By Herman Tiu Laurel

Xi’s Korean War warning to preserve peace

October 26, 2020, 5:28 pm

THE West really turned its head east and widened its eyes and ears when last October 23, President Xi Jinping, presiding over a major commemoration of the 70th anniversary of China’s entry into the Korean War or the “War to Resist American Aggression and Aid Korea,” spoke of the push back of American forces back to the 38th Parallel as a reminder of how China dealt with the “invading forces”.

The Philippine mainstream media and political intelligentsia gave little notice to it, as expected of its myopic view of world events looking only through parochial lenses, but the rest of the World truly took notice as there has been no such focused and dramatic reminiscing of the Korean War for decades now. The timing at this point is very significant, and to me, it summarizes the many reasons for China’s decisions and actions the past recent years.

Taking this speech together with other urgent calls from China’s leadership to its people such as the initiating the drive to secure its national food supply, including encouraging the nation to avoid food wastes, the prioritization of the modernization and expansion of military capabilities, the rush to prepare space defense technology, and even the extension of President Xi’s eligibility to lead – all point to prepare for an eventual major struggle.

The Western geopolitical planners (or plotters) certainly took notice of the speech and the typical reaction, I think, is summarized in the report of The Diplomat by Shannon Tiezzi titled, “In Korean War Commemoration, Xi Warns That China Will ‘Use War to Prevent War’...

Xi Jinping extolled China’s victory in the War to Resist American Aggression — and sent a very clear warning to the US”

The Diplomat is, without question, a think-pool and mouthpiece of the US and Western conservative and hegemonic elite, and with it a summary of The Diplomat’s links: it is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the conservative RealClearWorld website, the Foreign Policy Centre of Britain, India’s Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, War Is Boring, East-West Center, and others less controversial.

War talk is in the air, though I have avoided raising this specter of a 21st Century major war to avoid crowding out the more important message the saner people and countries of the World are trying to convey through the noise of war talk; that is, China’s message of creating “The Community of Shared Future for Mankind” through Win-Win trade, the “Dialogue of Civilizations” less talked about these days, and organizing the Multi-Polar world.

China is totally not at fault in any of the tension building around the war talks; it has solely been the unending initiative of the US decade after decade, during the Cold War against Russia. But just a decade after the 2008 US financial crash, it has increasingly aimed at China and finally breaking out under the Trump administration as the erupting US financial, political and viral crisis reaches its crescendo.

China has consistently preached and practiced peace and economic development for all, to prosper the world out of poverty and conflicts, into prosperity and peace. But China has indeed been preparing for war, learning from its centuries of the humiliation of the treachery of Western supremacists. It is to its credit and wisdom that today, it no longer prostrates and is rising to be likely the greatest power today, yet it still humbly pledges to eschew hegemonism.

The US still thinks it can sway the world against the message of development and peace of China, with US Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo galivanting around the world organizing an anti-China NATO nobody in Asia or ASEAN responds to, setting up the QUAD that’s turning to be a quat (pimple, a pustule; a small boil) body of more parties seeking self-serving prospects, but certainly shunning any common anti-China purposes that guarantees it eventual dissolution.

Actually, China has already won the war; it is now just securing its quiet victory. The latest Graham Allison article on October 15, 2020 The National Interest, says it in its title, “China Is Now the World’s Largest Economy. We shouldn’t be shocked.” It shows the date, PPP China’s economy is $ 24.2-trillion and the US $ 20,8-trillion. The US is in total devastating defeat as its debt now stands at $ 26-trillion, $ 6-trillion larger than its national economy.

To secure its total victory China must make sure there is no war, although it cannot be defeated in any way of aggression against it by the US since China's geography and preparation in the South China Sea give it insurmountable defense advantages now. But its total victory could be damaged, and its goal of achieving the Fully Developed Nation status delayed considerably. But a US non-victory against China would be its last war as its collapse would be inevitable after.

