USA vs. China Ways (6.1)

David W Wang
3 min readJul 25, 2021

What are the Potential Hot Spots of War?

Geopolitically, China faces a very different defense and security environment from that facing the US.

The US has in general a friendly continental border with Canada and Mexico, from the military and defense standpoint, and hence has little burden and concerns with any military conflicts with neighbors.

China is just on the opposite. China has disputes or conflicts nearly with all the 14 other countries it borders with. That’s why China in the past and now still must keep a big army to guard its long-stretched borders. In the recent years, China is also facing more marine and aerial disputes with other countries too and is therefore beefing up its navy and air forces quickly.

The strategic differences is, the US can often focus its forces onto a couple of so called “hot spots” globally, while China although owning a big military force, has to spread and distribute its powers all over the directions for the country’s safety.

Historically, China has had border wars or conflicts with Russia, India, Burma, Vietnam. The 1950–1953 Korean War with the US and allied forces was by nature a type of border war as well for China. In the sea, China had wars with Japan and Vietnam. Over the sky, China had fights with the US and Taiwan. One recent case, remember what happened on April 1st 2001 when China had a fighter jet clashing with a US reconnaissance plane over South China Sea?

So to answer the question who are the enemies to the Chinese military? The Chinese answer might be whoever intruding into the Chinese territory. An amazing note here is, geographically Russia has been the one who took a big chunk of Chinese land away in the past, while the US hasn’t seized one inch of Chinese territory.

But China has managed to settle the border disputes with Russia, while the US is always deemed as an ideological threat to the Chinese communist party (CPC), although on the surface, CPC would label its hostility to the US as “anti-hegemonism”.

In reality, there are currently a few “hot spots” for the US and China potentially to engage in a military conflict: Taiwan straits, South China Sea, East Sea, and Korea peninsular.

David W Wang

Based in Washington DC metro, a senior analyst and columnist on US-China relations and political cultures. Best-seller Publication: Decoding Dragon’s Mindset