Why is everyone so scared of China?


#21

[quote=“urodacus”]there are worse countries than China in the UN. North Korea (since 1991), for example, or Burma. Funnily enough, they are both best friends with China.

The UN should just add Taiwan, not recognise Taiwan as rightful representatives of China, which they patently are not.

Of course, that will never happen while the Chinese maintain a veto in the SecCon.[/quote]

China is just as bad as North Korea, in fact in many ways it’s even worse. But with NK in there, the UN is even more of a joke than I thought it was.


#22

bismark: I love it when a man talks military hardware. It makes me all moist.

As for the U.S.’ future economic outlook, a lot of that will really depend upon whether it can get its debt under control. Check out the projections (based upon current figures/policies continuing) and it’s not a pretty sight at all.

ninman: Whilst I would like to agree with you on free societies outlasting those that aren’t free, I don’t think we can exactly say history is on the side of freedom simply because the experiment hasn’t been run for long enough. Even if we accept the U.S. (slavery not withstanding) or the U.K. (its empire not withstanding), we’re scratching around for other “free” societies in the modern sense that go back much more than one hundred years. Back then, most of today’s “free” countries were either running their own empires or were part of someone else’s empire, and there were all sorts of rigid political/monarchical, religious and class restrictions put on people. Seriously, count the number of democracies pre-1900. This is the great hubris of Francis Fukuyama, which even he admits was a bit of getting carried away in the 1990s.


#23

Well I think for the society to be stable and to last it needs to have two basic things. One is it has to be rich, and economically prosperous, part of the reason democracy failed in Germany in the 1930’s was down to how totally fucked the country was economically. The second is that is has to be democratic.

But getting back to my original question, why does the world kiss China’s ass all the fucking time? Why can’t the US just grow a pair of balls and say “China is a currency manipulator and Taiwan is an independent country”? I mean China even executed that British guy last December just to say fuck you to the UK. I mean Obama criticised Bush for not calling China a currency manipulator, now he’s doing the same thing. It doesn’t make any fucking sense.


#24

[quote=“bismarck”]
The four large tubes visible just aft of the pennant number (420) are the Sunburn missiles, of which these ships carry eight. The missile is a sea-skimming missile with velocity of Mach 2.5, armed with a 300 kg high-explosive or a nuclear 200 kt warhead. The range is from 10 to 120 km. Their velocity, range and warhead is what makes these missiles so fearsome. That said, an aircraft carrier battle group (CVBG) would actually need to be within 120 km of one of these vessels for them to actually deploy their Sunburns. And there lies their problem.
A US CVBG is a total fighting system comprised of the carrier and several surface and sub-surface escorts, not to mention an arsenal of aircraft which would be the envy of most airforces the world over. A surface vessels two biggest threats aren’t necessarily other surface vessels, especially buggers like the Sovremenny class, but firstly aircraft and secondly submarines. As submariners like to say, their are two types of vessels. Submarines, and targets. A US CVBG has a range much greater than 120km and in a real war the Sovremennys would be neutralised long before their missiles would even begin to be a threat.[/quote]

What about that new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that China is deploying? The purported range is 1,000 miles with a Mach 10 speed. There isn’t much in the US arsenal that could defend against something with that range. Each carrier group has a limited number of anti-ballistic missiles. Fire enough ASBM’s and you’ll eventually exhaust the defenses. The next ASBM that gets through would take something out. A missile is far cheaper than any of the ships it is aimed at. You take out a carrier group, or really just the carrier, and the force projection model is done for. Taking out US air bases at Kadena, Osan or Kunsan would be even easier than finding and hitting a carrier group at sea.

