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05/11/23 06:18 AM #401    


Bill Kelso

         The World of a McClatchy Graduate


As we get older the demands of daily living often monopolize our spare time, crowding out other concerns. In many cases we may be too busy to realize how significantly the world we live in has changed since we were in high school.  But as our final days draw near, it may give us some sense of satisfaction or closure to review and finally understand how life has changed during our short stay on this earth. 


To facilitate that goal in earlier posts we looked at how domestic issues such as the nature of personal relations, the makeup of the economy, crime and its influence on our neighborhoods are dramatically different today from 60 years ago.  


But in this post, we want to show that foreign as well as domestic relations have also been radically transformed since our high school days. 


                  The Changing World Environment


To put the above discussion in perspective, we shall see that in our lives, we have witnessed rise and fall of four different forms of international politics, two of which overlap one another. They are:


1)An Age of Colonial Empires


In the first age which lasts from the16th Century thought our years in high school the world was dominated by a few overwhelming colonial powers.  During the height of the Colonial Era in the late 19th century, roughly 7 nations controlled 90% of the world’s population. While historically there had often been other empires such as the Roman Empire in the 1st to the 4th century or the Mongolian Empire of Genghis Khan in the 13th century, most of them had been at best regional empires. In the age of colonialism a few nations actually ruled global empires on all 5 continents. 


While most people focus on the defeat of Hitler as the most important development of WWII, a more significant impact of the war was that it eventually killed off the colonial age which had dominated the world for over 500 years. But the age of colonialism lingered on from the end of the WWII until most colonial empires finally collapse sometime in the 1960s. The Vietnam war, which shaped the lives of so many people in our generation, is one of the last gaps of this colonial age. In place of 7 colonial empires, we will see their replacement by the creation of 200 smaller and less powerful nation states.


2. In the second Age which is either called the Bi-Polar Age or the Cold War America and Russia competed with one another to be the dominant power in the world.  


After the collapse of Europe and its colonial empires following WWII, there was a political vacuum which Russia and the US quickly rushed to fill. While initially Russia and the US were second tier powers prior to the war, all of that changed after America and Russia crushed Nazi Germany. 


While the conflict was often bitter and involved two nuclear armed opponents, both countries accepted the existence of their adversaries. Neither Russia nor the US sought to militarily defeat the military counterpart. In this sense the Cold war was very different from the hot war of World War Two. 


Besides competing militarily, Russia and the US also adopted two very different economic system, defending and advocating either a socialist, or a capitalist economy. This second age came to an end in 1991 when the socialist economy of Russia essentially collapsed, undermining the stability of Russia.


3)In the third Age we see the Growth of a New Universal Internationalism. 


This new international age lasts from the decline of the Soviet Union in 1991 to 2014 when the first Ukrainian war  begins. 


This new era is notable for three distinct developments. 

First in the conflict between socialist and capitalist economies, capitalism emerges triumphant.  When Marx first developed a socialist form of economics in the 19thcentury, he promised it would solve all of the problems plaguing capitalism. However, after many nations including Russia tried to implement this more egalitarian form of economics, they found that socialism led to economic stagnation. While people were more equal in Russia than in America, they were also significantly poorer than their American counterparts. 


Secondly is the growth of a new international order based on free trade and the growth of a rules based system of international relations. Increasingly both the US and the EU tried to develop international institutions like free trade as well as the World Court to dampen down national conflict and promote economic prosperity. The hope was that as  international institutions supplanted national states, the world would be both safer and more prosperous. 


And thirdly, as we talked about in an earlier post, is the rise of the United States as a super power ruling over a Uni Polar rather than a Bi Polar World. This is an age in which American Wilsonian Idealism dominates American foreign policy as the US is the biggest advocate of this “New Universal Internationalism.”  


Unfortunately, this is an era in which America continues to deindustrialize, significantly undercutting the economic prospects of the American working class. While most Americans prospered during this period and climbed into the upper class, the middle class in America shrank from 70% to 50% of the American public. Paralleling the deindustrialization of America is the industrialization of China which will transform her into a major world power.


4)Finally in the fourth age we get an Age of Multi Polar Politics which is in the process of undermining many of the policies adopted by the “New Internationalism” in the post 90s. 


