KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to CounterPunch and Dissident Voice, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Wednesday that the US has used the COVID-19 outbreak to continue its struggle against China, a rising power militarily, economically, and politically.
Building a Post-Cold War Order
Noh explained to Sputnik host Brian Becker that Washington’s present struggle against China is actually part of a grand strategic project begun at the end of the Cold War to ensure US world dominance in a post-Soviet world.
“In 1992, there was the Defense Planning Guidance Document offered by [then-US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy] Paul Wolfowitz, and this was a plan for full-spectrum dominance, ensuring that the US would remain the unipolar hegemon,” Noh said.
“This developed into the project for the New American Century, and then it was developed further into the declaration of the ‘pivot to Asia.’ And what we see now is the legacy of these various doctrines that have codified into the  National Defense Strategy, and essentially what it is arguing is that China and Russia and Iran and North Korea and violent Islamic extremist groups are the enemies of the US,” he said.
“Russia and China are referred to as revisionist powers. Iran, North Korea and violent Islamic extremist groups are referred to as rogue states. That is purely a semantic difference related to the stature in power, but essentially they are considered to be existential threats to the US and the US-imposed world order, and they must be treated as such enemies,” Noh explained, adding that China has at least five “geo-strategic vulnerabilities” surrounding it: Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang/Tibet region and the South China Sea.
In the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy, unveiled in February 2018, US military leaders explained that “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security,” marking a shift in US military policy from the War on Terror that dominated its thinking since 2001.
The document declared countries like Russia, China, Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which are pursuing strategies of independence from Washington and western-controlled international organs and economic structures, to be “revisionist powers” threatening the post-Cold War global order.
“You realize that these [the regions above] are the vulnerabilities of China, and what we’ve seen over the past several years is a concerted attempt to attack China,” Noh explained.
War Doctrines Against China ‘Mapped Out’
Doctrines of war have been “mapped out” in the US against China, he added.
“I think there’s a large group of people - not all of them - who actually believe that war is winnable against China in some form or another. There are actual doctrines of war that have been mapped out. One is called the AirSea Battle, which was transformed into the Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons, but essentially this is the idea that China should not be able to defend itself or is not allowed to defend against incursions in its littoral waters,” Noh explained.
“And then there have been case studies by the [American nonprofit think tank] Rand Corporation, which have been titled ‘Thinking Through the Unthinkable,’ and the wargaming there shows if the US had a war, a limited war with China, especially in the South China Sea, then within six months, China's economy would be completely destroyed, and the US would prevail,” he said.
“By 2025, China will be too big and too powerful to be able to be taken down in this fashion, so [the implication] in this document was that it’s better to start a war sooner rather than later,” Noh noted.
“And then - last but not least, I hate to mention this - but there are millenarian Christians in the top brass of the US administration, and I think that is kind of a conflict of interest, if you will. I wonder if these individuals are thinking clearly, rationally and scientifically about the possibility of war,” Noh explained.
Leveraging ‘Consensus Doctrine’ Against China Amid COVID-19
The concerted attack against China has become more patent during the coronavirus pandemic, Noh pointed out.
Most recently, US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China’s reported COVID-19 data is on the “light side.”
“Their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side, and I’m being nice when I say that,” he said during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House.
In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, US Vice President Mike Pence also said that “the reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming. What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.”
The administration's comments come as the Associated Press published an investigative report Tuesday claiming that Chinese officials did not notify the public about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak for six days in January, even after realizing that a potential pandemic was on the horizon.
“It is exactly a witch hunt. Everyone is being told you’re either with us or against us. ‘You must hate, fear and demonize the Chinese. This is our consensus, and this is what we are going to run our political platforms, and this is going to organize how we interact with the rest of the world for the foreseeable future. China is the greatest threat to the world.’”
“This is the consensus doctrine, and then in order to reinforce that, you have this constant information warfare,” Noh said, adding that US media has been accusing China of initially covering up the coronavirus.
“How do you know there was a coverup? The argument is: ‘We have truth. We were spying on them.’ And so then we can legitimately say, if you have the intel, how can you say you didn't know? How can you say you were caught by surprise and weren’t able to respond? But there’s no longer any logic,” Noh explained.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.