U.S. and China smile for cameras, prepare for war

As Jeremy Page of The Wall Street Journal noted recently, Mr. Xi has rehabilitated a group of ultra-hawkish generals and military advisers who have advocated a military strategy based on preparing for direct confrontation with the United States. He has particularly embraced Col. Liu Mingfu, whose calls for direct China-U.S. military competition had led his books to be banned, but are now back on the bookstore shelves in droves. Also widely published now is air force Col. Dai Xu, who wrote last year, according to Reuters, that China’s neighbours are “running dogs of the United States in Asia” and “we only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.”

So we are in the absurd position of having the two superpowers at peace with one another while their armies prepare for total war. It is a dangerous state of affairs – something we ought to remember as we approach the centenary of 1914, when just such a mismatch led the world to war.

U.S. and China smile for cameras, prepare for war – The Globe and Mail

New Beijing Leader’s ‘China Dream’ – WSJ.com

All this leads many diplomats, party insiders and analysts to believe Mr. Xi is casting himself as a strong military leader at home and embracing a more hawkish worldview long outlined by generals who think the U.S. is in decline and China will become the dominant military power in Asia by midcentury.

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In doing so, they say, Mr. Xi is setting the stage for a prolonged period of tension between China and its neighbors, as well as for a potentially dangerous tussle for influence with a U.S. that is intent on reasserting its role as the dominant Pacific power.

New Beijing Leader’s ‘China Dream’ – WSJ.com

Special Report: China’s military hawks take the offensive | Reuters

SHORT, DECISIVE WAR

The Air Force Colonel, Dai Xu, is renowned for his regular calls to arms. With China in dispute for much of last year with Japan in the East China Sea and Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea, Dai argued a short, decisive war, like China’s 1962 border clash with India, would deliver long-term peace. He also said Washington would not risk war with China over these territorial spats.

“Since we have decided that the U.S. is bluffing in the East China Sea, we should take this opportunity to respond to these empty provocations with something real,” he wrote in an August 28 commentary published in the Chinese-language edition of the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid published by the Communist Party organ, the People’s Daily.

“This includes Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, who are the three running dogs of the United States in Asia,” added Dai, a researcher at Beijing University’s China Centre for Strategic Studies. “We only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.”

Special Report: China’s military hawks take the offensive | Reuters