Home » Foreign Forces » China » Expert: U.S. Should See China as ‘Number One’ Adversary, Not Trading Partner

Expert: U.S. Should See China as ‘Number One’ Adversary, Not Trading Partner

China’s Type-001A Carrier following its launching ceremony on April 26, 2017. Ministry of National Defense Photo

The People’s Republic China needs to be seen by the United States as its principal potential adversary in the years ahead, not as a commercial partner that America cannot live without, a leading expert on maritime issues said Wednesday.

Answering an audience question at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Seth Cropsey, director of seapower programs at the Hudson institute, said, “China should be our Number One concern; it’s not.” He added that Chinese leaders want to restore it to the status of a great state, overcoming a 19th and early 20th-century history of European imperialism, “not only at sea, but especially at sea. They’ve invested a lot in satellite technology, in cyber technology, building a fleet” that potentially could be larger than the United States’ in the not-too-distant future.


Cropsey, the author of Seablindness: How Political Neglect is Choking American Seapower and What to Do about It, said, the Chinese “have their own way of looking at things” from their island-building campaign to their use of “lawfare,” to bolster territorial claims in the East and South China Seas and disregard international court rulings when those claims are rejected. He said President Donald Trump was correct in judging Beijing’s commercial policies. “They’re mercantilists, not free traders.”

While China’s close neighbors say how important their economic and commercial ties to Beijing are for their own development, privately they are very concerned about its increasingly assertive behavior on their borders. Cropsey said out of the limelight and away from microphones they say, “if you guys [the United States] get out … if China becomes the hegemon, they will treat us like dogs” as it did in the past when it was a great power.

In his remarks before the question-and-answer session, he said, “I wish I could be optimistic about the future” of the challenges facing the United States not only from a transoceanic Chinese navy, but as it concerns Russian behavior in the Baltic and Black Seas, Iran’s continuing development of anti-ship weaponry and the tolls the continuing wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan are taking on the fleet and the Marine Corps.

Trying to meet the combatant commanders’ requirements for presence that call for 370 to 400 ships with the 276 ships now in the fleet “is an exercise in futility” and leads to accidents such as the ship collisions suffered in U.S. 7th Fleet. Cropsey said 350 ships “is the absolute bare minimum to meet [today’s] requirements.” He pointed out the administration’s call for a fleet that size is to be built over 30 years and “it doesn’t provide the immediate kind of relief that is necessary” to reduce today’s high operating tempo.

As to the additional $50 billion more in the coming year’s defense program over this year’s, he said much of the money that will go to the Department of the Navy is earmarked for repairs, maintenance and fixing shipyards and port facilities not shipbuilding.

Several times in his remarks and answers, Cropsey said it takes “political will and political judgment” in the executive branch and Congress to provide for national security, even as they have to address the current unexpected hundreds of billions in costs that will be associated with recovery from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“These judgments go back to money.”

He called for a “mix of less technologically-stuffed ships” to be put into the construction program. “Our ships are being built as more and more complex systems,” he said in answer to a question. That also means “changing the way we fight,” employing more unmanned systems in air, on the surface and underwater and inviting more “cooperation and coordination with private industry than is expected of operators today.”

Crospey said in answer to follow-up questions on whether Defense Secretary James Mattis understands the Department of the Navy’s long-term investment needs he said, “If he doesn’t, who does?” As to the roles of the service secretaries, he said Mattis views them as “administrative officials who are there to make sure direction from the top is carried out [and] conducted in a professional way.”

Cropsey said another change from those Cold War days is how the Navy views its role. He said the Navy appears to be adopting a direction of moving away from power projection to sea control with the exception of the South China Sea.

  • Duane

    I am pretty sure that the Peoples Republic of China is indeed both perceived and treated as our no. 1 competitor in the Western Pacific/East Asia realm. Just as the Russians are perceived and treated, at least from SecDef Mattis on down, as our no. 1 competitor in Eastern Europe and the western Asia realm (Trump, on the other hand, seems entirely co-opted by the Russians, for reasons that are beginning to be revealed as the various investigations continue). Trump’s fantasizing that China would unilaterally solve our North Korea problem has already been deep sixed, so that’s a good start.

    “Adversary” is not correct, though. “Potential adversary” would be correct.

    We’re not going to get 350 ships, let alone 400 ships, out of the American taxpayer or American shipyards at this time. We do need to grow the fleet within the available resources, and we also need to lean on our West Pac allies to build and deploy more ships too. It must not rest solely on our shoulders.

