Should China and the United States Go To War?

The United States stated she will sail her warships within China’s manmade island’s or islands’ 12 nautical mile, and China openly replied that it would not allow any country to violate its territory.  In coming days, if United States indeed will sail within China’s manmade islands’ 12 nautical mile and if China is indeed going to use force to stop the American warships from entering the area, we may have an uncontrollable situation in which it’s insane just to fathom about the possibility of a situation like this to occur in the first place.  The biggest question is what will happen after if China indeed sinks a ship or two that belong to the United States?  Will the United States go to war with China if such an aftermath would occur?  Who will push the red nuclear button first?  We cannot take China as Iraq, because China got so much more capabilities than Iraq could ever wish for.  China knows United States, although economically weaker by days and months, still has a very strong military and so facing the United States won’t be a walk in the park either.  It just happens that Intelligence Squared Debates program got a debate show in which it asks the debaters to actively debate on the question of “Are China and U.S. long term enemies?”  The video is right after the break.

The long term enemies part the video may get it wrong, because countries don’t look at each other as buddies but potential competitors or pawns or necessary evils or enemies.  It isn’t strange when I stated like that, because it’s true.  Basically, nobody knows how the United States and China will behave toward each other in a much longer term.  Nonetheless, at the present time, United States and China are clearly on the verge of starting a dangerous proposition in which neither country may want to back down, consequently leading to a global war.  If China and United States are at war, the war environment won’t be a vacuum space in which the participants are only China and the United States.  In fact, I believe that a war between these two giants will pull in all sorts of countries that choose sides.  Even a country wants to be neutral in such a scenario may not have a choice to do so, because geographical reason or whatever, one or both giants may want to push such a country into war anyway.

We can have a debate all we want on how long U.S. and China would be enemies, but if someone is crazy enough to think that it’s sensible to have China and United States go to war, we cannot rule out a situation in which nuclear weapons would fall off from the sky in both directions toward both countries.  By the way, Russia is China’s neighbor.  If Russia sees nuclear missiles from the United States heading toward the east, what do you think Russia will do?  If I’m a Russian leader, I would definitely think that the nuclear missiles are heading my way, and so I must reply in kind with my own nuclear missiles.  Meanwhile China too would be in panic and push the red nuclear button.  From my understanding, both China and Russia together have more nuclear weapons than the United States.  It’s not a situation I like to see for sure, because I don’t want to see my life and countless other people lives to be wasted away in seconds for power politics in geopolitical common sense.

In my opinion, geopolitical common sense is opposite from treating thy neighbor the way you want to be treated common sense, because geopolitical common sense is about not having to lose one’s position, power, and so on.  To put it bluntly, nobody wants to be a little guy, because being a king is always better.  A king can have his way, and a little guy will often have to swallow a hurtful pride.  Nonetheless, whenever we include nuclear weapons into the equation, it’s hard for a sane person to think it would be possible for United States and China to go to an all out war.  Perhaps, one side likes to think that such an all out war is insane, and so a controllable war would be possible.  One side may think that at some point, a situation got to a point that nuclear weapons may be used, they could negotiate deals to unwind down the war and nuclear weapons will not be used.  Unfortunately, in a war, I don’t think it’s that easy to control or wish a situation to occur the way we like it.  Thus, we may want to unwind the war down in a war in which nuclear weapons would be used, the enemy may not know our best intention and misread the intention somehow and nuclear weapons would be used anyway.

It’s scary to see the biggest boys on the block with nuclear weapons are about to strangle each other out.  Right after 9/11 of 2001 terrorist attack on World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York, time had become ever more dangerous.  It’s cliche to say that we are living in an interesting time, but I think cliche or not we are actually witnessing a time in which humanity is at risk of losing the sanity of it all.  What is even crazier?  It is that in a time in which I attended middle school, a time in which it was way before 9/11 of 2001, I had read something from a book in which a title I totally have now forgotten, and this something predicted the explosion of a major landmark in New York.  On 9/11 of 2001, I could not believe of what I’d witnessed on that day, and it reminded me a prediction I’d read in a book way back then.  How could a prediction be so true even though prediction is purely a fiction?  In my opinion, prediction is a fiction unless it becomes real.  Today, some people like to use bible prophecy which had been written eons ago to predict a war between China and the United States.  I want to say this, be careful of what you wish for!  A prediction may come true if we believe it and allow it to happen.

