A Three-Point Plan for China

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A Three-Point Plan for China

China con­tin­ues to push for world dom­i­nance and to replace the United States as the go-​to world power. China’s tac­tic of slowly push­ing bound­aries (see South China Sea) and hid­ing inter­nal prob­lems (see Uighur Mus­lim intern­ment camps) is work­ing, mainly because no nation has sig­nif­i­cantly chal­lenged China’s strat­egy. Worse, China is prep­ping the bat­tle­space in the United States by infect­ing our minds on social media. Already you have Hol­ly­wood clam­or­ing for access to Chi­nese audi­ences, and the “intel­li­gentsia” of Sil­i­con Val­ley mak­ing con­ces­sions for Chi­nese mar­kets. Aca­d­e­mics are next, and if you doubt that, see how many break­through research oppor­tu­ni­ties sit in China that will attract the peo­ple that edu­cate our youth.

It’s a bleak pic­ture. If you love a rules-​based world order like the one we setup post-​World War 2, then you should be concerned.

China keeps win­ning because we haven’t hit them where it hurts. Pres­i­dent Trump was able to this last year when he hit China with trade tar­iffs. Yes, we suf­fered a bit as well, but China came to the nego­ti­at­ing table because they knew that access to our mar­kets were a key piece in keep­ing their econ­omy going. Already their slow­ing econ­omy due to the trade war is caus­ing issues at home.

If we want to stem China’s desire to change the global order, I humbly pro­pose we inspire some fear. China’s largest con­cern is the sur­vival of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party and it’s con­tin­ued gov­er­nance of Chi­nese peo­ple (pre­dom­i­nantly Han Chi­nese, plus oth­ers nearby). Threaten this, and you’ll get changes.

  1. Prac­tice embargo. The US Navy con­tin­ues prepar­ing for high-​end fights. That’s a good thing, but China con­tin­ues to feel con­fi­dent it can defeat the US Navy, and repeated deploy­ments and man­ning short­ages caused by con­tin­u­ing pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of fight­ing extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tions does us no favors. How­ever, it is really easy to prac­tice embar­gos. If US Navy ships began openly prac­tic­ing board­ing oper­a­tions around claimed Chi­nese waters, it would send the stark mes­sage to China that we have the abil­ity to starve out your large pop­u­la­tion. Not being able to sus­tain the mid­dle class will weigh heav­ily on Chi­nese deci­sion mak­ers. Plus, it costs us very lit­tle, since the Naval forces are already there.
  2. Inspire régime change with the Uighurs. Luck­ily jour­nal­ists have exposed Chi­nese efforts to forcibly change these peo­ple on a scale not seen since the Soviet Union. Our past efforts of kick­ing out gov­ern­ments, while not the great­est legacy we have, does serve our pur­poses. Sim­ply say­ing that we are con­sid­er­ing options to release the Uighurs from their Chi­nese mas­ters will strike fear in any local Chi­nese admin­is­tra­tor. We can talk about set­ting up another democ­racy like Iraq. Our own pop­u­la­tion won’t like it (under­stand­ably), but the Chi­nese will become increas­ingly worried.
  3. Tac­ti­cal nuclear weapons. Since we pulled out of the INF treaty, and the world is focused on nukes, push that but­ton some more. Say that we’re OK using small nuclear weapons in con­flict. Make dec­la­ra­tions that we can over­come the 4-​to-​1 pop­u­la­tion dif­fer­ence with China by using nuclear weapons, and that we might push those deci­sions down below the President.

These three con­cepts, pushed prop­erly, would change Chi­nese deci­sion mak­ing and put us in a bet­ter nego­ti­at­ing position.

This view rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other gov­ern­ment agency.

Did you donate to Da Tech Guy? If you love free­dom, you’ll donate a dol­lar to Da Tech Guy.

China continues to push for world dominance and to replace the United States as the go-to world power. China’s tactic of slowly pushing boundaries (see South China Sea) and hiding internal problems (see Uighur Muslim internment camps) is working, mainly because no nation has significantly challenged China’s strategy. Worse, China is prepping the battlespace in the United States by infecting our minds on social media. Already you have Hollywood clamoring for access to Chinese audiences, and the “intelligentsia” of Silicon Valley making concessions for Chinese markets. Academics are next, and if you doubt that, see how many breakthrough research opportunities sit in China that will attract the people that educate our youth.

It’s a bleak picture. If you love a rules-based world order like the one we setup post-World War 2, then you should be concerned.

China keeps winning because we haven’t hit them where it hurts. President Trump was able to this last year when he hit China with trade tariffs. Yes, we suffered a bit as well, but China came to the negotiating table because they knew that access to our markets were a key piece in keeping their economy going. Already their slowing economy due to the trade war is causing issues at home.

If we want to stem China’s desire to change the global order, I humbly propose we inspire some fear. China’s largest concern is the survival of the Chinese Communist Party and it’s continued governance of Chinese people (predominantly Han Chinese, plus others nearby). Threaten this, and you’ll get changes.

  1. Practice embargo. The US Navy continues preparing for high-end fights. That’s a good thing, but China continues to feel confident it can defeat the US Navy, and repeated deployments and manning shortages caused by continuing prioritization of fighting extremist organizations does us no favors. However, it is really easy to practice embargos. If US Navy ships began openly practicing boarding operations around claimed Chinese waters, it would send the stark message to China that we have the ability to starve out your large population. Not being able to sustain the middle class will weigh heavily on Chinese decision makers. Plus, it costs us very little, since the Naval forces are already there.
  2. Inspire regime change with the Uighurs. Luckily journalists have exposed Chinese efforts to forcibly change these people on a scale not seen since the Soviet Union. Our past efforts of kicking out governments, while not the greatest legacy we have, does serve our purposes. Simply saying that we are considering options to release the Uighurs from their Chinese masters will strike fear in any local Chinese administrator. We can talk about setting up another democracy like Iraq. Our own population won’t like it (understandably), but the Chinese will become increasingly worried.
  3. Tactical nuclear weapons. Since we pulled out of the INF treaty, and the world is focused on nukes, push that button some more. Say that we’re OK using small nuclear weapons in conflict. Make declarations that we can overcome the 4-to-1 population difference with China by using nuclear weapons, and that we might push those decisions down below the President.

These three concepts, pushed properly, would change Chinese decision making and put us in a better negotiating position.

This view represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

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