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JacuPro
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The Contender
Tranquillium
Con (against)
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The US is still at a Cold War-like Standoff with the Communist nations

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 198 times Debate No: 96254
Debate Rounds (3)
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JacuPro

Pro

New to debate system but would like to start by saying good luck to the opponent. The US has not dug up the roots of the old Cold War tensions in the 20th century. Countries, like Russia, are becoming stronger off of militaristic goals and ideals. It's time for the US to be on high alert in order to prevent any future crises.
Tranquillium

Con

First of all, I will quote the title of this debate I have accepted; "The US is still at a Cold War-like Standoff with the Communist nations."
Notably, these communist nations include China, North Korea, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam.
Laos has never really been the focus of any attention in the media as far as I am aware. There was US intervention but you rarely hear about it and full diplomatic ties were restored back in 1992.
Obviously, there were tensions with Vietnam in the Vietnam War, but nowadays, the US isn't really in any conflict with Vietnam. The main political issues are in the Middle East, not the Far East, and Vietnam isn't really subject to much US foreign policy. Full diplomatic relations were restored in 1995. Nowadays, 78% of Vietnam's population view America favourably. That's a lot considering the damage caused in the Vietnam War. Sure, the poll might have been biased and the real number a little bit lower; but it's still a remarkable improvement.

Cuba is a little more controversial due to the close location to the US and the Cuban missile crisis. The US still has an embargo on Cuba, which obviously means there is still tension between the two nations, and a lot of it. However, the US are making an effort to gradually increase relations with Havana. America and Cuba have a long history, but hopefully it can be solved in the near future.

Now for the big ones. China and North Korea.

North Korea is the two-year-old who threatens to take over the world. Or at least, it acts like it. North Korea poses no threat alone. It's hardly worth the bother for South Korea to conquer it, because South Korea is just so much more developed than North Korea. Obviously, there is some standoff between NK and the US, but I doubt their communist state is anywhere near #1 on that list.
China is like North Korea's big brother. I'm not going to deny that there is a lot of friction between China and the US. However, it's not like all of that friction is due to communism. The US and China have the biggest and second biggest GDPs in the world, and therefore there has to be at least some economic rivalry between the two governments, because each is the other's biggest challenger when it comes to the national market. Not much to do with communism, and not much military standoff. Like many other economically created rivalries, it will probably come and go.
China also wants land in the South China Sea and is disputing with the US over some islands. Again, this isn't really friction-causing with the US. If China wanted a country and the US wanted to protect it, for example, that might cause a bit more conflict. I doubt islands will end up going to war if China ends up going for it, although it may set a dangerous precedent.
The public view is unfavourable for both nations. China's US approval is 44% and US' China approval is 38%. Clearly, we have a long way to go. But that's hardly what you'd call a "standoff" is it?
Both countries are trying to work together, and recognise that any conflict would be a disaster. https://www.whitehouse.gov...
Co-operation on climate change.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
Intent to co-operate on issues.

Sure, China's an economic rival. But it's NOTHING compared to the Cold War. And unlike the Cold War, it's very unlikely to trigger a world war, unless North Korea do something stupid.
Debate Round No. 1
JacuPro

Pro

I agree, there is definite ambiguity in the topic that I have created; however, that does not mean it can't be defended. The term "communist" does not include Russia anymore as the Soviet Union had already dissolved after the Cold War. So, the last standing communist nations that are at a standoff with the United States are North Korea and China. Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba are not the friendliest of countries to the United States, but there has been extensive work done to bolster relations with those countries.

China has become an economic powerhouse in the world. The population is booming and the jobs are appearing like a wildfire. With wealth, comes militarism, a militarism that relates to the Soviet Union's techniques seen during the Cold War. "China announced 05 February 2016 that it will raise its defense spending by 7.6% this year", an increase which will most likely continue to rise due to increased influence in the South China Sea. Also, Russia, although not communist, has agreed to partner with China. Military agreements could be made between the two countries as China seeks to gain more military power. The US continues to lead the world in the amount of warheads it owns; China, a growing power, will be looking to challenge the United States with the help of Russia. Just recently,"China's DF-41 has been described as the world"s longest-range missile, capable of striking the US from anywhere in China". What is the need for such a long-range missile? Furthermore, "Analysts also say the missile could fly over the North Pole and hit the US within 30 minutes". Surely this will cause the United States to continue expanding its own missile program. Once again, just another example of the old Cold War in which one power must outcompete the other. The power of these missiles also brings up the point of MAD(Mutual Assured Destruction). Also, how come the US is spending more and more for defense each year? The US must modernize many of its weapons and missiles which are outdated for modern warfare against the newly-industrialized and newly-modernized Chinese.

Furthermore, the debate is not only about nuclear or missile warfare. China and the United States have been in a cyber warfare in the most recent years. The government has said that, "cyber operations from China are still targeting and exploiting U.S. government, defense industry, academic, and private computer networks". Cyber warfare has become the new method of warfare as political secrets can be released, defense systems compromised, and valuable information leaked. If the Chinese are in such good relations with the US, how come their people and tech officials are hacking into US intelligence systems? The response from their government has been vague. There has been no charges against these hackers and the government has not stepped in to stop them. Cyber Warfare is ultimately the next battlefield for Cold War tensions.

Now, to the controversial topic of North Korea. North Korea is definitely a childish country looking to impose fear on the democratic nations. They have recently been performing missile tests and building their nuclear arsenal. The threat of North Korea is not as significant as the situation with China. However, they have continually threatened US allies such as South Korea and Japan and US intervention has been needed to protect democracy in the East. Looking into the past, the US has intervened in the Cold War conflicts to maintain the policy of containment in the East. The United States sent aid to South Korea to defend against the North Korean invasion during the Korean War. Also, they created military operations in Japan, which would supply arms to the soldiers in Vietnam. In these engagements, the US was indirectly fighting its communist opponent, the USSR. Today, the same example is seen against North Korea. The US is obligated to support the South Koreans from any chances of invasions as there was never an official treaty which ended the Korean war, only an armistice. Knowing the attitude of North Korean leaders, that armistice could be on the brink of being broken. Furthermore, China is a supporter of North Korea, which leads to even more communist relations between the two countries. China would most likely support North Korea in a military alliance if a continuation of the Korean war started. Japan, another democratic country in the East, is also resented by many Chinese and North Korean people.

http://www.businessinsider.com...
http://www.usnews.com...
http://www.usatoday.com...
http://www.foxnews.com...
Tranquillium

Con

I didn't say that there was ambiguity; it seems fairly clear to me, but I wanted to define my terms first (I'm new.)
"the communist nations" definitely includes Vietnam, Laos and Cuba. I think that saying that the US is in a Cold-War like standoff with these nations is clearly incorrect.

"China has become an economic powerhouse in the world. The population is booming and the jobs are appearing like a wildfire." I agree with this, but I don't think this is entirely a good thing. The One Child Policy, while being phased out, showed that China didn't really want, or need, the rapid population growth. Overpopulation can lead to pollution, and we're already seeing economical segregation rapidly increasing in China, as the rich hold the wealth, and everyone else is without the kind of funds they possess, and live in slum-like areas, or rurally, without money to get enough human rights. China are more likely to be focusing on water, pollution, etc. rather than challenging the US, because nuclear war is incredibly unlikely. A tiny fraction of many nation's nuclear prowess would lead to nuclear war.
"With wealth, comes militarism." I don't necessarily agree. The modern-day is different from the past. Like it or not, human rights, population, technology and pacifism are all on the rise. So we can't draw conclusions from the past (I may be wrong but that's what I think you're doing.) because militarism used to be in almost every nation.
I agree that China has been aggressive to some level, and spent money on nukes. However, they should be given the benefit of the doubt. The US and China are economic rivals, so of course China wouldn't want the US to have more nukes.

