50% of Americans recognize China as what it is – a threat to the US. The number of Americans considering China an enemy (19%) is 2 times bigger than the number of Americans who believe China is an ally (10%). (61% of Americans say it’s neither an enemy nor an ally.)
But many Americans don’t recognize that China is not a financial threat, but rather a military threat. 86% of Americans are concerned about the amount of American debt that China owns, and 73% of Americans say that it’s at least somewhat likely that China will use that debt against the US.
China will not do this. China owns too little of American federal debt to really influence the US economy. As of January 2009, China owned $740 bn of US federal debt; as of December 2009, China owned $755 bn (according to WaPo – which is not a credible source).
The total federal debt of the US is $10.632 trillion, that is, $10632 billion. That means that China owned 6.9% of the American federal debt as of January 2009 and 7.1% as of December 2009. Any claim that CHina is a financial threat to the US, or that China could blackmail the US with the T-bonds it owns, or that China could collapse the US economy with just 7.1% of the US federal debt, or that China is America’s banker, is ludicrous.
China is a military threat, however. Its nuclear arsenal is growing, and its ICBMs can reach the entire US. It has a secret underground submarine base at Sanya (Hainan Island) and a submarine fleet as big as the American submarine fleet. It has a $150 bn defense budget and hundreds of Flankers, J-10s and JF-17s – all of which are superior to American F-15s, F-16s and F-18s. The only deployed American aircraft that can defeat them are F-22s. But the DOD shut down the F-22 production line during this fiscal year. Besides, China has Hongquin SAMs (land-based and ship-based variants) which can shoot down any nonstealthy aircraft.
So yes, China is a threat. But it’s not a financial threat. It’s a military threat.