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War with China: Ascending Powers, Expansionism and the Use-of-Force

By Dr Strobe Driver

Introduction

There has been some increasing consternation in recent times among commentators that the ‘rise of China’ is mirroring the machinations and complexities of Germany before World War One (WWI)—the era of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Monk points to Germany’s sense of being hemmed in by the Triple Entente (England, France and Russia) and of Germany’s population ‘seeing the world from their own government’s point of view,’[1] or in simpler terms, not questioning their decision-making elite as being significant contributing factors that would bring about the ‘total war’[2] of 1914-1918. Moreover, several decades prior to going to war, Germany was an ascendant European power. However it was in the decade prior to WWI that Germany had managed via a decade of rapid industrialization to form a naval force that was second only to Britain.[3]  More importantly, the massive industrial undertaking of building a navy according to the established powers of Britain, Russia, Japan and France suddenly found Germany ‘meddling everywhere.’[4]

Based on the abovementioned history of ascendant powers, Germany befits the archetype of what an ascendant power is wont to do: begin to assert authority in a more robust way; be more proactive and reactive in its geo-strategic and geo-political positioning; and demand that their ‘place’ in the world be re-assessed. Prior to Germany’s ascendance: Portugal, Spain France and Britain, to name only a few had embarked upon this trajectory and the strategy and tactic that was overwhelmingly used consisted of ‘coercion,’ which is summed up as

[T]he use or threatened use of military force to defeat any elements of the population that resist or threaten to resist an occupation … Coercion in occupations can take the form of either explicit actual violence, or latent violence that deters violent opposition to occupation.[5]

Observing recent events, China is on the trajectory of Germany prior to World War Two (WWII) as it feels ‘hemmed in’ by the United States of America (US) and its Asia-Pacific allies—Australia and Japan to be precise.  Whether the pre-WWI scenario will apply in the same or a similar manner can now be assessed through a prism of what other powerful nation-states have undertaken in their power-stakes.

Japan as a Regional Power

To be certain power-stakes reside within a country’s capabilities and whilst Germany had European ambitions, Japan developed regional ambitions in its quest for power.  For instance the rise of Japan was through the policies of the Meiji era (1868 – 1890), and the subsequent defeat of Russia; and two invasions of China.[6]  Within this process there were also societal changes such as the abolishment of feudalism and the embracing of structural changes which were

The enthusiastic [selective] adoption of new Western technologies [which] caused an explosion of industrial productivity and diversification. A national military and universal conscription were established. Compulsory public education was introduced both to teach the skills needed for the new nation and to inculcate values of citizenship in all Japanese.[7]

Japan, in the Meiji era established a nascent dominance over its regional neighbours[8] and Imperial Japan (1890 – 1945) would follow what had been established.  Imperial Japan’s trajectory would consist of winning a war against Russia (1904 – 1905) in order to curtail Russia’s expansionist policies in Far East Asia, a war with China (1894 -1895) over control of Korea, gain a colony (Formosa/Taiwan) in 1902 and finally, annex Korea in 1910.[9]  All incidences reflect a pathway of becoming a major regional power. Imperial Japan would continue its ambitions with a second invasion of China in 1937,[10] and extend its geo-strategic ambitions through war and colonisation backed by astounding growth until its total defeat in 1945—at the end of the Pacific phase of WWII.

Therefore, Japan also befits the model of those that had gone before. Japan was circa-1894 to 1945, simply one more powerful nation-state claiming control of regions—East Asia, South East Asia, through to Oceania in that order.  This was accomplished through the prism of violent (realism-driven) expansionism; strong domestic nationalism; and the desire to maintain the regional status gained in the Japan-Russo War. A move to understanding the aim of global power can now be addressed.