The US Navy War College Review has an paper on China’s “anti access” ballistic missiles by Marshall Hoyler that’s worth reading. The basic premise is that active defense, the current plan, won’t work and alternatives need to be pursued before China gets to a point where they can deny the access to the Pacific.

edit

I forgot to include two articles. The first is a Foreign Policy blog post from Thomas Ricks. His prescription follows what George Friedman wrote in the Next Hundred Years with regards to investing in unmanned drones and stealth. The second is a Foreign Affairs article titled “Keeping the Pacific Pacific” and deals with the diplomatic and strategic effects of China being the key player in the Pacific.


#25

[quote=“lbksig”][quote=“bismarck”]
The four large tubes visible just aft of the pennant number (420) are the Sunburn missiles, of which these ships carry eight. The missile is a sea-skimming missile with velocity of Mach 2.5, armed with a 300 kg high-explosive or a nuclear 200 kt warhead. The range is from 10 to 120 km. Their velocity, range and warhead is what makes these missiles so fearsome. That said, an aircraft carrier battle group (CVBG) would actually need to be within 120 km of one of these vessels for them to actually deploy their Sunburns. And there lies their problem.
A US CVBG is a total fighting system comprised of the carrier and several surface and sub-surface escorts, not to mention an arsenal of aircraft which would be the envy of most airforces the world over. A surface vessels two biggest threats aren’t necessarily other surface vessels, especially buggers like the Sovremenny class, but firstly aircraft and secondly submarines. As submariners like to say, their are two types of vessels. Submarines, and targets. A US CVBG has a range much greater than 120km and in a real war the Sovremennys would be neutralised long before their missiles would even begin to be a threat.[/quote]

What about that new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that China is deploying? The purported range is 1,000 miles with a Mach 10 speed. There isn’t much in the US arsenal that could defend against something with that range. Each carrier group has a limited number of anti-ballistic missiles. Fire enough ASBM’s and you’ll eventually exhaust the defenses. The next ASBM that gets through would take something out. A missile is far cheaper than any of the ships it is aimed at. You take out a carrier group, or really just the carrier, and the force projection model is done for. Taking out US air bases at Kadena, Osan or Kunsan would be even easier than finding and hitting a carrier group at sea.

The US Navy War College Review has an paper on China’s “anti access” ballistic missiles by Marshall Hoyler that’s worth reading. The basic premise is that active defense, the current plan, won’t work and alternatives need to be pursued before China gets to a point where they can deny the access to the Pacific.

edit

I forgot to include two articles. The first is a Foreign Policy blog post from Thomas Ricks. His prescription follows what George Friedman wrote in the Next Hundred Years with regards to investing in unmanned drones and stealth. The second is a Foreign Affairs article titled “Keeping the Pacific Pacific” and deals with the diplomatic and strategic effects of China being the key player in the Pacific.[/quote]
Thanks for the reply. As I said, my “expertise” is a somewhat dated (eight years, at least). I’ll have a look at the links you posted and give a better reply soon.


#26

Well, that’s the theory. As I said, the experiment hasn’t been run for long enough.

Firstly, I’d say there are Western democracies that seem to be unravelling as societies pretty quickly, most notably, the U.K. They’re fairly rich too, and yet they seem to have a host of social ills because not enough people seem to have a concept of something greater or beyond themselves. In China, you might have to worry that the government is going to lock you up and torture you for practising falun gong in the park. In the U.K., a dozen fifteen year olds in hooded fleeces would come and stab you instead. Either way, no falun gong in the park. In contrast, there’s Singapore, which could only be described as a free society by stretching that definition considerably. Yet it seems to have fewer social ills. Neither country is Finland, where people seem to largely have their shit together of their own accord and because they want to, which makes me think it might come down to other cultural factors. Of course, all of these countries are going to have to deal with changing demographics, especially an ageing population.

Secondly, let’s not forget that in my country (Australia), up until the year I was born, Aboriginal kids were still being taken from their parents, and back in the day (I’m not sure when exactly, 50s or 60s – in Ireland, I think it was as late as the 70s), if you were a woman who had a kid out of wedlock, unless you were wealthy and could cover it up, they took the kid from you and put you in a boarding/work house for women who’d gone astray. I think this was fairly common in many Western countries, at least pre-WW2. Likewise, try being gay back in the day. So again, I’d hardly say this “freedom” thing has been around that long.