    • michaelstephani

      Duane, Read the book “Total Warfare”, written by two Chinese generals back in the 1990’s.
      it is enlightening….you will see that we have actually been in a war with both hands tied behind our back for at least 25 years with a skilled and deceptive adversary.

      • old guy

        EXACTLY. As revealing as, “Mein Kampf” was in the 30s. No one listened then, either.

      • incredulous1

        I would agree with the deceptive part, but the skilled part not so much. China merely takes full advantage of weak minded US political will. One day the US will wake up and understand exactly what the “Chinese Dream” is. Benign “Silk Roads” aside, they have the concept of the first and second island chain with a very long time horizon compared with Imperial Japan and they have been steadily going about executing their plan for a few decades and will continue if we let them. It’s that simple, other than as stated above we financed their ability to threaten us and everyone else. That needs to come to an abrupt end unless we want to see red across the Pacific including Hawaii.
        It is about time someone has put this discussion front a center. The arms race in the Pacific has already started and populations of the US and our allies are very slow to realize the need to keep up. Japan needs to return to a full military with commensurate status of being the #2 or #3 economic power in the world and stop living in fantasy land that the US will fix everything. Everyone knows that Japan will not engage in fascist imperialism again, at least not for several generations would they even be allowed to think about it – not in the present millennium at any rate.
        Japan was a US ally in WWI and will be again in WWIII and China will not be protected by the US for any reason as long as it is communist and certainly not given their imperialistic aspirations. I say start the trade war now and use the DPRK as the reasons and kick China out of the UN Security Council permanently since we have the ability to shut the whole thing down. Endure some short term pain and piss off people like Elvis and Duya here and bring China’s expansion to an end and shut down the house of cards BS. For as much complaining about US power as they do, it is incredible as how reluctant the US has been to actually use any of its power since 1991. It is time to take gloves off and demonstrate to these people and give them a real reason to complain.

      • Mark Gillaspie

        The book is actually “Unrestricted Warfare” and it is amazingly available at Amazon.

  • Don Bacon

    This is a national financial issue, not a Navy issue. The country is wasting money on a standing army it doesn’t need for national defense which results in inadequate funding for a navy that is essential for national defense. So don’t blame Navy when the money is just not there, and can’t be there under the current scheme of wasting money on a half-million soldier army complete with tanks, self-propelled artillery etc. that have no bearing on national defense.
    The US Constitution makes this distinction:
    Article I, Sec 8
    The Congress shall have Power . . .
    –To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years
    –To provide and maintain a Navy

    • RedStatePatriot

      If the US has a money issue Donnie Boy it’s not due to the Enumerated power of paying for the Army. Its paying for illegal social welfare programs.

      • PolicyWonk

        Unfortunately, however, the spending on “illegal social welfare programs” is horribly dwarfed when compared to corporate welfare programs (Medicare Part D being one of them) – let alone the appalling waste (and easily foreseen foreign policy/national security disaster) known as the Invasion of Iraq, and ill-advised “nation building” exercise in Afghanistan.

        But when it comes to China and how quickly they’ve been rising, all of this was predicted by our US National Intelligence Estimates, and in many editorials authored by Patrick Buchanan; He repeatedly implored the administration of George W Bush to cease the technology transfers to China, saying that it would: destroy the lives of millions of Americans (check!); put a huge dent into our strategic manufacturing base (check!); cost the federal government (and the states) many billions of dollars in tax revenues (check!); and give China the manufacturing know-how (in addition to the many thousands of dual-use technologies that we simply gave away to the ChiComs) to build up a very modern military (check!).

        Furthermore, it was also predicted they would use their new-found military power to throw their weight around as they sought to settle old scores (check!).

        But the so-called “heritage foundation” thought all of this was a great idea (along with the Invasion of Iraq, among many other policies that cost this nation so dearly).

        Here we are today – all the predictions w/r/t China came true, yet now the Heritage Foundation considers what they thought was a great idea as something they’re hoping everyone will forget because now China is the enemy.

        If there’s one lesson from all this recent history: taking the advice of the heritage foundation is an incredibly bad idea. Their policy recommendation success rate is perfect, assuming of course you’re a potential adversary of the United States.


        • Elvis

          I don’t have a problem with our current global free trade system. Nor do I have a problem with our multinationals offshoring production to China and increasingly technological R&D in China. Don’t see China as an existential threat to us nor do I see Chinese domination of Southeast Asia or all of the Far East as something is our responsibility to prevent and think it’s too late to stop it anyway.

