East Asia allies doubt U.S. could win war with ChinaYes, I do know that Ishihara is a nationalist, not to mention one of the most racist politicians I know of anywhere. But his views here are shared by quite a few in Asia. Some think that China's war against the USA has already begun, mainly through proxies such as North Korea and, increasingly, Iran, and quietly watching while Islamic terrorists wear down American military strength and resolve. Not to mention that they have huge stakes in the US economy, but that goes both ways, of course:
East Asia allies doubt U.S. could win war with China
The overwhelming assessment by Asian officials, diplomats and analysts is that the U.S. military simply cannot defeat China. It has been an assessment relayed to U.S. government officials over the past few months by countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. Most Asian officials have expressed their views privately. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has gone public, warning that the United States would lose any war with China. "In any case, if tension between the United States and China heightens, if each side pulls the trigger, though it may not be stretched to nuclear weapons, and the wider hostilities expand, I believe America cannot win as it has a civic society that must adhere to the value of respecting lives," Mr. Ishihara said. "Therefore, we need to consider other means to counter China," he said. "The step we should be taking against China, I believe, is economic containment." Asian allies of the United States are quietly preparing to bolster their militaries independent of Washington. So far, the Bush administration has been strongly opposed to an indigenous Japanese defense capability, fearing it would lead to the expulsion of the U.S. military presence from that country.
Japan ends 60-year military exclusion
JAPAN will once again have a "military" in name 60 years after the United States stripped it of the right to keep armed forces. It is the first revision of the post-World War II constitution. The draft, which has already been made public, was formally presented at the Liberal Democratic Party's 50th anniversary event yesterday. The move may raise tensions with neighbouring countries, which accuse Japan of not atoning for past aggression. Other than in name, Japan already has one of the world's best funded "militaries," devoting close to $60 billion to defence a year.
Cheap, Cheerful and Chinese?
China's overwhelming ambition is to become an economic superpower. Everything takes second place to this goal, not least the well-being of the people laboring toward it. Yet waves of willing workers continue to deluge the country's industrial regions. Here, in China, the corporations of the world have found a bottomless reservoir of cheap workers. Here they can operate largely unfettered by all those niggling social benefits: high wages, well-paid overtime, occupational health and safety regulations, maternity leave, free trade unions, and the right to strike. About 800 million Chinese live out in the rural areas, and an estimated one-sixth do not have work. That's why they bow to the fate of wage slavery for a few years -- in hopes of a brighter future. Few of them have electricity or running water in their villages back home. The abundance of cheap goods "Made in China" may well quicken the pulses of Western bargain hunters. But few consumers are aware of the price they will pay for this windfall: the loss of their own prosperity and, increasingly, of their own jobs.
'Second Wives' Are Back
A top prosecutor in Henan province was recently stripped of his post and Communist Party membership after investigators alleged that he embezzled $2 million to support his lavish lifestyle — and seven mistresses. "Everyone is saying, 'Behind every corrupt official, there must be at least one mistress,' " says Li Xinde, an anti-corruption activist. China's economic boom has led to a revival of the 2-millennium-old tradition of "golden canaries," so called because, like the showcase birds, mistresses here are often pampered, housed in love nests and taken out at the pleasure of their "masters." Concubines were status symbols in imperial China. After the Communists took power, they sought to root out such bourgeois evils, even as Chairman Mao Tse-tung reportedly kept a harem of peasant women into his old age. Now, mistresses have become a must-have for party officials, bureaucrats and businessmen. "We are in a commodity economy," says retired Shanghai University sociologist Liu Dalin. "Work, technology, love, beauty, power — it's all tradable."