TCS Daily


Can US and Chinese Military Forces Cooperate?

By Richard Weitz - November 3, 2006 12:00 AM

This week a Chinese military delegation is conducting a five-day tour of U.S. military installations. They will visit the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii and tour a guided missile destroyer in San Diego. Last month, the Chinese and U.S. navies undertook their first joint search-and-rescue exercise. Early next year, the head of China's strategic missile units is scheduled to visit U.S. Strategic Command, which controls all U.S. nuclear forces.

Although these activities have raised hopes of considerably deeper defense cooperation between these two potential adversaries, we need to remain cautious regarding the likely benefits of these military exchanges. Recurring problems have derailed past efforts to establish a sustained Sino-American defense dialogue. These difficulties will continue to bedevil their future military cooperation.

Some senior American military officers advocate relaxing Congressional restrictions on bilateral defense contacts to widen the scope of these exchanges. One proponent of deeper military engagement is Admiral William Fallon, who has visited China three times since taking charge of U.S. Pacific Command less than two years ago. Admiral Fallon argues that, since "China isn't a clone of the Soviet Union," the U.S. military can safely conduct a broader range of ties with it.

Actually, several factors make the Chinese armed forces a more difficult dialogue partner than the former Soviet military. Whereas by the late 1980s Soviet officials and officers widely accepted the value of superpower arms control, Chinese leaders remain averse to genuine defense transparency and have long resisted American calls to provide more information about their military spending. When a U.S. military delegation visited China in March, their hosts showed them Cold War-era planes and warships rather than China's latest weapons.

Chinese policymakers fear that greater transparency could provide Americans with insights into their country's military vulnerabilities. They also adhere to a historical tradition that values strategic deception as a valuable tool against potential adversaries like the United States. Although the Chinese government has begun issuing white papers on its security and defense policies, these documents are rich in generalities about China's good intentions and sparse in specifics about its actual practices.

In contrast to the Gorbachev-era Soviet Union, Chinese leaders still view their country as a rising military power. For this reason, they do not want to codify existing disparities in military force capacities or operating patterns, which favor the United States. China has refused to join the Russian-American strategic arms reduction process on the grounds that Moscow and Washington must first make much deeper cuts in their larger nuclear arsenals. In addition, Beijing has proven reluctant to accept Washington's long-standing proposal to establish a direct hotline between the Pentagon and the Chinese Defense Ministry. Whereas U.S. officials believe this link could facilitate crisis management, China's political leaders want to ensure tight control over military communications during an emergency.

The Sino-American defense relationship has traditionally served as the proverbial canary in the coalmine—acutely vulnerable to external shocks. Adverse political events have repeatedly led China and the United States to curtail military contacts as a form of signaling or retaliation. Prominent incidents have included the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait missile crisis, the 1999 accidental bombing of China's Belgrade Embassy by NATO, and the 2001 collision of a Chinese warplane with a U.S. Navy surveillance plane in international airspace near China's Hainan Island. Despite their recently renewed military dialogue, another Taiwan confrontation, a flare-up in the Chinese-Japanese East China Sea dispute, or some other crisis could again cause Beijing or Washington to freeze defense ties.

The Soviet case does show that it can take years of sustained engagement to reshape the military practices of great powers such as China. Until then, American officials should hedge against the failure of U.S. shaping strategies towards China by reinforcing defense ties with Australia, India, and Japan. They also should continue to assess military exercises, reciprocal exchanges, and other defense activities with China on a case-by-case basis and with a jaundiced eye.

Richard Weitz is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.

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32 Comments

western forces need to understand asian military philosophy
In our culture, western culture, War is seen as "an extension of politics though other means",
In most Asian cultures politics is seen as an extension of war by other means.

in other words, if an Asian military man is talking to a western military men, he stalling for time, NOTHING ELSE.

shouldn't do so
To the extent that the US does so it's just seen as another sign of weakness, or how is that? giving away the store". Sure enemies like the Soviets and Chinese always stole secrets by espionage(to be expected), but you're not supposed to help them along. The comment by Rivenburg above says it all. Chinamen even see business as another angle of perpetual war. I live in asia and over here they just laugh at and mock all westerners for their meekness, weakness, profound naivete about the real world.

