Why China Can’t Be Trusted

starr.china.military.cnn.640x480

What it will look like when China invades Palawan

I’ve mentioned in several blogs that we create our own intellectual reality based on what we personally experience, feel and believe. Different people can look at the same facts, same truths, but get very different read-outs based on the half-baked knowledge they hold to be 100% true.

Well, I want to disabuse you of any “truth” you may be hanging onto that China is interested in the well-being of the Asian region.  If you think China wants to see a healthy, vibrant, peaceful Asia, think again. If you think there is a peaceful way to get China out of Philippine seas, think again.

China wants what is hers, and what is hers is all of Asia. And then some  . . .

You think Joe’s been chewing cocoa beans? Slugging too much of the San Mig? Gone off a very deep end?

You think he is a spiteful American, envious of China’s rise to number one in economic productivity? Jealous that his homeland is in hock up to her eyeballs in debt held by China? Out to slander an upstanding member of the global community?

  • disabuse  [dis-uh-byooz] verb (used with object) to free (a person) from deception or error

Let me free you from your self-deception.

Here’s the sharp-edged truth.

  • China is blowing smoke when she says disputes over seas can be resolved bilaterally. This statement is a flat-out bold, barren, manipulative lie. It takes two willing parties to do that.
  • Many Chinese people are extraordinarily racist. It is beyond their capacity to consider the dark-skinned Asians who populate other lands as equals worthy of respect.
  • Powerful Chinese hold the view that China is destined to rule the world. China is, at the core, a hostile, imperialistic, warmongering nation.

The Bilateral Fiction

If China wanted bilateral agreements, we’d be working on them. Japan and China would be at the table, the Philippines and China would be at the table, and Vietnam and China would be at the table.

China would have welcomed the Philippine appeal to arbitration. The arbitration panel is a group of neutral judges who have no axes to grind or territory to protect.

You see, reasonable men and women can solve practical problems if there is good faith behind the goal. Especially when both sides of the negotiation have something to gain by finding agreement.

All nations gain from peace in the West Philippine Sea. Nations gain uncontested access to incredible resources that are now languishing out of reach: oil and minerals and fisheries. All it takes is good faith.

But both parties in a bilateral negotiation have to be willing to give something up, and be willing to grasp where the other party is coming from.

china force

That is China’s hang-up.  China is inflexible in all matters, and has tunnel vision . . . nay, for reasons stated below . . . is completely blind to the interest of other nations.

China does not deal in good faith. She connives.

The Racist State

Racism  is the core of the problem. It is the reality we cannot shrink from because it is too hurtful to believe another people, in this modern and enlightened time, can still harbor deep-rooted beliefs in the superiority of her own peoples. Huge numbers of Chinese do, and some of them hold important positions in China’s leadership.

Make no mistake about it. China holds absolute racial disdain for the citizens of nations facing her across the seas.

Martin Jacques, writing for the British newspaper The Guardian in 2005, ominously crystallized the issue in an article entitled “The Middle Kingdom mentality” when he wrote:

  • Although it is rarely written about or commented upon, Chinese culture remains deeply racist. For the most part, the Chinese are in denial of their own racism, while white commentators, in their great majority, are either oblivious of it, or simply regard it as unimportant.

He went on to say:

  •  . . .  nor should Chinese racism – and its concomitant nationalism – be underplayed. For a variety of reasons, it is unlikely to acquire or display the same ambitions of global aggrandisement and conquest that have typified western history, but its effects, uncontrolled and uncontested, could be extremely harmful. Racisms are not all the same; they vary according to the cultures they come from. Chinese racism, a product of the Middle Kingdom mentality, is distinctive and repugnant. It needs to be challenged by the Chinese themselves – and by the rest of the world.

From David Scott in “China Stands Up: The PRC in the Modern International System”:

  • The PRC’s deep seated “middle Kingdom mentality” makes them condescending towards their darker-skinned Southeast Asian neighbors, former tributaries who dwell in China’s maritime “South Sea” backyard.

So there you have it now. China called out on racism.

Oh, you probably have good Chinese friends. I have good Chinese friends. They are modern, compassionate, intelligent, non-racist beings. They are educated, cross-cultural Chinese who have left behind the provincial notions of Chinese as a superior race.

