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Realist View of China

wrichcirw
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2/23/2013 4:16:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's no secret on this website that I am an unabashed realist, and that I have a hegemonic mindset when it comes to American power projection.

I've said repeatedly that China is the next pre-eminent threat to America, whether or not that currently is the case. Here is John Mearsheimer on China:

The most important question about China is whether or not it will continue to grow economically over the next twenty or thirty years, the way it's grown over the past twenty years. It's almost impossible to say whether or not China is going to look like a giant Hong Kong, from an economic perspective, in the year 2030. It's just very hard to say. My argument is that if China continues to grow economically, it will translate that economic might into military might, and it will become involved in an intense security competition with the United States, similar to the security competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. That intense security competition, in my opinion, is unavoidable.

My argument, as I emphasized to you before, is that all states like to be regional hegemons, they like to dominate their backyard and make sure that no other state can interfere in their backyard. This is the way the United States has long behaved in the Western Hemisphere, it's what the Monroe Doctrine is all about. Well, if China continues to grow economically and militarily, why should we expect China not to imitate the United States? Why should we expect that China won't want to dominate its backyard the way we dominate our backyard? Why should we expect that China won't have a Monroe Doctrine, when we have a Monroe Doctrine?

Now, what does that mean? What do you think we will do or we should do to prevent that inevitability from coming about?

There are two things, I think, that we will do. One is, I think that we'll go to considerable lengths to slow down Chinese economic growth...I tend to believe that it will be almost impossible -- I don't have a lot of hard evidence to support this, but I think it will be almost impossible to slow down Chinese economic growth... The second thing that we will do, which I think will be more effective, is that we'll put in place a containment policy, similar to the containment policy that we had against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, to prevent China from actually dominating Asia. And the balancing coalition will look like this: it will be Japan, Vietnam, Korea, India, Russia, and the United States.

... you can hypothesize reasonable scenarios where a powerful China runs headlong into a powerful United States.


http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu...

I am interested in dissenting opinions to this logic, especially those that continually insist that China is a peaceful nation, and will be for the foreseeable future.

I flat out disagree with Mearsheimer that Russia and China will be on opposing ends of a coalition. Other than that, I see very little to disagree with.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Logic_on_rails
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2/23/2013 4:48:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My views on the subject of international relations aren't complete, yet let's approach this idea.

The interview's age shows when he talks about a containment policy - that has most certainly developed in the past few years. American influence and the no. allies it has in the Asia-Pacific is increasing. Look at Burma - a sudden, recent example of American ideals being adapted slowly. Vietnam has come around recently to strongly supporting US interests (in exchange for support in the South China Sea) . Korea is so heavily influenced by American culture and attempts to emulate it that they'll be on America's side. I'm unsure of which side Russia will be on; that will depend on how sharp China's rise is and what political events occur over the next 20 years.

Clearly, containment is coming into place, while China is beginning to behave more aggressively. That said, the historical information on China tends to suggest that they aren't aggressive or expansionist. I certainly see them attempting to be a regional hegemony (South China Sea, Taiwan etc.) , but I can't see them becoming a global hegemony easily - they'll be a balance of powers before that occurs. Besides, violence in China isn't a very significant cultural matter. I'm optimistic in the sense that I can see China being a reasonably responsible new power, that the great powers can reach an accord, especially given that open warfare has tremendously adverse economic impacts due to globalisation.

As to security measures, I discussed this in the 'USA Military Defense Budget / Overseas Policy' thread, pg. 6 about halfway down. The fact is that the US can't retain it's military advantage for another hundred years. It has about 20 years on the Chinese currently. Let's be kind and say the Chinese military will be as good as the US military in 30 years. The US would be colossally foolish to think that it can retain hegemony through military might. Rome tried to maintain it's empire through force, and the borders slowly receded... until it collapsed. America's best bet is to develop it's technological abilities (which works well for developing a niche in case of a 'soft landing' or when retaining hegemony) and retain it's cultural hegemony. America culture has pervaded much of the world, and the retention of such is sure to keep America in a pre-eminent position for years to come. I've also talked about reclaiming a form of moral ascendency.

Slowing down Chinese growth is impossible without adverse effects for the US and the like. Any slowdown will result from the burst of some bubble within China. As to what China will actually do under Xi Jinping, time will tell. It's interesting to note that Moscow is his first foreign visit though...
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
wrichcirw
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2/23/2013 5:42:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 4:48:00 PM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
My views on the subject of international relations aren't complete, yet let's approach this idea.

The interview's age shows when he talks about a containment policy - that has most certainly developed in the past few years. American influence and the no. allies it has in the Asia-Pacific is increasing. Look at Burma - a sudden, recent example of American ideals being adapted slowly. Vietnam has come around recently to strongly supporting US interests (in exchange for support in the South China Sea) . Korea is so heavily influenced by American culture and attempts to emulate it that they'll be on America's side. I'm unsure of which side Russia will be on; that will depend on how sharp China's rise is and what political events occur over the next 20 years.