#27

China’s aggressiveness toward Japan over the fisherman dispute is understandable in the context of what happened in the 1930s and 1940s. The Chinese still have bitter memories of the brutalities committed during the Japanese occupation. The Chinese government had to take a tough stance toward Japan due to domestic anti-Japanese sentiment.

There’s a lot of emotional sensitivities in China whenever disputes occur with Japan. However China’s actions over the dispute should raise alarm calls. Yes, the tough Chinese response was understandable in light of the historical context, but what if China applies the same aggressive response toward other neighbors it has territorial disputes with, such as Vietnam or India? Many of these Asian countries are looking at China’s response against Japan by saying “Uh oh”, and worrying whether they will be next. Bullying Japan might be reluctantly understandable, but bullying Vietnam or India over sovereignty issues in the same manner is totally unacceptable.

The past is the past. Let Japan play a more active role in its defense needs. It would be cheaper for the US. Playing a more active Japan against China would also benefit Taiwan. However strengthening the US naval presence and building Asian alliances is still the most important counterweight in preventing China from “pushing the envelope”. An outside power playing the leading role in maintaining the balance of power is most effective, especially in a region with regional sensitivities.

That’s why I’m a little concerned over Gates’ plans to streamline the Defense Department budget. Gates could push his spending cuts too far to the US Navy’s detriment.

I don’t think it’s entirely impossible to defeat China’s DF-21 missile. Electronic jamming can play a part in confusing ASBMs. As JiveTurkey mentioned in another thread, the US could also strike satellite guiding systems that help navigate the DF-21s. The US could take out these missiles before they launch, provided that you can find them. Also, careful positioning of carrier forces and increasing the range of non-carrier fighter jets will diminish the DF-21’s usefulness. How about reaching an agreement with Hanoi to allow the US Air Force to maintain bases in Vietnam?

To make this happen, the US needs to get its fiscal house in order. Too much deficits and partisanship is decreasing US leverage day by day. Taxes need to be raised, and spending needs to be cut. Of course that is an entirely different issue.


#28

Well, that’s the theory. As I said, the experiment hasn’t been run for long enough.

Firstly, I’d say there are Western democracies that seem to be unravelling as societies pretty quickly, most notably, the U.K. They’re fairly rich too, and yet they seem to have a host of social ills because not enough people seem to have a concept of something greater or beyond themselves. In China, you might have to worry that the government is going to lock you up and torture you for practising falun gong in the park. In the U.K., a dozen fifteen year olds in hooded fleeces would come and stab you instead. Either way, no falun gong in the park. In contrast, there’s Singapore, which could only be described as a free society by stretching that definition considerably. Yet it seems to have fewer social ills. Neither country is Finland, where people seem to largely have their shit together of their own accord and because they want to, which makes me think it might come down to other cultural factors. Of course, all of these countries are going to have to deal with changing demographics, especially an ageing population.

Secondly, let’s not forget that in my country (Australia), up until the year I was born, Aboriginal kids were still being taken from their parents, and back in the day (I’m not sure when exactly, 50s or 60s – in Ireland, I think it was as late as the 70s), if you were a woman who had a kid out of wedlock, unless you were wealthy and could cover it up, they took the kid from you and put you in a boarding/work house for women who’d gone astray. I think this was fairly common in many Western countries, at least pre-WW2. Likewise, try being gay back in the day. So again, I’d hardly say this “freedom” thing has been around that long.[/quote]

The whoe anti-social debate thing has been going on in the UK for years. The UK isn’t really on the verge of a social collapse, but there are social problems that we don’t seem to know how to deal with. Changing a cultural mind set in young people that’s been around for god knows how long is incredibly difficult. Young teenagers have this very strong desire to want to drink copious amounts of alcohol, as do older teenagers and some young adults. While drunk idiots and kids with knives make a lot of people very, very angry, the system is in no danger of collapsing.

