Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster

Dedicated to Abolishing War, Establishing Justice, and Fighting Climate Disaster

It being the beginning of the New Year, 2022, I decided to go out on a limb and make a prediction: The current U.S. Cold War on China will increase in intensity over the coming five years, but after five years will begin to wane, and will eventually crawl to a halt within ten years, by 2032. Why would I go out on a limb and make such a seemingly outlandish prediction? Here’s my thinking.

Five years ago, the RAND Corporation published a report saying that the US needs to stop China’s rise within ten years, or else China would become too strong for the US to stop. That was five years ago. This means, that if the report was right, the US must stop China within the next five years or it will be too late, and China’s peaceful economic rise will become inevitable. Here’s a very short one page summary of that RAND Corporation report:

A long conflict will have the opposite effect; the [Chinese] population will rally ’round the flag.
My own observation is that all but one statement in this summary is accurate. The statement I think is inaccurate is: “A long conflict could expose China to internal political divisions.” I think, on the contrary, that a long conflict will have the opposite effect; the population will rally ’round the flag, and become much more determined to fight on, no matter the hardships. In fact, the hardships are likely to increase patriotic sentiment in the population. It will make real the fact that they are at war with an external aggressor. I think even the RAND Corporation has fallen victim to their own propaganda, that the Chinese government is an oppressive government that the people yearn to be free from. They overlook the 90%+ popularity of the government that polls show, which is consistent with what I heard in my visits to China.

Bear in mind that the RAND study was done five years ago and does not take into consideration two big factors that have since significantly weakened the United States; Covid and Trump. Covid you know; the United States has suffered over 800,000 deaths, while China has had under 5,000 deaths in a population four times as large. China did this by strict lockdowns, widespread testing, and strict protective measures which were denounced by the West as human rights violations, but eventually proved to have saved hundreds of thousands of human lives. While the US and other advanced economies contracted in 2020, China’s economy reopened quickly and continued to grow. Trump got us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was intended to isolate China economically.

China will become too strong to stop, and its peaceful economic rise will become inevitable.
Not only did we fail to isolate China, but Trump’s behavior on that and many other issues sent a message to Asia and the world that the US is an unreliable partner, further damaging our credibility and the willingness of other nations to side with us in a war against China. Biden hasn’t improved the situation any and probably made it even worse; Blinken, Sullivan, and others in his administration have proven to be bumbling fools. And in the next five years, I don’t see any probable presidential candidate from either party who is likely to be any more effective. The only way to stop China’s rise would be a nuclear war. Hopefully that won’t happen, because it would end the world. If it does, I withdraw my prediction.

So if anything, the RAND Corporation study is likely to be over-optimistic, compared to today’s actual conditions. In five years, China will become too strong to stop, and its peaceful economic rise will become inevitable. With this rise will come the gradual improvement and strengthening of other third world nations via BRI (China’s “Belt & Road Initiative,” a modern version of the ancient Silk Road that served trade with China, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe) and other efforts by many countries to free themselves from Western domination. The multipolar world that China correctly points out is the natural state of the world will be coming into view. China will not dominate the world as America has, because for thousands of years China has always known that world domination is not sustainable, would exhaust China’s strength and resources, and would eventually lead to her own destruction (for more in-depth explanations, see my article, “The China Fear Factor,” or K. J. Noh’s article, “The US is Set on a Path to War”. Throughout most of China’s five thousand year history, there have usually been numerous strong countries in the world with no single nation dominating the entire world; a multipolar world in which China has a comfortable but not world dominating place.

It’ll take at least another five years after the tipping point for the US elite, always more than a bit slow these days, to recognize the sea change and come to terms with it, thus the total estimate of ten years. But they will have no choice, and hopefully the US will go the British route and slowly fade back into just being a country rather than an empire. That will actually be better for our country. If we spent more of our federal budget on domestic needs rather than war, we would thrive indeed. Most of us here will probably live to see it, and then we can pat ourselves on the back for a tough job well done. But until then, our job is to stand up and speak out strongly for peace. The next five years will be the most intense, and things may get worse before they get better. Particularly for those of us who are Chinese or Asian American, anti-Asian hate crimes may increase as the war propaganda and demonization accelerates. This is a time for courage and hard work. But there is hope ahead, and as the old civil rights folk song said, “Keep your eyes on the prize.”

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