Quite simple, really - - -
Cooperate against whom? Military alliances' only possible raison d'etre is the defeat of a third force. Cooperation, when allowed, should be done only for intelligence advantage - OURS!

Nonmilitary ommercial cooperation (trade) benefits both sides but is necessarily to our advantage because of our superior economic system, and so should be pursued.

What we really need is cooperation, military and otherwise, with democratic dissidents inside and outside China, with the goal of regime change, or at least the political fracturing of the country. This is asymmetric warfare, American Style, and should be employed against this classic vulnerability of all tyrannies.

I know one things they could agree on.
War.

on target
You are quite correct, our best assets are the Chinese themselves. Enough are ready to strike out agaisnt their government that Hu has had his hands full for the last two years just trying to stay in power. Thats the reason Lil Kim has felt ok about disrespecting Hu. The coastal Chinese cities like Shanghai have gotten rich enough to bribe the army into leaving them alone when Hu wanted the leaders arrested. This changed some time in the last two months, Hu has had ALL the top leaders in Shanghai arrested and probably shot. This simply shows how right you are about chinas weaknesses that we should explote.

China would be much more palatable to the rest of the world if it were two, or three countries.

You guys are all being so 1950's...
Look. This is not Hollywood and war is not entertainment. Let's not indulge our own urge to rattle any sabres! The only reason for anyone to spend a share of their GDP on a defense budget is to keep all the 200 sovereign nations from ever considering military hegemony or imperialism as a viable option. We are not going to fight the Russians and we are not going to fight the Chinese. We attacked Afganistan because the Taliban government played host to al Qaeda and we attacked Iraq because Saddam Hussein would not comply with the deal we cut him in 1991 after we tossed him out of Kuwait but let him keep his job rather like we put up with Gaddafi all these years. Saddam had 12 years to learn how to behave but instead he was running a WMD bluff. After 9-11 we had to call his cards.

No one is going to attack the US, Russia or China with the intention of seizing any of our cities but some of them might get predatory regarding each other. It is in our interest and in the interest of China and Russia that this sort of thing should not be allowed. All of the 200 sovereign states are very friendly with or somewhat influenced by at least one of us. So we need to work together.

This issue might be most important as Japan starts to rearm. Clearly Korea and the Philippines will feel funny as Japan gets back into the game. (It has only been 60 years.) Therefore, the US must straddle its very strong (positive) relationships with all sides regarding this eventuality.

We have, indeed, failed to protect Japan from the possibility that the rogue regime in North Korea might genuinely threaten them. Of course, there are far more powerful potential bullies in the Asian arena (China and Russia) but the US effectively trumps any of their hegemony. Japan does not need to protect herself from China or Russian any more than California does. But North Korea is another matter. And we have not delivered.

China wants Taiwan but those islands were most recently (as Formosa) part of Japan. There is a possibility, in China's mind, that a US fight over Taiwan would result in her return to Japan since we do not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent sovereign state (as most nations don't). We maintain de facto relations with Taiwan and we are pledged to defend her. But they have not really been sovereign since 1991 when their Republic of China seat at the UN was transferred to the mainland People's Republic of China. If there is a fight, Taiwan would still not be sovereign because China (and others at the UN) would block her. What would we do with her? Make Taiwan the 51st state? Rename her China Rico? (Puerto China does not roll trippingly off the tongue.)

Taiwan might really rather become Formosa and rejoin Japan rather than become a province of China. If the government in Taipei asked Japan to annex them, Japan just might. And who could stop it? Of course, this would not happen until Japan rearmed and was strong enough (nuclear) to defend itself, but that moment is coming soon.

The US would not be pleased by any such development because it would mark the resurgence of Imperial Japan. In this regard, it is in the interest of both China and the US that their militaries should be seen as working together in the common interest of making all military adventures everywhere moot.

Dream on - - -
Unfortunately, way to optimistic, forest, the cussedness of human tyrannies' nature is incompatible with your fancies. Hu, is doing a large version of Lil Kim. Recall the Chinese general that threatened a nuclear attack on the US mainland. They, like France, are mistakenly trying to form bipolar politics to offset the US. China is promiscously aiding and allying with rogue states (necessarily antiAmerican) all over the world. Chief among which is Iran, including African and South American dictators, and that fascist basket case Russia, struggling pitifully to regain Its glory days of Empire.


