China mindset for war
It is important to understand the China mindset.
The words below were spoken last week by the Chinese president.
Xi told his Beijing audience this week that he wants China’s military forces to concentrate on “combat readiness” and that they needed to be “ready to respond”.
He described the security environment as “largely unstable and uncertain”.
Speaking just days before the Quad summit, Xi said: “The entire military must co-ordinate the relationship between capacity building and combat readiness, be prepared to respond to a variety of complex and difficult situations, (and) resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
Have no doubt that while we work about the virus and the economy the super powers are preparing for a major war, or, at least, a minor one.
The reality of conflict in the Pacific is moving ever closer. It is likely to embroil Australia too.
Xi went hard on the nationalist rhetoric, playing on themes of former Chinese humiliation. He declared: “Now China can look other nations in the eye. It’s not like back in the day when we were still bumpkins.”
Western agencies believe Beijing feels triumphant coming out of COVID. Its brutal lockdown policies and tight state control allowed it to recover economically more quickly than other nations. And it was the only big economy to grow in 2020.
The Chinese economy is now about 70 per cent the size of the US economy. But it has a long way to go if it ever will catch up to the USA. Most believe it will be impossible for China to achieve its goals.
On international political issues, the Beijing meetings were defiant. The Chinese government dismissed with contempt the charge that it is committing genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang and explicitly authorised the dismantling of the democratic machinery in Hong Kong, in violation of its treaty obligations.
The Morrison government has been reaching out to the US, following Biden’s fraudulant “victory”. Many feel Biden is soft on China and Australia is doing everything to cement itself to China, encouraging US alliances and strengthening its position with other Asian nations.
Military conflict involving great powers remains a disturbing possibility in our region. Allied leaders are doing all they can to strengthen the region. But with troubles at home in the US, China has been emboldened to hold its position. War, the generals predict, is inevitable.