About this debate
this house believes that the raise of china’s military power is a threat to East Asian Stability.
China’s military modernisation is of a pace and kind that inevitably makes its neighbours feel vulnerable—not necessarily to a direct attack, but to the emerging superpower’s ability to throw its weight around and force nearby countries into its sphere of influence. At a time when America and the major European powers are reducing defence spending, China’s has been growing by about 12% a year for more than a decade. China’s defence spending is currently less than a quarter of America’s, but if current trends continue, its defence budget will overtake America’s in about 20 years’ time. Much of that spending has been on so-called asymmetric capabilities designed primarily to nullify the force projection power of American naval and air assets in the event of a future crisis over Taiwan. But now China is also developing power-projection capabilities of its own.
- President, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Washington DC
- Increasingly aggressive behaviour has convinced many countries in the region that relying solely on engaging the Chinese government diplomatically and economically is not sufficient to maintain stability.
- Professor and Executive Dean of the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University in Shanghai
- In terms of international collaboration on anti-terror and non-proliferation, China has been a key player in helping to stabilise a number of critical regions. A country taking such actions will not itself become a threat.
At least one thing that our two protagonists should be able to agree on is that China’s military modernisation is impressive testimony to the emerging superpower’s growing self-confidence, technical prowess and economic might. Increasing defence spending by around 12% a year for more than a decade is bound to buy a quantum leap in capabilities. Much of the investment is guided by a consistent and clear-sighted strategy—namely to make it too dangerous or too costly for the status-quo superpower (ie, America) to project force against China’s interests in the event of a future crisis in the region. It should therefore not be surprising that neighbouring countries see it as a threat, if not directly to themselves, at least to the established security order in East Asia. Whether they are right to do so is, of course, another matter.
In the first place, China’s new military power is in some ways a response to a specifically Chinese problem: the ambiguous status of Taiwan. Chinese fears of a formal Taiwan secession have receded. However, Chinese hawks claim that they have done so partly because the associated military risks for both America and Taiwan itself have become so much greater. Shen Dingli maintains that China has yet to gain the military heft to challenge America’s security commitment to Taiwan. But it is doubtful whether an American president today would be as quick to order carrier groups to sail towards the Taiwan Strait because of an increase in tension as Bill Clinton was in 1996.
That China should see Taiwan in such existential terms is at least understandable. The problem is that the capabilities that China is acquiring to deter America from intervening during some future spat over Taiwan are also capabilities that before too long could be used to push those American carrier groups not just over the horizon but far out into the Pacific where they would have little influence over some broader conflict in the region. That is disconcerting to countries such as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Singapore, which look to America as the ultimate guarantor of their security. Andrew Krepinevich says that China is prepared to play a long game in which America’s allies eventually conclude that American power can no longer save them from Chinese coercion. No wonder nearly all have welcomed the strategic priority that the Obama administration recently announced it was giving to the region, and no wonder that defence budgets across it are increasing rather than falling, as they are in Europe.
Yet in other ways, it seems alarmist to talk of China’s “unprovoked challenge” as Mr Krepinevich did a little while ago in making the case for “AirSea Battle”, a new operational concept intended to counter China’s area-denial strategy. There are arguments over exactly how much China is spending on defence, but it is probably a bit over 2% of GDP and good deal less than 3%—a figure that has been fairly constant for a number of years. That compares with the 4.7% that America currently spends. Even though China may get more bang for its buck thanks to lower military pay and cheaper domestically produced weapons, it still spends less than a quarter as much as America on defence.
And although China has more of a tendency to throw its weight around in the neighbourhood than before, particularly when it comes to maritime territorial disputes and the rights to exploitation of under-sea resources, it is more than 30 years since it used military force on any scale in the region. Also, China has a lot to lose from striking too belligerent a stance. Although a rising power with a huge appetite for the world’s natural resources to feed its industrial machine, it is a major stakeholder in the global economic system. Despite signs of a growing popular nationalism at home, China’s leadership knows that its legitimacy rests above all on delivering ever greater prosperity rather than on military adventurism.
It is true that on present trends China’s defence budget could exceed America’s in about 20 years’ time. But the pace of economic growth will almost inevitably slacken and the demands of a rapidly ageing population for better health care and pensions are likely to eclipse those of China’s ambitious generals and admirals.
That said, gauging China’s future strategic priorities is extraordinarily difficult. The political manoeuvrings of its power elite are difficult to read and few can confidently know how it will react to the problems it will inevitably face over the next 10-20 years. One response to a weakening economy could be a more strident nationalism combined with displays of military muscle and bullying of neighbours that resist falling into China’s sphere of influence. Such is the absence of any transparency, especially as far as China’s security establishment is concerned, that placing a bet on China’s intentions remaining benign would surely be foolhardy when its capabilities are improving so rapidly.
Another question that those entering the debate might wish to ponder is what China itself can do to lessen some of the worries about its intentions. Professor Shen argues that China has already done a lot, especially by trying to resolve peacefully a number of outstanding territorial disputes with its neighbours. But it could do still more. That China should want to have armed forces that reflect its size, wealth and history is something that other countries will have to accept. However, unless China wants to trigger a regional arms race that is in nobody’s interests, it has a responsibility to find ways to ease the concerns of its regional neighbours about how it might use those forces.
For two decades East Asia has experienced an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity thanks to the political stability underwritten by America. China has arguably been the principal beneficiary of this stability, as reflected in its remarkable economic growth. Indeed, since the end of the cold war each American administration has sought to engage China in the hope that Beijing would become a “responsible stakeholder” in an international system that emphasises the peaceful resolution of disputes among nations and recognises the common interest all nations have in the effective functioning of a global economy.
A central element of China’s response has been to undertake a major military build-up, now in its second decade, even while hundreds of millions of its citizens still languish in poverty. China is the only major power engaged in such a build-up. It is also the only great economic power under the grip of authoritarian rule.
While China’s leaders profess they are engaged in “peaceful development”, both the capabilities being fielded by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the government’s recent actions suggest otherwise. For example, the PLA is developing the means to target the American military’s information networks, which rely heavily on satellites and the internet to conduct and support operations. The Chinese successfully tested an anti-satellite missile in 2007, and have reportedly used lasers to temporarily blind American satellites. America and its East Asian allies and partners have also been subjected to increasingly frequent cyber-attacks originating in China. These attacks have a number of objectives, including identifying military vulnerabilities.
The Chinese are developing and fielding so-called anti-access/area-denial capabilities to threaten American and allied forces out to the “second island chain”, a line that extends as far east as Guam. The PLA has fielded ballistic and cruise missiles that can strike American facilities from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.
The PLA also seeks to restrict American and allied navies’ freedom of action in international waters. To detect naval vessels at progressively greater distances, the PLA is constructing over-the-horizon radar and deploying reconnaissance satellites. To stalk American carriers and the surface warships tasked with protecting them, China’s navy is producing growing numbers of submarines equipped with advanced torpedoes and high-speed, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles. And the PLA is developing a ballistic missile designed to strike ships at sea.
The PLA’s actions can hardly be explained away as a response to an American arms build-up. If anything, over the past decade the United States, consumed with its “global war on terrorism”, has focused most of its energies on its ground forces, which pose no threat to China, in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Rather, the PLA’s growing capabilities are designed to slowly, but inexorably, shift the regional military balance in China’s favour until its neighbours conclude that there is little America can do to assist them if China engages in acts of coercion. This is consistent with China’s strategic culture. As its great military theorist, Sun-tzu, famously observed, “To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
While the Chinese government asserts that its intentions are benign, its recent actions suggest a growing aggressiveness to match its expanding military power. We are beginning to see what a China-dominated western Pacific would look like. Witness China’s declaration that its “core interests” now include nearly all of the South China Sea’s 1.3m square miles, or its refusal to accept North Korea’s culpability for sinking a South Korean warship despite the evidence provided by an international investigation. At a 2010 international summit, Yang Jiechi, China’s foreign minister, bluntly dismissed Singapore’s concerns over China’s growing territorial claims declaring: “China is a big country, and other countries are small countries and that is just a fact.” One PLA general has gone so far as to state publicly that China should simply occupy disputed islands, militarise them and establish a new administrative zone over them.
This increasingly aggressive behaviour has convinced many countries in the region that relying solely on engaging the Chinese government diplomatically and economically is not sufficient to maintain stability. Virtually every country has begun augmenting its military forces, a development that is widely attributed to growing concerns over China’s rapidly expanding military capabilities.
Belatedly, the American government has concluded that engagement must be balanced by active efforts to maintain regional stability. This is reflected in the Obama administration’s decision to increase its emphasis on preserving the military balance in East Asia. America’s goal and that of its partners is a simple one: sustain the conditions that have provided for the security and welfare of all states, rather than witness the emergence of a new order that benefits one state at the expense of others.
In opposing the motion that China is a threat, it must first be admitted that China’s behaviour in the past was not perfect. For instance, in the 1960s it used to support revolution in other countries, even though it said its foreign policy was one of non-intervention (this sort of support ended in the 1980s). However, in arguing that China is now not a threat, I will not deal with ideology-based foreign policies, but instead confine the discussion to traditional notions of interstate security relationships. I will also not deal with non-traditional threats or domestic issues, such as financial problems and climate change, even though these are also of increasing importance to the region.
Why is China not a threat? First, let us look at the map. Over the past six decades, China’s territory has shrunk. In the past, the demarcation borders in Asia were often unclear. The Communist Party, in founding the People’s Republic of China in 1949, had good reasons to emphasise sovereignty, having suffered humiliation and semi-colonisation at the hands of the Western powers in the past. However, China has peacefully concluded negotiations with some of its neighbours, including North Korea and Myanmar, conceding land that had been under its control.
China even gave an island to North Vietnam in its war of unification, which eventually undercut own interest in claiming the associated maritime. Though tsarist Russia took much Chinese land in the 19th century, the People’s Republic of China settled this border issue with present-day Russia and neighbouring Central Asian countries peacefully, respecting the reality with some small adjustments. A country conceding territory to its neighbours is not the kind of country that can be considered a threat.
The second reason is that, rather than being a threat, China’s legitimate desire for national unification with Taiwan has been greatly undermined, partly because of the threat of military intervention by another major power. That superpower also in the past threatened to use nuclear weapons against China, which prompted China itself to go nuclear. On acquiring nuclear weapons, China made a pledge of no first use, the only country so far to do so among all acknowledged nuclear-weapons states. A country limiting its own options in such a way cannot be more threatening than others.
Third, as a large Asian country, China has tried to settle all territorial disputes peacefully, with much success. Traditionally the borders between Asian countries, on land and sea, have been less clear-cut than in Europe. There are, however, still some issues to be resolved, and China has tried to develop new approaches for dealing with them. For instance, despite the territorial dispute between China and India dating back to the 1960s, the two countries have worked on military confidence-building along the line of control contributing to peace and tranquillity in border areas.
In 2002, China signed a Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea with the ASEAN countries, pledging not to use force to settle territorial disputes. This is unprecedented, as all the signatories commit to solely peaceful means in order to handle sovereign issues. Recently China has worked out guidelines with ASEAN states to implement this declaration and set up a research fund for peaceful use of the area. It has also confirmed that it would not claim the entire South China Sea, but just islands/islets and their surrounding waters. For such disputes, China has suggested using both historical evidence and contemporary international law as the basis for settlement. Further, it has proposed shelving disputes and co-developing the region. Such a formula has been applied to the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands), claimed by both China and Japan. A country of such rationality and restraint is hardly threatening.
