By Mu Lu Source:Global Times
Whether the US needs to prepare for a military clash with China should not have been a topic for open discussion. However, it was recently brought up again by the US right wing and soon went viral.
Chad Sbragia, Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for China, said “the US may find itself in a military crisis with China” and “the stakes of the challenge of conflict with China… are formidable.” Although it is not clear to what extent Sbragia represents Pentagon’s views, Washington must contain such chimera of war; otherwise, it would have to swallow the bitter consequences.
Sbragia told the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission on February 20 that China will be a growing threat and a war is increasingly likely. This is typical of the “China threat” theory.
China and the US have been through twists and turns in the past few years. As tensions between the two countries have intensified, the “China threat” theory has also expanded, covering trade, economy, technology and military.
As China-US ties may worsen, both countries should restrain themselves and keep their relationship stable, which is in line with the interests of the two countries and the world.
However, some US elites have taken advantage of frictions with China and used trade matters and even the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic to attack China, smearing the Asian country with issues related to ideology, political system and so-called human rights affairs. Some malicious US Senators repeatedly proposed policies to contain China and the conspiracy theory to smear China.
The US has entered into another election cycle. Every time there is a presidential election, candidates use the “China threat” theory to win themselves more votes. But this time, something is different, as some people are trying to steer the public’s attention to war.
The China card is a trump card that US President Donald Trump won’t discard. Serving the Trump administration, Sbragia’s war tones – he said the challenge posed by the Chinese military requires a Cold War-type response – are obviously eye-catching. The tone of US right-wing groups on China-related issues is dangerous and could also mislead US public opinion.
The US has repeatedly intervened in China’s domestic and regional affairs related to the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. If any of those flashpoints bursts into military conflicts and even a war due to US provocation, the consequences would be unthinkable.
China-US relations stand at a crucial point. It is a risky choice for the US to choose a path of military engagement, in which it won’t be able to win.
The National Interest published an article, “Why a War With China Would Be a Terrible Idea,” on January 12, analyzing the possible results of a war between the world’s two largest countries and concluding that a war with China is not a wise choice. The article showed there is still a rational voice within the US side. Nonetheless, the crux is, such a topic should never have been openly raised and discussed.
Whatever the reason the US government has allowed such a voice to appear, Washington should be aware of its danger and curb it. This is Washington’s responsibility.