In place of capitalist free trade, nations start protecting their local industries though higher tariffs or subsidies. Or in the case of the US it adopts an “Industrial Policy” to try and rebuild its manufacturing base which was destroyed in the previous age of internationalism. This final phase begins around 2010 and continues today. 


Like the Cold War, the world seems to be dividing into two camps. On one side is Russia, China, Iran and perhaps Venezuela. In the other camp is the US, the EU, Japan, and Australia. 


On the periphery is much of the third world including most countries in the Middle East, Africa  Central and Southeast Asia and Latin America. Both China and the West are engaged in a charm offense to win this third block to their side. This contest involves the use of soft power to win friends and allies. 




05/11/23 06:22 AM #402    


Bill Kelso

Why the World Changed


Now that we have seen how the world around us has changed, we need to also understand why such a drastic transformation happened. Interestingly enough some of the topics we discussed earlier such as dramatic changes in the world’s population have played a major role in creating the new world order. 


1.The Development of Colonial Empires


Of all the recent developments in foreign affairs the rise and subsequently collapse of the colonial system ranks as one of the most significant developments in world history. As mentioned earlier, there have been a variety of large empires in the past, but none had ever come close to dominating the globe and building a universal empire that stretch across 5 continents. 


But by the early 20th century Europeans nations as well as one Turkish Muslim state controlled or had controlled over 90% of all the areas of the world. Of all of these major colonial powers, England was the largest colonial power as she controlled 30% of the globe. Of course during this time both North America and Latin America had won their independence from their European overlords.  But after granting independence to America, England went on to conquer India, most of East Africa, Singapore, and Burma.  Japan and Thailand were the only two nations that escaped formal colonization or control by the powers in Europe.


In the 4 to 5 centuries that make up the colonial age Europe created two main types of colonies, sea based and land based. Spain, France, England and the Netherland built their empires overseas in Latin America, North America, Africa and Asia. In contrast, three countries, including Russia, the Hapsburgs and the Ottoman Turks, built land based empires in Siberia and the Middle East. In the 17th Century Russia conquered numerous groups in Siberia to become the largest land empire in the world.


Why the Colonial Empires Emerged in Europe

While there are many reasons for the growth of these unique global empires the growth in population that we discussed earlier certainly played an important role in the development of European colonialism. In 1500 when Spain discovered Latin America, the world’s population was around 500 million. Five centuries later it had jumped to 1.6 billion people. Why does that matter? As the population took off at the start of the 20thcentury there were more creative people in the world who started to develop a wide array of inventions. Besides inventing the steam engine, in quick succession Europeans and Americans quickly invented the bicycle, the automobile and the airplane. That was followed by the discovery of electricity, the light bulb, and the telephone. But equally important it led to the creation of dynamite and modern weapons like artillery systems. 


As the above examples demonstrate, the growth of population subsequently led to the growth of industrialization. Once industrialists saw the possibility of creating new products, they realized that the growth of Europe's population meant there was a large enough market to mass produce goods at a reasonable price. Prior to the dramatic growth of population in the 20th century, business men had only manufactured custom goods for very wealthy people. Now with the explosion of the population, mass production was possible to supply all citizens with consumer goods, producing the growth of industrialization. 


And once industrialization began to take off in countries like England and France, these nations acquired the financial and military power necessary to conquer much of the rest of the world.


Europe had won the grand trifecta.  1) Her population growth facilitated 2) industrialization which in turn 3) strengthened her various nations financially and militarily which enabled them to colonize the less well developed nation of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 


Why the Colonial Empires Collapsed

But as powerful as these colonial empires were, they all began to collapse after WWII. Germany which was one of the last European nations to become unified wanted to create a land based colonial empire in Europe.


When America helped Europe defeat the Nazis, the Americans made it clear that after liberating Europe from the colonial designs of Germany, that Europe had to abandon her colonies in the rest of the world. It made no sense to liberate Europe from Nazi colonization so that she could continue to dominate and oppress her colonial territories. 


2. The Rise of the Bi Polar Age


As soon as WWII ended, the colonial empires of western Europe began to collapse.  Before we knew it the major colonial powers like Britain, France, the Netherland and Germany were a spent force. In place of running empires, they were merely second rates states without real power. Only by combining to create the EU, did Europe hope to maintain some degree of power in the world.


