the last century."
The book is a quick read, broken up into chapters on the various scenarios of how a war with China could break out. One-third of the book is a reproduction of a Congressional report on the status of China's military buildup.
The authors do offer some suggestions on how to confront China. They include the re-militarization of Japan and the formation of a regional security organization similar to NATO for nations in the Pacific.
The United States should also be working to strengthen ties with India, the only other nation that can match China in population. It doesn't hurt, either, that India has nuclear weapons. And this is the mother of all ironies. The United States may also have to enlist the help of Vietnam, where 56,000 Americans died, to counter Chinese expansion in Asia.
This book is must reading for anyone who understands that the world is a dangerous place and the U.S. must begin to counter Chinese aggression while at the same time fighting the global War on Terror.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas