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    Expert: Too Early to Assume Beijing to Be Inevitable Threat to Washington

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    Two Pentagon-sponsored pieces of research reported that is China a growing threat to US defense. Sputnik spoke to Dr. Ching Chang, the leading security expert specifically on military affairs and international relations in Taiwan to know more about this.

    Sputnik: How would you assess Washington’s apprehensions voiced in the reports?

    Dr. Ching Chang: It is hard to fairly judge Washington’s estimations noted in the report since no detail information addressed by the appendixes can be available. Nonetheless, certain efforts made by the United States to explore the rare earth minerals in the Rocky Mountains are well known in recent years. It is impossible for Washington to do nothing to prevent the well-perceived coercing on the supply of these vital strategic materials. This report might only reflect the strategic concern but it evidently understated the preventive measures already taken by the US government.

    Sputnik: The reports come amid yet another study suggesting that China wants to weaken the US by flooding world markets with strategic goods. What do you make of this influx of reports picturing China as a power threatening the US?

    Dr. Ching Chang: Those reports are all based on the worst case scenarios by making the assumptions for the most extreme conditions. China can be a concern for the United States for the future yet it is too early to assume that Beijing will be the inevitable threat to Washington so far. To provide precautions in advance is the general modus operandi of these analysis reports. And in most of the cases, there is a tendency to exaggerate the level of concern and making it as if it is a threat. Several factors accompanied with the US domestic political calendar, namely the midterm election, can be a driving for such a flux of exports or statements to portray China as a threat to the United States at the moment. We shall see whether this assessment can still be a firm conclusion after the US political hot season soon.

    Sputnik: With these reports out, what steps could Washington take to deal with the alleged ‘threat’? What is the US end-game here?

    Dr. Ching Chang: No substantial measures of dealing with the alleged Chinese threat can be properly identified so far except those tariffs already employed for punitive commercial measures. No one can precisely predict what will be likely to happen in the future since President Trump himself is so impulsive and unpredictable. Perhaps an end-game with no conclusive result is the most likely consequence we may see  in the future.

    The Republic of Korea destroyers Sejong the Great and Yang Manchun, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer, USS Michael Murphy and USS Stethem, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transit the western Pacific Ocean on May 3, 2017. Picture taken on May 3, 2017
    © REUTERS / Sean M. Castellano/Courtesy U.S. Navy
    Sputnik: Taking into account the tensions between the US and China on so many levels, what could this ongoing stand-off spill into? How concerning are these tensions between the two nations?

    Dr. Ching Chang: We should remember that the situations between these two nations are gradually accumulated from the past thirty years. Many previous administrations are well-known of the unpleasant tendency but could not do anything to detour the course. And Trump administration is not particularly smart as comparing with its predecessors. If they all failed to fix the problem, neither the Trump administration may have the chance to do a better job. A conclusion with no conclusion is the most likely result no matter how loud the present US administration ever addressed that it may “correct” something its predecessors all failed to achieve.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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