Colorado Editorials

The Colorado Springs Gazette: While the nation watches Putin, China is another wolf at the door

Author: The Gazette Editorial Board - July 28, 2018 - Updated: July 28, 2018

With talk still raging and fumes still simmering after the antics of President Trump and the Kremlin, let’s not forget about the cunning fly on the wall.

Amidst the uproar over Russia, we should remember that China has just as much potential as an adversary and is willing to inflict just as much harm to the U.S., if not more.

And apparently, we’re on the brink of yet another season of global aggression.

At the recent Aspen Security Forum, Michael Collins spoke to the public, saying that China is effectively engaged in a “cold war” against the U.S. “A cold war not like what we saw during the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but a cold war by definition.”

Collins, deputy assistant director of the CIA’s East Asia mission center, asserted that ““the Chinese fundamentally seek to replace the United States as the leading power in the world.”

His words were echoed by FBI Director Christopher Wray and acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Susan Thornton.

“China is not just a footnote to what we’re dealing with with Russia,” Thornton insisted.

Concerns over trade are front-and-center these days, but according to Thornton, there are far worse things to be concerned about, including efforts to steal business secrets and academic research. As far as counterintelligence is concerned, China “represents the broadest and most significant threat America faces.”

Wray cited FBI investigations into economic espionage in all 50 states, saying “the significance of it is something that I think this country cannot underestimate.”

These cases represent active efforts by Chinese intelligence agencies to undermine and perhaps even influence the U.S. economy – something worse than influencing an election, which can be countered by intelligent voting.China currently has world’s second largest defense budget and the largest standing army, and its reach has seen significant expansion in recent months. With a new air force base in east Africa and the militarization of the Spratly Islands and the South China Sea,

China has imbedded itself in disputed territory dangerously close to potential rivals (the base in Africa is mere miles from a preexisting U.S. installation).

All this has happened beneath our noses while we have been preoccupied with the Trump-Putin soap opera that’s dominated our airwaves.

And if we aren’t careful, this new kind of cold war has the potential to undermine our nation to a greater extent than collusion with Russia.

The real danger arises when we allow ourselves to become transfixed by our perceived enemy and forget about the other wolf crouching at our door.

The Gazette editorial board

The Gazette Editorial Board