But who knows, I certainly know that Australia is not a democracy, only a pretend democracy. Why? Because you force people to vote, not voting is a crime in a Australia, that in itself is undemocratic. So maybe Australia will collapse someday too, who knows, all I can hope for is an end to CCP rule in China and a potentially better future for the world.


#29

[quote=“reztrop”]China’s aggressiveness toward Japan over the fisherman dispute is understandable in the context of what happened in the 1930s and 1940s. The Chinese still have bitter memories of the brutalities committed during the Japanese occupation. The Chinese government had to take a tough stance toward Japan due to domestic anti-Japanese sentiment.
[/quote]

I’m sorry but you have that backwards. Other than places like Hainan where there is still the living memory of Japanese atrocities passed down by grandparents to the latest generation, almost all anti-Japanese sentiments are manufactured by the government and media.


#30

reztrop: I don’t care what Japan did to China in the 1930s in the same way that I don’t care what Japan did to all the people (including my compariots) building the Thai-Burma Railway, for instance. Because that was then and this is now. If I meet a Japanese guy, I don’t think of what his grandparents’ generation did to my grandparents’ generation. Many countries, in this case China, like to play the martyr rather than move on. It’s that simple.

ninman: I agree with you about the compulsory voting thing in Australia, which is why even when I lived in Australia, I wasn’t enrolled to vote, just on principle (plus the fact that I don’t actually believe democracy is a good thing anyway). :raspberry:

As for the U.K., I didn’t say it will collapse, merely that it is unravelling. Plenty of countries limp on without collapsing, but they’re hardly functional in a true sense. I think it’s a measure of how advanced the state of decay is that people gnash their teeth over it but don’t seem to be willing or able to solve these social problems. I’m not entirely sure where they stem from either and I think it’s a confluence of factors. There are plenty of countries where people like a drink. There are plenty of countries that have income disparities or socialised welfare. Take any of the usual explanations or excuses and they don’t explain why the U.K. suffers such social ills to such a degree.

I’m dead serious when I say that these problems are a lot more serious than other comparable countries (I’m not, for a moment, suggesting the U.K. is on a par with Somalia). I’ve travelled to more than forty countries on five continents and I have never felt as unsafe anywhere else in the world as I did in the U.K. and it’s a bit hyperbolic (but only slightly) to say this, but working as a teacher in the U.K. was probably on a par with being sent on a tour of duty to some dusty shithole with people trying to blow you up. I’ve wandered around plenty of large American cities, including some places the average white, middle class guy wouldn’t wander into, and rode Greyhound for what amounted to probably tens of thousands of kilometres, as well as been to places that on paper, should be kind of scary, such as Moscow.

I’m sure any resident of any major city in the world could tell you where the bad areas are and how to avoid trouble and if you heeded their advice, you’d be pretty safe. This probably holds true in Beijing or Shanghai also. I know I complain a lot about Taiwan, but one thing I will give it is that I have never felt even remotely unsafe walking around at night here, and I imagine China is probably not too different. In the U.K., trouble finds you, and in the most random of places or times. That you’re relatively desensitised to it is a product of being in its midst, but it’s shocking to outsiders.

So whilst it’s all good to say that China is a brutal regime (and it is), the perception, if not the reality, is that I’m probably far less likely to suffer violence at the hands of another human being in China than in the U.K., regardless of whether that’s institutionalised or not (and actually, I’d say the chavs in the U.K. are probably as much of an institution, complete with their own government funding, as the secret police are in China). If you’re too terrified to walk out your front door or walk down the street, you’re not actually free.

For further reading, see Theodore Dalrymple.


#31

Yep. I was in the region formerly known as Manchuria over the summer and every large city has an anti-Japanese War of Aggression Museum. They all paint China as a victim and Japan as a brutal aggressor. There is little if any attempt to put this in historical perspective. Japan is literally still asked to feel shame for what it did. Its pathetic.


