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Old 01-20-2013   #1
davidbfpo
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Default Strategic Trust with China

A "lurker" suggested posting this Hudson Institute paper 'Information-based
Arms Control and Sino-American Trust' by Dr Christopher Ford, alongside his reflections on dealing with the Chinese.

I have read the later, not the former and it is perplexing as China is currently seen as an accelerating great power, likely to be in competition, if not conflict with others, not just the West.

The next post tells a rather different story.

From the paper's opening:
Quote:
This paper was prepared for the Fourth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, a conference sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Military Science and the People’s Liberation Army, to which I am grateful for inviting me to participate. AsiaPacific security issues are obviously of great importance to our two countries, to Pacific Rim relations, and to peace and security more generally. This paper explores some aspects of China’s relationship with the United States and with its neighbors, as well as the role Sino-American strategic transparency may be able to play in managing those relationships.
Link:http://www.hudson.org/files/publicat...ustDec2012.pdf

From the reflections, which starts with and my emphasis:
Quote:
Our subject there was Asia-Pacific mutual trust, and indeed the discussion provided an interesting opportunity to learn about that subject. Unfortunately, however, this was principally because our discussion – especially on the first day – did more to demonstrate or model distrust than to illuminate how to lessen or overcome it.

In general, the participants in Roundtable Three broke down into two camps. One focused on the challenges of each side understanding and trusting the other side’s strategic intentions, on the role of perceptions in conditioning such conclusions, and of how to communicate and to modulate future behavior in ways conducive to trust. By contrast, the other camp focused upon trying to obtain agreement on specific characterizations of past behavior before any matters relating to the present (or the future) could be addressed. The first camp, in other words, emphasized trying to achieve forward-looking insight, while the other stressed backward-looking blame-allocation and fault-finding. The second group consisted predominantly of PLA participants.
He ends with:
Quote:
To be sure, perhaps I am reading too much into a few days’ discussions. On the other hand, perhaps these encounters at the 4th Xiangshan Forum really do offer insight into an idiosyncratic Chinese approach to global order, highlighting a sort of politico-moral imperialism that has few obvious precedents outside the historical Sinosphere. Chinese leaders appear to be strongly invested in other countries’ narratives of China – seeing this as critical terrain for international competition (i.e., advantage or vulnerability) – and they seem to claim the right to control everyone else’s interpretations. If this is so, there may be important policy implications for the United States, and for China’s increasingly nervous neighbors, both about what to expect from Beijing in the years ahead, and about additional ways in which we might perhaps be able to develop effective competitive strategies vis-à-vis the PRC.
Link:http://www.newparadigmsforum.com/NPFtestsite/?p=1498
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Old 01-20-2013   #2
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Default Sino-US helping each other and others

A few months ago in discussion - in London - with two analyst friends looking at the future we turned to the Pacific. I recalled a reference to the Chinese Coast Guard (or similar) having an observation presence on US Coastguard vessels in the North Pacific Ocean - for reasons I could not recall.

My memory was jogged by checking back numbers of 'Survival' (February-March 2011, pub. by IISS) which has an article 'Policing the Waves: Maritime Paramilitaries in the Asia Pacific'. At the end it refers to an annual meeting, the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, with PRC, Canada, Japan, RoK, Russia and the USA.

A search then found my memory was correct:
Quote:
Both the United States and China actively participate in international efforts to deter the practice of large-scale high seas drift net fishing as encouraged by a 1992 United Nations moratorium. The Coast Guard and NOAA Fisheries Service annually host enforcement officers from the China Fishery Law Enforcement Command on board Coast Guard cutters patrolling in the North Pacific Ocean.
From:http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/news/20...scgdacheng.htm

Then an comments by the USCG Commander for the Pacific:http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/20...n-the-pacific/

There is more detail of the August 2012:http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2012/0...-net-violator/

It is an interesting example of how multiple national interests can be pursued through what appears to be a strange coalition.

One wonders if this could happen in the South China Sea? Yes, fishery protection is quite different from territorial disputes.
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Old 01-21-2013   #3
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Default rub a dub dub

Quote:
A "lurker" suggested posting this Hudson Institute paper 'Information-based Arms Control and Sino-American Trust' by Dr Christopher Ford, alongside his reflections on dealing with the Chinese.
Thanks for posting these. The author displays an exceptional level of writing skill.

