China’s Threat and America’s Response
Like a river gathering into a torrent, China’s unapologetic drive to undermine and surmount the United States is running unabated. In every way but direct military action, China is seeking to erode American security and well-being.
Now, in perhaps its boldest move yet, China is going to pay the Marxist enclave of Cuba billions of dollars “to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island,” according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The facility “would allow Chinese intelligence services to scoop up electronic communications throughout the southeastern U.S., where many military bases are located, and monitor U.S. ship traffic.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby claims the report is “not accurate” although he admitted that the Biden administration has “had real concerns about China’s relationship with Cuba, and we have been concerned since day one of the administration about China’s activities in our hemisphere and around the world.” This is what’s known as a “non-denial denial” — Kirby did not dispute the substance of the report, only casting doubts on its “accuracy.” He then said, “We remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home and in the region.” Oh, how reassuring.
Kirby’s tepid confidence about “security commitments” did not temper the concerns of U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice-Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who, in a joint statement, said they “are deeply disturbed by reports that Havana and Beijing are working together to target the United States and our people. ... We must be clear that it would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States, in an area also populated with key military installations and extensive maritime traffic. We urge the Biden administration to take steps to prevent this serious threat to our national security and sovereignty.”
National security and sovereignty were violated overtly earlier this year, when President Biden allowed a Chinese intelligence balloon to waft across the country, collecting intelligence data from a host of American military and other national security sources. And just a few days ago, “a Chinese fighter jet conducted ‘an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver’ by darting in front of an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Friday, according to the U.S. military.”
China is focused on reducing the United States to a place of servility. Intent on international domination, the communist government in Beijing has a long-term plan for the establishment of its global supremacy. In his 2021 book “The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order,” China scholar Rush Doshi argues that “China has sought to displace America from regional and global order through three sequential ‘strategies of displacement.’” These include “military, political, and economic” initiatives. “The first of these strategies sought to blunt American order regionally, the second sought to build Chinese order regionally, and the third — a strategy of expansion — now seeks to do both globally.”
Doshi’s analysis is being born out before our eyes. China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property is extensive and does serious harm to our economy. From purchasing farmland near U.S. military facilities to the “TikTok-ing” of American youth, China combines relentlessness of activity with ruthlessness of intent.
The Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, is under grave threat from the unabashedly hostile Maoists on the mainland. Our Navy is shrinking while China’s is growing and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday believes we need a 500 ship navy to meet the challenge. However, since 2003, our Navy has had fewer than 300 ships and defense plans for expansion are burdened by high costs and slow ship-building.
There are only two ways for America to counter China’s danger. One is a substantial rebuilding of our defense capacity. This will be expensive, but since when has liberty been cheap? If the freedom, safety, and prosperity of the United States matter, major investments must be made and must begin without delay.
The other response should be efforts to share the gospel on the Chinese mainland. That the Word of God is going forward in China is one of the greatest good news (pun intended) stories of our time. American Christians should do all we can to facilitate this movement — not just to shake-up China’s communist leadership but, even more importantly, to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission of making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Whether in Cuba or Nebraska or India, China means business. So must America. And so must the American church. Our country’s future depends on it. Eternal souls desperately need it.
Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Lecturer in Regent University's Honors College.