The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Total War: USA (pro) v (con) China.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,013 times Debate No: 80132
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (50)
Votes (1)




Resolution: The United States of America v The People's Republic of China.

- Sources may be external.
- No Semantics or Shotgunning.
- No Conduct or Spelling/Grammar points.

Since the rise of Communism, a number of debates over who could win in a war between the US and a number of communist/socialist nations, from the USSR to China, have taken place. While Russia is far from a capable nation today, China is a worthy candidate for a war.The People's republic of China, form in 1929, is the largest nation in the world, and has the second largest economy. The US is the third largest nation, with the largest GDP in the world.

The parameters of the debate are loose and allow for any variable that may affect the outcome of war to be played.

This is a debate of the likely outcome of a war, and not a game of chess (like AOW).

I accept Lannan's challenge.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Premise I: US v China Military

To set up the debate, let’s address the Military powers as are. The US is first place in the Global Firepower ranking [1]. China, however, is third [2]. The number of Chinese soldiers outweigh US soldiers, but the value of each is different. China only spends $30,000 per soldier, while the US spends $230,000 per soldier.

The US has 5x as many aircraft. The US also has 10x as many AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle). 20x as many Aircraft Carriers. And almost 3x as many Destroyers. Con may mention areas where China has greater numbers, but these are often outdated (China has more frigates, but their frigates are outdated, whereas Destroyers are far stronger.)


Premise II: US v China Economy

The US economy stands at a tall $17.4 trillion USD [3], while China stands at $17.6 trillion USD. However, three features of China’s economy gives the US a clear advantage. China's GDP per capita is $12,800, while the US’s is $54,000, thus the US still has a far stronger economy. The second issue is that China’s economy is built on a massive ‘triple bubble’ that is beginning to pop [4]. Since June of this year, the Chinese stock market went from 5,200 to 3,000. Over a 40% drop [5]. China is barely making it through the popping of the first bubble, and if they lost all trade with the US + a massive global war, their economy would plummet.

The third, and second biggest, issue for China is that too much of their economy is built on US corporations. A large number of China's workforce work for US industries, and many of the rest are employed to China's industries built around exports to the US. When war breaks out, the baseline for much of China's workforce will be pulled from under them as US companies move out. Not only would employing Chinese workers become highly unpopular and likely illegal, it'll also be harder since the Chinese government would likely be harsh on US employers in their nation. It's likely that they will either employ more in the US (boosting our economy), or they will employ more in India instead. This is good because India is a US ally.

China also has higher tax inefficiency, bringing in only $1.8 trillion [6], despite having a higher tax rate than the US [7]. And only 1/3rd of China's tax revenue goes to the central government [6]. To make things worse, because of their Progressive tax, and the fact that their economy is further stretched, a much higher percent of the taxable income is in low tax brackets. Whereas in the US, a far higher percentage of US Income is in higher tax brackets, boosting US tax revenue to levels China would bankrupt themselves trying to achieve.


Argument I: US Allies v Chinese Allies

In the case of a war with the US and China, alliances will matter a lot. Especially with NATO. NATO, being made up largely of European nations, will be fast to assist the US. Europe is terrified of China, holding a worse opinion of China than the US does [8]. If a war broke out, even if they don't go to war along side the US, Europe and NATO would be quick to aid the US in a number of other ways to ensure a US victory.

The US also has a strong alliance with India, who is on bad terms with China. Both have built up militarily on the borders to abnormal degrees [9]. China's problem is that it has no allies. The closest they have to an alliance is the SCO. However, the SCO, unlike NATO, isn't formed of states who are not friendlywith one another. The two largest states under China (including India, who will enter in 2016), are India and Russia, both of whom strongly dislike China. India, as already mentioned, prefers the US to China. We can see the weak bond in the organization, as it will include Pakistan and India soon, both of whom have perhaps one of the worse foreign relations in the world today. The weakness in each nations bond would cripple in a war with the US. Especially with pre-existing US military operations in the region putting pressure on states like Pakistan.

Using the Global Firepower website, the worst possible outcome is the second and third military powers (Russia and China) vs the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, and tenth [10].

Geography is also in the US's favor. With Japan and South Korea, the US would have China surrounded with insanely powerful US allies.


Argument II: The US Navy.

China and the USA are separated by one large obstacle... the Ocean. Even in the year 2015, this is a large issue... For China. Not for the US. The US's navy is simply impassable. To win, China must be able to get to the US. This simply isn't possible, as the US Navy is literally too powerful. China has 1 Aircraft Carrier, the Liaoning. It is petty in size. The average US Carrier, the Nimitz Class, is larger, has more aircraft, and has larger aircraft. And the US has ten of these. And then the US has 10 more Aircraft Carriers [11]. The Liaoning isn't even a good Aircraft Carrier. It a refurbished Soviet Carrier, and has had a number of problems since being released. Getting to the US through it's navy would be physically impossible. It should be understood that US classified military technology is assumed to be 15 years ahead of the rest of the world, so even if China fills the gap, the US can quickly make a new one.

To make matters worse for China, Japan has 3 Aircraft Carriers as well, and India has 2. Europe has 6, and South Korea has 1 [12]. China is simply outmatched. No doubt, given their locations, South Korea and Japan would be quick to aide the US. The US is even building two new Supercarriers, and is planning on replacing it's current generation with even larger ships.

US industry is also built around heavy building. Chinese industry is centered on exports, building toys and other small items for consumers, while the US's manufacturing power is capable of mass producing entire navies in a matter of years if needed.

The US also has something over China. It's Missile Defense. This includes satellite tracking systems, and a number of ways to stop any long range missile. This includes in personal conflicts between ships, as the US maintains a mobile fleet of Aegis Ballistic Missiles (used on ships)[12].


For now, I will conclude this round, and let Lannan have a shot. I have plenty left that I simply didn't have the work schedule to use right now.


I will begin my Opening arguments this round and my rebuttals shall come next round.

USA National Grid Map - FEMA

Notice the above map as there we can see the US power grid. [1]
With an EMP attack or even a severe Cyber Attack, of which China has been known to do, we can see that it would severely cripple the entire US. To make things worse if this were to occur the US would be on the brink of complete and utter ahilation since the US food stores have only one month's supply of food the entire west coast area would face starvation due to the lack of food. [2] This can be seen as a simple EMP blast from Chicago would reach places like Dallas, DC, Miami, and as far North as Winnapeg, and as far west as Salina, KS. It would only take China two pulsating missiles to of which the US anti-Missile defense will likely shoot down. The US has even claimed that they would be unable to track and detect the attack that would be coming, but for the point of the debate let's just say that it is shot down, but we can still see that a large area of the US would be affected by this issue. Such and attack would be utterly harm the United States as we can see that the US has food to only last for one month and after that the lack of food due to the harming of refridgeration and that the stores would run out of food would cause startving. Not to mention all the causlaties due to medical supplies failures and infrastructure failures. If this occurs in the US not only will they begin to starve, but they would be unable to fight the Chinese if/when they invade the US. To show just how bad US defenses are we can see that on July 4th, Russian nuclear bombers came within miles of the US West Coast to "Wish the US a happy birthday." [3] Now how about US missile defenses? We can actually see that the Current US Missile Defenses across the nation has yet to have a Technological upgrade since the 1980s. This is where they are still reliant on kinnetic Energy and a small group of Ground Based Interceptors (or GBIs for short). [4] Now this can shoot down missiles from North Korea, but would make it impossible to shoot down weaponry from China or Russia.

After of before the EMP occurs the US's Missile Defense protection would be erroaded so fast that this would leave the US open to attack. Now you must be asking yourself what are all the dots and different colors mean? Why this is simply where the US nuclear Missiles are located. A simple reign of Tomahawk rockets at these locations would not only finish off the electrical grid, but would wipe out a large portion of the US population almost ending the war instantly. [5] For the debate I will assume that there's more to it than this so I will continue.

