Monday, April 22, 2024

CHINA: ABCs of warfare

| May 29, 2020 1:00 AM

ABC — Atomic, Biological and Chemical warfare. Weapons of Mass Destruction strike fear in our hearts during times of war and lurk in the shadows of our minds during times of peace.

In 1910, Jack London peered into the future and penned the science fiction short story, “The Unparalleled Invasion.” The unleashing of World War I’s chemical and World War II’s atomic weapons had not yet happened. But the use of biological weapons had been in man’s arsenal throughout the ages. Some believe the Black Death plague was the result of the Golden Horde throwing plague-stricken corpses over the walls of Kaffa, Crimea, in 1346.

London spent six months as a reporter covering the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. “The Unparalleled Invasion” story starts with the Japanese victory and subsequent entry into the comity of nations.

Flush with newfound imperial designs, Japan awakens the sleeping giant, China, and brings it into the 20th century. China responds and methodically grows in population from 400 million to 800 million by 1976 and sets out on a path of world domination. The story climaxes with the western nations retaliating with biological weapons and destroying the Chinese population and ends with the world outlawing biological weapons.

“The Unparalleled Invasion” has been criticized for describing genocide as the solution to the “Chinese problem” and has been cited as evidence of Jack London’s racism.

Even so, London foretold many of the problems we face today. China’s population grew as predicted and has now reached 1.4 billion. China’s Communist Party does seek world domination — economically if not militarily. And in a reversal of the use of biological weapons, whether by accident or design, the rest of the world is under attack by a deadly virus originating from a Chinese laboratory.