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War With China

by James Kroeger


July 16th, 2005

In yesterday’s New York Times a senior Chinese military official, Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, was quoted as saying, “If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons.” Hawks on China are already waving this report around as ‘evidence’ that the Chinese are some kind of great threat to America and that we need to start preparing for war with them. This kind of talk makes me feel like the world I’m in is truly insane.

The revelation that the Chinese would use nuclear weapons to defend themselves from an attack by the United States should be a surprise to no one. The single most important question we can ask right now is why should Americans be stupid enough get themselves involved in another country’s civil war? That’s precisely the mistake we made in the 1960’s, when we inserted ourselves into Viet Nam’s civil war. Great outcome. Why would we expect to fare any better inserting ourselves into a civil war that happens to involve the most populous nation on the planet?

America’s commitment to Taiwan has got to be one of the most profoundly stupid commitments that the American people have ever been “saddled with.” No vital American interest is served by our pledge to defend Taiwan’s present rebel government from attempts by Beijing to impose its sovereignty on them. We no longer have any rational reason to fear the “spread of Communism.” After all, the People’s Republic of China is communist in name, only. Their economy’s dynamism is driven by free enterprise and profit incentives. They might not have property laws that look anything like ours, but they are still free to obtain the right to use property to make themselves rich. With the success they’ve had with this approach, there is a zero percent chance that they would ever decide to follow the Stalinist model of economic organization.

Why then should American leaders risk the lives of millions of American and Taiwanese and Chinese citizens? To help the inhabitants of Taiwan to avoid the nightmarish alternative of living in modern China? Nightmarish? Precisely what kind of horror would the Taiwanese people be subjected to if they were to simply submit to the political authority of Beijing? None, that I can see. It is a given that the Chinese people in Taiwan would have just as much autonomy as Hong Kong has experienced since 2000. There is no reason to believe that the insurrectionists in Taiwan would suffer in any material way if they were to submit to Beijing. Besides, life in China these days is pretty good because their economic future is looking very, very bright. Anyone who has a decent grasp of history should be able to see that democracy in mainland China is an inevitability, perhaps in the next couple of decades.

Let’s just hope that maybe with some People Power we will be able to pressure the war-crazy lunatics in Congress to return to the realm of sanity.



More trenchant political analysis by James Kroeger:

Hillary, Bill, & the DLC

Reclaim the Moral High Ground

Democrat Image Makeover

When the Republicans steal an election

Our Soldiers Are Victims

Are You Proud To Be An American?


Economic Analysis...

Unemployment: Our Greatest Enemy


Trade Policy and Jobs


Universal Health Care


Government Bureaucratic Waste vs. Private Sector Efficiency


The Relationship Between Savings & Investment


Do Tax Cuts Stimulate The Economy?