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Thread: China-bashing in the US

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    Default China-bashing in the US

    I have stated before my concerns over the public opinion of China in the US :

    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod, [url=http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?t=22523&start=0
    see thread[/url],]The US need to alter their approach to China radically. They are stirring and stirring and building up tension in a manner that is extremely worrying. The US need to accept the inevitability of a rival.

    If they are not willing to accept the rise of another superpower then confrontation is inevitable- and it will be proof that international affairs has not developed much beyond their position prior to the Pelopnnesian War of 431-404 BC. Whether that confrontation will be economic or military is anybody's guess, but neither can be ruled out.

    Expect much symbolic and literal muscle-flexing at next year's Olympic Games in Beijing. It's very probable that China will win a few ingots-worth of medals. Last time out the US won from gold-silver-bronze 35, 40 and 27 medals respectively. The Chinese won 32, 17 and 14. It will be most interesting to watch how the US public, media and elite react to being frog-leaped (if they are).
    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod, [url=http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?t=23672
    see thread[/url],]The BBC Reith Lectures with Jeffrey Sachs earlier in the year were really very telling. One lecture (of five) was given in Beijing (No. 2), and one was given in New York (No. 3) (links here). I'd urge you to look at the transcripts of each- just the audience questions at the end. In China the audience tended to ask about what Sachs had said and how it related to China. In the US, they tended to ask about what Sachs had said, and how it related to China. That is very odd, no?
    I have also expressed concern over the selective use of information on the arms trade in Iraq as it relates to Iran:

    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod, [url=http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?p=716862&sid=fec726fdeb2b4d4f9a4448f 69bcf85c5
    see thread[/url],]Every surrounding country is channeling arms to whichever side they favour: the singling-out of Iran on this is purely propaganda. The former Saudi Ambassador to such fine countries as the US, the UK and of course Ireland, Prince Turki, hinted as much. When he was asked if Saudi Arabia was assisting Sunni insurgents he said they were backed from all over the Sunni world (see here, third-last paragraph).
    But I think this latest story really has to take the biscuit, form the Financial Times: US concerns over China weapons in Iraq.

    The US has raised concerns with the Chinese government about the discovery of Chinese-made weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Richard Lawless, departing senior Pentagon official for Asia, on Friday said Washington had flagged the issue with Beijing. In recent months, the US has become increasingly alarmed that Chinese armour-piercing ammunition has been used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq.
    After all the weapons that the west sold to Saddam Hussein, and after the piss-poor management of the country's munitions stocks during the takeover, surely this is just distraction and bluster. Do people really think China is culpable, or should be doing more? Or is the Bush administration just looking for another party to blame for their own errors, and they consider it two birds with a single stone if they can bring China into the fray? I don't doubt that Chinese weapons are on the ground, but I would like to know the country of origin for all these explosives that are being used in car bombs, etc, etc.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AT1990
    If China tried going to war with the united states today, the united states would easily destroy the Chinese military forces. All the United States would need to is to launch the minutemen missiles. I'm pretty sure that each one is powerful enough to wipe out 50+ million people in a country as dense as Russia.
    I hope you won't be in charge of launching them .

    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod
    After all the weapons that the west sold to Saddam Hussein, and after the piss-poor management of the country's munitions stocks during the takeover, surely this is just distraction and bluster. Do people really think China is culpable, or should be doing more? Or is the Bush administration just looking for another party to blame for their own errors, and they consider it two birds with a single stone if they can bring China into the fray? I don't doubt that Chinese weapons are on the ground, but I would like to know the country of origin for all these explosives that are being used in car bombs, etc, etc.
    Oh come on. Do you really think they want to bring China into this as well? Raising concerns with China seems reasonable if their weapons were found there. I doubt anyone thinks even for a second though that China has supplied weapons deliberately.

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    Politics.ie Member Thac0man's Avatar
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    For what its worth I think China should be doing more. With a trillion dollor trade surplas they are still giving the world the poor mouth about being a "developeing country".

    It is very possible, or indeed necessary to analyse a country the size of China, with its vast resources, on its own merits, without having to examine it in the mirror of America.
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    But if China doesn't resort to nuclear weapons, then the U.S. can't without incurring the disgust wrath and hatred of the international community. Man on Man, China's military could easily deal with the American's, and remember China is much closer to America's interests in the Middle East than America is. She could easily begin strikes there, disrupting America's oil industry in the Gulf, as well as destroying the U.S.'s satellite networks, be they communicative or for missile defence, not to mention she could dump her dollar reserves and send the American economy into turmoil.
    "Only by applying the most rigorous standards do we pay writing in Irish the supreme compliment of taking it seriously." - Breandán Ó Doibhlín.

