Our Trouble With China May Just Be Starting...

Vance P. Frickey

Given the desire of the communist government on the Chinese mainland to take Taiwan over by force, the crisis they created over our legal reconnaissance flights in international airspace is a logical move in a long-term strategy of theirs to reduce the chance that the US or any other nation will come to Taiwan's aid.

Think about it. Why would China care so much that we were listening to their radio messages (the same thing that millions of people do every day with police scanners and shortwave radios)? Is it even remotely reasonable for the Chinese to think that the United States, with only 275 million people and an army of two million would try to invade China, which has 1.2 BILLION people and can raise an army of almost TWO HUNDRED MILLION... I don't think so. So what IS China worried about?

Knowing that the Chinese want to bring Taiwan into the fold, knowing that the Chinese People's Liberation Army is the most politically powerful single faction in China right now, and is anxious to retain that power by flexing its muscles - and by making conquests... this suggests that perhaps the Chinese People's Liberation Army wants to be able to move its forces around in privacy. History shows us that there is one reason for countries to crave this kind of privacy - impending war.

The Beijing government will continue to create "crises" like this one until we allow them to take Taiwan over. Their next logical step from this latest crisis might be to formally annex the Spratly Islands, an island chain spread over 410,000 square kilometers of the South China Sea between China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Not only would this allow the Chinese army to bring aircraft down much farther into international waters, but formal annexation of the Spratly Islands (making most of the 410,000 square kilometers of water around them Chinese territory) would also make it much harder for the US Navy to assist Taiwan in case of an invasion or another "crisis."  

Logical question: "Why should we care if China takes Taiwan over?"

First, we signed a treaty agreeing to protect Taiwan from a takeover by the mainland Chinese. If we continue to break our word to those we agree to help (like the South Vietnamese in 1974-75 and the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein from 1991 through 1996) then absolutely no one will trust us, and they will be right not to trust us. Why doesn't this degradation of our national honor bother more Americans?

Second, it will be easier to stop the Chinese at Taiwan now than it will be in the future to stop them from annexing Indonesia, the Phillipines, the Marianas Islands, Hawaii - basically any place in the Pacific they want to take over once they get started. They took the Paracel Islands a while back by setting up military and naval bases on them and daring anyone to do anything about it... when South Vietnam tried, China slapped them down hard. Both Taiwan and Vietnam still claim the Paracels, but only China has military bases on them and, according to the CIA, is expanding those military bases as you read this.

The Chinese are following this same successful strategy in the Spratly Islands right now. At present several other countries (Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and in 1984, Brunei) claim many of the islands in the Spratly group, not only because of their strategic importance, but because of potentially massive petroleum deposits under the islands. China and some of the other surrounding countries have military installations in the Spratly Islands. Again, the Chinese have historically been ruthless in backing up other territorial claims in the Pacific with military action. The Chinese are so willing to take risks that they started a dispute with the United States of America and took American citizens as hostages (oh, excuse me, "detainees") over a mere reconnaisance flight, so there's no reason to suppose that they will be any less aggressive in any disputes which break out over the Spratly Islands in the future.

Ask the Australians how serious THEY think this issue is. This is just as important as the chance the French and British missed to halt Hitler's expansionism and possibly prevent World War II by kicking German troops out of the Rhineland (where they were forbidden to be by the Treaty of Versailles) in the 1930s.

Both of my sons will be called up for military service if and when we have a war with China. In fact, one of them leaves for basic training with the Indiana National Guard later this year. I really hope that we don't get into such a war. However, letting China expand and conquer into the Pacific is as certain to lead to war as the French and British failure to stop Hitler while he could still be stopped in the 1930s lead to World War II.

Read up on what's happening, or watch the news. Decide for yourself what's happening and how serious you think it is. Write your Congressman, your Senators, and the President, letting them know what you think.

Click here to read a letter I recently wrote to President Bush about what we should do about the Chinese intercepting and damaging our aircraft and keeping our aircrew hostage

If you agree with me that China's current government poses a major threat to world peace, there are things we can do until China stops behaving aggressively:
Don't buy anything labeled "Made in China".
Don't go to movies made in Communist China.
Vote against anyone in Congress who doesn't support strong action against China.
Write your newspaper about this problem.
Talk to your friends about the threat from mainland (Communist) China.
And remember that when people in America got serious about the threat from the Soviet Union, and elected Ronald Reagan, a President who was also serious about this threat... things changed.
We can literally change the world if we all act together.

God save the United States!

 

NOTE: Copyright 2001 Vance P. Frickey

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