Britain as a Global Power

Driven by nationalism, mercantilism, and science and technology—such as the development of capital ships, cannon, shot and portable firearms—and by having ‘increasingly sophisticated administrative and tax systems’[11] which could support long conflicts numerous European nations would develop expansionist policies. The primary focus of these powers was to establish a military presence in order to ensure an immediate and ongoing resource base; and enforce navigation rights. Britain would excel in the aforementioned gaining of territories. By 1860, its territory covered nearly a quarter of the Earth’s surface.[12]  To observe the extent of Britain’s global ambition and to also understand the intent which the British government would use force against the populations is to note ‘military actions played an increasingly larger role in [the] British imperial experience.’[13]  Emphasising this factor is to observe the following conflicts that were undertaken in order to ensure an empire was sustained: the Second Burma War (1852 – 3), Indian Uprising (1857 – 8), the Ambeyla Expedition (1863), Third Maori War (1863 – 72), the Abyssinian Expedition (1867 – 8), the Zulu War (1879), Second Afghan War (1878 – 80), First Boer War (1880 – 81), action in Egypt and the Sudan (1882 – 99), action on the Indian frontiers (1883 – 97), Third Ashanti War (1895 – 96), and the South African (Boer) War (1899 – 1902).[14]

The above emphasises what a determined global actor does in order to hold on to empire and status. The British Empire’s power-base extended over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At every opportunity it was extended and defended and was replete with a high degree of nationalism amongst the British domestic populace. In the post-WWII era, the US would embark upon a similar trajectory.

The United States of America as a Global Power

The US has a long history of expansionism which in many ways corresponds to the British.  In the mid-twentieth century the US began to position for global power through the prism of what was achieved in its total victories in the Pacific theatre of WWII; and its joint victories in Europe as an Allied power. Victory in the Pacific notwithstanding, the US has been involved in numerous conflicts over time in its effort to become a powerful international actor and has used military strength on numerous occasions. In July 1853, Commodore Perry of the United States Navy with a squadron of support ships sailed into Tokyo Harbour and ‘forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States and demanded a treaty permitting trade and the opening of Japanese ports to U.S. merchant ships.’[15]   In 1894 – 1898, the US ‘stage-managed’ a coup d’état against Queen Lili’oukalani of Hawaii and annexed her islands; and in 1903 fomented a revolution in the isthmus of Panama to separate it from Columbia in order  to acquire territory needed for the Panama Canal.[16]  The US would then be involved in the following conflicts: Cuba, (1898 – 1902), Philippines (1898 – 1941), China (1900), Panama (1903 – 1936), Cuba (1906 – 1909), Nicaragua, (1909 – 1933), and Mexico (1914). [17]  Just prior to the twenty –first century the US would be involved in a further 86 conflicts[18] with the view to establishing a solid geo-strategic world presence.

As the US and its use-of-force on other sovereign nation-states remained strong and vibrant it pursued its policy objectives through the prism of ‘pax.[19] Whilst not having been able to achieve the chronological achievement of the British in their approximately 150 years’ domination, the fact remains the US is a very robust international actor. With this in mind, China entering the Asia-Pacific region in a much more dynamic way can now be addressed.

Pax-Sino: China Embraces the Historic ‘Use-of- Force’

The rise of a nation is through a multitude of happenings which consist of but are not limited to, industrialisation, mechanization, nationalism, patriotism, robust tax collection and science and technology. Within the development of these societal and industrial components a nation-state tends to develop and then harness a strong military and what Tilly describes as ‘attendant infrastructures.’[20] These ‘structures’ range from personnel discipline through to sophisticated equipment and the ability to apply use-of-force. A more robust military for a nation-state invariably leads to more overt geo-strategic demands—Japan, Britain, France and the US in the aforementioned. China, with its attendant structures is now setting out to redefine its geo-strategic ‘place’ with more focussed geo-strategic objectives. The ‘nine-digit line’ being paramount to its forward-focussed foreign policy planning. The nine-digit line encompasses the Paracel Islands, extends as far south as James Shoal (near the coast of Malaysia), proceeds north to near the coast of the Philippines and ends as far north as the Luzon Strait, off the coast of Taiwan. To be sure, the significance of the nine-digit line is not an aggrandizement of oceanic territory per se.

