News surrounding China is not going away, and it’s getting louder, keeping Far East expert Gordon Chang up at night.
“What keeps me up at night? It’s almost everything that’s going on in China,” Chang told Sunday’s “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. “There’s too much news. And when there’s too much news, it means that things are probably out of control.”
Involvement with Taliban in Afghanistan, aggressions on Taiwan, and a difficult position with the U.S. on trade and the global coronavirus are a “dangerous brew,” Chang added to host John Catsimatidis.
“Clearly [President] Xi Jinping is moving in directions which are very dangerous,” Chang said. “Not only with regard to the United States, but also to neighbors such as Taiwan, India. There are new reports that there is going to be another purge inside the Communist Party. Put that all together, it’s a very dangerous brew.”
China is seizing on President Joe Biden’s withdrawal in Afghanistan, perhaps eyeing Bagram airbase as a strategic military position in the region.
“They certainly want Bagram Airbase,” Chang said. “They have been scouting it. If they don’t take it over immediately, they probably will wait a little bit. But clearly they want facilities there.”
The Taliban has it now and China is quickly bolstering their strategic alliance.
“China has been able to support the Taliban through thick and thin,” Chang continued. “This goes back before 9/11. China has been selling small arms to the Taliban, which were used to kill American and NATO forces.
“This relation between the Taliban and Beijing is very thick. We can forecast it is going to continue. China will be the outside support for the Taliban.”
Taiwan is another location of movement by the Chinese military, he added.
“Certainly [the Chinese] have been making moves on Taiwan,” he said. “There are now almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. And it’s not just one or two planes. [Last] Sunday there were 19 planes. And they’re sending in their nuclear capable H6K bombers, which is really a warning, not only to Taiwan, but also to the United States.”
The Biden administration will ultimately have to confront China and on their alliances and military movements, Chang concluded.
“I think there will be a confrontation unless Washington changes its approach to Beijing,” Chang said. “We have been adopting this engagement theory for almost a half century, and it hasn’t worked. If we start trying to deter Beijing, rather than trying to engage it, we will get to a better place. This is what President [Donald] Trump was doing. But Biden reversed much of that approach.
“Therefore, I think we are on a path that is encouraging the Chinese to be even more aggressive. The debacle in Afghanistan has convinced Beijing it can do what it wants. And that, of course, is a very dangerous situation.”