Missiles fired from the Chinese mainland could destroy five of the six major U.S. air bases in the Far East. So states a new report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, adding:

“Saturation missile strikes could destroy U.S. air defenses, runways, parked aircraft, and fuel and maintenance facilities. Complicating this scenario is the future deployment of China’s anti-ship ballistic missile, which could hold U.S. aircraft carriers at bay outside their normal operating range.”

Opposite Taiwan, China’s missile force has reached 1,600.

Beijing is also building rockets, submarines and surface fleets to extend her dominance out to the third chain of islands, enabling the People’s Liberation Army to strike U.S. carriers and bases as far away as Guam.

Since the demise of the blue-water navy of Russian Adm. Sergei Gorshkov, the Pacific has been an American lake. No more.

China lays claim to all the Paracel and Spratly islands of the South China Sea, all the Senkakus in the East China Sea, and all the oil and gas beneath and around those islets and reefs.

America’s offer to mediate these claims, which involve half a dozen other anxious Asian nations, has been rudely rebuffed by Beijing.

At the G20 gathering in Seoul, South Korea, Barack Obama got an earful from China about the Fed sinking the dollar and learned that Beijing would not be revaluing its currency to help with our chronic trade deficits.

As China holds a huge share of U.S. debt, Obama is not about to get sassy with our banker, who might just cut off the credit America, running a budget deficit of 10 percent of gross domestic product, desperately needs.

Napoleon said of the Middle Kingdom, “Let (China) sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” The shaking has begun.

So the question arises: Who put us in this predicament? Who awakened, fed and nurtured this tiger to where she is growling at all Asia and baring her teeth at the United States? Answer: the free trade uber alles Republicans.

Richard Nixon opened China. His 1972 Shanghai communique pointed inexorably to what Jimmy Carter did in 1979: break relations and abrogate our security pact with Taiwan, and recognize the People’s Republic as the sole legitimate government of China.

In 1982, the Ronald Reagan White House signed on to a communique with Deng Xiaoping’s China by which we agreed to reduce and eventually end all arms sales to Taiwan as tensions in the strait diminished.

Under George H.W. Bush, Beijing’s crushing of the Tiananmen Square protest with tanks was not allowed to interfere with business.

Repeatedly, Republicans voted to extend most-favored-nation status to China. Dissenters were castigated as “isolationists and protectionists.”

Under Bush II, the GOP made MFN permanent and sponsored Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organization, despite China’s downing of a U.S. surveillance plane and incarceration of its American crew on Hainan Island. Colin Powell was forced to apologize.

For decades, corporate America championed investing in China and trade with China, though the massive transfer of U.S. factories, technologies and jobs was clearly empowering China and weakening America.

Now, with U.S. political, military, industrial and strategic decline vis a vis China manifest to the world, we hear the wails of American businessmen that they are not being treated fairly by the Chinese. And the politicians responsible for building up China are now talking tough about confronting and containing China.

Sorry, but that cat cannot be walked back.

Review commission chair Dan Slane says his members have concluded that “China is adopting a highly discriminatory policy of favoring domestic producers over foreign manufacturers. Under the guise of fostering ‘indigenous innovation’ … the government of China appears determined to exclude foreigners from bidding on government contracts at the central, provincial and local levels.”

Imagine that! The Chinese are ignoring WTO rules and putting China first. Don’t they understand how the Global Economy works? You’re not supposed to tilt the field in favor of the home team.

One knows not whether to laugh or cry.

The policy the Chinese are pursuing, economic nationalism, was virtually invented by the Republican Party. Protectionism was the declared policy of the GOP from the day its first president took office in 1861 to the day Calvin Coolidge left in 1929.

Free trade was the policy of a Great Britain whose clocks those generations of Americans cleaned, even as the Chinese are cleaning ours.

As for a U.S. policy of containment, we have no vital interest in China’s border dispute with India, or Beijing’s claims to islands in the South and East China seas, or in China’s claims against Russia dating to the ninth century.

Time for our Asians friends to take responsibility for defending their own claims. As LBJ said in 1964, “We are not about to send Americans boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” This time, let’s mean it.

The day of the globalist has come and gone.