The abovementioned ‘line’ however, is more a statement of future intent and in turn, the end result of a long slow process that began in 1991 and is important therefore, to be given a perspective.  One of the major driving forces for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at this time stemmed from a belief that the Chinese people had been stripped of their identity by European powers in the nineteenth century.[21]   The PRC government through the focussed planning during the Deng Xiaoping era (1978 – 1994) began the process of expansion in earnest and a nascent ‘blue-water’ (ocean-going) navy began to be formed; and over time China’s military spending increased exponentially. Therefore, the PRC during the mid-1990s began a focussed strategic policy of developing a military capacity to deter and deny, rather than assault and defeat, US carrier battle fleets in the Western Pacific, and this was combined with the diplomatic aim of pushing the US out of its dominant and established role in East Asia and Southeast Asia since 1945.[22]

The necessity of a more robust China in geo-strategic terms therefore befits the model of power projection—one which demands a more solid expression of hard power. The recent development of the Cuarteron Reef in the South China Sea being a strong example of hard power. Underpinning the overt moves into the Asia-Pacific (A-P) region and of threatening the established US primacy in the Western Pacific also fits the historical model of  ‘rising powers with narratives of past humiliations tend to view the status quo  with ambiguity and justify the use of power politics, to right these perceived wrongs.’[23]   China is definitively and assertively following the path of those that have gone before—Japan, the US, France and Britain to name only several.

Conclusion

In recent times the PRC has been exerting its perceived and/or actual rights by establishing a more robust A-P presence. To date China has not stepped back from its projection of hard power and although it has not reacted to freedom-of-navigation ‘interventions’ by the US and its allies, it has nonetheless continued implementing a robust plan of expansion–mainly through the prism of the  People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The usage of an ocean going navy is a tried and true method of expansion and China has embarked upon what has become colloquially known as the ‘string of pearls’[24] in order to achieve its regional ambitions. Ports in Myanmar and Pakistan being of particular importance in their oceanic connectivity  and moreover the recent swing of the Philippines toward China is a direct display of China’s influence  in the A-P; and its steady pursuit of invoking geo-strategic change in the region.[25]

The uptake of the PRC in harnessing Chinese ‘security’ through the prism of maximising national interest, economic prosperity, security and maritime superiority[26]announces that the PRC and the Chinese populace are embarking upon what has gone before in terms of attempting to reshape the status quo. As has been stated, Japan, Britain and the US have all embarked upon what China is attempting. With regard to Germany, nationalism played a growing part in their ambitions culminating in 1939 with the invasion of Poland. Japan’s pivotal exercise in expansionism would result in the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. Both powers at the time saw direct force as a necessity in coming to terms with their ‘rivals.’

Thus, China has not stepped back from the domestic security policies attributed of the Deng era per se and has recently reinforced its ambitions by ignoring the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PAC) ruling that China has no specific rights in the South China Sea maritime disputes. China dismissed the ruling as nothing more than ‘a piece of paper’ further  surmising that tribunal’s such as the PAC are only for small powers and Great powers—especially members of the United Nations Security Council Permanent Five—do not have to acquiesce to such rulings.[27]

The power projection that China is applying to East and Southeast Asia is one of being incremental as the PRC builds upon its domestic elements of nationalism and economic stability, whilst at the same time exercising geo-strategic and geo-political strength through the prism of an ocean-going naval force. Concomitant to the military aspects of power projection, China has dismissed US insistences for a halt to land reclamation[28] which also reflects the confidences that other powers have expressed prior times. Therefore it is fair to argue a significant focus of the PRC is to embrace what Imperialist nations accomplished prior to China’s newfound and/or reinvigorated power per se and the fact that what China has already accomplished is ‘fundamentally challenging Asia’s strategic order,’[29]  is within the  remit of those that have gone before.  China has learned strategies and tactics of Western Imperial powers as well as Japan’s. The issue for a safer A-P is whether how the West and Japan in particular, deal with the  inevitable  rise of China as once a nation-state grasps its expansionist trajectory there is no turning back. And within this construct the PRC shows no sign of slowing as each ambitious component of pax-Sino comes to the fore.