But they are not driving China’s international adventurism.

Chinese Hostility

For several decades, China was inwardly focused. Communism was an admitted failure. Capitalism was adopted as a more successful way to generate wealth and allow China to rise to her proper prominence. She concentrated on building infrastructure and cities and industrial plants. Welcoming outside investment. Setting aside the tools of confrontation for the benefits of growth.

During the latter part of this development period, the view turned from inward to outward. It was needs driven. How to acquire the minerals and oil needed to continue to grow.

And within, the chemistry turned bad. The racist hostilities that had been set aside in favor of a pragmatic entry into the greater commercial world emerged among China’s influential military leadership. With growth came confidence, with confidence came belief in oneself, with belief in oneself came belief in superiority.

Reuters did a superb report on this development a few months ago: Special Report: China’s military hawks take the offensive. The quotes from China’s military leaders drip with derision toward other Asian states.

With Japanese military leaders in the room, China’s Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquan, in reference to Japanese claims to islands in the East China Sea, issued a striking military threat that impelled the attending Japanese officers to rush from the conference:

  • “One should never forget history and learn from history. Flames of the war ignited by fascist countries engulfed the whole region, and many places, including Darwin in Australia, were bombed.”

Reuters summarizes the transition in China this way:

  • . . . the combative streak speaks to profound shifts in Chinese politics and foreign policy that transcend the heat of the moment. The more provocative of these officers call for “short, sharp wars” to assert China’s sovereignty. Others urge Beijing to “strike first”, “prepare for conflict” or “kill a chicken to scare the monkeys”.

China loves her animal symbolism as a way to disparage other states. Other peoples. Take this truly remarkable point of view from Air Force Colonel Dai Xu:

anti ship missile concept from china

How Chinese anti-ship missiles will work according to an artist’s rendition

  • “Since we have decided that the U.S. is bluffing in the East China Sea, we should take this opportunity to respond to these empty provocations with something real. This includes Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, who are the three running dogs of the United States in Asia. We only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.”

China’s overt, explicit moves to assimilate islands within her nine-dash seas were outlined by Major General Zhang Zhaozhong who said that China’s navy has been wrapping the disputed islands such as Panatag Shoal like a “cabbage” with warships. The television host to whom the general was speaking displayed the traditional Chinese condescension toward anyone who would dare disagree with Chinese pronouncements. According to news reports:

  • In the online news site’s transcript of the interview, Zhang explained at length China’s strategy to a television host who called the Philippines’ activities in the territory “rude” and “barbaric.”

Chickens.

Monkeys.

Running dogs.

Barbaric.

Are you getting the picture yet?

We whities are used to the Chinese racial insults and have come to look at them rather benignly. But I think that is a mistake. The insults are so prominent that they have earned a place in Wikipedia:

  • Ang mo (simplified Chinese: 红毛; traditional Chinese: 紅毛; pinyin: hóng máo; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: âng-mo͘) or Ang moh is a racial epithet describing Caucasian (White people), mainly in Malaysia and Singapore, and sometimes in Taiwan. It literally means “red-haired” and originates from Hokkien (Min Nan).[1] The usage is similar as in the Cantonese term gweilo (鬼佬, “ghost man”). Other similar terms include ang mo kow 紅毛猴 (red-haired monkeys), ang mo kui 紅毛鬼子 (red-haired devil), ang mo lang 紅毛人 (red-haired people). Although the term had some derogatory connotations, it has entered common usage in Singapore and Malaysia and refers to a Caucasian person or, when used as an adjective, Western culture in general.

The problem is that the insults have moved beyond harmless street language and into Chinese military planning rooms. It is frightening if we reflect on the ruthless acts undertaken by the Japanese when they occupied the Philippines in World War II. It was racism of the ugliest order.

Worst case, knowingly or unknowingly, China is laying the groundwork for similar atrocities. Setting up the justification for abusive treatment of opponents. Rather like the China Navy’s ruthless execution of helpless Vietnamese soldiers standing knee deep in water during their 1988 engagement in the Spratleys.

