China has recently built up military forces in preparation for conflict in the Pacific. Taiwan is the current focus as the Chinese military has sent probes of nuclear-capable bombers supported by fighter, reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft into Taiwanese- disputed airspace. A democratic nation and U.S. ally since its creation in 1949, Taiwan is a high-tech, industrial powerhouse with a wealth of advanced electronics and computing corporations. Although Communist China has asserted its firm belief that Taiwan is not sovereign, but a Chinese possession, the Cold War showdown that was evident during the early 1950’s has reemerged in the last decade.
Where is Taiwan again?
During the Korean War, 1950-1953 , the United States led an international force to repel the Communist North Koreans from democratic, South Korea. After the Communist Chinese sent troops across the border into North Korea, U.S. forces waged bloody battles against the Cold War opponents. The battle to contain the spread of communism globally and defeat proxies of the Soviet Union, turned hot.
Fast forward to 1972, when U.S. President Nixon led the effort to open China to trade. Since then, trade between the U.S. and China has increased, resulting in a major trade deficit and loss of U.S. domestic industry until moves by the Trump Administration helped narrow the deficit. Since the China-based coronavirus outbreak, China’s rebound has been sharp as their economy has grown by 18%. Meanwhile, their military growth has been dramatic with self-avowed goals of equaling U.S. power and influence.
It is clear China is our primary economic and military rival with the potential for conflict if their economic growth and military aspirations go unchecked. So far, President Biden has not demonstrated a firm position on China. The U.S. military has undergone a shift in recent years, planning for military conflict in the pacific with China as the opponent.
As a nation of extreme nationalism under authoritarian control, the state-run media outlets control information and propagate a grand goal of world hegemony. From space exploration to economic influence in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, no area previously seen as under American influence has gone unchecked. The American left’s renewed solar push is underpinned by Chinese dominance of the solar industry and components and questions remain how much our relationship can be strained before true conflict arises. The apparent relationship between the two nations is tense and the divisions over governance and human rights highlights the many layers of this COLD WAR.
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