How Does Technology Factor in for US Militarism Toward China?
The United States is about militarism. Its economy is largely based on the military-industrial complex. It has hundreds upon hundreds of military bases in lands around the planet. Yet, despite a bloated military budget, the US fails to care for all its citizens, certainly not the millions of homeless, poor, and those unable to afford medical procedures because they are without medical insurance; however, the US does house and feed its soldiers, marines, and air-force personnel abroad. Yet, when it comes to its veterans there is often a price they must pay. Nonetheless, what must not be forgotten is the far greater price paid by the victims of US aggression.
The US claims full-spectrum dominance. US politicians make bellicose statements about which country the US will attack next. And when a pretext is required the US will fabricate one. (See AB Abrams’s excellent book Atrocity Fabrications and Its Consequences, 2023. Review)
I asked Wei Ling Chua, the author of 3 books including Democracy: What the west can learn from China and Tiananmen Square’s “Massacre”? The Power of Words vs Silent Evidence, how aggressive US posturing impacts China.
Kim Petersen: It is clear that the US is waging an economic war against China. However, based on the bombast of several American military and political figures, the US is also pining for a military confrontation. US Air Force four-star general Mike Minihan said his gut warns of a war with China in 2025. The Chinese claim to most of the South China Sea has caused the US to assert the right to freedom of navigation by sailing its warships off the Chinese coast. But when has China ever denied any ships the right to freely traverse the South China Sea? And as for the disputed territoriality in the South China Sea, why does the US arrogate to itself a supposed right to meddle in the affairs of other countries even those thousands of kilometers from the US shoreline? The Brookings Institute informs that of potential threats worldwide, “China gets pride of place as security challenge number one — even though China has not employed large-scale military force against an adversary since its 1979 war [what even Wikipedia calls a “brief conflict”] with Vietnam.” Consider that the media organ of British capitalism,
The Economist, complains that “People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fighter jets keep staging recklessly close, high-speed passes to intimidate Western military aircraft in international airspace near China.” The magazine doesn’t blink at the risible scenario it has described: foreign fighter planes near China. Isn’t there sufficient airspace for American military jets in the US? Or sufficient coastline to practice freedom of navigation with its warships in US waters?
The US is so fixated on the economic rise of China that it even scuppered a multibillion-dollar deal its ally France had to sell submarines to Australia and replace it with nuclear submarines to be supplied by itself and the United Kingdom — AUKUS. The obvious target of the nuclear subs: China. China’s foreign minister Qin Gang has called on the US to put the brakes on to avoid confrontation and conflict. What does all the militaristic hoopla directed at China portend?
Nonetheless, SCMP.com reported on 24 March 2023 that China has developed a coating for its submarines — an “active” tile based on giant magnetostrictive material (GMM) technology — that “could turn the US active sonar technology against itself.”
Also, the Chinese navy has many more ships than the US (around 340 Chinese navy ships to the 300 US navy ships) and that gap is widening.
Given that the rise of China is not just economic, but that China has also developed a staunch defensive capability, what do the military experts say about China’s capability of defending itself against an American attack? Such an attack would also be insane because war between two nuclear-armed foes is a scenario in which there are no winners.
Wei Ling Chua: The US is the most warmongering country on the planet with every inch of its territory looted from others. Like former US President Jimmy Carter told Trump in a (2019) phone conversation: “US has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history.” The US is also the only nuclear power ever to use such a weapon of mass destruction, which it did on 2 populated civilian cities (Hiroshima and Nagasaki). So, any military threat from the US cannot be taken lightly.
In addition, one should also note that the Chinese military grouped itself into 5 defense regions (Western defense region, Northern defense region, Central defense region, Southern defense region, and Eastern defense region), they are all within China and defensive in nature; whereas, the US military grouped itself into 6 command centers covering the entire world [Africa Command (AFRICOM), Southern Command (covering Latin America), European Command (covering Europe, part of the Middle East and Eurasia), Central Command (covering the Middle East), Indo-Pacific Command (covering the entire Asia Pacific Region, and half the Indian Ocean), and Northern Command (covering the US, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and Bahamas)]. The US military is obviously imperialistic in nature.
However, the good news is that after WW2, the US-led military coalition never won any war in Asia. Their military coalition was badly beaten in the Korean War and Vietnam War (both of which involved China). The latest sudden and messy US withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of brutal occupation demonstrates that the US military is not as powerful as perceived. It appears to be as Mao famously described: “A Paper Tiger.”
I believe that if the US regime is informed and rational, it will not dare to start a war with China on the Chinese doorstep. The reasons are quite obvious:
1) After the Korean and Vietnam wars, the US never dared to directly attack any well-armed country such as North Korea, Iran, USSR/Russia, etc. For example, in 2020, Iran fired 22 missiles at 2 US airbases in revenge for the cowardly US assassination of their minister (Qasem Soleimani) while he was on an official diplomatic visit inside Iraq. Despite the Pentagon’s initial playing down of the severity of the Iranian attacks, it was later admitted that 109 US troops had suffered brain injuries. The US did not dare take further military action against Iran.