We could not abandon staunch ally Japan, but must coordinate a 21st century SEATO defense and trading alliance including at least Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Australia (Indonesia and NATO?). All the while maintaining commerce relations with China and helping, and/or forcing, it to move toward a modern democracy.

Military reality...
Maybe I think that World War III is very unlikely but I am not a Polyanna regarding the games sovereign states play. Militarism is their currency and they will misbehave in this regard as long as they can find the revenue stream (taxing their own GDPs) to stay competitive and in the game.

Nevertheless, military imperialism as a method for the nation state to impose itself on its neighbors through annexation or financial hegemony (extortion) is probably at an end. The major powers need to put that feature of sovereignty firmly into the history books.

Of course, it is possible that China is not irreversibly convinced of this as they spread their state of the art military wings. The matter of what becomes of Taiwan is central in the near term. However, our own, demonstrated, no-nonsense posture as the sole superpower should keep everyone in line as the rogue states and the apparent simpletons work out their own economic drills.

Yes, certain nations are forming coalitions to limit the dominance of America and they should seek to maintain their integrity while putting limits on our ability to influence them. We can be pretty arrogant, or maybe you haven't dealt with the IRS lately.

A modern democracy? What in the world is that? Like we have or like the Philippines enjoys. And you think we should help and/or force China toward one? So who do you think we are? (What did I just say about arrogance?) This attitude is precisely why they keep an eye on us.

China is the least of our worries
China has never attempted to add land to China that wasn't neighboring China. Not sure that China has ever made war to add land to China. China exports people. It doesn't appropriate real estate. We could use another few million Chinese people in the USofA.

Another "End of History" fan - - - - -
Forest, thanks for your thotful comments. Like many idealists you're wishing away human nature. We humans have agression deep in our genes, it is only held at bay, in some cases, by the thin veneer that is civilization, with institutions like democracy and individual impowerment, (which is the "modern" part).

Apparently, you have noticed that China wants to gobble up Taiwan. When that is successful, they will be encouraged to reignite their agressions against India, Viet Nam, Russia, etc.. That's why they must be broken up, made democratic (and prosperous) with the personal freedoms, or better; all ot the above. Of course, you are right, that's why their tyrants keep an eye on us. They understand this, which you don't. You must also have noticed that Russia has designs on its old SSRs. Ukraine, Georgia, and the various flyspeckistans.

Who we are: is an advanced society trying to survive onslaughts from anachronistic medieval tyrannies. Think about it.

Reality
"And you think we should help and/or force China toward one? So who do you think we are? (What did I just say about arrogance?) This attitude is precisely why they keep an eye on us."

Who are we? We are morrally RIGHT. Tyranny is morally WRONG. Absolutely everywhere.

I'm not saying we should go in there and liberate them. That is not the purpose of the U.S. government, and not worth the risk or cost. But there are fundamental reasons for distrust, not just a U.S. desire to see freedom spread -- we have fundamentally opposite political premises. Though I will admit that the aggressive U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf does not earn us the the trust of the world.

Here is what China thinks of fundamental American values: "Human rights are acquired by people instead of being given by God. Human rights are a product of social and historical situations. They are the rights society gives to its members." -- http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-12/12/content_3908887.htm. Xinhua is the official China news agency therefore the official Chinese government position.

Can one ever really be friends with a neighbor or even someone on the next block who, say, beats his wife or abuses his kids? I can't. I may tolerate the person, or deal with the person, but I can't be friends with that type of person. Same is true regarding China. We may reach some kind of accomodation, but we can never be friends or really trust each other. We are fundamentally different politically.

Further China has shown the desire for hegemony, witness Tibet and Taiwan. Given China's disrespect for human rights and her growing technological capabilities, we can never trust that she won't eventually try to hegemonize the U.S. if she had the capability. Maybe she won't, but we'll never know until it's too late.

Only to subvert and gently intimidate.
China and the U.S. cannot be friends given each other's political systems.

