For many years, Americans have witnessed industry after industry become dominated by Chinese manufacturing might. We have witnessed the U.S. trade deficit with China soar, as American factories are increasingly vacated, left to become an empty shell where the hopes and dreams of their workers were once the bedrock of the communities they built.
While it is true that “trade” doesn’t happen unless both parties agree a deal is in their mutual best interest, the flow of “capital” from the U.S. to China remains primarily a one-way street. When wealthy American’s, or the corporate boards of directors who represent them, choose to close an American plant and deploy that capital instead to China, rarely is that activity reciprocated with Chinese factories being moved America.
So America’s capital, our money, is increasingly being deployed to build the technological, manufacturing, and industrial capabilities of a foreign nation, and in this case a communist nation, instead of being used to further the development of the democracy that caused such wealth.
If the recent election has told us just one thing, it’s that these vacated dying American communities are fed up and angry, having witnessed many billions of dollars get transferred to the coffers of a foreign nation, while Americans are left with little remaining economic opportunity.
Socrates stated, “All wars are fought for money”. Clearly, the seeds have been sown for what appears to be an eventual showdown between two of the world’s great superpowers.
With its newfound wealth, China’s communist government appears intent on expanding its influence, claiming control over international waters in the South China Sea, along with shipping lanes critical to the U.S. and its trading partners. They have built several military airfields on man made islands, and are intimidating neighbors who are today independent nations. At the same time, they turn a blind eye to the rogue nation of North Korea, who brazenly threatens neighboring countries with nuclear weapons. All of these actions harm U.S. interests in both direct, and indirect ways. Negotiations have thus far not been effective.
North Korea’s reckless nuclear missile tests have provoked an equally bombastic President in the United States. If the U.S. were to escalate a North Korean conflict, China would have little choice but to back their communist North Korean neighbor. Otherwise the Chinese risk North Korea becoming yet another democratic friendly nation in their backyard, along with South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan, among others. If such a scenario played out, all these nations would be affected, and there is even the possibility that Russia, recently dissed by America, could come to the aid of their communist neighbors. World War III would ensue.
Even in the absence of an increased North Korean conflict, China’s expansionist actions provoke even further fury and concern with Americans. Perceived to have drained our coffers, Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea positions them to further intimidate, strike, or assimilate U.S. trading partners. What is their intent with building South China Sea islands and placing military bases on them? How far will they go? And at what point does the United States choose the draw the line?
As WWII began, Hitler invaded Austria, then Czechoslovakia, then Poland. He then invaded The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg while the United States stood by and watched. Not until Hitler invaded France did we begin taking serious action to limit his expansion. How far does China expand before we draw the proverbial line in the sand? Will the Chinese government continue flexing their muscle, and expanding their territorial claims? Should China continue, as with Hitler in WWII, the United States will inevitably have to act. Again, all the aforementioned nations will be affected, and World War III will ensue.
I can’t say for sure if China will continue expanding territorial claims. But I can say that Americans are already leery of a country they believe has ruined their financial well being. It won’t take much in the way of international bullying for Americans to develop enough concern to take action sooner than later. If history is any guide, communist governments can’t help but seek more territory and power, and if that is the case here, a serious conflict among the superpowers is inevitable.