Key point: No U.S. president, no Senator or Congressman, could remain in office if they did not respond forcefully to the sinking of U.S. carriers, the very symbol of American power and prestige.
Admiral Lou Yuan is China’s Curtis LeMay.
LeMay, the U.S. Air Force general who torched Japanese cities and later headed Strategic Air Command, was notorious for his bellicosity. In the 1950s and during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he tried to get the U.S. to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union: during the Vietnam War, he urged bombing North Vietnam “back to the Stone Age.”
Now comes Lou Yuan, deputy chief of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences and a prolifically hawkish military commentator who supports a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Last month, Yuan told an audience at a Chinese military-industrial conference that China could solve tensions over the South and East China Seas by sinking two U.S. aircraft carriers.
This would kill 10,000 American sailors. “What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” said Lou. “We’ll see how frightened America is.”
Lou has previously urged an invasion of Taiwan if the U.S. Navy uses the island, regarded by China as a renegade territory, as a naval base. “If the US naval fleet dares to stop in Taiwan, it is time for the People’s Liberation Army to deploy troops to promote national unity on the island,” he said.
LeMay was no fan of Communism, but he would have understood Lou’s sentiment.