Blue team

From Academic Kids

The blue team is an informal group within the United States that has argued that the People's Republic of China is the largest security threat to the United States. The name comes from the color of the United States in wargames, in opposition to the red team, and was invented by the group to describe themselves. The members of the group include members of Congress and some neoconservative thinktanks and publications such as The Weekly Standard. Blue team members tend to be absent from the United States Department of State, although this is likely due to the current Bush administration trying to avoid putting Blue team members in official (and potentially provocative) positions. Rather, the Blue team manifests itself closer to the Pentagon and US Intelligence services.

They argue for an assertive United States policy to contain the People's Republic of China and support the Republic of China on Taiwan, and believe that the policies of Bill Clinton and the Department of State toward China amounted to appeasement. A key example was when Clinton de-linked the issues of human rights and China's WTO entry. Members include neoconservatives such as William Kristol, conservative Republican Congressmen such as Dana Rohrabacher and Benjamin Gilman, members of thinktanks including Robert Kagan and Ross Munro, co-author with Richard Bernstein of The Coming Conflict with China, and journalists such as Bill Gertz, a writer for The Washington Times. Many blue team members see the lack of democracy in China as a key concern; the PRC will thus use nationalism (with US and Japan as the enemies) to consolidate power and distract the people from democracy and human rights. Similarily, a lack of democracy in China gives the PRC government more political will to warmonger, enabling it to challenge US power in the East Asia sphere.

Although they have ties with the Republican Party they tend to be strongly opposed by business conservatives who argue for greater interaction with China. On many issues such as Chinese membership in the World Trade Organization, the blue team found themselves in an alliance with liberal Democratic human rights activists. Many Blue team members have criticized business interests for putting money before human rights.

Although the blue team was relatively influential in the 1990s, their influence diminished markedly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which convinced many that China was not a large security threat. Their influence declined even further after the 2003 invasion of Iraq in which China did not actively oppose American actions, in contrast to France and Russia. They were conspicuously silent after President George W. Bush announced a policy in December 2003 that opposes any effort by Taiwan to use a referendum to alter the status quo in the Taiwan straits.

However, others argue that the Bush administration does implicitly agree with the Blue team and had recognized the threat that an undemocratic China could pose. In "The National Interest", the Republican Party's 2000 foreign policy campaign platform, Condoleeza Rice suggested that China was a rising economic and military power that was no longer content to let the US hold the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific sphere. The National Security Strategy (NSS) 2002, which embraced the maintainance of US hegemony, states that China should find it unwise to alter that status quo in any matter. Warning signs from China in 2005 include a continued unwillingness to resolve the North Korea nuclear weapons crisis, an increase in China's military spending, suspicions that China supplied Iran with nuclear material, and the Taiwan anti-secession law. Although China did not actively oppose the Iraq 2003 invasion (France and Russia did since they had much commercial interests in Iraq), experts speculated that China wanted the US invasion to occur. The renewed Taiwan rhetoric was China's attempt to seize the oppourtunity while the US has its hands tied with Iraq.


Related articles

The Blue Team ("Squadra Azzura") was the team that represented Italy in international bridge tournaments, winning sixteen world titles from 1957 through 1975.


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