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    Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 01:06
China has been ordained as a great power by the contemporary media.  But is she really?
 
Let's discuss the "traditional security concerns" China has with her perceptions of state security.  These are concerns as seen by China's ruling elites (those elites are primarily the PRC Communist Party aparatus and, maybe just as important, the leadership of the People's Liberation Army).
 
1)  As far as traditional security concerns, perhaps Russia is the least of them these days, although Russia can never be discounted.  Chinese weight of population, strategic depth along the western border regions (including Kazakhstan) and the modernization of Chinese industry, technology and military forces have changed the balance that favored the USSR until the 1990s.  Russia, longer term, seems to have more to be concerned with in this bipolar relationship.
 
2)  China's primary issue remains US hegemony in east Asia.  Japan, as a US ally, is a forward position from where US military influence can be projected. 
 
South Korea, increasingly, sees its economic interests intertwined with China, and US policy will likely reduce the presence of the US on the east Asian mainland.  Taiwan, already a trading partner with the PRC, also is likely to gravitate increasingly toward the Chinese economy.  Direct US military presence there is minimal, so the drive for reunification on mainland terms can be expected.
 
3)  India is seen by the Chinese elites as a direct threat to Chinese interests both in the high Himalayas and in Burma.  Both these regions are of interest to China primarily for geopolitical reason alone.
 
The physical problems are very great, but despite the natural barrier posed by the Himalayas, modern technology can project power both by air, and airlift capability; and there are numerous passes that, while high and very difficult, could be developed for transportation at least some months of the year.  The most likely transportation use would be military.  Control of much, or all, of this geography, in that case, would facilitate military movement - for positioning or for influence - both out of, and down into the subcontinent.  (The geopolitical logic for Chinese control of Tibet, and for Indian control of much of Kashmir, thus becomes more clear.)  This development is not likely short term, but it could be at some later time.
 
Chinese influence in Burma is also primarily geopolitical.  The WW II roads that supplied China and kept her in the war are still routes that can be improved for communication from Yunnan to what the Chinese would expect to be an outlet to the Indian Ocean.  This could also bring China into conflict with India.  For India, Bangladesh, almost entirely dependant on India for her security, presents a possible expanded staging area for operations toward the east (Burma).
 
Chinese support of, and political cover (in the UN) for, Burma's military government is predicated on Chinese geopolitical interests.
 
4)  Less critical in the near term is the historically problematic relationship of China and the states of IndoChina, particularly Viet Nam.  However, Sino-Vietnamese hostility cannot be discounted.  Viet Nam has increasingly been approaching non-Chinese partners for development, business, and to some small degree strategic reasons.  In a Sino-Indian relationship that might develop along confrontational lines, IndoChina might be a geographically close, and crucial area of competition and confrontation.
 
China still has far to go to be a superpower.  Her position and influence in much of east Asia is substantial, but she remains a land power, somewhat isolated from the necessary sources of very large, and very critical natural resource needs.  It is to be expected that, in the coming years, as competition for resources is expected to increase, China will need to address issues of conflicting interests and perhaps for conflict itself with a number of other powers.
 
Comments?  Points of view?  discussion?
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 14-Jun-2008 at 14:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 03:59
China can never become a superpower like USA.

China's geographical position is not favourable for her to develop into such a power.

China is encircled by Russia to the north, India to the south and Japan in the east.

If China starts to aspire to be the hegemon and seeks to call the shots to these three states, they will naturally form an alliance against China.

Due to these factors, China can only be a great power in asia but not hegemon of asia.

USA is the first and will be the last superpower.

In the future, there will be no more superpowers but many strong powers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 07:25
According to William Engdahl's analysis, China must solve two problems in order to emerge as a truely strong global power:

In recent years major attention has been paid to the emergence of a China economic colossus. What is generally missing in these discussions is the fact that China will not be able to emerge as a truly independent global power over the coming decade unless it is able to solve two strategic vulnerabilities—its growing dependence on energy imports for its economic growth, and its inability to pose a credible nuclear deterrence to a US nuclear first strike...

http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/Russian_Giant/russian_giant.html


Edited by Bankotsu - 13-Jun-2008 at 07:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 12:00
great subject Pike.

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

China has been ordained as a great power by the contemporary media.  But is she really?
 
Let's discuss the "traditional security concerns" China has with her perceptions of state security.  These are concerns as seen by China's ruling elites (those elites are primarily the PRC Communist Party aparatus and, maybe just as important, the leadership of the People's Liberation Army).
This is how understand their concerns.