Clearly, containment is coming into place, while China is beginning to behave more aggressively. That said, the historical information on China tends to suggest that they aren't aggressive or expansionist. I certainly see them attempting to be a regional hegemony (South China Sea, Taiwan etc.) , but I can't see them becoming a global hegemony easily - they'll be a balance of powers before that occurs. Besides, violence in China isn't a very significant cultural matter. I'm optimistic in the sense that I can see China being a reasonably responsible new power, that the great powers can reach an accord, especially given that open warfare has tremendously adverse economic impacts due to globalisation.

As to security measures, I discussed this in the 'USA Military Defense Budget / Overseas Policy' thread, pg. 6 about halfway down. The fact is that the US can't retain it's military advantage for another hundred years. It has about 20 years on the Chinese currently. Let's be kind and say the Chinese military will be as good as the US military in 30 years. The US would be colossally foolish to think that it can retain hegemony through military might. Rome tried to maintain it's empire through force, and the borders slowly receded... until it collapsed. America's best bet is to develop it's technological abilities (which works well for developing a niche in case of a 'soft landing' or when retaining hegemony) and retain it's cultural hegemony. America culture has pervaded much of the world, and the retention of such is sure to keep America in a pre-eminent position for years to come. I've also talked about reclaiming a form of moral ascendency.

Slowing down Chinese growth is impossible without adverse effects for the US and the like. Any slowdown will result from the burst of some bubble within China. As to what China will actually do under Xi Jinping, time will tell. It's interesting to note that Moscow is his first foreign visit though...

As always, I appreciate your input. I largely agree with everything you wrote here.

I bolded parts of contention/clarification:

1) I think China's lack of aggressive/expansionistic history has a lot to do with its geography. Mearsheimer makes a big deal about the "stopping power of water" because of his Eurocentric perspective. In China, you have different types of "stopping power". Water was certainly important, i.e. Japan. So was disease, i.e. the Khmer Empire. Then you have the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert, and whatever desert comprises Xinjiang/East Turkmenistan. I posit that China was extremely aggressive, but geographical barriers, and then the ushering of China's own dark ages due to Mongol conquest, hindered its expansion.

2) I've taken what I consider to be a holistic approach to world history, which is almost ironic because my approach seems to fly in the face of what is typically accepted as world history. I've taken a largely politico-economic viewpoint, and little else. From this viewpoint, I observe that technological advances seem to be attributed to hegemonic states, IMHO due to the "peace dividend" afforded to these hegemonies - instead of concentrating on constant warfare, they concentrate on economy. For imperial China, this more or less ended with the Mongols. For Rome, this ended with the Germans. For America, I believe this will end with China's re-ascension.

3) I fully agree with the significance of the Moscow point. To my knowledge, Putin was re-elected on an anti-American platform. Exactly what we did to deserve this escapes me, especially if you take Bush's "Putin is my friend" comments at face value. What this means to me is that my theory on American hegemony excluding Russia/China is spot on, and that Putin played Bush for the dunsky we all know him to be.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/23/2013 5:59:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 5:12:45 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:


Great synopsis video on the subject. This was my major in college, so to me it seems like an intro-course. :D

He makes only one mistake I can perceive, which is to assert that the Mongols were the only ones that successfully used the Manchu route to invade China. That route is called the Manchu route for a reason...the Manchus themselves also used it to successfully invade China to start the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. :D

I also disagree with his conclusion. He asserts that China's neighbors are innately hostile to China and would warm up to US coddling to contain China. I am almost certain this is not the case...trade with China and SE Asia, for example, is almost the same size as China's trade with the US...except China IMPORTS from this region. These export nations are very enthusiastic about strengthening ties with China. Then there's China's forays into Africa as well. I think the head of some sort of pan-African governing entity is half Chinese, half African. Overall, I see China's influence growing, and the geographic hurdles intrinsic to maintaining US hegemony in the East will take its toll.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
malcolmxy
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2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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2/23/2013 7:10:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 4:16:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
It's no secret on this website that I am an unabashed realist, and that I have a hegemonic mindset when it comes to American power projection.

I've said repeatedly that China is the next pre-eminent threat to America, whether or not that currently is the case. Here is John Mearsheimer on China:

The most important question about China is whether or not it will continue to grow economically over the next twenty or thirty years, the way it's grown over the past twenty years. It's almost impossible to say whether or not China is going to look like a giant Hong Kong, from an economic perspective, in the year 2030. It's just very hard to say. My argument is that if China continues to grow economically, it will translate that economic might into military might, and it will become involved in an intense security competition with the United States, similar to the security competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. That intense security competition, in my opinion, is unavoidable.

My argument, as I emphasized to you before, is that all states like to be regional hegemons, they like to dominate their backyard and make sure that no other state can interfere in their backyard. This is the way the United States has long behaved in the Western Hemisphere, it's what the Monroe Doctrine is all about. Well, if China continues to grow economically and militarily, why should we expect China not to imitate the United States? Why should we expect that China won't want to dominate its backyard the way we dominate our backyard? Why should we expect that China won't have a Monroe Doctrine, when we have a Monroe Doctrine?

Now, what does that mean? What do you think we will do or we should do to prevent that inevitability from coming about?

