September 14, 2020
I've said in my daily notes here that it seems like we are on path for some military action with China, before the election.
The election is drawing closer. Nothing yet. Though China has made many provocative moves (handling of the virus, expansionist actions in the South China Sea, Taiwan and Hong Kong).
And the U.S. has stepped up rhetoric and action, with bans on Chinese technology companies, condemnation of China's human rights abuses, and calling out the broad threat of the Chinese Communist Party to the future of the free world.
Add to that, Trump has laid out, as part of his second term agenda, a plan to decouple the U.S. and Chinese economy.
So, what could be the trigger to turn rhetoric and a 'cold war' into a 'hot war?'
At this point, it looks like, if anything, it could be the border dispute in India.
For the past several months, China has ramped up the bullying of India, over a long disputed stretch of Chinese/Indian border. It has resulted in plenty of military flexing. There were 20 deaths from a ground fight back in June. And shots were fired last week, for the first time in 45 years.
The CCP's voice on Twitter, the Editor of the Global Times, has been posting threats and war propaganda. Below is the latest, from this morning …
So, where does the U.S. come down on this?
Trump has said over the summer that he would be a mediator. But Pompeo has been out alliance building with democratic nations to stand against the Chinese Communist Party. As he said in his July speech at the Nixon Library, "maybe it's time for a new grouping of like-minded nations, a new alliance of democracies." India is the largest democracy in the world. And Pompeo was just there in late July. And in his Congressional testimony he named India as a friend (along with Australia, Japan and the UK) that is working in coordination with the U.S. to discourage China's actions in the South China Sea.
What does it all mean? If this China/India dispute were to escalate into military action, the U.S. would be drawn in, to take a side — and it seems clear that it would be supporting India. That would put us in the middle of a war, which would further complicate a very high stakes election. But as we’ve said, incumbent Presidents, when they’ve actively sought a second term in war time, have a 6-0 record.