National interest on November 3, 2015 reported on Peter Navarro’s new book Crouching Tiger. It is a timely book on the growing threat of Chinese militarism. After Navarro’s appointment to head the White House Nation Trade Council there is growing interest in Navarro’s books on China. Excerpts below:
China continues to develop its Great Underground Wall. This maze of tunnels, up to 3,000 miles long, now harbors one of the world’s most diverse missile arsenals – from the tactical and theater to the strategic.
Why is China developing such capabilities if, as its leaders have repeatedly claimed, China seeks only a peaceful rise? This may well be the most important question of our nuclear-tipped times – and one destined to dominate the 2016 presidential election debate.
The Crouching Tiger Project is the result, and the “geopolitical detective story” that unfolds in the 45 chapters of the book. Will there be a war with China?
If China seeks merely to protect its homeland after a “Century of Humiliation” and if it is only concerned about guarding the global trade routes it needs to prosper, then the world has nothing to fear from its rapid military buildup.
If, however, China and its leader Xi Jinping seek to follow in the revanchist footsteps of Russia and Vladimir Putin and seize territory from neighbors – and perhaps attempt to drive U.S. forces out of the Western Pacific – then the world has a very big problem.
Strategies & Capabilities
Most [experts] agree that China’s doctrine of asymmetric warfare and its emerging anti-access, area denial strategy (or A2/AD) poses an increasing risk to an American presence in the Western Pacific.
They include China’s “renegade province” of Taiwan, Japan’s Senkaku Islands, the resource rich waters of the South China Sea and the wild card of North Korea. The most subtle – perhaps with the highest stakes – is the emerging struggle between Beijing and Washington over freedom of navigation and overflight.
Pathways to Peace
Many experts…question whether the traditional triad of economic engagement, economic interdependence, and nuclear deterrence will keep the peace. If these pathways no longer work, what will? This debate is not just about whether Japan should remilitarize or whether the U.S. should build a new long range bomber or whether Asian democracies need a new missile defense system. There are deeper questions related to the Chinese concept of Comprehensive National Power – a strategic construct that far transcends shear military might and may ultimately provide the key to keeping the peace.
The broader mission [of future articles in National Interest] is to raise public awareness about an increasing danger
Peter Navarro is a professor at the University of California-Irvine. He is the author of Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World (Prometheus Books) and director of the companion Crouching Tiger documentary film series.
Comment: Chinese doctrine has been built on the belief that China by its example made the surrounding ”barbarians” to acknowledge its civilization. The traditional China concept was to maintain a circle of ”tributary states” which protected the inner core. Among those tributary states were Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and Nepal in the south. To the west there was the Great Northwest area and Mongolia in the north. Korea in the east and northeast territories now in Russian possession. With growing military strength the present regime in Peking will likely want to control former ”tributary states” as a protection against Western influence