Finally, China has also become a major contributor to international peace-keeping efforts. Over the past decade, it has sent the more forces to such UN efforts than any of the other permanent members of the UN Security Council. In terms of international collaboration on anti-terror and non-proliferation, China has been a key player in helping to stabilise a number of critical regions. A country taking such actions will not itself become a threat.
China’s defence budget is indeed rising and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is modernising. The PLA Navy is also building a blue-water navy capability and will be able to project power at a distance over time. But China’s capacity-building is a natural outcome of its economic development, and its military development in recent years began from a very low level of modernisation. Though it is understandable that China’s increased capacity might lead some to be concerned, a threat is the product of intent as well as capacity, and China has no such threatening intent.
Certainly China can and will do more over time to enhance stability in East Asia: providing greater transparency and explaining its intentions; familiarising itself with international law and institutions in settling inter-state disputes; improving the communication of its intentions, and being more patient in defending its legitimate interests while reconciling the interests of other state actors, even if China itself is not a stakeholder.
Comments from the floor
Some Japanese would like to put all the blame on the military for the nation’s war crimes in the 20th century, leaving ordinary Japanese innocent. Didn’t the crowds exult in the streets with the victory at Pearl Harbor? Wasn’t the picture published in a major daily, of the two officers competing to see who could kill the most Chinese civilians with the sword?
Jen PeiWeng Nereus wrote:
Is there a threat to East Asian stability? Maybe but not China!
For two decades East Asia has experienced an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity thanks to the political stability not wholly underwritten by America but by the self-controlled and submissive rising power- China.
It is true that the situation could lead to instability during the course of China rise. But all such instability was evolved, theoretically, from a basic assumption that China is tending to behave like world super powers in past 4 centuries especially current status quo super powers or other emerging powers intended to be. The worse of all development is the status quo super power or other emerging powers is either intended or have had prepared to initiate the unnecessary provocative measures in hoping to contain China which will certainly lead to higher and higher tension in the region such as US increasing the military presence in Asia and Asia Pacific region, Japan denying the evident war crime in China during WWII, Philippines and Vietnam’s territorial claim in China’s South China Sea, India naval vessel presences in South East Asia seas…
Whether China-rise increases probability to great-power war? The answer is likely be negative as in past half century, during the consistent course of China assent, there is no war with China’s direct involvement apart from the 3rd Indochina war that was targeted to diminish “Vietnam aggression” in Indochina 1979 spring. The 3rd Indochina war was factually leading to a rather stable and peaceful South-East Asia and ceased the increasing volatility after the end of US-Vietnam war in the spring of 1975. This is a typical prove that China is a major force in keeping a peaceful and stable SE Asia if US and China working together for a stable SE Asia.
Similar thought could be used to analyse whether US-Chinese tensions are as perilous as cold-war or worse? The world could be more peaceful and stable as what China has had recurrently emphasized in past three decades- China is aiming for a stable world through the course of a China’s peaceful rise. China has also not sought to form a Sino-bloc where US has had accelerating to expanding his bloc in past two decades which formed during the cold war against former Soviet-bloc. In other words, the seemingly cold-war will not be formulated if China was keeping not to seek for a Sino-bloc and if US stopped to expand his political league and stopped to accelerate arm sales in Asia.
It is also interesting to see where India is going to go envisaging the recent assertiveness through building up and upgrading military forces such as the purchase of aircraft carrier, nuclear submarine and the test fired intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)- Agni V. India did clearly indicated their intention. “It is one of the ways of signaling India’s arrival on the global stage, that India deserves to be sitting at the high table” said by Mr. Harsh Pant, a visiting professor from India at King’s College, London.
An unstable Asia? Maybe but not by China!
It is a fake topic, totally nonsense, which is worthless discussion.
However, since there are always somebody want to rise this kind of funny question, I would like to share some my own points of view.
First, I am common Chinese. Naturely, I am glad to experience that China became stronger and more independent. China has the feeling of being hurted and would not want to hurt others by the tradation approach, include Confucious.
Second, China has right to build her defence capability in order to safeguard her peace, prosperity and territory integrity. The fact is some disputes are not new, some problems emerged recently. Why? If you search the history, It is not reason of China. Like the Chinese South Sea dispute with Phil. and Vietnam. The islands of recent event did not be claimed by Phil until 1997. China has right to provide safty for their people working in their tradition fishing water fields.
Third, From where come the threat to the peace in the world and to the world people world-widely? Which country use forces frequently and concerning by their own intrest, value and religion? Which country has became the biggest weapon importer in the past consecutive five year? What are their intention behind those facts?
Therefore, the answer is obvious.
Can Professor Dingli Shen, clarify one issue, that in my mind seems to be the most obvious.
Does China plan to annex Taiwan by force? Is Beijing prepared to renounce the use of force for “reunification” with Taipei?
I’d like to hear his answer on this.
This is the elephant in the room in Asian politics; China is clearly building up the capability to prevent a U.S intervention on behalf Taiwan in the (likely) inevitable event of “reunification”.
Area Denial weapons and Anti-ship missiles are designed to prevent the U.S.N from supporting Taiwan. China is building, expanding and improving it’s capabilities against the U.S.
The fact that China is now laying claim to the South China Sea whilst developing these capabilities suggests that there are expansionist elements in the Communist Party.
China has in the past forty years continually shown that it is capable of using force to achieve political ends. China supported the Khmer Rouge during the genocide and used them to weaken Vietnam’s strategic position. Furthermore China invaded Vietnam over the Spratly Islands, and Vietnam’s intervention in Cambodia.
If anything the use of force is the rule, rather than the exception. The PRC have simply become more adept at using it.
China has also demonstrated that it is not willing to do more than cooperate with the international order, refusing to condemn the massacres in Syria, nor place sanctions on Iran over it’s pursuit over nuclear weapons & refusing to stop manipulating the yuan.
Until China renounces all claims to Taiwan,begins to to actually play a more active decisive role in the international order & adhere to those laws; it’s neighbours will continue to feel uneasy. That China is building up capabilities to stop the global security guarantor is only indicative of it’s ultimate intent.
Dear Sir, It depends on (a) whether the other countries of the region acquiesce to China’s hegemony or if they fight it, and (b) if they fight it, whether they band together and perhaps get US support, or whether they let China pick them off one by one, on one issue after another. If they (a) acquiesce and (b) let divide & conquer rule, then there will be stability – to China’s benefit and loss to all other countries. The current China Sea territorial dispute is an example but it is the forerunner of others to come. The real issue is whether stability at all costs is worth it.
I noticed that disagreement as a function of time keeps increasing. Might that just be reflecting the pattern of a totalitarian country with a large propaganda machine at work, trying to further its goals by mobilizing clicks? After all, no non-democratic counterparty has a vested interest in swaying the opinion the other way.
red star wrote:
I would agree that East Asian stability is threatened. However, if the rise of China’s Military power is a cause or a result should be discussed.
It is to a degree true that the stability the region depends much on the US. What has changed in recent times is the US attitude. The US have in many instances sparked tension with China from its spy plane intruding Chinese air space, the cross strait issue, and most recently the rising US military presence in Asia Pacific. With these instances in mind, China’s rise in military can be seen as a response to the increasing presence of the US. The threat to stability then, is the result of a security dilemma.
I voted YES.
First, if China´s tradition is to resolve conflicts peacefully, why not then to approach Taiwan this way instead of warning that it will use force if necessary?
Second, the capabilities being acquired by China are well above the limit of a peaceful resolution to this and any other issue. To me, this means the country is willing to have the most disuasive power in the region and back America off of it.
Besides, slowing economic growth can spark the idea that maybe, just maybe, the country could try to attach some more territory to its own in order to have access to raw materials, water, fertile land etc. It happened with other countries in the past, why wouldn´t happen with China?
China’s rise does threaten the status quo or stability in East Asia. However change is inevitable, and the real question should be: How to make the rise in Chinese power a force for greater harmony in the region and world? The people need to have their input on this, and not just the governments of East and West.
SC Nice day wrote:
Dear Sir, China’s rise will no doubt add to instability to the whole of South Asia-Pacific region and beyond. But the interesting thing is, there are lot more countries in this region with huge egos and ancient history of defending self-respect–be it small Vietnam or Japan or India. Every action will lead to recoil and China won’t like the outcome. No one will win but lot of lives will be lost and bitterness follows. Without democracy, we don’t see how anyone can tame the PLA or the Chinese Govt attitude of immensely boyish inferiority complex–hence they fight with one and all and on small issues or non-issues. It lacks maturity, as once a former Japanese PM said. Chinese PLA+govt wants every land on the planet, be it under or above water and they don’t respect anyone (like all dictators) and now with lot of money to burn, they will become adventurist. Chinese may have learnt this trait from the Mongols, who attacked Peking relentlessly (and so they built the Great Wall) and who eventually vanished. Now China is teaching that skill to its neighbors. Hope Wall Street and Financial market could teach us how and when to control greed and hope China will take note on it’s ever expansionist attitude.
There seems to be a disconnect here between the interpretations of what our Prop and Opp speakers are debating. The question is not: is china’s rise threatening America, but is China’s rise threatening stability in East Asia.
Now, it was brought up that America’s allies and bases in the region are signs of the USA threatening China. However, it can also be viewed that it is these bases which attempt to stabilized the region. That is one way America should be involved in this debate.
The second way is if we consider this a scenario where hegemonic power transition theory applies. If that is the case then we must also assume that it is the USA that we are referring to as the regional hegemony in East Asia. If we accept that then China’s rise is not only a threat to America’s dominance ut also the stability in the region. When a hegemon is replaced there is undoubtedly a period of transition with big changes. Also, it is these power struggles which produce the most damage; when two big powers compete.
However, if these two points aren’t considered as relevant, the question should be solely China’s military rise effects on the region. From other posts it appears China and India are still at odds with their border; Taiwan is on the ledge; the Spatley Islands are a point of contention; North Korea is in no way a benefit to stability with its launches etc. The views brought forward show China trying only to 1. oust the influence of America and 2. become the hegemon of the region. But with the problems mentioned above and squabbles over the surrounding seas and little islands just to expand EEZ zones, it doesn’t seem like true stability will be attained. Only a defensive security dilemma with America and fearful neighbors.
Even china does not have any reason circling india , we never invaded the south china sea nor do we block ur trade routes, but why do u provocatively voilate india’s soverieghnity and support terrorist nations against india? why do u surround india with ports commonly refferred to as strings of pearl
India said Thursday it had successfully launched a missile with nuclear capability and a 3,100-mile range, giving it the ability to strike Beijing and Shanghai. While the debate here, on TE blog, is going on, in the real, physical world, this question has already been settled. It is as amusing as it is sad that, the majority of the people who voted “No”, prefer to live in an imaginary world…
Abiezer Coppe makes a wonderful comment!
Also, Excellent work @Piyush, to get those articles and videos out.
However, I think some of the views here are not entirely the fault of the people presenting them, the responsibility for this lies with the PLA and the government which misinforms its citizens and conceals vital information. Truth must be experienced rather than told, or as Abiezer Coppe says: Truth must be googled rather than told
Piyush Tariyal wrote:
Here is a point by point rebuttal of what our dear deluded professor from Shanghai is stating:
20: “Over the past decades the Chinese territory has shrunk” I would ask the dear professor to please stretch his timeline just a decade back and also factor in the Chinese invasion of the free nations of Tibet and Uighuristan. Just handing over a few islands to bordering nations does not explain away the rapid territorial expansion by General Mao.