China’s Aircraft Carrier Entered Tartus To Support Russia and Iran In Syrian Force Building

Something big is happening under the surface, but we have no idea what is going on.  Basically,’s article “DEBKAfile Exclusive Report: A Chinese aircraft carrier docks at Tartus to support Russian-Iranian military buildup” suggests that China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning has docked at Syrian port Tartus to back the Russians up on building up forces in Syria for fighting against ISIS.  I’m not very well informed with the Middle East and Syria situations at all, but this news tells me that united force building of Russia, China, and Iran in this region prepares for something big.  Perhaps, fighting ISIS is only a piece of the puzzle, because ISIS isn’t strong enough to encourage China, Russia and Iran to combine forces and take actions in this region.  Without China in the picture, I think the overall picture of the Syrian conflict was murky but somewhat clearer than how it’s now.  Meanwhile, China is cooperating with the United States in boosting trades and agreeing on cyber security.  Nonetheless, geopolitically, China is helping out Russia and Iran in securing Bashar Assad’s power in Syria.

As Long Humans Won’t Go Insane, M.A.D. Still Matters For Some Time To Come

I’m a keyboard warrior, and here is my theory on what if U.S.A. and China would go to war against each other.  I’m not an expert in military weaponries and technologies, and so I’m not even going to try to be specific in details.  Read on to see what I got in mind.

Many people would think China would go to war with Philippines and Japan before they would attack U.S.A., and I think this is unlikely.  Only if Philippines and Japan provoke China in unbearable way, then China would attack these two countries.  Nonetheless, if I’m in charge of China, I would not think Philippines and Japan would dare to provoke and attack China first.  Thusly, I would only draw out secondary defensive plans, with care though, to address the what if Philippines and Japan attack China.  The primary plan which to address the priority would be going to war against U.S.A., because — at this point in human timeline — U.S.A. is the only foe in the world that would dare to truly challenge China right in the open, conventional or not.

Of course, in the between of everything, I don’t think China would be careless about little details, and so China would probably draw out plans to address diplomatic conundrums just so China could have an edge in world diplomacy.  Furthermore, China would want to make sure she knows who would side with U.S.A. when war truly breaks out between U.S.A. and herself.  Meanwhile, China is trying to scare Vietnam and her neighbors into submission, because this way China would get an idea of who will be against her for sure when war breaks out between U.S.A. and herself.  Vietnam is going to be capitulated between China and United States.  Simply put, Vietnam knows China will forever be her neighbor through geography, but she can use U.S.A. to push back against China when things get too ugly.  Other asian neighbors will think twice in challenging China, and so China would know of this too.

Russia would love to see China and U.S.A. go to war, because Russia wants to see two tigers on a mountain killing each other as she waits for her turn to swoop down and destroy both when the time and means are on her side.  Although it seems as if Russia is suffering consequences of economic sanctions and the turmoil in Ukraine, but Russia got time on her side to just wait things out.  Meanwhile, Russia is cozying up with China to leverage against U.S.A. and Europe in terms of military, diplomacy, energy, and economy.  Moreover, Russia would throw oil into the fire to flame things up between U.S.A. and China.  Thus, we will see Russia and China will strike even more deals in weapons, military, economics, and whatnot.

Europe is facing economic turmoils in several parts of her region.  I think China, Russia, and United States are befriending Europe on the surface but taking advantages of her underneath the surface.  After all, who could let go a bargain/deal or a momentous advantage in whatever, right?  Thus, we will see China, Russia, and the United States to partly be helpful but also partly be very unhelpful toward European countries in general.  Nonetheless, it’s possible that there are several European countries that aren’t expendable for military strategical reasons, thus we would see China, Russia and the United States fight for European friendships in this specific situation.  What military strategic reasons?  Don’t ask me, because Europe is a big place too, and so it’s obvious that Europe will have a role to play if a war between China and United States breaks out.

