China Is a Complex National Security Threat: What You Need To Know


Wesley Smith


December 10, 2021

When it comes to true threats to the national security of the United States, one tends to think of either military threats or the ominous activities of terrorist groups who pose threats to our security and safety.  And certainly, those threats are real, and what is often termed an existential threat:  a threat to our very existence.

China is a threat to the United States.  However, at least in the short run, China does not represent a traditional military threat to the U.S.  China does intend to overpower and defeat America in a war. China’s idea of defeating the United States does not involve fighting World War III.  Rather, it is counting on the U.S. imploding on itself politically and financially.  They believe that the U.S., much like the former Soviet Union, will eventually be unable to afford to be the world’s only superpower.

Here are key things you should know about China—and its adversarial relationship to the United States:

  1. China is a country unbound to traditional morals and the norms of international law.  They are the largest violator of human rights.  They are committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslims.  Over one million Chinese are believed to be held in “reeducation” camps; think of the notorious concentration camps of another era.  They also use slave labor to produce products sold to the rest of the world, which is one of the reasons they exercise trade dominance over that world, including the United States.

    China is the world’s largest transgressor when it comes to intellectual property theft; patents mean nothing to the Chinese government.  China is also rife with internet fraud.

  2. China does represent a traditional military threat to Taiwan.  They continue to fly missions into Taiwanese airspace with combat aircraft.  They have been transparent about their intent to reunite democratic Taiwan with the communist Chinese mainland—by military force if necessary.  The Chinese navy continues to encircle Taiwan with regular patrols.  Many believe that after China hosts the Winter Olympics in February, they will likely invade this independent nation.  If that happens, the question is “How will the U.S. respond?”  We have no formal defense treaty with Taiwan.  We do supply sophisticated weapons and aircraft to Taiwan as part of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

    China has flown military aircraft into Japan’s air defense zone.  It is in a territorial dispute with India and has troops on that border.  Vietnam is in territorial disputes with China, leading to our Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin’s visit to Vietnam to discuss new security arrangements with the Vietnamese.  

  3. China now violates the agreement with the United Kingdom and the citizens of Hong Kong, which mandated that Hong Kong be a free and self-governing part of China.  The agreement is spelled out in the Basic Law, which identifies Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.  Prior to this agreement, Hong Kong (a former British colony) was leased from China by Great Britain for 99 years; the lease expired in 1997.  Hong Kong then was supposed to have 50 years of freedom from mainland control. Hong Kong has had its own judicial system. Recently, however, China forced upon Hong Kong a new law that provides for the arrest and transfer of its residents and foreign visitors to the mainland with very little legal protections and safeguards.  Protests about this law and the rapidly dissolving freedoms in Hong Kong have been brutally put down by the Communists.

    There is no freedom of speech in Hong Kong, especially if you criticize the Communist government.  The judicial system in Hong Kong is under Beijing control.  For example, a Hong Kong court sentenced nine people to prison for joining in an unauthorized protest.  One of them was 82 years old, Martin Lee; he is the founder of Hong Kong’s democracy movement.

  4. The build-up of the Chinese military is another key concern.  China is illegally claiming parts of the South China Sea and building military bases on islands there.  While behind the U.S. in some capabilities, China now has the largest navy in the world.   It recently tested a hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.  It now has two aircraft carriers, with a third one under construction.

    Many of China’s weapons come from Russia; this includes its S-400 missile defense system and Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets.  Washington has raised concerns about frequent missile launches and China’s growing nuclear arsenal.  Intelligence reports last month noted 250 missile silos under construction to house its Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

    China has the largest standing army in the world. It has built a new navy base and commercial port on the coast of Africa.  They are constructing a new submarine base on the other side of Africa; it would be China’s first military facility on the Atlantic Ocean. China has approved plans to upgrade an airfield on one of Kiribati’s islands, 3000 miles southwest of Hawaii. The Biden Pentagon has established a new China Task Force to track Chinese military capabilities.

    U.S. intelligence agencies report China is working to weaponize space, with systems capable of targeting U.S. satellites.  The recent Global Risk Assessment report states that China intends to displace the U.S. in space.

  5. China purposely establishes relationships with our enemies.  With the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, China is filling that gap with billions of dollars in aid and purchasing mineral rights there.  Their embassy in Kabul is open and they recognize the Taliban as the official government in Afghanistan.  They are purchasing influence in Africa and the Middle East.  They signed an agreement with Iran recently and gave this rogue nation access to their GPS system that has military capabilities.  China is buying millions of barrels of oil from Iran in violation of sanctions against that leading state sponsor of terrorism. With the Biden Administration backing away from our allies in the Arab Gulf States and canceling weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, these nations are warming up to China.

    China’s relationship with Russia is a marriage of convenience based on the strategy of countering American influence in the world.  Russia and China form a unified front on the U.N. Security Council when it counters U.S. strategic interests.

Meanwhile, U.S. and European corporations refuse to take a moral stand against China.  Fearing the impact on their bottom line, Nike and other companies look the other way regarding China’s illegal activities and their human rights abuses.  Businesses bow to China’s threats to close off their markets if they even dare to criticize the communist regime. In March, when the European Union announced sanctions on several Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses, Beijing imposed sanctions on several members of the European Parliament and other Europeans who criticized China.  Will Europe also bow to Chinese extortion?  The jury is still out.

With Beijing hosting the Winter Olympics next year, the Biden Administration took a step in the right direction in announcing a diplomatic boycott.  The athletes will still participate, but there will be no official representatives from the U.S. at the games.  However, if the “woke” corporations who claim to have great convictions about equality and fairness have any semblance of a moral compass and a spine, they will also pull their sponsorships from China.  It would be the right thing to do.

China epitomizes a threat to the U.S. and to the world: financially, politically, and militarily. The Chinese government embodies part of what is wrong in our world.  It is time to take a stand, costly as it may be, while there is still a stand to take.

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