  1. Remaining in power. The CCP will always put itself first and do anything to remain on top.
  2. Securing their periphery. Strong centralist understanding of power. Otherwise it could lose territory. Think Taiwan and Qing legacy (non Han) holdings on their periphery.
  3. Securing resources and their transport routes. South China sea <> Straights of Malacca <> Bay of Bengal <> Indian ocean and as well as the Pacific.
  4. Projecting regional power/influence, via economic, diplomatic and militray means. So to neutralise any other competing power *1 USA 2 India 3 Russia*and help all of the previous points remain so
 
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

1)  As far as traditional security concerns, perhaps Russia is the least of them these days, although Russia can never be discounted.  Chinese weight of population, strategic depth along the western border regions (including Kazakhstan) and the modernization of Chinese industry, technology and military forces have changed the balance that favored the USSR until the 1990s.  Russia, longer term, seems to have more to be concerned with in this bipolar relationship.
concur, i think right now the US bogey keeps them together in the CA region. Though Russia should watch its east as well as their west/southWink. To me Siberia is more vulnerable than the CA region.

The nuclear advantage should keep Russia territory secure for now, though it needs to try a little harder in keeping in with the Indians (and learn toshare this relationship with the west). joint work on 5th gen fighters for instance will help them keep ahead or at least up with the Chinese who haven't over taken them yet but certainly can.
 
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

2)  China's primary issue remains US hegemony in east Asia.  Japan, as a US ally, is a forward position from where US military influence can be projected.
They dont like being hemmed in. Guam, independent Taiwan, Sth Korea, Philippines. Goes back to the securing transport routes and projecting power. While the USA has advantage in these countries and the pacific fleet, China cant secure its reources routes and therefore will be vulnerable to choke points.
 
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

South Korea, increasingly, sees its economic interests intertwined with China, and US policy will likely reduce the presence of the US on the east Asian mainland.  Taiwan, already a trading partner with the PRC, also is likely to gravitate increasingly toward the Chinese economy.  Direct US military presence there is minimal, so the drive for reunification on mainland terms can be expected.
I dont think they will gravitate so easily, Taiwan while being more intermeshed also seems to oscillate between independence and friendliness. The PRC rhetoric when harsh, can push Taiwan voters the other way. So they have learnt to shut up more than let say the Clinton era. i don't know how sustainable the smiling, friendly giant charade can work for. Recent protests worked against them, even in Asia.

 *i have to go but i will try and discuss my understanding of the rest of the issues you pointed out, later tonight*

Edited by Leonidas - 14-Jun-2008 at 12:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 12:07
The "China threat" theory is probably propagated by USA to serve their own political agenda.

This is similar to the "Iraq threat" propaganda put out by Bush regime.

...Manning wrote that Bush was so worried, so upset, over the failure of the UN inspectors to find weapons of mass destruction, that he talked about three ways to, quote, “provoke a confrontation with Hussein,” one of which, Bush said, was to, quote, “fly U2 aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, over Iraq, falsely painted in United Nations colors,” and Bush said if Hussein fires upon them, this will be a breach of UN resolutions and justify war.

So here we have George Bush telling the American people, telling the world, that Hussein was an imminent threat to the security of this country, so we had to strike first in self-defense, but behind closed doors, this very small man was talking about how to provoke Hussein into a war...

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/13/citing_iraq_war_renowned_attorney_vincent
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 14:31
Originally posted by Bankotsu Bankotsu wrote:

The "China threat" theory is probably propagated by USA to serve their own political agenda.

This is similar to the "Iraq threat" propaganda put out by Bush regime.

...Manning wrote that Bush was so worried, so upset, over the failure of the UN inspectors to find weapons of mass destruction, that he talked about three ways to, quote, “provoke a confrontation with Hussein,” one of which, Bush said, was to, quote, “fly U2 aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, over Iraq, falsely painted in United Nations colors,” and Bush said if Hussein fires upon them, this will be a breach of UN resolutions and justify war.

So here we have George Bush telling the American people, telling the world, that Hussein was an imminent threat to the security of this country, so we had to strike first in self-defense, but behind closed doors, this very small man was talking about how to provoke Hussein into a war...

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/13/citing_iraq_war_renowned_attorney_vincent
 
Please do not distract from the topic at hand.  This subforum is intended for discussion of geopolitical issues.  Agendas that result in tangential argument can be accomodated in other places on the Forum.
 
The moderators do not want this subforum to become a dumping ground for either partisan ideology or for discussion of conspiracy theories.
 
Geography, physical features of the Earth, maritime choke points, etc., are all as indifferent to ideology as they are to "pretend history."
 
