Below is an excerpt from this Politico newsletter on China that features a quote from EMN Senior Fellow Bill Astore.
Hi, China Watchers. This week we look ahead to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Feb. 5-6 Beijing trip, unpack the sudden surge in warnings about a looming U.S. conflict with China and mark the anniversary of the death of China’s now-revered Covid whistleblower, Li Wenliang. We’ll also probe the whereabouts of vanished Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai and profile a book that argues that the once-popular narrative of China’s peaceful evolution toward freedom and democracy was nothing less than a deception by foreign politicians and pundits…
Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN will travel to Beijing this weekend to test whether the Chinese government’s recent shift to a softer diplomatic tone could translate into actual concessions on issues including counternarcotics cooperation and the release of unjustly jailed Americans in China.
Blinken’s much-anticipated Feb. 5-6 China trip is a follow-up to President JOE BIDEN’s meeting with Chinese paramount leader XI JINPING in Bali in November. Biden pledged then to “maintain open lines of communication” with Beijing despite worsening bilateral tensions.
Suspicions about China’s rapidly modernizing military prompted a senior U.S. Air Force officer to predict in a memo published last week that the two countries are heading for military conflict over Taiwan as early as 2025…
That memo from U.S. Air Force Gen. MIKE MINIHAN — which warned that a U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan looms as early as 2025 — has prompted echoes of agreement among senior GOP House members.
“I hope he’s wrong…but I think he’s right,” Rep. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News on Sunday.
Rep. MIKE WALTZ (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, is also a Minihan fan. Waltz declared on Tuesday that the Minihan memo was “spot on” and praised it for “the type of mentality that we need our soldiers to see and that we need the Chinese Communist Party to see.”
Some retired U.S. military officers offered less flattering assessments of Minihan’s foresight. “War with China is neither imminent nor inevitable, unless America lends too much credence to wannabe warrior-generals who profit from rampant threat inflation,” U.S. Air Force Ret. Lt. Col BILL ASTORE, an Eisenhower Media Network fellow, said in an email statement on Tuesday.
Read more here.