Watch closely and you see quantitative changes – in weather and international politics. Events pile up until a sudden, qualitative change. As winter approaches, temperatures fall and what was liquid is suddenly ice. Communist China’s incursions on Taiwan – and now on the United States with a surveillance balloon – continue to grow. They signal a qualitative change. We need to prevent war with China if we can…and prepare for it, if we cannot.
These are tough words to hear, tougher as China continues to up-arm and apply relentless pressure to Taiwan, sending squadrons of fighters and ships into Taiwanese territory, pushing rhetoric harder and farther. Now, they even reach out and test the Biden Administration over US soil. Where all this leads – and when – is not clear, but crystal clear is a changing op-tempo.
For good reason, talk of war with China is increasingly common. From early 2021 to 2023, a marked turn has occurred in global assessments. Even before the Chinese “surveillance balloon” over US cities, the dialogue had shifted. The tempo has grown quicker, more than “business as usual” is afoot.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) noted an invasion of Taiwan would be devastating, impose enormous costs, even if Taiwan survived with US military support. Meantime, three weeks ago, China’s “Taiwan Affairs Office” got belligerent, noting China would be “safeguarding” the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Taiwan, “smashing plots for Taiwan independence.” All this was before invasion of US airspace with a “balloon.”
China added, as if setting for the spike, “malicious support for Taiwan independence among anti-China elements in a few foreign countries are a deliberate provocation.” Big words for a nation that just lofted a “Sputnik balloon” over the continental United States.
These statements echo words of Taiwanese intelligence authorities in 2022, who warned that China might be planning to threaten war in 2023 – seeing the US as weak, compelling Taiwanese submission, concessions, surrender.
China’s recent saber-rattling is like reading the old Soviet playbook before invasions of Poland from the East in 1939 (Nazi Germany from the West), East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1967, and a soft reinvasion of Poland in 1980.
Communist China pushed a similar “stick it to the West” approach before taking Hong Kong in 2020, militarizing “artificial islands” in the South China Sea, testing illegal weapons in space, and pretending a “belt and road initiative” was not for global dominance – until it was.
On the kinetic side, the recent deluge of military actions – not unlike Russia’s buildups prior to moving on Ukraine in 2022 – has been remarkable. “Largescale military exercises” were conducted around Taiwan in January, unprecedented numbers of fighters and ships.
Similar large exercises, resembling a mock invasion with dozens of combat fighters in the sky around Taiwan were conducted in December 2022.
Throughout January, heightened anti-Taiwanese rhetoric from Chinese authorities and actions resembling a trial run at invasion of the island nation have been observed. Although offering just words, the US State Department described recent “record incursions” as a “danger zone.”
Then a US four-star general predicted the US will be at war with China in two years, by 2025. Public acknowledgment of the threat, possible “hot war” with China, with fewer but highly capable weapons – is stunning, and sobering. Even mainstream media is starting to perk up.
Few thought Japan would do what it did in 1941, Germany in 1939. Few imagined Soviet invasions in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Few imagined Putin’s crimes against innocents and devastation in Ukraine a year ago. As we keep learning – somehow too late – life changes fast.
Now we have Taiwan – in some ways a leading indicator of which way freedom’s winds will blow for 50 years – at risk. What should we do? The answer is step up – now. Add the Chinese “balloon” and need for action becomes obvious.
We should have two carrier battle groups within range of Taiwan, for maximum deterrence. We should be prepared to hit China’s artificial islands if fighters are deployed. We should be sending cyber-signals that we will respond with a devastating blow to China’s military in cyberspace.
At home and around the world, we should be preparing defensively with readiness not wokeness, warfighting drills, ramped up ballistic and theater missile defenses, reaffirmations to allies in the region and globally. We should be sending clear signals that the US will defend free nations, and that any war begun implicates us. We will fight without limit and win. In short, we should be assuring “peace through strength” lives – to borrow on Ronald Reagan.
If we do these things, we will back down a restless, testing Chinese Communist state, opportunist and blundering, not focused on history or logic. We create focus, staunch the tilt toward war, but we must also be ready. If required, we must be prepared to engage.
Water can become ice fast, or go back to liquid. We have to exercise the power we have to keep change within margins, not let quantitative moves turn qualitative. Wars, once started, are hard to stop. They are always better deterred than fought. The “balloon” is just the latest, but it reminds us we must dare – to prepare.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.
