China is America’s Biggest Rival, Russia isn’t Even Close

From the Federalist‘s Kenny Xu:

President Trump’s decision to move the remaining American troops out of Syria came under heavy criticism from the mainstream media the day it was announced. Trump’s Syria blunder marks “a win for Putin,” reports The Washington Post. The New York Times labels Russia “a winner” in the Syria decision.

Everything Trump does seems to be giving leverage to a more powerful and hungry Russia, says the media, so much so that Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank is now claiming that Trump singlehandedly “lost [America] the Cold War.”

It is no surprise that the media exaggerates the scale of Russia’s threatening nature whenever given the chance. Many American journalists, relishing the way Trump’s foreign policy dovetails into the media’s narrative of his collusion with Russia over the 2016 election, have an interest in doing so. But all this talk of Russia over the past two years has diminished attention towards the far bigger, more poised, and more capable geopolitical threat America faces today: China.

China easily economically dominates Russia. The gross domestic products of the United States, China, and Russia are mapped in the Google public data graph below. The United States still has the world’s highest GDP, but China’s economic growth in the past ten years has doubled that of the United States and put it on track to compete directly for the world’s economic supremacy. Russia, meanwhile, has a GDP lower than that of Italy.

China’s military adventurism, too, outpaces Russian expansionism. In contrast, China’s moves into the South China Sea have made its control over an extremely large portion of East Asian waters practically “a done deal.” Who cares about ocean waters, one might ask? How about maritime traders and aircraft carriers, for a start? It is true that Russia annexed Crimea in a show of force. But while Russia gained access to one strategic port, China’s recent exploits have cemented legions of ports and bases across East Asia for years to come.



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