A top American general said to the country’s lawmakers, China poses the most serious threat on the national security of the United States in the long run. On Thursday, General Mark A Milley, in his confirmation hearing for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that “I think China is the main challenge to the US national security over the next 50 to 100 years.”
While answering to a question from Senator David Perdue, Miley stated, “I think some historian in 2119 is going to look back at this century and read a book and the central theme of the story is going to beat the relationship between the United States and China.”
Milley expressed the same opinion with Perdue that China was using trade as leverage to achieve its national security interests and the one belt road initiative was a part of it. “With regard to their belt-road initiative and there made in China 2025, my experience is that they generally don’t tell their adversaries what they are going to do unless they have made a determination that they either don’t have the wherewithal or the will to stop them,” Perdue said.
He expressed his concern over Chinese investments in ports around Africa and the Indian Ocean but also in South America where there are over 50 port investments that they have made with proprietary loans.
“Now see in Colombo, Sri Lanka and then also Karachi and Pakistan where they have actually foreclosed and are now militarising those two ports in addition to what they have done in Djibouti,” he said.
Replying to another question, Miley said there are anxiety and fear among the countries due to an aggressive China and they want the US there. “They want us there as a security partner, they want us there as a security guarantor, they want full presence forward presence. They believe that we are a force of stability and there is great concern,” he stated.
“They want us there as a security partner, they want us there as a security guarantor, they want full presence forward presence. They believe that we are a force of stability and there is great concern,” he added.
Miley further claimed that “I want to make that clear. They are an adversary, I would say, they are our competitors. But that’s different than an enemy. An enemy in military language means they are in an active armed conflict. You are at war. We’re not there. We don’t want to be there.”
“We want peace, not war with China. But having said that, I think that the best way to do that is to make sure that we are prepared. China is improving their military very, very rapidly… they are outspending us in research, development, and procurement. You would never think that but they are,” he said.