‘The art of political polemics, like the art of significant political journalism, is first to over-simplify the issues, for true clarity’s sake, and then to exaggerate them, for the sake of effect’. The Economist, 1964.
Henry ... Investors Business Daily is a site that I sometimes stumble across. This nerve wracking article - reproduced below - is from their latest edition and is an easy and unpleasant read. I recommend it to your readers.
As you are aware China is engaged in spreading its quest for political and economic hegemony in all directions. Australia is certainly high on its list of countries it seeks to have join the growing and silent group of economic eunuchs at the Court of the Chinese (Red) Emperor. We are on this list because we are a treasure trove of food, minerals and energy supplies. Currently China is buying these farms, minerals and energy at the market price; common sense tells us that it would be better for China (not for us) if they could buy at considerably less than market price. If Australia was to fall into China's 'sphere of influence' the prices of our food,minerals and energy paid by China would decline quite dramatically. With that would also decline our standard of living and quality of life.
Henry, it is extremely difficult to discuss this matter with most Australians because they live in a world which has no relationship with the ACTUAL world of power politics. In the imaginary world of most Australians political and military power means nothing because all decisions are based on 'niceness' and 'what's right'. When I suggest that China would certainly use its power to coerce price reductions upon Australia they just don't believe me. You see, such a thing 'would not be right' for China to do. Therefore it would never happen. Others, not quite so stupid, call up the American ally. This article is exactly about this option.
Most Australians (like other folk going about their lives and business) do not know how international power operates. They have no idea how navies function and what is their real raison d'etre. All they see is lots of big boats and hordes of young sailors in white uniforms looking for a good time. Some Australians have a vague idea about the ANZUS Treaty which has bound Australia and America together since the Second World War. Very few Australians realize that this Treaty only obliges the Americans 'to consult' with Australia on matters of mutual concern. ( Google the Anzus Treaty dear reader. It only has 5 short clauses.)Thus if America decided to advise Australia to submit to a Chinese demand (price cuts for food, minerals/energy perhap?) What would we do? What could we do?
This article below is about a new Chinese missile which can, so we are advised, sink American aircraft carriers. These carriers are the core of America's active defence posture around the world. The intercontinental ballistic missiles owned by America are for the protection of the USA. They are not available for the defence of anyone else. I find this a perfectly reasonable position. If this article is correct and China does have a carrier sinking missile ( ... how can they be sure without actually firing one at a real carrier ready, willing and able to defend itself?) then I suggest that we are in trouble.
The article contains a ferocious quote from a Chinese admiral told to us by an American admiral. There is no reason to doubt the veracity of this quote. The nub of the quote is the suggestion by the Chinese admiral that there is no need for America and China to come to blows ... all that is needed is for there to be a new division of the world in Asia and the Pacific. America would retreat to Hawaii and the Pacific east of that US state and leave the rest of the Pacific, west of Hawaii to China. This would also include the Indian Ocean. This area includes all of Australia.
If (when?) America sees its own interests as requiring this new division of the Asia/Pacific region where will this leave Australia? America may easily agree to this new division if its economy continues to decline under the influence of the crooks and thieves who currently run that giant economy. These crooks and thieves care nothing for America and its people ... they care only for their own wealth. The Chinese know this and will factor into their calculations the fact that America is not run by patriots but is run by looters and bandits. China is run by Chinese patriots.
As I said above Henry, 'we are in trouble'.
Of course, the missile could be a flop. I'm not sure how they will be able to test it. Also no mention is made of what India may think of of China's blithe claim to turning the Indian Ocean into a Chinese pond. However, that doesn't do us any good as we have gone out of our way for decades to distance ourselves from India and treat that country like a real enemy. We could be sensible and develop very strong ties with India ... but being sensible is still not a strong point for DFAT.
The central point here is how America will react if they find themselves in a situation where the missiles are not a flop. I am only certain of one thing in such a situation. The government in Washington will consider what is best for America and no one else. Australia will drop from the radar and no one in Washington will mention the clang as we hit the floor. 60 years of Anzus Treaty will mean nothing. Such a catastrophe will not faze DFAT one little bit. They will advise that we start grovelling to China and do as they tell us.
This fate is possible to befall us Henry. If so, it will happen because we have failed since 1945 to take either this country (and its wealth) seriously or take ourselves seriously.
As I said above Henry, 'we are in trouble'.
Sir Wellington Boote.
China's Naval Game-Changer
Aircraft carriers such as the USS George Washington, shown here docking for military games in South Korea last month, could be vulnerable.
By the end of the year, China could deploy an anti-ship missile capable of hitting U.S. aircraft carriers at long range. The naval dominance that American foreign policy depended on may be at an end.
When the naval planners of Imperial Japan were laying out the attack on Pearl Harbor, the major question on their mind was — where are the American carriers? In the end, their failure to find them doomed Imperial Japan to defeat.
Since World War II, every president alerted to a crisis has asked the same question — where are the carriers? These floating air bases the size of small towns were visible signs of American power, that we meant business and were able to project that power deep within a potential enemy's territory.
Now our naval supremacy is being challenged with the final testing and imminent deployment of the Dong Feng 21D, a land-based ballistic missile capable of traveling 10 times the speed of sound and hitting fast-moving and heavily-defended American carriers at a distance of 900 miles with deadly hull-penetrating warheads.
China is building its own carrier fleet, but it does not have to match us ship-for-ship with such a long-range carrier-killer. "China can reach out and hit the U.S. well before the U.S. can get close enough to the mainland to hit back," said Toshi Yoshihara, an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College. Such carrier-killers "could have an enduring psychological effect on U.S. policymakers," Yoshihara told the Associated Press. "It underscores more broadly that the U.S. Navy no longer rules the waves as it has since the end of World War II."
It gives new weight to the warning China issued when the U.S. recently conducted a four-day "Invincible Spirit" naval exercise, including the aircraft carrier George Washington, with its 1,092-foot flight deck loaded with F-18 Super Hornets and 6,250 personnel, off the Korean Peninsula.
Interestingly, an article posted on Xinhuanet, the Web site of China's official news agency, paints a picture of the sinking of the George Washington in a scenario where it is dispatched to defend Taiwan. The article describes three Dong Feng salvos, the first piercing the hull, starting fires and shutting down flight operations, the second knocking out the ship's propulsion and the third sending the George Washington "to the bottom of the sea."
It would be easy to dismiss this as mere Chinese bravado, but we'd be foolish to remain as convinced of our invincibility as we were on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The Pentagon sees this as an "anti-access" weapon designed to limit our options in a crisis.
How would the U.S. with a dwindling fleet respond to this new threat? "One approach is to withdraw, of course," says Paul Giarra, a former Navy commander and senior Japan country director at the Defense Department. "But that's the whole point the Chinese are trying to make."
Admiral Timothy Keating, when head of the Pacific Command, reported that a Chinese admiral had suggested to him that "the U.S. take Hawaii East and we, China, will take Hawaii West and the Indian Ocean. Then you will not need to come to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean."
"The Navy has long had to fear carrier-killing capabilities," says Patrick Cronin, a senior director at the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security. "The emerging Chinese anti-ship missile capability, and in particular the DF 21D, represents the first post-Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval projection and is deliberately designed for that purpose."
Except for some mild expressions of concern out of the Pentagon, the administration has said little about this rising threat and done even less. As China's military budget races with double-digit increases, ours shrivels to record lows as a percentage of GDP as our Navy shrinks and advanced weapons programs are curtailed.
We won the first Cold War. We might not be so lucky next time. In more ways than one, this may indeed be a Chinese Century.