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Thread: China's Emergence as a Superpower (till 2014)

  1. #681
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Default observe all men, thyself most

    Speaking of honesty, which we all justifiably hold in such high esteem:

    Japan Wants To Rewrite World War II
    by James Dunnigan
    August 22, 2010

    [...]

    World War II, which killed over a hundred million people, had a profound effect on the nations where it was fought. Japan (which began invading in 1937) and Germany (1939) were the two main aggressors, and after the war, the Germans and Japanese had a different reaction to their bad behavior during the war. The Germans (most of them) were remorseful and guilt ridden.

    The Japanese immediately tried to rewrite history, and are still at it. Within days of Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945, coded messages went out from Tokyo to Japanese diplomats around the world, ordering them to start a campaign portraying Japan as a victim in the war, and to play down Japanese atrocities and play up Japanese civilian losses in the recent atomic bomb attacks. These particular messages were not decrypted by the United States until years after the war. That's because the war was over, there were other priorities (like cracking Russian codes) and the Japanese the messages were recorded and filed away. By the time the Japanese messages were deciphered, the Cold War had begun, and Japan was needed as an ally against the communist menace. Those decrypted messages were kept secret for decades, along with most of the details of how Allied code breakers had read most of the enemies (and some friends) secret messages throughout the war.

    What was not so secret were Japanese efforts to ignore the war and portray themselves as victims. Many Japanese opposed rewriting history, which was often quite blatant. This meddling with historical facts regularly caused problems with neighbors, especially China. But the Japanese were insistent on evading responsibility. They still are, and many Japanese really believe it.

    [...]
    Japan Wants To Rewrite World War 2 - Strategy Page - 8.22.2010.

    Japanese War Crimes - wikipedia

    Casualties in Asia Pacific - Pacific War Online Encyclopedia


    The common wisdom seems to be that the only way forward is for the mainland commies to just get over it and/or stop cynically trying use the 18 or 25 million or whatever Chinese civilians killed during WW2 as a bargaining point. Since Japan has forgiven the US for incinerating hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians and the US has managed to let go of the whole Pearl Harbour thing, maybe the commies should put their historical grievances aside. After all, being responsible for the deaths of millions of Chinese civilians is actually something they have in common with Japan. As a common saying in Asia goes, "The strong man folds his arms." Otherwise I guess it'll be, "Kill chinks, kill chinks, kill more chinks!".
    Last edited by Backwards Observer; 02-10-2013 at 06:09 AM. Reason: add links, add links, add more links

  2. #682
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A new definition of military success for Taiwan

    Unifying China remains a national objective for PRC, so an article from Taiwan on the balance between PRC & RoC is welcome, if only as an update. IIRC the defence of Taiwan has appeared here before sometime ago.

    Link:http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit...2/2003555383/1
    davidbfpo

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    1. The PLA still does not have the ability to invade and occupy Taiwan (see their amphibious capabilities). There is also no sign that the PLA is engaging in efforts to build up its amphibious capabilities (which will take a lot of time to build up the ships and necessary skills).

    2. Unless the US does not honour its agreement with Taiwan, the PLA cannot successfully blockade Taiwan to force a submission.

    3. The host of ballistic missiles that PLA can throw across the Straits alone cannot force submission, unless the Taiwanese government loses its nerves. A prolonged air-sea battle alongside the aerial trading of missiles will only mess up seaborne trade in the region (which hurts both sides) and prompt an eventual external intervention. It is hard to say how the UNSC will act given that the PRC wields veto powers. Meanwhile SKorea and Japan will pressure the US to intervene, especially in the case of SKorea being worried that NKoreans might use the occasion for some monkey business.

    At least for the next decade (and probably longer), what can cause Taiwan to fall to the PLA is that of the Taiwanese government losing its nerves.

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    Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, former ambassador to China and senior U.S. diplomat, speaks at the East-West Center in Hawai'i on "Strategic Challenges for the U.S.-China Relationship," Feb. 13, 2013.

    http://vimeo.com/59754895

    For those interested in the U.S. view on the challenges with managing the U.S.-China relationship this is an outstanding presentation by a true expert on the region, on China, and on U.S. policy.

    The actual presentation is 37 or so minutes long before he goes into a question and answer period. For those only interested in the military issues you can start at the 25 minute mark. I think you'll miss the important context if you jump forward though.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 03-10-2013 at 03:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwards Observer View Post
    I love the smell of honesty in the morning.



