A recent study from the American Enterprise Institute concluded that the U.S. Air Force lacks the stealth aircraft to successfully fight China.
One expert told Air Force Times it is unlikely China and the U.S. would ever go to war because their two economies are so interconnected, but a reader pointed out afterward that people said the same thing about Great Britain and Germany, which came to blows twice in the last century.
Prior to World War I, Germany’s biggest trading partners were Britain and France while Germany was also one of the biggest investors in Russia, giving rise to the popular notion that a major European war was unlikely – yet the war came, said Dean Cheng, a China expert with the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.
Now, as then, economic interests do not trump national security interests, so China and the United States are not so interconnected that they will never go to war, Cheng said.
The reason the Chinese have bought hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. bonds is the U.S. economy is the only one big enough to handle all that money, he said. For both China and the U.S, the relationship is pure business.
“There’s nothing in the Chinese side of their actions to make them say, ‘You know, I’m willing to take something of a loss here,’ or, ‘I am buying American bonds in peace time because I want to help express sympathy for the United States; the same way nobody here buys Chinese goods – very, very few people – buy Chinese goods because, ‘Well, you know, I want to help China,’” Cheng said.