Let me give it to you straight: These military leaders believe Filipinos are barbaric monkeys. That is what they tell their troops. That is what they tell their nation. That is what they tell the world.

China needs to undergo massive sensitivity training.

China would respond to this criticism in the normal way, to deflect it, to excuse it, even to blame JoeAm for being the problem. That is the standard line, to cast the critic as the unreasonable party, the real problem.

No, no, no. That is denial. That is China’s failure to look within. Denial runs rampant in face-sensitive China.

But the facts are the facts, the trends are the trends, the words are the words.

And they are disgusting.

It’s time to call China on it.

Until China displays international maturity and respect for other nations and peoples, China deserves blunt condemnation. And it would be foolish to trust anything Chinese officials say. If they can’t grant respect, they don’t deserve it.

Comments
48 Responses to “Why China Can’t Be Trusted”
  1. JM says:

    I agree that Chinese are racists. Even my friend who is a full blooded chinese experience racism when he visits his relatives. They think that he is no longer pure/stained. Even some Filipino Chinese here still practice their racist culture. Their push for bilateral talks remind me of Avengers, “An ant has no quarrel with a boot”.

    I have played a lot of complex military strategy games. My country is an example of a country that I would target when I play those games, weak, easily subjugated. China would have swallowed my country by now if it weren’t for the MDT with the US. However, even with the MDT, they still took the shoal, they are getting bolder. I am very pessimistic that the issue with the Shoal and Spratlys will be solved through peaceful means. Even if China miraculously agreed due to the arbitration, it would be a lie. It just means they are just biding their time until they can no longer be stopped (i.e Get more military technology from the US, make their economy bigger than the US).

    We should be preparing for the worst but my people are acting like they don’t care. We buy a few ships here and there, but nothing significant. I don’t believe that there is still hope in changing how they think. Even if there was a slight chance, it would take too long (a few more generations maybe). Why can’t they just procure ICBMs loaded with nukes. Mutually Assured Destruction is something the Chinese could understand. A great deterrent to war.

    Off-topic (Cultural Rubs – about Americans being rude): Around 5 years ago, I was walking in Makati with my friend. A very sweaty American approached us, asking how to get to Buendia. I pointed to the west,and told him to take a bus. Then the American said, “I don’t want to take a Fking bus. The problem with you Filipinos is that you don’t walk”. I was too stunned to respond. He was very rude. After he left, my friend and I talked and he said “What do you think we are doing right now?” I said “We are walking.” Then we laughed.

    • Joe America says:

      Part of the purpose of this blog was to try to instill a greater sense of concern because I agree with you, there is a very casual approach here to what is going on. Most blog commenters are more interested in ragging on the U.S. than on China, which is weird to me. I get a sense of cheering here for Snowden’s escapades . . . I mean, “hello, time to wake up now, the U.S. is busy fighting a nasty war and y’all are snoozin’ away watching singing contests or fighting each other.”

      The photo of the “Palawan invasion” is just a heartbeat away from reality. Had the Taiwan shooting been a mainland death, that could easily have been the excuse China is biding her time looking for . . .

      Because that is what she is doing. Waiting for an internationally acceptable reason to move in to shoot one of the “running dogs”.

      Your example is why I don’t associate much with Americans or the Dutch in my area: their overblown sense of self. Not all Americans are like that, but many hereabouts seem to be. Laughing at them is what they deserve . . .

      • JM says:

        I think the those bloggers you mentioned are just used to blaming the US because they refuse to believe that we as a people are at fault for why things are happening. That is one of the reasons why we can’t move forward. I do not agree with people who are in favor of Snowden. Measures have to be taken if your country has lots of enemies.

        As for Palawan, time to buy a gun I guess. If and when the Chinese tries to take Palawan, I’ll fight. My actions may be miniscule but I won’t just sit down and do nothing if that happens.

        • Joe America says:

          I wonder what gearing up for war would do the Philippine economy. If she built her own ships and weapons. WW II industrialized America and boosted her into the commercial powerhouse she is today.

      • The Mouse says:

        I agree that not all Americans are like what JM described. They’re more of the kind that are “losers” even in the US, socially speaking. Too bad, the Philippines seem to attract these kind of people?