Russia has made some deals with China militarily. That doesn't mean they're united at all; I don't see China and Russia "uniting against a common enemy", really. The differences are too numerous, and the US disagreements are really the only thing they have in common.

The need for a long-range missile is to defend against a long-range missile. Just because it's capable of targeting the US, doesn't mean it will. Every nation has some need for self-defence, I think, because nuclear war is only an absolutely terrible idea if the opponent can fight back with nukes (on a nationalistic level, of course there are many ethical reasons against it too.)

Will the US expand their missile program against China? I don't think so. The US still thinks, whether correct or not, Russia is its most prominent enemy. Trump and Clinton are debating Russian foreign policy more than the Chinese, and the Russian conflict in Iraq and the Ukraine is more widely protested than the Chinese conquest of the South China Sea.
The US is spending more and more on defence because of a few factors;
1. Inflation. As money is worth less, more must be spent.
2. Global nuclear power inflation. Most of the nationalists inside the US don't want to fall behind on a nuclear level, and the US is a democracy. The presidency doesn't decide everything- the people have more say than we might think.
3. Nationalism.
4. The ACTUAL CONFLICT THEY ARE IN with ISIS. I don't agree that they've been at war since 9/11, but the West is fighting ISIS and ISIS is getting more desperate (i.e; they are developing nuclear programs. One nuke is dangerous. Incredibly dangerous.)

@Cyber warfare; I never said China had good relations with the US, but 42% isn't a standoff. It just isn't, however you look at it. And China not intervening against the hackers is most likely a nationalistic move. If you are A, the leader of a group who are, say, teenagers who think they're tough, and B's group is a rival gang, and one of your members hacks into the social media of B, say, then are you going to stop them, even if you have an agreement with team B? Sure, it isn't particularly ethical. But that's what it boils down to, except that it's more like the entire argument is just on social media.

"Now, to the controversial topic of North Korea. North Korea is definitely a childish country looking to impose fear on the democratic nations. They have recently been performing missile tests and building their nuclear arsenal. The threat of North Korea is not as significant as the situation with China. However, they have continually threatened US allies such as South Korea and Japan and US intervention has been needed to protect democracy in the East."
I agree. I don't think this means we have any sort of standoffwith North Korea.
South Korea resents Japan too; I don't think a resentment of a US-allied nation causes much standoff TBH.
And North Korea will most likely not be sponsored by China if a war starts? I'm pretty sure China don't need their cities nuked and the worst destroyed because North Korea wanted South Korean land. That might just be me but I think that's basic common sense.
Debate Round No. 2
JacuPro

Pro

The US is at a Cold War-like Status with the following countries:
- China
-North Korea

These are the countries influenced by the Soviet Union during the real Cold War. Now, they continue the legacy of the communist intentions.

The other East Asian countries are not at a Cold War Standoff necessarily.

In the argument when you said, "The One Child Policy...nuclear war is incredibly unlikely," that is somewhat true. The "rapid population growth" is an issue in China but it presents another factor for expansion and neo-imperialism. As the country grows past its limits, the Chinese will have to find new territory for the most populous country in the world. As seen in the Cold War, the Soviet Union had to expand beyond its limits and spread its influence(not necessarily for population reasons though). This search for available land could lead to imperialistic patterns seen in the 20th century and possibly conflict with neighboring countries, specifically Taiwan(U.S. ally), South Korea, and many other East Asian countries. Also, on the topic of energy, China has created a new Five Year Plan(example of influence from Communist USSR) to achieve lower levels of air and water pollution. However, is that their true focus? The world had to pressure China into making such actions in the first place because of how horrid the smog levels were becoming. China was only "investing nearly $90 billion in 2014" for renewable sources of energy. As said in my earlier argument, the Chinese Defense spending is on the rise and rising much faster than the budget for renewable sources of energy.