The only reason for the U.S. to have military cooperation with China is to subvert her officers and men, and gently intimidate her by letting her witness our overwhelmingly superior capabilities. We should let some of her officers "accidentally" see something they are "not supposed to see" that shows capabilities they never expected, so that it is not perceived as intentional intimidation, and is therefore much more intimidating. The overall purpose is to demoralize by showing them that we are insurmountable.

At the same time, we should have our guys buddy up to their officers and men. Make "personal friends" of them and do psychological warfare on them, using good cop-bad cop approach. But also try to win their sympathy so they are less willing to resist in any conflict.

If possible we should try to convert/subvert them to desire American values, like freedom, to the extent possible.

This all should be done very carefully and meticulously.

I posted the below in another thread on this topic. It explains why we can't truely be friends in the current political situation.

Here is what China thinks of fundamental American values: "Human rights are acquired by people instead of being given by God. Human rights are a product of social and historical situations. They are the rights society gives to its members." -- http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-12/12/content_3908887.htm. Xinhua is the official China news agency therefore the official Chinese government position.

Can one ever really be friends with a neighbor or even someone on the next block who, say, beats his wife or abuses his kids? I can't. I may tolerate the person, or deal with the person, but I can't be friends with that type of person. Same is true regarding China. We may reach some kind of accomodation, but we can never be friends or really trust each other. We are fundamentally different politically.

Further China has shown the desire for hegemony, witness Tibet and Taiwan. Given China's disrespect for human rights and her growing technological capabilities, we can never trust that she won't eventually try to hegemonize the U.S. if she had the capability.

Idealist...
Don,

Actually, our natural human propensity for dominance as a result of violence or the threat of violence is absolutely fundamental to our social hierarcies and our mammalian biology. This goes on in our families, on our school yards and in our society in general. Ultimately, as we said in West Virgina where I was born "some folks need killing". And this or that misbehavior is "a good way to get your killing done." In general, anyone who is inclined to do something anti-social for his own benefit is discouraged only by a rational risk/reward calculation. Neverthelesss, some people are forever reckless in this regard and never seem to learn their lesson. The more you let them get by with stupid stuff, the crazier they seem to get. There is an "increase your bets until you lose everything" (when you are ahead) mentality that is also called a self-destructive personality. When people are like this sometimes we need to put them out of their misery before they hurt someone. If a sovereign leader is like this then everyone has a problem.

Sovereign states deal in death. They grant "life, liberty, health and property" to their own citizens according to their constitutions, their laws and restrict these natural rights according to what they think they can get by with.

The dominant nations create zones of hegemony (spheres of influence) and engage in sabre-rattling diplomacy among themselves. This dynamic balance is necessary until sovereign governments become completely pointless. As far as corporate entities are concerned, that day might never come. We need the major powers to keep each other in line and we need to enjoy choices regarding where to operate and pay taxes. Otherwise, the sovereign does have an inclination to abuse its own citizens.

Modern warfare is a losing proposition. We destroy too much of our own wealth and resources and way too much of our opponent's wealth and resources to make conquest pay off. Therefore, military imperialism is technically over for financial reasons. (Nuclear weapons underscore this reality.) Financial capitalism has taken its place as the method whereby nations compete. It is in the best interest of the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, Japan, India and others that World War III should never be joined. Those who imagine that they stand to gain by such a conflict must be vigorously marginalized.

China does want to annex Taiwan and Taiwan may or may not go along. If some government in Taipei, one of these years, negotiates a deal with Beijing then it is over and Taiwan will become a province of China. However, if the Chinese try to take Taiwan by force, then the United States will stop them. Could such an armed confrontation lead to World War III? Yes. Would China, therefore, risk an invasion of Taiwan? No.

Would the US sell out Taiwan the way Czechoslovakia was handed to Adolf Hitler in 1938 by Neville Chamberlain? No. If we did that then the Chinese would, indeed, be encouraged to look around at their neighbors. I have seen the words "manifest destiny" used by the Chinese press regarding their sense that more of Asia might rightfully be theirs. We do not know what that means, but the idea that anyone gets to expand his borders at the point of a sword ever again must be put out of everyone's mind.