As Europe declined the US and Russia filled the vacuum created by the demine of the colonial empires. The US which had been an isolationist power prior to WWII, now agreed to become a super power in order to check the threat from the Soviet Union.  


The Questionable Vietnam War.

Despite the intensity of the conflict, the confrontation between the US and Russia was a status quo war as neither side tried to actually fight and defeat their opponent. In the case of Vietnam the conflict was something of a sideshow in the nature of the cold war. In retrospect the US’s concern with the plight of Vietnam was overstated and unnecessary as Communist regimes eventually collapsed due to internal problems. But in the early 1960s nobody had any idea that socialism would turn out to be such an inefficient and inept form of economics. The West won the cold war by default. The Red Scare was defeated more by its own internal contradictions than by the force of US arms.


For example, by the early 1990s just about every nation that had adopted a socialist economy abandoned it. That includes over 12 countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. Besides the government abandoning socialism, the political parties that had embraced socialism either disappeared or changed their ideology. Ironically the only place where socialism has remained popular is among progressives like Bernie Sanders and AOC in the US.


As the Cold War came to an end in 1991, there was a euphoric sense that a new world was about to be born. Democracy and capitalism had triumphed over the authoritarian soviet regime. As communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, the country began to fall apart. While the colonial empires of western Europe had dissolved by the 1960s, Russia had held on to her colonies until 1991. With a weakened Russian state, 12 nations including Ukraine and Belarus declared their independence from Russia. While the sea-based colonies of Western Europe had collapsed in the 1960s, the 1990s saw Russia, finally lose her empire. Little did the world realize at the time, that 30 years later Russia would try to reassemble its colonial empire by attacking Ukraine. 


05/11/23 06:23 AM #403    


Bill Kelso

3.The Rise of the New Internationalism


As the Bi Polar age came to an end the United States and Europe tried to create a new “International World Order” that lasted from 1990 to 2014. This new international system was based economically 1) on capitalism and free trade and diplomatically 2) on a rules based system of foreign relations that hoped to foster the growth of an international global government that would restrain national power.


The new Economic Order

For instance, at the same time as socialist economies began imploding, most nations adopted capitalist systems of economics. They also began to reduce their tariffs and promoted free trade in the hopes of stimulating commerce among the 200 nations of the world.  This process was so successful as well as so extensive that commentators begin to call this historical period the age of globalization.


The New Global Order

Paralleling the growth of international trade, the “New Internationalism” also tried to promote collective security or a proto type of international government. To implement this new promise of a possible world government 1) the UN was strengthened, and the World Court in the Hague acquired power to try dictators for crimes against humanity. 2) Accompanying the growth of these international institutions, the United Nations also started an extensive program of international peace keeping to dampen down conflict between countries. 3) At the same time there was an explosion of NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Doctors without Borders which tried to encourage nations to cooperate with one another and avoid conflict.


In the 1990s there was a whole generation that had grown up without direct experience of conflict or the carnage that accompanied war. As a new century began, the conflict in Vietnam was a distant memory. In 2012 presidential candidate Obama even argued during a presidential debate with Mitt Romney that the idea that Russia might initiate war against its neighbors was an outdated idea, more true of the 1940s than the present. This unbridled sense of optimism in the US led many American officials to grow self-congratulatory about their efforts to remake the world and to exaggerate the benefits of collective security. In the process, they often dismissed anyone who voiced concerns about the future. 


The Promise of a New Start is Undercut by Reality

Despite the promise of this new era, the Internationalism of the new era never quite lived up to it hype. The new era of capitalism both helped and hurt different segments of society. While many people did benefit from of free trade and globalization, the working class in countries like the US and to a lesser extent Europe lost out as manufacturing jobs migrated to Asia or Mexico. As the upper class expanded from 14% to 20% the lower class simultaneously saw their ranks swell from 25% to 29% of the American public.


But even more importantly American quickly realize that as it lost its manufacturing base, it was vulnerable to countries like China for both the raw materials and products necessary to sustain its economy. The US had in effect lost its ability to solely determine the success of its financial well being. In the new international economy America had become dependent on the best wishes of its trading partners if it wanted to grow and prosper. 