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Although we are not yet at a conventional war, we are non the less at war. China released their first attack via the biological war against the west and the world in 2019. They lied and then allowed travel from the city where CCP-Virus started to all western countries, but Trump was not notified before the damage was done. THIS REGIME HAS REPEATED IN ITS DOCTRINE THAT IT INTENDS TO DETROY OR AT LEAST CAPITALIZE ON THIS PRESENT ADMINISTRATION WEAKNESS TO REPLACE AMERICA. We have never been weaker and more vulnerable under this current Military leadership and administration, and the build up of China has all the signs as was present before WW2, and like always our intelligence is much more stupid today. Look at history, how can we trust our intelligence agency after Pearl Harbor, 911 attack, and even Korean war history. When it gets to being accurate, the agency that is meant to protect us has failed time after time. History repeats itself, unfortunately todays weapons can and will be much more deadly,, and who will strike first is left to question, Russia or China. That balloon was meant to survey and pinpoint our nuclear Arsenals and defenses. How surprised China was to see how we reacted, and what if that Balloon was carrying another Biological weapon, or perhaps an EMP, or even a Nuclear devise !!!! I pretty much think that Biden would not deploy defenses in time to save America. HELL HE MAYBE AT HIS BEACH FRONT RIDING THE BIKE OR NAPING AND THE MILITARY HAS PROVEN IT IS UNABLE TO REACT WITHOUT BEING DISTRACTED BY WOKE AGENDA. The old saying is that STUPID IS AS STUPID GOES, and Biden has that covered ! WW3 started with invasion of Ukraine, even more stupid we promised under Clinton that if Ukraine gave up its Nuclear weapons, we would protect them against Russia ( what a joke when we sign a document) ! Patton had it right in WW2, we will be judged by history if we allow Stalin to do what he was allowed to do, and Patton beg Eisenhauer to not allow Russia to capture and destroy all the eastern European countries. Imagine 75 years later it maybe proven he was right ! PUTIN IS ANOTHER STALIN, THE NUMBER ONE MASS MURDER IN HISTORY.
We will no doubt be at war before our idiot president leaves office. China is well aware of the damage he has done to this country, the moronic actions he’s taken and spoken. How can any country feel anything for the US Unfortunately not pity. The president is an embarrassment, his accomplishments equal pretty much zero, he has demoralized our military, lied to its citizens. WE ALL KNOW THIS AS WELL AS EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. China is simply waiting for the right moment and opportunity and believe this person called Biden will provide it. It’s sad so sad and makes me
So damn angry over what our near futures may be like. How anyone in their right mind would have voted for this man is just mind boggling. God help us for sure????
Keep praying for God to help our country.
When Joe was sworn in I predicted he would get us into a World War AND a Civil War. I did not think that could really happen, but now I’m not so sure. .
Our high school kids will be fighting what’s coming no doubt about it.Police action war.The real education is coming.
The present administration in D.C.is being observed.Our potential enemies are sabor rattling.they sense division. and probably going to make some kind move in the next two years .
PFC cold war era, the enemies of the USA (we know who you are). I suggest one looks back at the political climate before Pearl Habor. there are many similarities to what’s happening now.
Biden and Miley, what a team! With them in charge, winning is questionable.
Ollie octopus… If the current administrtion along with their WOKE Pentagon & military are in charge if & when China makes its move militarily against the west, i.e. the world, America loses this war long before it ever gets started, i.e. the CCP of China spying balloons is just the teaser of what China has in store for civilization as a whole…
To Robert Charles, What you said in the first paragraph — ” We need to prevent war with China if we can …. and prepare for it , if we cannot .” That is absolutely great, good sense. Knowledge helps to build strength, and strength helps to develop courage, the foundation for using good sense is a combination of courage, strength and knowledge . Understanding the facts presented in history aid in the use of knowledge, strength, courage and good sense.
And the paragraph that began with — ” At home and around the world, we should be preparing defensively with readiness… ” and ended with — ” In short, we should be assuring ” Peace through strength ” lives — to borrow on Ronald Reagan .” that is a great example of the outlook needed at this time. All things that promote a respect for a high level of intelligence, having courage and being resourceful are the the things that will be needed to keep the country on the right course. The spirit of the term , Let Liberty be the watchword, brings to mind the principles that were at the foundation of the beginning of the United States of America, and those principles were then and are now honorable. Your article is a great guideline for everyone who cares about doing what is right , defending what is right , let God guide us all in the right spirit . Let Liberty be the watchword.
The free world needs to band together and show these commie cripples that war is NOT in their best interests or the worlds interests.At one point or another some country would resort to nukes,that would be the end of life on our planet.