    WW II Quotes - wwiidogtags.com
    There are no permanent friends or enemies, but permanent interests in international relations.

    Last edited by Ray; 03-13-2013 at 09:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    There are no permanent friends or enemies, but permanent interests in international relations.
    Speaking of interests.


    Every nationalist is haunted by the belief that the past can be altered. He spends part of his time in a fantasy world in which things happen as they should — in which, for example, the Spanish Armada was a success or the Russian Revolution was crushed in 1918 — and he will transfer fragments of this world to the history books whenever possible. Much of the propagandist writing of our time amounts to plain forgery. Material facts are suppressed, dates altered, quotations removed from their context and doctored so as to change their meaning. Events which it is felt ought not to have happened are left unmentioned and ultimately denied. In 1927 Chiang Kai Shek boiled hundreds of Communists alive, and yet within ten years he had become one of the heroes of the Left. The re-alignment of world politics had brought him into the anti-Fascist camp, and so it was felt that the boiling of the Communists ‘didn't count’, or perhaps had not happened. The primary aim of propaganda is, of course, to influence contemporary opinion, but those who rewrite history do probably believe with part of their minds that they are actually thrusting facts into the past. When one considers the elaborate forgeries that have been committed in order to show that Trotsky did not play a valuable part in the Russian civil war, it is difficult to feel that the people responsible are merely lying. More probably they feel that their own version was what happened in the sight of God, and that one is justified in rearranging the records accordingly.

    Indifference to objective truth is encouraged by the sealing-off of one part of the world from another, which makes it harder and harder to discover what is actually happening. There can often be a genuine doubt about the most enormous events. For example, it is impossible to calculate within millions, perhaps even tens of millions, the number of deaths caused by the present war. The calamities that are constantly being reported — battles, massacres, famines, revolutions — tend to inspire in the average person a feeling of unreality. One has no way of verifying the facts, one is not even fully certain that they have happened, and one is always presented with totally different interpretations from different sources. What were the rights and wrongs of the Warsaw rising of August 1944? Is it true about the German gas ovens in Poland? Who was really to blame for the Bengal famine? Probably the truth is discoverable, but the facts will be so dishonestly set forth in almost any newspaper that the ordinary reader can be forgiven either for swallowing lies or failing to form an opinion. The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs. Since nothing is ever quite proved or disproved, the most unmistakable fact can be impudently denied. Moreover, although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge, the nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this by scoring off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether they support him. All nationalist controversy is at the debating-society level. It is always entirely inconclusive, since each contestant invariably believes himself to have won the victory. Some nationalists are not far from schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connection with the physical world. (from Notes on Nationalism by George Orwell, May 1945)

    Notes On Nationalism by George Orwell

    A vision of the future... (fiction)

    A vision of the future... (non-fiction)
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-18-2013 at 12:12 AM. Reason: Text moved, some editing and author aware.

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    The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs. Since nothing is ever quite proved or disproved, the most unmistakable fact can be impudently denied. Moreover, although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge, the nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this by scoring off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether they support him. All nationalist controversy is at the debating-society level. It is always entirely inconclusive, since each contestant invariably believes himself to have won the victory. Some nationalists are not far from schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connection with the physical world. (from Notes on Nationalism by George Orwell, May 1945)
    Backwards Observer, the truth in this partial quote extends well beyond nationalists. In the U.S. it applies equally to Democrats and Republicans, in religious circles it applies to many religions, and in fact it seems any identity group (environmentalists for example) must have some degree of irrational belief to exist. While important, in the end it appears to be same as it ever was.

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    Default all the noose that's fit to print

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    While important, in the end it appears to be same as it ever was.
    Well then, enjoy.

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    Default fishers of men

    Japan could tender a significant diplomatic coup in the restive region by gifting the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islands to Taiwan, pending a pledge by the PRC to (solemnly) recognise sole Taiwanese administration of said islands. Given the currents of human history, a peaceful gesture of this magnitude by all three parties would probably immediately lead to war. Such is life.


    A major territorial dispute is brewing in the East China Sea.

    As one of the founders of the United Nations, the Republic of China (Taiwan) believes it has the responsibility to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner under the principles of the U.N. Charter. We are committed to the peaceful resolution because at the heart of the dispute are islands that belong to Taiwan.

