U.S. at War With Beijing, Reports Cite China as No. 1 Threat

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Reprinted from NewsMax.com

U.S. at War With Beijing, Reports Cite China as No. 1 Threat

Charles R. Smith

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The U.S. government has cited China as the No. 1 threat to global security for the second time in less than a month.

Both the Pentagon and the Commission on U.S-China Economic and Security Review cited Beijing as a major threat to U.S. national security. The two reports noted the growing military capability of China combined with its predatory economic policy is aimed directly at the United States.

The latest report released by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was approved by a "unanimous vote of all eleven Commissioners." According to the Commission China's co-operation on international security matters is "un-satisfactory."

The Commission examined in depth the extent of ongoing co-operation between China and the United States on traditional national security matters, most particularly China's assistance in re-solving the North Korea nuclear weapons crisis. The Commission believes that China's performance in this area to date has been unsatisfactory, and we are concerned that U.S. pressure on trade disputes and other unrelated aspects of the relationship may have been toned down by the administration as a concession for China's hoped-for cooperation on this and other vital security matters." Economic War

According to the report, China is deliberately using economic warfare against America to seek a "competitive advantage over U.S. manufacturers."

"Economic fundamentals suggest that the Chinese yuan is undervalued, with a growing consensus of economists estimating the level of undervaluation to be anywhere from fifteen to forty percent. The Chinese government persistently intervenes in the foreign exchange market to keep its exchange rate pegged at 8.28 yuan per dollar, and through these actions appears to be manipulating its currency valuation," states the report.

The Commission also noted that China is violating its pledges to the World Trade Organization and that U.S. investors may actually be investing in the PLA military expansion.

"China has deliberately frustrated the effectiveness and debased the value of the WTO's TRM (Transitional Review Mechanism) which was intended to be a robust mechanism for assessing China's WTO compliance and for placing multilateral pressure on China to address compliance shortfalls."

"Without adequate information about Chinese firms trading in international capital markets, U.S. investors may be unwittingly pouring money into black box firms lacking basic corporate governance structures, as well as enterprises involved in activities harmful to U.S. security interests," noted the report.

Weapons for Oil

The Commission report also noted that China continues to proliferate advanced weapons to many of its client states including North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran. In addition, China now appears to be willing to trade weapons for oil.

"China's growing energy needs, linked to its rapidly expanding economy, are creating economic and security concerns for the United States. China's energy security policies are driving it into bilateral arrangements that undermine multilateral efforts to stabilize oil supplies and prices, and in some cases may involve dangerous weapons transfers," stated the report.

"China has sought energy cooperation with countries of concern to the United States, including Iran and Sudan, which are inaccessible by U.S. and other western firms. Some analysts have voiced suspicions that China may have offered WMD-related transfers as a component of some of its energy deals," noted the Commission.

New Weapons

The Commission report also revealed that Russia has sold China a more advanced version of the deadly SUNBURN (3M83 Moskit) cruise missile. Nikolay Shcherbakov, adviser to the director general of the Altair Naval Scientific Research Institute of Electronic Engineering, is reported as saying that "we are supplying China with new-generation equipment. We have been allowed to supply MOSKIT supersonic antiship cruise missiles with twice the range - 240km instead of the existing 120."

The Commission also noted a growing concern that China would use nuclear weapons to attack and defeat U.S. forces in the event of a war over Taiwan.

"Recognizing the possible involvement of the U.S. military, the current scholarship on China's R & D finds that PRC strategists believe that a superior navy could be defeated through the disabling of its space-based systems, as for example, by exo-atmospheric detonation of a nuclear warhead to generate an electromagnetic pulse," stated the report.

In addition, the Commission noted that China is pursuing an advanced laser weapon for use against Taiwanese and U.S. forces.

"It has recently been reported that China has successfully developed a laser cannon with a range of more than one hundred kilometers and might have already deployed it in Fujian Province facing Taiwan."

Shooting War in 2005

The Commission's report painted a deadly and growing picture of the Chinese threat with a possible conflict only a year away.

