Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, April 21, 2006

China: Time Bomb Walking

By Aussiegirl

Another excellent symposium from Jamie Glazov, this time on the Chinese threat.

FrontPage magazine.com :: Symposium: China: Time Bomb Walking by Jamie Glazov

By Jamie Glazov

As President Bush met with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House this week, the issue of China’s rise as a global superpower took center stage. Serious concerns are mounting in Washington in regards to China’s increasingly aggressive global posturing. Indeed, Beijing continues to militarily threaten Taiwan, to support a nuclear North Korea, and to forge alliances with anti-American regimes everywhere, including with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s nuclear-aspiring Mullahs.

As the military and economic threat of Beijing becomes increasingly apparent, the question arises: were we complicit in creating this communist monster? If we were, what can and must we do now to reverse course? And whatever happened to economic liberalization leading to democratization – as many optimists had predicted would happen? Did the formula simply not work? Did the capitalist success of the economy simply just strengthen the power of the dictatorship? Or will there be some kind of democratic explosion at some point in the near future?

Whatever the case, the reality now is that the communist giant poses a serious military threat to our allies in Asia -- and to us. Its economic policies, all the while, are significantly undermining our interests.

What can we expect from the Chinese threat in the near future? And what can -- and what must -- we do about it? [...]

Both Nixon and Carter were advocates of human rights. Yet neither seemed at all concerned about the rights of the Chinese people. They knew that China was a communist dictatorship comparable to the Soviet Union. But somehow they saw it through different eyes. I have always felt they never got beyond the fact that the people who live there were "Chinese" -- having a difficult ideographic language, distinct culture, seemingly uniform appearance, etc. -- they never got beyond all of that to grasp that they were also people having the same rights as any others. They also believed that Mao had somehow solved China's problems and that the system they saw would endure. [...]

The democracy movement in China fed hope that China too would change. Already all sorts of economic change had been begun after Mao's death in 1976. But no serious institutional change took place or has taken place up to the present. Private property is not guaranteed, law and justice do not exist -- instead the Party decides what is to be done --and no genuinely significant steps have been taken toward democratization or freedom of speech and conscience. [...]

Now we are in the third phase. China has reaped the benefits of American policies. Her government is rich and many Americans and other westerners now have so much money invested in China that they are reluctant to do anything other than support the regime. Yet it is becoming clear that the Communists have no intention of giving up power, allowing free speech, elections, freedom of religion, or other serious change. It is also becoming clear that economically China is mercantilist in her behavior, not a true free trader. And finally, she is using the money and access to foreign technology obtained in these decades to engage in a major military build-up.

This is the phase in which we find ourselves now. I think we can call it dawning disappointment and concern. Without intending to, we have helped create a
formidable geopolitical competitor, that threatens our friends and allies in Asia militarily, and whose economic behavior is undermining our interests. That competitor now feels strong enough not to pay much attention to what we say, one way or the other. Beijing feels it can make its own way.

I believe our interest is above all in having a China whose government is legitimately constituted, elected by its people, and that honors the rights of its people. This is the fundamental consideration.

Our policies, paradoxically enough, seem in fact to have strengthened the dictatorship, or at least its determination not to reform, and paid for a major arms build up. [...]

My problem with this strategy lies with the order of things. It should be the other way around, i.e., to hedge against China first and then try to change it to a stakeholder. All signs point to the fact that China is already an enemy, not strong enough yet to pose immediate dangers to the U.S. at this point perhaps, and will only gain more power as time goes by. The U.S. should plan its policies based on this fundamental understanding. Since no one wants to have a shooting war with China and serious efforts should be put into avoiding one, Washington therefore at the same time should also try to encourage China become a responsible stakeholder. But the priority should be crystal clear -- treat China as an enemy first and then try to change it into a friend later.

Otherwise, the current strategy is contradictory. Being nice to China and hope it would become a friend will only empower a China which the U.S. is also hedging against. Washington is helping to create a stronger China to hedge against. It doesn't make any sense.


Post a Comment

<< Home