        Oh well, at least the American community in the Philippines still has Tim Cone, Norman Black, Rafe Bartholomew, and Alex Compton to look up to. There is still hope! Hehehe

  2. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Funny, Obama is leaning on Putin hard while soft on Chinese President for allowing Snowden take flight. Something’s cooking at Macau.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      I am boycotting Kung Pao chicken.

    • Joe America says:

      Oh, sharp words have been aimed at China, including “this will change our relationship”. But I understand why China wanted to get rid of the hot potato Snowden. And Russia, too, I would expect. He will spoil the U.S. relationship anywhere he lands, for a long long time. To outright harbor an accused spy . . . a very significant no-no among “friends”. So what those nations are saying is, we do not value friendship with the United States. Pretty bold, unless you are Venezuela sitting on your barrels of black gold. I suspect that is where he will end up.

      I’m thinking that, like “American Fries” came out when the French were thumbing their noses at the U.S., maybe “Snowden Hot Potatoes” will end up on the menu.

      You also key in my mind that I want to identify the Chinese mining companies now operating in the Philippines. My first diplomatic snit at China would be to throw them out. Nothing lost to the Philippines, for sure.

  3. The Mouse says:

    To some things up: China is becoming what Imperial Japan was in the 1930s. Only that it is more conniving.and deceiving.

    • The Mouse says:

      Uhmm

      SUM things up.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, it’s early in the morning so get sum coffee. 🙂

      Yes, I was going to peg China as being what the US was like in 1898, but i like your comparison better.

      • The Mouse says:

        I think China is more comparable to Japan in the 1930s than US in 1898. At least the American imperialists back then were blunt about their intention.

        While Japan and China was/is disguising their national ethnocentrism as “for Asian people” against “Western hegemony”.

  4. manuel buencamino says:

    “China is racist”. C’mon Joe the middle kingdom mentality is just the slant-eyed version of white man’s burden. So please knock it off. If I am to distrust China because it is racist then I shouldn’t trust white folks as far as I can throw them.

    A movie I enjoyed was Killing Them Softly, a cautionary tale on capitalism. Here’s the closing scene.

    Barack Obama (on TV): …to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one…

    Driver: You hear that line? Line’s for you.

    Jackie Cogan: Don’t make me laugh. One people. It’s a myth created by Thomas Jefferson.

    Driver: Oh, so now you’re going to have a go at Jefferson, huh?

    Jackie Cogan: My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words ‘All men are created equal’, words he clearly didn’t believe since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He’s a rich white snob who’s sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So, yeah, he writes some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fuckin’ pay me.

    It’s best if we assess China based on what its national interest and our national interest dictate. Let’s see where it contradicts ours and where we can work together. Let’s look at their strengths and weaknesses vis a vis ours so we can formulate a long term strategy to guide our relationship with them.

    There are no two nations that have completely complementary national interests. China as you say is now capitalist. Well, there is really no mutuality in capitalism, everybody looks out for themselves just like every capitalist nation looks out for itself. (Communist and theocratic countries do it too.) In that kind of world no country can claim the moral high ground although every country acts as if the shetland pony it is riding on is a high horse. There are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies in international relations. It’s all just business. We partner for profit and power.

    • Attila says:

      If you thinks there is not much difference between racism by white Americans and Mainland Chinese than you live under a rock.

    • J says:

      I’ll have to agree with MB here. It’s best to assess issues of international significance on the basis of national interests.

      Additionally, I think we should remember that no nation is monolithic. China might be a police state, but it’s not a dictatorship. The racist military officers mentioned there are just among the many actors in Beijing. There are others in the corridors of power who are far more rational. We should be concerned, however, if these racist and jingoistic players get the upper hand.

      I think every nation has a racist streak. This Middle Kingdom mentality is just like, as MB said, the White Man’s burden or, indeed, the US’s Manfest Destiny or Japan’s Nihonjinron. Even Pinoys can be racist. I agree with Joe that we should call out the Chinese on their racism, but I think we should be careful not tag the whole Chinese nation as inherently racist just on the basis of the behavior of some of its citizens.

