China’s aggressive military buildup, troubling alliances and territorial ambitions all require firm resistance as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the White House, but retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely has no confidence that President Obama is showing that resistance in their face-to-face meetings on Thursday and Friday.
In recent years, most national security concerns in the U.S. have focused on Russia and the threat of Islamic terrorism, but Vallely, who served as deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, says China is giving the U.S. plenty of reasons for alarm.
“They are developing one of the largest armed forces in the world, a very modern navy in what what we call a blue-water fleet, (and) a very rapidly expanding and modern air force,” Vallely said. “Their high-tech capability now has expanded enormously over the last 10 years.”
He sees two aspects of Chinese progress that give him the most concern.
“I think the expansion of their blue-water fleets and the takeover of many islands, expanding their influence in the South China Sea, even toward the Philippines is a major threat,” said Vallely, who also cited China’s development of long-range missiles.
The most recent example of Chinese aggression against the U.S. is the cyber attack against multiple U.S. government systems, most notably the hacking of records at the Office of Personnel Management. Some 18 million current and former government employees had data stolen in the attack, and this week the government said 5.6 million had their fingerprint data compromised.
Vallely said that is another area of great concern.
“Along with that would be the cyber security threat that they have been exercising by hitting a lot of our computers in the government and also in our corporations,” Vallely said.
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely:
As for China’s long-term goals, Vallely believes the most urgent priorities are fiscal.
“Their long-term goals are economic and financial,” he explained. “From that standpoint, we’ve seen what happened to our stock market because of the currency situation in China. And, of course, they’re holding a lot of our debt that’s been issued on paper from our Federal Reserve.”
However, he said, there are other ambitions as well.
“Their goals are their expansion of their power, expansion of their military, their influence not only over there but also their great influence in Africa now as well as in the Middle East,” Vallely said.
That influence in the Middle East is particularly troubling to Vallely, who said China and its proxy are helping Iran hide its nuclear progress.
“[China’s] client state, which is North Korea, has been working with Iran on the development of their nuclear weapons program, and it’s why we’ve stated now nuclear weapons are already capable inside Iran because Russia and North Korea have done all the testing,” he said.
According to Vallely, that’s a group of nations that spells bad news for U.S. interests.
“A cabal with China, Russia, North Korea to assist in support of the nuclear program of Iran has been all too apparent for many years,” Vallely said, “We’re actually enemies of all those states when you look at Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They work together against us, but they use us when they can.”
Vallely said Obama could push Xi hard on any of those issues and more. But he’s not holding his breath.
“There are a number of subjects that Obama could approach and relate to the [president], but, of course, Obama won’t focus on the real needs of what the major threats are. I’m sure that [Xi] looks at Obama the way other leaders in the world do with not a lot of credibility and not a lot of respect,” he said.
The general said adversaries like Russia and China present challenges that Obama just isn’t prepared to meet.
“The problem is, Obama’s not the kind of individual that conveys strength,” he said. “When you’re dealing with Russia and China, these are world-class leaders and strategists. They play hardball, and Obama doesn’t know how to play hardball. He’ll be at a disadvantage in any engagement or discussion.”
Vallely said the president should make it clear that the U.S. will not tolerate Chinese aggression.
“Certainly put forth that the U.S. is standing tall in the world,” he said. “We are updating our capability to meet all threats, and we will meet those threats. That’s what he should say, but Lord knows what he’ll end up saying. I’m sure it’ll be from a position of weakness, which is too bad.”