How George got the US (and the West/Japan combine) into Mesopotamia has been beaten to death long since.  More important is why they are there - geographical realities and how that interplays with Russian, central Asian, Iranian and Indian (and also Chinese) interests, and with European/Japanese economic necessity.
 
There is, IMHO, plenty there to discuss, absent arguments over propaganda machines. 
 
Thanks very much for your understanding and cooperation.


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 14-Jun-2008 at 14:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 14:37
So what is the topic at hand?

It doesn't seem to be clear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 14:39
Read the first post in the topic.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 14:44
Quote China has been ordained as a great power by the contemporary media.  But is she really?


So my view is the "China threat" theory is probably propagated by USA to serve their own political agenda.

Edited by Bankotsu - 14-Jun-2008 at 14:45
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 15:07
Originally posted by Bankotsu Bankotsu wrote:

Quote China has been ordained as a great power by the contemporary media.  But is she really?


So my view is the "China threat" theory is probably propagated by USA to serve their own political agenda.
 
That was he first line in the topic.  Please read the rest of it.  Wink
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 15:11
With respect to India, its like the Patton-Monty rivalry, it existed only in Patton (who is in this case India) mind. Geography precludes India or China from influencing each other except on the periphery, India sees Chinese influence in the insurgencies in the North East, and the China threat as a convinient excuse to raise new formations which are for Pakistan.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 16:17
There doesn't seem to have been much attention to the development of Chinese influence in Burma.  The old Burma Road and the "Stillwell Road" are routes along which China can export manufactured products and also import oil from the Middle East.  The access to the Indian Ocean afforded by Burma presents both opportunity and problems for China.
 
As Sparten indicates, India's domestic insurgencies in its northeast areas are seen (and possibly are) Chinese influenced.  Detaching small, weak areas from India in that region would help to incease Chinese influence in what could then become an additional buffer to the Burma-Indian Ocean communications. 
 
I doubt that this is a major effort, but those insurgencies get support from somewhere, and it is another distraction from other unresolved issues along remote borders.....and perhaps now from Nepal.  There, a relatively long border now adjoins India where there is no longer a Hindu monarchy, and where "Maoist" influence remains a factor. 
 
In the case of Burma, Chinese influence may possibly be countered by India's developing naval capacity.  That could affect, or if necessary, interdict commerce coming from the Indian Ocean.  Naval strength "in being" can be used as both a bargaining chip and a threat.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 16:34
Note:  I don't want to give the impression that China/India relations in Burma are solely strategic in nature, but this is a forum for much of that discussion.
 
Imports and exports going through Rangoon have increased substantially in the last couple of years.  Development of Burmese deposits of oil and gas are important, not only for China, but Bangladesh and other regional states.  Some of the geopolitics will be handled by business deals and subsidy diplomacy.  If serious problems arise, well, that is why states pay for military forces.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 14-Jun-2008 at 16:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bankotsu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 16:45
The China-India rivalry is always there, but there is also room for cooperation.

India takes the high ground against China
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JF14Df02.html

For a new order
http://www.flonnet.com/stories/


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 17:00

India's Navy is going to be far too committed in a Pakistan senario to be of any influence in the west. 90% of India's crude oil come from the gulf, where ships have to pass within visual range of Pakistani air and naval bases. Not tom mention Indias main Sea lanes via Suez and the cape have to run the gauntlet of Pakistani air, sea and sub assets.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 17:02
India essentially dose not control half of its territory at any given time it should be remembered. Any many of them are near the Chinese border.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 17:11
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

India essentially dose not control half of its territory at any given time it should be remembered. Any many of them are near the Chinese border.
 
The Asia Times article, linked above, states some information about Chinese incursions into "Indian territory," India's concern over China's military buildup, and, geographically perhaps more important, China's "robust road-building activity along all sectors of the Sino-Indian border." 
 
Those remote areas are a long way from being important economically.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 17:15
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

With respect to India, its like the Patton-Monty rivalry, it existed only in Patton (who is in this case India) mind. Geography precludes India or China from influencing each other except on the periphery, India sees Chinese influence in the insurgencies in the North East, and the China threat as a convinient excuse to raise new formations which are for Pakistan.
they had a border war and haven't resolved it yet. What they seem to have agreed to do, is not bring it up. To Delhi's north  Nepal is coming under PRC influence, to the east Burma is already there, and of course Pakistan on the west side. IIRC Maoist rebels are quite strong in Bihar, though i don't know how much they have to do with the PRC. If i was them i would try and hedge out some of that and be worried about Sikkim, Assam. India didn't go nuclear because of Pakistan.

