October 20, 2018


Why China would lose a cold war with America (HARRY J. KAZIANIS, 10/17/18, The Hill)

[B]eijing would be wise to avoid any sort of long-term geopolitical contest; it surely would end up on the losing side, for several obvious reasons.

Who has the best allies in such a struggle would be an important indicator of who would win the new cold war. And unfortunately for China, its only ally is North Korea. America's alliance network is global, with military bases across Asia and around the world. Washington's treaty allies alone in the Asia-Pacific include South Korea and Japan -- two of the world's premier economic and military powers. When you consider America's membership in NATO, where an attack on one is considered an attack on all, and its smaller regional partners, the depth of Washington's overall diplomatic, economic and military alliance network is unmatched -- and unchallengeable.

Next, despite China's growing military might, America still holds a decisive advantage in overall training and warfighting capability. Beijing has never fought a modern war, whereas the United States has been involved in some form of armed conflict since 9/11. In fact, China's last armed contest against another nation was a short war against Vietnam in 1979 -- and China lost badly.

One must also look at each nation's economic outlook to see who has the stronger fundamentals. Again, America comes out on top. Though some argue that China's economic might will surpass America's in 10 years or so, by measure of GDP, many economists argue that Beijing's growth estimates are simply fiction. Some even claim China is only growing at an anemic 1 percent.

Also, Beijing has tremendous debt issues, largely a result of trying to spend its way out of the 2008 economic crisis. Such debt could worsen, with the Chinese government opening the liquidity taps knowing that U.S. tariffs will hurt export-led growth.

Finally, and most important, is the issue of demographics: China's are a disaster. Thanks to a one-child policy that was meant to stem challenges from overpopulation, China's population, as of last year, includes 241 million elderly citizens. By 2050, that number is expected to spike to 487 million, almost 35 percent of the population.

All the above only scratches the surface.

Posted by at October 20, 2018 12:03 PM