There are two things, I think, that we will do. One is, I think that we'll go to considerable lengths to slow down Chinese economic growth...I tend to believe that it will be almost impossible -- I don't have a lot of hard evidence to support this, but I think it will be almost impossible to slow down Chinese economic growth... The second thing that we will do, which I think will be more effective, is that we'll put in place a containment policy, similar to the containment policy that we had against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, to prevent China from actually dominating Asia. And the balancing coalition will look like this: it will be Japan, Vietnam, Korea, India, Russia, and the United States.

... you can hypothesize reasonable scenarios where a powerful China runs headlong into a powerful United States.


http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu...

I am interested in dissenting opinions to this logic, especially those that continually insist that China is a peaceful nation, and will be for the foreseeable future.

I flat out disagree with Mearsheimer that Russia and China will be on opposing ends of a coalition. Other than that, I see very little to disagree with.

I know this is irrelevant to absolutely everything, but would you mind just indulging a shot in the dark I have?

Are you a freshman or junior in college at the moment?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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2/23/2013 7:11:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 7:10:22 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 2/23/2013 4:16:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
It's no secret on this website that I am an unabashed realist, and that I have a hegemonic mindset when it comes to American power projection.

I've said repeatedly that China is the next pre-eminent threat to America, whether or not that currently is the case. Here is John Mearsheimer on China:

The most important question about China is whether or not it will continue to grow economically over the next twenty or thirty years, the way it's grown over the past twenty years. It's almost impossible to say whether or not China is going to look like a giant Hong Kong, from an economic perspective, in the year 2030. It's just very hard to say. My argument is that if China continues to grow economically, it will translate that economic might into military might, and it will become involved in an intense security competition with the United States, similar to the security competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. That intense security competition, in my opinion, is unavoidable.

My argument, as I emphasized to you before, is that all states like to be regional hegemons, they like to dominate their backyard and make sure that no other state can interfere in their backyard. This is the way the United States has long behaved in the Western Hemisphere, it's what the Monroe Doctrine is all about. Well, if China continues to grow economically and militarily, why should we expect China not to imitate the United States? Why should we expect that China won't want to dominate its backyard the way we dominate our backyard? Why should we expect that China won't have a Monroe Doctrine, when we have a Monroe Doctrine?

Now, what does that mean? What do you think we will do or we should do to prevent that inevitability from coming about?

There are two things, I think, that we will do. One is, I think that we'll go to considerable lengths to slow down Chinese economic growth...I tend to believe that it will be almost impossible -- I don't have a lot of hard evidence to support this, but I think it will be almost impossible to slow down Chinese economic growth... The second thing that we will do, which I think will be more effective, is that we'll put in place a containment policy, similar to the containment policy that we had against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, to prevent China from actually dominating Asia. And the balancing coalition will look like this: it will be Japan, Vietnam, Korea, India, Russia, and the United States.

... you can hypothesize reasonable scenarios where a powerful China runs headlong into a powerful United States.


http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu...

I am interested in dissenting opinions to this logic, especially those that continually insist that China is a peaceful nation, and will be for the foreseeable future.

I flat out disagree with Mearsheimer that Russia and China will be on opposing ends of a coalition. Other than that, I see very little to disagree with.

I know this is irrelevant to absolutely everything, but would you mind just indulging a shot in the dark I have?

Are you a freshman orsophomore in college at the moment?

Fixed.
Skepsikyma
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2/23/2013 7:16:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.

I'm not saying that they would replay WWII, just that the knowledge that Japan isn't neutered militarily would dissuade China from expansion more than the status quo.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Eitan_Zohar
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2/23/2013 8:31:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 5:59:51 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/23/2013 5:12:45 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:


Great synopsis video on the subject. This was my major in college, so to me it seems like an intro-course. :D

He makes only one mistake I can perceive, which is to assert that the Mongols were the only ones that successfully used the Manchu route to invade China. That route is called the Manchu route for a reason...the Manchus themselves also used it to successfully invade China to start the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. :D

I also disagree with his conclusion. He asserts that China's neighbors are innately hostile to China and would warm up to US coddling to contain China. I am almost certain this is not the case...trade with China and SE Asia, for example, is almost the same size as China's trade with the US...except China IMPORTS from this region. These export nations are very enthusiastic about strengthening ties with China. Then there's China's forays into Africa as well. I think the head of some sort of pan-African governing entity is half Chinese, half African. Overall, I see China's influence growing, and the geographic hurdles intrinsic to maintaining US hegemony in the East will take its toll.

Countries are innately hostile when their interests collide. Many of the states in the region are much more loyal to the US than to China, and some, like Japan, have become hostile almost to the point of war. I believe that eventually China will undergo intense internal fracturing, and only then will other countries begin to smell blood and help the process. Much of the developed world, btw, is becoming less dependent on Chinese exports.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
wrichcirw
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2/23/2013 10:51:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 7:11:13 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 2/23/2013 7:10:22 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 2/23/2013 4:16:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Are you a freshman orsophomore in college at the moment?

Fixed.

