China’s grand strategy can trigger an Asian security dilemma

(From The Diplomat)

China is a country with more than a billion people, but as Ross Terrill observed, when we ask what China wants, we are really attempting to discern the goals of the nine “male engineers” who make up the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. This clarification makes the answer straightforward: Like any bureaucracy or interest group the CCP wants to ensure its survival, which depends on maintaining legitimacy with the Chinese people.

China’s defense spending has been steadily increasing

China’s defense spending has been steadily increasing over the years

To meet this goal, the CCP under President Xi Jinping has articulated a strategy of peaceful development; however, increasing Chinese military capabilities and strategic coercion will cause other states to balance against China, making it harder for the CCP to protect its core interests and continue its economic and strategic rise. Read more

Categories: Asia Times News & Features

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  • Daniel Berg

    Nobody is independent or neutral, not even the God,,,,, but Ross Terrill is an independent scholar working for Harvard! ,,,,,,,,,,

  • DavePh

    I think THAT event has already been triggered a long time back, when China threatened Taiwan of invasion in 1996, and the two US Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups forced it to back down…Subsequent to that, Chinese military buildup, and resorting to bullying all of its neighbors with exaggerated and false historical claims on territories and SCS has made every country alert that is sharing border with China or remotely threatened to arm itself in preparation of a possible war. No one is planning to give in without a bloody fight. What that will do to the “so claimed” Chinese aspirations of a peaceful rise is anyone’s guess…

  • ifigeniaa

    a long time back yes, in the 1950s, when USA stationed its fleet between Mao`s force and Chiang in Taiwan, impeding the reunification.

  • DavePh

    Please do check the 1996 March incident in the Taiwan strait, when Chinese Army/Navy was all set to threaten Taiwan. At that time, President Clinton had sent in 2 US Aircraft Carrier battle groups into the strait, which took the hot air out of the huffing and puffing of PLA/PLAN ending it in a whimper.

    Yes, China is more powerful then it was then, but so is the truly sole Superpower USA, with much more advanced, lethal and sophisticated weapons for C4ISR, SAD and Pinpoint striking capabilities, then anyone else in the World.

    More details :

  • ifigeniaa

    Please, do check History. Taiwan was a province of China and during the civil war, the losing Chiang take refugee in Taiwan and the comunists were preparing to go there when USA put its fleet in the Strait of Taiwan to defend the division of the country in the 1950s.
    By the way who give America the right to divide other country or to interfere in other country?

    Wikipedia is an american tool of propaganda. It try to look objective, but is not. Just think the source of information it rely, are all american or western. They dont accept others. The Ukraine crisis is a good example of that.

  • ModernChinese

    Misinformation is the Western mental drug which, after some initial heavy inhaling, lifts the addicts to flow to Neverland, unable to distinguish the real world from illusion.

    And nobody could be more susceptible to the drug-inducing delusion than the indians who are (in)famous for their dependency on various Indian ancient time-tested aphrodisiac.

    All the West-worshiping scavengers in Asia (India, Vietnam, Japan) have not awakened up from the memorial time, when they leeched on their Western masters coat tails in order to infringe on the Chinese territories.

    India still is dreaming about the day that it could hide under the shadow of the British White Devils to conduct their genocidal opium trafficking into China. And when the British masters left India, the indians have been “high” on the notion that whatever territory their masters stole from China should be “rightfully” theirs to be kept (?).

    The same is happening to the Vietnamese. After “inviting” the French to help them win the civil war in Vietnam, and hence lost their country sovereignty to the “Mother France” for a century, the Vietnamese “think” that whatever territory the French forced the Qing Dynasty to give up, the Vietnamese would be “lawfully inherit” these robbery bounties. They even “trash” their own government solemn pledge to honor the Chinese sovereignty over the territories Xisha and Nansha.

    Japanese are the worst of the kind of pirates and scavengers in modern time. They “think” that whatever the stolen “goods” that their master USA hands them under the table would be “good” to keep, like the Diaoyu islands, regardless of the international binding agreements (Cairo and Potsdam Declaration in 1943 and 1945, respectively) which clearly recognize Chinese sovereignty
    over Taiwan and Diaoyu islands.

    Here is the bad karma for the immoral scavengers: time is up for all of you to squat on Chinese properties. All of you either return the stolen properties for some Chinese generous compensation toward your previous investment, or you will be kicked out of there in the near future, penniless.

    Anybody, who bets their ill-gotten money on the stolen territories against rightful owner China in 21st Century, will have certain detrimental consequences.

    Challenge our Chinese people at your own risk!

  • DavePh

    Dude, are you denying that 1996 March incident in strait of Taiwan ever happened?

    I do know the Chinese civil war and Communists driving out the Chiang to Taiwan who established a separate Govt. there etc. That is why Taiwan is called Republic of China (ROC), and the main land called – People’s Republic of China (PRC). You may want to call it a province of China, but the Taiwanis do not think so, they treat themselves as a separate country and have democratic elections there. I am hoping that you know all those facts.