"With wealth, comes militarism". Not all countries follow this pattern. It is only exemplified in countries that seek to use their wealth to gain political, territorial, and military power. Obviously, countries like Norway or Sweden are wealthy countries but they aren't militaristic. They don't have the same goals as China though. Also, the past is important because it affects the present. Militarism has occurred since the earliest of times, ex. expansion of the Roman standing army forces. Militarism was a primary component of WW2 conflicts in Europe, with fascist Dictator Adolf Hitler leading the way in mass production of military vehicles and weapons. The USSR had a similar process of building up their military and their nuclear arsenal. Now, the Chinese are experimenting with new weapon systems and long-range missiles. Why does a country need missiles? Why does a country keep more than a few missiles? To compete with other countries and to maintain power and protection. China saw the U.S. with missiles, India with missiles, the USSR with missiles. China had to join the party. Their booming economic gains and industrialization provided the wealth, their population provided the labor. Now, all they needed was a communist regime which would lead them to the new age of warfare.

China and Russia are very close. Being that Russia had economic and military ties with China during the Cold War, that caused their relations to grow over time. Even today, "China and Russia have increased their security, economic and diplomatic relationship, complicating an already fragile Asia-Pacific region. Many analysts have viewed this enhanced collaboration as the beginning of a partnership set on destabilizing the Western-led order and diminishing the capacity for the United States to influence strategic outcomes in the region". That seems like a very close relationship to me, to be able to allow the Russians to have influence in the Pacific commercially and with their own military.

You said, "The need for a long-range missile is to defend against a long-range missile". Now, when I said that countries compete, I meant that they compete for power and control. If there are rivals in my way of prosperity, I would compete with them to achieve my own destiny. China, with their bolstering nuclear programs and defense programs are created to compete with the Western World and their systems. Yes, there is a need for defense "against a long-range missile", and that also proves my point. In the Cold War, countries like the US and USSR competed in nuclear production. Innovation led to innovation. The United States felt the need to create more warheads to defend against Soviet warheads. This situation is happening in China today, they're building missiles to "defend against a long-range missile" and also compete with the world on a nuclear and military level.

Also, when you say "Russia is its(US) most prominent enemy...Trump and Clinton are debating Russian foreign policy more than the Chinese", that's somewhat false. Trump and Clinton are debating about Russian "hackers" more than any foreign policy issues, and if there is a foreign policy issue, it could be the situation in Syria. However, the talk of hackers has been a headline for weeks now. The candidates have both spoken about the situation and whether or not the accusations are true that they're hacking the election process is another debate. Also, news coverage on a certain topic often subsides over time, that doesn't necessarily justify that the topic is more controversial than another. The South China Sea situation is definitely an eruption in the making with all the territorial disputes being formed there.

Back on Cyber Warfare. This is a new battleground for Cold War-like tensions. The issue boils down to national security of our country. These hackers are focusing on hacking congressional accounts and other defense accounts in order to gain intelligence on US operations. This is not a social media issue, it's a matter of national security

Finally, on North Korea. The US has a physical standoff with the North Koreans at the Korean border as the US has already sent defense systems to engage North Korean invasions. However, it's also a Cold-War Standoff. North Korea vs. South Korea. The U.S. would definitely support the South Koreans; however, the Chinese would support the North Koreans like they did in the original Cold War. Back then, military support wasn't strong, but it was mostly advocation for North Korea and commercial treaties which would help support North Korea in its efforts. Today, China would most likely not fight in a war like that; instead, they would support North Korea possibly with military armament like they did in the real Cold War. Remember, the Cold War did not directly involve USSR and Chinese troops vs American troops. It was a war fought in other locations like Vietnam and Korean war with the communist parties supporting communist regimes and the democratic countries supporting democratic parties. There was no evidence of USSR troops fighting American troops. Today, there may not be clear evidence of Chinese troops fighting US troops, but there will be involvement in other countries as the Chinese and US vie for power.

http://nationalinterest.org...
http://www.cfr.org...
Tranquillium

Con

First off, I'd like to thank my opponent for a good and challenging debate.
In response to your points;
"The US is at a Cold War-like Status with the following countries:
- China
-North Korea

These are the countries influenced by the Soviet Union during the real Cold War. Now, they continue the legacy of the communist intentions."
1. This isn't really what the title says, either.
2. You're acting like the Soviet Union disbanded so that China and NK could continue its legacy? I can give so many other examples of countries that were IN the Soviet Union, never mind influenced (Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc.) and many of them are still very close to Russia today. Cuba was definitely influenced by the Soviet Union. Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechia; all of them were very close to the Soviet Union. What you seem to be implying was not the case. The Soviet Union disbanded. Its spirit is not continuing through China and North Korea.