#32

Guy in Taiwan: Yeah I do agree with you, I myself have been to several different countries, and lived in 4, (Canada, China, Taiwan and the UK). I am British myself, and I have to say that of the 4 in terms how safe I felt walking down the street at any time of the day or night, the UK is 4th on my list. When I was in Shanghai, a city of 20 million people, at no point did I feel in any danger of being, attacked, stabbed, robbed or harassed, even when it was 3 in the morning. Yet when I lived in St.Andrews in Scotland, a town of only 16,000, 6,000 of whom are university students, we used to get harassed all the time. I had friends who were attacked by drunk kids, the police used to send around safety reports saying students were being attacked and raped. I myself have been harassed and almost attacked in the street many times in the UK for no other reason than the way that I look.

As far as being a teacher goes, it’s awful in the UK, my mother is a teacher so I have first hand accounts of how bad it can get. I remember when I went to a TEFL course in Edinburgh, and I asked the instructor if we would ever have to worry about discipline in the classroom, and he said that it was primarily a UK issue. He said in the UK there are a large group of children who are actively rejecting the education that’s on offer for them. Why? Who knows? It’s clearly a serious problem, and one I’m glad I don’t have to try and deal with.

All of that being said, I still believe that a one party state is not the correct solution for a government. We have had the luxury of unfiltered, uncensored and unrestricted access to information in the places we grew up, so we have the luxury of not just being able to but also having the ability to analyze and disect world events, and governments and their policies by having debates like this. The Chinese do not. People who actively criticize the government in China go to prison. I honestly believe that as China gets richer, there will be a stronger and stronger desire to have the kind of freedoms that we take for granted, like being able to visit an online forum like this and have this debate and discussion.

Sure my opinions don’t really mean diddly shit in the run of things, but it’s a physcological thing. The fact that I can go to my local MP and rant about all the things that are pissing me off really means a lot to me. You can try it yourself. Go to China and hold up a picture of Tank Man in Tiananmen square, and see what happens to you. Do the same thing in Taibei, or London, or Sydney, or lots of places and you’ll find the effect is different. It’s human nature to want to be able to criticize our leaders, and you can’t suppress that forever.


#33

Muzha Man: Maybe it helps keep people together, but it does seem to me more like it really holds them back. Europe is full of this crap too.

ninman: I don’t think China is a great country or that that is how to run a society, but I think that if these things are to change, they will occur from within Chinese society in a somewhat organic manner. I also don’t believe that democracy or the ability to voice a concern necessarily equals good outcomes. There are plenty of people (myself included a lot of the time) who have nothing to say, but are determined to say it anyway.

As for us growing up with free information, well, not exactly. Do I really have any idea about whether a news article or story is true? No idea and I’m not even sure how I could really find out. Do people criticise or critique what they’re told? Some, perhaps not many. How many are capable of doing so? Again, some, perhaps not that many. Obviously, I think this is probably a better state of affairs than in China, but to be honest, wading through the first few dozen comments (of thousands at times) on any Yahoo! News story, it’s a bit of a worry. My father used to be heavily involved in politics. He has told me numerous times that while standing outside polling booths handing out campaign material or scrutineering the vote counting, not only did he frequently have to explain how the electoral system in Australia works (which is, admittedly, ridiculously complex at times) to laymenabout to vote, but also to party hacks (of many political persuasions), scrutineers and even the return officers on occasion. :astonished:

My own low point in my teaching career was, one month before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, asking a sociology class of 16 and 17 year old British students to define “democracy” (one student had asked what it meant), and after a couple of minutes, one student offering, “Does it have something to do with voting?” I wanted to kneel down and commit sepuku right then and there. My great mistake prior to that was thinking that people who have excess wealth and access to education, information and so on will want to “better” themselves. In reality, they just want more stuff, often of the most banal and vapid variety, such as ringtones or trainers. It’s not that these kids lacked material access – they were middle class kids whose families could afford to lie on a Spanish beach every summer – it’s that they didn’t give a shit. Neither did their parents. There are whole, vast swathes of suburbs like this in Australia too. McMansions as far as the eye can see, but not a brain switched on in any one of them. Then the government compels these morons – many of whom would be too lazy to vote anywhere else in the world, thankfully – to unleash unholy terror at the polls.