Quote:
I once assumed that most such things were simply an uncoordinated, unsystematic prickliness bespeaking merely Beijing’s ongoing insecurity in the modern world and the crudely propagandistic reflexes of the Chinese Party-State. And I had assumed that the “non-interference” theme in PRC diplomatic discourse was simply a propaganda trope intended to be alternatively invoked or ignored with opportunistic and often hypocritical cynicism.

['.']

It does seem to be the case that China’s modern ruling elite views politico-moral discourse control as a crucial determinant of “comprehensive national power.” But this isn’t just some newfound enthusiasm for constructivist international relations theory. We may in fact see here a modern incarnation of the ancient Confucian “rectification of names,” in which properly characterizing key actors in a system of order determines the relationships and responsibilities between them. Through such a prism, control over “naming” is essentially the same thing as controlling the system of order itself. Nor can there be anything purely “internal” about such characterizations, for they are in part constitutive of systemic order, and thus everybody’s business.

['.']

China’s fixation upon shaping others’ accounts of China, then, is arguably not necessarily “just” the result of insecurity or narcissism. Some of it may in fact grow out of a deeply-rooted conception of social order in which narrative control is inherently a strategic objective because it is assumed that status or role ascriptions and moral characterizations play a critical role in shaping the world they describe. (It seems to be felt, for instance, that if the world understands China “properly,” it will tend to behave toward China as China’s rulers desire; controlling others’ conceptual frameworks may be felt at least as important as more traditionally tangible aspects of international dominion. How others view China and its role in the international system, moreover, may feed back into its regime’s own legitimacy narrative at home, and thus its continued monopolization of power.) Through this lens, my PLA counterparts’ emphasis upon demanding concurrence with Beijing’s characterization of the region’s politico-moral backstory, as it were, was not a self-indulgent distraction from the task at hand, but in fact the game itself.
As the old story goes, polishing a stone may not make a mirror, but it is possible that it improves the quality of the reflection.

Nangaku Ejõ

Nányuè Huáiràng
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Old 01-21-2013   #4
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It is every difficult to know what the Chinese say and what they mean.

Too much of it is in pious platitudes, homilies and mealy mouthed outpourings.

Their statements are tongue in cheek!
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Old 01-21-2013   #5
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Default nothing comes from nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
It is every difficult to know what the Chinese say and what they mean.

Too much of it is in pious platitudes, homilies and mealy mouthed outpourings.

Their statements are tongue in cheek!
Reading this comment brings to mind another common Chan/Zen saying, sometimes phrased as, "Why did Bodhidharma go to China?".

The Story of Bodhidharma - USA Shaolin Temple
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Old 01-22-2013   #6
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Nice story!

Did enlighten the people!
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Old 01-22-2013   #7
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Default a little bit of herstory

Indeed. Current scholarship from the Korean Zen lineage suggests that Bodhidharma's teacher, Prajnatara, was actually a Yogini. Fascinating.

Quote:
According to the story of Prajnatara from Kerala, originally she was a homeless waif who wandered western India and called herself Keyura, which means "necklace" or "bracelet." One day she met Master Punyamitra, and they felt a great dharma connection between them from past lives.

She became Punyamitra's student and was re-named Prajnatara. She is remembered as an accomplished yogini and also as a powerful Siddhi who could see into the past, present and future.

When Huns swept through northern India in the 5th century, Prajnatara went further south to escape the chaos. The Pallava king of south India, Simhavarman, invited her to teach in his capital, Kanchipuram. King Simhavarman's youngest son, Bodhitara, became her student and was ordained a monk with the name Bodhidharma.

Prajnatara, seeing that the dharma would leave India, advised Bodhidharma to go to China after she died. And so, some time after his teacher's death at the age of 67, Bodhidharma traveled to China and eventually to Shaolin.
Prajnatara: Mother of Zen?
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Old 01-22-2013   #8
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Fascinating.

Thanks.

I had no idea of all this.
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Old 01-23-2013   #9
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Default Coast guard activity could build confidence

From an observer and edited:
Quote:
As you astutely observe, the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum is an excellent example of how otherwise militarily mistrustful countries can develop confidence-building measures through paramilitary agencies. As such, it does indeed, as you suggest, pose a potential template for the South China Sea.

There are, though, various barriers to the creation of a South China Sea Coast Guard Forum, primarily owing to the actors involved: China perceives a much greater benefit to be gained through coordination with the advanced and substantial coast guards of the North Pacific. By contrast, there are relatively few practical gains to be had from China engaging with the coast guards of most South-east Asian countries.

Nonetheless, as a confidence building measures (CBM), and one that could be driven by non-disputants such as Singapore, it is certainly a worthwhile suggestion and idea to pursue.
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