    • Joe America says:

      @MB, you know, I very much appreciate your challenges. You don’t allow me to get away with much slippage.

      Racial beliefs are learned, and our learning is on a continuum. That is, we are part way to fully understanding how we learn to be unkind to other races based on superficial reasons or delusions, and part of every nation remains racist while another part is moving up the awareness continuum.

      It is my belief that America, as a collective, is further up the continuum toward racial blindness than China, and has a greater share of her population striving for racial equality than does China. This is all fairly recent and owes a lot to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King and others of the 60’s who demanded equal treatment.

      China is about where the U.S. was in maybe 1950. I’m just a wee voice pushing her along.

      The danger with China is that her “rednecks” (ahahahaha – excuse the racial humor) are not running around in the hills of Alabama in a white sheet, but are moving plastic ships about on the war room tables and using public media to disparage the Philippines and other nations racially. Monkeys, dogs, that language. You DON’T hear that kind of language from American generals or politicians or news interviewers. Americans would not stand for their representatives to speak that way. The Chinese cheer their generals on.

      The Jefferson story is amusing. I suspect that there is a lot of intellectual hypocrisy in a lot of us. I know I sometimes do not live up to the standards I espouse here. But that does not make them bad standards, and Jefferson’s intellectual statements created an amazing government, of law, and checks and balances, and dynamics that push for high values.

      Like racial blindness.

      I think it is in the Philippine BUSINESS interest to call China on her racism, otherwise China may be inclined to take rash acts to advance her interests.

        • manuel buencamino says:

          Racial blindness or blind to racism?

          “Four members of the Supreme Court rest easily in the belief that the bad old days of segregated education and poll taxes are matters of historical curiosity, unrelated to the color-blind society in which they think we live. Add the bile of Clarence Thomas, who views all considerations of race as inherently demeaning to minorities, and sixty years of courageous jurisprudence has now been definitively abandoned in favor of a world in which the reality of race in this country has been judicially wished away. The Voting Rights Act as an effective tool against suppressing minority votes has been jettisoned. A careful reading of the University of Texas opinion makes clear that affirmative action, in any practical sense, will follow shortly thereafter, not through overruling of prior precedents but by setting the bar for race-conscious remedies so high that it cannot be overcome.” http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/06/fisher-and-shelby-county-the-courts-cynicism-on-race.html

          • Joe America says:

            Racial blindness. That was a complex decision, and deserves a thorough parsing. But that a black judge advocated it suggests it is not blindness to racism but a different intellectual perspective on what racism is. A disappointing ruling for sure for many fairness advocates. But the debate is vibrant, and will remain vibrant, and that has, and will, keep winnowing out racism. I doubt that you have that kind of vibrant discussion in China’s courts or political halls, and I suspect it will be a few years before we have a black Chinese president.

    • JM says:

      I agree that there are no permanent friends and enemies. i.e. US – Japan. Another example is that China was trading with us since ancient times, now she is taking our islands. Kindly elaborate on how we can have a friendly relationship with China when they say that “We have indisputable sovereignity over Spratlys and Scarborough”. Please enlighten me how we can work together with their kind of mentality.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        JM,

        If you have ever sat in a negotiation you will know that taking the most extreme and hardline position is where everyone starts. And then you bargain until a mutually acceptable compromise is reached. No one goes into the room ready to give up anything

        • JM says:

          In case you are not aware, we already invited them to talk about this in the UN. Instead, they refused and still pushed for bilateral negotiations. Why do you think they are pushing for bilateral negotiations?

          And btw, while we were trying to settle this in the International court they STOLE our shoal. What I don’t get is you still want to negotiate with them? (I used the word “our” because I assumed that you are Filipino based on your name but I am beginning to doubt that based on your words)

  5. manuel buencamino says:

    I agree that racism should always be called out.

  6. The Mouse says:

    I think people are forgetting than racism is not always explicit. In fact, I’m more wary of subtle racism since it propagates a false sense of security.

    Example: In the US, colleges and universities still have the tendency to include race/ethnicity rather than MERITS/CREDENTIALS when accepting students for the sake of “false diversity”. As a minority myself, I do not agree with this.