"The China Affairs Department of the Democratic Progressive Party published a report on China's basic military capabilities in which it said that Beijing had developed a 'sudden strike' strategy to attack Taiwan. This story discussed a scenario in which an attack would consist of an initial seven-minute shock and strike missile barrage that would paralyze Taiwan's command system, followed by seventeen minutes in which Taiwan's air space will be invaded by fighter jets. Within twenty-four hours of the strike, 258,000 Chinese troops could be deployed in Taiwan. China's fast-growing military modernization and expansion is aimed at a possible war between 2005 and 2010, according to the report," stated the Commission report.

In early June the Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report on Chinese military developments. The Pentagon report outlined the double-digit increases in Chinese defense spending and major weapons purchases from Russia.

China currently is third in total defense spending, behind the U.S. and Russia, with nearly $100 billion a year now budgeted for the PLA. The Pentagon report noted that the PLA double-digit increases are expected to continue through 2010.

According to the report, the Chinese build-up of ballistic missiles has changed the balance of power in the Pacific, threatening to start a war over Taiwan. China currently has an estimated 550 short-range missiles opposite Taiwan.

"China most likely will be able to cause significant damage to all of Taiwan's airfields and quickly degrade Taiwan's ground based air-defenses and associated command and control through a combination of SRBMs (short range ballistic missiles), land-attack cruise missiles, special operation forces and other assets," stated the Pentagon report. The Pentagon report noted that China is increasing its long-range missile capability and is expected to expand its inventory to 30 such missiles by the end of 2005. The Pentagon anticipates the Chinese long-range nuclear missile force will exceed 60 before the end of the decade.

Nuclear War

The Pentagon report also warned that Chinese military strategists are considering the use of nuclear weapons against U.S. and Taiwanese forces. According to the Pentagon, a nuclear weapon detonated at high altitude would create an "electromagnetic" shock wave that will disrupt U.S. communications and scramble sophisticated military computers. "PLA theorists who have become aware of these electromagnetic effects may have considered using a nuclear weapon as an unconventional attack option," stated the Pentagon report.

Chinese authorities have reacted explosively to the recent reports, especially over the U.S. commitment to Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao underscored the unstable nature of China's relationship by threatening to use military force to seize control of the tiny island nation.

According to the official PRC news Xinhua, China will never tolerate "Taiwan independence", neither will China allow anybody to split Taiwan from the motherland with any means.

"The Taiwan independence activities are the greatest threats to the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," stated Liu. The official PRC spokesman also asked the United States to stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan under any pretenses and refrain from sending wrong signals to Taiwan.

RADIO APPEARANCES The Jerry Hughes Show on Friday, 6/18/04, at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Show information at http://www.cilamerica.com.

The George Putnam Show on Friday, 6/18/04, at 4 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. on the West Coast) on KSPA, 1510 AM, Ontario, and on the "CRN Radio Network" - Web radio link at www.crni.net.

The Charlie Smith Show on the American Freedom Network on Monday, 6/21/04, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Show information at http://www.amerifree.com.

The Greg Allen Show on Wednesday, 6/23/04, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Show information at http://www.therightbalance.org/index.html.

-- (Cn_Ngố_n-Dải-Dt@BBP.govt), November 17, 2004


Decision Brief No. 04-D 13 2004-03-29

The threat we're ignoring now

(Washington, D.C.): The televised hearings convened last week by the 9/11 Commission proved to be one of the most interesting and valuable civics lessons of all time. In particular, they made a point Americans cannot hear too often: The world is generally a dangerous place for the United States, its people and its interests ? whether we think so or not, and most especially when we don't. After all, at such times, we frequently squander opportunities to bring to bear the leadership and popular attention, military might and other national resources that could nip in the bud problems that will prove very costly to address later on.

In particular, the hearings illuminated that the international situation bequeathed by Bill Clinton to George Bush was considerably more threatening than was widely perceived at the time.

Understandably, given the mandate of the Commission, its members and their witnesses focused on one of those threats ? the Islamist al Qaeda organization ? and how it flourished largely unchecked during the eight years of the Clinton presidency and the eight months Mr. Bush was in office prior to September 11th, despite this network's repeated, murderous acts of terror.