What we all talk about is when China invades Taiwan, but no body is talking about when China takes action against Japan. If you take a look at current Japanese government being very much leaning toward accepting most of what China wants us to be, and amount of lands purchased by Chinese throughout the land of Japan with no laws to prevent it. The most strong evidence of it was the assassination of former PM Mr. Abe in broad daylight, and very little is going on in the investigation of who are behind other than an obscure figure of a young man who so happened to be on site and shot a home-made gun against Mr. Abe. We may be absolutely stunned when China unexpectedly send their missiles to major cities of Japan, which no body thought is imminent. ( US is currently reducing their military presence in Japan, and decided not to sell their most advanced jet fighters)
Lets see what happens China has always been at odds with us they are testing Biden and his people to see what they will do, time to get someone in the WH that can handle this stress not Biden I do not trust him.
A great deal of good sense in your comment Randall , And I believe that at least half of the American people agree with what you said. Those of us who care about this situation will realize the value of knowing history and understanding the facts of what has been going on in that part of the world for at least the past fifty years.
CCP isn’t testing the Biden administration, it’s directing it. Xi owns the Bidens.
I believe it is highly possible that everything happening is by design. This includes stopping our oil and gas production and then emptying our strategic reserve. Then the war in Ukraine was started to deplete our military resources. And when China declares war, the US government will tell us we don’t have any resources to fight and we have to surrender unconditionally. The end of the USA. And the start of the One World Order.
This, unfortunately, is what appears to be happening in my observations.
After Communist China watched DICTATOR Beijing biden yell like an idiot (remind of someone) and all the lies he tried to feed the American people seeing how truly WEAK he is. They are LAUGHING cause they know he WON’T DEFEND the UNITED STATES without at least 8 DAYS of Polls taken.
The WHOLE WORLD IS LAUGHING AT US.
And this is the LOSER that YOU ALLOWED to Commit ELECTION FRAUD and DID NOTHING.
Now we are about to pay for it with NUCLEAR WAR because of a Communist Agent in the White House who CONTINUES to DESTROY the UNITED STATES of AMERICA with his Socialist/Communist/Fascist/WOKE Cult party.
Hope you know how to speak Chinese.
Great article spot on!
There is only one way to deal with a bully and it’s not with kind words and attempts at appeasement. Excellent article.
“War with China – Imminent?”
Communist China has been waging war on the United States for decades, increasingly so since Bill Clinton designated them s a most favored trading partner. Do you have any idea of the impact if the Chicons suddenly just stopped shipping everything they supply us with? In case you don’t, for instance, they supply 80% of our pharmaceuticals and lot of everything else we need and have not manufactured in the U.S. for a long time. Suddenly cutting off the supply would be more disastrous than the supply problem during the panicdemic when there were so many ships sitting offshore, unable to be unloaded. In case of war, there wouldn’t even be any ships sitting there at all since goods from the many other Asian suppliers wouldn’t be able to ship to us either under threat or attack if they tried.
The balloon floating across our country last week was mostly show to cause panic due to the media hyperventilating over event. There are so many spies working in the U.S., from whom the Chicoms get the majority of their information a balloon is no more than a distraction. For instance, during the Clinton administration, a Chinese scientist visiting Los Alamos was found wandering in a highly restricted area he was forbidden to enter. Every student, businessman, and tourist from mainland China is required to submit any information they think may be important to their government.
The fact that a vast amount of illegal drugs, especially fentanyl and ingredients originate from Communist China is no accident. They are working with money hungry cartels to get the poison across the border and the cartels are bribing and threatening the Mexican politicians to allow the activity.
Need I go on about political treason within our own government or can you see it yourself?
Advise all USA citizens to return or suffer consequences of Chinese retaliation.
Close any US embassies in Chinese territories, bringing all US citizens’ home.
Suspend any and all debt payments to China.
Revoke all Chinese diplomatic immunity, sending those folks home.
Close and nationalize all Chinese properties within US borders.
Make Taiwan airspace a no-fly zone to ANY and all flights originating from China.
To US companies that have made China their business partner, tough caca.
If we had any foreign allies left, which we probably don’t, strongly request they follow suit in the above.
Essentially, put China on notice that their actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Of course, none of this can happen with the current administration, and the lefts strangle hold in congress.
We should, we should, we should, we should, we should and if we do. The problem is we won’t, we won’t, we won’t, we won’t and won’t do! And the CCP knows it! Let’s go Brandon!
Stay out of wal-0mart. That will fix their ass. Kyle L.
Remember what happened between Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Hitler? Chamberlain’s appeasement policy resulted in Hitler taking over almost all of Europe. When Churchill took over, he vowed to FIGHT! China wouldn’t dare threaten us if Trump was in the White House!