China dumps the Petrodollar

The Chinese dump the dollar and the petrodollar. Due to this the Chinese are now accepting oil in Yuan and strikes a deal with OPEC of whom they already have standing relations with, who are likely to introduce the PetroYuan. This greatly affects the US currency and inflation and the value of the dollar drops as many OPEC nations are already concidering changing the dollar out for the Yuan. [6] This also crashes the US financial system here are interviews with US economists on the issue.

"It would be disastrous for our markets. All those excess dollars coming in, with bonds being sold, interest rates would spike.
We have not seen a return of health to the banking system. So, the system is very vulnerable; and if the Russians carry through with their threat, you have, indeed, the risk of it collapsing the system.”

China halts REM exports to US and allies

95% of the world's REM (Rare Earth Metals) supply belongs to China. China will start to crack down on REM exports to the US and allies mostly likely resulting in chaos. [7] You may think no big deal, but if it goes any further it will lead to US crackdown on China and with the US trying to put leverage on the US China will most likely do the same leading to an economic down of the US and then China then the world. Why is this you may ask? It is the fact that the US is entirely reliant on China and the fact that China is also too reliant on the US if one falls they both do. We currently use Rare Earth Elements to make electronics from the cell phone you have and your TV to military satellites. We get a lot of our Green technology from them to like pollution controls, LED light bulbs, and Hybrid cars. [8]

Prices of REMs will have increased by well over 100%. China, who owns 95% of the world's REMs supply has begun to clamp down on the exports due to new environmental regulations and their new crack downs on illegal mining laws. There will be a 48% increase of demand of REMs by next year and the shortages of some of these key metals are not helping the prices. [8] Others show demands are expected to rise by 60% by next year due to increased demands in electronics and hybrid cars. China is shockingly going to start seeing some supply shortages themselves and will either have no choice to hike prices or stop exporting all-in-all. [9] Meaning that now the US isn't able to produce much technology and that the price of machinery skyrockets which already harm recovery efforts in the US. Although the US produces it in the US their own production isn't enough to actually satisfy much of the US needs.

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More than previously thought China has a great deal of allies ranging from Russia and India to Iran and Pakistan. [10] Any such war on the US will without a doubt lead to a Chinese and allies victory.

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Debate Round No. 2


Rebuttal I: US Power Grid

Con's whole case is based in three errors. 1) That the US wouldn't just equally do the same to China. 2) A misunderstanding of what an EMP is. 3) The assumption that the US can't defend against an EMP strike, and that China's strategy would work by default.

To start on error 1, China's grid is smaller and more compact (1), making it an easier target. China's grid is almost entirely near the sea, making it easier to target from the Navy and Air Force. The US's is scattered across a massive continent. The second flaw is that an EMP does not stop electricity. It works by disrupting, and at higher levels damaging, active electronic equipment. This means that back up generators are safe.

The third error is that such an attack can't happen. It's extremely theoretical, and relies on the idea that the US can't prevent the attack or doesn't try to prevent the attack. The Chinese can't EMP the entire US with mobile EMP vehicles... It'll require an array of missiles. The US, has mentioned in R2, has a massive Missile Defense System on land and at sea capable of ending such a strike while retaliating in force.

Returning to both error two and three.... EMP missiles don't exist. Man-made EMP's are nuclear in nature, and would lead to a global war against any nation that used one against another nation. The US, however, is in the middle of extremely successful tests on a missile (2). This means that while China can't EMP the US, the US can EMP china within this decade.

Another error with this case is that China wouldn't EMP the US. First World nation's have a more thought out approach to war. China would consider the post-war consequences. To survive after the war, China needs the US alive, as wiping out 22% of the world's economy (3) would lead to a global disaster that China would be crippled in. This is not a successful victory. China's tactic would require the US remain alive after the war. Especially since US allies as mentioned in R2 make up 54% of the World's economy. Such a tactic as Con proposes would be worse on China post-war than losing the war would be.

Con says the US Missile Defense hasn't been upgraded since 1980. This isn't true. The missile defense that Con is talking about it (Aegis) was started in 1980, but has been upgraded often since then (4). Many of the Aegis missiles from 2014 are capable of stopping ICBMs, a trait no Chinese missile has.