U.S.A. is trying to have her economy recovers from the recent financial crisis in 2008.  The recovery in the United States is truly slow, and so the United States does have her hands tie behind her back.  As China increases her military expenditures, the United States compels to spend money on keeping her military edge even though her economy is still not recovering.  China got Russia to supply some military technologies, but China is probably spending untold amount of money in research and development to develop her own in-house military technologies that would give her an edge over her foes.  Obviously, United States faces a difficulty in scaring China nowadays, because China is way stronger in terms of military and economics.  Thus we have seen China becomes more assertive in pushing United States out of the Pacific.  This way, China is going to have her own Monroe doctrine in the 21st century.  Of course, if United States refuses to allow China to have her own Monroe doctrine, China would probably do whatever she can to push United States out of the Pacific regardless.

China also got a backup plan to make sure her country isn’t too relying on the Pacific for energy and whatnot.  This is why we are seeing China proposes the modern Silk Road development.  This means China is creating a land route for her energy and trades just so in case she can circumvent the United States’ possible actions in the Pacific.  For an example, the United States can use her carrier fleet to blockade China from doing her normal operations in the Pacific, and this would hamper China’s trades and energy imports.  The Silk Road is like one arrow shoots two birds at the same time.  On one hand the Silk Road will boost the regional economies and in longer term would also keep China’s economy strong, and on the other hand the Silk Road would allow China to develop a second route to circumvent the possible Pacific blockades from her foes.

I can go on, but I’m just a keyboard warrior, and so let me summarize things up.  I conclude that if the United States will not allow China to have her own Monroe doctrine, China would do just about anything to push the United States out of the Pacific regardless.  I don’t see how China would allow the United States to contain her as she soars higher and higher.  Meanwhile, the United States has her plate full, but she probably tries to contain China regardless.  This will lead to the faster development of China’s modern Silk Road.  Furthermore, we will see Russia and China team up even more closely.  In this way, China/Russia alliance will try to win even more friends.  With both powerful countries (i.e., China and Russia) together they are more convincing this way in winning friends.  Basically, China and Russia are trying hard to isolate the United States in all fronts before a real war would break out.  Of course, things won’t go as plan if the United States or China decide to back down for world peace.  Nonetheless, I don’t know if there is any will in either China or the United States for backing down.  Sure, we still got M.A.D. to prevent an all out war such as a new World War (i.e., WWIII), but humans are capable of going insane.

Middle Income Trap Theory Is Not Perfect

Obviously, I’m nowhere near of anywhere to consider myself a knowledgeable person on the topic of economics, and to have myself even consider of dabbling with the topic of world economy is just ludicrous.  Nonetheless, I’m just like any other human who has imperfections, and so let me indulgently dabble with what I want to write next.  I have seen people talk of middle income trap this and that, but the uneducated me think the middle income trap is overrated.

When people talk of middle income trap pertains to a country, they tend to assume that such a country has uncompetitive edge in export market and (has) yet to be able to raise the per capita income level which can break out of the middle income status.  This idea/theory does have some merits (but must include the inflationary rates in the formula).  If a country is losing in export competition around the world and yet the per capita is still hovering around the middle income status, it’s true that such a country can be in for a struggle of improving the country’s economic status and people’s happiness.  Nonetheless, this theory doesn’t work for a country such as China or similar country to China.  Why?

China has 1.3 billion people, and their economy is still the fastest growing economy in the world which hovers around 7% of GDP growth.  When people think in term of percentage for GDP growth, they tend to over-rate the growth percentage.  When China’s economy was way way smaller than Italy, China’s GDP growth was hovering in double digits of GDP percentage growth, but now China economy is the biggest in Asia and way way more bigger than Italy — the GDP growth of China slows down to 7%.  This fact alone can argue that with bigger economic base and foundation, even at 7% GDP growth China can still bring in more revenues as a whole country than Italy can ever achieve even if we see Italy grows at 7% in GDP.  In reality though, if I’m not wrong, in 2013, Italy has around 2.1 trillion dollar GDP economy in nominal term, but the GDP growth is at -1.9% (negative 1.9%).  To sum this idea up, at 7% of GDP growth, China is still growing like she was around 10% or higher, because her whole economy is so much more powerful and bigger.

