For decades, most Americans only associated China with poorly made trinkets. However, that has all changed as the realization of the global impact that China has with it's population racing pass 1.3 billion. Although many Americans are slowly becoming more aware of the China's economic and military power most people don’t realize the threat they pose to the United States. One day American will have to deal with the reality that Chin's population outnumbers the United States by by a ratio of four to one. That day may not be too far away. If China went to war with the United States, their sheer size and alliance with North Korea would allow them to become the new world super power.
If China decided to go to war with the United States it would happen in stages. China’s economy couldn’t handle the loss of trade with the United States as easily as we could handle the loss of trade with them. Because of this they would have to slowly end trade agreements with the United States so their economy could stay afloat. During this time they would most likely mobilize their troops throughout China and surreptitiously plan an attack against the United States with the help of their Asian allies.
“The line in the water that divides East Asia into rival alliances, has been widened and deepened in the last few years...This line runs from the sea between Japan and Korea, south through the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait into the South China Sea. To the east are the United States, Japan and Taiwan, which are allied by treaty or political commitment. To the west are China, North Korea and South Korea, with China seeking to turn the two Korea’s into vassals like their kingdom many centuries ago" (Halloran, Joongang Daily).
The United States is part of the Eastern Asian Alliance, which is composed of the United States, Japan, and the Chinese territory of Taiwan. Even though its called a military alliance there are not any strong military forces involved from anyone but the United States. Japans military, has been limited ever since the end of World War II. Their military only has approximately 63,000 soldiers (CIA World Fact Book). Taiwan doesn’t have any real military power due to big brother China looking over its shoulder the whole time. Even though Taiwan is an ally to the United States and has their own democratic government, they are still considered a territory of China.
China is the main partner in the Western Asian Alliance, which is composed of China North Korea and South Korea. First you have China, who’s massive population is logistically mind boggling, and military size is overwhelming. Then you have North and South Korea. North Korea has a good sized military, about 6,000,000 soldiers enlisted with another 5,000,000 in reserve (CIA World Fact Book). Yet their communist dictator Kim Jong Ill and his radical actions during times of conflict may cause some political issues in a war. Finally you have South Korea, whose military strength is about half the size of the North Korean military. South Korea does have friendly relations with the United States, yet we have not entrusted them with much of our technology since the end of the Korean War due to allegations of North Korean spies in South Korea. If we went to war South Korea, it could potentially tilt the balance of power in favor of the Eastern Asian Alliance.
While China’s military is overwhelming in size, it is not overwhelming in strength. China has four main military branches, the Peoples Liberation Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Artillery Corps. China also has a state security body known as the Peoples Armed Police Force. The Peoples Liberation Army is composed of approximately 379,524,688 soldiers that are enlisted, and another 208,143,352 in reserve (CIA World Fact Book, China). Compare that to the 2,124,164 enlisted and reserve soldiers of the United States (CIA World Fact Book, U.S.). If the war were fought on Chinese soil with ground troops there would be two hundred seventy six Chinese soldiers for every one U.S. soldier. China’s Navy uses World War II era ships that were purchased from the Russians (CIA World Fact Book, China). The United States Navy uses the most technologically advanced ships in the world. If the War was fought with Naval forces, the United States would come ahead and win. The United States Air force has an unmatched air superiority. The United States main aircraft, is the F-18 (CIA World Fact Book U.S.). These aircraft are so technologically advanced that their cockpits are still considered top secret. The Chinese use another product of Russian ingenuity, the MIG. These aircraft were considered top of the line at one point, and today are stilled revered as a serious danger in the sky. If the war was fought in the air it would be a very close call. Lastly, we have the Artillery Corps of the Peoples Republic of China. This branch uses long range shells and strategic missile placements to obliterate the opposition. The United States deploys the Marines for shelling targets with weapons like the Howitzer cannon. If it came to shelling each other it could start to get very messy considering that China has a massive stockpile of biological and chemical weapons that are delivered with artillery shells (CIA World Fact Book China). The United States has stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons also, but we don’t use them on people because of the Geneva Convention. Even if the war was fought strictly with forces like the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines/Artillery Corps. The deciding factor would be something more destructive then all of the military forces. Both China and The United States are capable of firing nuclear weapons.
Imagine playing outside with your kids, and suddenly there is a flash so bright that it blinds you instantaneously. Then you would feel the ground shake and hear a massive explosion so loud, that it blows your ear drums out. Now that you’re blind and deaf the bad stuff starts to happen. In a matter of seconds your environment goes from an overcast seventy degrees to a blazing inferno as hot as the surface of the sun. If you’re lucky you would die instantly. Otherwise you would have to wait until you starved to death, or until your skin starts to peel and boil due to the radiation and soon after you would die from radiation poisoning.
Nuclear weapons would be the last the last thing that China or the United States would use do to the massive casualties, and long term effects on the agricultural aspect of the economy. If a nuclear weapon is used, it would probably be one of North Korea’s. One of the major theories on a war between China and the U.S. would be that North Korea’s communist dictator would launch nuclear weapons at China and blame it on the United States, presenting us to the United Nations as murderers that don’t follow the rules of engagement. If the U.N. believed North Korea then the United States would lose all of it’s backing from our European allies and our East Asian counterparts.
In my opinion, the United States is so preoccupied with other things that we aren’t thinking of the danger China poses. “The United States under the Bush administration, is preoccupied with the war in Iraq, rebuilding Afghanistan, pacifying the Middle East and the campaign against terror. In Asia, the former Bush administration focused on North Korea’s ambitions to acquire nuclear arms, agreed on “common strategic objectives” with Japan, but have failed to forge a comprehensive policy on China" (Halloran, Joongang Daily).
This failure to focus on the threat posed by China could be a huge factor in the United States losing against China and the Western Asian Alliance. Overall, I believe that the United States lack of attention towards China and China’s massive military force would allow the Western Asian Alliance to be victorious against the United States and the Eastern Asian Alliances.