Neither. :)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/23/2013 10:56:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 8:31:00 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/23/2013 5:59:51 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/23/2013 5:12:45 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:


Great synopsis video on the subject. This was my major in college, so to me it seems like an intro-course. :D

He makes only one mistake I can perceive, which is to assert that the Mongols were the only ones that successfully used the Manchu route to invade China. That route is called the Manchu route for a reason...the Manchus themselves also used it to successfully invade China to start the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. :D

I also disagree with his conclusion. He asserts that China's neighbors are innately hostile to China and would warm up to US coddling to contain China. I am almost certain this is not the case...trade with China and SE Asia, for example, is almost the same size as China's trade with the US...except China IMPORTS from this region. These export nations are very enthusiastic about strengthening ties with China. Then there's China's forays into Africa as well. I think the head of some sort of pan-African governing entity is half Chinese, half African. Overall, I see China's influence growing, and the geographic hurdles intrinsic to maintaining US hegemony in the East will take its toll.

1) Countries are innately hostile when their interests collide. 2) Many of the states in the region are much more loyal to the US than to China, and some, like Japan, have become hostile almost to the point of war. 3) I believe that eventually China will undergo intense internal fracturing, and only then will other countries begin to smell blood and help the process. 4) Much of the developed world, btw, is becoming less dependent on Chinese exports.

1) Wholly agree.
2) Do not agree. Many of these countries were former European colonies and are not exactly friendly to the West. Outside of English-speaking territories and the Phillippines, I believe most of these countries are actually more receptive to Chinese influence. The trade numbers corroborate this opinion.
3) This is the popular Western view. It has been popular ever since Mao took over in 1950. It's been over 60 years, and the West still spouts the same view. A broken clock is correct twice a day.
4) China is also becoming less dependent on exports and is beginning to create a consumer culture. For the foreseeable future, Chinese labor will still be cost-competitive, meaning that the jobs will still migrate there, and their incomes will rise.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/23/2013 10:59:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The most interesting aspect is that China shares one possible aspect in common with many of its neighbors - Islam. Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. Xinjiang in China is home to a long tradition of Hui Muslims. It is possible that something may happen that could spread Islam into China proper. If that happens, China would become friends with the Middle East for the foreseeable future, and add to what is already the most populous religion in the world.

This outcome would truly resemble the Second Coming.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
malcolmxy
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2/23/2013 11:12:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 7:16:44 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.

I'm not saying that they would replay WWII, just that the knowledge that Japan isn't neutered militarily would dissuade China from expansion more than the status quo.

I'm saying that Japan wouldn't build up its military as a threat to China AT ALL. They need China more than they need us.
War is over, if you want it.

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Skepsikyma
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2/24/2013 12:09:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 11:12:26 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 7:16:44 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.

I'm not saying that they would replay WWII, just that the knowledge that Japan isn't neutered militarily would dissuade China from expansion more than the status quo.

I'm saying that Japan wouldn't build up its military as a threat to China AT ALL. They need China more than they need us.

If Japan were so worried about offending China then why were they a hair away from engaging them militarily over Senkaku? I don't think that Japan is a country that would walk on eggshells for fear of annoying China; their actions just don't reflect that sort of assumption at all. And I don't think that militarizing would cripple them terribly even if it did annoy China. I mean Taiwan aggravates them more than pretty much any country on the face of the planet and they haven't been economically crippled by sanctions.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 12:22:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 12:09:47 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 11:12:26 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 7:16:44 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.

I'm not saying that they would replay WWII, just that the knowledge that Japan isn't neutered militarily would dissuade China from expansion more than the status quo.

I'm saying that Japan wouldn't build up its military as a threat to China AT ALL. They need China more than they need us.

If Japan were so worried about offending China then why were they a hair away from engaging them militarily over Senkaku? I don't think that Japan is a country that would walk on eggshells for fear of annoying China; their actions just don't reflect that sort of assumption at all. And I don't think that militarizing would cripple them terribly even if it did annoy China. I mean Taiwan aggravates them more than pretty much any country on the face of the planet and they haven't been economically crippled by sanctions.

Japan currently has more than twice the debtload than what we had at the height of WWII. They can't afford to militarize, unless they default on their debt. If they default on their debt, which is almost wholly self-owned, it will spark a rebellion. Their administration would attempt to find a scapegoat, and the most ready scapegoat (for decades now) would be the US, who still has military bases in Japan proper, who caused the Japanese lost decades by initiating the Plaza Accord, who runs over little children and rapes their women without any recourse, etc etc...

I wholly side with malcolmxy on this one.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 12:51:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Two aspects of Japanese popular culture come to mind.

I'm not an anime freak, but I've seen Akira and Ghost in the Shell.

The movies are relatively sterile plot-wise. Akira the comic book involves a US invasion of Japan to quell the Akira event. GITS has evolved into a huge amount of media...I've seen the anime series and they are excellent. Without giving away too much of the plot, their second season culminates in the US launching an ostensibly undetectable, unprovoked nuclear assault on Japan. The entire plot involves CIA operatives attempting to collude with a rogue element in the Japanese administration hell-bent on starting a war with China/refugee countries.