    Who the hell cares about your race? It’s your credentials and work ethics that should matter.

    The Chinese and Taiwanese have not been explicit as the white trash in their racism but you could see how they disregard goodwill and honest diplomacy towards Southeast Asians as compared to non-brown nations. Just take a look at the treatment of the Philippines compared to Japan by Taiwan in sea disputes. It was more extreme.

    Taiwan has the guts to treat the Philippines the way they did when in fact a decade ago, they pleaded the Philippines to “lend” its airspace to Taiwan for exercises. Not only that, Taiwan also wanted to use the Philippines as an airbase should China invade Taiwan. Basically, the implication of that it, Taiwan was willing to drag the Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting observation re. Taiwan and Philippines. It is easier to smack at those we consider “lesser” than us.

      The U.S. Supreme Court agree with you regarding credentials, and has with its ruling of a couple of days ago placed greater burdens on the universities to demonstrate that use of affirmative action enrollment standards is needed, when they use race as a basis for allocating enrollments.

  7. JosephIvo says:

    Racism, from “other family”, over other school, other village, other tribe, other nation, other ethnic origin, other skin color… isn’t it part of all of us. The feelings are one thing, the language another, but the intentions to identify with one group and discriminate the others seems to be the essence to me. I think that in essence extortion of wealth is the most common motive. China, welcome to the club.

    The stronger the interactions, the better you learn to know each other, the less chance for violent conflicts. Engage in commercial deals, engage in cultural deals, attract tourists, set up common military exercises… with China and with other neighbors, this is the proper way to deflate the current tensions. Not stereotyping, not magnifying flaws of the other party. Build on your strengths not on your weaknesses.

    If the Filipinos want to strengthen their muscle in defending wealth, the most obvious extortion comes from inside. For every peso that might disappear in Chinese pockets, hundreds disappear in the pockets of a few Filipinos (and yes some have Chinese roots). Some Abaloses or Arroyos will not mind to give the Chinese a few billion if they can enrich themselves by doing so via territorial concessions or broadband deals. Don’t lose your eyes from the ball.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that’s true. Racism at in its most benign form is simply recognizing differences. Then there is a scale along which we hurt or penalize others by our acts, in defense of our own kind. Nations are essentially chartered to do that. Hurt other nations if it is for the well-being of one’s own collective.

      And your solution is correct, too, the intertwining of interests so that the separation of interests becomes a union of interests, with any punishing acts harming the punisher. And therefore not occurring. That is why China’s militarism of the West Philippine Sea is disconcerting. She was well on the path to integration into the global community, and then seems, within the past few years, to have backtracked. The line in my article was as follows: “With growth came confidence, with confidence came belief in oneself, with belief in oneself came belief in superiority.”

      The Chinese military, those brusque, outspoken . . . ummm, racists? . . . need to be sat down by the Chinese professionals, the businessmen.

      Perhaps as MB says above, it is all one big slow-motion negotiation. The price of betting wrong, however, is huge. And it is best to deal from strength, not weakness.

      • Expat says:

        Major difference between USA and Chinese racism:

        America is not defined by a single race. Anyone can be an American (white european, black, hispanic, asian, indian, Arab, etc) — Michael Jordan, Selena Gomez, Pat Morita, Bobby Jindal, Sergei Brin,

        Nobody can be a Chinese (seen any black or mexican chinese?)

        • Joe America says:

          That’s interesting, Expat. In Filipino eyes, a Chinese/Filipino intermarriage creates Filipino kids, and in Chinese eyes, a Chinese/Filipino intermarriage creates Filipino kids. Hahahaha, I don’t know why I think that is so funny. But it is.

      • JosephIvo says:

        Some family feuds are benign, some vendetta’s are not, same for all ever larger groups. Racism is indeed at the negative side of the scale. When these feeling get organized we have a problem. With zero sum thinking racism is dangerous.

        “They”, the essence of racism, is always a good strategy to disguise internal problems (inequalities, bubbles of all kinds, more knowledgeable and vocal citizens ripe for a “Chinese Spring”…). An army needs enemies, isn’t it naturally you find more racist behavior in their ranks?

