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Esper Making China Focus of Pentagon War Planning

Aug. 27, 2020 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, one of Mike Pompeo’s “Club of Five” kooks since their days at West Point, delivered remarks to the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii by live stream last night, in which he largely repeated statements about China and the People’s Liberation Army that were already in his Wall Street Journal op-ed published on Aug. 24. In light of the China challenge, he said,

“the National Defense Strategy guides us as we enhance our lethality, strengthen those alliances and partnerships, and reform the Department to align our resources with our highest priorities. One of the goals that drives our implementation of the NDS is to focus the Department on China. To do this, we have stood up a new Defense Policy office on China, and established a China Strategy Management Group to integrate our efforts,”

according to the pre-delivery text that was sent out by the Pentagon press office. “I also directed our National Defense University to refocus its curriculum by dedicating 50% of the coursework to China, and I tasked the Military Services to make the P.R.C. the pacing threat in all of our schools, programs, and training.”

Esper claimed that

“Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing has repeatedly fallen short of its promises to: abide by international laws, rules, or norms—despite continuing to reap the benefits of the international system and free markets; and Honor the commitments it made to the international community, including promises to safeguard the autonomy of Hong Kong and not to militarize features in the South China Sea.”

“Beijing’s self-serving behavior, however, is not isolated to just the Indo-Pacific region,” Esper droned on, doing his best to paint China as the most dangerous global threat since the Soviet Union. “Increasingly, our like-minded partners around the world are experiencing the CCP’s systematic rule-breaking behavior, debt-backed economic coercion, and other malign activities meant to undermine the free and open order that has benefitted nations of all sizes—China included.”

But he didn’t stop there.

“Moreover, the P.R.C.’s destabilizing actions go beyond its subversive political and economic activity. To advance the CCP’s agenda, the People’s Liberation Army continues to pursue an aggressive modernization plan to achieve a world-class military by the middle of the century. This will undoubtedly embolden the PLA’s provocative behavior in the South and East China Seas, and anywhere else the Chinese government has deemed critical to its interests.”

“Clearly,” in Esper’s fevered mind, “China seeks to undermine the free and open order itself, which impacts every nation supporting and benefitting from this system.”

The Chinese, not surprisingly, have responded very harshly to Esper’s propaganda. Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, called on the U.S. to view China’s growth with a rational mind. “The current China-U.S. relations are facing an extremely severe and complicated situation since the establishment of diplomatic relations,” Wu said. “For some time recently, the U.S. has been constantly making provocations, which seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and security, as well as the relations between the two countries and two militaries.” On this point, Wu said that China will neither dance to the U.S. tune nor allow the U.S. to mess about. “China has taken strong measures to firmly defend its national sovereignty, security, and development interests.”

Nonetheless, Wu argued that the U.S. and China must maintain communication. “The two sides should work together towards the same goal and step up crisis communication to effectively prevent risks, so as to promote and maintain the overall stability of mil-to-mil relations,” he continued.

At the same time, he urged the U.S. side to take a real strategic vision, view China’s development with an open and rational mind, and get out of the quagmire of anxiety and entanglement. “As for the high-level exchanges between the two militaries, the defense departments of the two countries have maintained communication and coordination on this issue. I hope that the U.S. side will take concrete measures to create a positive and favorable atmosphere for visit,” Wu added.

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