22 The last time I checked India too was a nuclear weapon state and we also did not have a well declared first use policy.
23 The new approach developed I guess was backstabbing. In 1962 the Indian PM was busy singing about a blossoming Sino-Indian partnership when the Chinese troops came marching over the Himalayas like hundreds of red ants. This was one frontier that had not been breached by an invading army throughout the history of India.
As regards peaceful resolution please refer to my earlier posts about the rising tension along teh border.
24 Please refer to the numerous economist articles talking of Chinese warships driving away the vessels of other nations from the area.
25 China is the prime backer of the biggest rogue regime in the world :North Korea and the biggest terrorist state: Pakistan. Pakistan developed its entire nuclear program with Chinese help and then sold the technology to rogue nations like Libya and N Korea.
26 Does anyone know what the real budget is?
27 We are yet to see anything credible
Abiezer Coppe wrote:
Allowing its citizens to use Google, uncensored, would pour oil on China’s troubled waters.
China is as yet an untested economy. What I mean is in terms of International leadership burden. A leaders character comes under scrutiny or test in trying times. And limited experience says China has failed them. Whether internal issues or external issues. Magnified and consistent failures and a massive military might or not the right combination for less than a statesman like ledrship.
Dear Sir, China’s military leap could easily be counter-productive. By increasing its military capabilities so far and so fast, other nations in East and South-East Asia could perceive a threat. Perhaps China, with all its rhetoric about “non-interventionism” and “diplomacy” could drive otherwise neutral states into America’s arms, and thus unite a host of likewise booming states against it.
Piyush Tariyal wrote:
This is in response to proof being demanded for some of my earlier assertions. Please find a few news articles listed below which prove my point:
1. Tension rising in the Ladakh sector along the LAC :http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/is-chinese-activity-on-the-ladakh-border-a-cause-for-concern-144417
2. Chinese military escalation near disputed areas which have been peaceful for years now:http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/121794
3. Damming of rivers that flow to India:
4. Blatant Chinese help to arch Indian enemy Pakistan:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-09-03/india/28220420_1_…
All of these are but a few examples of rising Chinese aggression in the border areas and also all of us know about the great South China Sea dispute which proves my contention that this scene is being repeated at all of China’s borders.
For further insights you can read the official Chinese media’s response to India’s ICBM test:http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/705627/India-being-swept-up-b…
Canadian Thunder wrote:
China’s rise as a superpower will at the very least bring all its neighbours to snug up closely to the US to act as a deterrent to anything that might transpire from a Chinese political system that remains largely opaque and thus a threat to all.
The first question we should ask ourselves is why do countries spend so much to form a strong and formidable military might? the answer simply is to defend their country from imminent danger from surrounding neighbors and their allies. Also it is worthy of note that they do so with a view to enlarge their territorial controls and influence. However, in the case of China one would suggest that the quest to have a strong and formidable military might and to remain a force to reckon with in East Asia is behind their actions. In achieving this feat, their military needs to have sophisticated instruments and weapons, which can only be accomplished through persistent and adequate researches. Well, I am unsure if there is any international law preventing any nation from building a strong and formidable military base to protect the life and properties of its citizens. Going by Prof. Shen’s argument, in recent time china has been resolving and settling territorial disputes with its neighbors in a commendable way. However, one interesting fact here is that most of the nations mentioned by him are viewed majorly as adversaries of the west. i.e. North Korea, Russia, North Vietnam et al. The act of forging good relations with western adversaries alone portray them as having anti western agendas. however in my own opinion, the rise of China’s military power is in no threat to the stability of East Asia, owning to the fact that there is no international law forbidding any nation from building a strong and powerful military to defend and protect its citizens and territories. Any nation(s) who feels threatened by china’s military rise should also embark on further thorough and adequate researches, with a view to improve its own military might. This act will not only offer them the opportunity of safeguarding the interest of their nation, it will also afford them the opportunity of being a force to reckon with in their continent.
guest-ilniaoj, our moral high ground comes from the fact that we do not threaten and coerce our neighbours. China and India can be friends only if China chooses to respect our sovereignity and ceases to interfere in our matters, whether it be through Proxy wars, or through vassal states. That is the equality and respect referred to. Aggressive posturing and the exertion of force is something that we will not accept, it is against the fabric of our nation.
As for Mahatma Gandhi, he taught us peace, but he also taught us to stand for the rights of the weak and impoverished. China will be our friend, when it chooses to adopt the path of humility and growth
Beijing is still a developing country.like other countries, he need to searching security and no one can image that his yard can be built without barries.
Besides, people need to haben weapon to ensure that they are not in danger.As a common sense, we all think the lowest security demanding must be respected and who do bad can not be bear.
If we only say that one need do all peacefully, no militry operations, then, can we say we do not need to show our power to provide enemy’s threaten? It is rather a silly answer.
So are you saying that India is not equal to China so they can’t be friends? Or is it the other way round?
Understanding and respect are two virtues that nobody has a monopoly over. So the sooner you learn to accept this fact and stop acting like you own the moral high ground, the better for everybody.
It seems to me that it is you that don’t fully appreciate all the good virtues of the Great Mahatma Gandhi!
China’s continued investments in it’s offensive capabilities are indeed a threat to stability in East Asia. If it weren’t surrounding East Asian countries wouldn’t be reacting so nervously.
Those who disagree are wearing blinders. At the very least, it’s better to be prepared for an abrasive China than to be caught with our pants down as we were with the Germans and the Chinese. D
on’t make excuses for them, hedge, offshore balance and engage diplomatically. This is the prudent approach.
To say that nuclear weapons will not be used in any future war is naivety to the extreme!]
Then I would recommend careful reading, for it is nowhere suggested.
This is Amusing indeed, for the only states capable of brinksmanship of this sort are Pakistan, North korea and Iran. Responsible nations have not used Nuclear weapons in recent wars. It is almost implicitly a deterrent and almost every nation, though not in written follows a no first use policy. Maybe the Chinese will, if so, It is a scary thought.
The U.S. used them on Japan to end the war that was Some 67 years ago. Guilty as they maybe, again, they served the purpose of dissuading future Imperalists from behaving with the arrogance that Japan did.
Friendship is only possible among equals and more so amongst those who understand each others concerns and respect each others sovereignity. Otherwise there is distrust and eventually war.
To say that nuclear weapons will not be used in any future war is naivety to the extreme!
The U.S. has already used nuclear weapons twice. Who is to say they or any other nuclear power won’t use these terrible weapons again in another war?!!
The best hope to avoid wars is by making friends. We all need to try harder to make this world a more safer and peaceful place to work, play and live in.
China is placed in East Asia while the U.S. placed in America…So who is a threat to East Asia? While China doesn´t have a single military base next door to the U.S., the U.S. deploys thousands of troops next door to China. Why should an American power like the U.S. have several military bases in East Asia? Obviously, just to threat China. American protectorates and colonies like Japan, Taiwan, Guam, Philipines, Australia, Singapore are just military bases on the U.S. side. Why America and the U.K. (which is a European country) keep threatening China for being in East Asia?
Chinas conspicuous economic rise has alarmed its neighbours and the sole superpower the US. However China’s role in a global perspective is how we need to asses. With China’s massive growth China has reached out to the world in assisting (financially)and investing strategically to leverage its power in the global arena. With massive strategic investments running into billions of dollars annually China has the right to defend its strategic investments internationally. China’s existence would depend on inward and outward bound trade, hence China views the global sea lanes as the driver of China’s future growth and identifies the vulnerability of over dependence of the sea lanes would put China’s interests in harms way. China’s capacity building would definitely trigger an arms race in the region and US will benefit from this phenomenon by being the major ally of many beleaguered States in East Asia similarly as US benefited from the Arab spring by signing billion dollar military supply contracts with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, U.A.E. and Kuwait. However the balance does not tilt only with military power it has to have a considerable economic leverage as well. China’s succession to become a regional power and a global player cannot be discounted and any economic power would strengthen its military power to showcase internationally. There is no doubt instability would prevail in the region until China presents to the world and its neighbours that It’s military modernisation does not threaten the region or the sovereignty of other States.
China’s rise is an inevitable outcome of economic development.Many outsiders are accustomed with backwardness in China since China’s past is filled with humiliation and disgrace inflicted by invaders.But since China adopted opening up policy its economic size and volume are getting more and more attractive.
Accordingly, military expenditure should increase to protect and defend itself as a logistic result.Let alone that China lacks sufficient military budget for a long time due to its weak financial power. Rapid increase in military expense in recent years can be reasonably explained as a laggard play.
Even so, China’s current economic status quo is relatively less developed comparable with other industrialized competitors. In terms of statistics China’s sheer defense expenditure is less one fifth of America last year.Given latent wellfares enjoyed by American military staffs the real constrast maybe looks more gloomy for China. China has much more territory area and vast population to defend than America. China’s military expense per capita stays well behind many countries. Threat posed by China’s recent military budget increase seems like an exaggerated legend for us.
Admittedly,China should do more job to mitigate concern of regional neighbours.But its neighboures’ accommodative attitude toward China’s rise weighs much during their engagement with China.
guest-ilniaoj’s jokes are tasteless, as much so his speech about a better future is senseless. His views are simplistic ones of a misinformed Chinese optimist. China’s intent in 1962 was very well known, and the current policy of the Chinese mirrors the one at that point of time. Personal feelings about the war generally do not hold their place in a debate, My assertions here are based on facts, facts that cannot be denied.
Wars in todays age are not nuclear, they are tactical, the one with more economic and military muscle wins. That is exactly what the Chinese mindset is. Their tactics are for preservation of self and their might is already being used to bully and coerce countries into submission. We are against this future as we believe that people have the right to choose for themselves. That resources are for all and not only the mightiest. If you understand and respect Mahatma Gandhi then you should understand this as well.
By the way, the line about the US being far away from here sounds like a veiled threat now doesn’t it?
Please; please; Piyush Tariyal provide us with any evident to support your 9 points claim.
Piyush Tariyal wrote:
While on one hand China keeps chirping about a peaceful military rise, on the other hand Chinese belligerence has increased dramatically at all of its disputed borders. Here in India we get news feeds on a near daily basis of Chinese (1). soldiers violating long held ceasefires, (2). marching on Indian held territory, (3). Painting Chinese flags on Indian land, (4). Destroying villages on our side of the border, (5). Deploying missiles aimed at Indian cities in Tibet, (6). Damming the rivers that flow into India. The list goes on and on.
After having been comprehensively humiliated by the Chinese during the short war in 1962, we Indians would be fools not to shore up our own defences in response to this militarization and blatant aggression. The ICBM that was proudly tested today by India (bringing all Chinese cities under our missile range) is but a testimony to this fact. After having been silent for decades the Himalayan frontier is abuzz with (7). Frenetic activity as the possibility of Chinese aggression looks more and more real with each passing day.
(8). This escalation on the border might just be a result of fear mongering but the Chinese instead of reassuring India continue with their blatant aggression. And (9). this scene is being repeated at all of China’s borders.
At least from India I can safely say that we will not take any Chinese bullying lying down. Therefore it is quite clear that the sharp military escalation by China will definitely destabilize Asia (not just the eastern end).
Last question is, India and China are the victims of the imperial past, their homeland had been cut up into pieces (e.g. Mongolia; Pakistan; Bangladesh; etc. etc.). If you were genuine Indian (peace loving people), please don’t use ICBM to threaten your peace loving neighbour.
Piyush Tariyal wrote:
While on one hand China keeps chirping about a peaceful military rise, on the other hand Chinese belligerence has increased dramatically at all of its disputed borders. Here in India we get news feeds on a near daily basis of Chinese soldiers violating long held ceasefires, marching on Indian held territory, painting Chinese flags on Indian land, destroying villages on our side of the border, deploying missiles aimed at Indian cities in Tibet, damming the rivers that flow into India. The list goes on and on.
After having been comprehensively humiliated by the Chinese during the short war in 1962, we Indians would be fools not to shore up our own defenses in response to this militarization and blatant aggression. The ICBM that was proudly tested today by India (bringing all Chinese cities under our missile range) is but a testimony to this fact. After having been silent for decades the Himalayan frontier is abuzz with frenetic activity as the possibility of Chinese aggression looks more and more real with each passing day.
This escalation on the border might just be a result of fear mongering but the Chinese instead of reassuring India continue with their blatant aggression. And this scene is being repeated at all of China’s borders.
At least from India I can safely say that we will not take any Chinese bullying lying down. Therefore it is quite clear that the sharp military escalation by China will definitely destabilize Asia (not just the eastern end)
Chin;smilitary might is not a threat to East Asian security. It is a threat to their own internal security. Military might will lead to tension in their own country. Disgruntled military personnel will try to interfere in the civilian rule. This will lead to peacelessness.
It is quite funny to debate China’s intention and not US’ when both posses military capabilities. A fair call will be to compare comprehensively military activities especially foreign ones for the world to see – war undertaken, bases, routings, joint exercises, joint trainings etc. The way media harps on China is as if she does not know how to behave while US does in perfection. As it is now China is still coming to grips with the operational know-how of an aircraft carrier fleet which speaks abundance of her overall capability, something which Japan had mastered more than 50 year ago (unlikely Japan would have lose touch of such valuable knowledge). China also has also no operable stealth fighters and even there is a question on her 4th generation fighters. Instilling fear does not favour China while it favours US – something not highlighted at all. Assuming that both China and Vietnam have no weapons at all, China’s sheer size is still a natural intimidation. So does China’s military prowess change anything? If China’s size is a problem so too are Canada’s, US’, India’s and Russia’s (worse straddles over two continents). If China must disintegrate to make others feel safer so too should US, Russia, Canada and India. How is China managing her intimidating posture? Not much credit has been given to China for her acts in the last 20 years. In fact US constantly puts China in bad light knowing that China is backward. Measuring China through US’ lenses where China has experienced a 100 years of backwardness while in that same period US experienced not only rapid modernization but also the displacement of the mighty Great Britian as the world’s superpower, is like expecting a 486 IBM computer to do the task of a Windows Vista Dell computer. Even if China wins against, say Philippines, in a fight, what is she going to get out from Philippines? Not even an inch of territorial earth – even with the absence of the US. So what is the motivation to use brute strength? China’s headache of governing her vast land and huge population is a natural barrier to any expansionist tendency. Only countries with a few hundred million in population, economic leadership and cutting edge technology may have such tendencies. Even if China ultimately has South China Sea and East China Sea, will it change anything for others? India and Australia are not going to become smaller. As for Vietnam she can always look to join-control with China in overlapping areas. Afterall both China and Vietnam has only each other apart from Laos that share a common system and philosophy. More pressing actually should be the assessment of social costs resulting from US’ military adventurism since 2001 which should not be swept under the blanket of “collateral damage”.
I think Abhijit Pande loves America so much that he should consider living there if not already there. Better still, why not propose and marry your beloved sweetheart?!! It’s fine with us and we don’t have any objections!
I hope you don’t mind – this is only meant to be a joke to cheer us all up! No offence intended!
Now to the more serious part. I have read many of your less-than-complimentary comments about China and how awful and evil the country is. You seem to be full of hatred and vindictiveness towards China. Maybe this has to do with the very brief border war between our two countries about 50 years ago when China had the upper hand.
I know a lot of people in India still feel humiliated and bitter about the war but at least the Chinese side treated your POWs well and gave them food, water and shelter. This is in stark contrast to the summary executions given to Chinese POWs by the Japanese Imperial Army.
Irrespective of who is right or wrong in that war, that is now in the past and part of history, and we need to move on and look to the future.
We cannot change history but we can together determine the future. Do you want a future where both nuclear states annilate each other with nuclear weapons or one where both countries cooperate for the betterment of mankind?
And don’t forget Pande, your friend the U.S. is a long way from the place of mutual destruction. They may even be quietly happy with the outcome – two less potential superpowers to contend with!
I’m not saying that is the U.S. wish but it could turn out that way.
Mahatma Gandhi was a great and inspiring man and respected all over the world, including many Chinese, because of his humility, wisdom, selflessness and determination.
We could all learn from the Great man.
Just to clarify, Kung fu-tze is misinformed when he calls us liers and libelers, there is evidence of China’s tresspasses along international control lines along with evidences of every other thing that has been put forth.
Kung Fu-tze calls us hired goons, that is so very unworthy of debate, going by the hired goons analogy, who can say that it is not the other way around, with Nationalist Chinese comments abound and ridiculous voting levels on both Sides. He comments that India wants a war with China, is he crazy? We would be slaugthered, only the Americans are foolish enough to think they can defeat China. We as Indians, know the reality of our country, even a war against pakistan would mean our end. This is the primary cause of fear, because China asserts itself more and more and Indians know we cannot defend ourselves, So we turn to the Americans, If China is serious, India is still sensible enough to join hands with a powerful and growing nation, There is much we can learn and share. China will be short of working hands in 20 years, we can help with that, India, has a lot of things that China can help us with. However, China’s policy of self before others cannot continue, it must be win-win for everyone.
This is not war against China, it is war against the intent that China shows and fear of its massive military that can run down Asia and europe taken together if it so desires. If China’s militarization was consistent with the rest of Asia, we would welcome it and join it as a shield against the big brother tactics of America.
Kung Fu-tze wrote:
Ahbhijit_Pande and Pyush Tirayal do not debate. They tell lies and use this column to continue slander China instead.
In truth, the real threat and danger to the world and to China in particular, are the adventurist and super-egoistical Indians, and the domineering Americans.
The legions of U.S. funded blogs and hired hands to libel China and Chinese are a real and present danger to the world. The real verbal ofensive/war is currently conducted by America against CHina with the assistance of its Indian goons, and this apalling hate campaign is obviously leading to a wat with China when Washington feels that global public sentiments have been sufficiently manipulated to believe that China is a threat and that they are the bad guys and that a war against them is justificable. This debate using Washington’s oft repeated lie and cliche – that China is a threat – by the Economist is no help but an addition to the high octane risk to the start of the third world war by Washington.
All said, if hired libellers Abhisit Pande and Piyush Tirayal continue to have their way, India may indeed belive its own lies and start another adventurist war and like the Philippines, hoping the Americans will come their rescue. Nuclear India is presently the biggest and foolish threat to China and the world if they go along with these two racialistic propagandist. Luckily new Delhi may not exactly desire to be Washington’s lackey.
Devils Advocate_1 confuses multiple topics at the same time. So lets put the facts straight
1. The debate is about China’s aggression. “China bashing” is actually the truth. The Chinese invaded India just for the sake of establishing their supremacy and slaughtered 5000 Indian troops. China needs to keep its wants and aggression in check. It needs to work and grow with the Russians and Indians to end terror. Any effort directed towards Military growth against these nations will dissuade and hamper all cooperation.
2. The Continuous Naxal talk is one of a seditionist and someone who would again, break India into multiple fragments
3. As for his comments on Religiousity. Indians are the most secular community across the planet. Calling people Hindu flamers, is a disgrace and it exemplifies the grossly separitis mindset of the writer. Indians are secular, call them Indians if you may.
4. The caste system has been abolished in India long back and now India works towards the upliftment of every sphere of society. Even the Vicious Naxals who ambush Indian Forces Day in and out and murder its citizens.
5. Naxalism has its roots in China/Nepal and is supported by the PLA and some factionist elements in India. They have no grounds for NaxalLand as neither do the Pakistanis have a Right over Kashmir. Kashmir was ceded to India after Tribals overran it and the Indian army bailed them out. It is rightfully Indian. In case of Naxals, Bangladesh is rightly our land, but India has ceded despite having defeated them in war and acknowledging their rights and Choices. All other area comes under the federal territory of India and is rightfully Indian territory, Unlike the Chinese who claim every useful territory as their own.
5. People have their rights and their right to defend those rights, unlike in countries like China.
6. Kudos on your achievement of Ridiculing Gargantua1, keep your wisdom confined to him
7. Finally, For your views on America, talk to the pentagon, maybe gargantua can help you out in convincing them to ensure that the rightful owners are given ownership of the land.
Devils Advocate_1 wrote:
Another must read for Anyone who truly worry about threats and instability:
May 10th 2010 4:25 GMT
One of the 50 cent army drones posted this –
“If the “Aryan Invasion” Theory is true, all the Aryan Indians should quit India and return the land to the NATIVE Indians, who “historically, have claimed a right to self-determination” so that they can live in peace and happiness with no oppression from aliens, but “for political and territorial reasons”, Aryan Indians have “refused to acknowledge these rights.”
By this logic, if the Aryan Invasion theory is true, and we will most possibly never know, then likewise all non-native Persians, Northern Europeans, and other peoples should return to the central steppes of Russian. Likewise, other people who have emigrated throughout the world over eons due to the Out of Africa theory should all return to Kenya and duke it out there – that would be everyone. Your argument is pure garbage. We are not talking about human migration in this article – but rather about China’s continued occupation over a foreign land which, by its own determination, has never been part of China.
You are obviously unaware that there are many theories as to who the Aryans were, when they came into India (violent invasion is only one of the theories), and are they the peoples responsible for the verses which became the Rig Veda. They may have assimilated slowly over centuries. They may have originated in South Asia, though this is doubtful, as the presence of horses and horse sacrifice, central to the Vedas, has more in common with Persian culture of the time. And the horse is not native to South Asia.
Tone down the hateful rhetoric and stick to facts. I’m not Indian nor do I live in India, so focus your envy and hatred of Indians elsewhere. The whole world knows that China has invaded Tibet and has oppressed and killed them for 60 years now. We are just waiting for the Chinese to stop denying this and confess to their crimes, just as they should confess to the oppression of Uighurs, the extermination of the Lolos, the persection of Falang Gong members … But expecting apologists for genocide to recant their propagandistic, shrill and bullying manner is hopeless. China is feeling its oats now, but will suffer for its hubris eventually, sooner if not later.]
The PhD Hindu flamer, Gargantua1, bites his tongue every time he talks. He is exactly right. I am “not talking about human migration” but about the invasion and occupation by alien people here. Migration of people out of Africa to other unoccupied territories around the world is NOT part of this story but the ALIEN Aryans’ invasion and occupation of India is.
ARYAN CLAIMS TO THE ASIAN LAND OF INDIA IS A PURE FABRICATION.
“The whole world” knows that Dalits are the TRUE Indians and TRUE Asians (like the Tibetans are) but Aryan Indians are NOT true Indians– They are invaders from alien land (just like the Aryan land-grabbers in other non-European continents). See below:
“Today we are called the dalits -the oppressed.
Once the Aryans on their horses invaded this land.
Then we who are the natives became the displaced.”
“According to an Indian historian, S.K. Chatterjee, the original Indians were the Sudras (the serving caste people) today’s Dalits. These were the pre-Aryan people who lived for thousands of years on the Indian soil. The Aryans are said to have come into India around 1500 BC and made the local people their servants and slaves. The Dalits are the descendants of the earliest settlers of India. Because of the long history of oppression, they have lost their self-identity as full human beings.”
