With all the scenarios being bandied about concerning a potential world war with an increasingly aggressive, nationalistic, and militaristic Russia, a new documentary from award-winning filmmaker John Pilger points to the likelihood of a nuclear war with China instead, especially now that a clearly combative President-elect Donald Trump is set to become commander-in-chief of the world’s most formidable military. But Pilger’s protagonist nation in The Coming War With China isn’t the Asian country that presidential candidate Trump vilified throughout his campaign. It is, instead, the United States and its ongoing record of aggressiveness toward China.
Prior to its release to cinema venues and its premiere on Britain’s ITV last week, i News reported that John Pilger’s 60th film, The Coming War With China, had been re-edited in the last few months to include a Donald Trump segment in what was already a cautionary feature-length movie about the historic and current diplomatic and military distrust shown toward China by the U.S. Pilger’s film shows that Trump’s belligerent stance against China economically could transfer to the military, which Trump will command come January 20, 2017, when he is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. And given that the U.S. has a “perfect noose” of 400 military installations surrounding China already, according to the film, any number of actions could set two of the world’s nuclear superpowers against each other.
Included in the documentary were Trump’s incendiary remarks made on the presidential campaign trail, “When was the last time anyone saw us beating China in a trade deal? We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”
The remarks were made part of the film because Pilger feels that the U.S. and China are at a particularly dangerous moment in history.
“Trump has made a number of bellicose statements in relation to the U.S. trade imbalance with China,” Pilger told i paper in an interview. “The question now is will he continue with the provocations revealed in this film and take us all to the edge of war?”
In The Coming War With China, Pilger makes it clear that the U.S. has been deliberately provocative toward China since World War II and increasingly so since the Cold War with the U.S.S.R. ended in the early 1990s. The trailer for the film also states that the rest of the world was being “primed,” or readied, for a war with China, with the U.S. leading the way in promoting China as world’s next evil power. At the same time, for decades, the U.S. has quietly bolstered its military assets in the Pacific and in Asia. Now, after decades of militaries operating under the restraints of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) and policies geared toward non-proliferation, nuclear war is no longer not an option.
John Pilger said of the documentary, according to the Daily Star, “The aim of this film is to break a silence: the United States and China may be on the road to war, and nuclear war is no longer unthinkable.”
China, for its own part, has seen unprecedented economic growth in the past five decades, much due to its trade relations with the U.S. and other western nations. In the past thirty years, it has also spent considerable amounts of its national treasure on modernizing its military forces. In recent years, China has become more proactive in the Pacific, deploying fighter jets to the reclaimed man-made islands in the South China Sea and building a modern navy designed to be a match for the U.S. Navy, according to some military analysts.
As The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw noted in his review, The Coming War With China highlights the United States’ less than honorable history in the Pacific with regard to its atomic bomb testing and its build-up of bases on numerous islands. It is also pointed out that those bases are brimming with missiles and armaments — with everything pointed at China.
But could it really get to the point of war, a confrontation that could lead to World War 3? Would Donald Trump, despite all his bluster and posturing, allow events to reach such a point? Perhaps, but it is the militaries and the military contractors that benefit most from the continuing build-ups and preparations. And each side claims to be on the defensive, preparing against potential incursions or attacks by the other, in a never-ending escalation of readiness.
Andrew Krepinevich, a U.S. defense policy analyst who is a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says in the film (per the Daily Star) that airstrikes, U.S. special forces, missile bases, and naval blockades have a “key role in punishing China.”
He then said, “Our first president George Washington said ‘If you want peace prepare for war.’ We are responding to provocative behavior on the part of China and just as we did in the Cold War the idea is to have a position of military strength such that your adversaries are not tempted to act in an aggressive way.”
[Featured Image by HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock]