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Japan and South Korea will become Chinese Allies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2021 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 256 times Debate No: 127644
Debate Rounds (3)
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Right now Japan and South Korea are allies of the United States, And some people believe that this alliance will last for a long time. I believe otherwise. A large reason has to do with the cultural and historical ties in East Asia, And how alliances between East Asian nations and other countries panned out in the long term

Long term alliances between nations are shaped by the interactions between the people between the two nations over a period of time. Nations are made of people, And the day to day economic interactions between the people of these nations will shape how the relationship between the two or more countries will be. This tends to also be more significant the closer the countries are geographically. As China's economy grows, Its share of exports and imports to/from South Korea and Japan will increase drastically.

Another big reason have to do with economics but on a deeper level. When nations trade a lot with each other there tends to be a lot of cultural and linguistic exchange. This becomes more powerful the closer the nations are to each other. In the case of South Korea and Japan, Those people originated from China thousands of years ago. As a result, The language system of all these nations are from the same origin, And Chinese, Korean, And Japanese, Are quite close to each other in terms of understanding. By some testimonies, You could learn one of these languages 3 times faster if you learned the other, Compared to only knowing English first. Culturally the countries are quite close to each other as well. All these nations foster an environment of obedience and shame, Where for instance you can't raise your hand to ask questions in class. This is different to the West which is more guilt based but more expressive. In addition, The economic, Political, And judicial systems of these countries are similar to each other at their core. Some quick examples of these similarities are as follows ---

1. Economic --- All 3 countries have a system that pushes for state backed monopolies in every sector of the economy. In South Korea it's Samsung and LC, Japan has Toyota and Sony, In China it's Alibaba and Tencent. This is contrary to the West where monopolies are vilified.
2. Political ---- All East Asian nations don't have much of an election culture. China doesn't have elections at all, But Japan and South Korea aren't that different. The latter two countries have one party that wins most of the elections.
3. Judicial --- All these nations have an extremely high conviction rate compared to the West.

As a quick comparison, A similar thing can be viewed between the English speaking nations. The USA has a similar skeleton of an economic system derived from the UK. For instance, Both of these nations have a stock market that handles a lot of the world's business, London and New York. And both of these stock are considered stable and consistent in growth. This is different from China, Whose stock market is very risky, And Japan's whose stock market has stagnated. The link below will show the best performing stock market by country over the last century, And in that list half are English speaking nations with similar economic policies.

Lastly, To determine the future of the alliance between the USA, South Korea, And Japan, We need to look at alliances in the past between East Asian nations and the outside world. The focus will be on Japan since this argument isn't covering whether China will become a long time ally of America or not, And because Korea had been controlled by either Japan or China for most of its recent history. Japan first had a naval alliance with Great Britain, Which dissolved over time due to Russia being defeated by Japan shortly after, In the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. Japan did help the Britain in WW1, But mostly it was done to capture some German islands in the Pacific. Later on, The Japanese switched to ally with Germany, Because at the time it seemed like the most dominant in Western Europe, And the most likely to challenge the Soviet Union (basically Russia but with more land). But during the alliance there was very little cooperation between Japan and Germany. You see a pattern here? To sum up these alliances, A driving force of all of them was the pressure put by bordering Russia, And the need to help secure its defense be some other nation. Currently that nation is the USA, And although there is a lot more economic interaction between America and Japan, It likely won't measure up to the economic interaction with China, Who will be a bigger economy than the USA and will be much closer geographically. We can already see this with the lack of a strong linguistic or person to person interaction between Japan/South Korea, And the USA. Very few Japanese or Koreans understand English and vice versa. There has been very little linguistic or personal connection between these two worlds, And China has a big head-start when it comes to contesting this economic relationship.


China will not have the friendship of Ja[an or south Korea.

1. Nations want independence

The countries of east Asia are threatened by china, China has the power to establish complete hegemony over east Asia, And all feel threatened by this, An alliance with china would rip all of these countries sovereignty from them, As china is an overwhelming power, And would quickly make the countries of Japan and Korea into semi vassals.