          I do agree though with what you are saying about the Heritage Foundation. They were all in when it came to free trade with China, the globalization of our economy and the global free trade regime, going to war to overthrow governments and spread democracy and so on. Now they conveniently ignore that just as they ignore that they came up with most of what is the Affordable Act Care in the 1990s. Either they regret the results and want to reverse things without acknowledging their role or more likely the think tank has been taken over by a different group of conservatives with different ideas.

        • nyc_sun

          prepare the nato type alliance in Asia to keep china in check, Europe is financially capable to handle Russian threat, they need to spend more on defense, we should sell them defensive/offensive weapons needed. we should continu improving our BMD and offensive tech, and work with Japan, S Korea, Australia, India and ASEAN specially Vietnam to keep china in balance. Arming India to teeth will be most helpful, they also see china as no one threat and had a border standoff recently.

          • PolicyWonk

            The trade agreement that was negotiated by Obama could’ve been used to foster such cooperation – yet Mr. Trump opted to walk away from that leaving China in the drivers seat.

            We do have a NATO-ish pact between Japan, and Australia among others. India is in good position to give China a lot of headaches. But not all nations in the area are all that happy to work with each other (for example, Japan and S. Korea still have fair amount of animosity).

            If it is our desire to execute thoroughly on such a plan, our government isn’t acting (or talking) like its much of a priority.

        • Jay

          Red State Patsy is a typical conservative: terrible at math and facts.

      • Elvis

        Your talking about Social Security, Medicare, & the Affordable Act Care? Perhaps, but those programs were voted on and passed by Congress. Per the Constitution, that makes those social welfare programs legal because it was passed by Congress. Since all three have the support of the majority of the citizens / voters, Congress is highly unlikely to cut back on those programs, much less put an end to them. Therefore the armed forces need to learn to live with that reality and adjust accordingly.

        • RedStatePatriot

          “those programs were voted on and passed by Congress. Per the
          Constitution, that makes those social welfare programs legal because it
          was passed by Congress”…… ahhhhh NO! Congress does not have the authority to vote on things that are NOT Enumerated powers of the Federal government. If Congress want’s to legally implement a non-enumerated power they would first need to go through the amendment process and amend the Constitution to allow the action.

          For example, do you think it would be “Legal” for the congress to vote to execute anyone named Elvis without due process rights? Of course not they don’t have the Constitutional power to do that it would violate your 4th, 5th, and 14th rights under the Constitution. Congress voting does not make something legal.

          • Elvis

            That is your interpretation and when Social Security was originally established, there were those who said it was unconstitutional and took their case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in 1937, which was dominated by conservatives who often voted against FDR, ruled the Social Security program legal per the “general welfare” clause of article 1 in the Constitution. Normally they would vote against FDR (5 to 4), in which the so-called Four Horsemen (conservative judges) were usually joined by the swing vote Owen Robert. Yet, when it came to the Social Security Act, in the Helvering v. Davis case they voted 7 vs 2 for FDR. They also rejected the argument that it violated the 10th amendment regarding state powers.

          • Jay

            Excellent history lesson! Most likely lost on your addressee amid the churning propaganda in his cranium. Of course, that was a different era — when conservatives actually had brains and cared about the entire country. Now, it’s all about more millions for the 1% and above. The right’s “constituents” (masters) don’t need social security, medicare, etc. And they certainly don’t want to pay taxes to fund ANY programs for anyone but their economic relatives.

          • RedStatePatriot

            Ok so you agree that Congress could vote to execute all people named Elvis and you think that would be legal?

            Just because some activists in Black Robes said something does not make it true. If Congress can just toss away the Bill of Rights then there is no Constitution. Sad to think that you (and the Idiot Jay) think that way… you think America a lawless oligarchy.

            The “general welfare” clause is not even a legal part of the document its a “broad opening statement” not a debated and voted on amendment. The fact that anyone can pretend that it holds force of law is a joke.

          • Elvis

            Fact, in our system of government the Supreme Court is the final judge when it comes to laws passed by the Congress and likewise when it comes to the Constitution. You may disagree with its judgements and that is your right. In fact the Supreme Court has previously passed judgements that today we know were wrong, like in the “Dred Scott v. Sanford” decision of 1857 which one can argue was the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court.

            So when it comes to Social Security and other such entitlement programs, as it stands now not only are they the law of the land but according to the powers and responsibilities / duties given to each branch of the federal government in the Constitution, it is also lawful. You want that changed, there are several options for you and those who think like you going forward.

