There is reason to be alarmed by the recent China balloon. However, that reason is not the alleged China aggression but the very calculated aggression towards China by the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations. This hate and the manufactured reasons for it have been layering on for years. We’ve seen this playbook. It’s the same game plan that led us to the war on Iraq.
The U.S. is trying to contain and control China’s growth as a world power by using its military and economic powers. Just as it wanted to control the oil in the middle east.
There are 4 main reasons why the US is doing this: First, it wants to prevent China from becoming an economic superpower that could rival America; Second, it wants the Asian market for itself at any cost; Third, it wants to exacerbate tensions between other countries that have disputes with China over resources in order to isolate Beijing on all sides; Fourth, it believes that such actions will increase American influence over Southeast Asia as well as its political leverage against Russia and Iran.
In other words, the US wants to dominate the whole world even if that means burning it down to its core.
So how do you go to war with a country that is not an eminent threat to our nation’s safety and security? Enter the Chinese "spy" balloon. Before the words "Chinese spy balloon" ever became a known phrase in every American household, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had plans to travel to China to meet with his counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. The meeting would have been a diplomatic approach to resolving issues between the two countries and could have been the beginning of working towards cooperation. It also would have been in line with Biden’s promise to Xi in November that we would "keep the lines of communication open." That was until a high altitude balloon from China drifted into U.S airspace last week.
Suddenly a relatively harmless balloon from China became the latest small cache of weapons becoming earth-dooming weapons of mass destruction. Regardless of the fact that balloons have accidentally entered US airspace before or that it happened three times during the Trump administration, the Pentagon created mass hype and hysteria in this newest attempt to manufacture consent. In fact, just last year during the Biden administration, a balloon crashed near Hawaii without making a splash. This balloon turned into a spectacle because the US is relentless in its aim to ramp up aggression towards China. Those drums don’t beat themselves.
This is evidenced by Blinken’s immediate response by canceling his diplomatic trip to Beijing; essentially closing the lines for diplomacy. Meanwhile during the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Biden made reference to the balloon by vowing to protect the US "sovereignty." He called out XI by name, "Name me one world leader who’d change places with XI Jinping. Name me one!" yelling out a threat against a world leader on national television amidst the roaring drums.
Biden and Congress are using the idea of competition with China as a thinly painted veil for what they really want – war. A war they have been setting up for years.
Over the past decade, the United States has increased its military presence in the Pacific at an alarming rate. The U.S. military has acquired access to four new bases in the Philippines, and increased its presence in Southeast Asia by half-a-million troops since 2002. However, the increased military presence doesn’t just stop and end with the Philippines. On January 1, 2020, US Marine Corps opened a new base in Guam to monitor and conduct military operations in the South China Sea. This new base came to much of the dismay of the locals.
Having a base there means that the United States has more power to control China’s maritime rights under international law. In addition, there are also rumors that this new military base will be used as a “military outpost” against China by the US, so that they can more easily attack Chinese territory.
Then on November 29, 2022, the USS Chancellorsville sailed into the South China Sea without permission of the Chinese government. The move was seen as a provocation by many experts, who believe that it may bring about a military conflict between China and the United States. Notably its last participation in a war was when the United States illegally invaded Iraq after lying and misleading the public. Today, it is one of the most advanced warships in America’s arsenal. Sailing the USS Chancellorsville into the South China Sea was a clear threat to China and an act of provocation by the United States.
If that alone is not enough to convince you of major US aggression towards China, then just listen to the words of General Mike Miniha, general in the United States Air Force, who wrote in a leaked memo "My gut tells me we will fight in 2025." That memo that was leaked to NBC News. There is no indication whatsoever that China wants a war with the United States or any other country. Likewise, Admiral John Aquilino, recently warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that China invading Taiwan is "much closer to us than most think." All of these are eerily similar to the bloodlust US military leaders expressed prior to their war of deceit in Iraq.
It is clear that US aggression towards China is calculated and deliberate. The United States has been trying to contain China since the end of World War II, but its efforts have intensified over the past few years as China has become more powerful on the global stage. Our government’s reckless rhetoric towards Beijing shows that Washington will not hesitate to use military force against China if they can manufacture enough consent to make it seem necessary – even though such an action would cause catastrophic consequences for both nations’ economies as well as international stability in the Asia Pacific region. We’ve heard this same drum beat before. We cannot allow murder of millions of people to happen again under the name of American imperialism.
We cannot go to war over greed. We must push for cooperation over competition. It is up to us to stop this escalation now, for the safety and security of all people and the planet.
Melissa Garriga is the communications and media analysis manager for CODEPINK. She writes about the intersection of militarism and the human cost of war.