Chinamerican Threat Roundup 1

Friday, April 15, 2005

The threat posed by a Chinese-Latin American alliance has existed, but passed under the radar of many for a very long time. In an eerily similar fashion, I've been posting on the threat with increasing frequency, even to the point that this has become a nearly-regular feature of my blogging week! Well, if I wish our leaders would admit to the Chinese threat, it would be a little silly of me not to admit that posting roundups of all the bad news has become a regular feature of my blog.

I do not intend for this blog to become a mere news aggregator, but I do wish to be able to keep track of this complex story more effectively. So I'll just admit the reality and begin numbering my news roundups concerning China. Without further ado, and at the risk of using an ingenuous-sounding number, welcome to...

Chinamerican Threat Roundup 1

This is the "first" installment of what I figure will, unfortunately, be a weekly, or near-weekly feature here at my blog. [Update: All related posts are indexed here.]

(1) Anti-Japanese Protest Roundup: This news story recounts recent riots in China over Japanese textbooks. At the Riding Sun (a must-read on Far Eastern affairs), the Gaijin Biker points to a good blog roundup on the anti-Japanese protests at Simon World:
The anti-Japan riots in China over the weekend are an indication of both the depths of feeling amongst the Chinese public and the difficulty the Chinese Government is having in putting a lid on the nationalist frenzy it has whipped up. The Government has already put a clamp on official media reports, but modern communication techniques (including BBS and blogs) and hints of official involvement show that even the Government is divided on how to handle this turn of events. Ironically Japan is now demanding an apology from China. On Sunday the riots continued in both Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The US Consul General in Shanghai was worried enough to issue an alert to American citizens. The danger is this snowballs completely out of Beijing's control. Are they willing to take on what they've created?
I would imagine that there's more "government involvement" than "nationalist frenzy" here, but I could be wrong, because ...

(2) China Ratchets up 'Net Censorship: Apparently, the Chinese government has become quite adept at censorship, especially of the Internet!
The Chinese government has become increasingly sophisticated at controlling the Internet, taking a multilayered approach that contributes to precision in blocking political dissent, a report released Thursday finds.

The precision means that China's filters can block just specific references to Tibetan independence without blocking all references to Tibet. Likewise, the government is effective at limiting discussions about Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, Tiananmen Square and other topics deemed sensitive, the study from the OpenNet Initiative finds.
In the words of John Palfrey, one of the study's principal investigators, "You don't know what you don't know. It's more effective than if you see it but know you can't access it."

(3) Chinese Government Encourages Protests: But returning for a moment to the anti-Japanese protests, let me point to another post by the Gaijin Biker on the anti-Japanese riots. In China's past vs. Japan's Present, he makes the following observation, which back up my impression that the Chinese government is behind the protests.
Because mass public protests are generally not permitted in China, these riots are occurring with at least the tacit approval, if not the direct encouragement, of the Chinese government, which is eager to portray Japan as unworthy of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
The 'Biker also discusses what exists (or doesn't) within the covers of Chinese textbooks. This quote of Japundit on a striking similarity between China and Saudia Arabia bears repeating.
Why would the Chinese government be interested in arousing and channeling popular emotion?

For starters, the same reason Middle Eastern despots over the years aroused and channeled popular discontent by allowing demonstrations against America and Israel — to deflect attention from their own brutal anti-democratic regimes.

Channeling the anger over a lack of political power against foreign elements is a good way to prevent the focus from falling on oneself.
This indirectly reminds me of something Robert Tracinski of TIA Daily said awhile back concerning the recent fall of several despotic regimes.
The events of the past 25 years have given the free world an enormous amount of data from which it would be possible to create a whole new branch of political science devoted to studying how to undermine dictatorships. One of the most promising members of that unofficial project is Claudia Rosett, who offers a preliminary identification [link from TIA Daily] of the power of objective truth, as broadcast to oppressed peoples by free nations.
It certainly looks like the converse is true, from China's war against its people obtaining historical truth or diversity of opinion on current events.

But if this war fails, we'll know where the best photos of babes marching for freedom will come from!

(4) Taiwanese Leaders Waking up? In Taiwanese Politicians Getting the Picture, the Gaijin Biker indicates that some Taiwanese politicians are becoming hip to the fact that it is present-day China, and not Japan, that poses a threat to Taiwan. He quotes from an account of an official from one of Taiwan's political parties who is unhappy with the fact that he was denounced for visiting Japan -- while some other politicians recently went to Beijing:
"It is ironic that some political parties [try] to stigmatize my visit to Japan, yet justify their collaboration with China," Shu said.

"China has 700 missiles pointed at Taiwan ... they are the ones who embrace militarism," he said.
(5) Israel as Technology Conduit for China? This is my last link to the Gaijin Biker today, I promise! His emphasis is merely on the fact that it's easy to get along with Israel, "provided you aren't maniacally bent on its absolute destruction," but he quotes the following from a news story on the military ties between Beijing and Israel.
Chinese ambassador to Israel Chen Yonglong has condemned the efforts by the US to choke off trade in arms between Israel and China. He said the two countries had joined together in a strategic partnership that would break into a more glorious dawn.

