Pacific Dialogue
Is keeping China down more important than lifting Americans up?
By Liu Yunyun  ·  2020-12-31  ·   Source: NO.1 JANUARY 7, 2021
After U.S. National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe proclaimed that "China is National Security Threat No.1" in a Wall Street Journal article on December 3, 2020, he followed it up with a Fox News interview a few days later, claiming that China is "altering DNA" of its 2-million-strong military personnel, "trying to make them stronger through gene editing."
These two comments alone had people in China scratching their heads and wondering how many Americans actually take seriously remarks by this high-ranking official, who apparently gets his daily intelligence briefings from Marvel Comics.
Ratcliffe's Oscar-caliber performance has a market. His mind-blowing assertions triggered Fox host Maria Bartiromo to exclaim that China is making super soldiers who are "more equipped to handle extreme weather and chemical attacks."
Ratcliffe's "China experts" get rewarded for expounding the "China threat" theory with a 20-percent boost in the nation's spy budget, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Is China really a threat to the U.S.? Let's look at what former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said to President Donald Trump once. He said since 1979 (when China started to pursue the reform and opening-up policy), China has not spent a single penny on war, while the U.S. has stayed at war, wasting $3 trillion.
If the rapid economic growth of China constitutes national security threat No.1 for the U.S., would it be fair to argue that as the world's most powerful nation, the U.S., which has 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories around the world, even after closing hundreds in Iraq and Afghanistan, is international security threat No.1? How about the fact that five of the 11 U.S. combatant commands are targeting non-U.S. territories? Or that if you look closely at a map of its bases it becomes clear that the U.S. military has encircled China?
The U.S. wars on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, to name a few, have left millions, if not tens of millions, of innocent civilians dead or displaced. Establishing and supporting regimes in oil-rich countries that favor U.S. interests in the name of preserving "freedom and democracy" is the height of altruistic hypocrisy. The world warily waits for the next "weapons of mass destruction" scenario.
The U.S. as we knew it—the country that helped Europe get back on its feet, brought enemies back into the community of nations and reshaped the international order toward openness and fairness—has fallen into oblivion.
We can't help but lament how much the wasted money could do to improve the lives of regular American people. Currently, the U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surpasses 335,000, rising every day, with seniors and people of color bearing the brunt.
As Robert Reich, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, commented recently on Twitter on U.S. aid to its own people, "Providing a measly $600 check to survive the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression while doling out more than $1 million per minute to the Pentagon is the real looting in America."
Meanwhile, Trump is pushing for stimulus checks of $2,000 for individuals. Whether that is just posturing on his part, it's what the pandemic-ruined people really deserve.
We strongly urge the U.S. Government to turn its attention to caring for its people instead of focusing its valuable resources on a misguided "China threat."
Cranking up the "China threat," questioning presidential election results and promoting a COVID-19 conspiracy theory speak volume about Ratcliffe's capability as the nation's top spy. He will most likely be remembered as a faithful servant and loyal follower of his master—Donald Trump, if he is even remembered.  
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
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