As China is slowing down in term of nominal GDP percentage growth, the world is fixated with the percentage growth in GDP and wondering if China may stuck in the middle income trap.  Some people, out of ignorance, are definitely loving to use the slowing down of nominal GDP growth percentage for China to make their point that China is going to stuck in the middle income trap if she doesn’t transform herself into a domestic consumption led economy.  I don’t like to delude myself and agree with such nonsense.  Not because I dare to think I’m smart and taking the road that less people walk and say that China doesn’t need to transform herself into domestic consumption led economy, but the facts on the ground are that China is getting richer — meaning when the Chinese average citizens have more money they automatically spend the extra money they have even though they are going to save a lot still.

I think China knows this, and this is why we are seeing China encourages the world to support her in building new land and maritime silk roads.  Instead of implementing policies that would transform herself into domestic consumption led market, China wants to have her cake and eat it too.  In China case, I have a feeling that she may achieve this objective.  Why?  The facts on the ground tell me that China is now the largest trading partner for most countries around the world, and so it’s logical for China not to be stupid and thinking that by letting go the export market and just ramping up the import market will make China richer.  It’s just common sense that I sense China knows this, and so this is why we are seeing China promotes more trades around the world.  The argument that China must transform herself into domestic consumption led is nonsense.  China takes 35 years to build up herself as the largest export trading partner with the world, why would she want to give all that up and get herself into debts by going the hyper-importing route?  The truth is that China is going to import more anyway since she is richer and wealthier, but she is going to do this in a natural manner.  Natural manner?  When her citizens get richer and wealthier, her citizens are going to demand for more import goods naturally with or without the intervention of her government’s import preset models.  One example would be China now has the largest automobile market in the world.

I’m writing this article to argue why people should not think the middle income trap theory is always going to be correct.  To think so would be a delusion.  Who would want to be delusional?  In the end the facts on the ground will always going to be freely available for people to understand.  As long China has the export competitive edge, she is going to be fine even if her per capita income isn’t higher than the middle income status.  Only when China loses her export competitive edge, that is when she finds middle income trap is troublesome.  Nonetheless, China is too smart to fix something that isn’t broken.  The proposal of the new land and maritime silk roads is one of the logical methods of how China is going to build a stronger export foundation to ramp up her future export market.  China is seeing weakness in her export market as the world experiences a big recession.  Europe and America and many other countries around the world are poorer now, thus the export market for China is naturally weaker.  As China is seeing this, she proposes the silk roads and establishes AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) so she can ramp up her export market and maintain her manufacturing hubs and capabilities.  If China is going to achieve this, even if China is still a middle income country for the next ten years, I think China is going to be just fine and her economy is going to grow even bigger than ever before.

China is also a special case in term of her foreign exchange reserve.  China has a surplus of around 4 to 5 trillion dollar foreign exchange reserve, and so she can use this to preemptively stopping weaknesses in her economy.  One example would be funding the AIIB that she is in process of establishing.  Furthermore, China is still pegging her Yuan to the Dollar, and so she can just tweak her currency the way she wants.  By being able to tweak her currency the way she wants, China can effectively control how she wants to get herself out of the middle income trap at the pace that she decides.  How?  By being able to increase or decrease the strength of Yuan according to the Dollar peg, China can dictate how much more stuffs her citizen can afford from import.  Rising Yuan would make her export weakened, but she can afford more from import.  Weakening Yuan would boost her export but weaken her import.  Instead of raising the wages of her people’s per capita income, China can just tweak her dollar currency peg to have the same effects as countries that have already escaped the middle income trap.