IMHO, the Japanese are well-aware of their history and know how to play the game inherent with "gentleman's agreement" - style diplomacy. That doesn't mean they're not seething mad about it.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Eitan_Zohar
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2/24/2013 5:55:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 10:59:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The most interesting aspect is that China shares one possible aspect in common with many of its neighbors - Islam. Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. Xinjiang in China is home to a long tradition of Hui Muslims. It is possible that something may happen that could spread Islam into China proper. If that happens, China would become friends with the Middle East for the foreseeable future, and add to what is already the most populous religion in the world.

This outcome would truly resemble the Second Coming.

I'll respond to your arguments later, but really? If China becomes Islamic they'll become allied with the Arabs? That's something you should know better than, given your education and views.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
innomen
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2/24/2013 6:55:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 4:16:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
It's no secret on this website that I am an unabashed realist, and that I have a hegemonic mindset when it comes to American power projection.

I've said repeatedly that China is the next pre-eminent threat to America, whether or not that currently is the case. Here is John Mearsheimer on China:

The most important question about China is whether or not it will continue to grow economically over the next twenty or thirty years, the way it's grown over the past twenty years. It's almost impossible to say whether or not China is going to look like a giant Hong Kong, from an economic perspective, in the year 2030. It's just very hard to say. My argument is that if China continues to grow economically, it will translate that economic might into military might, and it will become involved in an intense security competition with the United States, similar to the security competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. That intense security competition, in my opinion, is unavoidable.

My argument, as I emphasized to you before, is that all states like to be regional hegemons, they like to dominate their backyard and make sure that no other state can interfere in their backyard. This is the way the United States has long behaved in the Western Hemisphere, it's what the Monroe Doctrine is all about. Well, if China continues to grow economically and militarily, why should we expect China not to imitate the United States? Why should we expect that China won't want to dominate its backyard the way we dominate our backyard? Why should we expect that China won't have a Monroe Doctrine, when we have a Monroe Doctrine?

Now, what does that mean? What do you think we will do or we should do to prevent that inevitability from coming about?

There are two things, I think, that we will do. One is, I think that we'll go to considerable lengths to slow down Chinese economic growth...I tend to believe that it will be almost impossible -- I don't have a lot of hard evidence to support this, but I think it will be almost impossible to slow down Chinese economic growth... The second thing that we will do, which I think will be more effective, is that we'll put in place a containment policy, similar to the containment policy that we had against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, to prevent China from actually dominating Asia. And the balancing coalition will look like this: it will be Japan, Vietnam, Korea, India, Russia, and the United States.

... you can hypothesize reasonable scenarios where a powerful China runs headlong into a powerful United States.


http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu...

I am interested in dissenting opinions to this logic, especially those that continually insist that China is a peaceful nation, and will be for the foreseeable future.

I flat out disagree with Mearsheimer that Russia and China will be on opposing ends of a coalition. Other than that, I see very little to disagree with.

Two things. First, that's not what the Monroe Doctrine is all about.

Secondly, it is not the way of marxism to spread through direct military confrontation with the west. You don't actually suggest a probable next step for the Chinese, but have lots of innuendo that I may or may not agree with. Attacking or expanding through their hemisphere is probable to a point. Incorporating Japan into their sphere of political and economic domination is unlikely because it would spark a direct conflict with the US. It is not the way of communists like this to have direct conflict with the US, or it's proxies, but rather have a continual policy of peaceful coexistence and expansion. Read Adam Ulam, although it is an illustration of the USSR, it readily applies to China.

I challenge the OP to concrete next steps that you believe are likely to happen by China.
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2/24/2013 8:47:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 5:55:16 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/23/2013 10:59:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The most interesting aspect is that China shares one possible aspect in common with many of its neighbors - Islam. Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. Xinjiang in China is home to a long tradition of Hui Muslims. It is possible that something may happen that could spread Islam into China proper. If that happens, China would become friends with the Middle East for the foreseeable future, and add to what is already the most populous religion in the world.

This outcome would truly resemble the Second Coming.

I'll respond to your arguments later, but really? If China becomes Islamic they'll become allied with the Arabs? That's something you should know better than, given your education and views.

You're not making an argument here. Ad hominem gets you nowhere with me.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 8:53:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 6:55:22 AM, innomen wrote:
At 2/23/2013 4:16:10 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
It's no secret on this website that I am an unabashed realist, and that I have a hegemonic mindset when it comes to American power projection.

I've said repeatedly that China is the next pre-eminent threat to America, whether or not that currently is the case. Here is John Mearsheimer on China:

The most important question about China is whether or not it will continue to grow economically over the next twenty or thirty years, the way it's grown over the past twenty years. It's almost impossible to say whether or not China is going to look like a giant Hong Kong, from an economic perspective, in the year 2030. It's just very hard to say. My argument is that if China continues to grow economically, it will translate that economic might into military might, and it will become involved in an intense security competition with the United States, similar to the security competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. That intense security competition, in my opinion, is unavoidable.