            1. Elect to Congress a majority of men & women who think like you and will eliminate or privatize those entitlement programs.

            2. Elect a president (or a series of presidents) who will put men & women in the Supreme Court who think like you and therefore will reverse the 1930s decision that was in favor of Social Security.

            3. Using violence in a revolution against the state and replace it with your vision or fight a civil war to break away from the rest of the country.

          • RedStatePatriot

            “act, in our system of government the Supreme Court is the final judge when it comes to laws passed by the Congress”… ok that’s not true as well but I will not get into a Constitutional argument with you Elvis. You might want to actually READ the document some time and stop listening to what other Leftists tell you to think.

            If you actually read the document you would know that the powers are ENUMERATED… you might want to consult a dictionary.

          • Elvis

            Ok, not going to get into an argument either, but my point about your options going forward still stand.

          • RedStatePatriot

            Glad you don’t want to get into a Constitutional argument, but you really need to tell me if you think Congress can legally order your execution without due process rights without changing the Constitution through the amendment process to remove your rights? At least let me have a good laugh if you say yes they can do that, or another good laugh if you say no and destroy your entire thesis… I have a feeling I won’t be hearing from you again on this thread. 🙂

  • RedStatePatriot

    Boy Putin is gonna be so butt hurt over this article… He will probably invade something.

  • sferrin

    For sure. As it is, the entire US population is shoveling money into China’s military just as fast as it can.

    • Elvis

      Lol, bet you hate guys like me, who are willing to buy “Made in China” goods from Amazon, Best Buy, & Target.

      • Master of Unlocking

        Your shilling for the Chinese is a bigger problem than that though. 😉

        How much do they pay you?

        • Elvis

          Why because I spend my money in the manner that I chose and don’t reflexively wave the flag or thump my chest in the name of America?

          By the way they don’t pay me. Simply understand the Chinese view, consider their ambitions to be as legitimate as anyone else’s, am extremely knowledgeable about Chinese history, respect the Han Chinese people, and admire their civilization for what they have achieved in 3000+ years of civilization.

          Think if I go to the Chinese consulate and show them my work, they will hire me? Maybe I can make a living sitting at home, typing away on the computer.

          • incredulous1

            Why is Chinese ambition important to you? Do you know how many times they attacked Japan over the centuries before they played the victim to FDR in WWII? Why would you want to enable a regime like that who runs over and destroys the rightful holdings of the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and others?
            OR, are you earning Soros dollars by typing away at home anti-US-name the subject? You certainly appear to be a radicalized left-wing blogger warrior. In fact, you probably should refer to your relationship with the US as “we.”

          • Elvis

            China has never attacked Japan. In the 13th century it was the Mongols who attempted to invade & conquer Japan, twice. First in 1274 and again in 1281, under the reign of Kubilai Khan. During the 1st invasion, the Mongols had not yet conquered the Chinese empire (ruled by the Song dynasty), though they had already conquered the Chinese-majority state of Jin in northern China (which was ruled by the Jurchen dynasty who were related to the Manchus and conquered it a century earlier). It wasn’t until 1279 when the Mongols conquered the Chinese empire that still ruled southern China.

            On the contrary it was the Japanese who were aggressors toward China or its client states. From the 400s to 600s, Japan was a threat to the Korean peninsula in various raids & invasions. Until the Chinese empire (Tang dynasty) aided the Korean state of Silla in putting an end to the Japanese threat by decimating a 600 ship Japanese armada in the 7th century. Japan turned inward for 900+ years. By the 1300s, Japanese pirates started to attack Korea and by the 1500s along with a diaspora of Chinese pirates operating from Japan (under the protection of samurai lords) raided the Chinese coastline, sometimes in fleets. Until the Chinese empire (Ming dynasty) put an end to the threat of Chinese / Japanese piracy in the 1500s.

            It was a united Japan led by the dictator / warlord Hideyoshi (who had emerged victorious among fighting warlords) who invaded the China aligned state of Korea in the 1590s with an army of over 100,000. He was attempting to conquer the Koreans and use the Korean peninsula as a stepping stone to conquer China. It was the Chinese empire (Ming dynasty) which came to the aid of the Koreans and together they stopped and repelled the Japanese armies and shattered the Japanese fleets, putting an end to Japanese ambitions on the mainland for approximately 300 years.