But Taiwan is not technically sovereign now and that cannot continue indefinitely. China will block Taiwan's sovereignty through their seat on the Security Council. If Taipei decides not to join China they must nevertheless eventually fold in under someone's sovereignty.

Japan is going to rearm and go nuclear almost immediately if North Korea continues to act up. In that case, Taipei might someday embrace the name Formosa again and rejoin the Japanese nation. If the US could be more effective over there, then Asia would not need Japan to counter China. But we passed up our chance to become an on-the-ground player in East Asia when we let the Philippines get completely away after 1991. And we have not delivered on our assurances to keep Japan safe. We have no control at all of North Korea.

Your notion that China could be "broken up, made democratic and prosperous" implies that we might try to bully the Chinese government diplomatically, perhaps with trade sanctions or that we could threaten to invade? There's your idealism, Don. Never could happen. Break up China? What are you thinking?

And try not to be chauvanistic about our advanced society, Don. Most of the nations you refer to as "anachronistic medieval tyrannies" were civilized and urbanized while we were still savages. They have extraordinarily sophisticated cultures and they are catching onto this global financial capitalism game very well. Some of them are already better at the execution of certain wealth creation routines (such as manufacturing) than we ever were. And it is not just their cheap labor, either. When you start thinking they are not competitive, that's when they'll run right past you.

What about Tibet?
Did you forget about them? And they want to take of Taiwan, but are unable. They also make claims against many islands that other nations also say belong to them.

to forest
You said: "Most of the nations you refer to as "anachronistic medieval tyrannies" were civilized and urbanized while we were still savages." Did you perhaps mean as civilized ones China, the land of traditional, female foot binding, female infanticide so you can have more male kids(still practised), slavery, spitting in public(still practiced), pirating of everything, spitting in public, hanging your laundry on the lampshades in hotels thus stainging the shades, concubinage to any man who can afford it, never had freedom of religion, never had political freedom, never had freedom of any kind, not naming girl babies but just saying 3rd daughter of Ah Beng. All the above still exist all over Asia, including 'de facto', if not 'de jure' slavery, racism of a scale that would make an anti-bellum platation owner blanche? But maybe you meant Japan, the place where samurai could cut the head off anyone who looked at them funny, or where they kept sex slaves till recently(wait a minute, they still do, but now they're mostly filipina and Thai)? It's amusing how hopeless romantics often cite other cultures as being more civilized than europeans, when the opposite is true.

Can US and Chinese Military Forces Cooperate?
Yes, the USA will try very hard and it will never work in as much as what the USA of today is ever more about the world over with its ever more horrendous war machinery, is in essence doing nothing short of dousing the world with gasoline as it were, for a small spark from nowhere to light the world into the inferno of all times!

The formula for peace in the world was handed to George Washington by God himself, some 2+ century ago and he revealed it as he spoke these words as part of his farewell address: "Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican liberty".

Unless America quickly turns around, and obeys God himself, all its war efforts and production of more and more horrendous stuff to kill humans, all of it will eventually become its gallows.

I suggest the following reading: Wall Street Journal article by Walter Laquer in the Nov. 2, 2006 issue. Please be so kind and do not respond to my comments until you have read this article?

Weakness = moral superiority - - - - ?
I agree China is of a physiologically advanced society. I made myself unpopular in China a few years ago by pointing out how prosperous and civiized the chinese were who lived outside of China, but inside brutality reigns. They do have imperial urges, but not the military ability to succeed, fortunately. I offer Taiwan, Tibet, and a piece of India they recently stole. Plus other recent agressions against Russia and Viet Nam. Plus current inept attempts at political subversions all over the world.

China's recent economic resurgence is a great boon to themselves and all the world. When they discover and accept individualism and personal freedom, their potential will be unleashed and they can lead the world to new happy levels of civilization and prosperity.

So I guess we shouldn't be supporting their economy either??
Or maybe you're having trouble finding Chinese-made goods in the WalMart and everywhere else..

A losing strategy
I have a caveat or two about your assessment. You say

"Nonmilitary ommercial cooperation (trade) benefits both sides but is necessarily to our advantage because of our superior economic system, and so should be pursued."