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    Go to China, live there, ask people how they felt on September 11th, ask them who their number one enemy is, ask them how they will deal with Taiwan, ask them what happened in Tiananmen square, ask them if they believe in a master race, ask them if they feel that peasants deserve democracy, ask them what they would love to do to Japan, ask them about the "peaceful liberation" of Tibet and Xinjiang, and ask them how much of the rest of Asia belongs to China. China is not as big a threat to world peace as the US simply because they lack the military means to assert themselves. The concept of a "peaceful rise" is not in keeping with the facts of Chinese history (it wasn't always a big country), the rise of militaristic nationalism, the continuous double digit growth in military expenditure, its regular arms purchases from Russia, the military build-up in Fujian or the cunning use of Stephen Chou as a means of making us too laughed-out to resist. As soon as their military ability matches their economic clout, expect them to become considerably more assertive and expect this to be with strong domestic support. In the interim, expect lots of backslapping diplomacy, efforts to boost soft-power, and as much talk of "partnership and co-operation" as they can muster. Also, as domestic discontent grows (80,000 + demonstrations last year), expect to see the nationalism card being played more frequently. Try to judge the Chinese in a way that is not colored by how you view the USA- they have both disgraced themselves many times over, and the Chinese will be just as bad or worse if they can get away with it.
    The political establishment lacks both vision and courage.

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    n/a
    Last edited by AT1990; 12th January 2010 at 07:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpeoplearewhingers
    Go to China, live there, ask people how they felt on September 11th, ask them who their number one enemy is, ask them how they will deal with Taiwan, ask them what happened in Tiananmen square, ask them if they believe in a master race, ask them if they feel that peasants deserve democracy, ask them what they would love to do to Japan, ask them about the "peaceful liberation" of Tibet and Xinjiang, and ask them how much of the rest of Asia belongs to China. China is not as big a threat to world peace as the US simply because they lack the military means to assert themselves. The concept of a "peaceful rise" is not in keeping with the facts of Chinese history (it wasn't always a big country), the rise of militaristic nationalism, the continuous double digit growth in military expenditure, its regular arms purchases from Russia, the military build-up in Fujian or the cunning use of Stephen Chou as a means of making us too laughed-out to resist. As soon as their military ability matches their economic clout, expect them to become considerably more assertive and expect this to be with strong domestic support. In the interim, expect lots of backslapping diplomacy, efforts to boost soft-power, and as much talk of "partnership and co-operation" as they can muster. Also, as domestic discontent grows (80,000 + demonstrations last year), expect to see the nationalism card being played more frequently. Try to judge the Chinese in a way that is not colored by how you view the USA- they have both disgraced themselves many times over, and the Chinese will be just as bad or worse if they can get away with it.
    Now now, lets not have actual facts clutter up a simplified world view.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AT1990
    If China tried going to war with the united states today, the united states would easily destroy the Chinese military forces. All the United States would need to is to launch the minutemen missiles. I'm pretty sure that each one is powerful enough to wipe out 50+ million people in a country as dense as Russia.
    In fact China is about half the size of Russia but has a population about ten times of that of Russia. When one considers that large parts of China are uninhabited desert or otherwise unfit for human inhabitation one can only imagine how densely populated many parts of China are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strauss
    Oh come on. Do you really think they want to bring China into this as well? Raising concerns with China seems reasonable if their weapons were found there. I doubt anyone thinks even for a second though that China has supplied weapons deliberately.
    Well I think they are bringing China into this. And pretty much any major weapons manufacturer is going to find their weapons being used in Iraq at this stage. It’s the singling out of China I consider odd.

    And I would agree with you in doubting China supplied weapons deliberately to Iraqi parties, though I don’t imagine they did much to stop it either. But that is beside the point, every country surrounding Iraq is channeling weapons into the state to their various favoured parties. Not just Iran are at this, they all are. So again, why single out China given that’s its role is fairly minimal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thac0man
    It is very possible, or indeed necessary to analyse a country the size of China, with its vast resources, on its own merits, without having to examine it in the mirror of America.
    Well indeed, but it is also important to consider the perception of China in the US (the subject of this thread). The US government has a nasty habit of vilifying any perceived threat or potential threat, which then builds up tension, and which then risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. It's the old 'them and us' line, and to have an 'us' you must have a 'them'- even if you have to create 'them' to fight 'them'.