"In the argument when you said, "The One Child Policy...nuclear war is incredibly unlikely," that is somewhat true. The "rapid population growth" is an issue in China but it presents another factor for expansion and neo-imperialism. As the country grows past its limits, the Chinese will have to find new territory for the most populous country in the world. As seen in the Cold War, the Soviet Union had to expand beyond its limits and spread its influence(not necessarily for population reasons though). This search for available land could lead to imperialistic patterns seen in the 20th century and possibly conflict with neighboring countries, specifically Taiwan(U.S. ally), South Korea, and many other East Asian countries. Also, on the topic of energy, China has created a new Five Year Plan(example of influence from Communist USSR) to achieve lower levels of air and water pollution. However, is that their true focus? The world had to pressure China into making such actions in the first place because of how horrid the smog levels were becoming. China was only "investing nearly $90 billion in 2014" for renewable sources of energy. As said in my earlier argument, the Chinese Defense spending is on the rise and rising much faster than the budget for renewable sources of energy."

You say that Chinese overpopulation will make them have to expand. But look at Tibet, look at the whole of Western China! They already have so much land which is practically empty, so if the city-dwellers won't move west, why would they move to regions where the population will be hostile and the government won't have full control?
And again, the USSR doesn't exist. It can't really influence modern-day China, because it just isn't present! It's been almost 25 years since the USSR existed, and the influence is gradually being phased out as those who used to be children claim power.

And sure, militarism has existed since less enlightened times, when humans weren't as developed. Atheism would get you executed, and cultures were separated with a "they're not the same! they're infidels, they're the enemy!" attitude. But now, the Earth has been explored, the Internet provides communication, and even if you don't have Internet, it's easier to move around the world. Nowadays, it's better to think of nuke owners like an elite club, who will destroy the world if they fight each other. Sure, China joined the party and they're protecting themselves. Is that worse than the US? The US spent $596 billion on military spending this year. China are spending 214 billion. (Source- https://sipri.org....) It doesn't really sound like China are trying to be very aggressive to me, especially seeing as they're the ones who are trying to catch up!

Sure, China and Russia had economic and military ties during the Cold War. Because they were both communist and were two big and bordering countries with a lot in common. China and Russia being close doesn't mean that an automatic Cold War is triggered. China is making improvements in its US relations, and vice versa. China is westernising, and so is Russia.

The US has more nuclear efforts than China. The US intervenes in the Middle East and is every bit as aggressive as China. Hell, the US has had way, way more military activity. Nuclear production is advancing in every major country, not just the USA and China.

As for Cyber Warfare, I'm not sure that congressional have been the main target of hacking? I think it's more about the information they provide towards all the people in the U.S. I also don't think that China would be trying to hack into the US systems more than anybody else- sure, there are conflicts, but why put the world's state at risk? Nobody wants a nuclear war, and I don't think there is anyone who would risk one over data right now. It's more likely individuals hoping to gain from that information.

As far as North Korea goes, NK vs SK is indeed very close to a standoff position. However, who would really want to risk a nuclear war? The only chance of a war triggering is that the monarchy/dictatorship, in a burst of nationalism, declares war on South Korea. If China help, they risk a nuclear war, and the death of almost, if not everyone, on earth. If they don't, then sure, you might say they're setting a dangerous precedent, but seeing as North Korea would be the aggressor that's not really true.

Again, I'd like to thank my opponent for the debate. It's now the voter's turn (if there are any, hopefully there will be!) to express their opinions.
Debate Round No. 3
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