China Will Go On The Offensive From 2020




China Will Go On The Offensive From 2020

The Liberty Magazine interviewed Asia specialist Gordon Chang on U.S.-China relations, especially ties in the coming decade.

Gordon G. Chang

Chang graduated from Cornell University in 1973 and the Cornell Law School in 1976. He is a columnist and frequently appears on television. His publications include “The Coming Collapse of China” (2001). Follow him on Twitter @GordonGChang

The U.S.-China relationship is going to become much less friendly in the coming years. Good. No longer will Washington tolerate intolerable behavior. We need to confront China, not placate it.

I’m more concerned about the next decade then I am about the 2030s or beyond. People call the 2020s “The Decade of Concern,” and I agree that this will be a time when dangerous events can take us by surprise.

Xi Jinping made himself the “Chairman of Everything” in China. When you’re the chairman, you get credit for everything but you also get blamed for everything, and right now things aren’t going very well for China. They’re going to get a lot worse.

Because Xi realizes he’s going to be held accountable for everything, he has every incentive to be aggressive and hostile, to shift people’s focus from his failures. So Japan, the United States, and all other countries have got to be concerned about what China’s going to do. Whether it’s going to be in the South China Sea, or the East China Sea, or in the Himalayas, Beijing can lash out.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to be supportive of China’s One Belt One Road idea. But I don’t think that anybody in the U.S. really believes, long-term, that China can have a good relationship with Japan.

There’s also going to be a disentangling of the US and the Chinese economies. And we are seeing it already because supply chains are starting to reconsider China and thus reducing China exposure.

China’s big projects are in trouble, like the Belt and Road. For instance, it’s too expensive to transport goods between Europe and China by rail. We’re now seeing the big shipping companies do trial runs between China and Europe across the north coast of Russia. When that sea route is opened up, it will be just as fast as rail and much cheaper. That makes China’s investment in the Belt portion of the Belt and Road uneconomic.


China’s Expansionism Will Be Its Demise

China is suffering from a bad case of imperial overstretch. It doesn’t have the resources to accomplish its ambitions, because it wants to do everything. It cannot do everything because its economy right now is in distress.

At the moment, you see the US imposing sanctions on China in the form of tariffs. The US went after ZTE for violating Iran and North Korea sanctions. Now we’re going to see the US move against Huawei. Huawei is not as vulnerable to US action as ZTE was but, nonetheless Huawei is going to get hurt when real sanctions are imposed.

China cannot withstand the intense pressure the international community can bring to bear. The world has no choice but to respond to Beijing. The next decade will be tense.

China Will Go On The Offensive From 2020
Copyright © IRH Press Co.Ltd. All Right Reserved.