As a result of their occupation, Dalits are raped
Dalits are killed
and Dalits are burnt
The Bose-ists/Naxalites, one of the TRUE NATIVE peoples of India, understand this and say: “China’s Chairman is our Chairman”
On the contrary – China’s military modernization will bring more stability to the region and to the world. A strong China cannot be intimidated by the US and its followers, hence the US will be reluctant to attack China or its interests. US reluctance to attack means one less useless war. One less useless war means more stability.
But why pick on China again? Why not debate whether a US armed to the teeth, hellbent on “full spectrum dominance”, is a factor of world stability or otherwise? How about debating whether Israel’s attempt to swallow Palestine without Palestinians would lead to more stability?
C-blue’s arguments are typical Chinese Rhetoric.
1. China has violated International Waters when it claims the South China Sea as its own. No other country dares to confront another countries ships on friendly visits.
2. Iran is exactly the mentality and the kind of states China has supported. Nuclear Weapons and Nationalism at the cost of the welfare of its people and for the that the Regime needs to answer to democracies the world over
3. The Vietnam War was a war against communism and tyranny and genocide. The US waged war at the cost of its own people to save democracy in that country, although the war itself was follery but it defines the American Commitment to peace and Democracy.
4. There is no right time to sponsor terrorist states, but the US realized its mistakes and commited to correcting them. However, the Chinese continue to harbor, sponsor and arm terror in Vassal states and fragment powerful peripheral nations.
5. China Blatantly violates the Line of Actual Control with India, and interferes in its soveriegn affairs. It has audaciously shown Indian states as its own in Maps and shows extreme duplicity when it comes to the McMahon line. All this, regardless of what C-Blue’s limited knowledge maybe.
Spare everyone the Chinese rhetoric and talk on fact. The US has made mistakes, but none in its audacity and arrogance, instead in the name of People and Democracy. On the Other hand, China doesnt make mistakes, it is strategically increasing its military muscle to get what it wants in the region
Fan star wrote:
I think Mrs Andrew don’t understand China well.Chinese living standard has been improved a lot.Chinese love peace.With the economy growths,the increase of the military power is normal.We want to political reform,but also want country could lead the world like american.
Abhijit_pande’s claims are flawed:
1. The US doesn’t claim the Pacific Ocean as its own. – Neither does China do so. What did India say about the Indian Ocean? Maybe not its own, but its sphere of influence. What’s the difference?
2. It has not threatened Iranian vessels. – It threatened Iran and it will threaten Iranian vessels in case of need. No doubt.
3. It did not kill 70 vietnamese sailors for no reason. – It raged Vietnam War, which killed… you can check the number yourself.
4. It …. sponsor[ed] terrorist states … in cold war era. – What? Cold war was the right time to sponsor terrorist states?
5. It does not step across borders of its neighbours. – A Chinese saying: We will not attack unless we are attacked; If we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack. Chinese stick to that. The Western saying: Tit for tat is fair play.
Dear Sir, China raise it natural, one must not confuse economic growth and increase in the military budget as a mean to conquer the world. Eventually China will renforce its dominance and power on places that consider its natural domain. China is not Iran nor Russia, who’s politics are either againts a country or tactical geopolitics. China seams more willing to play globaly in the economical and security area dont forget that one of China main priorities is its own people wealth, healt and stability too
I think it’s a bit funny that China’s military power becomes an issue. If it is a problem, why not American military power is not a problem? And why not Britain’s and France’s? How do you gauge if China’s arms are right or overdone? Just imagine, if China were to deploy army to Cuba or to have joint drill with Cuba, what would you think the Americans will have to say? Now, curiously, China is not supposed to react to America’s army deployment in East Asia, where China is located and the US is almost half of the globe away.
What a world!
Whatever the case, I don’t agree with Mr. Andrew krepinevich and his like on that China’s military is a threat. What Chinese learn from her own history and what America, as well as other countries, has done in modern day, is military force never works to win others. Moral is the way. Mr. Krepinevich’s logic is complete alien to Chinese’s traditional culture.
Someone wrote that this poll should be provided to 1.5 billion Chinese to find their opinions. well, the same could be said about providing the survey to 1.4 billion Indians and 1.4 billion Americans and Europeans who would pretty well, agree with the motion(Unless they were Chinese agents ofcourse)
The Chinese cannot use the wrongs against them in history to justify what they are doing today. This was the exact theory that Nazi Germany developed for their losses in Alsace Lorraine and that cost the world dear.
The United States, flawed as they maybe have stood against the barbaric Islamists whose only religion is mass murder. People who talk against the US should also see the economic consequences of the wars that they fought. And it was a risk they took so that Cavemen imposing the rule of Murder and Anarchy in the name of Jihan would be stopped.
Circling China again is something that is not choosen by the US, but it has become the need of the hour because of China’s arrogance and rapid militarisation. The kind of nationalism and sentiments on display here in this forum itself paints a scary picture of Chinese Intent.
Not only the US, but every country large or small, fears China in Asia, It is indeed required to Encircle China in a firewall even if it leads to another cold war. This is justified so as to ensure that the right of choice for the weak and the underpriviledged remain. We cannot allow a nation as Authoritarian as China to become a superpower militarily. With the world as unstable as it, and the reigning superpowers as weak as they are now, it will lead to Dire consequences for every one in Asia.
K.D. Devil wrote:
Every nation have some very traumatic memories and sensitive issues. One of the most traumatic events in the Chinese history was the opium war and the gun boat diplomacy which was used by the Western power/s, exactly at a time when Chinese and Western trade and commerce was reaching a new high in the early modern world. Fast-forward to the present when Chinese trade and economy is becoming increasingly important for the cartel of developed countries, the biggest military force in the world (the US)proposes and is starting to follow a very similar modern day version of the gun boat diplomacy.
I also think that there is a kind of overstating going on regarding Chinese military capabilities because we have to remember that the entire perspective of the Chinese military is not outward looking, its lack of democracy (thus high monitoring costs), and executive paranoia makes the military quite introspective as well.
ari g wrote:
The U.S. has no business encircling China with military bases nor conducting provocative naval drills off the coasts of China. Which country has to tolerate such aggressive and instigative behaviour from another country. If any country which ought to be censured and censured heavily, it is the U.S.
ari g wrote:
I think your poll shuld give the 1.5 billion Chinese around the world who doesn’t read or speak English. I doubt most would agree with the motion.
Fact is that ever since the European and American powers sailed their warships into the East – China – in particular, China has lost enormous amount of territories due to these arrogant powers. Land belonging to the Qing taken by British India, Mongolia taken away from Qing, North East China covering Valdivostok (formerly Port Arthur) and coastal lands including Kamchatka and Sakhalin etc, Koreas spun off from Qing China, and islands off the coasts of China taken by Japan. And now the Xishas (Paracels) and Nanshas (Spratlys) by Vietnam and Philippines with the encouragement of that misbehaving EMpire – the U.S. – as part of their colonial mentality policy of divide and rule.
The spotlight by any account should be on the U.S. and NOT China. China is not even there while the risen and expansive U.S. has been abusing and flaunting its power with arrogance and impunity.
Readers should consider seriously the history of the U.S. and China when considering the debate proposal. The answer then becomes all too clear.
I find Mr. Krepinevich’s notion “For two decades East Asia has experienced an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity thanks to the political stability underwritten by America” dubious.
For start one can not assume there would have been wars in the region without the American influence, it’s utterly presumptuous to attribute the relative peace to America’s military presence. Perhaps more importantly, we witness America warring against any other nations at will, with impunity brought by their military superiority. Americans may want to justify the current status from the perspective of American exceptionalism, however, that is hardly convincing considering the history. On the other hand, the regional prosperity is earned by the hard-working people in the region, not some charity from Americans or anyone else, though this fact won’t stop Wall Street sharks fleecing a whole lot of developing economies into poverty again as they did in 1997. If the peace-brought-by-America theory is “accidentally” flawed in its internal logic, to attribute the regional development to America’s “benign” influence is out-right propaganda.
So is China’s military building-up a threat? Perhaps, but no more than what America is imposing now onto the rest of the world. What if the next group of terrorists attacking America is from one of the Asian-pacific nations? Would America “bomb the whole country back to Stone Age” just because they refuse to “co-operate” the way demanded by Americans? Absolutely power leads to absolute corruption, particularly for such a country as America that is possessed by the religious fever of its “exceptional virtues” (we find the similar mentality from the Catholic Church in Middle Ages), in which case the rise of Chinese power and influence may in effect tilt the status quo towards a more neutral position instead of leaning dangerously towards America’s favour, thus something to be welcomed.
Growth of Chinese military power on its own is not a threat, as long as it is in proportion with the growth of the rest of China.
The key issue is whether the Chinese government can maintain political control over its military, or allow the PLA to turn into the 21st Century equivalent of the Imperial Japanese Army, the Praetorian Guard tail that wagged the Imperial dog.
It is strange to see so many commentors blame the United States for Chinese behavior. What some people need to see is that
1. The United states doesnt start claiming the pacific ocean as its own.
2. It has not threatened Iranian vessels stationed in the gulf.
3. It did not kill 70 vietnamese sailors for no reason.
4. It doesnt sponsor terrorist states as foriegn policy.(Although, it might have in the cold war era… which is what China does today)
5. It does not step across borders of its neighbours military and start claiming their areas as its own
Deciding what the United states is just because of a couple of wars in the gulf is an excercise in duplicity. Remember, that this is the country that everyone runs too when in trouble.
Drawing absurd comparisons will not help the Chinese case, no matter how fierce their nationalism.
Complete disagreement with @Rudy Haugeneder who writes without any knowledge about the country of India whatsoever. In his typically biased Anti – India comments, He calls Religious India a threat and a nation moving towards anarchy. If that is not all, he moves to comment on India’s rapidly growing military. So lets face some more facts
1. India’s Military is Junk. Nobody in India, except perhaps a few security conscious people are concerned about it.
2. India’s total defence expenditure is 40 billion dollars. That is Around 2% of the budget.
3. India’s Investment in People costs is substancial and in the range of $200 billion dollars
4. India has laws like Right to education for all, a Food security bill that ensures everyone will have food. Rapidly improving state conditions under a new state model of leadership.
5. India has also recently focussed on corruption and bureaucracy and is improving in those areas as well.
6. India, continuously produces more Jobs and empowers people to live their lives
7. Finally, India remains a democracy where the rights and opinions of everyone matter. This in itself is its greatest strength and Regardless of Rudy Haugeneder’s views, it will remain a great country
The bully man (gang master) found it is uncomfortable to see the boy, who has been bullied by him for ages, grown up; struck rich; started to build garden fencing, and employed bodyguards to protect his land & wealth.
This bully old man, thinks that this young man is a threat to the young man’s neighbour and himself, try to gang up those neighbours to unstabilize the young man’s region.
The Usual Suspect 2.0 wrote:
While China’s military rise doesn’t have to lead to instability in East Asia, its’ focus on blunting America’s ability to project force IS worrisome. A responsible superpower would be engaged in trying to prevent chaos and instability, not preparing for attacks on other superpowers.
And of course, there’s always the question of what happens when China has to chose between preserving stability or protecting its economic interests. With the decision-making process of China’s leaders mysterious at best, there should be serious concern about China’s military rise.
