Thursday, February 16, 2006

China--Peaceful Intentions?

While many pundits and governments in the world rightly focus their attention on Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, and Jihad-inspired terrorism, there is a power in Asia that is seeking its "place in the sun." This does not bode well for the future of peace in Asia or the world.

Consider what the People's Republic of China (PRC) has been up to recently:

--Beijing rammed an "Anti-Secession Law" through its rubber-stamp 'legislature' in 2005. This 'law' asserts its legal authority to employ "nonpeaceful means" against Taiwan should the island democracy take any steps toward independence.

--Along with Russia, China pressured Central Asian states to kick the U.S. out of bases there being used in the war on terrorism; U.S. forces had to vacate a supply hub in Uzbekistan as a result.

--China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) held its first-ever military exercise with Russia in 2005--an exercise transparently focused on combating the United States.

--China's military spending has gone up at least fifteen percent a year for the past six years. China continues to buy billions of dollars in Russian military equipment, and has agreed to buy billions more. China's annual military budget is a state secret, but estimates are that China spends $30 billion a year on its military build-up. This amount could actually be much closer to $100 billion annually when other military-related expeditures are included, such as military research, space activities (military communications and spy satellites) and investments in infrastructure (bases). There is apparently no enthusiasm in Beijing for reversing this trend any time soon.

--The PRC continues its massive campaign of industrial espionage intended to steal U.S. military and technological secrets. This immense spy program also targets US allies such as Japan, Australia, and in Europe.

--Beijing has been running a propaganda campaign, for over a decade, to make people aware of the importance of China getting some international respect, after a century of defeats and other humiliations. This resonates with many Chinese, and the government is exploiting this to build support for a larger military and more aggressive diplomacy.

--China pursues close relationships with repressive dictatorships in places like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Iran. Except for Zimbabwe, all are countries, rich with oil, that China's ever-growing economy covets. In addition, in early 2006, China recently agreed to work even more closely with Saudi Arabia. When Saudi King Abdullah visited Beijing in January 2006, he inked some five agreements with Beijing, which call for closer cooperation in a number of areas, including (and especially) energy. The Chinese-Islamic axis that this sort of cooperation portends to constitutes yet another challenge to US interests. Is anyone in DC paying attention?

--The PLA did not fire, or even reprimand, a senior officer (holding the rank of major general) who publicly threatened to nuke "hundreds" of U.S. cities if the United States came to Taiwan’s defense. This would be China's reputed response to any US move to defend Taiwan (the democracy that the PRC steadfastly calls a 'renegade province') from a long-feared Chinese attack or outright invasion.

--China has also made it clear that it will not cooperate in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) or elsewhere in taking firm steps against nuclear proliferation by Iran and North Korea. This includes the PRC protecting its allies in Teheran and Pyongyang from any UN sanctions, via its UNSC veto.

--The PRC has considerable political and economic leverage with North Korea, but has steadfastly refused to invoke it in order to force the North Koreans to end their nuclear weapons development program. Any NK mischief, so long as it antagonizes and distracts the US from progressing towards its goals, is undoubtedly very useful to the regime in Beijing.

--And, to add insult to injury, Chinese pressure successfully excluded the U.S. from an important Asia-Pacific summit meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last December.

In conclusion, China may speak soothing rhetoric to the Western media about "cooperating with all countries", but its bellicose actions say otherwise. Clearly, these are not the actions of a country that is interested in peace. This is how wars get started.

4 comments:

friendlysaviour said...

Mmmm, very interesting. Universities in uk have had thousands of Chinese students in the last three years. They have mostly been doing courses in media and public relations plus English language. They are getting ready for a massive P.R. gambit around the upcoming Olympics.
I must say, individuall they are refreshingly polite but I noticed that they seem to be under some kind of instruction to "keep themselves to themselves" as if they are being checked on whilst they are here.
I think it's time the US devised new World strategies that maintain her position while tackling the traditional points of weakness that her competitors are increasingly able to exploit. Much of this is a battle of perceptions.
Long term strategies not revolving entirely on military means are needed.
Perhaps some Confucian-like rethinking may help!

Chris said...

i was a volunteer in Athens 2004. i was positioned in the olympic village and i can say that the chinese team was very close. we also asked them for a souvenir, like a t-shirt or something (something that all teams even the small countries of the pacific ocean did in order to show their appreciation for our services that were given for free) and they told us to leave the house, while there were tones of them on their stock. They hardly talked with us and the workforce of the Olympic games and i did not see many of them on the activities that took place on the village. Probably they are under a state of fear, even when they go abroad.

I met many chinese when i was a student in the uk but they were from taiwan and malaysia, i say that there were very friendly and really smart ppl but the ones coming from China seem to be afraid to meet other people

Anonymous said...

Pl. don't waste your time and energy in topics like Chinese power. Remember; our common enemy (I am a Hindu) is Islam. Relentlessly work towards the annihilation of Islam

The Anti-Jihadist said...

Copy that. However, I would estimate some 99% of PI's material is in some way focused on Islam. That's where we will continue our focus...on Public Enemy Number One.