#34

I think a lot of Chinas leaders ability to maintain their grip on power, resist urges for greater freedoms for people stem from the fact they have created a strong nationalistic feeling in the population, they regularly stir the pot with issues from Japan and France, Tibet and Taiwan and they tie it in to a perception held by a lot over in China, that they are going to be the next superpower, prosperity is getting better and better, that the world will need to listen to China and China will dictate how the rules of the game, and people work themselves to death thinking its for a greater cause, that their kids might not have to endure the hardships they have.

 If you watch a Chinese movies you will see how many are set in the period around the Boxer Rebellion, this period and the preceding years where China ceded territory to British, Portuguese and Japanese I think has deep emotional ties with how Chinese are behaving today to foreign powers it sees as acting in a similarly hostile manner, hence massive indignation anytime an issue of sovereignty is touched.  

Japan backed down and released the captain because the Chinese made it clear they were only going to escalate the issue to the maximum, they arrested 4 people, unofficially stopped exporting rare minerals, the mood of the public in China was so ugly, there was no way the Chinese government could have backed down without significant retaliatory actions, ones that most likely would have had quite an effect on Japans economy. Personally I think the Chinese have created a monster with the level of nationalistic outrage that accompanies any event in which they perceive to have been slighted, and as was the case with the monster Dr Frankenstein created, it didn't turn out well for the creator. 

People often quote the amount of dollars the US owes China as a reason that the US must do or bend to the wishes of China. If you stop to think about it, they are not the only ones holding cards, if just 3 companies, Apple, Microsoft and Google made manufactures incorporating their software do so in a country other than China, the Chinese would be left making cheap plastic toys. Which was why the pullout from Google was so significant in my view. Without the co-operation of US companies, China is not going to be manufacturing very much at all. 

Im not sure to what extent the Chinese are relying on manufacturing to keep increasing their GDP, but my guess would be a lot. Which is why they would resist a devaluing of the RMB, they already have seen workers wages increase and there has already been 20~25% devaluation in recent years. (By the way the US House of Representatives  just passed a bill that aims to impose sanctions on countries that the US concludes are holding down the value of their currencies so we could see a trade war start up)

One problem for Chinas leadership is that once China's economy no longer sees continued growth, perhaps even heads south and unemployment rises as factories shift to a new location, then the illusion they have sold the population starts to unravel.

#35

[quote=“Mick”]Im not sure to what extent the Chinese are relying on manufacturing to keep increasing their GDP, but my guess would be a lot. Which is why they would resist a devaluing of the RMB, they already have seen workers wages increase and there has already been 20~25% devaluation in recent years. (By the way the US House of Representatives just passed a bill that aims to impose sanctions on countries that the US concludes are holding down the value of their currencies so we could see a trade war start up)

One problem for Chinas leadership is that once China's economy no longer sees continued growth, perhaps even heads south and unemployment rises as factories shift to a new location, then the illusion they have sold the population starts to unravel.[/quote]

Mick, read a few pages back. I’ve already addressed this. China is moving away from cheap manufacturing and a focus on stellar gdp growth to increasing wages and living standards.


#36

[quote=“ninman”]While a lot of what you’ve said is true Muzha Man, when I was in Shanghai a lot of my teachers said that many people in China want the CCP to step down from power now. There has been a lot of development, but the vast majority of people are still oppressed socially and economically, only about 5-10% of the population actually have the living standards of the west, i.e. own their own home, have a car and a well paying job.