            Once again in the late 1800s, the Japanese again had plans to expand toward the mainland and started again with Korea. Once again, China (this time ruled by the Manchu dynasty of the Qing) came to the aid of the Koreans. Unfortunately this time it was the Japanese who were stronger, and they defeated the Manchu-led Chinese armies, conquered Korea, and seized Taiwan. Decades later they began to steady march into China, taking advantage of the turmoil within the Chinese state between Nationalists, Communists, warlords, & Triads.

          • incredulous1

            Now you sound like you do work for Yi. You do realize that you MO and choice of words are identical to the official mouth pieces of the CCP and Yi,… RIGHT? In fact they started saying exactly the same thing back with Taiwan when those threats started. I know the history as well as anyone and you are a brainwashed CCP operative trying to advance the “Chinese charm offensive” to those stupid enough to listen to you. I myself have to get back to creating jobs in the US. You just keep typing away and see how much the CCP really appreciates you when it matters. PS. Yi is the most pugnacious disgusting Foreign Minister in Chinese history.

          • Elvis

            Wow, that’s the best you can do? Attack my integrity and patriotism is the limit of your tool box? How about doing what I did and citing historical examples? Come on you are the one who started this with the line about China attacking Japan many times over the last couple of centuries. Please, I provided historical examples where are yours? Should I also provide you with the links proving my examples and links by Western historians? Then again I provided enough information so that you yourself can look it up.

  • John Y Wong

    Then why you are still borrowing money from them?

    • old guy

      There is great (unplanned) hope. My structural engineer friend, who helped them build their giant auto plant says that the current Chinese government is being outstripped for power by the super-capitalistists. The government is back_peddling on everything these people want. He predicts that China will be the major CAPITALISTIC COUNTRY in the world by 2030. They will be competitive, not military, adversaries.

      • Duya Taksis

        Your structural engineer friend is woefully mistaken. The Party is more institutionally entrenched than it has ever been, it enjoys vast and deep popular support, and is leading reforms no other political system could even consider. The “super-capitalists” are either deeply entwined with the Party or sitting in prison cells on corruption charges.

        China is already a major capitalistic country — no need to wait for 2030. This should not give you hope, since all it means is that — unlike the USSR — China has a dynamic and vibrant economy fueling its military buildup.

        • old guy

          Good points, but people leading “The high Life”, have no incentive for war.

  • Ed L

    People’s Republic of China currently. And coming soon The People’s Empire of China!!

    • Duya Taksis

      Empire? That’s pretty rich coming from a country with a thousand military bases around the world.

      • Ed L

        It’s really around 800 with 440 of them being in the continental United states. And of the remaining overseas bases about a third are jointly operated with the host country.

        • Duya Taksis

          Yes, that makes all the difference. So I guess we can call China an empire when it has around 800 bases with 440 of them being in mainland China — with about a third of the remaining overseas bases jointly operated with the host country.

          • El Kabong

            Jealous much?

            Most of those “bases” include COAST GUARD detachments and small outposts with a dozen personnel.

            Why don’t you comment about China’s ILLEGAL island building?

  • Elvis

    So what. Of course the Chinese are going to make a play for dominance in their backyard. What self-respecting great nation or civilization would permit a distant foreign power call the shots in its neighborhood. For a period of about 2000 years, the polity of China (whether ruled by Chinese dynasties or the Mongol / Manchu dynasties) was the dominant power of the Far East. One whose neighbors to the east and south were either client states / vassals or they were tributaries. If they weren’t, they had no official relationship with China (like Japan when it was isolationist).

    China dominating Southeast Asia poses no existential threat to the United States, just as Iran dominating Mesopotamia & the Persian Gulf poses no existential threat to us nor does Russia dominating the Baltic & Black Sea region (and Ukraine / Belarus) poses no existential threat to America. None of the aforementioned have a regime whose existence is based on perpetual war like that of the Third Reich. None of them have an ideology of spreading revolution around the world and overthrowing Western governments like that of the Soviet Union. None of them are genocidal regimes like the Third Reich. None of them are backing a global jihad like Saudi Arabia.

    It is time that we close all those overseas bases in the Old World, cancel the various Security Treaties in the Far East, & withdraw from NATO. We did our part in putting an end to fascism and containing the threat of communism. It is neither our responsibility or obligation to continue being the world’s policeman. Time to focus on the United States. As long as we interfere with the internal affairs of the Russians, Iranians, & Chinese and side with their historical / geopolitical rivals, we will become their rivals at best and enemies at worst. Did not George Washington himself warn us about the dangers of foreign entanglements?

