China is tired of being #2 and it’s hungry for the United States’ spot as the top dog, according to one intelligence official.
“Chinese leaders see the U.S.-led world order, most notably the U.S. alliance network and promotion of U.S. values worldwide, as constraining China’s rise and are attempting to reshape the world order to better suit Chinese preferences and growing clout,” said an American intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity to Bloomberg.com.
The official cited China’s “One Belt, One Road,” trade initiative, its fierce territorial claims in the conflicted South China Sea, and its ongoing military expansion across the globe as key drivers in Beijing’s push for domination.
In fact, the official revealed China’s announcement to establish a military base in the African region of Djibouti may be just the beginning.
Officials tell Bloomberg, “China has the fastest-modernizing military in the world next to the United States” and this could open “new areas of intersection — and potentially conflicting — security interests between China and the United States and other countries abroad.”
The news comes as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares for his visit to Beijing next month and China’s President Xi Jingping seeks to secure power in the Communist Party Congress. Both men have thus far come to terms on a few issues– namely in response to North Korean aggression.
The Trump Administration has successfully persuaded China to push for stronger sanctions against Pyongyang and to allow investigations into Chinese banks accused of funding the nuclear-armed rogue state.
But in the fields of trade, they come at odds.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross already has initiated an investigation into China’s stainless steel flanges and alleged unfair subsidies. He’s also looking deeply into Beijing’s intellectual property tactics. Stephen Bannon, a former adviser to President Trump, once called the movement of U.S. technology to China America’s biggest economic issue, and warned that “If we don’t get our situation sorted with China, we’ll be destroyed economically.”