One paragraph in an op-ed by Seth Cropsey in Friday’s Wall Street Journal summed up the essential reason that China and the U.S. are on a collision course–willful American refusal to maintain our military edge:
The growing disparity between Chinese and U.S. military investment will eventually alter the balance of power in the Western Pacific. This shift will likely lead either to military conflict or to tacit American acknowledgment of Chinese dominance. A war would be disastrous, but Chinese dominance would not bode well either: The U.S. ability to shape the international order would end with Chinese supremacy in the most populous and economically vigorous part of the world.
The decline in U.S. military investment is not the product of inevitable forces, nor of the budget sequester, but rather the result of a deliberate policy decision made under the Obama administration to be a “humble” nation, notwithstanding a much-trumpeted but ineffectual “pivot” to the Western Pacific.
The news that Hong Kong let Snowden slip away, despite an extradition treaty with the U.S., is a sign of things to come.