A new essay regarding Chinese/ American relations brings the neocon strategy vis-a-vis China into sharp relief. A new cold war to enrich their pockets by ramping up military spending and weapons build up.

The Chinese are dangerous to the US as anyone can see. Over a billion people. Economy on the rise. Thirsty for oil. Holds massive amounts of US assets and debt. Very, very scary to the powers that be.

So what caused this recent increase in tensions?

…But after a four-year period in which neither outlook appeared dominant, the pendulum has now swung conspicuously toward the anti-Chinese, prepare-for-war position. Three events signal this altered stance.

The first, on February 19, was the adoption of an official declaration calling for enhanced security ties between the United States and Japan. Known officially as the “Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee,” the declaration was announced at a meeting of top Japanese and US officials, including Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Rice. The very fact that US and Japanese officials were discussing improved security links was deeply troubling to the Chinese, given the continued salience of Japanese World War II militarism in the sixtieth anniversary year of Japan’s surrender, and their ongoing anxiety about US plans to construct an anti-Chinese alliance in Asia. But what most angered Beijing was the declaration’s call for linked US-Japanese efforts to “encourage the peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait through dialogue.” While sounding relatively innocuous to American ears, this announcement was viewed in Beijing as highly provocative, an example of illicit interference by Washington and Tokyo in China’s internal affairs. The official New China News Agency described the joint declaration as “unprecedented” and quoted a senior foreign ministry official as saying that China “resolutely opposes the United States and Japan in issuing any bilateral document concerning China’s Taiwan, which meddles in the internal affairs of China and hurts China’s sovereignty.”

This declaration by the US & Japan is not an accident. The US knows exactly what it is doing when it decides to issue any statement regarding Taiwan… and to add insult to injury, they did it with China’s millenium-long rival, Japan. I may not agree with China’s take on the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan, but I do know better than to be escalating tensions at a time when the US is reviled as an imperialist nation with aspirations of world dominance.

The second key event was a speech Rumsfeld gave June 4 at a strategy conference in Singapore. After reviewing current security issues in Asia, especially the threat posed by a nuclear North Korea, Rumsfeld turned his attention to China. The Chinese can play a constructive role in addressing these issues, he observed. “A candid discussion of China…cannot neglect to mention areas of concern to the region.” In particular, China “appears to be expanding its missile forces, allowing them to reach targets in many areas of the world,” and is otherwise “improving its ability to project power” in the region. Then, with consummate disingenuousness, he stated, “Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases? Why these continuing robust deployments?”

To Beijing, these comments must have been astonishing. No one threatens China? What about the US planes and warships that constantly hover off the Chinese coast, and the nuclear-armed US missiles aimed at China? What about the delivery over the past ten years of ever more potent US weapons to Taiwan? What about the US bases that encircle China on all sides? But disingenuousness aside, Rumsfeld’s comments exhibited a greater degree of belligerence toward China than had been expressed in any official US statements since 9/11, and were widely portrayed as such in the American and Asian press.

Belligerence indeed. Provocation for sure. This is classic neocon… the US has a right to encircle China & issue statements proclaiming their dominance and China has no right to disagree… they just have to accept their status as second-class. If I were Chinese I’d be pretty annoyed.

The third notable event was the release, in July, of the Pentagon’s report on Chinese combat capabilities, The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China. …. Nevertheless, the main thrust of the report is that China is expanding its capacity to fight wars beyond its own territory and that this constitutes a dangerous challenge to global order. “The pace and scope of China’s military build-up are, already, such as to put regional military balances at risk,” the report states. “Current trends in China’s military modernization could provide China with a force capable of prosecuting a range of military operations in Asia–well beyond Taiwan–potentially posing a credible threat to modern militaries operating in the region.”

This annual report, mandated by Congress in 2000, is intended as a comprehensive analysis, not a policy document. However, the policy implications of the 2005 report are self-evident: If China is acquiring a greater capacity to threaten “modern militaries operating in the region”–presumably including those of the United States and Japan–then urgent action is needed to offset Chinese military initiatives. For this very reason the document triggered a firestorm of criticism in China. “This report ignores fact in order to do everything it can to disseminate the ‘China threat theory,'” a senior foreign ministry official told the American ambassador at a hastily arranged meeting. “It crudely interferes in China’s internal affairs and is a provocation against China’s relations with other countries.”

This is not surprising of course as the Bush admin made quite clear that any country in the world whose military could potentially rival its own is its enemy. The Chinese may take them up on it.

Why now?

Public fatigue with war and the WoT… need for a long-term boogy man to justify new toys for the neocon corporate boys. China’s insistence on doing business with countries that only used to supply the US with oil… cutting into their supply and all.

Under these circumstances, the possibility of a revved-up military competition with China looks unusually promising to some in the military establishment. No American lives are at risk in such a drive. Any bloodletting, should it occur, lies safely in the future. These moves are supported by a recent surge in anti-Chinese popular sentiment, brought about in part by high gasoline prices (which many blame on China’s oil thirst), the steady loss of American jobs to low-wage Chinese industry, and the (seemingly) brazen effort by China’s leading oil company to acquire Unocal. This appears, then, to be an opportune moment for renewing the drive to constrain China. But the brouhaha over Unocal, together with other Chinese attempts to secure oil and natural gas, also reveals something deeper at work: a growing recognition that the United States and China are now engaged in a high-stakes competition to gain control of the rest of the world’s oil supplies.

The intensifying US-Chinese struggle for oil is seen, for instance, in China’s aggressive pursuit of supplies in such countries as Angola, Canada, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Venezuela. Until recently China derived very little of its petroleum from these countries; now it has deals with all of them to secure new supplies. That China is competing so vigorously with the United States for access to foreign oil is worrisome enough to American business leaders and government officials, given the likelihood that this will result in higher energy costs leading to a slowing economy; the fact that it is seeking to siphon off oil from places like Canada, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela–which have long sent a large share of their supplies to America–is the source of even greater concern, holding as it does the potential to result in a permanent shift in the global flow of oil. From a strategic perspective, moreover, US officials worry that China’s efforts to acquire more oil from Iran and Sudan have been accompanied by deliveries of arms and military aid, thus altering the balance of power in areas considered vital to Washington’s security interests. China, whose reach not long ago seemed to be limited to regions on its immediate borders, has emerged as a significant global player in the energy sweepstakes and beyond.

Yes, China is emerging as a key player in the Great Game. And countries around the world are responding… it appears as though they would like a say in how the world is run/ structured outside of what the Bush admin thinks.

Keep an eye on China news in the coming weeks and months… this might be the issue they hang their hat on in 2006 or 2008… well, outside of invading Syria of course.

Japan Focus ~ read the whole lengthy piece for additional perspective re: the Pentagon’s plans

{all emphasis and links mine}

Cross posted @ Jaded Reality

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