Heads up everybody who thinks the U.S. is getting pushy around the globe... you're about to get all worked up again.
As you may have noticed, the U.S. and China have a continuing dispute called Taiwan. It's been papered over with our official policy called 'One China,' but at the same time — we make noises about democratic values.
And one of the noises we're going to be making over the next month is sending seven Navy aircraft carrier battle groups — count them, seven — into the China Sea, between China and Taiwan.
In an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, author Chalmer Johnson (search) points out that this signal from the U.S. government is like screaming at the capitalistic commies in Beijing: "We're big, we're really really big."
China calculates it could handle two carrier battle groups — which include guided missile cruisers and attack submarines — but not seven, especially not when the U.S. still has five extras steaming around offshore someplace.
So Johnson says China will be provoked to go on a militaristic buildup to push back on the U.S., and that provoking them is the wrong thing.
Hmmmm. Some people think Ronald Reagan (search) challenged the Soviets to a spending race called the arms race, and they stood down because they couldn't afford it.
How about China, which just passed the U.S. as the world's most popular international investment location?
We may not be able to outspend China like we outspent the Soviets, but maybe we will... because China might rather spend its money modernizing its country and forget about a chest-bumping game with the U.S. over Taiwan for now.
But down the road? The Bush doctrine — that the U.S. will allow no country to compete with us militarily — may be put to a serious test.
That's My Word.
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