Caitlin Johnstone: The West’s Long Plan to Crush China

You can see the twinkle of this looming conflict in the eyes of Western imperialists as far back as a 1902 interview with Winston Churchill that was published a year after the U.K. leader’s death. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

“China is preparing to kill Americans and we’ve got to prepare to defend ourselves,” empire propagandist Gordon Chang told Fox Business recently.

Chang, who has famously spent more than two decades incorrectly predicting the imminent collapse of China, bizarrely made these comments while discussing a future attack on Taiwan.

Taiwan is of course not the United States and any potential war between Taiwan and the mainland would be an inter-Chinese conflict that needn’t involve a single American, and Chang is most assuredly not part of any “we” who will ever be engaged in combat with the Chinese military under any circumstances.

Chang frames his narrative as though China is menacing Americans in their homes, when in reality only the exact opposite is true: the U.S. has been militarily encircling China for many years and is rapidly accelerating its efforts to do so.

Just the other day the Philippines announced the locations of four military bases to which the U.S. will now have access in its ongoing encirclement operation, most of them in the northern provinces closest to China.

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp writes:

“Three of the Philippine bases will be located in northern Philippine provinces, a move that angers China since they can be used as staging grounds for a fight over Taiwan. The US will be granted access to the Lal-lo Airport and the Naval Base Camilo Osias, which are both located in the northern Cagayan province. In the neighboring Isabela province, the US will gain access to Camp Melchor Dela Cruz.

The US military will also be able to expand to Palawan, an island province in the South China Sea, disputed waters that are a major source of tensions between the US and China. The US will be granted access to Balabac Island, the southernmost island of Palawan.

The new locations are on top of five bases the US currently has access to, bringing the total number of bases the US can rotate forces through in the Philippines to nine. The expansion in the Philippines is a significant step in the US effort to build up its military assets in the region to prepare for a future war with China.”

So it’s very clear who the aggressor is here and who is preparing to attack whom. Imperial spinmeisters like Gordon Chang are just lying when they frame China’s militarizing to defend itself against undisguised US encirclement as China militarizing to attack Americans.

Fun fact: U.S. officials used to pretend China was crazy and paranoid for saying this encirclement was happening. In the 1995 book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II, William Blum wrote the following:

“In March 1966, Secretary of State Dean Rusk spoke before a congressional committee about American policy toward China. Mr. Rusk, it seems, was perplexed that ‘At times the Communist Chinese leaders seem to be obsessed with the notion that they are being threatened and encircled.’ He spoke of China’s ‘imaginary, almost pathological, notion that the United States and other countries around its borders are seeking an opportunity to invade mainland China and destroy the Peiping [Peking] regime’. The Secretary then added:

‘How much Peiping’s ‘fear’ of the United States is genuine and how much it is artificially induced for domestic political purposes only the Chinese Communist leaders themselves know. I am convinced, however, that their desire to expel our influence and activity from the western Pacific and Southeast Asia is not motivated by fears that we are threatening them.’ “

Another fun fact: thanks to a 2021 revelation by Daniel Ellsberg, we now know that the secretary of state’s comments about how crazy and paranoid China was for thinking the US wanted to attack it came just eight years after the U.S. had seriously considered acting on plans it had drawn up to launch a nuclear strike on the Chinese mainland.

Mainstream Western imperialists of all stripes have long recognized that a hard conflict with China will be necessary at some point in the future if they’re to continue their domination of the world. In his 2005 book Superpatriot, Michael Parenti wrote that the unipolarist neoconservative “PNAC” (Project for the New American Century) ideology that had by that point taken over US foreign policy was ultimately geared toward a future conflict with China:

“The PNAC plan envisions a strategic confrontation with China, and a still greater permanent military presence in every corner of the world. The objective is not just power for its own sake but power to control the world’s natural resources and markets, power to privatize and deregulate the economies of every nation in the world, and power to hoist upon the backs of peoples everywhere — including North America — the blessings of an untrammeled global ‘free market.’ The end goal is to ensure not merely the supremacy of global capitalism as such, but the supremacy of American global capitalism by preventing the emergence of any other potentially competing superpower.”

But you can see the twinkle of this looming conflict in the eyes of Western imperialists long before any of this. In a 1902 interview (which was not published until 1966 — a year after Churchill’s death), Churchill candidly voiced his support for partitioning China at some point in the future in order to preserve the dominance of the “Aryan stock” over “barbaric nations”:

“The East is interesting, and to no one can it be more valuable and interesting than to anyone who comes from the West.

I think we shall have to take the Chinese in hand and regulate them. I believe that as civilized nations become more powerful they will get more ruthless, and the time will come when the world will impatiently bear the existence of great barbaric nations who may at any time arm themselves and menace civilized nations. I believe in the ultimate partition of China — I mean ultimate. I hope we shall not have to do it in our day. The Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”

The word “partition” here means breaking a nation up into smaller nations, i.e. balkanization. To this day we see Western imperialists pushing for the partitioning of disobedient nations such as Russia and Syria, and we still see this with China in the push to permanently amputate regions like Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan from Beijing.

China’s sheer size, social cohesion and geostrategic location have long been recognized as a potential problem for Western imperialists who wish to ensure their ability to dominate and control, and now we’re seeing that all come to a head. Churchill said of a future confrontation with China “I hope we shall not have to do it in our day” because that confrontation has always been certain to be horrific, and today in the Atomic Age this is far more true than it was in 1902.

And in fact, we do not have to do it in our day, either. We don’t have to do it in any day. The only reason we’re being pushed toward a profoundly dangerous conflict with China is because it’s the only way for Western imperialists to maintain their hegemonic control of this planet, but their hegemonic control of this planet has brought us to a point of endlessly escalating nuclear brinkmanship and looming ecosystemic collapse. It hasn’t exactly been working out great, is what I am saying.

There’s no reason the West can’t simply accept the existence of other powers and stop trying to dominate everyone on earth. We have long been ruled by tyrants who continually push our world toward suffering and death in the name of securing more power and control, but we don’t need to accept their rule. They do not have a healthy vision for our species, and there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them. Their rule is done as soon as enough of us decide it is.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

23 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: The West’s Long Plan to Crush China

  1. Tony
    April 14, 2023 at 08:01

    Winston Churchill ordered plans for a surprise attack on the Soviet Union at the end of World II (Operation Unthinkable).
    But it was eventually rejected as unfeasible.

    On a visit to the United States in 1946, he also advocated an unprovoked attack on the Soviet Union using atomic weapons.

  2. April 13, 2023 at 14:20

    “The Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”
    Winston Churchill

    That very obviously sounds like something one would expect Hitler to have said.

    Churchill has always been thought of as a “great man”; he is one of the first people that one might think of when one hears the phrase “great man”. As it turns out he was an imperialist and thus not really a truly good man or person.

  3. Cynic
    April 13, 2023 at 00:42

    USA is like that bandit over the mountain that regularly rides into the world village murdering, smashing, robbing and threatening to shoot anyone who dared to refuse to kowtow to him, and then wonder why everyone hates him because according to himself, he is actually such a wonderful guy.

  4. April 12, 2023 at 13:43

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”
    ? Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    Eventually rest of the world understood the treachery and barbarism of the Europeans but it was late.

  5. A Concerned Westerner
    April 12, 2023 at 13:41

    Without question the unchecked aggression of the West (historically Europe but now centered in the USA) is all about financial /economic domination of the natural resources of all countries around the world. China is seen as a serious peer competitor to the USA hegemony so therefore it must be destroyed. Same for Russia. This plan for world domination has existed in one form or another since the 15th century and still exists to this day. The madness of the USA in its failing quest to be the master of our planet is evident in the countless wars it funded and led, millions killed that will never be avenged as the USA admits no wrongs yet projects its madness upon other nations. The USA only understands brute force in response to its madness, and that it will get from China, Russia and the vast majority of nations who oppose it. Maybe the time has come to balkanize the USA to prevent it from being a clear and present danger to the survival of our species.

  6. Vera Gottlieb
    April 12, 2023 at 10:20

    Take this rabid anti Semite and racist off the pedestal he is on.

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    April 12, 2023 at 09:38

    Sure I am not the only one being absolutely tired and fed up with all this hysteria, lies and propaganda. The largest country on Earth and the US and cohorts want to take it on? What is being ingested to believe this nonsense?

  8. Herman Schmidt
    April 12, 2023 at 09:35

    When I think of China and the way it is today, I think of the movies The Sand Pebbles and 57 Days to Peking and their story of a divided and inept China defenseless against Western powers. Based on a prevalent reality, I think China remembers.

  9. Don
    April 11, 2023 at 21:52

    The only hope is a decisive Russian victory over NATO in Ukraine.

    To paraphrase how a woman on the downtown streets of Donetsk put it when interviewed by Patrick Lancaster last week: Donetsk must win, because if Donetsk loses Russia will loose and if Russia loses, the world loses.

  10. lester
    April 11, 2023 at 20:45

    Great article, Caitlin! I especially like the Churchill quotes, from the high point of British Imperialism, 2 years after the Boxer Rebellion was crushed by 8 foreign armies. Two years laters, 1904-05, Japan defeated an “Aryan” power, Russia, 12 years later, Europeans turned on each other and Asian imperial subjects began to rise again.

  11. lester
    April 11, 2023 at 20:41

    Constant warfare is hollowing out the US internally. I hate to say this but the USA is rather more likely to fall apart than PR China. :-(

    • Vera Gottlieb
      April 12, 2023 at 09:40

      Exactly…it implodes but not because attacked from the outside. Just plain rotting away from within.

      • lester
        April 12, 2023 at 18:03

        Think of all the mass shootings, Vera. They don’t imply that we all love each other.

        I hate to say it, but the US could become another Bosnia or DR Congo.

        Apres moi, le Deluge.

  12. Joe Eagle
    April 11, 2023 at 20:35

    The European Upper Class has always viewed the rest of the world as their sources of profits, slaves and soldiers in their wars. They actually look at other European lower-class members in the same way, but have agreements not to infringe on the territory of other European Upper Class members. That’s their single ‘advancement’ over their violent past, where they did used to fight each other constantly and endlessly over who controlled the lower-class European subjects/citizens/serfs.

    This is certainly true if one goes back to the early 20th century. It appears to be true today from Borrell’s speeches about defending the Superior Garden from the evil, encroaching jungle.

    On the other hand, one can find other roots in the West as well. Unfortunately, those kinder roots that wanted to liberate people were ground under the machine of modern corporate capitalism. There were alternatives in America and Europe, people who looked at other people as fellow citizens of the world instead of as potential slaves … they were declared to be evil, commie points of view and our great corporate leaders made sure they were crushed in the name of Freedom.

  13. RomeoCharlie29
    April 11, 2023 at 18:38

    I think it’s drawing a bit of a long bow to go back to 1902 to find a justification for a claim of Imperialist aggression against China ( the Winston Churchill interview) and while the US activities in the Philippines, South Korea and Japan look a bit like encirclement they don’t hold a candle to recent Chinese exercises all around Taiwan. I am in the camp that says China should forget about Taiwan. It clearly doesn’t want a bar of China. We only need to look at Hong Kong to see what Taiwan under China rule would look like, not pretty or democratic. It’s also hard to see China’s occupation and expansion of islands in the South China Sea as purely defensive. I think the west is right to be suspicious of Xi Jinping’s authoritarianism and militarism. Not to mention his none too subtle interference in the cultural affairs of other countries through the Confucius Institute.

    • lester
      April 12, 2023 at 20:10

      The racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, of 1902 is not much different from today’s only expressed more honestly.

      As for independent Taiwan, the US could set a good example by returning independence to Hawai’i, recognizing the passports of the Iriquois League, return the Black Hills to the Sioux, etc., etc. It won’t happen.

    • lester
      April 13, 2023 at 18:52

      RC, if the US government gave a rip about freedom and democracy, they wouldn’t have installed and/or supported so many dictators over the last 70 years. We wouldn’t have the world’s largest prison population at home. Our politics would not be dominated by oligarchs.

    April 11, 2023 at 18:19

    Synergy: the power of acting together to create a “whole greater than the sum of its parts” generates growth and absolute joy.

    Enabling peace and universal cooperation is both the way to create synergy and save the planet.

    The power of the pen can make that happen, so let’s get busy!

  15. Drew Hunkins
    April 11, 2023 at 17:58

    China could easily, very easily, sink a US aircraft carrier. Sending 4,000 US servicemen to a deep and watery grave in the Pacific.

    This isn’t the Opium Wars anymore.

  16. Frank Lambert
    April 11, 2023 at 16:55

    You’re absolutely right, Caitlin, but I think the West led by Imperial America is too far gone in their hubris, and have an unreal and distorted view of the rest of the world which they believe should be subservient to American “interests” and jurisdiction.

    Thank you for referencing two of my heroes, the late William Blum and Michael Parenti, whom I’ve had the honor of meeting in person three times. Both scholars were absolutely correct in what the wrote about and lectured on over the years.

    This whole anti-China, anti-Russia melodrama is the fault of the United States. I think the vassal states who bow down to Wash. D. C.’s agenda have lost any sense of integrity and common sense for citizens of their countries and would gladly send them in harm’s way to be slaughtered on behalf of Uncle Sam. On Churchill’s remarks, no surprise, as he was a British imperialist.

    Te politicians in the Repulsive Party and the DemoRAT Party are morally bankrupt, but the common people keep them in office rather than vote for alternative party candidates.

    Methinks if the US and our flunky allies in the West AND the East attack Russia and China in an all out war, both Russia and China will make the “superman” and the “samurai” of WWII look like the Keystone Kops of the siilent film era. But with the nukes being used, we probably won’t find out. Very scary!

  17. shmutzoid
    April 11, 2023 at 16:19

    All too true. The quote of Michael Parenti neatly sums up the US’s imperial stance in the world. ……. That one paragraph is more pertinent to understanding global conflict and the role the US plays in it than all the propaganda posing as “news” you’ll see/hear/read in corporate media. ……… Eve Ottenberg’s recent column also is essential reading.

    The question I posit from time to time———> Just how far will US imperial managers go in attempting to stave off the inevitable emergence of a multi-polar world?? A full on land war in Russia AND China that pulls the rest of the world in a WWlll conflagration??? ……… limited nukes? Let ‘er rip nukes? ……… The world holds its breath in fear of the most unpredictable and dangerous entity in the world ——> a rapidly declining and desperate US empire.

    • Mikael Andersson
      April 11, 2023 at 19:10

      @shmutzoid, perhaps the rapidly declining and desperate US empire provides its own limit. Perhaps for all its foreign bases, military expenditures and weapons systems it cannot prevail in war. Perhaps it knows the facts. As it declines it becomes less capable, like a geriatric gangster thug whose violent power lies in the past. It is already reduced to fighting Russia through Ukrainian proxies. It failed in its fight with Iran through Iraqi proxies and the Taliban through Afghan proxies. As long ago as 1975 it failed in its use of Viet proxies. It cannot find proxies to fight China and would have to lead the charge. Is there hope in the fact that the USA is well past its peak and continues to deteriorate? I hope so …. a little hope helps my day.

      • shmutzoid
        April 13, 2023 at 00:42

        Yes, as you correctly note, Uncle Sam hasn’t fared very well in fulfilling its imperial strategic objectives. The empire does excel at wreaking havoc, death and destruction around the world. ……… But, as the financial advisors say—–> “Past performance is NO guarantee about future earnings”. ……… US imperial hubris is hard to predict here. 1) Maybe there are enough sane and rational imperial managers who’ll hold sway, convincing the imperium that it’s time to LET GO and accept the role as a regional power only, a country that will engage others with respect and a new spirit of cooperation. …..then again—–> 2) Maybe there’re enough mutually reinforcing sociopaths in charge who’ll convince the imperium to ‘bombs away’. “God is on OUR side!….we’re the USA!…….. we can’t lose, we won’t lose!” ……… might sound like a scene from Dr. Strangelove, but, can you just hear it????

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