My argument, as I emphasized to you before, is that all states like to be regional hegemons, they like to dominate their backyard and make sure that no other state can interfere in their backyard. This is the way the United States has long behaved in the Western Hemisphere, it's what the Monroe Doctrine is all about. Well, if China continues to grow economically and militarily, why should we expect China not to imitate the United States? Why should we expect that China won't want to dominate its backyard the way we dominate our backyard? Why should we expect that China won't have a Monroe Doctrine, when we have a Monroe Doctrine?

Now, what does that mean? What do you think we will do or we should do to prevent that inevitability from coming about?

There are two things, I think, that we will do. One is, I think that we'll go to considerable lengths to slow down Chinese economic growth...I tend to believe that it will be almost impossible -- I don't have a lot of hard evidence to support this, but I think it will be almost impossible to slow down Chinese economic growth... The second thing that we will do, which I think will be more effective, is that we'll put in place a containment policy, similar to the containment policy that we had against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, to prevent China from actually dominating Asia. And the balancing coalition will look like this: it will be Japan, Vietnam, Korea, India, Russia, and the United States.

... you can hypothesize reasonable scenarios where a powerful China runs headlong into a powerful United States.


http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu...

I am interested in dissenting opinions to this logic, especially those that continually insist that China is a peaceful nation, and will be for the foreseeable future.

I flat out disagree with Mearsheimer that Russia and China will be on opposing ends of a coalition. Other than that, I see very little to disagree with.

Two things. First, that's not what the Monroe Doctrine is all about.

Secondly, it is not the way of marxism to spread through direct military confrontation with the west. You don't actually suggest a probable next step for the Chinese, but have lots of innuendo that I may or may not agree with. Attacking or expanding through their hemisphere is probable to a point. Incorporating Japan into their sphere of political and economic domination is unlikely because it would spark a direct conflict with the US. It is not the way of communists like this to have direct conflict with the US, or it's proxies, but rather have a continual policy of peaceful coexistence and expansion. Read Adam Ulam, although it is an illustration of the USSR, it readily applies to China.

I challenge the OP to concrete next steps that you believe are likely to happen by China.

1) What is your interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine? I see nothing wrong with his implications.

2) The Chinese are about as Marxist as Gandhi was fascist. If I understand you correctly, the words have little meaning. Do you truly believe China is currently operating under a socialist model? We are more communist than China currently is.

From a realist perspective, "Maoist" or "communist" is nothing but a banner. You can change your banner and have little to no material change in your political affiliation. We are proof of this. So is China.

If you're actually describing an economic system, you don't have proper perspective on this topic.

3) There's no need to take your challenge. That's like challenging McDonalds to give out the exact addresses of their next franchises. What is important is to know that they are expanding into your area.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Skepsikyma
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2/24/2013 11:03:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:09:47 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 11:12:26 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 7:16:44 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.

I'm not saying that they would replay WWII, just that the knowledge that Japan isn't neutered militarily would dissuade China from expansion more than the status quo.

I'm saying that Japan wouldn't build up its military as a threat to China AT ALL. They need China more than they need us.

If Japan were so worried about offending China then why were they a hair away from engaging them militarily over Senkaku? I don't think that Japan is a country that would walk on eggshells for fear of annoying China; their actions just don't reflect that sort of assumption at all. And I don't think that militarizing would cripple them terribly even if it did annoy China. I mean Taiwan aggravates them more than pretty much any country on the face of the planet and they haven't been economically crippled by sanctions.

Japan currently has more than twice the debtload than what we had at the height of WWII. They can't afford to militarize, unless they default on their debt. If they default on their debt, which is almost wholly self-owned, it will spark a rebellion. Their administration would attempt to find a scapegoat, and the most ready scapegoat (for decades now) would be the US, who still has military bases in Japan proper, who caused the Japanese lost decades by initiating the Plaza Accord, who runs over little children and rapes their women without any recourse, etc etc...

I wholly side with malcolmxy on this one.

I thought that Japan didn't have the same qualms over inflation that we did. As far as I see it, moderately increased military spending could be funded by a devaluation of the currency, which could have the triple effect of economic stimulation, the easing of chronic endaka, and the prodding of Japan's aging population to spend their vast savings reserves ($19 trilllion, I believe).
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 12:07:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 11:03:12 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:09:47 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 11:12:26 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 7:16:44 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:57:11 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/23/2013 6:05:56 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree that China has historically been restrained by geography, and I would add that water poses much less of an issue in this era, and that that's where they're focusing on expanding their influence at the moment. Observe their recent technological developments focusing largely on neutralizing our carrier fleets. I think that they want control over Taiwan and resource-rich islands relatively proximal to the mainland.

Personally I think that it would be in our best interest to free Japan from the demilitarization that we imposed upon them so that they might have a chance to at least provide some sort of counter to China.

You're assuming they would. I'm not so sure this is a correct assumption. China is more important to Japan's economy than we are, and this kind of aggression would lead to economic sanctions, which Japan cannot endure at this point.

I'm not saying that they would replay WWII, just that the knowledge that Japan isn't neutered militarily would dissuade China from expansion more than the status quo.

I'm saying that Japan wouldn't build up its military as a threat to China AT ALL. They need China more than they need us.

