The August 25th Wall Street Journal article “China Naval Power Draws U.S. Notice” by Nathan Hodge reported on the release of the congressionally mandated annual Pentagon report on China’s military capabilities and strategies.
“The pace and scope of China’s sustained military investment have allowed China to pursue capabilities that we believe are potentially destabilizing to regional military balances, increase the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation, and may contribute to regional tensions and anxieties,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Michael Schiffer told reporters.
The article recaps the recent launch of China’s first aircraft carrier and the “more combative stance on territorial disputes in the East and South China seas.”
Lt. Commander Mollie Sanders’ South China Sea outing in the first novel of a proposed series focuses on an international arena that could explode at any moment.
The question in real life is how advanced the U.S. will allow China’s military to get before the U.S. decides to put the brakes to China’s territorial ambitions?
For those of you who are fans of the short-lived Joss Whedon TV sci fi series “Firefly” and/or the follow-up movie “Serenity” may remember that in Whedon’s fictional world there were two world languages – English and Mandarin Chinese.
Whedon may yet prove to be a visionary if China’s military ambitions are allowed to go unchecked.
It’s very nice that the Pentagon issues an annual report. But what does the U.S. plan to do with the insights provided by the report?
China’s response to the report:
The August 26th Wall Street Journal carried a short report “China: State News Agency Slams U.S. Report on Military” from the Associated Press in the Journal’s “World Watch” section. The report said in part:
China’s state-run news agency blasted a Pentagon report on the Chinese military as a smear that exaggerates the threat Beijing poses to the region.
The Pentagon “once again trumped up the notion of ‘China threat,’ ” the commentary said. “China, which has adhered to a defensive military policy, with its rising economic clout and sprawling commercial and strategic interests around the world, has every right to build a competent military,” it said.
Anyone remember what Hitler said about Germany’s military buildup in the 1930s?
In the fall of 1971 in Munich, Germany, I worked at the Army-Air Force Motion Picture Service as a GS-2. The German civilian working there under the Status of Forces Agreement, who was 17 during Kristallnacht in November 1938 (less than one year before Germany invaded Poland), told me why Germany went to war again only 25 years after the Great War:
“Hitler said we needed more land, and that made sense.”
The fact that more land — lebensraum — would come from taking over other countries and killing millions of people seems not to have been noted by the Germans — or the rest of the unprepared world.
While Sanders’ Navy adventures are fictional, they are in part a warning. Sometimes life does imitate art.
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(And if you do read the book and like it, please write a review on the ebook’s Amazon page.)
Here are two other reports about China and the South China Sea: