US launches full-scale confrontation with China: Scholar

The United States has “launched a full-scale confrontation with China,” because Washington is unable to compete with Beijing economically, an American writer and retired professor says.

James Petras, who has written dozens of books on international issues, made the comments in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, after the US Defense Department called on Congress to approve a major budget increase in order to counter “threats” from Russia, China, and North Korea.

The Pentagon on Monday asked for a budget of $686 billion to be allocated to military spending in 2019. The requested amount is one of the largest in US history, and is also focused on beefing up the country’s nuclear arsenal. The budget sees an increase of $80 billion from 2017.

On top of the $686 billion budget request was an additional $30 billion for agencies including the Department of Energy, which maintains American nuclear weapons.

Under-Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist told reporters on Monday that the budget aims to neutralize threats posed by China and Russia which “want to shape a world consistent with their own authoritarian intentions.”

Professor Petras said, “The US has launched a full-scale confrontation with China. They have slapped tariffs on stele and other products and threatened a full-scale economic war.”

“The reasons are very clear. China has displaced the US as a major trading country in the world. It’s particularly increased trade relations with Europe, Asia, and Latin America etc,” he added.

“And I think Washington feels the pressure and incapacity to compete with China, and therefore it’s substituting its military power as a way of intimidating China which is doomed to failure,” the analyst said.

“Let’s say that the focus on China is the result of Washington’s failure to undermine reconciliation between North and South Korea,” he stated.

“It failed in its efforts to intimidate Iran. It has a threat against Iran, Syria, Lebanon with Israeli support and Israeli military intervention. The picture is one of militarization of US policy in the face of economic impotence and incapacity to recognize the new realities of the countries that were previously dependent on Washington like South Korea,” the academic noted.

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