As long the United States’ Dollar is still the reserve currency of the world, I don’t think China will unpeg her Yuan against the Dollar.  Only when China can establish her own currency as the reserve currency of the world, this is when China will unpeg the Yuan from the Dollar.  Of course, if this to happen, I think China will be more careful in tweaking her currency and will consider of implementing policies that encourage higher wages/incomes for her people.  Nonetheless, if China’s Yuan becomes a reserve currency, she will have a lot of tools to get herself out of middle income trap easily.  Why?  Because world reserve currency has a lot of power!  The power to affect trade and world policies are two examples of a country that has her currency as a reserve currency for the world.  With huge export capability and manufacturing power, a Yuan currency reserve for the world will make China unchallenged for decades to come.  Nonetheless, it’s not that easy for just any country to turn her own currency into a world reserve currency, and the United States is going to challenge such a country for sure if that is going to happen.  I think we are going to see China and United States compete in currency arena for some time to come, because I think China is challenging the United States’ world currency reserve status as we speak.

Can Higher Wages Grow An Economy?

Around the world, China is increasing her presence as we speak.  As China grows her global presence in geopolitics and world economy, competitive countries such as the United States have to worry about the future in which China will have more influence in all things global.  If China is going to be too dominant and overtaking the United States in the influence of global affairs, the United States may have to find ways to cooperate with China.  If the future isn’t about the cooperation of the two biggest countries in the world in term of economics and raw power, then the future is certainly going to be very grim.  How grim?  Perhaps in such a grim situation, the grimmest outcome might be of a zero sum game.

I can’t imagine the kind of hell that a zero sum game is going to be waged by the two most powerful countries in the world in a nuclear age. The implication of such a zero sum game in our time is definitely scary.  If the United States and China are going to have a hot war in the future, both United States and China will force other countries to take side.  This means we might have a new world war if the two most powerful countries in the world are going to have a hot war.  Any sane person in my opinion would not want to witness a hot war between any two most powerful countries in the world, and so I think it’s very important for us humans to push for more cooperations to weed out the warmongers among us.  In order for one society to cooperate with another, we need to understand each other.  This means, the people in the United States need to understand more about China, and the people in China need to understand more about the United States.  I believe more cooperations between the two giants of the world can only bring more peace and prosperity to the rest of the world.  Most importantly, the cooperations between the two giants can also raise the quality of life for the people who are living in both countries (i.e., China and the United States).

In the video right after the break, professor Yasheng Huang gives a lecture on how capitalism has been developing in China, contributing to the huge growth of the Chinese economy that we’re seeing today.  I think his lecture is profound. In the lecture, he honestly points out hidden problems that are existing and may exist within China.  This means being a big country such as United States or China doesn’t mean big challenges are not there.  In fact, I think the bigger the country the bigger the problems are going to come out of the woodwork.

In the video, professor Yasheng Huang insists that personal income dictates the real wealth of a country.  He mentions how desperate a banker can become if regular people cannot afford to spend or buy house.  By this he implicates that the regular folks are the healthy roots that hold the strong economy together.  If regular folks cannot afford to spend on necessary things and housing, then businesses and housing construction have to slow down.  This means the bank institutions become poorer as people won’t have money to spend and deposit and businesses won’t have money to pay back loans and whatnot.  The real economy will decline if the everyday people cannot afford to spend on important things such as housing.

Personally, I partly agree with professor Yasheng Huang on the point that everyday folks with higher wages can grow the economy.  Nonetheless, I think professor Yasheng Huang needs to also lecture on how inflation can play a pivotal role in dictating the real strength of the personal income.  Inflation is very important in my opinion, because personal income can either be grander or weaker depends on the inflation.  For an example, one dollar can purchase a cart of lollipops yesterday but can only buy one lollipop today has great effect on how people spend their personal income to grow an economy.  In fact, I think a growing economy is the result of many positive economics factors, and the optimization of the balance of personal income and inflation is one of those very important, positive economics factors.  This is why I think China is not only wanting to grow her economy in quality and quantity, but she also wants to control her inflation in a way that it makes sense for everyday people in China.

Since we’re living in a global market, inflation can be exported and imported.  This means inflation policy in influential countries such as the United States can have great implication for the inflation in China.  Currency war is one of the tools that a country can use to import and export inflation.  If the United States imports inflation by weakening her currency exchange rate to promote export competitiveness, she can induce high inflation in China for China has accumulated United State’s treasury bonds over a trillion of dollars.  Simply put, if United States weakens her currency can induce China to mimic the United States’ inflation policy to keep China’s export market and United States’ treasury bond value up.