    Taiwan is under US protection, and US is bound by treaty to come to Taiwan’s rescue in case China attacks it. Do you really think China would have waited for so long to take it over otherwise?

    Wikipedia is a Universal tool where people provide citation for the claims they make and opinions they express. Its for anyone to Update provided the claims authenticity can be established….

  • DavePh

    WoW What a Boast!!! Such stupid jingoistic comments only shows juvenile state of mind…it reminds me of mafia culture where the goons go around threatening everyone…pay up, vacate property, get out etc…Do you really believe that China can attack other countries and will be able to get away with it? Wake up dude, we live in 21st century, the 3.5 trillion US$ of your reserves will vanish in no time, your exports will be down to only those countries who will defy UN sanctions, if you ever attack anyone and hold their territory. You are seeing Russian plight for messing in Ukraine.

    India does not need Britain to protect it or even Americas…We have enough firepower of our own to stop Chinese messing at the border or a broader war…Don’t forget, we got tactical and Megaton Nukes too. Democracies will always come together against a Bully. That is why everyone around China, like India, Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines are all arming up to ensure force is met with force.

  • Bianca

    It is not as simple as you think. You can correct what amounts to a factual error/omission. And from factual perspective, I find Wikipedia very helpful. The problem is — the spin. Those are harder to correct, as they are opinions, or take on the issue/event. As a rule, if an event/country is in line with Western “values” (extremely hard to define, as there are n-number of “standards” for essentially same situation, but the interpretation is highly — and subjective). Just in the last few days I had a debate with Spengler on an issue of Slavic slave trade that was conducted over thousand of years from the coast of today’s Ukraine, and especially Crimean ports. With an amazement I noticed how brutal a spin can be.
    For example, millions of Slavic — mostly Russian and Ukrainian slaves, were sold to meet the needs of markets — be that ancient Greece, Roman Empire, Khazar Khaganate, under Mongol-Tatar invaders, or later under Tatar and Ottoman ruled Crimean Khanate — until Russian Empire liberated the Slavic lands at the end of eighteen century. The Wikipedia text comments on “dumas”, Cossack songs about the horrors of Tatar slave-hunt, and the slaves’ fate. In an amazingly cold and antiseptic way it characterized these songs as harmful, as they presumably kept alive the hatred towards Tatars, “that goes beyond the political military concerns”. However, when talking about the resettlement of Tatars during WWII, the text talks passionately about the poetry of pain, as the people had to leave homes they may never see again. There was no mention how these poems prolong the hatred of Russians. The contrast is stark. On one hand, over thousands of years, millions of Slavic slaves were being sold across Europe, Mediterranean and Middle East, and across Silk Road — the historic tragedy so massive that the very name “slave” in French and English is based on the Slavic ethnicity of slaves. That very ethnicity that became synonymous with slavery should according to this Wikipedia logic strive not to offend their tormentors with their excess emotions, while we are to be moved by the fate of Tatars for their resettlement in war-thorn Crimea. Every human tragedy is a tragedy, and there is no way to compare. But to DENY even the right to be emotional over thousand-year history that saw those Russians and Ukrainians being enslaved, sold, abused sexually, worked to death in Venetian galleys, and killed in mock hunting, is clearly shameful. But it is not something that one can demand to be corrected. Such amazing examples abound in Wikipedia. So, if you are looking for DATA, by all means, Wikipedia is a good source. But beware, and teach kids to beware and be discerning — prejudice and ugliness are part and parcel of Western single-dimensional thinking, in which emotions serve exclusively as props and illustrations to justify the interest in the aforementioned single dimension.

  • ifigeniaa

    1996 March incident do occured, but your interpretation is subjective by quoting from wikipedia. because it didnt mention the historic background nor the position of the antagonists, turning it to a oneside view, the american view.

    “You may want to call it a province of China, but the Taiwanis do not think so, they treat themselves as a separate country and have democratic elections there. I am hoping that you know all those facts.”

    Since when the taiwaneses feel themselve not chinese? The diference is the political system in those 2 parts of China and not the cultural or national diference, the result of the civil war.

    And who give the right to America to mantain a split country?

    “US is bound by treaty to come to Taiwan’s” this is a one side view, because US signed a treaty with a side of the civil war, the loser one that still occupy a province, that is inconsequential if US is not a superpower which do things not by rule but by jungle law “might is right”. Imagine Germany made a treaty to protect Scotland independence, is it lawful under the international law and UN Chapters?

    So, by making oneside interpretation of the facts you get to the idea USA is protecting the World order. What a preponderous and dangerous view.

    By the way, did you answer my question “who give America the right to divide other country or to interfere in other country?” with that treaty made by USA or the democratic elections in Taiwan? Just another Goebbels you are.

    And to further expose your oneside american view. Until 1970s, Taiwan was the truthful China with a permanent seat in Unite Nation Security Council, but after that, you already show what it turned to by USA propaganda.

