Globalization, and our wise decisions, can help China give more to her citizens and the world

This much is true: China is a large country is well on her way to being fully integrated within the Core of functioning, global states.

Flag of China

The week started with news that the US was removing China from the list of the worst human rights abuses (from DU). This is good. The most fundamental of all rights is market freedom, which most of the Chinese economy has in spades. And likewise the week ends with Tom Barnett criticizing the Pentagon’s special watch report on China. Likewise, this is wise. While of course China must be “hedged” against, this must be done in a way that doesn’t place a wedge between Chinese and American interests.

Now, to the bigger news. Tibetans are rioting in Lhasa (from Soob), while Chinese are colonizing Africa. These are both symptoms of failure, but failure, after all, is nothing more than the difference between where you want to be and where you are. The Chinese Communist Party runs an oppresive state, especially for those who live in China who haven’t been Sinicized. Likewise, most African governments run incompetent states, from the perspective of supplying their citizens with a minimum of healthcare, police, and education.

The “people powered” unrest in Tibet won’t remove the Communists from that country, but it will demonstrate to the Party that their form of rule leads to international embarrassment and problems that are more typical of a Burma than a Great Power. Likewise, the “people powered” colonization in Africa won’t completely strip the sovereignty of those countries, but will do more to rollback the disaster of the 20th century.

Improved living standards for Chinese by economic growth, and improved living standards for Africans by recolonization, both look likely. These improvements will be partially caused by the mechanics for globalization. But also importantly, these improvements will be made more or less likely by our wise decisions, our not placing a wedge between ourselves and China, and our allowing criticisms of Chinese human rights to come from individuals and NGOs, and not states.

9 thoughts on “Globalization, and our wise decisions, can help China give more to her citizens and the world”

  1. Thanks for the nod. Funny, as I related in the commentary of my post, I’ve been tossing around the
    “Imperialism isn’t so bad” idea lately in terms of various former European colonies in Africa that are now independent and failed states.

  2. China will face much more protests, both violent and non-violent in the run up to the Olympics. How it reacts will be instructive. One hopes restraint will be the path.

  3. Jay,

    I think we are on the same page. Decolonization had to horror on death on a global scale [1]. Let’s hope as much of its bad effects are undone as speedily as possible.

    ElamBend,

    The Olympics has a knack for causing problems in authoritarian one-party states (Mexico, South Korea)…. These have seemed to end OK, so let’s hope the same thing is true in China.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/04/16/the-genocide-in-darfur-is-the-fault-of-those-who-oppose-colonialism.html

  4. There are people who see a future when China surpasses the US as the global hegemon. Many of these folks point to last century when the US ascended past the UK and see the rise of China as being inevitable or in some cases, even desirable. Dr. Thomas Barnett has expressed a belief that a US-China partnership will guarantee that globalization will not be disrupted.

    While no one in our government openly admits to this, I think there’s good reason to believe that this vision is shared by planners in the us. If you examine the attitudes US leaders have towards China, you’ll notice that they take a rather passive stance to some of China’s more negative actions and/or attributes.

    Besides some Democrat congress people from the Rustbelt or union leaders, very little is said or done about China’s refusal to open its markets to US goods. The same goes for China’s currency. While the occasional moaning will be heard, no action has been taken regarding China keeping its currency artificially low.

    Most striking are the human rights abuses. While the media will scream day and night about Russia’s human rights abuses, nothing is said about China’s despite having a worse record that Russia for the last 20 years. Putin is made out to be KGB-Tony Soprano-journalist killer while really nothing is said about China’s leadership.

    According to Power Transition Theory, two states have the greatest chance of conflict when the challenger (China) is dissatisfied with the status quo at the point of “parity” with the hegemon(US). As it stands right now, China is nowhere near the “parity” stage in terms of power with the US but in 50 years this may well be different.

    I believe today’s soft stance on China is intended to make China satisfied with the status quo for a future in which China may have the power to challenge the US hegemony. This strategy depends greatly on whether the US-China relationship will be similar to the US-British relationship of last century.

    Some will argue that the US’s soft stance on China is due to China’s holding of US debt. For issues of trade, some will argue that free trade ideology dominates the debate in the US resulting in avoidance of any trade retaliation (Closing US markets to Chinese goods). While these reasons probably play a part, they don’t address the US refusal to pressure China on its human rights issues, and it is for this reason, that I believe the US is trying to ovoid a possible future conflict with China.