    These islands are known as the Diaoyutai Islands, which means “fishing platform” in Chinese. We see the islands as more than a platform for fishing, we also see them as a platform for peacemaking. (from The East China Sea Peace Initiative)
    The East China Sea Peace Initiative - Taiwan Today

    ***

    (Image Source - Dwight Hwang Calligraphy)
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    Default When China Rules the World

    http://www.ted.com/playlists/73/the_...wer_shift.htmlAn interesting presentation on TED by the man who wrote, "When China Rules the World."

    It is the third talk on global power shifts. A couple of key points I don't think many will refute.

    Westerners tend to look at the world through western eyes, and incorrectly believe that when China modernizes will become like the West. The fact is the State of China is seen as more legitimate than any government in the West. The people view the State as the representative and protector of China's great culture.

    The West hasn't had to learn about the rest of the world due to its power, if it didn't get its way it could always employ force, while most countries in the world couldn't do this. When China and East Asia surpasss the West as the geopolitical center of world power Europe will be lost, they're walking blind into the future now and have no idea how much the world is changing around them.

    The first presentation by Paddy Ashdown was equally interesting. It is now projected that China will surpass the U.S. as the world's largest economy by 2020. Seems our rebalance strategy is a step in the right direction to me if we want to maintain secure access to the world's largest market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    It is the third talk on global power shifts. A couple of key points I don't think many will refute.
    Bill,
    I wouldn't call it refuting the points but I will bring up some concerns. First one is wanting to rule the world is a pretty Western idea to begin with??? and assuming that China wants to do that may not be such a wise perspective to start with. As far as I can see China is pursuing a make China as great as possible policy, and if any body gets in the way then smack them down, if not don't worry about them.

    IMO what makes China scary is they don't believe in any of that "Invisible Hand" Bullsheet that is spewed from American business schools. China has a planned program for success.......we give tax breaks to rich people as our policy for success......we may be doomed

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Bill,
    I wouldn't call it refuting the points but I will bring up some concerns. First one is wanting to rule the world is a pretty Western idea to begin with??? and assuming that China wants to do that may not be such a wise perspective to start with. As far as I can see China is pursuing a make China as great as possible policy, and if any body gets in the way then smack them down, if not don't worry about them.

    IMO what makes China scary is they don't believe in any of that "Invisible Hand" Bullsheet that is spewed from American business schools. China has a planned program for success.......we give tax breaks to rich people as our policy for success......we may be doomed
    Slap that was the title of his book, that wasn't the point of the post or his presentation. You have to listen to it to pick up on some important points he is making.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    The fact is the State of China is seen as more legitimate than any government in the West. The people view the State as the representative and protector of China's great culture.
    All 1.3 billion of them? What's the basis for that assumption?

    China's huge domestic economic and political problems seem often underrated in conversations on this topic

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    IMO what makes China scary is they don't believe in any of that "Invisible Hand" Bullsheet that is spewed from American business schools. China has a planned program for success.......we give tax breaks to rich people as our policy for success......we may be doomed
    You think the rich in China don't get tax breaks? Have you any idea of the scale of corruption in that country?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Slap that was the title of his book, that wasn't the point of the post or his presentation. You have to listen to it to pick up on some important points he is making.
    Bill I got it and I did listen to the first 3 videos but still think the same way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    You think the rich in China don't get tax breaks? Have you any idea of the scale of corruption in that country?
    I work for a company that has a rather large factory in China and soon one in Cambodia for that matter, so I am somewhat familiar with the corruption problem as in big country, big population, big corruption.



    Link to 60 minutes piece on China's Real estate bubble H/T to Fab Max for posting it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxjwh...layer_embedded

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    All 1.3 billion of them? What's the basis for that assumption?

    China's huge domestic economic and political problems seem often underrated in conversations on this topic



    You think the rich in China don't get tax breaks? Have you any idea of the scale of corruption in that country?
    Dayuhan, I think you posted elsewhere that you couldn't access videos in your location, something to due with the nice tropical weather interfering with your bandwidth The speaker actually goes into a fair amount of detail on why he thinks the Chinese view their government as legitimate and points out it is not near as centralized as most of us think. He does point out that most Chinese identify themselves as Han, so those that don't like Tibetans, Uyghers, etc. don't share that view. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with his argument, simply posted it for consideration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Bill I got it and I did listen to the first 3 videos but still think the same way.
    If you mean you don't think China want's to rule the world I agree. I don't think they want to be bothered with an Empire, but they do want to become the leading power in the Asia-Pacific and marginalize the U.S. in the region, which "could" have a somewhat devastating economic impact on the U.S., since East Asia is now the world's economic power house and will likely continue to be in the coming decades. That would be a threat to our vital national security interests.

