In 2018, a Chinese admiral proposed sinking two US aircraft carriers in the South China Sea.
At that time, the world took no serious notice of this outrageous proposal, but the world should now.
Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, we should pay more attention to the statements of authoritarian states and draw the correct conclusions. Thus, it is time to look more closely at announcements made by Chinese officials like the following.
On December 20, 2018, Chinese Rear Admiral Lou Yuan gave a speech at the country’s annual Military Industry List summit in which he expressed, in no uncertain terms, his willingness to launch a military attack on two US super aircraft carriers located at the time in the China Sea.
The gigantic 100,000-tonne vessels were stationed in the region in order for the US to keep tabs on Beijing’s plans to expand its territory in the South China Sea.
Lou, who at the time also served as deputy chief of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, claimed that destroying the two nuclear-powered warships would cement, once and for all, his country’s dominance over the East and South China Seas.
As a high-ranking military official who is more of a scholar than a serviceman, Lou had been notorious for his hawkish foreign policy views and support of aggressive measures such as an all-out invasion of Taiwan.
In addition, Lou claimed that China had the capacity to bypass the surrounding fleet, which would protect the two US supercarriers from a potential attack.
However, if the attack were to take place successfully, not only would it result in an $8.5 billion financial blow to the US navy, but it would also take the lives of around 10,000 service members assigned to the two vessels.
Unsurprisingly, Lou considered this devastating potential human cost more of a motivation for sinking the warships than a deterrent, claiming that “What the United States fears the most is taking casualties.”
“We will see how frightened America is,” he added.
For the Admiral, no line was too sacred to cross in China’s pursuit to bend the West to its will; he outlined in his speech five vulnerabilities of the US that China could target for its advantage: its army, its capital, its celebrities, its electoral system, and the fear of another superpower challenging its global standing.
Furthermore, he declared that China should “use its strength to attack the enemy’s shortcomings. Attack wherever the enemy is afraid of being hit. Wherever the enemy is weak …”.
Now one should argue that this is an isolated case of a misguided military.
The fact that China allowed the publication of this speech proves that the Chinese government wanted at least to show the US what China might be capable and willing to do.