Is the USA a Threat to China?

Is the USA a Threat to China?













Is the USA a Threat to China?


            The United States and China are sovereign countries with more than 300 million and one billion citizens respectively. Located on different continents, the two nations engage in key trade and bilateral deals in areas of mutual interest while differing on other issues. As two of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, they interact a lot on various international platforms in a bid to keep the world a safer and prosperous place. The diversity within their borders ensures that they have certain fundamental differences, which result in varying sociopolitical developments hence providing them with different growth trajectories. Their lack of similarity and equality in vital aspects of personal and communal development offers them differing leverage. The United States is a threat to China economically, militarily and politically.



The US has withheld the title of the world’s largest economy since 1871 yet China has experienced rapid 10% growth p.a. since the late 1980s. In this period, the US has exerted market dominance in international trade culminating in the adoption of the dollar as a global currency. The use of the dollar in foreign transactions even by the Chinese signifies their dependence on its goodwill for better deals thus are subservient to it (Hamilton, 2011). Changes in the exchange rate of the dollar or even its credit rating by firms such as Standard and Poors would have a significant impact in the latter. The US has a higher per capita GDP of $49,800 than China as well hence proving its greater flexibility in the development of new products, expansion of capital plants, and the hiring of workers. Such a high Purchasing Power Parity places it in a stronger position especially during international negotiations that enable it to dictate terms for various transactions. The lack of such instruments by China limits its competitive edge in the manufacture of goods hence making it less competitive.

Technological advancements in the US have resulted in the creation of superior products of a higher quality than those in China. In fact, the latter is known for the production of counterfeit goods that fetch low prices. Therefore, the former has more revenue generation, which helps to enhance its GDP hence improving operations of other sectors. The preference for American brands worldwide over Chinese exports is an indicator of the financial might that it wields as well as the goodwill of most consumers. The ingenuity of its labor force due to better skills in different industries makes them better equipped to manufacture stylish, safe and superior merchandise that threaten the production of items from China.

The embrace of clean energy technologies by the US places it at a better position to reap the benefits of renewable energy, which is the future of global fuel trends (Seedhouse, 2010). China’s slow uptake of such initiatives is a disadvantage as it increases pollution within the atmosphere while forcing it to use costly production methods to operate fossil fuel plants. In contrast, fewer funds are employed in the production of natural gas, the wind, and solar power as well as biomass in the US thus guaranteeing it more liquidity and less pollution. It would thus be a source of employment for many people thereby enhancing the productivity necessary in the economic expansion whereas China is bound to stagnate. American workers are more confident and experienced hence enhancing their rivalry

The Chinese economy is export-driven, and that makes it vulnerable to external variables. The tariff system applied by the US makes it harder for foreign goods to gain entry hence increasing domestic trade using local stakeholders. Such a strategy ensures that Americans and other consumers promote their brands while the penchant for the external trade makes the Chinese depend on outside transactions. The former helps to cushion its economy from external shocks within the capitalistic market as occasioned by political instability or other financial malpractices. The dependency on offshore investors, markets, and resources is damaging to China’s interests as it makes it susceptible to fluctuations in global trends. Its outcome would be a stronger economic footing for the US while the latter would be under intense pressure from lobbyists and other interested parties. Upon confirmation that a majority of them are located in America, they could place unnecessary demands on it hence weakening its financial position with minimal changes in the market conditions (Introduction to China, 2015). Such volatility is harmful especially considering that it would jeopardize the lifestyles of more than a billion people. The US also relies on its skilled workforce to produce state-of-the-art gadgets that are popular with many consumers. In most circumstances, these individuals have been schooled in American colleges that have advanced learning techniques and concepts and emphasize on innovation. Such business schools teach greater financial skills as well as market forecasts, which upon coupling with the entrepreneurial spirit of its society, ensures that America is the leading producer of technologically savvy personnel. Most of this merchandise is shipped overseas as well as consumed locally thereby increasing revenue generation. China has a few talented people and engineers hence its growth rate is slow due to the sluggish production of such products. It is this routine that forms the dependency habit of the Chinese since they have to poach such workers or take their citizens for training overseas, and this is time-consuming as well as costly. In fact, the country is forced to catch up with new developments all the time, and as the cycle becomes repetitive, the economic conditions are more predictable hence lowering the value of their items. The minimal competition would favor the US, which capitalizes on this to optimize its return on investments.