My perception from this incident is that the US is too confident — that no one dares to take military action against their military bases across the world.So, they are complacent and failed to invest in underground shelters in those 2 airbases. So, it is reasonable to assume that such weaknesses are likely to be widespread across all the other US military bases across the world.
2) All the countries the US and NATO attacked after the Korean War and Vietnam War were developing countries. It was only after these countries had been weakened by years of economic sanctions and were without a decent air and sea defense system (e.g., Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc). One should note that the US invasion of Iraq was carried out only after over a decade of UN weapons inspection, disarmament, and economic sanctions. That is after the Iraqi economy and its advanced weaponry were destroyed. As a result, US fighter jets were able to take their own sweet time, flying low, flying slowly to identify targets and bombs. So, the US military weapons have yet to be tested in confrontation with a militarily powerful country, one armed with air and sea defense systems.
As for the perceived US military might and superior high-tech weaponry, I believe that the following examples will shed some light on whether the US is more militarily powerful or China:
Firstly, we should thank the United States for its ongoing military actions across the world, and its marketing tactics to promote its image as a superpower, with the intention to sell weapons and to scare the world into submission from its position of strength. Below is a series of US announcements of new weaponry that had frightened the Chinese; as a result, China commissioned her scientists to invent powerful weapons with ideas initiated by the Americans. E.g.,
- The US is the first country that commissioned a hypersonic bomber program capable of nuking any country worldwide within an hour in the early 2000s. Such an announcement scared the Chinese and Russians. Yet, whereas the US failed miserably and decided to shut down the program in early 2023, we have witnessed that Russia and China successfully developed hypersonic missile technology. Ironically, given the US failure and China’s success in the technology, the Washington Post published a report titled “American technology boosts China’s hypersonic missile program” to attribute China’s hypersonic missile success to US technology. (When one comes by this type of baseless claim of US technological superiority over China, besides having a good laugh, I am really speechless at the unbelievably shameless nature of the American propaganda machine)
- The US is also the first country which commissioned a laser gun program. In 2014, the US announced that the weapon was installed on USS Ponce for field testing with success. However, in 2023, CBS News reported that the Pentagon spent $1b a year to develop these weapons and stated that “Whether such weapons are worth the money is an open question, and the answer likely depends on whom you ask. For defense contractors, of course, a new generation of powerful military hardware could provide vast new revenue streams.” The irony is that in 2022, China had already exported its laser guns to Saudi Arabia and that country was reported to have successfully gunned down 13 incoming attack drones.
One ought to recall what happened to Saudi oil facilities in 2019 when drones attacked. The report at that time was: “US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, the main air defense of Saudi Arabia that was so useless last Saturday, cost $3m apiece.” In addition, there is the recent bad news that the vaunted US Patriot missile system was put out of action by a Russian hypersonic missile in Kiev on the 16th of May 2023. The report’s title was “A Patriot Radar Station and five missile batteries destroyed in Russian hypersonic strikes”. Obviously, the mendacious US military-industrial complex was successfully ripping off a lot of its allies which paid super high prices for their inferior products.
F-35 “World Most Advanced” stealth fighter
- The US is a country that loves to boast about its military capability even when the concept is still in an imaginary stage. E.g., introduced in 2006 as the world’s most advanced stealth fighter, the F-35 is also regarded as the US’s most expensive 5th-generation warplane. However, in the past 5 years alone, more than a dozen F-35s crashed across the world despite not operating in a war zone. In 2019, Japan confirmed that an F-35A jet had crashed, causing the remaining F-35s in Japan to be grounded. In 2021, two F-35s were damaged and grounded by a lightning strike in the sky over western Japan. Forbes magazine ran a report titled “Japan is about to waste its F35s shadowing Chinese plane” with this statement: “The stealth fighter is too expensive, too unreliable, and too valuable for other missions to waste it on boring up-and-down flights.” In 2020, The National Interest reported that “The F-35 Stealth Fighter still has hundreds of flaws.” And in 2021, Forbes magazine reported, “The US Air Force just admitted the F35 stealth fighter has failed.” In 2022, the Chinese [People’s Liberation Army] PLA detected an F-35 over the East China Sea and confronted it with their J20 fighter jet, and according to US Airforce General Kenneth Wilbach: “American Lockheed Martin F-35s had had at least one encounter with China’s J-20 stealth fighters recently in the East China Sea and that the US side was ‘impressed’.” These cases demonstrated that the US’s supposedly most advanced “stealth fighter” is visible to Chinese radar technology.