I don’t understand how this “threat” debate come and where will it go, just replace “china” and “East Asian” with any other country and matching region, that is my point.
It is obviously a threat to the global stability
I would add, that while I agree in concept that we should continue to progress to the point where military power is not a nessistity, we are far from being in a world where that is a realistic possibility.
That very fact is evidenced by some commentators views on the impact of military deployment by both China and the U.S.. which, of course, is relative to the commentators self interests.
It is how military capabilities are deployed, or how others react to that deployment, that determines if they have a positive or negative impact on long term stability.
So, the simple fact that another actor has military capability increases the possibility of negative outcome. For that reason, I must agree with the motion.
However, neither argument seems to contain enough factual support to conclude on how China’s military deployments, or reactions to those deployments, have impacted long term East Asian stability.
Fun to read the views in any case.
The Chinese advocates argument ‘That we have done a these good things – trust us’ is absurd.
We are talking about a regime that treats its own population as too retarded to select their own representatives. What chance have their neighbours of being treated seriously.
In practice the Chines reliably seek confrontation – backing drunken fisherman against the Japanese coastguard (and embargoing rare earths as followup) and provocations against the Phillipines (right now) Vietnam and against unarmed US vessels – thats real behaviour not the cherrypicked examples of the Chinese mouthpiece.
The Chinese Communist Party has talked peace and walked confrontation and bullying.
When that stops the region might start to listen.
Or even more improbably when China actually allows democracy rather than continues to operate as the worlds largest open prison.
Headlessly Running Around wrote:
If by stability you mean subservience within Pax Americana then China’s rise is a threat to stability. In the short term US will use its client states in Asia to provoke China and when she reacts, it will point the finger and accuse, “See, it does not roll over and play dead! How aggresive of China!”
I’m afraid I have to agree that China is a potential threat to regional stability. I find talk from China’s nationalists about China having “a rightful place as a great power” to be extremely worrying. That sort of hubris is exactly what led Germany and Japan to wage destructive wars of conquest in an attempt to establish great empires. Certainly, China seizing the Spratly islands in the South China Sea would not rival Hitler’s invasion of Poland in the scale of the crime, but it would still be based on the same perverse principle of might makes right.
While America is very imperfect for sure (and its own military might may actually be de-stabalizing), some readers have proposed that China’s posture and geopolitical interests are little different than that of the US, and thus inferring that US has no scruples or that China is no different than the US. That is a fantastical, and a bit hard to take. Does America have self-interests? For sure. But the track records between the nations aren’t even close. Does America actively crush dissent, routinely flout international agreements and conventions on human rights, trade, intellectual rights or methodically threaten neighbors (Taiwan) or internal free political expression? Um, no. Does China? Yep. China’s actions speak as loud, if not more loudly than its soothing words conveying its peaceful intentions. There are few checks and balances within its opaque decision-making process to assure neighbors of its intentions or strategic goals, while plenty of its actions around the globe that are cause for very reasonable people to worry. Just ask its thousands of nonviolent political prisoners about China’s tolerance for opposition…
Rudy Haugeneder wrote:
Religious India is the nation to be concerned about. It has begun to rapidly expand its military and with half of its population under age 25 and expanding at a breakneck pace, lebensraum will soon be a priority as the subcontinent stampedes towards likely anarchy that, global history shows, results in great population-culling wars with others.
China, on the other hand, will see its population numbers decline sharply in the coming decades, and will, over the next several years and thanks to technology, be more than able to take care of its social, business, industrial and agricultural needs — unless, of course, Climate Change crushes it and the rest of us.
I see no threat from the Chinese. Only when they start talking and acting like the United States will I see them as a threat. Chinese arms spending would and should be expect it grow and modernise as its economy does, perhaps even a bit faster, considering the low technical level it has to rise from.
The real country of concern for most people of the world is the US with its doctrine of preemptive war, interventions and invasions of other states, genocides of many people’s over the past sixty years etc.
The alarmist proposition is an echo of earlier Ametican fantasies and hysterias such as the Missile gap, the Domino theory and lately their Anti-terrorist campainn,
PS. I am still shaking in my bed, from being scared of being blown up by Bin wotnot, or was his name Benny.
Paul Deacon from Italy wrote:
The days when China helped revolutionaries the world over are long past. Apart from doing that, how can it add to a region’s instability?
Isn’t this amazing?
The Chinese make a few million GI Joe dolls and all plastic M16’s and sell them to America’s children. Then the Chinese harvest the benefits of a low yuan to build a real military for themselves with the trade proceeds and howto knowledge from America, UK etc.
It is either for defensive use or ……
Once they move across the Straits of Taiwan to finish Mao’s expulsion of Chiang kai-shek’s memories, the American economy will regain it’s functionality and the Great Slump will end. The working person will once again become valued commodity for military service.
That would be a lot like how the last depression ended.
A few questions need to be asked : Why does China launched itself in such a dramatic upgrade of its armies, when it faces no threat? What goals could a strong Chinese Army seek ? How could domestic issues impact China’s foreign policy ?
In my point of view, Taiwan is a screen that hides larger objectives. The South China Sea is reportedly oil-rich. Its resources are not being exploited for lack of a clear understanding as to whom to ask a permit from, since these waters are disputed. There will come a time when China will move its vessels around, claiming the South China Sea as its own. There will be hardly any gunfire. Can The Philippines resist China? Will the US send its Navy against those who control (indirectly) its budget?
China understands softpower : it’s when you’re so strong that other country tend to stop disagreeing with you.
This is why I support this motion.
Mr Zhang wrote:
China’s economic growth and defence budget growth out pace the rest of east asia and USA, so it is impossible the to maintain the current status quo, and should be naturally so. For countries who want to maintain the current status quo in East Asia, they will need fight against thecurrent trend, they might do this through political or military means. So yes China’s military rise will bring unstability to East Asia.
Having studied China’s military expansion, strategy and foreign policy extensively over the last few years, I suspect that the answer lies with the Chinese government and the Communist Party itself. I doubt that there would be so many fears over the rise of a democratic, open China, as other powers would not have to engage in doublethink to understand what China really wants; and free people are naturally fearful of powerful tyrannies.
Dear Sir, I defend the motion because I think that relying fully on China’s military power is inadequate towards the rest of the East Asian Countries. I am a South Korean, and our country is geographically political in a sense of to North Korea, Japan, and China especially. For East Asian countries to empower their trust to the Chinese military is totally a threat for China has not been such a great influence on Korea, unless one is talking about historical facts. Also, the rise of military action is a threat against many countries. Many times, China has tried to gain power through North Korea at us. I am against it. Thank you.
it is difficult to give an answer to the question whether China’s military power will outweigh its economic expansion. It would be necessary to have some more information about the size of both military and economic issues at stake in global economy.
China has gone over its ambition to dominate in global terms by its impressive economy. Capitalizing on modern armaments to defend their sovereignty is a must but in some terms it may devastate if China would use its capability in an unwarranted situation. As such, east Asian nations must be in cooperation in order for them not to be exploited. If such untoward things may happen there may be intervention and in turn there will be war…..In times like this there must not have war….economic stability of all nations will be weaken to the extent that it may cause economic depression that will in turn will lead most of the industries to extinction…..
Wisdom comes from countless tries….said Quintus Sertorius, the famous Roman General, 2000 years ago.
But what did he know that we don’t? And what did he mean?
It is a historic fact that every country or empire who build strong armies did so not because it was seen to be part of their natural evolution, but ultimately to defend or enlarge their borders. Which comes first in that struggle has not always been clear, but an inevitability that it will happen.
While not every empire pursued expansionist dreams, it was rare to see large armies being built without the intent to use them. The world may not have been divvied up as it is today, but even then a return of investment was a very strong motivator in the eye of even weary protagonists.
Right up to modern times, where ideological expansion replaced political or religious drivers did we find that armies who gear up, move out.
As Clausewitz correctly said: War is the continuation of politics by different means. And he was right. In almost all cases where history provides us with examples, does the build up of ones troops translate into the eventual use of that strong argument as a continuation of political thinking.
It remains to be seen if China and its power struggling Politburo Committee will find use of their enormous armies in non militaristic or expansive ways.
But one thing is certain: To achieve militaristic or “foreign policy” wisdom as Quintus suggested, one must indeed gather experience in ways that will inevitably involve using what you have built. In today’s age however it is questionable that this wisdom can be acquired in the old fashioned sense.
And with a somewhat struggling economy, a collapsing construction market and woes of future food production there are many reasons why the PLA may find itself fulfilling political and economic imperatives sooner rather than later.
I am very wary of the fact that nearly all the comments are very pro-Chinese, and yet the voting is 50-50. I think that there could be some manipulation here.
In any case, this is an inflammatory topic there should be no “winner”
Firstly, the topic is not the United States of America as a threat to world security, this, primarily because the US has nowhere shown the unproved aggression that China has in its recent and historic past. The US is a responsible super power and regardless of its interests, it has done a lot to protect democracies and combat terrorism.
China on the other hand has Sponsored State terror as an international policy. Chinese foriegn policy has proven to be extremely unpredictable and is aligned to solely its own interests. The comparison with the US is one that the defenders of Chinese interests can hide behind. Militarisation is solely done in response to territorial/ regional military buildups. The Chinese buildup on the contrary is unproved and unilateral. Across the region, even the likes of Russia are reducing their military budgets. meanwhile China is increasing it year after year by 12 percent. To say that this is a justified buildup is as ridiculous an argument as is to say that the Chinese have a history of peace.
To talk of imperial Japan as a justification is also a shallow argument to defend the unjustified Chinese actions. China as a nation is undemocratic, this is a universal truth. The United States and India on the other hand are democracies, this difference in itself is enough to prove that Chinese military is a threat to Asia.
To say that the Americans have vested interests against China’s Rise is also grossly unfair. The wars across Vietnam, Iraq, Serbia, Afganistan were against tyrants, genocides and uncivilized brutes that knew only the language of murder. The use of the Nuclear Bomb as inhumane as it was, was no more than a retaliation for the actions at pearl harbour and to ensure that no one would ever attempt something as vicious again. To this, the Japanese took their lessons well.
The US may be unjustified in their actions, but more unjustified were the people in those countries that were attacked, Also, the actions were taken with global consensus and NATO forces joined in on a few of those operations. Using these actions as a pretext to destabilize the region is inexcusable.
china has never shown any imperialistic attitude even in the past. considering the size of the country and the recent developments economically they have commanded their right of getting defense armory expanded is not wrong and no others should poke their finger into it.
They are not politically and economically jealous of other countries and hope will not invade anyone.
East Asia will be stable all right, if it is dominated by China.
Work on the issues concerning China in the area is the only way for China to feel that force is China’s best solution.
I totally disagree with Andrew Krepinevich’s assertion that a rising China is a threat to the region or the world. His arguments are totally bias with the sole intent of stirring up tensions and nervousness in the region to maintain U.S. military dominance.
China has a population of about 1.3 billion people and a very large land mass to defend. Of course it needs a modern and strong army to defend itself against all possible invasions wherever that may come.
Over the last two centuries or so, China has been invaded and occupied twice; first by an army of Europeans led by Britain and then Japan.
During the Japanese occupation of China, hundreds of thousands if not millions of Chinese were brutally killed.
It is against this background that Chinese people including myself vouch that China should never be so weak again to invite aggression by foreign powers.
Andrew Krepinevich should acknowledge that it is the U.S. that has military bases all around the world and been in wars over the last several decades with Vietnam, Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan and more recently in the regime change in Libya.