The Problem of Military Force

But the final straw that broke the New International Order was the growing willingness of Russia, Iran and China to disregard the procedures of the new global order. President Obama’s dismissal of the idea that Russia might pose a military danger to its neighbors proved completely unfounded.  The sense of optimism that pervade the 1990s proved to be a false sense of optimism which resulted in the US becoming complacent about possible threats from our old adversaries. Increasingly it was power and military might rather than international values that were shaping the actions of the international community. Beginning in 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, and then Ukraine in 2014, clearly flouting the new rules based international sector.  As Russia flexed its power, China increasingly called for the creation of a new world order to replace the New Internationalis of the 1990s.


These actions signed the rise of a new Multi Polar international system in which Russia and China were now determined to challenge and overturn the International system favored by the US. In some ways it was a new Cold war. But whereas the cold war 1945 was unique in that both Russia and the US wanted to maintain the status quo, in this new conflict, China clearly wants to upset the status quo and displace America as the new super power in the world. 


In a following post we shall examine the contest between China and America in more detail. We shall see how China is challenging both the hard power and soft power of the US. In the process we shall try to understand why President Xi believes that America is a declining power that China can easily displace as the dominant country in the world. 









05/11/23 09:24 AM #404    


Bill Kelso


                              4. The Rise of a Multi Polar World

As we noted in the earlier post, we have been living in a Multi Polar World for roughly the past 10. There are three main reasons why the international scene has changed so dramatically.

                   What Factors Caused the Multi Polar World?

1.   The first factors is the remarkable resurgence of both Russia and China. While Russia became a failed state in 1991, by 2014 she had regained her prosperity and wanted to play a more dominant role in foreign affairs. Likewise China, which was one of the poorest nations in the 1980s, had over the last 40 years become an economic powerhouse challenging the US for leadership in the world.

2.   The second factor is the growing independence of our former allies who now insisted on being considered as partners rather than mere allies of the US. As many of our allies such as Japan and Australia, saw America falter, and fail to keep up with the aggressive military buildup of China, they decided to strengthen their own military capabilities. Increasingly they had doubts as to the reliability of their American ally.

3.   Finally the third factor the lead to the creation of a new world order is the military and social decline of the US as a world power. The US had seemingly lost it competitive edge as it has embarked on both military and diplomatic campaigns that have significantly weakened its standing in the world. This decline in our foreign policy coincided with a rather depressing turn in the attitudes of Americans around 2010.  Today Gallup and Pew Institute find that most Americans say they are no longer proud of their own country or even feel a sense of patriotism towards the US. Ironically as China has grown more confident of its values and achievements, Americans appears more alienated from its beliefs and fellow citizens. In light of these developments, President Xia believes that America has lost its way, becoming in the process a declining power in the world.

                           The Nature of the Conflict between China & the US  

While the above reasons offer a brief explanation for development of a multi polar world, they perhaps fail to adequately describe the challenges facing America.        

Although we hinted about this subject in above paragraph, we also have to realize that the conflict between the US and China is being played out on two different levels. The first level which we are primarily concerned in this post is a discussion over which country has the superior economic and military policy. 

But a second and even more fundamental level is a conflict over what we might call a clash of civilizations between the US and China. In some ways this conflict might even be characterized as a clash between western and Asian values. China which is a much more communal and authoritarian society than our more individualistic and democratic America wants to argue that its values and form of government are superior to ours. For instance, China see America as so polarized and divided, that they believe the country runs the risk of economically and politically falling apart.     

While the second challenge is admittedly the more fundamental challenge facing America, it deserves a separate analysis as the two countries differ on so many key issues. Also, it is unclear whether the problems presently plaguing America reflect core problems in American society, or whether they are merely a stage, albeit a very polarized and destructive phase, in modern day American life that a future generation will reject.  If anything is true about American life, it is that American values have dramatically changed over the decades. It is possible that the public’s current hostility to their own government as well as many of its citizens with different values, may be part of an adversarial culture of the 2020s that will eventually burn itself  out. But this is an issue that analysts will only fully understand sometime in the future.    

Similarly, if we are worried about any immediate dustup between China and the US it will be an outgrowth or more  down to earth and concrete issues involving economic and military policies. We thus need to postpone our discussion of culture issues for a further look at the contending economic and military policies of Russia China and the US.

