Friday, March 17, 2006

China and Cold War

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "cold war" as:

1: A conflict over ideological differences carried on by methods short of sustained overt military action and usually without breaking off diplomatic relations, and;

2: A condition of rivalry, mistrust, and often open hostility short of violence especially between power groups.

Consider then the war of words, increasing tensions and military posturing by one superpower, the United States, and one undoubtedly soon-to-be superpower, China. A few things to ponder.....

Recently U. S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lectured China about it's need to show greater transparency regarding its reported increased military budget and secretive military buildup since 1996. (One can't help but wonder about the Bush administration disconnect on what they practice opposed to what they preach regarding transparency in government.)

China will soon have more attack submarines than the United States including the addition of 4 Russian Kilo-class subs.

Our neighbor in South America, Venezuela, has threatened to curtail their oil exports to the U. S. while it has doubled its imports of oil to China. Venezuela currently supplies 10 per cent of U. S. oil imports.

In August of 2005 Russia and China's armed forces launched their first major joint war games. Submarines, bombers armed with cruise missiles, warships and 10,000 military personnel simulated an invasion of a peninsula on the Yellow Sea south-east of Beijing. China is Russia's biggest customer for its arms industry.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. announced it will hold one of its biggest naval exercises in the Asia Pacific this summer. Several carrier strike groups including at least three warships and an attack submarine will conduct large-scale operations. In all, four carriers would be involved in three military maritime exercises.

It has been ten years since four U. S. aircraft carriers have operated in the Pacific Ocean at one time and could be the largest combined aircraft carrier operations there since the Vietnam War.

China has been singled out by the Pentagon as the country with the greatest potential to challenge the United States militarily.

And.....the U.S. trade deficit increased in January to $68.5 billion, the largest monthly deficit in the nation's history. The trade deficit with China increased from $16.3 billion in December of 2005 to $17.9 billion in January.

So, why are we allowing the U.S. trade dollar to fuel China's economic (and thus military) boom while unleashing oceans of red ink on our own economy?

Note to the Bush administration....why not stop lecturing China....they don't listen anyway..... and start formulating a few policies of our own? Like addressing our trade deficit.

The build-up is on! The Cold War is right behind, if not already here.

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