Thursday, November 12, 2009


On or about 13:33 hours Feb 13th 2010, a Chinese SU-27 fighter and a Taiwanese F-16 collide over the Taiwan Strait.

The incident spirals out of control when the Chinese do what they always do in a crisis: blame the other guy. Demonstrations erupt in Beijing. Protesters demand that the Communist Party confront Taiwan and Great Satan. "When will China finally stand up?" read the signs.

Washington scrambles as Beijing readies for war.

Sound scary? Hold up - as the daemoneoconically "America's Interests first and foremost" guy Ambassador Bolton reminds us - the last few years for China has been a wild trip!

"Look at China's previous century: the collapse of the last imperial dynasty, the rise and repeated fall of the Republic of China, internal chaos among belligerent warlords, invasion and subjugation by Japan, civil war between Communists and Nationalists, Mao's dictatorship – which brought two of world history's greatest tragedies, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution – and then the 1989 repression at Tiananmen Square, just for starters."

Essentially - China is really, really fragile: Carnegie's Dr Susan Shirk let's out all the hot! wicked gossip and juicy details:

"Party leadership is hemmed in by threats to its stability: a rapidly aging population, the rise of the Internet, privatization of the economy, a widening gap between urban rich and rural poor, a restive population fed up with corruption, pollution that not only sickens but kills, mounting unemployment in an economy that needs to grow 7 percent annually just to provide jobs for 25 million new people entering the workforce.

"All around them," Shirk contends, "the leaders see new social forces unleashed by economic reforms that could subvert the regime." Moreover, Shirk describes a regime -- half Mafia, half corporate board -- so obsessed with staying in power that it is ill-equipped to deal with these challenges.

In a country where communist ideology is dead and a dog-eat-dog form of capitalism is ascendant, you'd think economic interests would be supreme. That's not the case, Shirk argues.

After the crackdown on student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the military and security services gained even more power than they already had in a society built on Chairman Mao's maxim that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Force-fed to China's people through programs such as the "Patriotic Education Campaign" (for all college students), nationalism nurtures "popular resentments against Japan and America and an expectation that Taiwan would soon be reunified," Shirk writes.

Look at China's reaction to the food, toy and toothpaste scandals created by shoddy products: Instead of acknowledging the concerns of Western consumers, the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda organs have gone into attack mode, branding these worries as a campaign to isolate and weaken China.

The problem, Shirk says, is that this form of nationalism has "boxed the CCP and its leaders into a corner." With reactions like these, she asks, "how can they stabilize relations with these important countries on which China's economic growth, and its political stability, depend?"

Pic - "Peoples Liberation Air Force is ever vigilant against capitalistic, hegemonic designs and chicanery"


mauryk2 said...

Everyone else has China on a roll.

John Rudolph said...

Well, I DID have General Tso's chicken in a bag tonight after my sojourn to the gym....

But seriously interesting scenario there, GSG, and potentially very realistic. But my main concerns are in the Yellow Sea - talk about a malay waiting to happen.

Oh, remember the navy P-3 Orion that was grounded in China after being intercepted? The crew didn't finish their emergency destruction procedures.