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Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Source:, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (

Is The U.S. Up To China’s Challenge?

News that China has launched a hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload around the Earth should be both a wake-up call and a call to action for America. Unfortunately, the current administration and the military it leads are woefully inadequate to the task.

The response from the Biden White House to the news that the Chinese now have a seriously threatening weapon that could vaporize American cities would have been laughable if it weren’t so frightening in its absurd naivete.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, responding to a Financial Times report that the Chinese “launch in August of nuclear-capable rocket that circled the globe took U.S. intelligence by surprise,” said flippantly the administration “welcomes stiff competition.”

Welcomes stiff competition. That sounds like something the satirical but eerily accurate Babylon Bee would concoct, And yet, there it is.

A far more accurate response came from Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who called the missile shot a “wake-up call for the United States and our allies.” It was, he said, a “Sputnik moment.”

Now the question isn’t whether the U.S. will still keep its commitment to protecting Taiwan from a Chinese attack. The really big question now is whether the White House will keep its constitutional duty to protect the U.S.

The media are already debating this “new Cold War” with China, and rightly so.

After decades of pretending China might be a friendly ally in the world, we’ve now seen the Tiger’s real stripes. Led by Xi Jinping, Beijing has moved sharply leftward to reclaim its communist legacy, breaking its Hong Kong treaty, cracking down on dissent and religious belief, creating a dystopian omnipresent online surveillance state, crushing private businesses, and engaging in what looks from afar like genocide against the Muslim Uighurs.

The truth is, the Cold War with China began in 2000, with its accession to the World Trade Organization. The U.S. and its allies gave China virtually unhampered, non-tariff access to our markets, enabling it to pile up trillions of dollars in trade surpluses.

We expected fair treatment in their markets and respect for both trade agreements and our patents and copyright laws. We got none of those things, but China has raked in surpluses and piles of cash.

These surpluses allowed China to increase defense spending from 2000 to 2020 by an average of 10.4% a year, a likely lowball estimate given China’s proclivity for hiding military spending in supposedly civilian projects. The end result: China got tens of millions of jobs, lots of infrastructure and a first-rate military machine, one that now threatens Taiwan and all of the U.S.’ allies in Asia.

And what came our way in exchange? Lots of cheap electronics, clothes, shoes and farm products, often produced by slave labor. It kept our inflation low for years, but at what cost?

President Donald Trump, to his great credit, put China on notice that it needed to behave differently. Agree with him or not, he rocked China back on its heels with tariffs, expanded U.S. military presence in the Western Pacific, and forged closer strategic ties with Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and even Vietnam, all countries that are worried about China’s designs on the region.

China is patient, but it’s also opportunistic. Under neo-Maoist, born-again Communist leader Xi, the regime has made clear it wants to take advantage of an incredibly weak U.S. president to become the world’s top military power and dictate the terms of a new communist-led global order.

In addition to the news that a hypersonic missile system that can reach anywhere on Earth, recent headlines tell us that China is creating suicide drones, expanding construction of nuclear submarines, getting into the aircraft carrier business, and building a new generation of jet fighters and bombers that all have features that suspiciously look like U.S. technology.

China’s early October decision to send 150 bombers over Taiwan was a warning, and one we need to heed. Instead, President Joe Biden and his advisers seem willing to accept the idea of the U.S. as a nation in decline, deferring to the growing power of China’s political system and military. While Beijing grows more bellicose we focus on training our troops in Woke politics and Critical Race theory.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley even brags about reading Marx. You can almost hear his Chinese counterparts giggling with glee as they size us up as a future adversary.

It’s important to note here that the regime is led by a man who sees himself as heir to the late Chinese ruler-for-life Mao Zedong, who, with his successors, murdered 65 million people in cementing totalitarian control. We are the only power on Earth that can stand up to Xi’s mini-Mao ambitions.

China, once regarded as a friend and potential ally, has revealed it is neither of those things. It’s time for us to prepare for the new reality. Sadly, Biden and his team are not up to the job.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

1 comment

  • In case you haven’t noticed, the democrats have already ceded the entire country to China and the middle east! We no longer even claim to have borders.

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