This is one of the most enthusiastic statements about Israel ever made by China.
With our past insistence on Israel following the so-called "roadmap to peace," I wonder how reliable an ally we look to the Israelis, who occupy a sliver of land and are surrounded by hostile neighbors. I can't blame Israel for courting anyone and everyone who will help them remain well-armed, but the possibilities for military espionage as a result of this relationship are quite alarming.

(6) India and China in "Strategic Alliance:" That was the subject of a story that ran in the Houston Chronicle only a couple of weeks after this one about a U.S.-India pact (via TIA Daily). Commenting on an article like the one in the Chron, Robert Tracinski dismissed the Chinese-Indian alliance as mere "detente." I see India being in a situation like Israel: The U.S. insists that it pretend not to be in conflict with a hostile, Moslem neighbor: Pakistan. We need the India card against China. India needs the China card against Pakistan. Related is this James Pinkerton essay: 3 signs of impending "Asian Century."

(7) Another Venezuelan Ally? Michelle Malkin reports that Spain may be helping Hugo Chavez get his hands on WMD.

(8) Beaten to the Punch? Via Chapomatic, I learned earlier this week of a link to what he calls a "China roundup," but which I've just now gotten around to looking at. It seems in fact to be a group blog on the emerging Chinese threat! I reference it here so I'll remember to look at it again, but it sounds promising. That would be nice as I've toyed with a similar idea myself. The main page of this "China project" is here.

(9) China's Strategic Direction: At RealClear Politics is a warning not to forget that China could back off from attacking its rich southern neighbors for awhile and opt for central Asia instead.
Although China is not quite the militarily expansionist force that Imperial Japan was in the 1930s, its strategic situation is perhaps analogous. Will China choose north or south?

Today much of the attention regarding China is on the "south." It is assumed in the West that China naturally looks toward the South China Sea and beyond to the waters of Southeast Asia and perhaps even the Indian Ocean. The region is economically vibrant. There are commercially successful ethnic Chinese enclaves all over the area, controlling much of the national wealth in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Furthermore, the area serves as a vital conduit of foreign trade for China, taking Chinese products westward and bringing much needed natural resources like petroleum through the strategically important Straits of Malacca. Expecting China's strategic influence to head south is a good bet.

Still, the possibility that China could press northward should not be entirely discounted. There are some good reasons why China may do so. Russia remains weak both in economic and military terms in the region and will be so for the foreseeable future. The area is vastly endowed with natural resources, especially energy that China's growing and hungry economy enviously eyes. At the same time, the region is largely unpopulated, an attractive condition for over-populated China.
(10) Their Growing Military vs. Our Weakening One: Over at Phatic Communion are a pair of posts that are more alarming considered together than considered in turn. Curtis Weeks first posts on China's military buildup.

The PLA Navy (PLAN) is rapidly transforming itself from a coastal force into a bluewater naval power with a force modernisation drive that is unprecedented in the post-Cold War era. “The range and number of warships the Chinese navy is acquiring can be compared to the Soviet Union’s race to become an ocean-going navy to rival the US in the 1970s,” said a China-based foreign naval attaché.

The US intelligence community has reported that since 2001, the Chinese shipbuilding industry has produced 23 new amphibious assault ships and 13 conventional attack submarines…
Weeks then looks at the toll that our present war has been taking on manpower in our military.

(11) Submariners Blog on Chinese Submarines: Via Bothenook are two posts with the thoughts of two American submariners on China's recent heavy investments in its submarine force. In the first of these, Willy Shake mentions a new class of nuclear ballistic missile submarine.
This story about the smaller yet sleeker and more modern Chinese military follows on my post from the other day and has this to say about their sub force:
The Type 094 nuclear missile submarine, launched last July to replace a trouble-prone Xia-class vessel, can carry 16 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Married with the newly developed Julang-2 missile, which has a range of more than 5,000 miles and the ability to carry independently targeted warheads, the 094 will give China a survivable nuclear deterrent against the continental United States [emphasis mine], according to "Modernizing China's Military," a study by David Shambaugh of George Washington University.
This reminds me of this quote from the "China Project" I mentioned earlier.
And finally, you do not have the strategic leverage that you had in the 1950's when you threatened nuclear strikes on us. You were able to do that because we could not hit back. But if you hit us now, we can hit back. So you will not make those threats. In the end you care more about Los Angeles than you do about Taipei [emphasis added].
But Bubblehead (second link above) thinks these Chinese subs won't be much of a match for ours.
I really can't get that worried about these new boats; they're China's 2nd generation nuclear boats (our current boats are 4th and 5th generation) and even if China was able to skip a generation based on espionage or technical help from the Russians, our subs should be able to keep track of them just fine.
Well. That's a wrap!

-- CAV


4-17-05: Added reciprocal link to index post.
6-26-05: Added hypertext anchors.

1 comment:

Chap said...

Wow, huge collection of links! Thanks for the tip.

Ever consider sending something like this to Winds of Change?