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China-bashing in the US


St Disibod

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

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).
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:

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.
 


strauss

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AT1990 said:
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 :) .

St Disibod said:
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.
 

Thac0man

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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.
 

Riadach

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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.
 
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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.
 

AT1990

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Thac0man

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irishpeoplearewhingers said:
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. ;)
 

THR

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AT1990 said:
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.
 

St Disibod

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strauss said:
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?

Thac0man said:
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.
 

Thac0man

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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.
 

Thac0man

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Here is a perfect illustration of what I am trying to say. The seige at the Red Mosque in Islambad has been ongoing for a while. Don't see any topics on these forums about it, but it is being followed by news channels. But the involvement of Chinese nationals in this story from the very begining (at least from the start of Western Medias interest) has remained completely uncommented on. The Brothel bosses that were abducted were Chinese, and before that there a catalogue of abuses and killings of Chinese migrants/workers in Pakistan. All uncommented on. What is more unusual is that China has been diplomatically pressuring the Pakistan government to take action against the attackers (the Red mosque and other Islamists) . The story, or bare bones of it, are here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6282574.stm

Islamists targeting foreigners, nothing unusual there. Diplomatic pressure from the foreign nationals government for action, nothing unusual. Complete lack of media coverage, unusual?. yes, but unlesss that country is China. Even when the coverage would be about the affairs of one of the most powerful countries in the world in one of the worlds most troubled hotspots. Looking at BBCs' Asia pacific news website, there is not even a past referance of stories that lead up to the current situtaion involving strife between Chinese immigrants and Pakistani Islamists.

Racial and religous hatred, diplomatic manuverings, violance, a battlefield for Islamics and an economic world super powers interests. All deemed not news worthy, or only as unrelated bullitins. Even the premier Western News outlets deem the subject unworthy of proper analysis.

Would American involvement in this affair make it more high profile? Yes. More news worthy? No. But thats the Western World we live in. Rather differant from the real world 5 billion plus other people inhabit.
 

dsmythy

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AT1990 said:
Only the President can launch them. Because of the locations of China and the United States, it would be nearly impossible for China to beat the United States. China has no missiles than can reach the West Coast. Plus China would have to send thousands of ships out into the pacific ocean. The US Navy would just blow each ship up. China would probably give up after 30+ million casulilties, but if they dont then the minuteman missiles will be used. But the President could just use a few minuteman missiles to end it quickly.
What ever happens, it will be mostly be fought be Naval forces


Of course the best thing is to prevent a major war like that.
How do you know what China does and does not have? They recently rolled out a new nuclear submarine class and have been testing intercontinental weapons.
Also it would involve the U.S. having to invade China. Its easier to defend than it is to attack.
 

St Disibod

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Thac0man said:
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.
Well I certainly would not like to see a world without the USA. They gave us 501 jeans and Die Hard films. But that's sort of the point here, the US has an immense effect on our society. The Chinese do not, or at least not so visibly. The Chinese have affected us economically, and so indirectly socially, through their massive export trade. And where those exports have been produced through slave labour, that is a very real concern for us as Europeans or Westerners or whatever other collective term one could choose. We cannot compete economically with slavery, nor should we because slavery should not exist. We should pressure China, and India (the difference being that in India it is state endorsed while in China it is at least a criminal offence), to clamp down on slavery. And there are some human rights besides that are worth while honing in on. And they are all issues where the light should be focused on China without any need to bring the US in as a contrast (accept as an actual case of good vs evil with Uncle Sam playing the harp with a halo over his top hat).

But I do think there is a whole debate, which I'm trying to provide a little momentum to, to be had on our perception of China and how that does relate to the US. A sort of touchstone for the sheer amount of influence the US holds over us, yet gets it in under the radar, is the amount of people who think Cuban cigars are illegal. I only know one country where this is the case, and no prize for guessing which one it is. If something as innocent and unintended as that takes a grip over the popular mind, imagine what can be achieved when spurred by intent.

The whole debate on Darfur for instance was pushed away from solution-finding and towards China-bashing. The dreamfordarfur.org website is a prime example of that. I don't consider this a healthy trend, and I do think it should be challenged. If I get called anti-American along the way so be it. I am not anti-American; I like the US, its culture and many (though not all) of its social exports. But I really don't like their foreign policy, and I don't really understand why it is seen as either subversive or sheep-like (both charges are usually bandied about) to criticise it.
 

madura

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St Disibod said:
Well I certainly would not like to see a world without the USA. They gave us 501 jeans and Die Hard films.
Yes, those and coruscating criticism of their own foreign policies from people like Chomsky. Their influence on us is endless.
 
G

Guest

It's all about good guys and bad guys in the USA.

Jack Bauer has been kidnapped by the Chinese Government.

The Chinese Government were trying to buy missile chips in "The Departed".

Can anyone else think of movies where the Chinese have been bad-guys recently?
 
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ZhouEnlai said:
It's all about good guys and bad guys in the USA.

Jack Bauer has been kidnapped by the Chinese Government.

The Chinese Government were trying to buy missile chips in "The Departed".

Can anyone else think of movies where the Chinese have been bad-guys recently?
The one where they launched a missile to try to knock out a satelite.....hang on, that was real.....
 

strauss

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St Disibod said:
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?
I would imagine the US has raised concerns with every country whose arms were found there - it is highly unlikely that China is the only government it has raised concerns with. Why are you so absolutely shocked that this has been mentioned in diplomatic talks?

ZhouEnlai said:
It's all about good guys and bad guys in the USA.

Jack Bauer has been kidnapped by the Chinese Government.

The Chinese Government were trying to buy missile chips in "The Departed".

Can anyone else think of movies where the Chinese have been bad-guys recently?
Wow, the Chinese were secondary bad guys in The Departed!!! You've really proven your point there :roll:
 

youngdan

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The United States is in a very vunerable with regard China. China can destroy the economy of the states at any time by just saying that they are going to sell the treasury bonds that they hold. At the moment everyone is playing a giant game of chicken, the fact that the dollar is the reserve currency gives the states a tremendous advantage that they will keep as long as possible. When the jig is up the states, if they hold as much gold as they say they do in Fort Knox, will introduce an asset backed new currency. This will be the finest shafting of all time. A fatal blow obviously to holders of dollar denominated debt and almost as painfull to European central banks who have sold off a good portion of each countries gold. That is why the Russians and Chinese are buyers. A greater threat is somebody exploding a nuclear device a few hundred miles over the states which would produce an E M P wave that would knock out all unprotected electronic circuits. All that is needed is a boat a scud and a basic bomb. This of course would be blamed on terrorists and the Chinese could offer their condolences and outrage. The crucial event in the whole saga was the capture of the american spy plane early in the bush first term. This was similiar to the humiliation inflicted on the british by iran recently. The moment of truth i believe is immenent with the slowing of world economies
 

St Disibod

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strauss said:
I would imagine the US has raised concerns with every country whose arms were found there - it is highly unlikely that China is the only government it has raised concerns with. Why are you so absolutely shocked that this has been mentioned in diplomatic talks?
I don't know what goes on in diplomatic talks, but so far I have only heard the US give out about two countries vis-à-vis weapons in Iraq: China (the lesser satan) and Iran (the great satan).

When every surrounding country is channeling weapons into Iraq, and every major arms exporter has its equipment ending up there, it seems more than simple coincidence that these two countries were picked out for special condemnation. And I don't imagine the spur for this is to be found on the ground in Iraq.
 

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