But aren't we both engaging cooperatively in exactly the same economic system? And isn't this engagement to our mutual benefit? I don't see the advantage going to the United States, when China has used their entry into the domain of capitalism to create, in essence, another United States by facilitating the entry of 250-300 million people into the middle class.

Plus, we have about three thousands year of Chinese military history to examine, from first hand sources. When have they ever pursued a policy of military aggression? Haven't they instead consistently pursued the path of containment and engagement?

Right now, we're in a win-win mode. I see no advantage to China if she were to aggress against the US militarily, at which provocation we would instantly freeze all Chinese assets in Western banks (for one thing). She's doing far too well under the current status quo-- and is even gaining advantage as more and more of our foreign trade deficit is ending up in her hands. Giving her political clout if she chooses to use it.

And I certainly see no advantage to our unilaterally aggressing against China for some imagined provocation. For one thing, she has the capacity to wreck the US dollar by causing a run from the currency.

So aggression by either side becomes a lose-lose situation, while currently both we and China enjoy the benefits of mutual cooperation. Hm.

Regime change and the aggressive backing of China's enemies (whoever they might be) is the way to go, eh?

One agree, couple of disagrees
"I offer Taiwan, Tibet, and a piece of India they recently stole."

Tibet was and is a great crime, based on old claims of hegemony. The Tibetans were never Chinese.

Taiwan is a situation most actual Asians think is being well handled by the principals themselves. There is little question that left to themselves, the mainland and island Chinas will be able to find the correct distance to stand from each other. US saber rattling is seen in the area as being dangerous, destabilizing and irrelevant to the actual concerns of both the Chinas.

That "piece if India" is just an uninhabited patch of lunar real estate. Boundaries in this rocky, airless barren are just lines on a map. Neither India nor China actually own it or have a use for it.

Re the islands of the Sino-Russian border, their possession was the basis for numerous mini crises during the old Sino-Soviet split. All issues were resolved peaceably in 1991. This was not an instance of cross-border aggression by one party acting alone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Sino-Russian_border_agreement

Vietnam? I can't even imagine.

You forgot to mention the Spratlys, sandbars of concern to Dietmar, above. The South China Sea is another of those perennially disputed areas, where legal possession has never been better than nebulous. Plus, it likely has some oil. China's? Malaysia's? Or should it go to the Philippines? The only approach that will allow the dilemma to be resolved would be a condominium approach.

All this, other than with Tibet, hardly makes of China a threat to world peace or stability. Zinjiang should probably ultimately become independent. But that won't happen. And China's intention to ever seek more territory outside her borders is between nil and zilch. No upside there, only huge, horrible downsides.

I'm not sure what to make of the idea that China still needs to accept individualism. They seem to go out of their way to encourage and facilitate their nouveau millionaires. Human rights, of course, are abysmal and will remain so for the indefinite future.

Of course, Roy, thanks - - - - ?
With some trepidation I engage your lefty brain. I do agree with most of what you say (scary thot).

"""But aren't we both engaging cooperatively in exactly the same economic system?""" ::: Roy, a dictatorily controlled system vs. the freest market on the globe? I don't think so, and can't imagine that even you do either. The Chinese are reaping great (for them) benefits from reluctantly permitting some small economic freedoms. Their great population still produces only a small fraction of what ours does. They are a backward, third world despotism. If China tried to "wreck the dollar" it would hurt her more than us. She knows that. China's only political clout is to ruin her economy by not supplying us with the terrific imported bargains that increase our prosperity much faster than hers. As you say, we now are tied together in a virtuous win-win cycle.

I've conclusively demonstrated her aggressive tendencies, even in modern times, elsewhere here, read and learn. Far from aggressing against the Chinese people, we should do what we can to bring them the blessings of freedom by encouraging democratic dissidents, of which there are millions. Meanwhile, we should support, politically and financially, a democratic dissident government-in-exile, to take over when your friends, the communists, fall.

Tnx for the help - - - -
You make my case very well, thanks. Don V.

Euro Chauvinism...
Dietmar,

One of the most intractable problems with our developing global society is (for want of a better term) "culture clash". It is one thing for us to judge another culture by our own moral standards but as Europeans we are inclined to go further.