        Interesting will be to see how the Chinese deal with differences in their own country, e.g. the other peoples in the far west and south west, Mongols, Hong Kong, cities and the country site, millions of returning Chinese students, tourists and business men, the ethnic Diaspora Chinese…

        But let’s be glad they have no minority complex that might have led them to terrorists acts too, full conflict are easier to understand, easier to “fight”. Why can’t a Chinese be a Chinese with his strengths and weaknesses. Why has perfect become the standard.

  8. i don’t think china will try to invade the philippines or SEA–yes that’s very blunt. you cited the military officials interview, but an observer needs to take note of the internal politics in mainland. military men are naturally bellicose talkers because conflict makes them relevant. but no researcher knows/predicts exactly how they decide in beijing. There are surely chinese politicians ,who might be racist, but are more pragmatic and war-averse.

    But from an economic standpoint, war is very unsound. china’s middle class are complaining about pollution, lack of opportunities and other problems caused by an inept bureaucracy. china is starting to lose its wage advantage and i’ve read other economic problems like cash crunch of banks, potential bubbles and the like.

    http://www.iol.co.za/business/features/companies-return-to-taiwan-as-chinese-wages-rise-higher-1.1538117

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/chinas-leaders-struggling-to-bridle-frankenstein-economy-20130626-2oxm7.html

    I don’t think that china’s burgeoning middle class will welcome a costly, risky war. Before the chinese can send missiles to her enemies, she has to confront internal opposition/revolution first. And then if they initiate a war, the west might see it as an opportunity to bring china, an economic and political competitor, down. And i’ve heard ridiculous ideas they will invade us and SEA neighbors to exploit SEA countries resources. But there is the question: will our resources be enough to compensate for the cost of the war on their part and their future needs.

    And in that question, i haven’t taken into account the international condemnation. And when wartime comes, our panicky, reactionary policy/lawmakers will explore every loophole (i’m operating on the idea that the PHl legislature are the only one capable of declaring war) in the MDT to make sure Americans will come to our aid. The international community can simply call for a freeze on all china’s asset and trade embargo; how could they launch a war with that?

    Imperial japan with nazi germany and facist italy couldn’t pull it. I don’ t think a china beset with problems could pull a regional invasion or would even consider war. IMO, world wars or large scale inter-country wars are too passe.

    Still, we need to show defiance but not borderline war-mongering: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/314793/news/nation/phl-us-hold-war-games-near-disputed-panatag-shoal. Deterrence is the fad in the game called defensive realism.

    We shouldn’t drop the dispute, but we should not even think about the slightest chance of war because the PHLs will surely suffer the most.

    • Joe America says:

      Very interesting analysis, Angelo. It makes a good deal of sense, and I hope that you and MB are right, that this confrontation is mainly negotiation, and there are pragmatic powers behind the bluster. However, it SEEMS more to me, and I would tend to dread the confrontation that occurred with Taiwan occurring with China. They seem very edgy. It would seem so simple to me for China and the Philippines to sit down and draw lines that divide the two states. Give something up. Gain the peace and wherewithal to start drilling. I hope we can get there soon and that some kind of incident or economic meltdown does not cause China to get rash. I think President Aquino is certainly against confrontation, but also cannot give away rightful Philippine claims.

      • There’s this asean code of conduct, which will effectively render all kinds of aggression in West Phl sea null in terms of territorial claims. what it seeks is a status quo in the internationally recognized territorial divide; whatever aggressive move a country makes, it won’t affect the territorial division. Also, the code of conduct will determine the final parameters for settling the dispute

        The last time i checked, china refused to push through because the involvement of non-east asian countries such as the US, australia, russia in the negotiation. . You can search the internet more more info. Finally, I hope that the imminent Asean integration will strengthen our position and quell china’s aggression.

        And yes if China were in Taiwan’s shoes, it would have been a provocation. if you can remember the mainland smugglers who were caught and jailed here, the Coast Guard exercised caution and tolerance unlike with the Taiwanese.

      • The Mouse says:

        I would not rule out a Chinese idea of outright invasion.

        Remember Japan in the 1930s. Japan was even part of the allied countries in the first WW…

        and eventually invaded China for resources….