But other than geography that will ensure China’s non-loss in its own backyard in any war against it, China is also ensuring a total military victory in any attack on it by sea or by air. The Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) has never been cracked by any US wargaming. A US war think tank has said as much; see “War with China” Thinking Through the Unthinkable”.

More importantly, China's military tech and hardware is expanding not only to match but to exceed the US. Quantum computing and radars nullify US stealth technology, the Beidou Satellite Positing and Navigation System of about 60 satellites vastly improves China’s tracking and targeting, China is getting three to five times more submarines (see  each year compared to the US (unlike the 800 US and bases they are difficult to target) and now have more than the US.

Suffice it to say that while China has advocated and worked for peace, it is certainly prepared for war – and a long war at that – hence the call for stockpiling of materials and food. And the preparedness and willingness of the respective countries’ population to fight a war for their Fatherland? In a 2015 Gallup poll, only 44% of Americans were willing to fight for the US in a war, while 71% of China’s population said they would fight in a war for their country.

For curiosity’s sake, I looked into the willingness of the Japanese people to fight in a war for its country; only 11% of the Japanese expressed willingness. While India has 75% of its people willing to fight a war for their country, their fighting capabilities are going to be far from adequate in the next two decades even with US support. Australia registered only 29%. So this says a lot about Mr. Pompeo’s QUAD project.

The Chinese state media has not yet published the full text of Xi’s speech on the Korean War commemoration in English as of this writing that I could find, but key phrases and quotes are reported. The patriotism of the Chinese leaders and people can never be underestimated. It was in the Korean War that Chairman Mao’s eldest son, Mao Anying, educated in Moscow and a veteran of multiple wars, was killed in action by an airstrike during the Korean War.

Contrast China’s leaders’ sacrifice to the US political leaders’ attitude today, many of them are war draft and military service dodgers, and whose children at engaged in “carpetbagging” in the countries the U.S. had victimized in “regime change” operations. But of course, the Americas have their share of genuine patriots, but that’s looking increasingly rare as the moral fiber of its society suffers final decay today.

President Xi Jinping pointed out the historic significance of the war, lauding the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) who fought alongside the North Korean people and the great joint sacrifice to expel the invaders. Chairman Mao Tse-tung had warned the US not to cross the 38th parallel; the US believed China bluffed given its decrepit military capabilities then, but despite their planes and bombs China pushed the US back almost back out to the sea.

Like President Xi’s view, for me, the defeat of the US forces (disguised as UN) was a milestone in history. It was the first major defeat of US war aims in Asia which was to be followed by the equally historic Vietnam War. The Korean War stopped US hegemonic expansionism in Asia on its track, and this provided the period of recovery, consolidation, and massive growth of China enough now to help liberate the whole of Asia and the world.

The Philippines, of course, has its own narratives about its participation in the Korean War but essentially the country was still a satellite of the US at that time. The Philippine neo-colonial economy boomed at that time as copra and other exports skyrocketed due to the US demands for that war and its war/post-war economy in the US. Some Filipinos glory in that war, but it was another one of the cruel imperialist wars of the US.

It was extremely cruel on the Korean people, as American Air Force General Curtis LeMay said of the US bombing campaign which dumped more napalm and bombs on North Kore than the entire Second World War, “over a period of three years or so... we killed off… 20 percent of the population...” There really is no excuse for any Asian or Filipino to find anything good in that war and every reason to continue condemning the US war economics.

The final word on this is Sun Tzu’s words, “Winning the war without fighting” is the best result of a struggle, which President Xi Jinping and China are attempting to do against the clear threats the U.S. is directing against China and Asia. At the rate it is going, it may be that China will succeed in the totality of this war – and it will be good for America too, and especially for the world. Always, President Xi offers China’s vision for the World:

“The Community of Shared Future for Mankind.”


About the Columnist

Image of Herman Tiu Laurel

Herman Tiu Laurel is a veteran journalist and founder of think tank PHILIPPINE-BRICS Strategic Studies.