China: Dominance or be Damned?

It's time for China to take off the gloves and challenge the United States for global dominance, or so writes Chinese Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu in his new book, The China Dream.  Mingfu's assertion should disturb Americans: he's undoubtedly speaking for many of his peers, who are committed to fulfilling China's dream, meaning making China the undisputed world leader.  Remember, today's colonels could be tomorrow's generals, and generals not only lead armies in China, but hold important places at the table in the country's authoritarian regime.  

There are reasons for Mingfu's sense of urgency.  Despite making economic progress, China is still a poor country of 1.3 billion souls, many of whom are rural poor.  China's GDP is only a third of the United States.  Wealth tends to be concentrated in large urban areas among a relative few.  The Chinese economy needs sustained economic growth just to feed mouths and keep the natives from becoming restless.    

Thanks to the government's longstanding one child policy and a birthrate of only 1.79 children per woman (2.1 children per woman is the minimum for replacement), China is sitting on a demographic time bomb: toward midcentury, the nation will skew older; fewer younger people will be around to do productive work and support a larger older cohort.

Have no doubt that Mingfu and the rising generation of Chinese leaders are taking longer term economic factors and demographic trends into account as they assess the nation's chances of surpassing the United States. 

Reuters reports Mingfu as saying:

Rivalry between the two powers is a "competition to be the leading country, a conflict
over who rises and falls to dominate the world," says Liu. "To save itself, to save the world, China must prepare to become the (world's) helmsman." [Italics added]

Mingfu continues:

"If China's goal for military strength is not to pass the United States and Russia, then China is locking itself into being a third-rate military power," he writes. "Turn some money bags into bullet holders."

But another Colonel, Dai Xu, states bluntly and more disturbingly:

"I believe that China cannot escape the calamity of war [with the United States], and this calamity may come in the not-too-distant future, at most in 10 to 20 years," writes Dai.

China watchers have long argued that a tug-of-war is taking place in China, between elites who want China to integrate fully into the existing world system and compete peacefully with the United States for, as the Chinese would say, hegemony, and those who argue for a more aggressive military posture vis-à-vis the United States. 

The coming generation of Chinese leaders appreciates that China may have only a small window through which to pass to become the world's dominant power.  For them, military confrontation with the United States seems to be an acceptable price to pay to achieve the China dream. 

 
Hat tip: The Drudge Report

It's time for China to take off the gloves and challenge the United States for global dominance, or so writes Chinese Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu in his new book, The China Dream.  Mingfu's assertion should disturb Americans: he's undoubtedly speaking for many of his peers, who are committed to fulfilling China's dream, meaning making China the undisputed world leader.  Remember, today's colonels could be tomorrow's generals, and generals not only lead armies in China, but hold important places at the table in the country's authoritarian regime.  

There are reasons for Mingfu's sense of urgency.  Despite making economic progress, China is still a poor country of 1.3 billion souls, many of whom are rural poor.  China's GDP is only a third of the United States.  Wealth tends to be concentrated in large urban areas among a relative few.  The Chinese economy needs sustained economic growth just to feed mouths and keep the natives from becoming restless.    

Thanks to the government's longstanding one child policy and a birthrate of only 1.79 children per woman (2.1 children per woman is the minimum for replacement), China is sitting on a demographic time bomb: toward midcentury, the nation will skew older; fewer younger people will be around to do productive work and support a larger older cohort.

Have no doubt that Mingfu and the rising generation of Chinese leaders are taking longer term economic factors and demographic trends into account as they assess the nation's chances of surpassing the United States. 

Reuters reports Mingfu as saying:

Rivalry between the two powers is a "competition to be the leading country, a conflict
over who rises and falls to dominate the world," says Liu. "To save itself, to save the world, China must prepare to become the (world's) helmsman." [Italics added]

Mingfu continues:

"If China's goal for military strength is not to pass the United States and Russia, then China is locking itself into being a third-rate military power," he writes. "Turn some money bags into bullet holders."

But another Colonel, Dai Xu, states bluntly and more disturbingly:

"I believe that China cannot escape the calamity of war [with the United States], and this calamity may come in the not-too-distant future, at most in 10 to 20 years," writes Dai.

China watchers have long argued that a tug-of-war is taking place in China, between elites who want China to integrate fully into the existing world system and compete peacefully with the United States for, as the Chinese would say, hegemony, and those who argue for a more aggressive military posture vis-à-vis the United States. 

The coming generation of Chinese leaders appreciates that China may have only a small window through which to pass to become the world's dominant power.  For them, military confrontation with the United States seems to be an acceptable price to pay to achieve the China dream. 

 
Hat tip: The Drudge Report