Uncommon Knowledge: Cold War II—Just How Dangerous Is China?


China is a nation with 1.3 billion people, an economy projected to become bigger than the United States’ in just a few years, and a rapidly growing military.  Hong Kong has already fallen under its authority. Meanwhile, Taiwan looms in the distance—with a population of almost 24 million, it’s a technology hub and the world’s leading manufacturer of microchips and other items essential to high tech. What are China’s ambitions toward Taiwan? And if they are ominous, what should the US response to Chinese aggression be? To answer these questions, we’re joined by two experts: former national security advisor (and current Hoover Institution senior fellow) H. R. McMaster and former US deputy national security advisor (and current Hoover distinguished visiting fellow) Matthew Pottinger. They also discuss the Biden administration’s recent diplomatic encounters with China, and which countries might be allies in a conflict with China—and which ones would not be.

Recorded on April 9, 2021


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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins


    • #1
  2. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential

    Peter. nice touch with the family dog walking behind your desk @ about 30 minutes in….

    • #2
  3. I Walton Member
    I Walton

    They seem to believe, or at least say, that the Biden Administration is continuing Trump’s policies and shoring us up against Chinese military challenges.   Is there any truth in this?  

    • #3
  4. GlennAmurgis Coolidge

    Given Hunters deals in China, what are the odds the CCP has something on the Biden family


    • #4
  5. colleenb Member

    I’m going to listen to this when I get a chance but I was very disappointed with McMaster when he was on with Bari Weiss. He seemed totally unaware of and/or in denial about the woke culture in the military. I will take anything he says about China with a grain ton of salt.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member

    I will try to listen to this interview this weekend. I’m deeply concerned about this situation. I can’t help wondering if Taiwan (Formosa), which China has no claim to, is Poland and Biden is Neville Chamberlain. 

    • #6
  7. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    A generally informative conversation, necessarily slim on details and on breadth. There is a lot to say about the other nations in the region, painting a fuller picture of demonstrated capabilities across the instruments of national power.

    It would be worth comparing the situation not only between small island democracies and large nearby continental powers, but also between Russia-Ukraine and China-Taiwan.

    We should have re-recognized Taiwan as soon as the Soviet Russian empire collapsed, when the CCP and PLA would be powerless to effectively contest our move. Shoulda Coulda Didn’t, so we are where we are.

    A bit more detail, a number, a percentage of microprocessors upon which America depends, would help to make clear the stakes of losing Taiwan to the CCP.


    • #7
  8. colleenb Member

    Got more out of this than I thought I would (see above comment). I appreciated what McMasters said at the end about needing pride in our nation but don’t really feel he ‘gets’ how bad the wokeness is in our nation and the military. Can our Navy really threaten China when they have to spend time standing down to get rid of systemic racism instead of learning how not to run into each other and destroy the very, very expensive ships we do manage to build. 

    • #8