Space Technology/Rocket Engines
- Despite the US’s stringent technology bans against China, including even attending international space conferences in the US, China is now the only country to have independently and successfully built its own space station. The International space station (ISS) was created by a number of countries with the Russian contribution being the most crucial part of putting the station and astronauts (with Russian rockets) in space. However, as usual, the American media likes to bullshit to save face. So, in 2020, when the American media reported the news that NASA paid the Russians $90m to send an astronaut to the ISS, the title was: “Despite SpaceX success, NASA will pay Russia $90m to take US astronaut to ISS”. The irony is that in 2022, the US imposed the strictest economic sanctions against Russia including confiscating Russian public and private assets in the West and banning Russia from the SWIFT payment system due to Russia’s military action in Ukraine to prevent NATO expansion. As a counter-US sanction measure, NASA was forced to pay Russia in rubles (2 billion) to take the American astronaut back to Earth. These two incidents should be enough evidence that SpaceX’s space technology is not as advanced as its public relations. The Russians and the Chinese appear more advanced than NASA/Elon Musk’s SpaceX in transporting astronauts to and from a space station.
Many people may not have noticed that, in 2015, the US ordered 20 rocket engines from Russia. So, in 2022, when Russia counters US-Ukraine war sanctions with a ban on selling their rocket engines to the US, TechCrunch+ reported the situation with an honest title in recognition of the reality: “Russia halts rocket engine sales to US, suggests flying to space on their ‘broomsticks’.”
GPS Vs Beidou Global Navigation/positioning systems
- Global positioning technology is a vital part of many advanced weapon systems including land, sea, and air travel: In 1993, the US government falsely accused a Chinese commercial cargo ship with the registered name ‘Yinhe’ of transporting chemical weapon materials to Iran. The US government then cut off Yinhe’s GPS for 24 days to strand them in the Indian Ocean and forced them to allow US officials to board the cargo ship for inspection and nothing was found. Again, in 1996, the PLA conducted a series of missile tests in the Taiwan Strait, and the US again suddenly shut down the GPS used by the PLA. Both incidents led to the Chinese government’s investment in its own Global positioning technology.
In 2003, the cash-strapped EU invited China to participate in their Galileo navigation satellite project. However, after China transferred €200 million (US$270 million) to the project, in the name of security concerns, China was forced out of major decision-making by the EU in 2007. The irony is that China managed to develop its own Global positioning system (Beidou) faster than the EU’s Galileo project. As a “revenge” perhaps, on a “first-launched, first-served” international wavelength application rule, China successfully registered the use of transmit signals on the wavelength that the EU wanted to use for Galileo’s public regulated service. The New York Times reported the story with a title: ‘Chinese Square off with Europe in Space’.
One may notice that the US’s aging GPS satellite system has been having a lot of problems in the past years. Just do a web search under GPS breakdown, GPS jamming, GPS outages, GPS error, GPS problems, GPS malfunction, etc., to find out about the reliability of the GPS system.
Contrariwise, the Chinese Beidou navigation system is a Chinese owned technology with new functions and apparently more precision than the GPS. For example:
- The Chinese Beidou can be used for text communication between users, while the GPS cannot. So, Huawei became the first company to add satellite texting to their phone device (Mate 50). The significance of such a new communication feature is that, during wartime, the PLA command center or between individual PLA soldiers will be able to communicate with each other with no blind spot. That will enable rapid battlefield intelligence gathering and transmission.
- In addition, if one ever uses a Beidou navigation device while driving, one should notice that the device’s screen displays the position of the specific car on a specific lane. Should the driver change lanes, the screen will display the changes instantly. That is an indication that Beidou’s navigation system is far more accurate and advanced than the GPS in terms of positioning precision and processing speed. This may imply that the Chinese satellite-guided missiles will be more accurate than the US GPS-guided missiles.
- A report by Japan Nikkei in 2020 headlined, “Chinese Beidou navigation system has surpassed American GPS in over 165 countries.” That indicates that the Beidou system is a tested, mature navigation technology.
- A recently published report of a series of computer simulations run by a research team in China revealed that China needs only 24 hypersonic anti-ship missiles to destroy the newest US aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships.
I consider that China is superior in technology to the US. For example, a recent Australian Strategy Policy Institute report acknowledged, “China leads the world in 37 out of 44 critical technologies.”
Of course, unless the US regime is crazy enough to start a mutually destructive nuclear war, there is little reason to believe that the US would be able to win a war with non-nuclear weapons on China’s doorstep.
Winning a war is not just about weaponry: the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Afghanistan War have already demonstrated that a coalition of the most militarily powerful imperialistic nations can be defeated by the people of a lesser-armed nation fighting for their freedom. So, beyond the use of advanced weaponry, the factors that determine who will win a war include:
- the unity of the citizens,
- the fighting morale of the soldiers,
- the logistical support,
- the military strategies,
- the ability to manufacture more weapons with speed to sustain a long war;
- the manufacturing supply chains
- the energy supply and reserve,
- the food supply and reserve,
- the money to sustain a war, and
- the neighboring countries’ attitude toward the warring parties.
So, when one goes through the above list, one should easily come to the conclusion that the US is in a disadvantageous position to travel across the Pacific Ocean to attack China on its doorstep.
Upcoming: What does US militarism augur in the context of Taiwan?
Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He is a regular contributor to Global Research. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com.
Wei Ling Chua is the author of 3 books including Democracy: What the west can learn from China and Tiananmen Square’s “Massacre”? The Power of Words vs Silent Evidence, how aggressive US posturing impacts China.