Such is why each has remined loyal to the US, To protect themselves from Chinese power, Read Tim Marshalls, Prisoners of Geography for a very deep look a my reason. But the summary is, China is growing at an alarming rate, Compared to the other countries of east Asia, Making them extremely powerful, And granting them ability to control the trade routes in the area. This is a problem for them.

2. Historical grievances against china.

There have been multiple invasions of both nations across the years by china, Beyond that more recent things, Such as the support of north Korea, Which has launched missiles pas Tokyo and is a clear threat to South Korea. And the claiming of many Islands in the south china sea, Trying blocking many sea routes. China has invaded Korea many times, And because of it's support for the north, The south is unlikely to find a ally in China.

3. Current ties with the US

The USA is a powerful nation, Still much more powerful than china, Although it is possible it will not be in the near future, At the current rate it will surpass china for decades, Maybe centuries. This is an incentive for both to remain allied with the US. Also the US economic power, And consumer base, S un matched by any other country, And is profitable market, US military tech is also the best in the world, Making it in the best interest of both to remain with the US.

I await your response.
Debate Round No. 1


The arguments you make are valid to an extent, However the issue with them are that they are only looking in the short term, And that they don't take in the much larger picture. Nations do want independence, But your assumption that China wants to annex or forcefully subjugate all the countries around it is just wrong. Contrary to popular belief, China didn't just start claiming the South China sea, Islands belonging to Japan, Or the island of Taiwan itself; instead it made these claims as early as in the 1950s. The thing is, China never rescinded these claims, It just chose not to act on it, And instead focused on building its economy. Once that happened, Japan, South Korea and even Taiwan were happy to set up factories in China in order to outsource their labor, Thus tying all of their economies to China. Right now, China is a more significant trade partner to South Korea and the United States is, And is roughly equal to Japan as trading partner when looking at exports (China once again beats USA when it comes to imports to Japan).

This is also just the beginning, Since China has the potential to grow to four times its economic size from today. Just like how the UK economic system was the skeleton of the US economic system, And due to this and so added changes to the US's system allowed the US to have a GDP per capita higher than that of the UK. The same can be said about East Asia, Where Japan was the general model of modernization, And all the quirks and different ways of doing business originated in Japan's modernization process in the late 19th century. China, South Korea, And Taiwan all copied this model and added their own little improvements, So it's safe to say that China has the potential to reach the same GDP per capita as Japan's. China's economy would be 4 times the size it is now, Or roughly 57 trillion, Or roughly 3 times the size of America's economy. China would dominate in its trading relationship with Japan and South Korea, And this would mean the latter two's economy and society would be shaped to serve China's needs, Over that of the US. To not engage in this increased trading would be a form of economic starvation and isolation that the people of these nations will not accept.

A common rebuttal one may put is that because of the political situation going on between China and other nations, That these other nations will automatically stay US allies. This is partially true and only in the short run. A big part of the reason why this analysis is inaccurate is because it completely ignores the political situation in China. China is a nation where one person can gain control of the Communist Party, And thus the whole of China. Previous leaders after Mao were smart and made themselves small, Quiet, And sometimes embarrassing on camera (as with the case with Hu Jintao). The result were countries who welcomed China economically as their partner, And no one questioned China's increasing influence. This changed in 2013 with Xi Jinping. Xi took a different approach and saw himself as the new Mao. He started acted aggressively as China's leader, And this screwed up all the progress that China made with the international community. The aggressive economic and military action is the reason why China is being seen as a threat. Xi will likely be forced to step down as the leader of the Communist Party once the economic losses start piling up; and yes the party has done this before. In other words, This bridge burning China is doing is temporary, And in the long term China will move towards economically dominating East Asia in the near future.

As a basic comparison, We can look at where I'm from, The United States. In the Western Hemisphere, We are undoubtedly the most influential nation in this part of the world, Making up almost the entire economy of this hemisphere. But it wasn't always like this; at one point America was a small power yet to dominate both continents. How? Canada played a role in burning down the White House, Yet today they are arguably our best ally. We annexed half of Mexico's land, Yet we are 80% of their export market and more people travel between the US Mexico border than in any other border in the world. Compare this to the India Pakistan border, Which is much more violent and far less people crossing it, Despite many times more people living in India and Pakistan. This is an indication of how warm, Relations between the US and Mexico is. By the conquer or be conquered method of geopolitics you're presenting, America should've seen Mexico or Canada inviting Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to counter America's growth. Instead these nations often work with the US against these enemies. This isn't due to moral reasons but rather due to the strong economic relationship between the US and Mexico/Canada. Due to sheer proximity, Having a good relationship with the USA is simply the most prosperous and safe choice for these nations to take, Mostly due to sheer proximity. Consider again another nation who's initial relationship with the USA was good; Cuba. This country got it's start by American liberation from Spanish rule. Eventually though, This same country housed nuclear missiles to aim directly at the American homeland. Why? You could point to a number of reasons, What I believe was the main one was something the US did a year prior, Which was to cut off all trade to the island nation. Strong economic dominance doesn't mean subservience or occupation of a nation. As long as the countries are not militarily threatened by the dominant power, The citizens don't have their living standards drop as a result, And are allowed to act independently, They won't mind too much.

You mentioned Tim Marshall's Prisoners of Geography and I actually read this a while back. The perspective held by the book does boil down to China wanting to control of the sea lanes for trade, And how this is scary for all the nations in the area. In reality, China controlled those sea lanes up until a few centuries ago, It's just that this form of control was quite different from that of the Europeans that came afterwards. What China did was extract tributes, And occasionally interfered in domestic affairs. It also had the undeniable edge in naval superiority in all of Asia. These civilizations though, Were dependent on China and revolved around it as the planets did the Sun. This only changed when Europeans took over by force crushed China, Destroying the whole system. The nations in East Asia and Southeast Asia are voluntarily moving back to a more modern version of this system. China is the biggest trading partner for ASEAN, South Korea, Taiwan and soon Japan, And with this comes great influence. And remember China still has the ability to become 4 times more economically prosperous, And thus four times more dominant. Which leads to my last point.

Even if China doesn't manage to outcompete the USA in both economic and military power, It would still dominate East and possibly Southeast Asia. This is just due to the sheer size of the Pacific Ocean, Who some may forget has more surface area than all of Mars. This means that power projection gets quite hard and it does diminish. Not to mention that unless America focuses all of its attention to East and Southeast Asia (an area halfway across the world), There simply won't be enough military and economic resources that can be diverted to "contain" China. We are right now questioning whether America could box in China by force, And the answer isn't a sure yes anymore. What happens when China becomes 4 times more powerful? China has 4 times the population the USA, And if each person was just half as rich, That would make China's economy twice the size of America's. That's about the disparity America had with the Soviet Union. In the near future, China will obtain the soft power needed to foster a stronger connection with its East Asian neighbors. And eventually, Its hard power will also be just as strong.

I do want to clarify some things. This entire debate from my end this round, Could be arranged as responding to your 2nd point 1st, Then your 1st point, And then your 3rd point. Back to the topic; as an American I don't want this to happen and would much rather prefer my country winning in this contest of competition. It's just that America is going to have to change its strategy to become more competitive against China. I'll probably go over this in another debate. But we need to recognize that what Xi Jinping is doing with China's foreign policy is a number of things. It's an opportunity for the United States to pivot, And it's temporary. China will get back on the right track towards its goal, And the US can't bank on China failing as a viable strategy.


1. China does not want to subjugate other nations in the area.

China is a empire, And will always be, It doesn't matter whether they call them selves the Royal Court or the CCP, They have been a feudal system for as long as they are united, And so, They will act in empirical ways. Both Japan and South Korea have slowly growing, And quickly aging populations, A complete alliance with china, Would most likely include large amounts of Chinese moving from the crowed cities of china, To Japan and Korea. Both would be overwhelmed, And both would become defacto Chinese states, As the power of the Chinese population increased, And the native population decreased. This has ben done before, In Tibet, And so can be done else ware.

2. China claimed the South China sea in 1950.

There is a difference between claiming, Acting on those claims, Simply saying something is yours, Has no warrant, And so Chinas claims were invalid and unnoticed for a long time. Only when it acted did these claims become valid, And so dangerous, If you do not act on claims when you make them, They are not really there until you do. But when it did, The entire pacific looked at their giant neighbor, And was worried, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Even North Korea was a bit startled I am sure.

3. China has tied others to through trade.

They set up factories in china because it was profitable to, And still is, Even the US does it. However, There is a difference between using other peoples land to make things, And financial dependency. But, There still is the import export problem, But that is not of any concern. The US could easily make up for anything china could, On current predictions. Food, Minerals, And luxury goods could easily be shifted if needed, Through siphoning trade from china. Like it or not, China is dependent on US goods, As are we on theirs, Any move china makes would be met with sanctions, And while the US c survive with out certain things for a while, China would be starved for food without us. Although china has made japan and Korea dependent on it, These can be easily replaced by the US.

4. China will become economically bigger.

Chinas economy is a paper tiger, A bubble you could say. China has no inner economy, And the small parts that do, Cannot even dream to equal to US consumer base. At this point, China is running on borrowed time, As the dollar becomes devalued through massive inflation that's about to hit, So will china, And since China has cracked down on crypto currency, They have no meaningful alterative, As everything they have is tied to the dollar. On top of that, The massive inflation will cause people to stop buying so much stuff, And china will lose a portion of it's consumer base. This will cause massive unemployment in China, Furthering it's collapse, China has been running it's system on the money of the pervious capitalist system, And although still has plenty of saving left, Those savings are becoming less valuable by the second.

5. Future stuff

As said before, China is running on borrowed time, And if it can't repair, And move markets to India, Which hates it, Then they will collapse, And there is no long term.

6. USA comparison,

These alliances with the other two countries in north America need more context. One, In the time that these alliances were made, Worldwide trade was hard, Shipping things across the Atlantic was hard, And so, They had no choice but to turn to the US for trade. So did Canada. When we annexed 80% of Mexico's land, We let most of it go, On top of that, Mexico was then forced to chose between making their inner economy better, And exporting, The choice was clear. The India Pakistan border is along religious lines, And religion is a whole different story. Nazi Germany is not China, Nazi Germany wanted to wipe out every non aryan person on the planet, You cannot ally with those people. And of you allied with the USSR during the cold war, As with Cuba, You could cause WWIII, Which no country wanted, Less they drown in nuclear fire. America cut off trade, Because Cuba turned into a communist state, Which was basically a ally of the USSR, And hosted missiles is itself because Castro was insane. And in Japan and Korea, When the native populations power is outclassed by the hundreds, By Chinese, They aren't going to like it.

7. Chinse supremacy over the sea lanes is not a problem.

China's former model, Is not it's current model. You reuse the economic argument here, So refer to my rebuttals of that.

8. Domination of East Asia

With China on it's way to collapse, And problems the arise via COVID-19 this is unlikely to happen, Plus internal struggles, And India will act as checks for the US.
Debate Round No. 2


1. Japan and South Korea don't have much of a choice

I think you need to clarify what you mean by empire, Since China population is one of the homogenous nation in the world and is united by one language. This long and thorough assimilation of the people in what we now call China, Is what most nations have to do to a certain extent in order to avoid instability. China was just really good at it and did this to a large scale, But again so do other nations, Including the USA. Assimilation involves having people practice the culture and speak the same language, As well as intermarry. This over time binds the people of a nation together and makes a country. An empire is a civilization that fails to assimilates conquered territories, And instead is okay with just extracting money and resources. This in the end almost always leads to dissolution of the empire once serious economic and military problems arises in the homeland. Just wanted to clarify this bit real quick.

Now to your actual point. The reason why China would move people into Tibet and Xinjiang is the exact reason why those same Chinese wouldn't move to Japan and South Korea. Tibet and Xinjiang are very large in size and resources, But have small populations in comparison. Tibet is the source to a lot of China's water, And Xinjiang has a lot of coal and cotton. However, South Korea and Japan have very little livable land and are very densely populated. To add insult to injury, Neither of these two have any remarkable natural resources or arable land. Japan for instance imports 60% of its food from the outside world. Instead, These nations greatest strengths come from their people and institutions. If China decided to invade and populate these already densely populated lands with ethnic Han Chinese, The result would be a tearing down of these nations institutions, And civil unrest. The potential profit China would get from increasing trade with Japan and South Korea would diminish, Since there wouldn't be enough food for everyone in the latter two nations, Leading to serious amounts of death and war. There would be very little benefit, Because without cooperation from the people in these nations, There wouldn't be much wealth to extract since those citizens are responsible for the money generated. Instead, China will simply make its citizens migrate elsewhere, Like Central Asia or Siberia, Where tons of natural resources and food and be extracted.

2. China Made Claims To Many Territories and the South China Sea, It Just Didn't Act On It

I'm not sure what the argument here is, Since you are just repeating the point that I made in the first paragraph of Round 2. My point there was China did make all its claims, Some as early as in the 1950s, But just didn't militarily act on those claims until now. This means that up until recently nations were okay with opening up factories in China, Since they were very attractive economically and didn't flaunt their military.

I will add further clarification for why China will dominate the region, And that's due to its sheer economic potential. As stated in round 2 China has the potential to reach a GDP of 57 trillion in today's dollars, Or about 3 times the size of the US economy. It's important to remember that the US had an economy twice the size of the Soviet Union's. Even if the US isn't surpassed by China militarily, It still will be outmatched in the region due to it being China's backyard. The pacific is simply too large for America to project her full power. With a combination of soft and hard power, China will drive the US out of the region, And will continue to expand its influence.

3. China's economy will eventually grow to its full potential

The economy of China does have some real issues. Such as having a reliance on real estate twice that of the US when it comes too GDP. China's culture is one of saving and not spending, Which isn't good for an economy, But can be bumped up with a few changes. Honestly, This might be a plus since Americans, Who do spend a lot of money, Are left with little for retirement and other expenses, And half of the population couldn't come up with $500 instantly. There are other issues that China has( just like how the US has a problem with massive debt, Low retirement security and so on), But it's important not to overstate the problems any country might have with its economy. China has one of the best infrastructure for the developed world, A STEM graduate population 8 times that of America's STEM graduates, Low crime/good border security, And economic incentives like cheap labor and low taxes. This is a recipe of replicating Japan and South Korea's growth into their current status. There are certain ingrediants China needs for a good economy and they already have them all, Now it's a matter of stirring them correctly.

5. The comparison made with the USA is valid

To go back a bit, The main point of my comparison was to show that one nation rising means that all the surrounding nations must become its enemy. The US had similarities with China as both were nations who had a period of rising from obscurity to greatness. The US wasn't powerful enough to take British Canada when Britain was fighting a European War and Mexico was a distinct nation with a different language and was seen as a serious contender for as the superpower of North America. Even as America rose with industry and far left British Canada and Mexico in the dust in the competition for the biggest economy or military, These nations didn't turn towards Europeans to help counter America's rise. Eventually America became Mexico and Canada's biggest economic partners, And tended to fight on the same side of most international wars. Today all three nations are culturally and linguistically linked as well. Since Canada and America mostly speak English, And Spanish is America's second biggest language in addition to Mexicans being the largest immigrant group in recent decades. A similar course of events could happen between China, South Korea and Japan, Since historically all of these people came from China thousands of years ago, Thus making the languages of Chinese, Korean and Japanese it's own distinct language group. The people have similar cultures and are becoming each others largest trading partner, With Japan and South Korea doing almost a quarter of their trade with China. Remember, China has the potential to 4x their current GDP.

6. India and/or COVID 19 won't stop China

COVID 19 is a virus that may worsen for the next couple of years, But eventually will be dealt and remain a short term issue. China is one of the countries that will economically benefit from COVID since they didn't shut their economy down. China is also a nation where anti maskers are far and few between and where the authorities have the ability to impose tough measures to stop the spread. They have their own vaccine and will probably come out more fine than most nations.

India also won't stop China for two main reasons

A. India is behind China by almost every metric
India is a nation that didn't really exist in its current form till the British forced them together, Before tearing Pakistan and Bangladesh out. The result is a nation with more "diversity" than the continent of Africa, Meaning many languages are used, And many distinct minorities are present. What tends to happen overtime for a nation is assimilation, Which means that diversity moves towards a single language and eventually ethnicity. India is at the very beginning of this process, While China has long finished. Not even a third of India speaks a single language, So how will an army be commanded. Along with this, There are serious separatist movements that will likely shake India to its core, And this will culminate in civil wars where parts of the nation will want to become independent. Specifically, North India has more in common with Pakistan and Bangladesh than it does with South India; due to the north being Indo European while the south is Dravidian. In addition, India's infrastructure is bad compared to China's and is a serious reason companies won't do business in the country. India also has a bad hold of crime and has an unstable relationship with Pakistan, And nation that borders India with open plain in the middle. Pakistan also shares a border and friendship with China which makes this gap in the border extremely deadly for India. This is a brief summary of some of India's major internal problems in trying to compete with China.

B. Another big reason is simply that China will not tolerate a rising India the same way the US did with China. Unlike the US, China is taking steps to beat India while it's down. The first way is by the Belt and Road Initiative. If you look at the map of the project, The one nation that stands out as being isolated from China's investment and port building is India. China is deliberately leaving India out of it's vision for a prospering Silk Road, Due to trying to deprive India from getting its hands to any wealth. They also try to do this by limiting trade with India as much as possible, Even if that means not being able to reap the benefits of bustling trade with the world's second largest country. This is why you won't hear news of Chinese companies outsourcing labor in India. The second way is to have India waste its money when it can, And the easiest way to do this is by getting India to increase defense spending. China has a GDP almost 5 times the size of India, But has India spends more of a third on its military than China does. This means that India is chipping away at its critical money reserves by spending money to deter things like China's border skirmishes, Which India must respond to. India also is spending on the wrong thing, Since most of the money is dedicated to the army instead of the navy, Again due to China's intentional border skirmishes.


I will answer these with short statements, As to make your arguments seem simple and easy to defeat, And also I am lazy.

1. Most Japanese and south Koreans hate china, So flooding them with Chinese is the only way to take control, Also they saw what happened with Hong Kong, And all the authoritarian policies within the Chinese state, Plus the baby killing.

2. China is a house of cards, The only thing holding it together is American buying power, Which will not be enough soon, They keep building and producing, The only way this works is on war time, As described in Orwells 1984, Oceania kept it's economy going by producing massive amounts of war material to have a reason to do work, China is not at war however.

3. Then is not now, You cannot ship cargo across the ocean in days, The reason that Mexico and Canada chose the US, Is because that was their only viable option, It was to hard to maintain stable trade with the European powers, Because they had no good ports, America on the other hand had NY, New Orleans, Etc.

4. China's vaccine has only a 50% rate.

5. I meant that India will slow china's growth, And with the soon to be collapse of the US economy due to inflation and debt, India is the inly suitable replacement. And India will not accept such a offer, Not when china is on it's last legs.

In the end, American collapse, Rising social tensions, And a slow destruction of their economy will bring the CCP to it's knees, And soon to it's death bead.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Leaning 2 months ago
Interesting debate, With a solid first round.
That I'm not educated enough on the subject, To accept.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leaning 2 months ago
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate, I think. Though Con's efforts wane a bit as the debate goes on. Pro makes strong arguments for economic ties, While Con makes strong arguments for countries having an interest in 'limiting China's influence and claims. Pro's argument's for China having reason to choose and act by more subtle policy, have merit. But so do Con's claims of China's interest in empire expansion. Though that's not unique to China. Based on the arguments given, I could see the resolution swinging in in either direction. 'I think Pro expressed themself better, but did not necessarily make a more convincing argument of the debate resolution. Conduct equal, spelling and grammar equal, sources equal.

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