Saturday, November 19, 2005

John Mearsheimer: The rise of China will not be peaceful at all

John Mearsheimer: The rise of China will not be peaceful at all

THE question at hand is simple and profound: will China rise peacefully? My answer is no. If China continues its impressive economic growth over the next few decades, the US and China are likely to engage in an intense security competition with considerable potential for war. Most of China's neighbours, to include India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam, will join with the US to contain China's power. China - whether it remains authoritarian or becomes democratic - is likely to try to dominate Asia the way the US dominates the Western hemisphere. Specifically, China will seek to maximise the power gap between itself and its neighbours, especially Japan and Russia. An increasingly powerful China is also likely to try to push the US out of Asia, much the way the US pushed the European great powers out of the Western hemisphere. We should expect China to come up with its own version of the Monroe Doctrine, as Japan did in the 1930s.

It is clear from the historical record how American policy-makers will react if China attempts to dominate Asia. The US does not tolerate peer competitors. Therefore, the US can be expected to go to great lengths to contain China and ultimately weaken it to the point where it is no longer capable of ruling the roost in Asia. In essence, the US is likely to behave towards China much the way it behaved towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War. China's neighbours are certain to fear its rise as well. Indeed, there is already substantial evidence that countries such as India, Japan, and Russia, as well as smaller powers such as Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam, are worried about China's ascendancy and are looking for ways to contain it. In the end, they will join an American-led balancing coalition to check China's rise, much the way Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and even China, joined forces with the US to contain the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Finally, given Taiwan's strategic importance for controlling the sea lanes in East Asia, it is hard to imagine the US, as well as Japan, allowing China to control that large island. In fact, Taiwan is likely to be an important player in the anti-China balancing coalition, which is sure to infuriate China and fuel the security competition between Beijing and Washington.


At November 19, 2005 3:15 AM, Blogger hutchrun said...

Further evidence:

Denying a report published in a Delhi newspaper that Chinese forces had transgressed into Indian territory near the LAC, when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was visiting Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said?China does not recognise that Arunachal Pradesh is part of India.

While Kong did not respond to Vajpayee's remark on the Sikkim issue that both India and China have initiated a process by which Sikkim would not be an issue in Sino-Indian relations, he welcomed Prime Minister's statement on Tibet.

"China welcomes the important statement by India on the question of Tibet," he said, despite the fact that Vajpayee claimed that there was no change in India's stand on the Tibet issue.

At November 19, 2005 3:17 AM, Blogger hutchrun said...

At November 19, 2005 3:20 AM, Blogger hutchrun said...


The Looming Danger: China.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the key external supporter of Islamic fundamentalism in the Indian subcontinent was the United States of America. Its record on this matter is well-known: it armed Pakistan from the 1950s onward, and tried to rescue it from its defeat in 1971. It heavily supported the Afghan jihad against the Soviets in the 1980s, and was quite fond of the Taliban until 2001. Washington policy has changed less since 2001 than is commonly imagined; to this day, it remains a key supplier of economic and military aid to Pakistan, as well as its main political advocate in the Western world. Indeed, the American media has been desperately trying to promote that country as an example of oderate Islam?

Yet with the debacle of the Iraq war draining its strength day after day, the inexorable decline of the United States has accelerated, and its ability to counter Indian ambitions in the region is at its lowest point since the Vietnam War. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult for the U.S. government to justify an anti-India policy to its own public, (which is generally quite sympathetic towards India) ?and the risk of alienating a powerful non-Muslim country at a time when muslims all over the world are increasingly hostile to the West, is not good diplomacy, even for the State Department. At any rate, the United States is too far away and too mired in Iraq to do more than scold other countries for defying its will: North Korea knows this as does Iran; maybe one day India will realize this as well.

What India needs to realize much sooner however, is that the strongest obstacles to its expansion will no longer be placed by the United States, but by its northern neighbour ?the People Republic of China ?and they will be larger and more intractable than those placed by the United States. To understand why, it is necessary to take a hard look at Sino-Indian relations.

The Chinese leadership has always possessed a clearer perception of Sino-Indian ties than its Indian counterpart. From the early 1950s onward, Beijing knew that India was its main rival, and the primary obstacle to Chinese hegemony in Asia. Ideologically, India republican ethos ?with its long history of fighting tyranny (be it Islamic or British), stood is sharp contrast to the authoritarianism of Chinese culture, with its emphasis on docility and obedience. Politically, with the fall of Japan in 1945 and the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, India and India alone was the only Asian power remotely capable of not only countering Chinese designs in Asia, but of providing an alternative pole to the nations of Asia. What India actually did was irrelevant to this analysis; all that mattered to the Chinese was what India could do ?and that was sufficient for them to consider India an enemy long before Indians discovered Chinese hostility in 1962.

The partition of India was, in the final analysis, an unexpected gift for China, which did not hesitate to exploit it, particularly after its conquest of Tibet. With the development of a close relationship with Pakistan during the rule of Ayub Khan, and the strengthening of ties with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, China rapidly became Pakistan key Asian ally. Its friendship, unlike the USA, was unconstrained: China was more than willing to supply Pakistan with what the Americans would not provide ? including missile technologies and uranium enrichment devices. The Chinese were completely aware that Pakistan nuclear program targeted one country and one alone ?India. That indeed, is why they eagerly facilitated its development.

The Chinese alliance with Pakistan is neither an anomaly, nor a Cold War relic ?but the centrepiece of Chinese plans for the Indian subcontinent. As a follow up, China has recently been strengthening its ties with Bangladesh ?again, with the disintegration of India in mind. Whilst the relationship has not reached the intimacy of Sino-Pakistani ties, it has already given Bangladesh the confidence to defy Indian concerns again and again ?and to promote separatism in India North East.

hina is India enemy number one.?span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> With words to that effect, the former Defence Minister George Fernandes broke one of the longest standing taboos in Indian politics. Amidst the furore that followed his remarks, one thing was missing: a comprehensive critique of Fernandes? claim. Many condemned Mr. Fernandes?comment; no one could demonstrate that it was incorrect.

Indians have consistently succumbed to romantic notions of China, imagining it to be a sister civilization, culturally and spiritually bound with us as part of one wider astern? world. The Chinese harbour no such illusions, (although they make good use of them in their propaganda aimed at Indians); for them, the Indians are merely arbarians? and poor ones at that. Contempt is the word that best describes China view of India, just as hatred sums up its view of Japan, and admiration signifies China essential perception of the United States.

China will continue to despise India until the tables are turned in Asia, and a resurgent Bharat despises China instead. Hostility between these two huge countries is destined to be the leitmotif of Asian history in the 21st century, whether we like it or not. The only thing that ultimately matters, is which one of the two prevails in the struggle of the century.

At November 19, 2005 3:53 AM, Blogger ik said...

I can't find the link for this but at a News conference an Indian analyst asked the Chinese Foreign Minister Why does China a multipolar world but a unipolar Asia?

Apparently the Chinese was not too happy - I guess they are not used to being questioned

At November 19, 2005 4:11 AM, Blogger hutchrun said...


Google search:
arunachal pradesh china

The other site (good analysis of the subcontinent)is:
`India - Pakistan: Lessons From The Ruins (II)`

At November 19, 2005 3:12 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

It really depends on whether China goes democratic or not. Right now the regime is having a lot of difficulty, with many millions leaving the CCP.

The economic gap is becoming more and more visible between the "haves" and the "have nots", religious persecution is on the increase, and communication is improving as they make technological advances.

I would say there's a 50/50 chance they become democratic within the next 10 years. If not, then we might be in for a bumpy ride!


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