They are certainly moving that way, but are not there yet.
If they keep up like they have been doing though, in another 5-10 years they will be.
A little disruption like we did in the Middle East and China would be a fractured as North Africa.
As far as I’m concerned, the Phillipines own the entire spratly islands and china and vietnam can pound sand.
But, but.. I thought the Filipinos wanted us OUT so we transferred Clark Air Base over to them.. Who’s crying now?
I can't even see them risking an attack against Taiwan nowadays. Even if Bambi didn't retaliate for an ally, at the least he would be forced to void US debt and/or embargo their products which would kill their economy. Not good for a government/populace that is starting to reap the rewards of capitalism. Think about the many casinos that are being built for the wealthy/middle-class in Macau, not to mention the infra-structure being built for remote poor.
Google Macau +gambling +hotels +resorts. You will be amazed at the level of refinement of their resorts. It's the Las Vegas of the orient. You think the Chinese government is going risk such an income producer? Hardly.
As much as I was involved in anti Chi-Com demonstrations back in the late 90's, I don't fear them now, although I wish Clinton hadn't sold our missle/MIRV tech for campaign contributions and should have been prosecuted for being a traitor. My fear is about the rogue nations that just don't care if their people die, especially Iran with their "death wish" for the 12th Imman to crawl out of some well.
China will go back and forth for awhile with the old guard trying to hang on. However, once they got Hong Kong back and discovered how well capitalism works and appeased the people, there is no turning back. China still has a long way to go regarding civil rights and multi-party politics.
The communist party will bluster, but they are still allowing more internal and outside enterprise on a daily basis. Guess how many large American companies have a presence in China (think McDonalds for one). I expect to see China change its entire political structure within my lifetime. Do you know how many of their companies are on the NYSE or Pink Sheets? You'd be surprised.
After all, according to the video game Fallout 3, China and America go to full-on nuclear war, starting first with an invasion of Alaska.
2066 (winter): China invades Alaska. The Anchorage Front Line becomes a true battleground.
2067: The first suit of T-45d power armor is deployed in Alaska. While lacking the full mobility of future versions, this power armor is incredibly effective against Chinese tanks and infantry. Its ability to carry heavy ordnance becomes key in various localized conflicts, and it has the power to destroy entire towns without endangering the wearer. China rushes to create its own versions, but they are many years behind the United States.
2072: The United States' increasing demand for Canadian resources causes protests and riots in several Canadian cities. An attempted sabotage of the Alaskan pipeline is all the military needs as an excuse to finalize its annexation of Canada, which had already begun in 2067.
2074: Contrary to their claims of seeking only to retake Alaska from the Reds, American power armor units, infantry, and mechanized divisions are deployed to China, but they become bogged down on the mainland, putting a further drain on American resources and supply lines.
2077: Gas prices sky rocket with the regular gas price being $7450.99 per gallon and $8500.99 per gallon for premium.
October 23, 2077: The Great War: bombs are launched; who struck first is unknown. Other countries, seeing the missiles on their way, launch their planes and fire their warheads as well. Air raid sirens sound, but very few people heed the warning, thinking it is a false alarm. The vaults are sealed. Two hours of nuclear bombardment ensues upon the earth's surface. The effects are far worse than most imagined. The earth's faults shift violently, thrusting mountain ranges through the soil. Whole lands are submerged under floods of water.
So, to prevent against this unescapable fate, we need to thoroughly nuke China.... NOW.
There are far too many submarines in the world.
I propose that the Office of Naval Research (ONR) develop some means by which a submarine would both lose propulsion, yet be unable to surface, being inexorably drawn downward, descending past crush depth.
A type of netting would work well for the first part, as once tangled in their propellers they would lose propulsion.
The second part might be accomplished with two or more heavy concrete blocks, attached to the net by cable, with some type of powerful motor to “reel in” the cable when it snags its prey.
The blocks and net could be pre-positioned, and the net could remain too deep to be noticed until a signal is sent to raise it.