Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | china | superpower | economy | military

Author: Economy, Not Military, Fuels China Superpower Ambition

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 07:42 PM

Trade, not warfare, is the key to China's goal of becoming the world's most powerful country, says the author of a new book on China's hunger for 21st century global dominance and the Chinese conviction that U.S. influence will wane.

The economic challenge posed by China is "far more important than the military challenge," Michael Pillsbury, Author of "The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower," told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

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"In their theory, military power is only 10 percent of national power," Pillsbury said of the Chinese. "They're really focused on trade, tariffs and keeping up the huge American foreign and direct investment in China.

"We invest 20 times more in China than we do in India on democracy," he said, adding that the authoritarian Communist country with the increasingly capitalist economy is taking full advantage.

"They've got a really strong strategy to try to get as much out of America as they can, and have been quite successful," he said.

Moreover, "There's no condition on this," Pillsbury said of U.S. public and private investment in China — a state of affairs that he said needs to change.

"One of the things I advocate in the book is, it's time to have conditions on this massive assistance and good terms of trade we give to China," said Pillsbury.

A fluent Mandarin speaker with a national security background, Pillsbury contends that China doesn't necessarily feel like it would need to slug it out militarily with the United States to emerge victorious on the global stage. The Chinese view is that Americans will undermine themselves, he writes.

But war is still possible, and the "unanticipated" rise of a new breed of anti-American hawks in Chinese political, military and academic circles doesn't help matters, said Pillsbury.

"An accidental war with China would be based on misperceptions and miscalculations on both sides," he said.

The misperceptions on the Chinese side appear especially strong and willful, he suggested, citing depictions worthy of "Dr. Strangelove" — fanned by the new hard liners — of a bellicose U.S. gunning for China or trying to subvert its people.

"When you stir up this kind of anxiety in China at the top, what you do is start the prospects for accidental war," he said.

No less a diplomat than Hillary Clinton, onetime secretary of State, has noted the tendency of China to exaggerate U.S. animosity.

"She made a speech just a few years ago alluding briefly to misperceptions and false characterizations of America," said Pillsbury. "Nobody has really done the important thing, which is make a big list of the worst most outrageous lies [Chinese authorities] tell the Chinese people.

"One of them is that Abraham Lincoln was a mastermind who first thought up the idea of containing China and blocking China's rise," said Pillsbury. "I went back and looked at Abraham's Lincoln's foreign policy. It has nothing to do with China."

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Trade, not warfare, is the key to China's goal of becoming the world's most powerful country, says the author of a new book on China's hunger for 21st century global dominance and the Chinese conviction that U.S. influence will wane.
china, superpower, economy, military
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2015-42-04
Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 07:42 PM
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