    We’ve seen this with all the talk of Islamic terrorism, or in Fox-newspeak, ‘islamofascists’ (something akin to the Simpson’s mock commie-Nazis I think). There used to be terrorist outfits that were Islamic- but that was not their prime identity. Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah for instance have nothing to do with eachother. The US went out to forge a broad front so that they could centre themselves on a broad coalition- it was wholly synthetic. Chirac is a controversial figure, and I still don’t quite know what to make of him, but I am grateful to him for calling the US bluff on this particular issue.

    I do fear the US is now trying to do the same with China, and it is having an effect in the US. CBS, as far as I know one of the more leftwing television news outlets in the US, recently ran a Kouric piece (see here) which closed with the line: "Maybe it's about time China felt the heat". The Reith Lecture by Jeffrey Sachs that I mentioned above had a question round that went like this (the lecture was on the economic convergence of the devloping world with the developed world):

    SUE LAWLEY: I'm going to bring in Rick Brownell, who writes history books for high school children I'm told.

    RICK BROWNELL: That's correct.

    SUE LAWLEY: So your question?

    RICK BROWNELL: Thank you. Professor, you were recently in China. It's a nation clearly on the rise on the world stage. To what extent should the United States be concerned about the rise of China, and what can we do diplomatically and economically to counterbalance them?

    JEFFREY SACHS: I think the rise of China is a fundamental part of global history right now. History shows in the twentieth century that leading powers and rising powers don't have an easy time of it, and that's exactly the 1914 story, although the exact trigger of the war remains somewhat obscure. But it was clearly an arms race between a rising Germany and a naval leader, the British Empire, that stood as the fundamental fulcrum around which the alliances that finally triggered World War I were oriented. This could happen again. How China evolves will depend, just like John Kennedy says, on our own attitudes and our own form of behaviour. There is nothing fundamental about a conflictual relationship with China, but there is nothing that guarantees that we won't get trapped in one. It will depend heavily on how we behave ourselves, and our own attitudes.

    SUE LAWLEY: Mr Brownell, do you want a quick comment on that?

    RICK BROWNELL: Er yeah.

    SUE LAWLEY: Do you buy that?

    RICK BROWNELL: I tend to think…

    SUE LAWLEY: A quick one, a quick one.

    RICK BROWNELL: …though that China does a little bit of pushing of its own, like the way it's treated Tibet, its policy regarding Taiwan, most recently the test firing of, shooting down a satellite. I mean these are clearly steps that they're deliberately making to say to the world we're here, and no offence but I think that they, you know, are actually acting in an imperialistic fashion.

    SUE LAWLEY: There you go, but you get into your them and us, and we, we can't get into a debate about China specifically now. I'm going to move on, Jeffrey, if you don't mind. What about a comment from here?
    The use of the term ‘imperialistic fashion’ does seem a bit unfortunate coming from a US critic given what we have seen of US foreign policy in the Middle East recently.

    Perhaps though the importance or value of measuring the US perspective on China is best represented by two territorial claims. Look at Taiwan: the straits of Taiwan are still an antagonistic part of the world that represents a global threat- a bit like the pre-World War I powder keg that was ready to blow at any time. And look at Hong Kong: it would be nice if democracy was making a little more headway but the region still runs very smoothly and liberally (it is quite exceptional in that regard: it is an authoritarian but liberal state). Certainly Hong Kong does not menace the world as a potential global threat, rather it is seen as a hopeful sign of China’s future direction- the China we all want to emerge. These realities are not wholly internal: they have as much to do with Beijing’s relations with the Washington (for Taiwan) and London (for Hong Kong) as they do with Beijing’s relations with each region. Personally I think the British approach has borne more fruit, for the West, China, and the individual region mutually.

    I just hope that if the US is on a China-bashing mission, we will, like Chirac (not something I usually encourage), refuse to to tow the line.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

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    I think the problem lies in the topic of this threat.

    Despite Chinas' past on ongoing record on human rights, which makes Chinas new foreign policy and foreign commercial verntures of serious concern, it seems impossible for some people to analyse of discuss any aspect of it without first passsing any information through the lense of American interests. The effect is at best to distort and at worst to ignore the plight of people who are suffering. The very justification for invoking America constantly, are usually the duel causes of injustice and human rights . Infact instinctivly invoking America has the effect of eclypsing these serious issues and hence the justicifcaion in invoking American is at once removed. I think the word is hypocracy. I don't wish to be hard on people by accusing them of that, but that is the net result.

    Is the world without America such a terrible thing to consider? Those who constantly insist on using the lense of American interests to view the world are the very ones who usually claim to want to see a world without America, so they seem incapable of operating in a world without the US.
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