China wants to become the world’s leading economic and military superpower. It knows it must knock off the United States to achieve its goal.

Generals fighting the last war might envision tank battalions or carrier groups facing off against each other in a decisive battle.

But the battlefield in this 21st century war is broader. China is using commerce, culture, espionage, lobbying and chemical warfare as well as military hardware to achieve its goal of global supremacy.

The Made in China 2025 plan identifies 10 key industries Beijing wants to dominate, including robotics, artificial intelligence, supercomputing, biotech and advanced electronics. China employs cyber-espionage, coercion and subterfuge to gain an edge, knowing that whoever controls these technologies controls the future.

Culturally, China wants Americans to think of it as a cuddly panda bear. In fact, pandas are voracious eaters and viciously territorial. Similarly, Confucius Institutes, the centers for Chinese language teaching and cultural programming the Chinese government funds on American college campuses, are in fact “a platform for China’s intelligence collection and political agenda,” as Reps. Michael McCaul and Henry Cuellar wrote in an open letter that led Texas A&M to kick the Confucius Institute off its campus.

Beijing plants friends in high places as agents of influence. Wendy Deng, ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch, befriended the likes of Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. She facilitated Murdoch’s business deals in China and presents a friendly face to the world for the People’s Republic. Deng, now divorced, resides in a $14 million mansion next to Beijing’s Forbidden City leadership compound.

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of the $300 billion Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest investment funds, is another highly placed member of the China lobby. China owns a 10 percent stake in Blackstone, and Schwarzman funds a scholarship at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. He also chairs the White House Strategic and Policy Forum, which explains why President-for-Life Xi Xinping met with Schwarzman at Davos prior to Trump’s inauguration.

Beijing uses Schwarzman and others with commercial interests in China to further its agenda in Washington and dissuade President Trump from confronting China’s full-spectrum warfare.

But the most infernal weapon China wields in its unconventional war against America is opioids. It’s an insidious form of chemical warfare.

The Drug Enforcement Agency reports the deadly opioid fentanyl that’s ravaging America originates in China. Heartland communities first devastated by factories moving to China are now being killed off by the output of other factories in China.

And much of the fentanyl gets here through Canada. The Department of Health of Minnesota (which shares a border with Canada) identifies Canada as the major source of China’s fentanyl coming into the U.S.

Last year, the Justice Department charged two Chinese citizens with making tons of fentanyl in China and shipping it to the U.S. via Canada. It described the operation, as one of “the most prolific international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations” in the world.

In January, Alberta authorities seized a $3 million stash of fentanyl ready to be pressed into counterfeit Oxycontin pills, and a month later busted a fentanyl operation that trafficked pills in the U.S. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police intercepted shipments of Chinese chemicals that would make 38 million fentanyl pills. They busted six illicit fentanyl labs between 2011 and 2015.

Beijing’s totalitarian rulers control a vast digital surveillance system that monitors all social and economic activity in that country. One can reasonably assume they made a choice not to crack down on the poison that’s killing Americans.

In announcing the Justice Department’s indictments last year, Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wouldn’t comment on whether or not Beijing had arrested the perps behind the dope ring or busted their labs.

The hapless Rosenstein said, “If it were the other way around, and tens of thousands of Chinese nationals were dying as a result of poisons shipped from the United States, we’d be very proactive. So we’re hoping to get the same kind of response from there.”

Here’s hoping he spends more time getting tough on China and less time going after the president’s personal attorney. But don’t hold your breath.

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