If Japan were so worried about offending China then why were they a hair away from engaging them militarily over Senkaku? I don't think that Japan is a country that would walk on eggshells for fear of annoying China; their actions just don't reflect that sort of assumption at all. And I don't think that militarizing would cripple them terribly even if it did annoy China. I mean Taiwan aggravates them more than pretty much any country on the face of the planet and they haven't been economically crippled by sanctions.

Japan currently has more than twice the debtload than what we had at the height of WWII. They can't afford to militarize, unless they default on their debt. If they default on their debt, which is almost wholly self-owned, it will spark a rebellion. Their administration would attempt to find a scapegoat, and the most ready scapegoat (for decades now) would be the US, who still has military bases in Japan proper, who caused the Japanese lost decades by initiating the Plaza Accord, who runs over little children and rapes their women without any recourse, etc etc...

I wholly side with malcolmxy on this one.

I thought that Japan didn't have the same qualms over inflation that we did. As far as I see it, moderately increased military spending could be funded by a devaluation of the currency, which could have the triple effect of economic stimulation, the easing of chronic endaka, and the prodding of Japan's aging population to spend their vast savings reserves ($19 trilllion, I believe).

The whole point of the Plaza Accord was to APPRECIATE Japan's currency, so that their products would be less competitive vis a vis the US.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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2/24/2013 12:48:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 12:07:35 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/24/2013 11:03:12 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Japan currently has more than twice the debtload than what we had at the height of WWII. They can't afford to militarize, unless they default on their debt. If they default on their debt, which is almost wholly self-owned, it will spark a rebellion. Their administration would attempt to find a scapegoat, and the most ready scapegoat (for decades now) would be the US, who still has military bases in Japan proper, who caused the Japanese lost decades by initiating the Plaza Accord, who runs over little children and rapes their women without any recourse, etc etc...

I wholly side with malcolmxy on this one.

I thought that Japan didn't have the same qualms over inflation that we did. As far as I see it, moderately increased military spending could be funded by a devaluation of the currency, which could have the triple effect of economic stimulation, the easing of chronic endaka, and the prodding of Japan's aging population to spend their vast savings reserves ($19 trilllion, I believe).

The whole point of the Plaza Accord was to APPRECIATE Japan's currency, so that their products would be less competitive vis a vis the US.

Yes, I understand this. Which is why devaluation of their currency brought on by moderate monetary inflation-funded military investment wouldn't be a bad thing for them. Japan wants to both depreciate their currency and discourage savings at this point.

At this rate we're pushing them into the arms of the Chinese by continuing to declaw them after over sixty years of being our staunch ally while also pressuring them to undermine the low value of their currency which their economic model depended on. I'm saying that allowing them to militarize coupled with allowing them to take steps to recover from their recession would help to transform them into a stronger ally. With China's specialized military technological advancements we simply cannot rely on traditional power projection for much longer. And China saw what happened to Japan after the Plaza Accord, and they aren't about to make the same mistake despite mounting international pressure to do so, so we cannot undermine them like we did Japan. It's time to start treating our allies in East Asia like they are allies instead of vassal states if we want to maintain any vestige of hegemony. Yes, it entails the surrender of some power, but the alternative is to be replaced by the Chinese.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 2:44:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 12:48:21 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:07:35 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/24/2013 11:03:12 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Japan currently has more than twice the debtload than what we had at the height of WWII. They can't afford to militarize, unless they default on their debt. If they default on their debt, which is almost wholly self-owned, it will spark a rebellion. Their administration would attempt to find a scapegoat, and the most ready scapegoat (for decades now) would be the US, who still has military bases in Japan proper, who caused the Japanese lost decades by initiating the Plaza Accord, who runs over little children and rapes their women without any recourse, etc etc...

I wholly side with malcolmxy on this one.

I thought that Japan didn't have the same qualms over inflation that we did. As far as I see it, moderately increased military spending could be funded by a devaluation of the currency, which could have the triple effect of economic stimulation, the easing of chronic endaka, and the prodding of Japan's aging population to spend their vast savings reserves ($19 trilllion, I believe).

The whole point of the Plaza Accord was to APPRECIATE Japan's currency, so that their products would be less competitive vis a vis the US.

Yes, I understand this. Which is why devaluation of their currency brought on by moderate monetary inflation-funded military investment wouldn't be a bad thing for them. Japan wants to both depreciate their currency and discourage savings at this point.

At this rate we're pushing them into the arms of the Chinese by continuing to declaw them after over sixty years of being our staunch ally while also pressuring them to undermine the low value of their currency which their economic model depended on. I'm saying that allowing them to militarize coupled with allowing them to take steps to recover from their recession would help to transform them into a stronger ally. With China's specialized military technological advancements we simply cannot rely on traditional power projection for much longer. And China saw what happened to Japan after the Plaza Accord, and they aren't about to make the same mistake despite mounting international pressure to do so, so we cannot undermine them like we did Japan. It's time to start treating our allies in East Asia like they are allies instead of vassal states if we want to maintain any vestige of hegemony. Yes, it entails the surrender of some power, but the alternative is to be replaced by the Chinese.

