The (Un)Inevitability of War Between China and America

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And the Destabilization of North Korea

By JC Collins

As the world continues the shift from a unipolar American dominated world to a multilateral world based on the fair political and economic representation of all countries, there remains flashpoints of tension and possible conflict in regions of the world which have acted as hinges, or gateways, for American hegemony.

The war and political back and forth taking place in Ukraine is one of these regions. The area acts as a natural divide between the Russian geopolitical sphere and the American hegemonic European sphere, a sphere which is now slowly moving away from US dominance and into the multilateral framework.

The war taking place in Yemen and quickly spreading into Saudi Arabia is another one of these regions which is seeking realignment as the global governance structure is shuffled. The relationship between the House of Saud and countless American administrations, which have represented the interests of the Federal Reserve, is now being fragmented and re-organized under a regional energy policy, which will more accurately reflect the multilateral framework being implemented.

The outcomes in each of the regions listed above are not difficult to determine. Whether it’s Ukraine, Syria, Saudi Arabia, or even islands in the South Pacific, the natural transition of regional influence and multilateral integration are becoming more visible with each passing week and month.

The realignment of global governance structures is taking place as powerful international players grind and push against one another like tectonic plates. Some slide pass each other while others go under and above through methods of geopolitical and socioeconomic subduction.

As such, it has been often concluded that war between China and America is on the horizon and is unavoidable. The logic is that as one empire is in collapse it will attack or attempt to maintain power by waging war against the rising power. History has shown us that this never ends well for the outgoing power.

The reasoning behind these conclusions is based on the analysis that China is taking over from America as the world’s dominant power. This thought process ignores the reality that China is in fact a benign country and has stated categorically that it does not want to replace the US as the world’s sole superpower. It has though, expressed a need to be fairly represented on the world stage.

The avoidance of war is China’s top priority as the multilateral transition continues. The fear of a warmongering China is a manufactured product based on Western propaganda and its own projection of moral shortcomings.

The nature of the multilateral framework is such that the world is not witnessing the replacement of one hegemonic power with another, but the replacement of the current hegemonic power with a multilateral power based on the principles and economic mandates of all regions and countries.

The model of outgoing power waging war against the incoming power falls apart in a multilateral structure as the outgoing power cannot fight the entire world. This fact has recently been dramatized and publicized in the application process for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as once American aligned countries went against the wishes of the outgoing hegemonic power and sided with the possibilities of a multilateral future.

America’s ability to wage war against a rising multilateral power is a non-starter, and both China and Russia have implemented foreign policies based on that awareness. America’s frustration with the proxy wars in Ukraine, Syria, and now Yemen, are underscored by the confident approach of Russia and China in handling each crisis.

American hegemony is collapsing under the subduction pressure of each conflict.

North Korea presents all sides with unique challenges that are not as easily solved as the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. The conclusion of whether or not the reclusive nation is a tool of American interests or Chinese interests is open to debate. When one considers the justification which America has for maintaining a large military presence on the Korean peninsula, within range of China, it’s hard to imagine that the North serves any other purpose but that of a Western one.

That fact that North Korea is represented in Western culture in a cartoonish manner is tantamount to admittance of such a relationship. The constant propaganda surrounding North Korea and its weird leadership continues to create this justification for American military presence.

The other side of this equation is that China has helped sustain North Korea by providing it with fuel, food, and weapons. It’s almost as if North Korea has been serving two masters while domestically entertaining itself at the expense of the people.

Over the last few years China has become increasingly concerned about the possibility of North Korea reaching a nuclear deal with America, which would leave China on the outside. Equally as troubling for China would a collapse of the North Korean leadership, leading to a potential vacuum which American interests would attempt to fill with troops and corporate contracts.

What is certain is that North Korea will not cause a larger war between America and China. Like the other proxy wars, the Korean peninsula would be contained as a regional conflict, only because the costs to America for a larger war involving direct engagement with China would diminish its position within the multilateral framework even further.

It is my conclusion that China has begun operations to destabilize North Korea based on a strategy of preventing American interests from gaining a stronger foothold in the country. The collapse of North Korea, which has been a concern of China for many years, can be managed and directed from Beijing without the unknown variables associated with an uncontrolled collapse, or regime change orchestrated from the west. A managed collapse by China would also be preferable to Beijing over a peace agreement made between North Korea and America. North Korea is already worried about being betrayed by China, which is pushing it into the negotiating arms of America.

In the last few months more and more stories are emerging telling tales of North Korean soldiers defecting into China. Some of these soldiers are committing crimes in the border towns while it is rumored that others are building an army to invade back into North Korea and overthrow the Kim regime. This army would obviously have to be sanctioned and funded by China.

It has been reported that North Korea has begun sending tanks and other armored vehicles to the border with China. China has been sending troops to its border with North Korea.

In addition, China has recently cut off fuel supplies to the North, creating tension and internal pressure on the Kim government, supported by the growing army of defectors just across the border in China.

This sequence of events supports the conclusion that China can destabilize North Korea at any time, and in fact has begun to do so. Any response to the collapse of North Korea would be handled regionally and would be focused on bringing economic stability and reform to the country, both necessary conditions for the North to be integrated within the multilateral framework.

China would work with the United Nations in the event of a collapse and would send troops into North Korea for the purpose of:

  1. Humanitarian efforts to assist the population and ensure vital infrastructure is safeguarded.
  2. Peacekeeping mission to ensure a proper transition of rule is implemented.
  3. Environmental control with a focus on nuclear cleanup after the bombing of nuclear facilities and the inevitable contamination from such strikes.
  4. Securing of loose nuclear weapons and material in the days and weeks after the collapse.

The bombing of North Korean nuclear facilities could be orchestrated by America only, China only, or a combination of both, working on mandates from the United Nations. Once the North Korean government begins to collapse, it will not matter what, or who, was the source of the collapse. The only thing that will matter is the control and management of the transition.

The days of the current North Korea leadership are numbered and with it China will remove one of the last points of conflict and tension which is preventing the whole region from being successfully integrated into the multilateral architecture.

With the fall of the Kim Dynasty will come an end to any real threat of direct military engagement between China and America, which is something the US needs and China wants. The geopolitical cleanup of the US hegemonic framework is well under way. – JC

Further research:

Chinese Views of Economic Reform and Stability in North Korea

North Korean Defectors Building Army to Topple Kim Jong-un

The China-North Korea Relationship

Can the United States and China avoid A Thucydides Trap?