I asked about the rise of China, which has prompted some tea partiers, including Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), to call for an arms race. "When people understand that the United States spends 52 cents out of the worldwide dollar on military spending and that China spends 9 cents, what arms race are we gonna engage them in? I mean really, is China a threat? No, they're not."
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Would you have American naval forces essentially controlling the waters of the Pacific Rim as we are today, or would you go back, and let China take control as its trying to do with its buildup?
GARY JOHNSON: Well, so talking about China for a second. I mean, back to us spending more than half of the military spending that’s taking place in the world today and we’re 5% of the world’s population. Of that 52 cents that we’re spending, China’s spending 9 cents. So, I don’t know is China, and I have this, uh, I have this fundamental believe also, and that is, a state run economy just isn’t going to work. And so right now, arguably the largest real estate bubble in the history of mankind, exists right now in China. I think China has some real pressing issues with the migration of hundred million people into rural areas, and the fact that 70% of their GDP has been, uh, infrastructure spending that is for the most part, empty. I think there’s some real issues with China that are gonna get played out that don’t include, uh, them trying to push themselves militarily across the planet.
“I reject that libertarians are isolationist. It should be diplomacy to the hilt and in this case it would be joining with China to deal with a threat that they also recognize,” Johnson said regarding the threat of a North Korea with functioning ICBMs.
He added, “the problem in the region is our 40,000 troops in South Korea. That is not a stabilizing force in the Koreas.” Johnson continued to say ideally the U.S would withdraw military personnel from South Korea and that China “should be dealing with North Korea.”