Let me give you an example of someone I know personally. She’s Chinese, lives in Nanjing and went to Switzerland to do a masters degree. When she returned to China to try and get work she couldn’t find anything, a list of reasons she was given included “you’re not pretty enough, you’re too old, you’re not married, you’re unwilling to sleep with our clients”. She currently works as an English teacher, and she earns less than 1000 RMB per month, her boss thinks he’s paying her too much money because other people would be willing to do that that job for free (apparently). She has to live with her parents to survive, now they are being evicted from their homes in the next few months because the government wants to build new flats for rich people, and the compensation they will get for their home is 20% towards the cost of a new house, which means they need to come up with the other 80%, which effectively means they’ll be homeless.

The suicide rate for young women is really high in China, they are under huge pressure socially to get married to a rich man who will look after the family. I had a Chinese gf who was 29 and she was desperate to get married to me because she didn’t want to be over 30 (and therefore old) and not married. Forced evictions are also really common in China, for example the building of the expo, they forcibly evicted people to make that. I have an Italian friend who made a documentary all about it, there was an old man with a heart problem who doctors said could not be moved (and was of course moved from his home), as well as a taxi driver who was too tired to care because he works 24 hour shifts.

As far as new buildings go, if you go to Shanghai you’ll see that most of the newest and tallest skyscapers in the Pudong area are empty. The other thing is that a Chinese girl told me that it’s all built on waste. New apartment blocks are only built to last a maximum of 25 years, after that they are torn down and replaced with something else. Out of 1.3 billion people 800 million live in the countryside in poverty and of the 500 million who live in the cities, most of them live in poverty as well. Not only that, the way people think and act socially is still the same as the way people used to think and act like 100 years ago, they may have move forward economically, but in lots and lots of ways they are still stuck in the past.[/quote]

That’s a great post, ninman. :thumbsup: Years ago, I spent a lot of time in China on business. I’ve had similar discussions numerous times. I agree with the above post and with your subsequent posts, too. I think some people use the word “progress” too loosely.


#37

If you are referring to me, and it certainly appears that way, I am surprised. I didn’t think you were that lazy a reader. :no-no:


#38

If you are referring to me, and it certainly appears that way, I am surprised. I didn’t think you were that lazy a reader. :no-no:[/quote]

I read your posts and I think they are also very good. With all the changes going on in the world surrounding China, a lot of ink is poured into this topic worldwide. A lot of it is guess work. It’s really hard to tell where this is all going to end, and the diversity of accounts on the subject is a testimony on its own.

I just think ninman’s take on this topic is excellent.


#39

GuyinTaiwan, frankly I don’t care either. I agree the past is the past, and China always pushes it by playing the victim card.

Yet domestic politics is domestic politics. A leader cannot ignore the massive weight of public opinion, despite how uneducated and naive many of the population are. If Obama ignored overwhelming public opinion to act tough in a dispute with a foreign foe, or in the face of a terrorist threat, by acting weak and indecisive, Republicans and the American people will be calling for his head.

Ignoring overwhelming public opinion will get a leader thrown out of office in democracies and authoritarian regimes alike. That’s why I think Japan acted the way it did over the fisherman dispute. It looked humiliating weak by releasing the fisherman. But it had to give Beijing a face saving way out of the dispute. Japan knew that intense Chinese public opinion was forcing Beijing to play its hand.

Also it would be harder to argue that a chunk of islands is yours 30-40 years down the road if you passively acknowledge the other country for detaining one of your citizens for “trespassing”.

That’s why I think a democratic China will not necessarily mean a friendler China. In fact, the opposite may be true. A democratic China will give its citizens the mechanisms to turn nationalistic sentiments into concrete results.


#40

If you are referring to me, and it certainly appears that way, I am surprised. I didn’t think you were that lazy a reader. :no-no:[/quote]

I read your posts and I think they are also very good.[/quote]

Well in that case, you have a most discerning eye for detail and truth. :laughing: