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A U.S.-China War
Always important to know what your adversaries are thinking. The following is a recent editorial from the Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece. I offer it without comment.
A report released by the Rand Corporation Friday illuminates four hypothetical scenarios for a US-China war.
According to the report, across a time frame from 2015 to 2025, as Chinese military capabilities improve, the US can no longer be certain a war would develop as it expects, nor can it achieve a decisive victory once a war breaks out with China. The closer to 2025, the more difficulties the US will have in defeating China, but yet it does not mean China is bound to succeed.
The report holds that no matter what type of war, China will suffer a heavier loss than the US, not only militarily, but also economically and politically.
For instance, if the US suffers a 5 to 10 percent decrease in GDP, China will suffer 25 to 35 percent. War will lead to intensified partisan squabbling in the US, but China will be plagued by chaos and ethnic division. The report also believes that if a war erupts in 2015, the US losses of surface naval and air forces, aircraft carriers, and regional air bases will be significant, but Chinese losses would be much greater.
Rand is an influential think tank that has close links with US political and military circles and its research on Chinese politics and military receives wide attention from the US and the West. Obviously, certain institutions in both China and the US are studying the worst-case scenario of a military conflict. Keeping the study confidential differs greatly from making it public. Such a report, if published, will poison the atmosphere and the way the two societies view each other and inevitably cause negative influences.
The frequent release of such reports indicates the US careless mindset that provoking China is nothing serious.
China’s military and economic strength is still weaker than that of the US. The Chinese know clearly that China will probably suffer more losses than the US once a war breaks out, but our thinking over a Sino-US war is far more than this.
China doesn’t want wars, a war with the US in particular. The only possible scenario for a Sino-US war is that the US corners China on its doorstep with unacceptable provocations and China has to fight back.
We will be very prudent about going to war, but if a war is triggered, we will have greater determination than the US to fight it to the end and we can endure more losses than the US.
Rand claimed that a long conflict could expose China to an economic recession, turbulence, and even internal break-up. But in our opinion, the US will suffer disturbance sooner from a war.
The contiguous US can only avoid being stricken under the condition that China’s land is not attacked. The island disputes in the West Pacific are unlikely to lead to war.
The biggest risks that countries such as Japan and the Philippines will be embroiled into war come from their alliances with the US, which will tie them to the chariot of the US.
The Rand report shows how important it is for China to further boost its military strength. China must keep building up its deterrence capabilities against the contiguous US.
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