    The next issue is China’s colonization of Africa. It appears as if Africa runs more smoothly when someones running it for them, and China appears to be slowly taking over this role. I’m looking forward to the day when China conducts some sort of Panama or Granada size military action in Africa. These types of actions are good training for a growing military that hasn’t been tested for a while. These “two way live-fires” are good for training and motivational reasons. I’m interested in seeing how China’s ground forces will preform?

    If the relationship with the China ever does go bad, Africa could be the future site where these two armies meet. The US as been operating out of the horn of Africa for some time now and this is largely due to its geopolitical location. The horn of Africa sits between the Mideast and Sub-Saharan Africa and having a presents in this gateway region is intended to disrupt the flow of money, men, guns, drugs, and ideas between the two regions.

    While the relationship between China and the US is currently looking good, one trap I hope we don’t fall into is depleting our big war fighting capabilities in favor of fighting Islamo-Terrorists. While the Islamo’s can cause havoc, I do not see them as a strategic threat. The attacks of 9-11 were a good opening punch but I don’t see an attack like that happening again without nuclear capabilities. The focus of the terror war should be on nuclear proliferation. Supposedly there exists some unaccounted for suitcase bombs form the former soviet union. These weapons should be the priority. This aside, we must not allow any countries military to surpass our own capabilities. The most effective way of doing this is by controlling space. Its no longer good enough to have the most powerful blue water navy. We need to be able to control space or the blue water navy is for nothing. Our satellites must be safe and we need to be able to take out other nations satellites. We need to build moon based outposts in order to stage attack on other nations satellites. If war does erupt with China, we must be able to control space.

    Those who control space….control the earth.

  5. Jayson,

    1936 Germany wasn’t generations-in to one-party rule, and didn’t see spontaneous violent demonstrations against the government in the run-up to the Olympics. The analogy does not hold.

    Seerov,

    Besides some Democrat congress people from the Rustbelt or union leaders, very little is said or done about China’s refusal to open its markets to US goods. The same goes for China’s currency. While the occasional moaning will be heard, no action has been taken regarding China keeping its currency artificially low.

    China’s currency is kept artificially low by the valuation of the RMB, and artificially high by China making it very difficult for Chinese to invest outside the country. Perhaps the RMB is lower than it would be otherwise, but I’ve never seen an argument take both into account and then argue that the RMB is artificially low.

    Most striking are the human rights abuses. While the media will scream day and night about Russia’s human rights abuses, nothing is said about China’s despite having a worse record that Russia for the last 20 years. Putin is made out to be KGB-Tony Soprano-journalist killer while really nothing is said about China’s leadership.

    Market freedoms are the foundations of political freedoms. Therefore, I’m sanguine about China’s continual embrace of globalization, and worried about Russia’s attempted rollback of globalization in its frontier with the EU.

    The focus of the terror war should be on nuclear proliferation.

    Definitely that’s important, but 9/11 showed mass death was quite possible without nukes. The problem is the state of Muslim civilization.

  6. A.E.,

    I read your prison COIN post [1], and liked it.

    However, I don’t think it applies in the case of Tibet. As you write:

    CERT is the “worst case scenario” for counterinsurgency. It is an environment where total authoritarian control is needed to maintain occupation over a disputed region but the governing authority lacks the popular support and resources to completely cement that control. The occupation soldier is viewed as an enemy by all factions and actors, and his only friends are seedy characters (like jailhouse “snitches’) who cooperate for material gain

    Thus, your definition of Prison coin contains sub-claims, such that a Prison COIN government is the enemy of all actors except snitches. Therefore, your claim falls if any non-snitch actor is found who supports the Chinese government in Tibet. However, the ethnic Han minority widely supports the Chinese claim of control over Tibet. Therefore, Tibet is not an instance of prison COIN. QED.

    Now, in fairness it’s hard to know exactly wha you mean here… I’m not sure what “total authoritarian” means, and how that term might relate to authoritarian and totalitarian.

    [1] http://rethinkingsecurity.typepad.com/rethinkingsecurity/2008/03/report-certopsc.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>