Chinese Political Power

September 29, 1999

The 50th anniversary of the Chinese communist revolution is just around the corner. While many in the media will be talking about the success of China, fortunately there will be some sane voices reminding us of 30 million dead from the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

A recent essay on "The Myth of Chinese Power" written by Gerald Segal in Newsweek magazine provides a needed corrective. Yesterday I talked about the myth of its economic power. Today I would like to continue and also discuss its political power.

In terms of international trade and investment, China is overrated as well. China accounts for merely 3 percent of total world trade, about the same as South Korea and less than the Netherlands. Talk about the Chinese market is also overblown. Only 1.8 percent of U.S. exports go to China. This is a third less than U.S. exports to Taiwan.

China is also a second-rate military power seeking to become first rate in a hurry. At the moment, China accounts for only 4.5 percent of global defense spending. In fact their military success seems due more to stealing than spending.

Their long-range Chinese missile (known as the Dong Feng-31) has been equipped with a small nuclear warhead whose design uses American technology most likely stolen by Chinese agents. China has obtained design information (and perhaps a whole lot more) on several modern U.S. nuclear re-entry vehicles, including a Trident II missile. China has also obtained information on a variety of U.S. weapon-design concepts and features, including those of the neutron bomb.

Beijing is a serious menace to Taiwan and would like to use its military to take the disputed Senkaku Islands from Japan. Fortunately the United States military stands in its way, but our foreign policy needs to prepare for a more powerful China in the 21st century.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.