I hope China is NOT Learning from the U.S. Playbook

I laughed when I finished reading China Takes a Page from U.S. Playbook on The Heritage Foundation Blog.

It seems that China has launched a PR campaign similar to Voice of America, and The Heritage Foundation was bothered by the size of China’s effort.

The Voice of America, according to The Heritage Foundation, broadcasts in 32 languages from short-wave radio stations on 200 frequencies, while China Radio International now broadcasts in 45 languages using 284 frequencies.

The Heritage Foundation said the problem is China’s authoritarianism with a capitalist economic overlay, which reminded me of imperial governments such as the British Empire during the 19th and early 20th century.

What if America were an authoritarian state too? The facts make a strong case that the U.S. is a global authoritarian power.

I’ve always believed that if you want to learn what a person or nation is really like, pay attention to what they do and not what they say.


  • The United States has the most people in prison – about 751 for every 100,000 people, while China has 119 per 100,000 with more than four times the population of the U.S.
  • Of 218 nations, China was 115 on the list and the U.S. was number one. Source: List of countries by incarceration rate
  • The US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases worldwide in about 63 countries, while China has no military bases outside of China. Source: Global Research
  • China has about 1,900 combat aircraft and 760 naval ships compared to the U.S. that has about 18,000 combat aircraft and more than 1,500 naval ships.
  • China has about 240 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. that has more than 5,000. Source: Global Fire Power

The PRC was founded in 1949 and the United States in 1776. How many wars has each nation fought since achieving independence?

China’s Wars
(I did not list China’s problems with Tibetan and Islamic separatists or the Falun Gong)

  • Korean War (1950-53) China entered the war in support of North Korea
  • Sino-Indian War (1962) The cause of this war was a dispute over the sovereignty of a border region. In 1959, India sent troops and border patrols into the disputed areas. This created both skirmishes and deteriorating relations between India and China. After the war started, when Chinese troops reached the border that China claimed, the PLA stopped advancing, and China declared a unilateral cease-fire.  India still has border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal that have not been resolved. Source: International Boundary Consultants
  • A border-war with Vietnam (1979), which I covered in another post.

America’s Wars
(This list represents only wars. I left out the military operations that were not considered wars because there were too many to list)

  • Second Cherokee War (1776-1777)
  • Chickamauga Wars (1776-1794)
  • Northwest Indian Wars (1785-1795)
    Note: The complete list of wars against Native Americans was too long to list.
  • Shay’s Rebellion (1786-1787)
    Note: Most of Shays’ compatriots were poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes. Failure to repay such debts often resulted in imprisonment in debtor’s prisons or the claiming of property by the government.
  • A Quasi-War with France (1798-1800)
  • First Barbary War (1801-1805) Tripoli declared war on the United States
  • The War of 1812 (lasted two years – the U.S. Declared War on Great Britain)
  • Second Barbary War, which is also known as the Algerian War (1815)
  • First Seminole War (1816-1818) The U.S. started it.
  • Mexican American War (1846-1848) Mexico attacked after the U.S. annexed Texas in 1845.
  • Utah War (1857-1858)
  • American Civil War (1861-1865)
  • An American led revolution in the Kingdom of Hawaii (1888-1889)
  • The Spanish-American War (1898) The U.S. declared war on Spain
  • The Second Samoan Civil War (1898-1899)
  • Philippine-American War (1899-1913)
  • World War I (1917-1918) the United States Declared War on Germany
  • World War II (1941-1945) Japan attacked the United States
  • The Korean War (1953-1953) The U.S. responded to a North Korean invasion of South Korea, which was also ruled by a dictator.
  • The Vietnam War (1959-1975) The United States declared war to protect the freedom of South Vietnam, which was ruled by a dictator
  • Persian Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm (1991) Started by the U.S.
  • War in Afghanistan & the war on terror (2001 – ) The U.S. invaded in response to 9/11
  • Invasion of Iraq (2003 – ) The U.S. invaded due to suspicions of WMD that were never found.
    – Timeline of United States Military Operations

What happens if China does copy the U.S. in all things global?
Do you really want that to happen?


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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