Last weekend, Republican members of Congress carried out a war game, led by a retired US general, envisioning a war with China by 2025, the Wall Street Journal reported.
At the Republican Party policy retreat in Orlando, Florida, retired US Navy Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery oversaw a simulated war with China that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans and the potential sinking of US aircraft carriers.
While the exercise was presented as a defensive response on the part of the United States to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the US is systematically working to provoke a conflict with China by ending the one-China policy, arming Taiwan and expanding the presence of US troops on the island.
As the Wall Street Journal described the war game in an editorial, “The costs would be enormous and include Gold Stars in windows across America. Adm. Montgomery said casualties could range from about 15 to 50 in every Congressional district in the U.S.—or roughly 5,000 to 20,000 Americans.”
The far-right Washington Free Beacon, which also reported on the war game, wrote that “lawmakers huddled Sunday night to map out the biggest threat facing the American people: an all-out war with China.”
The Free Beacon wrote that “American casualties in a conflict involving the United States, Taiwan, and China could total in the tens of thousands in just a matter of days.” It wrote that, “In some of the more extreme cases, the United States would face up to 20,000 military casualties in a single week—the most seen since World War II.”
Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon declared, “It’s going to be a bloody fight… If we have time to get some munitions and aircraft there, we’d come out on top, but it’d still be bloody.”
Rep. Michael Waltz told the Free Beacon, “Our timeline with China won’t be what we saw with Russia… We won’t have this long, slow buildup to figure out what we want to do, and debate what we’re going to do.”
The responses considered by the lawmakers included, according to the Free Beacon, “striking mainland China, attacking China’s ships, or overwhelming Chinese forces with a blockade of sorts and stopping ground troops from setting foot on Taiwan. All of those scenarios, according to members who attended, involved significant U.S. casualties.”
Increasingly, dominant sections of the US political and military establishment are seeing a potential US war with China as a matter not of decades, but of years.
In January, Air Force Gen. Michael Minihan told his command that he expects the US to be at war with China by 2025. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” he said. He urged airmen under his command to get their “personal affairs” in order in preparation for war.
However disastrous the consequences of a US war with China, the US has taken a number of steps in recent weeks that are intended to prepare a direct confrontation.
On March 11, US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines stated that Biden’s assertion that the US would go to war with China over Taiwan was not just the president’s personal opinion, but actual US policy.
In September, Biden was asked during an interview, “so unlike Ukraine, US forces, US men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Biden replied, “Yes.”
Even as it moves to end the policy of “strategic ambiguity” and declares that the US would go to war with China over Taiwan, the US is shifting toward ending the “one-China policy,” according to which it is the US position that Taiwan is part of China.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed the Taiwan Assurance Implementation Act, which formally tasks the State Department to “identify opportunities to lift any remaining self-imposed limitations on U.S.-Taiwan engagement and articulate a plan to do so.”
The Chinese state newspaper Global Times cited Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, who pointed to the essential significance of the bill: “The bill suggests that the US House intends to unilaterally change the status quo across the Straits… For the past 40 years, the US maintained only unofficial interactions with the island, but now they are looking to shift to an official one.”
The statement by the office of Republican Rep. Ann Wagner on the passage of the bill asserted that, “For decades, most senior U.S. executive branch officials, including high-ranking military officers, were banned from visiting Taiwan to appease China. Similarly, Taiwan’s top leadership could not travel to the United States.”
The act would move to overturn these restrictions. China, for its part, has repeatedly stated that the formal US recognition of Taiwan would lead to a reunification by force.
The passage of the bill takes place just one week before Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is scheduled to visit the United States.
As the American ruling class is openly preparing and planning for a war with China, it is simultaneously working to ensure the total control of US corporations over the internet.
In a five-hour house hearing Thursday, US members of Congress demanded the “end” of TikTok, the social media network owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
Members of Congress claimed, without substantiation, that TikTok spies on its users in the United States on behalf of the Chinese government.
“TikTok surveils us all, and the Chinese Communist Party is able to use this as a tool to manipulate America as a whole,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington state, ranted at TikTok CEO Shou Chew in the hearing. “Your platform should be banned. I expect today you will say anything to avoid this outcome... We’re not buying it.”
Lawmakers from both parties openly demanded the banning of TikTok. “Shouldn’t a threat to U.S. security be banned?” asked Republican Rep. Ken Buck. “They do it to us. Why don’t we do it to them?”
Testifying before the committee, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that TikTok “should be ended one way or another, and there are different ways of doing that.”
The Biden administration has demanded that Chinese shareholders of ByteDance sell TikTok to a US corporation.
There are two overarching goals in the crackdown on TikTok. First, the US is determined to systematically destroy China’s high-technology sector as part of its trade war with Beijing. But, more ominously, the US government is seeking to consolidate under its control all aspects of mass communication.