Americans deserve to know how Republican presidential candidates would face existential threat from China.

When Republicans face off on Wednesday night, expect rhetorical fireworks over the dumpster fire that is comprised of Bidenomics, the border crisis, and the weaponization of federal law enforcement to go after President Biden’s political enemies.

But one huge issue that should get attention is the accelerating economic collapse of the People’s Republic of China – and the growing likelihood of conflict in the Pacific.

Xi Jinping, the head of the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is running out of options. Xi, with the cunning and ruthlessness of a mafia don, but otherwise a midwit and a bully, has ruined China’s economy by demanding absolute political control of all economic activity.

Foreign investment has dried up – other than from Germany – and international corporations are headed for the exits. Exports are plunging. The hyper-inflated real estate market, some 30% of China’s economy, is collapsing, making America’s 2008 Lehman Brothers moment look like amateur hour.

The CCP’s deal with the Chinese people – increasing levels of prosperity in exchange for no freedom – has been unilaterally canceled by Xi. But the people can’t do anything about it. This is a problem for China’s stability.

We see it in the few warning signs that leak out of an increasingly opaque China, with news that China’s fertility rate collapsed to 1.09 babies born to each woman over her lifetime in 2022, a 16% decline from 2020 – an ominous sign that the average Chinese family has little faith in the future.

And we see it in the 800% surge in illegal border crossings by Chinese nationals, likely driven by a youth unemployment rate approaching 40%.

Unlike in a normal nation where the people have a nominal say over who rules them, the CCP will never give up power – without a bloody fight.

So, with China facing difficult choices, none of them good, what should Americans know about the Republican candidates’ stances on the most dangerous geopolitical threat America has faced since the British burned down the White House in 1814?

First, should China’s supreme leader Xi decide to attack Taiwan to stoke nationalist pride in his restive population, what is America’s stake in the fight?

Do we support Taiwan out of strategic necessity to prevent the lynchpin of the First Island Chain, extending from Japan south to Indonesia, from falling into the PRC’s hands? Do we support Taiwan because it’s a democracy? Or do we quail at the risk of China’s nuclear-armed threats and retreat across the Pacific?

Second, as China’s economy shrinks and the Chinese are likely forced to sell assets, such as their considerable dollar holdings, to stabilize the economy, do we continue to decouple our economies? Would further decoupling invite aggression from the PRC, given that it would have even less to lose in a war?

Third, with increasing evidence that China is providing Russia with key electronic components and other hardware needed for Russia’s desultory invasion of Ukraine, do we consider the PRC a de facto ally of Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine. If so, what steps should we take?

This last question opens up an inquiry over the extreme danger we face while a mentally declining Biden mismanages affairs from the White House: that China has been preparing for conflict with the U.S. for decades – a coming conflict that America is only now just waking up to.

Those Chinese nationals surging across the border? They’re mostly military age. Might some of them be coming to America to later conduct sabotage operations against us? We’ll likely not know until it’s too late because Biden’s border crisis has prevented the Border Patrol from conducting the routine interrogations of illegally crossing would-be migrants that they’ve done in the past.

China has also penetrated America’s vital infrastructure. Former President Donald Trump’s administration saw the threat and issued an executive order banning the import of large electrical transformers from China after kill switches were found in them. Biden immediately reversed the ban. Will we get serious about inspecting and removing this threat?

Even more alarming, up to 95% of the basic ingredients used to manufacture medicines worldwide are now sourced from China. A cutoff from China due to war or Chinese retaliation would threaten the lives of millions of people.

The People’s Republic of China and the Chinse Communist Party present an existential threat to America. The American people deserve to know – from those who would be president – what they would do to meet and defeat the threat.