  • DavePh

    Well, I think you got the issue now on 1996 March Taiwan strait incident. You can debate how come and why US can meddle etc. but that does not negate the fact that an imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan fizzled out once President Clinton order the two carrier battle groups in to the Strait of Taiwan. If you will research, you will know the so called DF-31 is designed as a Supersonic Aircraft carrier killer. US it seems is already working on the solutions to intercept these missiles.

    The bottom line is, China had to back down, and since then it has not tried to ratchet up tensions in Taiwan strait.

  • DavePh

    I understand what you are saying and it may be true in some cases, however Wikipedia is an invaluable source of information. People can of course take it with or without the spin, intended or not. It is up to us to judge, but one can not refute citations that are valid. Yes, there will be always difference of opinions and that is to be expected, as long as facts are presented, one has to draw their own conclusions.

  • ifigeniaa

    Hehe, all this just to confirm that USA rule by the law of jungle? And the countries it destroyed are throphies to be proud of? I dont think so.

    Hey, and what about rule of law? Human rights? Freedom? values of democracy? In american distorted World it would only be tools of the soft power war, but for Humankind it really do exist and certainly US is a menace to all these human cherished values.

    Is not hopeless for all those who still think it is possible for a FREE World to reread this:

    “…Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished. Mr Teltschik mentioned this very gently. And no less people perish in these conflicts – even more are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!
    Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible.
    We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?
    In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate.
    And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasise this – no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race…
    However, today we are witnessing the opposite tendency, namely a situation in which countries that forbid the death penalty even for murderers and other, dangerous criminals are airily participating in military operations that are difficult to consider legitimate. And as a matter of fact, these conflicts are killing people – hundreds and thousands of civilians!
    …In conclusion I would like to note the following. We very often – and personally, I very often – hear appeals by our partners, including our European partners, to the effect that Russia should play an increasingly active role in world affairs.
    In connection with this I would allow myself to make one small remark. It is hardly necessary to incite us to do so. Russia is a country with a history that spans more than a thousand years and has practically always used the privilege to carry out an independent foreign policy.
    We are not going to change this tradition today. At the same time, we are well aware of how the world has changed and we have a realistic sense of our own opportunities and potential. And of course we would like to interact with responsible and independent partners with whom we could work together in constructing a fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all.” in Speech by Mr. Putin at the Munich Conference on Security Policy
    February 10, 2007

    And one last word, that incident that you talk and conclude with “The bottom line is, China had to back down, and since then it has not tried to ratchet up tensions in Taiwan strait.” is caused by some politicians and party in Taiwan who wanted to declare independence. So it is intelectually dishonest to omited this fact and failed to mention the maintenance of the status quo ante of the incident till this day.

  • ifigeniaa

    Then why Wikipedia does not limit to the facts and cut the spin? Or simply said that the article is a mix of facts and opinions with advice of caution just like the smoking publicity instead of saying in his logo a “Free encyclopedia”?

  • DavePh

    India in the past supported One-China policy but with Chinese belligerance, we have stopped doing that, and the same with Tibet.

    I know Hong Kong residents are not at all happy with mainland China imposing its candidates on the city. There were extensive demonstrations about it. If the Govt. is really of the people, then they should listen to them!!

    However, do you really think that ROC could declare Independence and get any recognition? I am just asking for an opinion and your view on it.

  • DavePh

    Because, if you think there is a spin, you have to complain about it to Wikipedia moderators, there are millions of articles and pages they have to manage, so any help form user community to identify them is good. If you think there are factual issues or matter has been put in an incorrect light, you can complain. I know certain articles that were hotly contested, were frozen from updates, and controversial content that can not be substantiated with citations, were removed.

    Yes indeed it is a great “Free Encyclopedia”, and that is what it is all about. I refer to it all the time when I need to find something. In over 95% cases the facts are cited and accurate. If there is an Opinion, even then that has a citation to support it. Yes, the citation can be from a source that you may not agree with, it may be an expert book, news article, seminar or such, but it is authoritative in nature and hence can not be discounted or labelled as false propaganda or spin.

  • Jack Temujin

    “India does not need Britain to protect it or even Americas…We have enough firepower of our own to stop Chinese messing at the border or a broader war”. Is that why you’re running scared every time Chinese troops amass at your border? India decided to join in with the Israel’s puppets in the West and their flunkies like Japan, Vietnam, The Philippines, etc. in a sinking boat. Real smart move. Also you keep on talking like China is all alone in this world, but Russia, and Russia alone can put a scare into any country in this world. Forget their nukes for now, because Russia has the best hackers in the world, and China is no slouch either..

  • DavePh

    Where are you going with this argument dude? When Chinese troops try to walk into Indian territory, the Indian soldiers physically push them back. Go look up YT for such videos.

    You say, this warfare is not just fought on battlefront but also on economic front. Russia suffered economically in massively due to its meddling in Ukraine. I agree Russians are some of the best hackers, and that warfare is another story.

    I am sure China is also into this game of espionage, like every other country. It will be a folly to think that Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and Australia are all flunkies…But hey who am I to correct you. LOL.

  • Jack Temujin

    Dave, I might disagree with you, but you’re a good sport.