Magazine August 2, 2021, Issue

Why We Might Lose a War with China

The 35th fleet of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, April 28, 2020 (Jiang Shan/Xinhua via Getty)
In a contest for Taiwan, the mainland would be a formidable foe

This past March, Admiral Philip Davidson warned Congress that China could assault Taiwan “in the next six years.” Davidson, a career surface-warfare officer who was then commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke with unusual candor during his testimony. Military officers generally refrain from such frankness. The tongue-in-cheek Washington saying that officers present civilians with three options — diplomacy, moderate action, or capitulation — is neither funny nor baseless.

Davidson is undeniably correct that conquering and absorbing Taiwan is a central Chinese strategic objective. China’s long-term goal, as Xi Jinping tacitly but clearly articulated in his recent Chinese Communist Party centenary-commemoration

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This article appears as “The War We Might Lose” in the August 2, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Seth Cropsey — Mr. Cropsey is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and the director of its Center for American Seapower. He served as a naval officer and as a deputy undersecretary of the Navy. Harry Halem, a research assistant at Hudson Institute, aided with research for this article; he is a graduate student at the London School of Economics.

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Economic Competition

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The Week

The Week

The geopolitical, economic, and ideological competition between the U.S. and China is now out in the open.


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