    • Curtis Conway

      “What self-respecting great nation or civilization would permit a distant foreign power call the shots in its neighborhood.” . . . right down to allowing the development, with their (Chinese technical assistance) help, of thermo-nuclear weapons in the hands of a mad-man. Now there is some community responsibility! We have too much of that mindset going on within our own borders, and in our major US cities on both coasts. Anyone who supports any form of that mindset understands NOT maintaining a civil and orderly society, or the mission of the Unified Combatant Commanders, our alliances around the world, and how the US economy, or fundamentally how the international economy works . . . or those interested are trying to secure a piece of the action (power & politics) for their own gain.

      • Elvis

        Yes, I was born and raised (and live) in one of the major cities on our coasts. So many of us in the liberal coasts & big cities want an end to nation-building, regime change, & wars of choice. Some of us even go further wanting an end to our military alliances & overseas bases and / or a reduction in the defense budget (and perhaps an end to the military-industrial complex).

        Our first president, George Washington, who is much admired and referenced by conservatives, patriots, & the right warned us about “foreign entanglements”. The World War 2 hero, Dwight Eisenhower in turn warned us about the “military-industrial complex”. I understand that there are legitimate arguments for continuing our military / security alliances, forward basing & deploying our military forces, and so on. There are likewise legitimate arguments for doing the opposite.

        By the way, it is not only liberals who think that way. There are conservatives who have similar views when it comes to our foreign policy, starting with the paleo-conservatives (e.g. Pat Buchanan) and libertarians (e.g. the Cato Institute). The white working class of the Rust Belt is on the same page when it comes to an end to the wars in the Middle East, saying we should stay out of said conflicts. Nationalists on the right of the Bannonite kind either approve of authoritarian Russia or are willing to give the Russians a sphere of influence (e.g. keep the Crimea).

        Though they are firmly against Iran and China. In the case of China, I think the hostility of the Bannonites and the white working class mainly has to do with Chinese economic competition or as they see it China waging “economic war” against the United States. In other words all those lost factory jobs, relocated factories, offshored manufacturing, and imports with “Made in China” has given rise to a threat in their minds and that threat is called China.

        • Curtis Conway

          Good review, and fair enough, but not my cup of tea.

    • dan

      Iran has no ideology of spreading revolution????? “Death to America” chants led by their leader, arming islamists that bomb us and our allies are not a problem then, them working on building nukes is ok, right? China arming the North Koreans is not a problem also then, after all Kim is going to reduce America to ashes or so he claims.

      • Elvis

        Perhaps you only saw what you wanted to see in my post. I specifically mentioned that none of the three are spreading an ideology whose aim is to overthrow the governments of Western nations. Yes, Iran is trying to overthrow governments, but those are Sunni regimes in the Middle East which is its backyard. Which nation is the one that is financing various Sunni Islamist madrassas, cable evangelical networks, political parties, mosques, insurgencies, & terrorist groups among Sunni Muslims on every continent? Who are even radicalizing Sunni Muslims in Western nation-states and pushing sharia law in those same nation-states?

  • BlueSky47

    Just send in the “Battle LCS,” that’ll scare the Chinese navy completely out of the South china sea.

    • El Kabong

      Now, now… You’ll hurt Duane-y’s feelings. 😉

  • Duya Taksis

    Sweating this hard this early in the game really isn’t a good look for the “Indispensable Nation”. If you’re already caterwauling about China’s navy — when it’s barely got two half-carriers to its name — what are you going to do when China’s shipyards start cranking out Type 003 supercarriers like sausages?

    It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 300 or 3000 ships, you can’t win this. America is not going to dominate China in China’s backyard for much longer.

    • Master of Unlocking

      Big talk coming from a country that never managed to go beyond regional power status in 5000 years of existence.

      The USA has achieved more in 200 years than China did in 5000. The problem with you Chinamen is that your arrogance and overconfidence always becomes your undoing. One would think you would have learned your lesson from the century of humiliation by now.

  • Ed L

    Keep it Simple

  • Curtis Conway

    The proof that China is acting like an adversary is North Korea.