He should also remember that the U.S. is the only country in the world that have used weapons of mass destruction against another country; first in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki.
A strong and powerful China doesn’t have to be a threat to the region or the world. The leaders of China and their military need to re-assure their neighbours not by words only but in their actions as well. So it should STOP some of the bullying tactics against our smaller neighbours in the South China Sea and our big neighbour India. We should reach out to them and make the region a prosperous, peaceful and stable place to work and live in.
While modernization is normally something to raise an eyebrow at and keep a diserning eye on, should a emerging country be content to field rusting technology or look to trading partners/rivals for solving problems within its own region? Just because China can use its budding overwhelming force to bully others gaurentee its interests does not mean it is certain. China is right to spend its money how it wishes as long as it will benefit its people, be it new infrasructure or new navies. Presumption can have dire consequences (in the case of the Iraq war) without evidence to support. The World should be wary but be optimistic that as a superpower they would use new power responsibly.
No country has a perfect past in achieving it’s status today, including the U.S. I think that some may be uncomfortable with the fact that there could be another “superpower” here on earth besides the U.S. I know we have interests all over the world, but other countries can too, and do not need U.S. permission to do so, especially if they are being peaceful.
China is no more a threat to East Asian stability as we are to the Americas stability.
Just curious, let us look at China’s increasing military budget in another prospective. Say let’s put U.S. and China together on the table and compare.If the tremendous U.S.military budget is not alarming, why should China, with almost four times the population of the U.S and almost the same size of territory, be criticized for building up a legitimate and appropriate army ??
In my view, the statement by the defender reflects the so called Pax Americana attitude.On one hand, U.S.remains a dominant position in both economy and military; on the other hand, U.S.accuses China of ruining the stable situation of asian pacific. Actually what U.S.tends to achieve is not the stability but the influence and dominance in that region.
I dtotally disagree with Mr. Krepinevich’s opinion. In the frist paragraph, he described the US as an optimistic element in the East Asia, which I think is ridiculous. but if he referred to an East Asia that only includes South Korea,Japan, the Philippines and other American allies, that’s really the case. I don’t know if Mr.Krepinevich is an American, but he cherishes an idea that only a world goes around the US is resonable and secure. Then it’s understandable that why all things the Chinese do is negatively interpreted, because the existance of a different culture is trully an Original Sin. The Chinese revolutionary leader ever said that “No investigations, no right to speak “. You lived in a place that is thousands of kilometers from China and now you describe a “lifelike” China to others; I do really have no idea about how you get it!
Dear Sir, China chose a better way to play for the world peace. China decided to share its wealth with other underdeveloped countries instead to invade then, as the United States of America. China decided to do for other Asian an African countries what the World Bank and IMF never did. In a political environment that the USA and Israel constantly threat to explode the whole world, China is the power that can make the world a little bit more sane. It is the check and balance to stop the insanity.
A prosperous, strong, and stable China is a stabilizer for East Asia. For example, if China were strong in the early twentieth century, Japan would not have invaded Korea, China, and the rest of East Asia, and bombed the Pearl harbour.
China has always supported the UWSA (United Wa State Army) and other rebel ethnic groups in Burma for the last 40 years or so. This has caused a lot of strife, human rights abuses and instability in the border regions between Burma and China. I think Peking is a double-headed monster speaking with a hypocritical Orwellian double-tongue and the present regime in China is a serious threat to the peaceful development of peace and democracy in Burma. China wants to control countries like Burma and North Korea like vassal states. Talk about international collaboration by China is empty rhetoric. China might do that with more powerful countries like the USA but Peking likes to bully Southeast Asian countries (populated by uncivilised dark-skinned barbarians). The countries in China’s “backyard” are not considered as equals by Peking (just look at how China invades Scarborough Shoals which in my opinion belongs to the Philippines). Enough said!
Professor Shen’s first paragraph stated that referring to China’s past record to divine its future actions is not useful, and indeed counterproductive. But in the next few paragraphs Professor Shen turns around and refers to China’s peaceful settling for a smaller territory and China giving up an island to North Vietnam in the Vietnam War.
These are not reasons why the rise of Chinese power today is not a threat to East Asian stability, primarily because those are historical situations, but also because in those days, most international situations occurred under the overarching Cold War narrative, and involved the two superpowers and their competing ideologies in some way. The role of China was not as the rising power soon to be on par with the US, but as other countries in Africa, Asia and South America — using the Cold War to benefit itself by playing one side off the other.
In a way, Professor Shen’s argument is doomed from the start, because he must argue on the basis of intent and not military reality, as Mr. Krepinevich does. And as we all know, China’s military, foreign policy and political intents are as opaque as can be. Pledges and treaties are all very well, but they again do not show a country’s true intent, but only that which the country wishes others to perceive. This is especially true in China’s case, for reasons outlined earlier.
Lastly, China’s contribution to international peacekeeping forces is praiseworthy, but not relevant to the current question, because such forces are not typically involved in East Asia, and in regions in which China is in dispute with other countries.
Some extremely amusing comments about how China’s buildup is to match the Hostile Japanese, Indian armies.
People should understand that Japan is a country dealing with several of its own problems, primarily economic, and they have no interest in militarisation except perhaps a deterrent to the dangerous Chinese. As for the Indians, they cant even show aggression to the pathetic Pakistani military let alone a war mongering powerhouse like china.
Also allow me to clear some air on the Chinese military budget. The Expenditure Shown by the Chinese government does not include R&D and certain other components. China’s military budget is shown as 106 billion dollars but the pentagon estimates place it closer to 220 billion dollars. Meanwhile the americans are reducing their military expenditures.
Also, Chinese aggression is all too evident. The history about China being a peaceful country is laughable. The Chinese have had wars with almost every country in the region. Their tibet invasion in 1950, India invasion in 1960/62 and continuous scuffles on the border lay waste to the oppositions claim of peaceful and stabilising China.
To those people who say that China is not increasing its military, please consider that the PLA has 1.5 million troops and close to 4 million effective troops and paramilitia. How can you possibly increase that??? It is a figure that stands larger than the NATO forces combined. Given its meteoric rise and Its hush hush defence spending that matches that of America(which is 4%+ of GDP contrary to some people’s beliefs), china is a grave threat to anyone in the region.
What is also notable is that the American military expenditure is huge as they have bases and deployments all over the globe, that in itself consumes a lot of the massive budget that they provide. Meanwhile China, does not have any major deployments yet, so all the money is used to increase its military might
R Subhranshu wrote:
I should go with Dingli Shen who said,
“China’s capacity-building is a natural outcome of its economic development, and its military development in recent years began from a very low level of modernisation.” Till now China maintain moderate behaviour in military power and didn’t show aggressive interference. Chine didn’t expand its military intervention. These are the sound defence to prove the right to defend its globalised economic superpower.
Let us watch.
I think Japan has the most to fear, in the long term, they are very susceptible to attack from all angles – I wish them well.
Michael Dunne wrote:
After much thought I voted no. I appreciate reasons for tensions and suspicions:
– An authoritarian system experiencing unmatched economic success in a continental polity and largest population base
– Potential for conflict with others over interests in the South China Seas
– The possibility of being drawn into conflict over Taiwan or even North Korea
However, I think success reinforces some commitment on the part of the leadership to keep a “system” that benefits china going.
Moreover, China still has countries like S. Korea and Japan that are leading trading partners, and substantive enough in wealth and population to hold their own (at least through alliances).
Similarly, Vietnam may not easily be pushed around.
So, out of real politik (which I am not a fan of), I think China will largely stick to a peaceful rise, even when a more assertive, prouder generation comes to power with a larger economy and military.
Moin Ahsan wrote:
I wonder why the debate is hypocritically framed against China’s rise, when in recent history it was American and western intervention that repeated destabilise Asia. On the other hand, except last 300 hundred years, China being the dominant power of Asia almost all along its 5,000 year old history, has seldom shown any expansionist tendency. Contrasting that the past few hundred years of USA and western dominance of the world is largely based on physical and economic colonisation of Asia.
In this backdrop why Asia should not be more concerned about the waning power of the USA and West and their possible desperate bids to hang on to their dominance.
The debate should be correctly re-framed “The house believes that the waning of the relative military power of the USA and the west is a may result in desperate unwelcome destabilising western intervention in East Asia.”
We must compare China’s growing military power in the region, as much as the Chinese government would probably hate the comparison, to that of increasing imperialist American military power during the Cold War. With China’s growing economic influence throughout the third world (most noticeably in Africa and Latin America), along with its negligible human rights record and poor safety and industrial standards in its own homeland, its pretty safe to say that expanding Chinese militarism is something to be viewed with caution.
I believe that the rise of China’s military power is not a something new for Asia.In my opinion,Chinese have been a prominent force in ASia for thousends years.Nonetheless,China can not use this power against Asian countries to invade because of the fact that they have already settled in most of the ASia.But the opponents’ argument that it can turn out to be a destructive force is totally wrong because of the fact that NATO.I think there is nothing to be worry about
I hate to point this out, but if you have any idea how much the Chinese are obsessed with money and fame, you wouldn’t ever think about China as a threat to stability. Leaderships care more about economic growth than anything. She wouldn’t do anything that will harm her economy. That is the biggest reason why Taiwan is still not forced to return.
Has any country other than Israel gotten larger by military means in the last 50 years? Far more common are splits. The only reason I can see for Chinese aggression is a way of addressing the Male/Female population balance. Large numbers of primarily male casualties would achieve that outcome, but the social cost might be thought too high.
China invaded Vietnam in 1979…
It is a doctrine of military planning that intentions are irrelevant; only the capabilities of a potential opponent should be considered, because intentions can change very quickly.
As China’s capabilities increase and America’s decline (in a relative sense, and over the medium to long term), China’s neighbours have no rational alternative but to increase their own capabilities, likely in co-operation with the U.S. Economic and political responses alone would be inadequate.
And arms races tend to be destabilizing.
I don’t think that China intends to destabilize anything. But I think that is what will happen.
Sadly, I think our species is just wired this way.
China is huge country and has so many internal problems I really doubt that there is any reason to commit the country in to any military conflict. besides.. if so.. with 1,5 million troops in the army, does anybody has a chance????
i do believe in peaceful rise. Regards. KP
There is certainly no necessity that China’s increasing military power would lead to instability in East Asia. But neither is there any reason to think that it will not.
As Professor Shen points out, China’s track record is not grounds for optimism. And that track record is why all of its neighbors (bar, perhaps, North Korea) are very nervous about an increase in Chinese military capabilities.
Add to that China’s insistance on its claims (arguable, at the very least) in the South China Sea. And it’s record (cf. Tibet) of not only believing that any territory which was ever under Chinese control, no matter how briefly or how long ago, is by right Chinese territory. The combination suggests that, while a more militarily powerful China might be entirely benign, or even helpful to stability, there is no reason whatever to assume that it will be. And significant reasons for concern.
China is hemmed in by (potentially) dangerous and instable countries. On sea it has 2 layers of island belts opposite of it. Beyond the island belts there are the forces of the US, Japan, India and all of their allies. The strategic position of China is therefore extremely bad for starting some wild conflict.
Besides: why would the Chinese launch a war and risk their only child to wage war on their customers? Doesn’t sound even remotely rational to me.
Personally I don’t like this thinking of China as somehow being the new threat to world peace. It would be better to keep a clear-headed view and embed (all!)the emerging powers in the international political-economic clubs. Far too little work is being done in this respect, while this would be better for stability then counting aircraft carriers.
A contrario, history would indicate that a rise in military spendings led to imbalance.
