Book Monitor

Crouching Tiger:
What China's Militarism Means for the World 

Peter Navarro

While America focuses elsewhere, the Communist Chinese regime and its citizens quietly gear up to overtake the world, militarily and economically. Little attention is being paid to China, Chinese-Russian, or Chinese-North Korean alliances, as evidenced by presidential debates that don't even include it on agendas. Meanwhile, China is waging economic warfare on the U.S. and is preparing for military domination, of at least its region.

China expert and University of California at Irvine professor Peter Navarro is gravely concerned about the nation's failure to address the China problem. His previous book, Death by China, proved that America needs to stop submitting to that nation's unfair trade policies. In Crouching Tiger, he examines China's growing military might, using evidence from military and other experts to determine best strategies and options.

We must focus on China's rush to military superiority. Navarro says, "To peacefully counter the serious security challenges now being posed by a rapidly rising China, there must first be a political consensus on what the appropriate economic, military, and other actions are to take." This is difficult to achieve in a fractured political environment, particularly when many economic interests favor the status quo. Those interests include multinational corporations based in America -- companies like Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Motors, and IBM.

Navarro explains the complexities involved when comparing our military expenditures to that of China. He says, "While the U.S. military must project its force globally, China focuses primarily on regional force projection in Asia." Not only that, but the Chinese have minimal research and development costs due to "the vaunted ability of Chinese hackers to steal the latest weapons designs from both the Pentagon and private-sector defense contractors." China also "illegally reverse engineers much of the foreign technology it buys."

Not only does our Navy have hundreds fewer ships than during the Reagan era, but our shipyards are disappearing, and along with them, jobs for skilled craftsmen.

The author lists strategies that probably won't work and explains why not. Among them are isolationism, economic interdependence, and the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons.

Americans continually buy Chinese goods, failing to recognize that it's an untrustworthy nation, at odds with American ideals of freedom. China isn't a growing economy moving towards democracy; they remain an authoritarian, Communist dictatorship moving towards world domination. There can be a peaceful solution only if America enacts and enforces laws that protect our economy and our workers, while continuing to amass military strength.

(Prometheus Books, 2015, 335 pp., $26.00)