China - competitor, or opponent?

Are we just competing with China economically and scientifically for influence. Or will the West eventually have to go to war with China? If the latter, how do we ensure we win any war?

Define war.

With nuclear weapons, it wouldn’t be in the interest of any major power to get into a shooting war. If you mean cyberwarfare, I believe that war is already being waged.


I think we are already in a cold war with them now, and the real war to win is economically. The Chinese trade delegation is in DC this month to negotiate a new trade treaty with the US, as a hard March deadline looms where tariffs will exponentially go up if major concessions are not met. It is my hope that no new deal is reached and we can start taxing the shit out of them for the blatant theft they have been getting away with. My only concern is the longer term effect if it will have, like the same effect that it had on the Japanese that led to the bombing of Perl Harbor when US also had a trade embargo.

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How much of this cyber warfare is happening every day?

Like everyday! Chinese PLA and their black subsidiaries never sleep!

The ChiComs are by their very nature opponents. They are playing a long game using capitalism to survive long enough to become dominant. I would not be surprised that recent efforts to dechristianize the Chinese communist party mean that the real communists in charge are thinking they’ll not need the charade all that much longer.


I wonder what the true scale is, I know there are some sites that track attempted hacks. Such as:

Find all of Xi’s bolt-holes so that he can be taken out as soon as hostilities begin.

The most likely combat scenario is small proxy wars. China’s economy is totally dependent on foreign trade. Hell, they can’t even begin to feed their own population and with the US being their biggest trading partner with respect to both imports and exports we can shut down anything they are doing with a trade embargo.

In a large scale conventional conflict we’d be in serious trouble trying to fight China simply due to the numbers. They could conceivably mobilize a hundred million man army in under three years so our advantage is in the threat of a trade embargo.

This assumes that the communist leadership is adverse to throwing away millions of lives if it means getting their way.

I think the Commies will do whatever they need to stay in power.

No it’s just betting that our trade and our influence with other trading partners means more to them than could be gained in any head to head conflict.

Remember, through a big chunk of the Cold War we were basically feeding the Soviet Block countries and still conducting other trade with them as well.

China at least for the foreseeable future is more dependent on US than we are on them.

True! The biggest issue is the South Chiba sea and their strategy is based on controlling these routes, which trillions flow through these straights daily! The overall strategy if China decides to become more aggressive is not only to starve the million plus Army, but a gradual isolationist approach where they will be forced to deal with the domestic backlash that could weaken it internally! There is no way a strategy where a conflict with China will involve a land invasion! That would be suicide! That being said, China is a paper tiger and can be easily defeated, they simply don’t have a broad coalition support system like the US does with its allies that would ultimately choke China off from its resources!

I am not sure, but I am pretty confident it is daily and not just from China!

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Not really. They have an extremely well equipped Army by any modern standard and their Air Forces are just as capable.

The only way in which they are lacking is carrier capability which would give them a completely mobile offensive force.

To that end they bought and are refurbishing a Russian Carrier which will then be on par with our last generation of carriers.

The key to understanding their future plans is to look at what kind of ships they are building. You cannot control the Pacific, or any significant portion thereof without a massive carrier based expeditionary force.

Last time we went head to head with them it ended badly enough that instead of playing for a win we chose to negotiate a tie. In that era they couldn’t even provide enough rifles for one in five of their troops. Instead most marched into battle without firearms and simply grabbed the first weapon they could from a dead or dying soldier and continued on.

Currently their standing army is over 2 million men and they are very well equipped.

The US total force standing, reserve, and national guard of only about 1.3 million and China has a “military age male” population to draw on of about 350,000,000 while the US only has a similar population of around 20,000,000.

The technological edge the US has maintained since WWII has been greatly narrowed in the last three decades by China stealing our military tech and they have advanced dramatically in developing and producing their own.

Worse, their industrial capability today is at least 10x greater than our own.

In any head to head conflict between the US and China we’d be in deep, deep shit.

“The technological edge the US has maintained since WWII has been greatly narrowed in the last three decades by China stealing our military tech and they have advanced dramatically in developing and producing their own.”

Them stealing and reverse engineering our hard-to-develop advancements is the big problem. They didn’t develop a “stealth fighter” in 5-8 years, they stole it.

However, like an old xerox copy, all of thier engines, missiles, avionics, controls, … are crappy (but improving) copies of Russian and American tech.

However, as you also point out correctly, with their population (with many excess males due to strict birth control) advantage, about the only way that we could deal with their numbers is tactical nukes.

We can disagree, but I know what I am talking about. Conventional warfare will be a thing of the past! Also experience counts for a whole lot more! A million, 2 million man Army also means you have to feed them!, So in essence everything you are talking about is old outdated ideas and is not in line with current thinking in terms of dealing with them in any future conflict! Go and ignore everything I said previously so you can go on about pontificating about this military weapon and or that military ship to feed your own delusional views! It matters not in the bigger picture in terms of defeating China that encompasses an economic aspect to any strategy designed to disrupt their supply chains! As it is China’s domestic front is a fragile balance that they must be careful to maneuver around and maintain, and one sign in which the party loses support of its masses and its easily a full revolt, something that would make any future military conflict a disaster for China if they fail to maintain to keep their own citizens in control. It will be hard to do if they start to starve and become more isolated if a war broke out with the US and its allies!

What I’ve seen/read on their two latest generation fighters is that they are definitely up to par with ours. Not quite as advanced, not as many well trained pilots but the 5th and 6th generation fighters they have would fare well with the best we have on paper.

One thing they lack fortunately is any combat experience since the Korean/Vietnam era.

There biggest advantage is the industrial capacity that can out produce us by at least 10 or 20:1 if not more.

We didn’t win WWII with “The Best”. We started out particularly with our aircraft a full generation behind.

Germany had far superior planes and tanks at the outset of the war, we could just out produce anyone on the planet at the time in sheer numbers.

Japan had a tremendous advantage particularly in the Zero but failed to produce enough of them and then once we caught up, lacked the means to produce more than a few samples of aircraft more advanced than ours.

I agree on WWII.

As to their “modern” weapons that are filled with (improved, but not great) Russian designed guts, including the derelict flattop that they refit.

Their gear as well as their people are not battle tested like ours are.

Everything I’ve seen on the J-20 tells me it should be a very capable stealth attack fighter. From what I’ve seen on their previous generation they were buggy as hell at first but have had a whole lot of upgrades.

The carrier remains something of an unknown but that it should be outfitted to be comparable to our last generation as far as offensive and defensive systems so it would only be a generation behind.

That doesn’t present a serious threat to the US but it does give them an expeditionary capability in the region that is worrisome from that standpoint.

Imagine the current crisis in VZ. If the Chinese had the capability of parking a fully operational carrier off of VZ and how that would complicate things for everyone in the region supporting the new gov’t?

It would also completely change the strategic equation for US.