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

 
3)  India is seen by the Chinese elites as a direct threat to Chinese interests both in the high Himalayas and in Burma.  Both these regions are of interest to China primarily for geopolitical reason alone.
 
The physical problems are very great, but despite the natural barrier posed by the Himalayas, modern technology can project power both by air, and airlift capability; and there are numerous passes that, while high and very difficult, could be developed for transportation at least some months of the year.  The most likely transportation use would be military.  Control of much, or all, of this geography, in that case, would facilitate military movement - for positioning or for influence - both out of, and down into the subcontinent.  (The geopolitical logic for Chinese control of Tibet, and for Indian control of much of Kashmir, thus becomes more clear.)  This development is not likely short term, but it could be at some later time.
 
yes the Indians are a potential threat in Tibet though that is one hard piece to grab. Beijing see the Tibetan exiles being protected and underhandedly helped by the Indians.

The Indians compete/threaten on many levels,
they have the demographics to match them (only they can do this)and in fact are growing quicker in this regard. they will need more resources
They are now an emerging economy, just behind the Chinese on the growth path, and will compete for resources, investments and business ($$$).
They have the Russians on one hand and the USA all of a sudden on the other, either way with one or both as allies it gives;
  1. the two 'other' big powers access to its Tibetan periphery and Indian ocean sea routes (Burma inc), if India chooses to. Even a potential partner in a future war
  2. vis versa it gives the Indians access to technology and a better edge to do that themselves
Competition in the bay of Bengal would be the most damaging to the chinese and threaten a key supply route for commodities.


Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

4)  Less critical in the near term is the historically problematic relationship of China and the states of IndoChina, particularly Viet Nam.  However, Sino-Vietnamese hostility cannot be discounted.  Viet Nam has increasingly been approaching non-Chinese partners for development, business, and to some small degree strategic reasons.  In a Sino-Indian relationship that might develop along confrontational lines, IndoChina might be a geographically close, and crucial area of competition and confrontation.
Vietnam (and Indonesia) have been courted by Russia. I think you may be discounting this to much. Vietnam is an ex vassal state, traditionally speaking. It doesn't comply and is on the same sea route the Chinese want to secure. Burma is already secure, the Indians are the only potential trouble, but realistically China knows that Pakistan will get their attention. Not their eastern side.  But Vietnam is unsecured and (along with what 3/4 others) in dispute about the south china sea. South china sea is second only to Taiwan as far as i see it. Also the tables have turned. Before both were poor rural countries using old Soviet tactics and equipment, China was humbled in the 70's by these guys. Now China is much stronger the Vietnamese, they have a massive edge. Watch that space.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 17:24
Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:


  1. Remaining in power. The CCP will always put itself first and do anything to remain on top.
  2. Securing their periphery. Strong centralist understanding of power. Otherwise it could lose territory. Think Taiwan and Qing legacy (non Han) holdings on their periphery.
  3. Securing resources and their transport routes. South China sea <> Straights of Malacca <> Bay of Bengal <> Indian ocean and as well as the Pacific.
  4. Projecting regional power/influence, via economic, diplomatic and militray means. So to neutralise any other competing power *1 USA 2 India 3 Russia*and help all of the previous points remain so


for point three


this is a bit of point three but also about the next point. They don't want to be hemmed in by the USA and its allies japan. Therefore they rather project back over the pacific; open up routes towards Latin america and the  south pacific and deny the USA control from 'their' sea lanes and approaches.




http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2007/2007-prc-military-power.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 17:44

Leonidas, the Indo-China border has always been of a secondary nature to India. of 45 divisions in their army, only 5 are earmarked for China. The rest are all for Pakistan or CI.

 
Pike, those "incursions into Indian territory" need a bit of clarification. Its the world worst mountainous terrain. The "incursions" mean attack on isolated desolate mountain posts. Nobody except the govs propganda arm and the local sector commander is concerned about losing or gaining a few posts, you can always retaliate elsewhere. Last year in kashmir, we captured like 36 posts. No doubt the Indians captured as many as well. It make no difference on the ground. The only practicle mountain passes into S Asia for a Chinese army or vice versa, are either via Nepal, or Pakistan, (The Khujarab Pass). Nepal is all but lost for Bahrat.
 
Leonidas, India became nuclear because of Pakistan not China, the Chinese threat was never a factor after the '65 war in their strategic thinking except as a contigency. The '74 test was due to power perceptions. They did not weaponsise it then. Pakistan began its programme in response to India, but weaponised it pretty soon due to the Soviet presence on the west. They followed suit.


Edited by Sparten - 14-Jun-2008 at 17:45
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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