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October 21, 2022

Xi and the Looming ChiCom Threat

Recent remarks from the Chinese president point to a regime that will be both increasingly ambitious and difficult to check.

Russia, Russia, Russia.

When they’re not talking about Donald Trump or abortion, that’s all the Leftmedia and the White House seem to talk about.

This week, the Biden White House released its National Security Strategy report, noting, “Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war on its neighbor Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and impacted stability everywhere, and its reckless nuclear threats endanger the global non-proliferation regime.”

Well, sure. But what about China? With all this talk about Russia, we’ve neglected our most dangerous geopolitical threat. The NSS report does mention China, but only offhandedly: “The United States remains committed to managing the competition between our countries responsibly.”

But managing our adversaries isn’t enough anymore, especially when we’re falling behind.

Just this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke from Beijing’s Great Hall of the People during a congress that meets only twice each decade. Xi reassured the world that China remains a strong economic and military power.

What’s interesting, though, is that while Xi didn’t mention the war in Ukraine, he did stress that China won’t rule out military power in Taiwan if “necessary.”

“Mr. Xi has made clear,” reports The Wall Street Journal, “that his overarching goal is to restore China to what he believes is its rightful place as a global player and a peer of the U.S. As a consequence, he has come to see the possibility of a showdown with the West as increasingly likely, according to people familiar with his thinking.”

The Journal adds: “Militarily, Mr. Xi has reorganized the People’s Liberation Army, doubled its budget and begun work to enhance China’s nuclear arsenal” to “ensure China is ready to engage in combat, if necessary, for the first time since 1979 — especially if elections in the U.S. and Taiwan in 2024 result in leaders willing to embrace independence for the island, the reddest of red lines for Mr. Xi.”

Meanwhile, The Heritage Foundation this week released its 2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength, highlighting the challenges and weaknesses currently affecting our nation’s ability to remain competitive. The overall picture is worrisome, to say the least.

The report mentions that China has acted more aggressively toward its neighbors, and especially Taiwan, where it has sent its aircraft over the median line of the Taiwan Strait regularly in recent years. Additionally, China has revamped and modernized its military, and its navy now has more battle force ships than the U.S. Navy.

Perhaps the most stunning assessment in the entire report came from Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, who wrote: “U.S. intelligence experts gauge that China has surpassed the U.S. in hypersonic missiles, space systems, and naval shipbuilding. It has initiated a massive increase in its nuclear capabilities.”

While China continues to invest in upgrading and strengthening its military, the U.S. seems less committed to doing the same.

“The U.S. will also have to spend more on defense if it wants to protect its interests and the homeland,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The U.S. is spending about 3% of GDP now compared to 5%-6% in the 1980s. The Heritage report is a warning that you can’t deter war, much less win one, on the cheap.”

Some analysts aren’t convinced that China has such staying power, but that doesn’t mean the ChiComs will be less dangerous. In their book Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China, Michael Beckley and Hal Brands write that China will be a falling power in the 2030s due to a variety of factors including an aging population and faltering economy. But in reviewing the book, The Washington Free Beacon concludes, not unreasonably, “It’s China’s fall that will make it more unpredictable and dangerous.”

The question, then, is whether the U.S. under President Joe Biden is ready for the challenge. And despite the administration’s occasionally tough rhetoric, the fact that China and Russia are growing increasingly hostile could be an indication that they view the Biden administration as weak. With all the money Biden has made from the ChiComs, it’s no wonder.

There’s no doubt China is flexing its muscles toward the current U.S. president. Fortunately, with the upcoming midterms and the 2024 presidential election, Americans will have the opportunity to restore leadership in Washington and restore America’s military readiness in the not-too-distant future.

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