This column tries to speak the truth and make objective comments on current events based on the ‘information’ from both the mainstream and organic media. Thanks to the ‘Internet Revolution’, organic views have become, like organic food, accepted as good ‘info to balance the gigantic volume of mass media. However, most organic views tend to be offered by anonymous authors whereas mass media are dominated by very well organized and funded institutions. Unfortunately, the U.S. mass media have gradually become polarized by ‘right’ versus ‘left’ and ‘conservative’ versus ‘progressive’ or ‘liberal’ political positions. This polarization intentionally or unintentionally divides the people into two opposing camps strongly embracing one pole or the other even accepting false information created by the mass media to support their ‘positions’. This happens to U.S. domestic issues such as healthcare, education, immigration and discrimination, equity and inclusion (DEI) subjects as well as foreign affairs. Obviously, the U.S. - China relations has become one of the most important foreign affairs area today as China has risen steadily over the last four decades to become the world’s second largest economic power and the strongest manufacturing engine for the world. Currently the mass media seemed to be forming one coherent voice and position on U.S. China policy - that is ‘anti-China and demonizing China’ - to the extent fake news and false reports were accepted as the ‘correct political position’.
The above trend was growing in the 21st century, accelerated during the Trump Administration and continued with skill-tuning by the current Biden Administration. The central theme is that China is a threat to the security of the U.S. thus must be stopped in her development track by all means including forming alliances to wage war if necessary. Calling China as a serious competitor but strategically treating China as the enemy has become the open U.S. China policy. The recent effort of having a summit meeting between Biden and Putin is an attempt to lure Russia to counter China’s rise. The mass media have plenty of reports on the recent Biden diplomatic mission including the new Atlantic Charter with Johnson of the UK, NATO meeting and summit with Putin. Whether the U.S. will succeed in persuading Russia to counter China and NATO nations to accept an anti-China strategy or how the new U.S.-U.K. Atlantic Charter may wedge the U.S. and EU relation will not be discussed here. Instead, the focus is on the organic views on the essence of U.S.-China rivalry. By reviewing many newsletters and discussions on WeChat and Line objectively on the rivalry issue, one can compare them as hawkish or dovish views, but one thing clearly stands out is that the comparison between the two nations’ competitive strength seems to be fair, objective, consensus and very different from the U.S. mainstream media view. The latter tends to exaggerate the China threat and the former offers a fair comparison and analysis.
The vast majority of comparative analyses of the U.S. and China competitive strength concludes that China will not reach the U.S. national strength level in fifty years or longer with a caveat depending on how each nation charts its own course of development. There is absolutely no argument from geographic point of view that the U.S. is blessed with far more resources than China with comparable sizes. The U.S. has nearly twice as much agricultural land as China has with far more productivity (farm workers 2.67 M vs 498.7M.) China is a big import country of land-intensive agricultural products such as soy bean to feed her 1.4 billion people. In a broad comparison between the two nations, the U.S. is leading in agriculture, education, healthcare (including pharmaceutical), technology (aerospace), financial and of course military. The U.S. also leads in high-end technology, R&D in advanced sciences, materials research as well as bio and space explorations. Militarily, the U.S. has nearly 800 bases all over the world (China has three). The U.S. has 5550 nuclear warheads deployed worldwide whereas China only has 350. Beijing, China is 6900 miles away from Washington DC, U.S.
Is there any real China threat to the U.S.? Based on the info on the organic media, the answer is ‘No, but’, very much dependent on the U.S. ‘attitude’ since China’s attitude seems to be a reactionary one, expressed by a vast majority of netizens who care about U.S.-China relations. Firstly, the opinion in the Organic Media believes that the ‘U.S.-China rivalry’ is initiated and characterized by the U.S. The U.S. is interpreting its national security to be more than international security - no nation shall be allowed to disturb the ‘international order’ established and controlled by the U.S. (not by the U.N. or any other nation or organization). China’s problem is that she is a giant size poor country accelerating her economic development upsetting the U.S. defined ‘international order’. China’s economic growth (double digit for decades and still maintaining three times of that of the U.S.) is too fast to be comfortable for the U.S. The U.S. chooses to define China’s rise (even with China focusing on lifting her people above the poverty as her primary goal) as a national threat to the U.S. This definition or attitude is the fundamental reason for driving the U.S.-China relation into a rivalry state. This attitude drives the strategy which leads to the belief that the ‘China threat’ is real and must be squashed. However, the organic media generally says ‘no, but’ to the China threat question. No means ‘China threat’ never existed based on a comparative analysis as discussed above. The ‘but’ caveat deserves further attention as we try to understand the essence of the U.S.-China rivalry.
China has a long history as a sovereign nation experienced with numerous cycles of prosperity and foreign invasions. Her recent 250 years of history (the length of U.S. history), being so treacherously filled with colonial and imperial invasion, had drilled Chinese people into a resilient, hard-working and pain-tolerant nation. The Chinese people with her 56 ethnic groups led by the dominant Han culture had thousands of years of experience in dealing with invasion, discrimination, inequality and inclusiveness issues. History made China a tough resilient nation as she is today. Can anyone picture China as a pan of sand of 56 ethnic groups today? China understands far deeper than the U.S. think tanks about herself and her neighbors and their geopolitical relations. The U.S. has an apparent hold on Japan and South Korea after WW II, but these countries have been denied as a ‘normal’ independent state for seven decades. Their political leaders are tortured between desiring to behave like a normal state (have ability to establish a normal relation with China) and hold onto power under a U.S. alliance framework. There is a consensus view that the notion of ‘China Threat’ presents a dilemma to the leaders of the U.S. allies who maintain a strong trading relation with China. China as a nation has demonstrated her hidden spiritual strength; despite of her physical shortcomings such as less resources compared to the U.S., she has the ability to collaborate with her neighbors and many countries to expand mutual prosperity.
China’s spiritual strength was amply exhibited as she had to develop a hydrogen bomb and nuclear missiles for sustaining her independence as a nation while she was sanctioned by the Soviet and the West. The more sanctions the world applied to China, the faster she developed herself in the past 50 years. Besides GDP growth, she has become the world manufacturer, leading infrastructure builder with more high-speed railroad lines, bridges, ports and highways than most countries in the world possessed together. She single-handedly developed her space technology including satellites, (and an independent geo-positioning system) and missiles (for long range delivery including space exploration). Landing on the moon, mission to Mars and building manned space station by herself are just examples showing that the Chinese people under more sanctions and pressure will perform better. When the U.S. adopts a ‘China Threat’ strategy to suppress and confront China, the consequence is to push China to become more resilient in her development and emerge as a real threat in the end. We can easily understand why the organic media presents a ‘No, but’ answer to the U.S. ‘China Threat’ theory. China is no match with the U.S. in national strength now but she will become a real threat if she is pressured into it. The current U.S. China policy is making China a real threat by stimulating the Chinese spirit and her ability to collaborate with others, including her former enemies, Russia, Japan, South Korea for mutual prosperity. The U.S. anti-China alliance strategy based on an unreal China Threat theory will not succeed but pressure China into a U.S. rivalry.