China Needs to be the Focus of America’s Foreign Policy

James Miller, Opinions Editor

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Over the last several decades China has gone from extreme poverty and near global irrelevance to being on the forefront of international attention for its stunning growth. China has risen. Between 1978 and 2013 the Chinese economy grew to be ten times larger. China is also the only nation in the world besides the United States to have an economy worth over $10 trillion. What this really means is that the Chinese government can dictate how its many trade partners enact policy, both economic and political. America needs to pay attention to China’s growing influence, lest she find herself passed by the Asian nation.

China’s rise in and of itself shouldn’t create fears in the United States of real competition between the two nations. What should however, is China’s new found aggression. Over the last five years China has claimed historically Japanese islands, claimed the entirety of the oil rich South China Sea, and sent troops into India-held Kashmir. In its denying any aggressive intent against its neighbors, China is rather unconvincing. The “Middle-Kingdom’s”  words are very different from its actions. China has rather openly shown intentions of becoming the world’s next superpower, not only in economics, but also in imperial possessions.

What’s even more frightening than China’s transparent moves toward imperialism is its military’s clear targeting of the United States as an enemy. One of the greatest military developments of the last several years, trumpeted publicly by the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) is the Dong-Feng missile. Specifically designed to hit aircraft carriers, the missile was built to target the very ship the United States Navy is anchored by. The Dong-Feng could be potentially used to prevent the US Navy from intervening in a war between China and one of her neighbors. The missile poses a significant threat to any American ships as far away as Japan. China has begun a military buildup (The military budget is three times as large as it was twenty years ago.) that is seemingly in preparation for a direct conflict with the US Navy.

While China has not attacked the United States and is moving to be more diplomatic than ever before, the eastern nation has taken steps that should throw up more than a few warning flags. The United States needs to recognize the threat, show that she sees possible conflict, and address the trouble in order to avoid any major conflict. Other areas of the world are troublesome, but the potential danger presented by two rival superpowers facing off is too large to ignore.


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