China Rising

Unfortunately, there is another danger that grew inexorably over the pre-9/11 years: a Communist China bent on becoming not just the dominant nation in Asia, but a superpower and "peer competitor" to the United States. If the Bush 43 team was, as Richard Clarke contends, giving too little attention to Osama bin Laden and his followers, one reason might have been that it was reckoning ? both before and after Beijing's April 1, 2001 take-down of an unarmed American EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft ? with the near- and longer- term strategic implications of an increasingly formidable and aggressive China. All that changed after September 11th, when the PRC was supposedly transformed into an ally on terror and North Korea.

Yet, such critical thinking is, if anything, even more warranted today in light of the following:

China is crushing freedom in Hong Kong. Ever since Britain surrendered the Crown Colony to the PRC in 1997, Beijing has, like a boa constrictor, inexorably tightened its grip on the people of Hong Kong. After briefly backing away from anti-democratic legislation in the face of massive public protests, the Communists are now shredding what remains of the assurances it gave the UK about respecting liberty. Party organs are brazenly trying to intimidate courageous, freely elected legislators like Martin Lee and their followers by branding them "traitors." On Monday, the Wall Street Journal quoted Liu Kin-ming, who runs the editorial page of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Apple Daily: "[At the time of the Chinese takeover], some said the city would be a ? freedom virus' that would infect the rest of China. Nearly seven years later, that thesis is tough to support, Mr. Liu says. Also increasingly tough to support is speculation that Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, who took power more than a year ago, would promote substantive political change in China. ?If Hong Kong isn't going to have democracy, then forget about the rest of China,' Mr. Liu says."

Communist China is no-less-actively threatening and otherwise trying to stifle the other Chinese experiment in democracy: Taiwan. In the wake of still-contested Taiwanese presidential polling that Beijing sought to influence ? through intimidation (some 500 PRC ballistic missiles are now aimed at the Taiwanese people), pressure on the island's businessmen who are investing in or trading with the mainland and perhaps other, more covert means ? the Communists have declared: "We will not sit back and look on unconcerned should the post-election situation in Taiwan get out of control, leading to social turmoil, endangering the lives and property of Taiwan compatriots and affecting stability across the Taiwan Strait."

The missiles pointed at Taiwan are not the only manifestation of China's interest in being able to project power decisively in its region and emerge as the arbiter of Asian affairs. Center for Security Policy Asia Fellow Richard Fisher has noted that, with considerable help from the former Soviet military-industrial complex and cash supplied by Western consumers, the People's Liberation Army could have by the end of this decade as many as three new nuclear submarines, 27 new Kilo-class conventional subs plus about 18 older, but still potentially lethal, diesel submarines. Such an underwater force could, particularly when taken together with comparable improvements in its missile-equipped surface fleet and aviation arms, present a serious challenge to American efforts to defend Taiwan or other U.S. interests in the Western Pacific.

Communist China is taking other steps with worrisome strategic implications. Testimony Dr. Peter Leitner and Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. presented before Senator James Inhofe's Environment and Public Works Committee last week noted Beijing's use of the controversial Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST):

a) to install fortified bastions on reefs, allowing it to lay claim to ever greater swathes of the South China Sea and

b) to try to thwart President Bush's new Proliferation Security Initiative. The latter is essential to U.S. efforts to prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction-related materials on the high seas.

Were the United States unwisely to become party to this misbegotten treaty, it is a safe bet that the Chinese will also try to employ LOST as a precedent for no-less-cynical efforts in the future to advance its determination to make military use of space, while constraining this country's ability to do so.

The Bottom Line

The good news is that the Communist Chinese threat is being subjected to intense, if less publicized, scrutiny by another congressionally mandated, bipartisan panel: the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, ably chaired by CSP Distinguished Fellow, Roger Robinson. Given the stakes -- and the current, virtually complete lack of official and public attention to the menace posed by the PRC today and in the future -- the critical policy review provided by the China Commission may prove, if anything, even more needed than the findings of its more celebrated 9/11 counterpart.

Latest Releases 2004 Publications 2004 National Security Alerts 2004 Security Forums 2004 Casey Institute Publications Special Publications Center for Security Policy

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-- (Cn_Ngố_n-Dải-Dt@BBP.govt), November 17, 2004.

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