Nonetheless, weakening one own country’s currency to induce higher inflation means to weakening the personal income of everyday people.  I think currency war is going to hurt the everyday people a lot more in the end.  I know China knows this, and this is why we’re seeing China is gradually moving away from accumulating more treasury bonds from the United States.  Nonetheless, by doing this China can push the United States into hyperinflation as the dollars cannot find a home abroad.  More dollars will rush back to the United States, pushing the inflation to the unstoppable rate.  If this to happen, the United States economy will crumble as the everyday folks will not be able to utilize the dollar for purchasing whatever at a hyperinflation exchange rate.  Of course, the United States can reduce the inflation rate by buying up the treasury bonds herself and introduce higher interest rate, but this will make her already huge national debt harder to manage.  As right now, according to website, United States’ national debt is at $18,176,295,505,000.  It’s a very hard situation for the United States to be in.

But can we really blame China?  China is also wanting to balance her inflation at a sensible rate that can help induce her own economic strength!  I don’t think there is an easy solution to the ever struggle between countries’ inflation import and export.  I guess in the end, it’s the local economy strength that helps a country to weather the inflation storm.  To fight insensible inflation rate, I guess a country needs to have strong employment and high personal income wages.  In the end, I think professor Yasheng Huang is onto something here, because I agree with professor on the importance of higher wages for everyday people.  Professor Yasheng Huang also emphasizes on the importance of building human capitals, but I guess you have to watch the video for the details as I’m going to end my blog post here.

Is It Wise For The United States To Pivot To China?

Is it wise for the United States to pivot to China?  This question is so important in our young century, because we’re talking about the conflicts of the two most powerful nations of today time.  Once again, I like to use ancient history to reveal what we might face in the future.  Of course, ancient history doesn’t have a crystal ball to predict a future in which such a future is way different than anything ancient history could ever imagine.  Nonetheless, ancient history was the product of humans.  Thus, we can safely assume no matter how different the future will be, ancient history might get it right still.  Of course, unless the future is not a product of humans but of aliens, then I won’t bet my farm on ancient history at all.  (I don’t really have a farm!)  What ancient history I’m talking about?  Read on and I expand…

I watched a YouTube video, The Phoenician Carthage – The Roman Holocaust, in regarding to how Carthaginian empire was toppled by the Romans, and I was very intrigued to how United States and China are facing a very similar Carthaginian versus Romans picture, in the big picture of course.  I may get this wrong, because I’m no expert in ancient history of Carthaginian versus Romans.  Nonetheless, from what I’d learned from this YouTube video, Carthaginian empire was a superpower way before Rome became one.  Carthaginian controlled the nearby sea trade routes, thus Carthaginian empire was also an ocean going superpower just like how United States is today.  Meanwhile, at the time when Carthaginian ignored how Roman state was on the rise in term of ground territorial expansion, Carthaginian thought nothing of Rome until sometimes later this would prove to be fatal for Carthaginian empire itself.

Sometimes later, Roman state slowly took up form of an empire, albeit a much smaller one than Carthaginian.  As Roman empire began to expand even more, it faced an obstacle which was the Carthaginian empire.  Carthaginian controlled much of the sea routes for trade, and the Romans wanted a piece of that.  I don’t think I can be wrong on this, after all — wars of our time, meaning now or even in the past, were and are mostly about victories over trades, territories and whatnot.  Since the Roman state was on the rise to become an empire that rivaled the Carthaginian empire (eventually surpassed the Carthaginian empire), thus the two superpowers of their time began a series of conflicts that led to three major Punic Wars.  I’m not an expert in Punic Wars history, thus I couldn’t go into the details, but I know few things about the conflicts of Carthaginian empire and the Roman empire that I can use to compare the two superpowers of today, the United States and China.