                                  Why Russia and China Pose a Threat to the US

The Rise of Russia

An interesting question is why is Russia again a world power that poses a threat to the US? Her collapse in 1991 seemed almost irreversible. The simple answer is that the rising price of oil explains the rebirth of Russia.  In the 1970s Russia had discovered and began to export its vast oil reserves in Siberia.  As the world’s economy grew and the demand for oil expanded, Russia became the new Saudi Arabia of Europe awash in oil money. Of all of the world’s oil producers Russia is the third largest producers of oil after the US and Saudi Arabia. While Russia failed as a socialist nation, she has prospered as a capitalist nation producing and selling oil in the global market for energy.

The Rise of China

The rise of China is almost as implausible as the revival of Russia after 2000. Militarily China had basically been a poorly equipped nation with a peasant army without a navy or air force. She was similarly an incredibly destitute agricultural country in which the Communist party had in effect run the economy into the ground. Her transformation over the past 50 years has thus been unparalleled in world history. In this brief period of time, China has changed from a struggling third world nation to a major world power. Unfortunately, the consequences of her rise have not always been welcomed by the US. 

As China has emerged on the world scene, she has undermined and challenged the New World Order we developed after the collapse of Russia. While Americans were initially convinced that they had permanently created a new international order in which all nations would abide by common norms, their optimism now appears unfounded.

As we shall soon see the rise of China has posed three distinct challenges for the US. 1) First is China’s growing economic power, 2) secondly is her growing military power and 3) third is China’s growing sense of national unity and determination to reclaim its historical leadership role in the world. 




05/11/23 09:30 AM #405    


Bill Kelso

1.The Economic Challenge of China

If we look at the first challenge China poses to the US, the key threat arises from its stunning rise as an economic power. What initially revived China’s economy was the decision of the Communist party to adopt a capitalist system of economics. But even more importantly China’s capitalist system initially flourished because of its large population. Just as the dramatically spurt in population around 1900 lead to the rise of industrialization and mass production in Europe, a hundred years later, China’s huge population has led to a second growth in industrialization and mass production but this time in the heart of Asia. 

The Growth of Industrialization in China

While the dramatic rise of industrialization in China was similar to Europe, the conditions were different in the two regions. China managed to financially prosper when the Cold War ended and America established the “New Internationalism” which stressed free trade and globalization. Chinese businessmen and American businessmen soon realized that in light of the new free trade agreements, that they could significantly reduce the costs of their manufacturing goods if they shipped their factories to China where there was plenty of cheap labor. After all, the Americans realized that in light of China's endless supply of workers, they could pay Chinese workers significantly less than they paid American workers. 

As China industrialized, America began to deindustrialize. As Shanghai prospered, Allentown in Pennsylvania became the home of abandoned workers and crushed dreams. While the lower prices of Chinese made goods financially benefited American consumers, it adversely hurt the American working class who saw its membership in the ranks of the middle class slipping away. 

This simultaneous process of industrialization of Asia and the deindustrialization of America, made China the manufacturing capitol of the world. As China’s factories prospered, much of Europe and America became dependent on China for the products that sustained their economies.

But ironically enough, the process that enabled China to become initially prosperous has reached its climax and may soon be coming to a close. As previously millions of people in China left the countryside to work in urban areas, China now finds itself running out of cheap labor. Before long American businessmen, always seeking lower wagers, may begin to move their factories to Vietnam or India.

The Growth of High Tech Industries in China

Because China recognizes this demographic development, it has changed its economic policies. In place of being a country that is noted for its cheap labor and low manufacturing costs, China now wants to move up the supply chain and be recognized as a nation that produce sophisticated and high technological goods. 

To achieve this second objective of dominating high tech, China is investing considerable sums to improve their educational system by stressing the importance of STEM subjects like math and science. China believes that in a short time it will surpass America in terms of soft power as it will soon have the best educated population who will dominate high tech subjects like artificial intelligence, robotics, computer software, advanced materials, biotechnology.

American Desire to Stress Equity rather than High Tech

While China is stressing academic excellence and the development of a high tech meritorious society, many American educators are arguing that American education should stress equity, and diversity rather than excellence or merit. Whereas in the 1960s the US tried to raise the academic training of minorities, today the sentiment seem to be to lower the standards for all students. The desire seems to make everyone equal even if it makes them equally unprepared for a high tech world. This attitude has gain widespread popularity among many high school and college administrators. Even politicians are signing on to this new American approach to education. The former governor of Oregon argued that Oregon should deemphasize all STEM topics.

