This week's visit to our comrades at People's Daily gives us this account of PRC Premier Wen Jibao's assurances to the world that Chinese expansion of its economy has absolutely nothing to present to the world's possible anxieties in terms of fear of world domination, or anything like that. Part of the reason I try to link to People's Daily each week is because we live in a peculiar world where, quite frankly, the authoritarian (and PD tells us the PRC is authoritarian) regime publishes a house organ that is more straightforward than the so-called free American press. And so, here we go again...
This observation by Wen comes even as our government makes painful (for our troops, that is) decisions on where to skimp on current expense items like vehicle or body armor based on DOD budgetary constraints, there seems to be little or no constraints in terms of developing weapons systems for hypothetical enemies of the future (the hypothetically aggressive future Chinese) and the costs so incurred by definition cannot be used to fight our current enemies, the ones actually killing our personnel as we speak.
Which is all fascinating. A recent fabulous post by our favourite blogger has observed that Chinese defense strategy has generally involved the defense of China from the territory of... China. The vaunted Chinese blue water navy hasn't been developed. The Chinese long range air force seems to fly as far as the edge of Chinese territorial waters. The Chinese army is unlikely to be able to mobilize more than a day or two's march from the Chinese border. Indeed, even in the Korean War/Police Action, the Chinese didn't intervene until we approached the Yalu River (i.e., China itself.) In short, the Chinese are being damned inscrutible about their intentions for future world domination... We, by contrast, have an entrenched defense industry that has to have threats (real or imagined) in order to justify sucking up taxpayers' money.
A while back I started to do a post on Sun Tzu's The Art of War, noting that the best wars are never actually fought: proper planning and superior positioning force the enemy to succumb without having to engage in the blood and treasure costs of actual battle. The Chinese doubtless understand this. I suspect we understand it as well. The Chinese, hence, will be willing to continue selling us cheap tchotchkes performed by its quasi-slave labor force which it finances to us at artificially low renmindi valuations while we run a huge budget deficit to finance a military machine to battle a future China whose intention is to defeat a bankrupted United States who is its economic vassal, without bothering to fire a shot, or even field a soldier...
It all makes perfect sense, of course, if you're on the Chinese side. Or insane.
We are soooo stupid.
Posted by djmm at June 27, 2005 6:27 PM