At the start of first major Punic War, according to Wikipedia’s “Punic Wars” piece (source link:, the Romans wanted to expand to Sicily and was presented with an opportunity when a local conflict in Sicily broke out.  Whatever the details were, the local conflict in Sicily became a proxy war for Carthage versus Rome conflict.  Eventually, the proxy war enticed the two superpowers into an all out conflict, resulting in the first Punic War.  Wikipedia details that at the start of the first Punic War, Carthaginian was at a disadvantage on land warfare for Roman state was originally expansionary through land warfare, thus the Romans defeated Carthaginian at the Battle of Agrigentum in 262 BC.  With such a harsh defeat, Carthaginian decided to avoid most land warfare against the Romans and preferred to fight on sea.  Since the Roman empire was not strong at sea, thus Carthaginian empire was able to take advantage of Romans’ sea weakness.  The YouTube video I watched describes after a major defeat on sea, the Romans were lucky to capture a Carthaginian battleship which then later the Roman empire was able to duplicate such battleship technology to revert the tide of war on sea.  This is important for my thinking of the current conflicts between the two superpowers of today.

Today, the United States is still the undefeated champion on sea, and China is largely a powerful land based force.  Obviously, it’s less true than before as China is rapidly developing a huge professional navy with capable battleships and whatnot to deter United States from getting too close to her shore.  Just as how Carthaginian versus Romans, United States is facing a rising China in which China has overtaken the United States in world trade.  Since Carthaginian was facing a hungry Romans in trade and territory domination, the first Punic War between these ancient superpowers was becoming inevitable.  Can we say the same for the United States and China?  Once again, not so different from the Punic War conflicts, contemporary superpowers are emphasizing their face-off on sea.  China needs to control sea routes for trades and the United States does not want to be pushed out of the Pacific, thus the stage is setting up for a future sea confrontation.  Modern Punic Wars?  Who will be the Carthaginian and who will be the Romans this time around?

According to ancient history, Carthaginian empire was a superpower at sea.  Today, the United States is also a superpower at sea.  Romans stole Carthaginian’s battleship building technology, and was able to turn the tide for the ancient battles at sea.  United States and China have yet to go to war on sea, but China is hungry for better sea warfare technology.  Carthaginian didn’t want Romans to expand and capture ancient territories that could dictate favorable terms for trades such as important sea routes.  United States definitely does not want China to control most sea routes, because that would push United States out of Pacific, making United States becomes irrelevant in a modern, most profitable sea-trading territory in the world (i.e., Pacific ocean).  United States for sure knows that China is a very capable land force, because China has huge population to prepare a huge ground force invasion.  In ancient time, Carthaginian relied on mercenary for their army, but the Romans relied on native population for their army.  Today, United States does rely on mercenary more than China for obvious reasons.  One such reason is that China is not in as many conflicts as the United States, and the United States is facing too many conflicts around the world such as in the Middle East.  I’m living in the United States, and I feel it’s a poor taste of me to compare United States as Carthaginian empire and China as Roman empire.  Nonetheless, the picture of the ancients somehow reminds me of the picture of today.  Very freaky in my opinion.

Of course, one big difference of today world is that we are in a nuclear age, thus Carthaginian versus Roman conflicts might be irrelevant for warfare lessons since nuclear weapons can make sea warfare struggles become rather irrelevant.  Really?  What about submarines with nuclear warheads?  Isn’t this scenario all about using the sea to gain victory over the enemy?  Thus the oceans are still important in warfare today, and the oceans are still practically important to how we do trades today.  I think if we can go on without having sea conflicts between United States and China in a major way that might result in modern Punic Wars, then we might make to the space age.  Only in space age where trades take place in space that we might find conflicts on sea become less relevant.  Nonetheless, I don’t bet my farm on this, because nobody knows the future.  Even though the ancient time can remind us a familiar picture of the past, it doesn’t mean the future will unfold similarly.  Nobody knows really!  Nonetheless, history can be a great teacher in that the fundamentals won’t just become the aliens overnight, thus the human products of ancient history will probably be somewhat similar in contemporary age.  Thus it begs the question, is it wise to have modern Punic Wars?  Is it wise for United States and China to have conflicts at sea?

It was how Romans defeated Carthaginian that built the Roman empire into one of the most glorious ancient empires.



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