        Also, the Japanese were also fractured prior to their outright aggression. People vocal against Japanese expansion were assassinated. In China pro-democracies are massacred (Tienanmen) and not admitted by the government and are detained.

        And basically, China is not merely doing this to the Philippines/SEA/Japan. The India-China border too is getting intense.

        It doesn’t help that what China is doing is drilling the “nationalism” among the Chinese. Remember how the Chinese public responded at the height of the Senkakus crisis? Chinese mobbed anything Japanese!

        This is hard to imagine in the Philippines esp that only the extreme left does this, not the government per se. But it does seem common in South Korea and China.

        • Joe America says:

          extreme nationalism + extreme emotionalism = atrocities

        • “Also, the Japanese were also fractured prior to their outright aggression. People vocal against Japanese expansion were assassinated. In China pro-democracies are massacred (Tienanmen) and not admitted by the government and are detained.”

          i can’t imagine china doing these kinds of atrocities in the era of social media (they have sina weibo at least). again, the international condemnation might make them worse than Syria, especially if they invade. And even if war is possible, could they fight or even win on at least two fronts (India and SEA)? India is the 8th largest military spender. even if china is second, it won’t be easy to bring down India.

          War is very impractical for the Chinese at this point unless the country is perversely nationalist.

          • The Mouse says:

            War too was impractical for the Japanese back then.

            Yes, Chinese does have social media but it is highly monitored and filtered that the CCP can shut it down anytime. Again, did the “Chinese social media” help ease the tension at the Senkakus crisis? It worsened it. The angry mob got involved.

            Ruling out an outright invasion from China is not a wise assumption. This leads to complacency. No, we are not suggesting that we have a pre-emptive strike, but rather assume that China MAY strike anytime esp when power struggle gets worse and the military faction wins.

            After all, given the poor defense of the Philippines, they don’t need to “invade” us to cripple the Philippines, they just have to send their ballistic missiles from Southern China!

            This was also the mentality that the Philippines had prior to Japanese invasion in WW2. Filipinos thought that the Japanese would not outright invade the Philippines or if they do, it is going to be very short…. but what happened..terrifying three years.

            Ten years ago, people were saying China will be BFF with the Philippines, will not intimidate us like the West has done…. but where are we now? Endlessly intimidated. Scarborough, Ayungin…I would not be surprised if one day they will try to claim Batanes, too!

            Again, spectators say that the warmongering of the Chinese military is due to lack of cohesion in the CCP. Now, imagine if the military becomes the dominant one in Chinese internal affairs?

  9. J says:

    You might want to read Prof Thompson’s latest column on NST. He seems to have high hopes on President Xi http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/where-is-the-leadership-1.307596

    • Joe America says:

      . . . and likes Obama, too. I hope that he is correct, and that Xi has some of Lincoln’s power to overrule his military cadre. Obama seems to lack power sometimes, due mainly to the loss of a patriotic ideology amongst many in government. When people want their president to fail, they can make him look pretty bad.

  10. franz says:

    what scares me the most about china is their willingness to kill their own people to meet an objective. in the 30’s they won a famous victory over japan by blowing up the dams where the japanese were encamped, the japanese suffered a lot of losses, the chinese losses were over a 1,000,000 and the chinese forces knew beforehand that they were going to kill a way lot of their own then the japanese…i fear that in China, there will be no pull-back off troops due to public outrage, hence unrestricted carnage.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, China does seem immune to outside reactions. Half of Asia is angry and they don’t care. It is bizarre, and indeed scary. It is like a crook’s values. Not influenced by rationality.

      • Jerome Dial says:

        The Chinese Gov. is indeed a thief. Philippines has to stand up on its own if it wants to defend itself. The sad thing is Nationalism and Discipline is next to non-existent in a military POV. Just look at what happened to the recent Zamboanga Stand-off. Its a shame, but these things should be a wake up call to Each and every Filipino.

  11. dennis says:

    Top Gone: Call Sign – Mabarik. Great Blog. Lively, intellectually stimulating, educational. I’ll try rising to the occasion. One word re mistrust of China and it’s overt display of power in the South China Sea. —- Tibet. China patiently waits for the right opportunity.

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