Rebuttal II: US v Chinese Economy

A) Dropping the Dollar
China may drop the dollar, but it would only hurt them more. The dollar makes up 63% of the Foreign Exchange. The Chinese Yaun makes up zero percent (5). Even if they cancelled use of the dollar, the oil producers would stay under the dollar, as it's more profitable. This is especially true as the US is the largest importer of oil. If oil producers had to pick between a country that imports 7.5 million barrels a day, or one that imports 4.5 million, they will pick the former (the US)(6). OPEC would also be giving up sales to strong US allies like Japan and South Korea which makes up another 7 million barrels...

China's currency shift would hurt trade as Europe, most or all of N. and S. America, and much of Asia buys and sells off the dollar. The Yaun wouldn't even be allowed in the Foreign Exchange as it stands today. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) claims it'll take a year before the Yaun could enter the reserves, and even then, the Yaun isn't free enough to succeed. The Yaun is strongly controlled by the state, and not by the free markets (7, 8).

"Due to this the Chinese are now accepting oil in Yuan and strikes a deal with OPEC..." This claim is unsubstantiated, and unbelievably hypothetical. Con's source only states the opinion of only one economist, Sinclear. His source even disagrees with Sinclear on a crucial note, "Some even argue that the world will switch from the petrodollar to the petroYUAN. We’re not convinced that will happen." The biggest flaw in the source is this claim, "Given that China has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest importer of oil, (therefore leading to Con's scenario)." I've already shown the US imports almost twice as much oil as China. And Russia's not even in the top 10.


B) Rare Earth Metals
Con's case relies on a faulty understanding of reserves v production v demand. China may produce 95% of all of the world's REMs, but the US has 13,000,000 metric tonnes of REMs (9). The US's demand for REMs are at 10,500 metric tonnes a year (10). We can sustain ourselves for 1,200+ years.

Con's case also falls to historical examples. He claims China will use it's monopoly to threaten the US... But this strategy was tried and failed in an embargo against Japan. China has a monopoly because prices were cheap and everyone liked that. Not because no one could match them. When they threatened other's with this monopoly, those nations got working on their own reserves. China's strategy backfired badly (11). One reason is that Chinese Companies are not the government... They don't care about war. They depend on trade to turn a huge profit. In the REM embargo of Japan, most Chinese companies refused to comply by using loopholes. Another failure on China's behalf is that, economically speaking, REM's are used because they are slightly better and cheaper, not because they are needed. REM's are convenient, not nessecary. It can be assumed China's production of REM's, after only 5 years since the embargo, now makes up 70% of the world's production, not 95 (12).

So the US is not dependent on China's production of REM's, and China's monopoly has proven to be an ineffective tool. Remember, an embargo from the US is so effective for the same reasons an embargo against the US would be dangerous.


Argument I: US Allies

Con's case claims that China has many allies, ranging from India to Pakistan. That, to start, is a bad alliance right there. But the real issue here is confusing allies and friends. To start, India and China are not allies. They have poor relations, and a massive build up of military operations on each other's borders out of sheer distrust. India is extremely close to the US, and extremely distant from China.

Con's case is based only in the SCO, where China and India are both members. However, India and Pakistan are both members and they are also on some of the worst diplomatic terms in the World today. So the SCO is only beneficial during peace, or when at war with a mutual enemy. It falls apart in a war with someone allied to India. The SCO's main goal is to counter terrorism and separatism, not a whole nation. The closest China has to an ally is N. Korea. In my case, I addressed US Allies AND China's allies, showing a broader view of the topic at hand, whereas Con only showed China's "allies" with no regard for what the US in turn has.

I will now address China and Russia. Historically, the two have been on very rocky terms. In fact, even today, Russia is only "slightly" more favorable towards China, despite their intense hatred of the US (13). There is little reason why Russia would actually enter the war. However, US allies (who are actually allies) in the Pacific have a very real geological reason to get involved. They also depend on the US to secure them protection against China. And European Allies, who are strongly pro-US against China, are bond by alliances (NATO) to enter in cases where a fellow member is at war. And the threat to Europe from Chinese domination on the world's political and economic field would be incentive enough. Russia and China's relationship (which is still forming) may not even last (14). The two's relationship was based in a number of projects, none of which the two have attempted to complete (15).