Look at Germany,the Uk and France in the 1900s and 1910s
You might then say; today, military spendings aren’t a threat because their is what is called “the nuclear shield”
You might then use the very relevant example of the Cold War
Hence, this would lead to vindicating the idea that China’s growing military isn’t harmful.
China has the nuclear weapon, hence, it will stabilize its relationship with other nuclear powers.(Pierre Hassner’s “nuclear shield”)
However, it is very likely a lot of low scale conflicts will stem off from China’s undisguised craving for domination.
Japan and China don’t go along. Neither do China and Taiwan. Let us not talk about South Corea …
China is strenghtening its military, yes. But not for the US,a fortiori not for Europe.
But for its neighbors that do not wield the nuclear weapon.
No full-fledged war will rise, not under the “pax americana” but of course tensions will arise and that will lead to unstability.
Jay Durst wrote:
History would indicate that hegemons lead to stability. With China arguably already a regional hegemon it is likely to lead to more stability within the region. The ultimate appearance of that stability is the real question.
Current authoritarian leadership in China suggests a heavy handed approach. The likely outcome of a dual hegemony between China and the U.S. is likely to lead to a generally more stable world in the short to mid-term, with possibly a war for influence as China and the U.S attempt to assert global dominance over the other.
China’s military rise is impressive. When looked at news reports of China flexing its muscles in Indian Ocean, North China sea and supporting Pakistan, North Korea, Burmese military junta and Iran, one can feel bit apprehensive about china’s intentions.
The scary bits are – cyber warefare and hacking scandals involving China, oppression in Tibet, claims on Taiwan and Arunachal Pradesh.
China needs to take some bold steps to convince the world that its intentions are peacful. Till then, be wary.
Handsome god. wrote:
China is merely taking a natural turn.No nation with aggressive economic clout and increasing imperialistic stance(like her) will most likely have a rampaging military status..at least the United States have shown us the benefits of matching economic power with military power…China’s growing status will definitely not cause any instability in the region if her regional policies are integrating and encompassing with the aim of building blocks and bridges of cooperation in the region.
In 2010, China’s sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat, and their positioning has illustrated their idea of diplomacy. China is in a desperate need for resources, and has demonstrated its willingness to use force to secure false claims of territory control.
China has made weapons specifically to attack the US’s warships, and is ramping up a navy to specifically oppose the US power in the region.
All rising powers are threats to their neighbors. I think a better question is whether China’s rise will alter the geopolitical balance as constructed by the U.S. Assuming U.S. economy doesn’t falter, I believe the answer is no. China’s neighbors will increasing — as they do now — look to U.S. to provide the military counter-balance to China. Assuming American military superiority to persist for some times yet, the answer is no, China will be balanced out.
In many repsects, I am not really sure that it would make sense for China to throw its weight around in East Asia when they can far more easily simply take over Australia and have access to all the strategic resources they can possibly need in the future.
I know that America have started to recognise this threat by posting a few of their military forces in Northern Australia but with apologies – so what – as far as the Chinese are concerned in the real world.
With my own daughter and family living in Sydney, and hence flying over the unprotected North many times from Europe, that thought is not very nice, but again, we live in the real “strategic” world and a real possibility in my view.
Napoleon once said China was a sleeping giant the world would take notice of when it awoke. We are seeing this today economically, militarily, and in the area of foreign affairs. The cause of instability created by the growth of China’s military stems from the incomplete change China has gone through. They are a modern economy in many ways saddled by an obsolete political system. Their military is in the middle, they know who to take direction from today, but what of next year?
Angry Beaver wrote:
Until the murderous, toxic filth that are the communists are thrown out in a “Chinese Spring”, they will continue to be a threat. Does anyone remember Tiananmen Square massacre?
The filth has to be removed in-house; not by the Yanks, because they cannot find their rear end even utilizing both hands.
US no longer can afford policing the world, East Asia included. For that reason, China’s military rise will, somehow counter-intuitively, more probably be a factor of stabilization in East Asia than a threat to East Asia’s stability, since it will fill a very dangerous void.
Unless, of course if by “East Asia stability” you mean in fact “US-led East Asia stability”.
I really need to say sth to the defender: first thing, you regard U.S. as a stabilizing power in Asian Pacific, however, why should the U.S. intervene the affairs of Asian Countries?
Erich GMU wrote:
It is in my opinion that a stronger Chinese military would provide greater stability to East Asia. The point I would like to make – though China has a military, this does not necessarily mean China is preparing to invade neighboring countries. The military is there to protect a nation, to deter from being invaded themselves. Does South Korea have an army with the intent of conquering North Korea? I doubt it so. Yet, it seems appropriate for many to infer China’s rise in military power as an act of regression to the surrounding area. It is not only rash, but bold to relate this modern event to that of the Nazi regime.
Not only would a stronger Chinese military generate stability in East Asia, but in the rest of the world as well. A stronger military tends to be a successful barrier from encroachers. Clearly, China is a world power. If one truly wants stability they will be respectful to the other party rather than attempting to exert influence over them.
All of this being said, armed conflict will only benefit the leaders of involved nations – never their constituents.
lord zoth wrote:
If “stability” is defined as status quo then surely China poses a “threat” to it. But is the status quo not mainly desired by those already on top of the wolrd?
As mentioned by the opposition; certainly the chinese have a great deal of work to do regarding their transparency and intentions. This is in my opinion the most important issue for the SEA countries. However, the presence of US forces within SEA has led to the chinese feeling ‘encircled’ which is dangerous in itelf to stability. In my opinion both the US and the PRC are responsible for the current situation. The ‘hawkish’ discussions of war on both sides are not easing the situation.
Both countries have far too much to loose in the scenario of an unstable SEA. Definite attempts by the chinese in coercion or agression would only lead to US intervention. But in the Nuclear Age an actual war between nuclear powers is unthinkable. In addition both countries are far too inter-connected for another Cold War. Both sides will have to make highly disliked compromises in order to maintain regional stability and possibly world stability. As such I believe that as long as the influence from both countries carefully balance each other, the region will remain stable.
Comparing the military of the Chinese and Americans is being oblivious to reality. China only needs a sufficient deterrent for the Americans(To avoid the threat of direct attack). having a military half the size of the Americans or even one third will suffice in the short term for them.
However, what needs to be considered is that the Americans will not push the chinese too hard on anything, for their trade and economics will suffer. They would play along, not appeasing, but simply playing along for it makes sense for them.
Meanwhile, China, the big bully that it is gets to play Asia to its tune. This is not too far short of the Rise of Germany in World War 2.
China’s rise will be subsequently matched by an increased American military force in the region. The effects of this could be quite polarizing for countries that rely economically on both China and the United States in order to sustain economic growth. It will become necessary for less developed countries to pick sides as China’s military expands away from the mainland. As was written in the Economist a couple weeks back, we are in the midst of a small arms buildup in SE Asia. For example, Singapore has increased its defense spending and American marines have recently arrived to Australia. The question of Taiwan’s independence and their relationship with the rest of the region is also of central importance.
The main point to highlight, however, is this is not going to be significant in the short term, as China’s military might is still in infancy relative to the US.
China is a massive threat to Asian Stability, Its military capabilities are immense and its military expenditure far beyond what anyone in Asia can match. Not just that, its posturing is extremely assertive regardless of who it faces, whether it be the docile Indians or the all powerful Americans.
China has irresponsibly encouraged and supported the Likes of Pakistan and North korea and undermined regional Stability. It is also waging proxy wars as well as economic wars against nations. For those who feel that China is acting responsibly in resolving regional disputes with India, it is quite the contrary. China continues to assert itself in the North Eastern States of India including its assertion of authority over all the resources and people in the region.
That aside, China’s recent efforts to impose a limit on the Indian Ocean have revealed its Imperialistic attitude and arrogance. Its behavior towards Tibet and the Dalai Lama and Taiwan is nothing short of Bullying.
In the current context, China’s power is more dangerous than the erstwhile Soviet Union. The primary reasons being that the United States was in a relatively better position at that time. Wars are not fought as much by military than by economic strength. In that regard the United States was much stronger 30 years back. Today, the US and NATO lack the desire to face economic, let alone military consequences of battle against a large military power.
Secondly, for the some people that cite China’s meagre defence budget and western war mongering. Here are some facts. China’s Defence budget Rose 11+ percent this year. It stands at around 106 billion Dollars. Considering the poor level of transparency that China has for the military spending it could be upto 1.5 times that amount.
What also needs to be considered is that the American Military budget contains money for Research, Research that China simply steals and copies into its own tools. So the actual comparison would stand closer to 1:2
It would not be unjustified to state that China’s Rapid growth has indeed gone to its head and it has become a graver threat to Asia than the USSR ever was to the world.
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments—a branch of the government or an organization closely affiliated with the US national interest.
Of course, it will make such a claim that the rise of China’s military power is a threat to EAS, which can justify more US military deployment, create regional tensions and hostility from EA countries, and increase sales of weaponary to the EA countries.
The center probably doesnot have to do a research/analysis at all about the Chinese military power and its presense in the EA region to make such a hasty and convenient conclusion.
I think the big difference between China and the former USSR (at least from the US’s perspective) is that the USSR’s friends and enemies were clear cut and had definite red lines and spheres of influence that could not be crossed. The two powers also had the “benefit” of forming their spheres of influence after the whole world was already shaken up from World War 2.
China is much different. The world is not settling from great turmoil as was seen in World War 2, so when China tries to seize territory or redefine its borders, it faces great opposition. China has no sphere of influence outside of perhaps Cambodia and occasionally Pakistan, but they have no ideology to export. Taiwan, as mentioned, is a big sore spot. I think China’s motivations and red lines are far less distinct than those of the USSR, which is dangerous.
On the other hand, China is much more rural than the Soviet Union was, and the gap in weapons technology between China and the US is much greater than between the US and USSR. Trade between the US and China is much more active than it ever was between the US and USSR, and all of these items are more reassuring.
Basically, I think the greatest danger is misunderstanding China’s red lines, because they themselves won’t make them clear. Undefined red lines with a bigger military budget lends me to vote “yes”.
Demosthenes denied wrote:
China’s record on non-proliferation is opaque at best, and abhorrent at worst. Given the assistance China provided to Pakistan – and likely continues to do so – it can be said that China is the progenitor of the North Korean,Iranian and former Libyan nuclear programs.
No. It is the western war-mongering mentality that is causing global instability.
The beefing up of US naval power and relentless augmenting the collaboration with allies in East and Southeast Asia have greatly intensified tension in the region.
In order to thwart the western threat right in front of its doorstep, Beijing has no other option but to upgrade and strengthen its defence. Don’t forget China’s annual military budget remains insignificant when compared to the US, less than one-tenth of hawkish Washington’s $800 billion.
So, who is the bully threatening the stability of East Asia? (mtd1943)
Jen PeiWeng Nereus wrote:
China, An invader? A threat? No! Not likely!
In the dawn of 21st century, 20th century or even in the past 4 centuries there is no fact , no record, no history ever evidencing that China was an invader nor a threat to the world. No matter she was strong before 19th century, weak after 19th century or even the second largest economy body now a day.
China is merely involved in a war for defending purpose even if there was a war no matter she was a dynasty or is a republic.
China can’t be a threat if it can lose so much from aggression. It should be said that the military has some sway in the government, therefore increasing in military spending, in pace with economic development, is in some way a mean to satisfy the military-industrial complex, which has been downsized in the 1990s for the sake of Deng and Zhang’s economic plans.