In school districts from California to Virginia specialized high schools that stressed math and science like Lowell high school in San Francisco have come under attack. After all many supporters of Critical Race theory, which is popular in states like California, Oregon and New York, even argued that teaching math and science is basically racist in nature.

Besides deemphasizing math and science, many school districts are also deemphasizing AP classes. As part of a large movement in American education to lower academic standards, many school administrators recently announced that they are getting rid of homework or deemphasizing completing it on time.

Even universities are getting into the act. Every year US News and World Affairs evaluates and subsequently ranks colleges in the US. Part of that ranking depends on how rigorous and academically demanding the colleges evaluate new applicants.  Because colleges are lowering admission standard, they are starting to refuse to cooperate with US News because they don’t want their rankings to suffer. 

The Decline in American Education

The impact of this divergence in Chinese and American attitudes is now becoming apparent. In international tests of students in math and science, China and most Asian nations rank at the top and the US ranks close to the bottom. The scores of US students rank even lower than their counterpoints in Europe.

We find a similar pattern when we look at university education. In a recent study of the top 2000 universities in the world, China for the first time surpassed America with 338 universities compared to 280 for the US. 

If we look the rankings of the top 100 universities in the world, the US fares a little better at the moment, but the trends are worrisome. For example, the number of American universitas in the top 100 universities in the world declined from 43 to 34 while the number of Chinese universities in this elite group increased from 2 to 7. While America is faltering China is clearly making significant gains in its desire to surpass America as the technological leader of the world.

The Decline of America in High Tech Industries

And a new study by Australia bear outs that prediction. In a major study of critical technologies by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute they found that in 37 out of 44 critical technologies, China is in the lead. The key areas dominated by China includes drones, machine learning, electric batteries, nuclear energy, and critical mineral extraction. China’s dominance in some fields is so entrenched that all of the world’s top 10 leading research institutions for certain technologies are located in China.



05/11/23 09:31 AM #406    


Bill Kelso

2.The Military Challenge of China


As China has prospered, she has finally acquired the resources to build up her military strength. Besides challenging America economically, she now also wants to challenge America military by fielding the most powerful armed forces in the world. To achieve that end China has methodically 1) first expanded the size of its army, 2) secondly invested considerable resources into building a first rate navy, and 3) finally started to expand its air force. China began this military build up in 2006 and in recent years it has stepped up its investment in all three of its services. 


The Size of the Chinese and American Army

If we look at armies in the world, China has the largest army made up of active personnel.


Chinese Army                          2,000,000

India                                         1,450,000  

US                                             1,390,000

North Korea                              1,300,000

Russia                                       1,000,000


The Size of the Chinese and American Navy

After the Chinese built up their army their second priority has been to expand the size of their navy. In this area they have made significantly progress. In 2020 they finally surpassed the size of the America navy.  To appreciate their achievements you have to realize that the advantage of the Chinese over the Americans is greater that the following figures suggest. After all the American navy is spread out over two oceans while China’s navy is concentrated in the South China Sea. The challenge facing America is that China may try to restrict the American naval power to the area between San Francisco and Hawaii. The area west of Hawaii would be considered China’s sphere of influence.


Number of Navy Ships

Chinese Navy                                    340 Ships. 

American Navy.                                285 Ships. 


At present China is planning on expanding its fleet to 400 ships by 2025. The American Navy talks about expanding its fleet to 340 ships but there are no concrete plans to finance the building of additional ships. 


The Size of Chinese and America Air Assets. 

The one area where the US still has a clear advantage over China is in the number of air assets both countries possess. As the figures show below, the US has around 13,000 aircraft while China has around 4000 planes, roughly one third the size of our air armada.


     China                                             Around 4000 Airplanes

         US.                                                13,000 Aircraft


Among America’s 13,000 planes, the air force has 5000 airplanes, the army 4000, the navy 2400 and the marine slightly more than 1000 planes. 