The United States spends over $700 billion annually on its military activities while China averages $100 billion hence equipping itself for combat at any moment. For instance, it has 10 aircraft carriers while the latter has one thus flexible in the movement of soldiers as well as artillery in any geographical area. The firepower that such arsenal can carry is unmatched by the Chinese hence it can scare the latter into submission should they be in conflict (Dellios, 2015). As a superpower, the US also contains more nuclear warheads with further reach capability as well. It has more than 5,000 while the Chinese own about 250, which cannot reach American shores. The type of destruction these warheads could cause is huge. Hence, their sheer number poses a threat to both government officials as well as citizens due to the death and health problems that could ensue.

US Marines in the three departments of the navy, air force, and land forces have undergone advanced physical, mental and weapons training programs under harsher conditions to soldiers belonging to the People’s Liberation Army of China. They are thus well versed with combat formations and strategy formulation, which incorporates sophisticated computer technology for reconnaissance activities. Having confrontations with such, a formidable army is suicidal because China even lacks reconnaissance machinery. The lower investment in its military capabilities justifies its weaker positioning in a war scenario thereby making the US a threat to its defenses. The US has satellites with GPS sensors as well as stealth technology and information systems that are unavailable in other countries, including China. The ability to go across enemy lines undetected offers it superior attacking advantage with the possibility of lower human casualties. It is, therefore, a formidable force to go against, and this gives it the power to make certain demands in international affairs. The United States also has combat experience greater than that of China. It has fought since 1775 during the American War of Independence to the 2003-2010 Iraq War hence gaining valuable insight into attack strategies, enemy engagement, and weapons use. In contrast, from the 1927 Chinese Civil War to the 1999 Macau Military Defense, the Chinese has engaged in fewer military conflicts thus is not combat hardened (Zeihan, 2014). Their soldiers have the theoretical skills but lack the valuable combination with their practical deployment in rugged terrain that the Americans have acquired in the series of overseas wars. It is a significant difference because the US can use tested strategies using skilled Marines who possess lethal artillery.

The US military leadership comprises of veteran service members who have served in various peacekeeping missions as well as executed UN Security Council resolutions in war-torn countries like the defender of democracies and human rights globally. The intelligence pool on enemy territory such as China is immense due to its elaborate spy network in foreign lands. Therefore, the commanders have sufficient information to conduct successful strikes against China as they know its defense capabilities as well as limits. Insider information such as this is invaluable during confrontations as it gives the US an advantage (Herring, 2008). While there are 8,400 attack helicopters worldwide, the US owns about 6,400 of them hence providing it with enough aerial cover to mount an unchallengeable fight. The scope of such an offensive is large and the flexibility it affords the Marines is vital in accessing war zones as well as exiting them. The small fleet of such machines by the Chinese weakens its air defenses hence exposing Chinese soldiers to more danger should it risk to provoke a military solution. The presence of M1 Abrams tanks by the US military in comparison to the 500 Type 99 ones by the Chinese serves as a reminder that the latter has a low survivability rate than the former. The tanks in US custody have better ground as well as surface-to-air launch capabilities with minimal casualty counts thereby providing greater cover in any geographical location. It has a greater chance of inflicting damage on such an enemy when the situation arises.

The US has sophisticated submarines that wander international waters all year round while it also has special training zones in various countries, especially around China and Russia. Such locations act as shields as they contain highly skilled personnel and weapons (Lifton, 2003). Their deployment is swift, and they can replenish supplies quickly to continue with combat operations. Such a strategy acts as deterrence because it confirms its ability to annihilate enemies instantly. It is also proof that the US can have short as well as long-term commitments in active war zones as it has the money to fund the operations. China lacks such a defense strategy, and the cash available for the ministry of defense is minimal to sustain a long campaign. It is thus wary of provoking the US since that would lead to relentless bombardment to the detriment of many people and infrastructure.


China is a communist country in which different provinces are governed by secretaries appointed by the ruling party and whose central politburo runs the affairs of the nation. It is a single-party state hence embraces dictatorship with minimal tolerance for dissent. In fact, most decisions are not questionable since the central government makes policies aligned with the party manifesto where there is a lack of opposition. The populace is thus forced to live under tyrannical leadership. The United States operates in an atmosphere of democracy and transparency in which free and fair elections are held by the Republican Party members, Democrats, and independents. The country has an opposition that provides the checks and balances within government while the rights of citizens are enshrined within the constitution and regularly enforced. In this nation, resistance is welcome, and people’s freedom is respected. The style of governance espoused by the US is harmful to the social order of China as it may stir uprisings. It is considered a threat to the maintenance of the culture of corruption and tokenism inherent in the Chinese society hence the need for censorship against external interference.

