For hot war with China
Perhaps nothing captures the growing anti-U.S. sentiment in China better than a song about the trade war that is going viral in Beijing: “If the perpetrator wants to fight, we will beat him out of his wits.”
This privately-produced song has more than 100,000 views on WeChat and is just one of many signs of brewing anti-American sentiment on Chinese social media as trade talks falter.
State media has carried commentaries urging unified resistance to foreign pressure, including an editorial from the nationalist Global Times calling the trade dispute a “people’s war” and a threat to all of China.
Yes, it’s just a song on social media. And 100k views in Beijing can hardly qualify as “going viral” – after all, Beijing’s population is close to 20 million people, all of whom, if they use social media, are herded into sites like WeChat.
It’s easy to write it off as a fad or a fluke. But there’s no doubt which direction we are headed regarding China. Two biggest kids on the block. Sooner or later, they’re going to fight*. And maybe sooner than later.
America is an empire on the wane. Distracted at home by porn and Prozac, we are overstretched internationally, with a dozen floating navies designed to win a war that ended 70 years ago. China, feeling its oats after a century or five of humiliation, grows weary of foreigners floating guns through its back yard. Both are mired in unpayable debt. Neither will stand to be humiliated on the international stage.
As before WWI, the world is in a long period of relative peace, resulting in leaders with no sense of the tragic. As with WWI, it’s easier to get into a tit-for-tat escalation of rhetoric and action than to get out of one.
I will not predict how such a war will end, nor even who will win. But I can predict that a shooting war, especially one in which the heart of a carrier group is sunk by a nuclear missile, will result in a complete end of trade between our nations for a long time.
It’s time for you to think about what that would mean for your family. Walk around your house and your shop and notice how many things are made in China**. I don’t mean the plastic Poke-e’-mon toys; who cares if you can’t get those? I mean things like spark plugs and spare parts for your tools. If something was unavailable for a year, or available only through rationing, could you get along without it? Do you have a replacement available for it?
I do not expect that war with China will involve land forces. The idea that either nation will float millions of men across the Pacific is ludicrous. But I do expect that, whether the current trade war ends in us trading missiles or not, we are going to see a huge break in our current relationship with the nation that provides us with most of our consumer goods in trade for more of our unpayable debt.
When that relationship changes, it will be hard on both nations. But you can make sure it’s not as hard on your family be being prepared before it happens.
* Col. Andy Tanner, RIP.
** My kids think Santa’s elves must have their workshop there.