For one thing we often discount entire ancient civilizations when we are offended by their social practices. I will not get into a comparison of our attitudes regarding women, our history of slavery or our treatment of criminals as compared with similar institutions elsewhere (some of which survive to this day) because the only differences are the details.

However, we could not content ourselves with finding fault with other, more established cultures and minding our own business. No. We found it necessary to go conquer and colonize China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands and the Americas. We enslaved entire nations, murdered them wholesale, stole their riches, forced our languages, religions and political institutions on them and now we continue to have the nerve to say that we are morally superior?

Such an argument would be hypocritical if it was intelligent enough to seem compelling. This mutual lack of understanding and respect is a problem that will not go away as long as we teach our children that we are right and therefore everyone else must be wrong.

You know, we understand more about the group behavior of cattle than we do the social biology of our own species. We don't refer back to the culture of our grandparents. We simply make rules up. In America our culture is so weak that we let the fifteen-year-olds reinvent their own morality every generation. As adults we let our priests and Oprah tell us what to think.

(That "spitting in public" business really gets to you, doesn't it?)

A deep knowledge of things Chinese
Good lord! What do you need? China is practising capitalism, with the full endorsement and encouragement of the state. If there is something they aren't doing, it's only something a purist would notice. They are far more capitalist than we are in fact, because they actually give objects of actual value in exchange for income. All we trade is state-issued portraits of dead presidents.

Our "prosperity" has not increased, because we still owe something of value into the system-- we have just paid them in IOU's. If they were to bring all their IOU's to the table one day and tell us they wanted to cash their T-bills it would provoke a fiscal crisis the likes of which the country could not stand.

And they know it. So if you persist in thinking the Chinese harbor aggressive tendencies, just keep in mind that any time they want to bring the United States DOWN, all they have to do is make one phone call, to the Treasury Department.

Push them about the dissidents and the result is well known. This is the royal way to **** them off. And if you think there is any possibility these dissidents, armed with American rifles and perched offshore in some American colony like Okinawa, could take on the Chinese army you had better get a new Chinese crystal ball. That's just World War, what is it, Five?

The only dissidents you're going to find are some Falun Gong moonies, academics with clean fingernails, and Muslim separatists. This is not an army any sane person would want to back.

morally superior
Befor you said that other countries people were more civilized when we were still savages. Then I give you example of how they were not so civilized. Then you say you don't care about that but that we went colonizing, etc.
Now I'm going to give you examples of how those other countries did the same thing too; mongol hordes conquering, raping, pillaging all over asia, taking over china, rampaging in easter europe. Chinese fighting Koreas, and other juristicions that are now in china but used to be independant terrirories. Koreans with mongol trying to take over japan a few times. Kymer, Thai and several of those old cultures often invading cambodia, vietnam, burma, etc. Moghuls invading India, taking it over. Arabs taking over former christian lands in the middle east, and many african countries, conquering Spain, trying in France. History is a story of constant invasions, it just that later on europeans were better at it, so the other were sore losers. In the meantime, it was europeans that had the Enlightenmen, democracy, womens rights, spent money and lives to put an end to slavery all over the world. So, yes, we are morally superior, and more civilized to boot. And I do indeed think we are more civilized for not hawking out oysters, and spitting all the time the way many asians do. All we don't sit in public places taking off shoes and socks and pick your toe nails on busses and trains, sticking our fingers up our noses with those two inches long fingernails many guys have in asia.

easy, easy, big fullah!
Should've known you'd run off the rails, you were making a little sense there for a while, must be off your meds again. Try to be more careful.

Your Chicom pals are just barely hanging on to their privileged positions now, riots all over the country. With a little help and encouragement their poor subjects might acheive a great historic liberation, and a victory for everyone. Tho, you might want to sign up to go over and help reoppress dissidents, it's your kind of work, political imprisoning and executions. Cheers, Don V.

My Chicom pals
You seem to have gotten a mistaken impression that because I can identify areas where the Chinese approach is going right, I have issued a blanket endorsement for everything the Chinese government does. Do you not realize how absurdly simplistic this is?