Human rights abuses are a common feature of the Chinese rule as they seek to punish opposition activities as well as suppress resistance to the dictatorial; tendencies. The respect awarded to free speech and accommodation for dissent in American cities offers a threat to the social fabric of the former as it can inspire locals to form revolutions against their rulers as happened in the Arab Spring. Such possibilities for civil disobedience have increased the US threat level to the dismantling of established illegalities within China since most citizens would prefer the US system of openness (Blum, 2000). Restrictions are therefore enacted to regulate the flow of information, goods, and people from the West in the pretext of preventing cultural erosion but at the expense of torture, poverty, illnesses, and deaths of its population. It is common for senior Chinese leaders to dissuade any negative talk concerning their country during international conferences yet they do not allow inspections within their jurisdictions nor do they permit NGOs to work freely within the nation. It stems from their belief that such freedom would lead to incitement of the local population to turn against the regime and demand for change.

Empowerment of the people is a basic right for citizens especially in the US hence the need for successive administrations to enforce justice in every sphere of life. Such a system has enabled its society to have equal representation of differing opinions as well as hold healthy debates even on social media sites about their well-being and places of improvement. Such an approach is enviable especially by people from other nations since it provides a guarantee for liberties most of which are God given. The oppression of the Chinese is extreme, more so in this era yet the leaders do not favor embracing this route. They understand the clout that the US has in introducing democratic ideals to various nations globally especially by use of social media sites. America is considered a threat to the security of China, as it could lead to the toppling of the current officials, dissolution of the constitution, and dire consequences for the people who have benefited from the exploitation of the public, which could include imprisonment or even death (McGiffert, 2009). They have to restrict the exposure to the American system and ideologies while promoting their barbaric approach to issues to protect the Chinese from such influences.

The introduction of a democratic governance style would dismantle the networks that have been established by corrupt individuals over the decades within China. It would lead to a decline in their prestige as well as power while that would result in a better lifestyle for citizens just as the US would like it to be. As a strong economic and military power in comparison to other nations, China is viewed by the US as a vital state that needs to change its autocratic style in order to gain acceptance in global affairs without suspicion. Americans realize that such an objective would be met through a restructuring of the political landscape by using volunteers and activists with exposure to tenets of democracy. They have even made such intentions publicly known and have supported various causes aimed at accomplishing this goal. The Chinese thus have adopted aggressive mechanisms to derail such plans. In their assessment of world affairs, they have singled out the US as an impediment to the maintenance of the status quo and their worries are justified since the latter is relentless in its push for integration of civil liberties globally.


The United States and China are global powers, but the former is a super power. They both have superior infrastructure compared to developing countries although they have huge differences between them. The US is superior to China, as its economic might is greater, its military stronger and political dispensation far more mature and democratic. The vast resources spent in equipping its army, building profitable businesses and guaranteeing American citizens more freedoms has enabled it to wield greater influence in global affairs thus eclipsing China in many aspects (Beardson, 2013). Such developments have enhanced its threat to the Chinese, which is burdened by an autocratic governance style, averagely trained and equipped military personnel, as well as a gradually rising economy. For example, China feels threatened by America’s dominance of the above spheres that it has instituted restrictions on western culture within its borders to avert uprisings. Its behavior stems from the knowledge that the US would exert its influence both diplomatically and militarily where applicable to ensure conformity to universal standards of human rights and better market conditions for the prosperity of citizens rather than withstand endemic abuses, corruption, and a decline in living standards. Chinas thus has a cautious relationship with the United States as it seeks to prevent provoking it into launching a regime change through popular uprising while achieving its communist ideals.









Beardson, T. (2013). Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China’s Future.

Blum, W. (2000). Rogue State: A guide to the world’s only Superpower. Monroe, Me: Common Courage Press.

Dellios, R. (2015). China’s International History: from Tribute System to Treaty System. Bond University, Gold Coast.

Hamilton, D. (2011). Europe 2020: Competitive or Complacent?. Washington, DC: Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

Herring, G. C. (2008). From colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776. New York: Oxford University Press.

Introduction to China. (2015). Retrieved from lecture notes.

Lifton, R. J. (2003). Superpower Syndrome: America’s Apocalyptic Confrontation with the World. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books.

McGiffert, C.(2009). Chinese Soft Power and its Implications for the United States: Competition and Cooperation in the Developing World : a Report of the CSIS Smart Power Initiative. Washington, D.C: CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Seedhouse, E. (2010). The New Space Race: China vs. the United States. Berlin: Springer.

Zeihan, P. (2014). The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder.


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