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San Diego’s military being influenced by emerging superpower nations

There's a new cold war. About 40 percent of all people on earth live in China and India. The economies of those countries are growing exponentially. And both nations have beefed up their military arsenals over the past 20 years. That means a lot for San Diego's military influence. And California lawmakers are concerned the two countries are syphoning jobs from the state. Chad Pergram reports from Capitol Hill.

The U.S. is hardly a bystander in the evolution of these awakening giants and Republican Vista Representative Darryl Isa says the U.S. must alter its' thinking

Isa: The days of us towering economically above peaceful countries such as India and China now are is, in fact, probably behind us.

But some worry that as India and China grow they could spark a cold war style rivalry. Republican Alpine Congressman Duncan Hunter heads the house armed services committee and he's particularly wary about China.

Hunter: It's clear that China intends to step into the super power shoes that were left by the Soviet Union.

If that's the case it's clear that the U.S. has taken a side. Take the royal treatment of foreign Royal Prime Minister Man Muhan Singh, when he spoke to a joint meeting of Congress last summer.

Speaker: MR. Speaker Prime Minister of the Republic of India.

India has been a nuclear power since the mid seventies and Singh assured lawmakers that was a responsibility it could handle. Compare Mon Muhan Singh's Washington reception with what greeted Chinese President Hu Jintao when he swung by the White House in April. Hu wasn't even favored with a State dinner however he did get a ceremony on the White House lawn.

Speaker: Lady's and Gentleman the national anthem of the Republic of China followed by the National Anthem of the United States of America.

In a major breach of protocol the White House mistakenly referred to Hu's nation as the Republic of China. That's actually the name of Taiwan. Things just weren't going very well at the white house that day President Bush committed another diplomatic faux paus when he brazenly grabbed Hu by the jacket sleeve and yanked him toward a lecturn during the welcoming ceremony.

President Bush's sport coat tug at Mr. Hu is a metaphor for America's frustration with China. The U.S. wants China to behave more like India: to become democratic, to become a better business partner and that's why the U.S. remains suspect at China's motivations.

Democratic California Senator Diane Feinstein believes the U.S. is inviting trouble favoring India over China.

Feinstein: I understand that people feel well China is an eventual possible enemy and it is up to see that we do nothing to make it true in the future."

But apprehension about China's military design s remains. The theory that China could pose a military threat to the U.S. is based on the Country's increasing demand for energy resources to satiate a burgeoning industrializing economy.

But despite China's extraordinary leaps into the global marketplace, China remains home to hundreds of millions of poor, underfed, illiterate peasants.

There are fears the military could be used to challenge the U.S. or India in an effort to hoist impoverished segments of the Country. Today, China holds nearly $200-billion in U.S. debt and Duncan Hunter believes those IOU's are China's Ace.

Hunter: China is becoming a military power. They are doing it largely with American dollars which I think is one of the tragedies of this era. And that we are sending hard cash to China that it is using to purhase a military capability that may one day be used against our own armed forces.

Hunter says that San Diego and the Pacific Theater will see an increase in military operations.

Hunter: Forward deploying Naval assets and projecting power will be required for the next five, ten, fifteen, years.

Feinstein: There are number of people here that go out of there way to China bash.

Again Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. She believes some overplay America's relationship with its' purported ally, India.

Feinstien: India is restoring its relationship with China. It's solved its border disputes and I think this old quotient doesn't exist today that we can count on India to be this sort of buffer.

But Darryl Isah says there are clear reasons that the U.S. should bet on India over China. One being the fact that India is democratic and China is still controlled by Communists.

Isah: India particularly is the world's largest democracy and it is a natural counter to China. Jobs, and commerce going to India a - great democracy - is more logical to the United States as an investment tool then going to a relatively closed economy with China.

But not everyone in the U.S. sees it that way check out this episode of the animated TV comedy the Simpsons.

Simpsons: Hey America why not let some of the other countries carry their share of the load? You can with the best kind of sourcing . . outsourcing. Does this mean we are losing our jobs? Does this mean we are losing our jobs? No no your jobs are safe. They'l be done by someone else in another country. Oh no!

But the blossoming of India and China's economy is packaged with its own set of problems. On the Simpsons, workers in an economicly prosperous India suddenly start demanding American-style healthcare benefits and flex-time which of course defeats the idea of outsourcing.

Simpsons: I'm proud of you dad, you're the first to ever outsource the American workers sense of entitlement and privileged.

And if that happens, India and China will truly reach economic balance with the United State and then all three nations could be looking skeptically at the next set of emerging economies form the third world. From Capitol Hill, Chad Pergram, KPBS News.

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