The Communist Party of China is fast-tracking the largest military buildup since the Second World War; it is sanctions-proofing itself; it is stockpiling grain; it is surveying America for nuclear weapons strikes; and, most ominously, it is mobilizing China’s civilians for battle.
In the past decade, ruler Xi Jinping has militarized the Chinese political system. As a result, the People’s Liberation Army has become so powerful that, like the bloodthirsty Japanese military of the 1930s, it believes it can do whatever it wants.
Xi Jinping has no answer for mounting internal crises. He knows the Chinese people are increasingly angry. His only way out is to unify the nation with the prospect of conflict. Inside the Party, there is an almost irresistible imperative for war. Meanwhile, Washington and other Western capitals lack urgency.
Naysayers tell us that war is neither inevitable nor imminent, but how many times in history has a militant regime embarked on a breakneck military buildup and not launched a war of aggression?