Wednesday, March 02, 2005

China: Friend or Foe?

The issue of China is essentially where Matt and I diverge in opinion. Matt sides with China, in that he believes increased economic integration will eventually lead to political integration. He further believes that Bejing will have no option, assumming that they desire to maintain the economic status that have achieved, but to further integrate considering the tremendous flows of foreign investment, technology, etc. that are entering the country. While I agree that this trend is obviously undeniable, I tend to take a more pro-Taiwan stance in line with common neocon principle and traditional conservative realism.

Despite the vast economic changes in China, we must still remain weary of what appears to me, to be an extremely unstable government (which I may add is still without a clear strategic objective). I consider China's history to be of vital importance, linked to their desire to once again grasp the sole superpower status of the Asian continent.

Undoubtedly, what frightens me the most, is that a country that Matt portrays as being, nothing but ready to be embraced by the economic international community, has demonstrated little reason to be trusted. China's recent military buildup is terrifying, not so much in numbers, but rather in motive. Why are they engaging in one of the most ambitious military buildups in the world to date? Who do they have to fear!? Nobody, they're ready for the offensive.

New intelligence reports claim that China's latest buildup include 23 new amphibious assault ships and 13 new attack submarines; vehicles which could theoretically be used to ferry supplies and soldiers in an attack on Taiwan. Even Director of Central Intelligence, Porter J. Goss, admitted to Congress that these measures could essentially, "tilt the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait." This is the last thing we need, a shift in attention from our efforts in the Middle East.

Further included in China's growing submarine fleet are new nuclear and conventional powered vessels; can you say an attempt to patch their inability to control the Taiwan Straight? Now with an expanded fleet, Washington intervention during a crisis will be greatly reduced. Further recalculation and analysis will be required in order to adapt to new strategic possibilies.

While the Taiwan Straight is one issue, American security is another. Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently stated that, "In addition to key Taiwanese military and civilian facilities... Chinese missiles will be capable of targeting U.S. and allied military installations in the region to either deter outside intervention in a Taiwan crisis or attack those installations if deterrent efforts fail." Admiral Jacoby, in unclassified testimony, predicted that by 2015, the number of Chinese nuclear warheads "capable of targeting the continental United States will increase severalfold."

To further state that China is completely dependent on the United States and the rest of the world is also completely false. Although progress may be slower without such foreign investment, the modernization of its fleet of warships is already underway, and experts claim that by taking an increasing share of commercial shipbuilding contracts in Asia, China is practically financing its own expansion

No matter how idealistic you are about the prospects of international economic integration and the role of China, some of the above information must be at least somewhat unsettling. I aruge that we need to keep on eye on China, for as history has proven anything can happen. Even more so, attitudes and norms do not change quickly. The citizenry of China may not experience a perceptual revolution as rapidly as the economic developments appear to be occurring. Who is not to say that government support and approval will increase as long as China is becoming more militarily potent and economically successful? Either way, China isn't my buddy yet, I'm sticking with Taiwan.

5 Comments:

Blogger Aleksu said...

I'm glad you agree with Taiwan getting independence from China.

That means you won't oppose the independence of the Basque Country from Spain.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Blex, I hope you're being sarcastic. Please don't stretch words. Not only is the Catalonia "problem" much less of interest to me, economically and strategically, but I believe that the entire movement a truly futile effort. Perhaps I post a blog later in regards to this parallel.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Aleksu said...

Sarcastic or not, when it boils down to the self determination of a nation it is always amusing to see how those who always "root for the underdog" actually fail to be consistent.

Taiwan - Yes
Basque Country - No

How come?

Looking forward to your post on the parallel.

Just one thing, I did not say anything about Catalonia, but now that you mention it.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Blex, it´s not a matter of rooting for the ´´underdog,´´ for if that were true, I would technically be rooting for the numerous terrorist groups that exist throughout the world. As far as self-determination is concerned, yes I do believe in that, but that does not necesarily mean that every ´´nation´´ has the inherent right or ability to pursue their own path. Besides, I am still not satisfied that Catalonia and the Basque country would be better off being independent, can you prove this to me? Especially within the context of European politics, where will the entities fit within the overarching structure of the EU? Is this not more of a hassle than it is worth? Revisit my previous post... strategic and economic plausibility.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Aleksu said...

It is exactly that overarching structure of the EU what brings plausibility to a national project by Euskal Herria and Catalonia.

Europe is doing away with borders, why should Spain force two nations to remain within its "national" borders then?

You say Taiwn offers strategic and economic reasons to support its plight for independence.

Catalonia and Euskal Herria are two strong economic entities, one of them lies on the Mediterranean, the other on the Atlantic.

It would be Spain the one in trouble without the support of these two "regions". Catalonia and Euskal Herria are more in tune with Europe's future than Spain will ever be.

8:48 AM  

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