They oppress their Uigurs and Tibetans. They execute as many prisoners as the rest of the world put together, after trials that are often perfunctory and with conclusions foregone. They actually warehouse people sentenced to death until such a time as they receive orders for their body organs. (This is one that sounds suspiciously like a canard-- but I think it is probably true.) And most of all, they rule over a society in which the individual has no place-- other than as one of the new national treasures, a member of the entrepreneurial class. They're not my kind of people.

Plus, they support all the worst governments, like Myanmar and Uzbekistan. So is it them impossible to admit that they are brilliant when it comes to conquering the world without firing a shot?

My Chicom pals. That is so 1952. What are you, 84 years old?

touchstone of the wacky liberal
" It's amusing how hopeless romantics often cite other cultures as being more civilized than europeans, when the opposite is true. "

You're to generous Dietmar, you use the term romantic when wacky liberal is more correct.

the knee-jerk assumtion of other cultures supremacy over our own is the thouch stone of the wackjob.

Most Americans are clueles as to Chinese chauvanism, I see it daily were I work, lots of mainland chinese come here for business. They are rude, pushy, especialy to our women, they will not get out of an AMerican womens way in public to the point I have seen surounding Americans in public places start to get pissed off at the bad behaveour of the Chinese men.

Also as you can tell from the posts here, most of the 'romantics" think China is monolithic in its political opinion. in truth you & some others here have it exactly right, splitting up china is not really all that tough, its on the verge of it right now. Hu has been out of power for the last two years but is now regaining control, the arrest of the leaders of Shanghia show this clearly.

Without the iron fist china cannot hold the center. It will eventualy come to the point of civil war in china, this is when we in the west need to be ready. China may well use the old "external agressor" schtick to get the Chinese poeple to join back together. MANY chinese military men WANT conflict with the USA, they are hotly nationalistic no matter WHAT others on this board post. The REALLY funny thing is the assumption of rationality on the part of the Chinese military by the libby wacko posters here. They automaticaly assume the Chinese will make good calls when there is NO historical basis for this assumption. They have obviously forgotten the Chinese invading Vietnam two years after we left. Of course that runs counter to the liberal mythology about communism and vietnam.

Many Chinese realise they could have been running the entire world for the last 600 years, they WERE in the position at that point in time but a few scared courtiers worried about their personal fortunes changed the course of Chinese history by forcing China to become insuler and withdrawing China from the rest of the world.

In light of this history that every Chinese student is tought, they have an emotional yearning for conquest in this century. There is NO gaurantee they will make sane calls.

back on meds? - - - - good
Sen. Kerry would be proud.

good realistic call Bruce
"The only reason for the U.S. to have military cooperation with China is to subvert her officers and men, and gently intimidate her by letting her witness our overwhelmingly superior capabilities. We should let some of her officers "accidentally" see something they are "not supposed to see" that shows capabilities they never expected, so that it is not perceived as intentional intimidation, and is therefore much more intimidating. The overall purpose is to demoralize by showing them that we are insurmountable."


This is exactly correct. THis Is what is going on right now.

Bill, eventualy EVERY place will nieghbor China of we let it go that way
You dont actualy KNOW any chinese do you?
They are hotly nationalistic, and there is NO historical reason to think they will make good calls. The only reason chinese only tackle countries directly adjacent is ability, they have not in modern times had this ability but when they did in the past, they were agressive in areas remote to them like the malays.

Guarantee...
Of course, China would like to reach out and annex somebody. This is why it is so critical that we (the USA) make it clear to all concerned that this is not an option for them. We could not tolerate their capacity to strike us. If it came to blows with China we would preempt and they know it.

The North Koreans might gamble that we would not "go all the way" if they started something because they themselves probably cannot reach us but their big brother China could make World War III happen.

Nevertheless, we would nuke North Korea to neutralize their artillary in the opening moments before they could level Seoul. We are currently reintroducing tactical nuclear weapons (taken away in 1991) to our forces on the peninsula. Of course, we would immediately vaporize any possible launch site for a nuclear strike against Japan or our own West Coast. We do not need to know for certain that they have developed such bombs small enough to fly.

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