During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats accused China, Russia, Iran and North Korea of increasingly "threatening minds and developing ways to disrupt critical infrastructures."
Coats expressed concern about expanding cooperation between China and Russia, which he claimed to be eroding existing standards, attempting to reshape the international system and increasing the risk of regional conflicts.
The same day Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities James Anderson noted China's missiles, particularly hypersonic, as a concern for the US government. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe lashed out at China's buildup on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as like Beijing "preparing for World War III."
The most powerful country in the world says it is the most threatened and penetrated one. This is contrary to common sense and can only make people feel that the US is quite neurotic on security issues.
We cannot represent any other country, but we can certainly admonish Washington: The probability of the US being attacked by China is far less than that of the country being hit by a devastating asteroid. If Washington thinks it is throwing money into water to build an asteroid interception system, then a system to protect against a Chinese missile attack is actually more ridiculous.
When you hear something like "China's preparing for World War III," it seems at first unbelievable that such words could come from a chairman of a Senate committee.
But in recent years, the Chinese people have witnessed how the US acts increasingly against science and turns democracy into populism. Is this the US we all admired at the beginning of China's reform and opening-up?
We can understand that Washington worries about China's development. But it is inconceivable to see such concerns turn into hysterics that dominate US elites' knowledge of China.
In recent years, the Confucius Institute has been accused of being China's penetration agency, the high-tech company Huawei has been declared an arm of Chinese intelligence and Chinese overseas students have been treated as spies by US senators, intelligence officers and even Cabinet members.
US-style democracy seems to increasingly specialize in judgmentalism and saber-rattling. US elites may have collectively overlooked a very basic logic: Facing a superpower, no country would attack it to seek self-destruction.
Washington should stop and think a moment: Is it easier to safeguard US security with technology or through mitigation of tensions with other countries? We suspect that the US system is not promoting the country's best interests, but instead engaging in moves designed to motivate voters.
The "China threat theory" is a neat gimmick, a scam of the elites, driven by special interests. But it also serves as a useful measure of the degree to which the US political system is deviating from seeking truth from facts.