Argument III: US v China Economy

China's economy is far more delicate than the US's. China is in a triple economic bubble. An embargo on China from NATO would be crippling. At a nominal GDP of $10.35 trillion, used for international trade values, US and allies make up at least nearly a trillion USDs in Chinese trade revenue. This is half of all Chinese trade (16). While this is nominal value, once converted into PPP (to show the actual impact on Chinese's internal economy), they would lose almost $2 trillion in PPP GDP, dropping their actual economy by over 10%. Such an impact can't just be ignored. Especially since US exports to China equals only $113 bn, equal to less than a percent of the US economy (as US nominal and PPP are the same.)

Chinese companies are not pro-China. They are pro-economy. Not only would China lose all interaction with US companies (whom make up a lot of the Chinese employment rate and industrialization), they would lose many of their own companies as the US becomes the better one to side with, economically. The increase in employment and investment in the US from domestic and Chinese companies would make up for, and likely even overwhelm the lost trade, while further hurting China.

The US, with higher tax efficiency (see Premise II), can bring up (safely) a lot more of it's own GDP for war. The US also has a war-sustaining economy, with industries capable of managing war-time economics and production. China does not.


All of the tactics Con employed relied on the US not reacting or having no plan in place. Con's tactics are also employable by the US towards China, often even more efficiently than China could. The US economy can sustain a war, and lost trade, whereas China's can not. China's embargos would also hurt them more than the US.


lannan13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I extend my Arguments.

Argument IV: Geologic Advantage

The US has a geological advantage against China... China can only reasonably get to the US through the Pacific Ocean... Guarded by South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines (the Orange Lines). As the map below shows, China has no entrance into the ocean. They are entirely blocked by US allies. Japan alone has more Carriers than China, and with the US navy guarding the shore with their allies, China can't leave the mainland.

China can't head through the mainland, as there are nations there. If they did try, they would find India and a number of US bases (the Green Line). And Russia won't let an army move through their lands. Even if they did, the Russian shoreline they could use is even smaller to patrol. The other shorelines would lead them through European oceans.

The US has an economic, military, geological advantage over China. The US would win in a war.


lannan13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
50 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
Half Life 3 confirmed?
Posted by Russia_The_almighty 1 year ago
Viewed 666 times as of when I viewed this. DDo you know what this means?
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
I will get around to voting on this.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
Damn wifi. It wasn't working what-so-ever last night. Sorry DK.
Posted by greatkitteh 1 year ago
An american east attack to russia is impractical, no sixeable population and not enough time to jarvest the resources. Not Untill the U.S. gets to Vladivostok when they will find a Reasonable target, and Vladivostok would be guarded by thre powers: China, North Korea, And russia.
Besdies that, America is spending a Huge amount of Men securing almost Nothing, possible though winter. Whatever salvagble resources can be burned in a scorched earth, while the Cacuss is more than enough to keep russia going.

Also, Nato has more fronts them just east, Serbia, Mknetnegro, and Serbian Bosania makes balkans, Iran and Armenia serve in the cacuss, russia has deployments in syria, possible China and North Korea, Ppssibly India OR pakistan, Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina and Venesula if The Uk is involbed, Ethopia pr Ertecia, Lebannon, Egypt, and Possibly Zimbabwe all setve as additional fronts.

Because central Asia is under russian imfluence, The Us would be hard-pressed to defend Afgahnistan, Esoecially if India or pakistan wants to help Russia.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
I will get to this once the wifi stops cutting in and out.
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
Aye. It wouldn't be realistic... no ones going to actually nuke another nation XD
Posted by TheRussian 1 year ago
@Donald no WMDs in the debate right?
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
Lannan, can you post on the last day (last minute, if possible). My work schedule is heavy for the next 3-4 days. Waiting will allow my round to have 3 large days to work on it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Since Con forfeited, he basically was unable to refute any of Pro's arguments, therefore by default, Pro is more convincing in arguing that the United States of America would beat China in this hypothetical war.