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At the G-20 meeting in Indonesia on Monday, President Joe Biden met with the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping. But while Biden focused on climate change, the Chinese have been cloaking their preparations for war as a green energy push.
Rather than follow up on his mostly tough rhetoric on China over the past two years, Biden didn’t press Xi on the Chinese fentanyl that killed more than 71,000 Americans in 2021. Biden also didn’t mention China’s responsibility for unleashing the COVID-19 epidemic. Instead, Biden used his first meeting with Xi since becoming president to tout the restart of climate talks with China.
This is exactly what China wants.
Biden, who has consistently been wrong on major foreign policy matters since becoming senator from Delaware in 1973, said “I absolutely believe there’s need not be a new Cold War… And I do not think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.”
How is China deceiving America? In military operations, a deception plan works best when an opponent shows the enemy something that enemy wants to believe is true. In China’s case, they know that American elites fear climate change, claiming it is an existential threat. As a result, China touts its massive effort to build wind turbines, deploy solar panels, and rapidly expand electric vehicle (EV) production, with almost half of the world’s EVs operating in China.
China even impressed Biden’s climate czar John Kerry, who said on Aug. 30 that China has “generally speaking, outperformed its (climate) commitments” and that America and China can help the world by “working together.”
But what if China’s “green” energy push has nothing to do with the environment? Rather than look at China’s soothing words we should look at its deeds. What China’s actions tell us is that it is pursuing a path of energy independence largely founded on their massive coal reserves.
This matters because American strategists believe that potential Chinese aggression against Taiwan, Japan, India, or other nations in the Pacific would be held in check by China’s reliance on imported oil. China imports 72 percent of its oil, of which 85 percent transits the Strait of Malacca by Singapore. The U.S. Navy could easily choke off this flow. Thus, many reasons China wouldn’t risk conflict.
To counter this, China has been working with Russia to increase the latter’s pipeline capacity, increasing imports of both oil and natural gas from Russia. But this isn’t enough. Even with about 2 million barrels coming in from Russia via pipeline, China’s strategic reserves would be dry in about five months.
But China has been rapidly laying the groundwork to wean itself off imported oil and natural gas.
In 1996, China surpassed the U.S. in the use of coal to generate electricity. Since then, American coal-fired electric power has been more than cut in half while China now generates more than 5.3 times the amount of coal power as does the U.S. And China isn’t stopping—it’s now building or has plans to build the equivalent of the entire American coal powerplant fleet, even as we decommission our plants.
This means that all those clean green Chinese EVs are really coal-powered—thus, they don’t need imported oil to power them.
Now, here’s where things get frightening—and bad for the planet, too. China is rapidly increasing its coal-to-liquids capacity. Turning coal into high quality fuel and lubricants isn’t a new technology—the Germans used it in WW2 to make up for their lack of oil. Back then, it cost the Germans about $20 a barrel to convert coal into gasoline while American crude went for 98 cents a barrel. But now it costs about half as much to make gasoline from coal than to refine it from oil—the main problem being that it generates about double the amount of carbon dioxide emissions as simply burning oil does—assuming China even cares about that, which it doesn’t.
Simply put, China’s coal-to-liquids effort allows China to weather a U.S. Navy blockade of the Strait of Malacca, giving the Chinese Communist Party enormous latitude to pursue military aggression against its neighbors while keeping its economy running.
You must hand it to the Chinese Communist Party—it has managed to convince American elites that it cares about the environment while it’s really gearing up for war.