The Nuclear Threat From China – Mark Helprin

From The Washington Post:

Before rejoicing over detente with Kim Jong Il, it might be useful to remember that although agreements were reached in the past, his countrymen later built a number of nuclear weapons and carried out a test. Also, North Korea, with a rich chemical and biological arsenal having long ago neutralized American tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, has embarked solely on a program of survival by extortion and will gladly forfeit a power it does not need in exchange for recognition and some essential commodities. The Asian nuclear power of which we must take account is not North Korea but China.

The forerunners of China’s government were able to defeat Chiang Kai-shek, fight the United States to a draw in Korea and, merely by means of their country’s looming potential, help defeat America in Vietnam. This they did in chaos, poverty and without modern arms, but with strategy bred in the bone. Since 1978, using their extraordinary and sustained economic and technical growth to build military capacity, the Chinese have deliberately modeled themselves on the Meiji (who rapidly transformed feudal Japan into an industrial state able to vanquish the Russian fleet at Tsushima). [Full Text]

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