    • incredulous1

      There has been absolute undeniable proof of this and IT CONTINUES TODAY and now the world knows that Jinping has been paying lip service to Trump and the UN all this time – something some of us knew from the start. And then there’s the SCS, which ought to be renamed with West Philippine Sea. If Obama hadn’t made us so incapable, we should have engaged the Chinese over a FonOps threat and let it go kinetic to kick those lying thieving bastards out of the area. Hasn’t any read their papers on the “First Island Chain” and “Second Island Chain” They want exactly what Japan was doing in WWII, and so far they haven’t had to “fire a shot.”
      Speaking of overseas bases, I want to know what we are going to do about China’s newly completed installation in Djibouti. They claim to the world, as they are used to in farcical in your face manner, that it is a support base for anti-piracy ops,…. LOL & BS to you Xi & Yi. Enough in our face crap from China already. Also it’s time to have them removed from the UN Security Council due to violating UN sanctions and refusing to abide by the ICJ ruling. And don’t tell me we are stupid enough to keep inviting them to RIMPAC any longer.
      How we deal with the DPRK crisis will determine the way we deal with China who thinks the Pacific isn’t big enough for the both of us, or any US allies for that matter.

  • Curtis Conway

    The following is why the next frigate for the US Navy simply must be a very capable multi-warfare platform that can defend itself in a robust manner.

    “They’ve invested a lot in satellite technology, in cyber technology, building a fleet” that potentially could be larger than the United States’ in the not-too-distant future.”

    • PolicyWonk

      A solid frigate is indeed the kind of ship that is very useful for performing presence missions.

      Unfortunately, we don’t have one and valuable time and resources have been wasted building hyper-expensive utility ships that weren’t intended or designed to fight.

      Additionally, China’s naval commitments are considerably less than ours (theirs are local – ours are global), which compounds the problem, as we’ve had some remarkably short-sighted folks making ship-building decisions over the past 16 (+/-) years.

      • Curtis Conway

        The principle is ‘Plan for the worse, and hope for the best’. This principle was forgotten by previous administrations, now we have to live with the results. Not only do we not have the equipment, but previous policies to turn our MILITARY into a social program have not served US well. We are less safe for the fact that a US Army Ranger, is no longer a US Army Ranger. Today’s Rangers meet a different [now] watered down standard . . . just to be inclusive. That function is being experienced across the board in all services in the SOF community.

        • PolicyWonk

          The social distractions are (to me) distractions that detract from the more serious problem of addressing foreign policy/national security concerns, and spending taxpayer money wisely.

          While the social issues are comparatively straightforward (and I think Jim Mattis can deal with this), the longer term problems regarding acquisition, strategy, and a coordinated approach to determining force structure to defeat threats to our national security take precedence.

          But there is simply no substitute for the “plan for the worst and hope for the best: principal. Ronald Reagan (I believe) called it “peace through strength”.

          • Curtis Conway

            If the edge of the sword has been dulled, there is no effective application possible.

          • Curtis Conway

            It’s called a Sword for a reason. It is not soft and squishy, nice and fuzzy, and cannot be redefined into something nice and attractive. It must be understood for what it is, and used only when necessary. Our Sword suffers today, and We Are Not Ready!

          • PolicyWonk


            We have been in agreement on defense issues for as long as we’ve been posting on the same forums, with few exceptions. We have both been bemoaning know the affairs of the United States economically, strategically, and militarily have been poorly managed for at least 16 years (and arguably longer).

            While our discussions have largely centered on the lack of readiness, poor purchasing decisions, and lack of judgement w/r/t the state of the USN, I think we can agree the problem persists across the entire DoD.

            The budgetary numbers recently agreed to by the US senate brings reason for some optimism, but we both know that throwing money at the problem isn’t going to solve every issue by any stretch of the imagination.


          • Curtis Conway

            Yes, we are in agreement, and $700 Billion should cover it . . . if they actually do it in a timely manner. Please do not take offense, for none was intended. I am hoping others read the post and take the information/wisdom/experience to heart.

          • Curtis Conway

            Amen. We are in agreement.

  • Ed L

    China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.
    Napoléon Bonaparte

    • Jay

      Strategy from the musket and horse era.

  • Master of Unlocking

    China is definitely the US’s enemy. However, many Americans are keeping their heads in the sand and refuse to recognize the obvious. And China spends a lot of money on PR and propaganda to keep things that way.

    Take the comments of “Elvis” for example. Take a look at who’s liking his comments – all Chinese.

    • Elvis

      I’m touched. China is are enemy, please. The only polity right now that is explicitly our enemy is North Korea and that situation can be contained. If we continue to act the way we do, self-righteous and arrogant, then we will eventually turn one or more of the following into our enemies – Russia, China, & Iran. Fact is they are NOT our enemies, but what they are is our:

      1. Geopolitical rivals – all three.
      2. Economic competitor – China.
      3. Military near-peer threats – Russia & China.