    If you recall the first video the speaker talked about the probability of conflict being pretty high when another power arises that challenges the existing power. That is the concern, and I think/suspect that both China and U.S. would prefer to avoid conflict even if history isn't on our side. History may not repeat itself, but it still rhymes, and we may see a shift from ideological conflicts back to economic conflicts in the coming years.

    Globalism isn't new, and a popular argument in Europe prior to WWI was that war in Europe was impossible because the economies were so integrated. That is a mitigating factor, but obviously it wasn't the decisive one.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Dayuhan, I think you posted elsewhere that you couldn't access videos in your location, something to due with the nice tropical weather interfering with your bandwidth The speaker actually goes into a fair amount of detail on why he thinks the Chinese view their government as legitimate and points out it is not near as centralized as most of us think. He does point out that most Chinese identify themselves as Han, so those that don't like Tibetans, Uyghers, etc. don't share that view. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with his argument, simply posted it for consideration.
    I do have a hard time loading videos, and I'd also really rather read, if the matter is at all serious. I have read various perspectives on the subject. Any time you start talking about what "the Chinese" collectively think of their government you're on thin ice: in China, as everywhere else, there's a spectrum of opinion. There's certainly a sense of renewed nationalism and pride; the government gets a fair bit of credit for that and tries very hard to promote it. There's also a whole lot of anger and frustration, much of it directed at local governments, over corruption, rising inequality, an increasingly unliveable environment, and many other things. There are conflicting currents and opinion can swing very quickly. To put it's simply, it's way too complex to write off with a simple statement of what the Chinese think.

    I do think the Chinese government is very deeply concerned with the possibility of domestic unrest, and that when growth starts to stutter they may rely on jingoism to sustain support. Thay also know that's dangerous.

    It's complicated, like a lot of other things.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Vietnam Accuses China of Firing Flare at Fishermen

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013...html?ref=world

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China had taken unspecified but "legitimate and reasonable" actions against Vietnamese boats working illegally in Chinese waters. He denied that any boats had been damaged, but gave few other details.

    There have been other clashes in the waters, often related to claims of illegal fishing or violations of Chinese unilaterally imposed fishing moratoriums.

    Vietnam and China each claim large parts of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also maintain that parts of the sea are theirs.
    The dangerous drift towards world war in Asia

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/c...r-in-Asia.html

    After talking to Japanese officials in Tokyo over the last few days, I have the strong impression not only that they are ready to fight, but also that they expect to win, and furthermore that conflict may come at any moment.

    "They are sending ships and even aircraft into our territory every day. It is intense provocation. We're making every effort not to be provoked but they are using fire-control radar. This is one step away from conflict and we are very worried," said a top government official.
    An interesting perspective, the article also discusses what the somewhat limited control that the PRC government has over its military.

    Professor Huang Jing from Singapore University and a former adviser to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) says a rising cadre of officers has slipped the leash and picked up attitudes all too like the Japan's firebrand officers in the 1930s, when they defied orders from Tokyo. He said these young bloods are on a "collision course" with the US-dominated global system.
    Apparently some in China think now is the time to act due to the U.S. being over stretched in the Middle East.

    What frightens me most is talk from certain quarters in Beijing that the US is a busted flush, bled dry by the financial crisis, crippled by military over-stretch in the Middle East, and that now is the moment to test the paper tiger.

    This is a fatal misjudgement of course.

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    After talking to Japanese officials in Tokyo over the last few days, I have the strong impression not only that they are ready to fight, but also that they expect to win, and furthermore that conflict may come at any moment.
    Professor Huang Jing from Singapore University and a former adviser to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) says a rising cadre of officers has slipped the leash and picked up attitudes all too like the Japan's firebrand officers in the 1930s, when they defied orders from Tokyo.
    The difference of course is that if the PLA slips the leash and has a go at Japan, they will not be dealing with fading colonial powers that are distracted by threats closer to home. They'd be taking a bite at one of the best equipped and most professional navies on the planet, and there's a very good chance that at least initially they would take a severe spanking. China might prevail by attrition in an extended conflict, but an extended conflict would not be easy for China to manage either, especially if it involved major interference with trade.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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