So confident has China become in its capabilities and her blossoming partnerships around the world that it is able to send its surface fleet to a growing list of destinations, while PLAN submarines sit off the coasts of most continents and Chinese satellites keep track of it all.
In 2010 the British journal 'The Guardian' published a story about a mysterious missile launch 35-miles off the coast of Catalina Island, California. In it they report that;
“The US defence department today said it was trying to determine whether a missile was launched yesterday off the coast of southern California, and who may have launched it.
Spokesmen for the navy, air force, defence department and North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) said they were looking into a video posted on the CBS News website. The video appears to show a rocket or some other object shooting up into the sky and leaving a large contrail over the Pacific Ocean.
The video was shot by a KCBS helicopter, the television station said.”
According to some reports the, “...belief by the military commands throughout Asia and their intelligence services is that the Chinese decided to demonstrate to the United States its capabilities on the eve of the G-20 Summit in Seoul and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Tokyo, where President Obama is scheduled to attend during his ten-day trip to Asia. The reported Chinese missile test off Los Angeles came as a double blow to Obama.
The day after the missile [off So Cal], China’s leading credit rating agency — Dagong Global Credit Rating — downgraded the sovereign debt rating of the United States to A-plus from AA. The missile demonstration coupled with the downgrading of the United States financial grade represents a military and financial show of force by Beijing to Washington.”
'Soft power' is the term for influence generated through friendly relations between nations and China has been refining this strategically necessary skill for decades . The United States has known for almost twenty years that the balance of 'soft power' between the two nations has been changing to China's advantage. In 2006 the Council On Foreign Relations released a report detailing the increase of China's soft power at the expense of 'western' relationships around the world. Their document opens with the statement;
“China is expanding its use of cultural, educational, and diplomatic tools to increase its appeal across the world. The move comes as U.S. cultural influence slips and some say the United States may be losing its "soft power," or ability to gain influence through non-coercive means. “
As you can imagine these moves are watched closely by other nations, some joining China in trade and finance through official organizations like ASEAN and others trying to blunt China's influence and growth. The United States Institute Of Peace (?) convened a panel of experts on the situation, all focused on ensuring that peace is maintained in the world, by fighting to keep their influence. The document opens with;
“The United States Institute of Peace is convening a series of bipartisan Senior Study Groups (SSGs) to examine China’s influence on conflict dynamics around the world. The SSGs offer new insights into China's objectives and role vis-à-vis various conflicts, and generate recommendations for ways the U.S. government and other key stakeholders may account for China’s impact in their work to prevent and resolve conflict and support lasting peace .”
Standing back from the situation it becomes clear that China, whether they admit it or not are on the road to being the next 'global empire'. Some people argue that empires only last a couple or three centuries and then they are done, so when you take the year 2022 minus 1776 that works out to two and one half centuries of American manifest destiny; already a lifetime in empire years.
What is also clear is that Russia is not 'the enemy' but a speed-bump on America's highway of hegemony that goes directly to Beijing. Just as the United States and its allies fight Russia to maintain the value of the U.S. Dollar today, so too must they increase their efforts to fend off the influence of a powerful China, a nation with three times the population of Russia and a human demographic that demands China make her move in the next few years.
Truly, like the predicament western nations find themselves in today, China is facing a declining birth rate and an aging population. At this writing the median age in China is 38 and increasing, which means that the labour and fighting forces of China have reached their peak and are now on their way down.
China cannot wait a decade to move more fully into the global sphere and she must pick whatever fights she needs to win within the next four or five years or risk losing the financial, technological, industrial and demographic windows of advantage that currently exist for her.