      Tell me, is China manipulating or attempting to manipulate our elections like Russia has been doing? Is China financing extremist groups / movements in the United States and other Western nation-states like Saudi Arabia has done via its “charity” foundations or the Soviet Union did back in the day? Is China trying to export revolution to the United States like the Soviet Union and Maoist China back in the day? Is China manipulating or attempting to manipulate the elections in nations which we have defense treaties with like Russia when it comes to NATO? Is China using military force to dismember a nation like Russia has done with the Ukraine or is using military force to protect a dictator butchering & terrorizing millions as they have done in Syria?

      Yes, China has war plans that deal with the United States and has developed technology / weapons with the United States in mind. Why is that do you think? Perhaps the fact that we have prevented the reunification of Taiwan with mainland China? That we are allied with China’s historical rival, aka Japan? That we have our war plans that deal with China which include imposing a naval blockade via the Straits of Malacca which is within shooting distance from the newly built Chinese bases in the South China Sea? Maybe it’s the fact that we armed, financed, & trained the Tibetans fighting a guerrilla war against China in the 1950s-60s? Perhaps it’s that when we intervened to protect South Korea against North Korean aggression, we ignored Chinese warnings not to cross the 38th parallel and then later ignored their warnings not to approach the Yalu River at the Chinese frontier?

      • publius_maximus_III

        Ding hao.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Masterlock Picker — There is a definite PRC fifth column living in our midst. Can’t include a url in a USNI News comment, but use your favorite browser to find a Washington Free Beacon article entitled, “China’s Intelligence Networks in United States Include 25,000 Spies” — it’ll pop your girdle.

  • FromTheMirror

    “… As to the roles of the service secretaries, he said Mattis views them as administrative officials who are there to make sure direction from the top is carried out…” – just the way the Navy didn’t want things, back in 1948. The Navy didn’t want the service secretaries to be yes-men for the top honcho, the Navy wanted the secretary to represent the service’s interests. They even managed to enforce that until Forrestal’s death.

  • RobM1981

    What “national security” is China currently threatening, again?

    I don’t believe Nebraska is in peril, but I could be wrong.

  • Hugh

    China could be World No 1 just by peaceful trading, investing etc, and with good will all around. So, why such a military buildup which is way beyond anything required for peacekeeping in the region?!

    • Elvis

      Good will all around? In what world are you leaving in “Hugh”? Tell me how much geopolitical, geoeconomic, & geostrategic power / influence does the European Union or Japan have? Both nations which focus on “soft power” via trade, investing, humanitarian aid, popular culture, and so on. In the real world, hard power is just as important and in many cases more important than soft power.

      Never in the history of mankind has a great power or superpower been established via soft power alone and never has such a state during its rise to power and during its primacy, failed to be assertive in protecting its national interests. I often read posts by people like you and occasionally articles stating that this is the 21st century and the old ways are no longer acceptable, and therefore China needs to be a peaceful nation-state that respects smaller / weaker states and treats them as equals. Talk about delusion.

  • incredulous1

    Too many Chinese CCP bloggers on here to waste my time any further. It’s just like ants. They keep coming back until the carcass is gone, and there is no semblance of thoughtfulness or respect in this Chinese charm offensive forum today. The communist Chinese way is to lie to your face and tell you to shut up if you don’t like it and then lie to anyone else still listening. Examination of the facts and discussion are not relevant with these paid bloggers and it is a waste of time.

  • publius_maximus_III

    More destroyers, more destroyers, more Arleigh Burke DDG-51 Flight III… umm, make that Flight IIA destroyers. And shut off that steady stream of cargo ships stacked 10 container layers high full of cheaply manufactured goods from PRC, containers which we send back filled with our worthless T-Bill I.O.U.’s.

    Build the Wall, and while we’re at it, build a new Great Barrier Reef off the West Coast. Welcome to Hunkerdown USA!

  • On Dre

    You people are worried about China? The US is currently under threat from a madman with nukes! The world news is full of his conspiracy theory based threats of war and destruction. He comes from line of people who believe the nation is theirs to rule by divine right. Yet despite his power and legions of mindless followers he morality and intellect is stunted. He surrounded himself with by ‘yes’ men and close family to protect his ruling empire. Despite his marriage he has been known to have young women sent to his residence for sexual indulgence.
    We also have to worry about that Kim Jung Un character as well.