President Donald Trump has called for increased tariffs on certain Chinese goods and for American businesses to limit trade with Chinese companies. Some folks are not happy.

Is China's aggression both economically and militarily not common knowledge?

China launched its “One Belt, One Road” initiative in 2013 with billions in loans to third-world countries for infrastructure projects like bridges, roads, ports, and airports, pushing these little countries into unaffordable debt. When these countries' loans approach default, China negotiates control of the assets it built. In Sri Lanka, China now controls 110 hectares of land in the Colombo port area and controls the Hambantota port. Tajikistan ceded land to China to pay part of its debt. Some cooperative projects also include the construction of Chinese-only communities of half a million or more in those foreign countries or sales of arms and participation in military exercises and exchanges.

Nearly 70 countries worldwide are involved in China's “One Belt One Road” initiative, as Quartz (qz.com) and others have documented.

Did you also know China has been turning rocks, reefs, and sandbars in the South China Sea into islands? China has militarized these islands and now, potentially, has control over the entire sea, including international shipping lanes that see one-third of the world's shipping, worth trillions of dollars annually — not to mention the potential threat to neighboring countries and fisheries and oil and natural-gas reserves.

If the tariffs cause Christmas gifts to cost more this year, consider it part of our patriotic duty. Consider how Americans pulled together during World War II by enduring rationing and by participating in scrap drives for paper, rubber, metal, and rags. A trade war with China — better than military action — won't even come close to that kind of deprivation. We can do this.

Cindy Bourn

Wrenshall