Full agreement. However, the feasibility of such an alliance would come into question. Japan would naturally gravitate towards Chinese markets and less towards US markets based on cost of doing trade if nothing else. They do need some prodding (stick or carrot) in order to gravitate towards the US.

Personally IMHO the only way this would have worked out is if we were able to push deeper into East Asia than just Japan and formed a legitimate alliance there like NATO. I believe the opportunity for such a push has passed. I am also pessimistic about a containment-oriented strategy, because China's population is four times our own. The USSR demographically, and thus economically, could not compete, which is why containment worked.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 2:53:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 5:55:16 AM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/23/2013 10:59:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The most interesting aspect is that China shares one possible aspect in common with many of its neighbors - Islam. Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. Xinjiang in China is home to a long tradition of Hui Muslims. It is possible that something may happen that could spread Islam into China proper. If that happens, China would become friends with the Middle East for the foreseeable future, and add to what is already the most populous religion in the world.

This outcome would truly resemble the Second Coming.

I'll respond to your arguments later, but really? If China becomes Islamic they'll become allied with the Arabs? That's something you should know better than, given your education and views.

Also, just to address the logic in your statement directly:

Realist considerations would dictate that South Korea find something...anything...to somehow increase its relative standing vis a vis the gigantic powers next to them - Japan, China, Russia. They found something...the US. Their society is rabidly conforming to US culture in an appeal to the US to maintain its position as an off-shore balancer. They are now a Christian plurality, whereas in Japan and China Christianity barely has a toehold.

Religion is IMHO a very significant indicator as to where popular sentiment lies. Culturally, there's no reason why Christianity would be easier for Koreans to adopt than for Chinese or Japanese. Therefore, this trend is IMHO firmly a realpolitik trend.

Apply this logic x 20 if China becomes Islamist.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Skepsikyma
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2/24/2013 4:17:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 2:44:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:48:21 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:07:35 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/24/2013 11:03:12 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/24/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Japan currently has more than twice the debtload than what we had at the height of WWII. They can't afford to militarize, unless they default on their debt. If they default on their debt, which is almost wholly self-owned, it will spark a rebellion. Their administration would attempt to find a scapegoat, and the most ready scapegoat (for decades now) would be the US, who still has military bases in Japan proper, who caused the Japanese lost decades by initiating the Plaza Accord, who runs over little children and rapes their women without any recourse, etc etc...

I wholly side with malcolmxy on this one.

I thought that Japan didn't have the same qualms over inflation that we did. As far as I see it, moderately increased military spending could be funded by a devaluation of the currency, which could have the triple effect of economic stimulation, the easing of chronic endaka, and the prodding of Japan's aging population to spend their vast savings reserves ($19 trilllion, I believe).

The whole point of the Plaza Accord was to APPRECIATE Japan's currency, so that their products would be less competitive vis a vis the US.

Yes, I understand this. Which is why devaluation of their currency brought on by moderate monetary inflation-funded military investment wouldn't be a bad thing for them. Japan wants to both depreciate their currency and discourage savings at this point.

At this rate we're pushing them into the arms of the Chinese by continuing to declaw them after over sixty years of being our staunch ally while also pressuring them to undermine the low value of their currency which their economic model depended on. I'm saying that allowing them to militarize coupled with allowing them to take steps to recover from their recession would help to transform them into a stronger ally. With China's specialized military technological advancements we simply cannot rely on traditional power projection for much longer. And China saw what happened to Japan after the Plaza Accord, and they aren't about to make the same mistake despite mounting international pressure to do so, so we cannot undermine them like we did Japan. It's time to start treating our allies in East Asia like they are allies instead of vassal states if we want to maintain any vestige of hegemony. Yes, it entails the surrender of some power, but the alternative is to be replaced by the Chinese.

Full agreement. However, the feasibility of such an alliance would come into question. Japan would naturally gravitate towards Chinese markets and less towards US markets based on cost of doing trade if nothing else. They do need some prodding (stick or carrot) in order to gravitate towards the US.

Personally IMHO the only way this would have worked out is if we were able to push deeper into East Asia than just Japan and formed a legitimate alliance there like NATO. I believe the opportunity for such a push has passed. I am also pessimistic about a containment-oriented strategy, because China's population is four times our own. The USSR demographically, and thus economically, could not compete, which is why containment worked.

As far as the NATO-ish alliance idea, I think that capitalizing on China's incursion on South China Sea islands (Spratly islands) and Senkaku is a diplomatic window of opportunity which we should seize in order to further unite Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan. South Korea already depends on us to protect them, and Taiwan isn't going to be allied with China anytime soon. I think that establishing a sort of eastern maritime shield would sufficiently contain Chinese territorial expansion, which I see as the most alarming aspect of their ascendance. Militarization coupled with territorial expansion has, historically, not been a good sign.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
wrichcirw
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2/24/2013 9:44:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Niall Ferguson on China, Nov 2011:

Apparently IMF projections are that China will surpass the US economy by 2016. That's news to me...I was under the impression that it would happen around 2025.

Ferguson is a lot more pessimistic than Mearsheimer insofar as containing China.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?