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Thread: What Is Up With Japan And China

  1. #1
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Dec 2005

    Default What Is Up With Japan And China

  2. #2
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Boston, MA


    Responding to saccharin idealism such as this with bitter realpolitik posturing is not a nice task. Nor is it easy to digest. Nevertheless, I would say that Chang ignores the fact that our resources are stretched to the hilt right now. Because of this we are forced to take a more conciliatory diplomatic posture and pursue policies of engagement. As such, acts like ignoring Tokyo’s concerns about Pyongyang’s abduction of its citizens and removing DPNK from the State Department’s list of terrorism-sponsoring states, are necessary carrots in this process.

    Chang writes that with "doubts about Washington’s intentions to defend the Japanese homeland, Tokyo feels it must come to terms with Beijing". I doubt this is the first time they have dealt with this question, I imagine they have been grappling with this issue since the collapse of the Cold War order. I would disagree that "Asia by far the most important region in the world", at least not in the hydrocarbon era.

    As Prime Minister Taro Aso said at the end of last month in the Chinese capital, “It is difficult to name other countries as important to Japan as China is.”

    Ouch! What is the price of trying to engage hardline states? Sometimes, you lose your friends.
    If President Bush said that “It is difficult to name other countries as important to America as China is.” It would not be far from the truth, why then is it such a snub here?

    Of course, Beijing is still far from realizing its expansive notions. Yet the erosion of influence can occur fast. Instead of ardently pursuing failing notions like engagement, it’s time for the United States to shore up relations with the democracies in Asia, by far the most important region in the world.
    And there's the rub, erosion of influence can occur fast, especially when your resources are stretched to the hilt. You are forced to pursue notions like engagement, even if they are failing because it delays, it buys time. Only the crowd at Commentary Magazine seem to have the infinite supply political, economic, and military power capable of promoting liberal democracy all around the globe.

  3. #3
    Council Member
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    Jul 2007

    Default Different Article, Different Date...

    It's interesting when you read both the articles by the same Gordon G. Chang:
    Will China's Stimulus Work?
    Gordon G. Chang, 11.11.08, 12:00 AM EST
    A skeptical view.

    On Nov. 9, China's State Council announced its long-awaited--and much needed --stimulus package. The body, the central government's cabinet, said it would spend an "estimated" 4 trillion yuan, about $586 billion, over the next two years on 10 major areas, including low-income housing, rural infrastructure and transportation. In addition, Beijing said it will loosen credit and reduce taxation.

    Chinese state media called the plan "a wide-ranging effort to offset adverse global economic conditions by boosting domestic demand."

    The IMF and the U.S. Treasury immediately praised the Chinese plan even though the State Council provided few details. Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister, called it "extraordinary," and in at least one sense he was correct. The stimulus plan triggered a stock surge at home--the Shanghai Composite leaped almost 7.3%--and around the world. Stocks rallied in Asia and Europe as investors believed the program would help prevent a global recession.
    Link To Article

    The entire Japan-PRC relationship these days is all economic, and it's boiling down to who can get the better deal out of the other side. The PRC has got some real issues, because foreign exports are in the midst of a dive down to who-knows-what-levels, and domestic demand doesn't have a prayer of filling the need. And foreign investment capital has dried up in a blink, and even already established financial commitments are vanishing.

    The PRC has to average the already well established 8% GDP growth just to stay even, and as the 11.11.2008 article points out, the word on the street is that 5-6% may be all that is achievable - and it can easily be worse. There's even some money out there saying 1-2%, and maybe 0%. That happens, and there's serious internal stability issues.

    It looks like the PRC just committed around 40% of their current foreign exchange reserves surplus Chart Through 03.2008, but the problem is, the markets just yawned. They're going to be on the economic down slide, and the $586 bil as a stimulus program over two years isn't anywhere near enough.

    The real issue to ask is what one or two unexpected events would really upset the situation (as unstable as it is) as it exists today in China. I can come up with two: (1) Natural disaster, such as another earthquake or a pandemic; or (b) Complete collapse of DPRK (North Korea).

    Good news, anyone?

  4. #4
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Nov 2007

    Question Don't know about good news, but

    I highly expect to see DPRK not collapsing so to speak but to become a " recognized " military state in the not so far future and that might be a slightly different deal in so far as how it continues to exist and what demands it has.

    Think Chinese stability ops with the associated boost in industry related to such.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  5. #5
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    Jul 2007

    Default Not saying "Good News" - Actually, looking for some...

    Not sure how it's going to work out for the PRC if the DPRK finally "fails" as a nation-state, although it could be difficult to tell that such a failure had occurred.

    I just don't see China being in a giant hurry to commit the level of needed resources to pull the DPRK back up to even semi-functional levels. They're rightfully more worried about their internal economy, and if the DPRK flounders, so be it.

    I just don't think the DPRK are going to get very far with their demands, because from here on out, all the other parties are going to be far more concerned with their own economic concerns.

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