Stealth Airplanes

The US also has the edge over China in that we have more fifth generation stealth airplanes than they own. The lead is understandable if you realize that American developed the first stealth airplane plane in 1983 in Lockheed famous Skunk works design studio in LA.  For roughly 30 years we had a monopoly on this technology. However, in 2017 China introduced its first stealth airplane which many American believe they developed by copying US technology. 


Currently there are roughly 800 stealth aircraft in the world. The US has 365 F35s and 165 F22s jets while the Chinese have about 240 stealth jets. Both China and the US are presently working on developing a sixth-generation stealth airplane,


While China has dramatically increased its spending on the air forces, most analysts think it will take 10 to 12 years before China has the same number of planes as the US.



05/11/23 09:34 AM #407    


Bill Kelso

         3.The National Challenge of China


The final and third threat to America from China reflects its sense of unity and determination to regain its former historical glory. To fully appreciate China’s insistence on remaking the world arena we need to appreciate her history. The contest between America and China is more than a conflict between two nations as China sees herself as representing an ancient civilization that has always been a major power in the world. 


Historically China, along with Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley Civilization, was one of the first four civilizations to appear in the world. Later when Rome was dominating the Mediterranean, China was also creating an equally powerful empire in Asia.


The Inventions of China

For over 4000 years China was a rich powerful and innovative nation. While European innovations help ushered in the modern Age, China’s inventions remade the ancient world. Among her many contributions to society were the invention of 1) paper making, 2) movable type, 3) the compass, 4) gun powder, 5) iron smelting. 6) the toothbrush 7) and paper money.  In the decorative and culinary arts she also invented bronze wars, porcelain. silk clothing as well as tea. 


Because China was so wealthy and produced so many luxury goods, Columbus sailed west from Spain in the hopes of finding a direct trade route to China.


The Desire to Regain her Prominent Position

Despite her wealth and reputation for culture, China like most other nations were occupied by European and Japanese colonial powers in the 19th and 20th century. To understand China’s aggressiveness today, you have to realize that China resented her treatment during the age of colonialism and today wants to rectify her past unjust treatment. Since historically she was one of the great powers of the world, she only naturally wants to reclaim her traditional dominance in foreign affairs.


Her View of America.

When China looks at America, she perceives an upstart nation that has only existed from some 250 years. Until WWII broke out, the US was at best a peripheral power that   only wielded influence in the Americas. Additionally, China in particular and Asia in general today constitute close to 60% of the world’s population. By 2050 the population of Europe and America will only constitute about 11% of the world’s population. As the makeup of the world’s population changes, it is only natural that China, a major leader in Asia, believes it should assume a more prominent role in the world.


In light of the above developments, it is easy to see why the Chinese feel a sense of pride in their country.  After their country was beaten down in the late 19th to the 20th century by the colonial powers of Europe, today they appreciated their nation’s economic and military achievements.


The Chinese sense of pride in their achievements is undoubtedly only enhanced when they watch recent developments in America. While China is proud of its accomplishments, America seems horribly divided, and poorly governed.  America's growing hostility to academic excellence, its election of prosecutors who choose not to punish criminals, its tent cities, homeless enclaves and abandoned downtowns in numerous cities like Portland, and its development of a toxic adversarial low trust culture only reinforce China’s believe that their autocratic form of government is superior to our democratic form of government.


However, the biggest factor supporting China growing sense of confidence, is her belief that America is so divided and hostile to its own government that she lacks the willpower to effectively compete with China. While China sees itself as a rising power, she clearly perceives America as a declining power crippled by its own destructive tendencies and internal divisions.




06/19/23 01:09 PM #408    


Barbara Alexander

Hello fellow graduates of Class of '63. I'm looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming reunion. Seeing John Beck's obituary finally sent me over the edge. He was an especially kind and friendly person. He will be missed by many. Rest in Peace, John. Every month or less we get an announcement of a death of a classmate. This is getting downright TEDIOUS!  What the heck?  I'm sure many of you,as I do, can't believe we're in out late seventies! It didn't seem possible when we were 17 with our lives ahead of us. But here we are. If someone can make sense of it, let me know. Meanwhile, take care of yourselves and see you in September. Barbara

07/25/23 11:40 AM #409    


Carol Berg (Turner)

Through this wonderful website (thanks to Dave Grandstaff) I recently discovered that classmate John Bodenhamer lives in Hot Springs Village AR. My husband and I just moved here, too, so John and I hooked up. We were invited to his and Kathy's beautiful home for cocktails and hors'douvres this past week. What a wonderful time we had reminiscing about the McClatchy days and getting to know each other (and our spouses)  once again. I'm not good at taking selfies but here's a couple anyway. We really haven't changed much, right๐Ÿ˜€

07/26/23 07:22 PM #410    

Allison Oakes (Sabraw)



07/27/23 11:49 AM #411    


John Sertich

Very nice picture.  Isn't it nice that you have been able to reconnect.

07/27/23 11:59 AM #412    


Steve Kelly

Great picture I like your shirt John


07/27/23 01:11 PM #413    


Roger Kircher

That's a great picture.


07/27/23 01:30 PM #414    


Carol (Kurli) Thompson (Mack)

Great picture and cool to be able to reconnect.

07/27/23 03:45 PM #415    

Susie Weidman (Arnold)

Carol Ann, you said when you moved to AR you would look up John nice that you got to connect with your spouses.  Carol Ann, when we talked you said you had a really good time together... Too bad you live so far away and can't get to our reunion...    ๐Ÿ‘  CKM Lions forever 



07/27/23 08:10 PM #416    

Diane Hinesley (Malone)

Happy smiles in a great photo.
How wonderful you two were able to connect. Big thanks to our classmate Dave for helping to keep us connected even from afar.
What ever took you to AR? Diane Hinesley Malone

07/28/23 10:53 AM #417    


Peggy Fredlund (Schaffran)

Carol, adorable picture of you and John !! I may have to head out there next summer.



07/29/23 04:38 PM #418    


Charlotte Adelman (Paliani)





Thank you David for this forum!

Everyone looks so nice when they post pictures. My memories from high school are very positive, and I am sorry that I will miss the reunion.I was there in May for my brother's 90th and have been visiting and babysitting San Diego son and family a lot.  I am going on the Canadian Rockies train trip in August, and doing another trip in September just isn't in the cards. My husband isn''t 100% anymore and I don't like leaving him too often. I live in rural coastal Washington State. Come and visit. We have no heat!!  We may be getting older but I still feel very young and energetic most of the time. I am a very active community volunteer and feel useful.  Those of you I am still in touch with seem to feel the same way. Go Lions!! Charotte Adelman Paliani






07/29/23 09:12 PM #419    


Dennis De Cuir

Hi John and Carol,

Wonderful picture and wow how ageing hasn't happened to you guys!

Please post some more photos and info!

Best regards,



07/30/23 09:48 AM #420    


Ken Shoemake

Charlotte's comments and the great photo of John and Carol remind me of a t-shirt I saw in South Lake Tahoe yesterday:  "It is so weird to realize I am the same age as old people".  Some days I still think I am the same person that I was in the 5th grade at Reiverside School.  Other days, not so much:-). 

07/30/23 11:12 AM #421    


Linda Mancebo (Barnes)

It has been so nice to see the photos and comments posted.  Even though I wasn't really friends with most of you, I remember the names and yearbook photos    It is hard to believe it has been 60 years since graduation.  I still feel youngish most days. 


07/30/23 12:49 PM #422    

Carol Gee (Siefkin)

Carol, that is a great picture of you and John.  I totally agree with everyone who has commented that body says one thing and the 'young' mind says something different.  We are all making the most of every day and keeping one foot infront  of the other.  Thanks for sharing and you both look terrific--Arkansas?? Where in AR?  Must admit I have never been there.  Enjoy.  Also kudos to Dave for this website--you have made so many people very happy and many are reconnected.  THANK YOU.  Carol Gee Siefkin

07/30/23 03:57 PM #423    


Barbara Alexander

Hello Everyone. Hey Ken, I need one of those r-shirts! Carol and John, great coincidence that you both ended up in the same place. And yes, very nice picture. I remember you, Carol, and also the Bodenhammer brothers, always fun loving, upbeat an friendly. Am looking forward to the reunion. Barbara

07/30/23 08:44 PM #424    

Diane Hinesley (Malone)

Charlotte, were in costal WA. do you live? I am in Lacey.

07/31/23 11:14 AM #425    


Charlotte Adelman (Paliani)

I'm in ocean park on the Long Beach peninsula 

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