Conflict and then war come about due to a deliberate kinetic military attack taking place, a more focussed pro-active stance takes place by the emerging power and the most powerful actor launches a ‘pre-emptive defence attack,’[30] due to a perceived or actual security threat. Therefore, and based on history there is no reason to believe that military conflict through a ‘limited (regional) war’[31] will depend upon whether there is a de-escalation of any initial kinetic power projection—that is an exchange of live munitions—or whether it is escalated.

Currently and due to the inherent and continuing tensions, what is certain is that a military collision will take place. Gaining regional and then global power is a costly business. The US in the post-WWII era, Britain in the mid-seventeenth through to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, France before that and Spain prior to France were committed to their power and utilized numerous strategies and tactics to ensure their power remained constant. All however, offer an insight into the strategies of expansionism. Thus, the regional imperialism that China is displaying demands that the use-of-force be an inherent and omnipresent part of a powerful country’s geo-strategic expansionism and mix, and this is usually met with the current actor—in this case the US—being increasingly unwilling to secede any lessening  of its power-base. Therefore it must be said that China to a large extent is mimicking pre-WWI Germany. It must also be stated however, that its geo-strategic policies are being exacerbated by constant US refusals for the Western Pacific to be a multilateral oceanic zone. Whether the US is able to rely on all of its allies in the post-WWII world and whether China is able to maintain and increase its allies to form a greater and more potent fighting power-bloc in the A-P remains to be seen. The current state-of-affairs however, suggests that a war will happen as China exponentially increases its expansionism; and the US incrementally reverts to being a revisionist power. Or in a more focussed way, China is exhibiting a pre-WWI German paradigm.

The above is due to the numerous impositions of security forces in the A-P region; and it is within this paradigm—the US refusing to step back to a multilateral A-P region (or multiple position) stance in the region—that poses the greatest threat for Australia as the current policies (of both sides of the major parties in Australian politics) remain subservient to the US’ political-dogma of a unilateral A-P region which was created in the 1950s. China is a nation ‘on the move’ and like those nation-states before them, and as stipulated in the abovementioned, the PRC government will not hesitate to use a direct use-of-force (such as the sinking of an Royal Australian Navy ship, or the shooting down of n Royal Australian Air Force aircraft); or the cutting-off of sea-lanes as a indirect use-of-force (such as the Malacca Strait), to show that its historical ‘place’ in the region has changed.  And moreover, it will use one or both of the aforementioned to test whether the US will directly come to Australia’s military aid or simply observe the happenings of how things are ‘panning out’ in the region.  One thing is for certain, the US will do what is good for its foreign policies and not what is good for Australia’s established historical place in the region.  A war with China is coming and Australians’ should be acutely aware of its ‘place’ in the A-P.

References

[1] Paul Monk.  ‘China’s parallel with Germany before WWI.’  The Age. FairfaxMedia: Melbourne, 21 Aug, 2014, 20.

[2] ‘Total war’ is a multi-faceted and complex happening however it is summed up succinctly by Vasquez as, ‘Total wars involve a high mobilization of society … Because total wars take on the characteristics of a fight for survival, they tend to mobilize resources and means to wage battle with few restraints … The goals in total wars are much more open-ended and often expand as the war progresses.  .’  See: John Vasquez.  The War Puzzle.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

[3] ‘Germany from 1871 to 1918.’ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica.  Encyclopædia Britannica.  https://www.britannica.com/place/Germany/Germany-from-1871-to-1918

[4] https://www.britannica.com/place/Germany/Germany-from-1871-to-1918

[5] David Edelstein.  Occupational Hazards.  Success and Failure in Military Occupations.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008, 49-53.

[6] The ‘Meiji Era’ is also referred to as the ‘Meiji Restoration.’

[7] ‘Japan’s Modern History: An outline of the Period.’  Columbia University.  http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/timelines/japan_modern_timeline.htm

[8] Imperialism, according to Butlin is  ‘the projection of power across large spaces, to include other states whatever the means: colonies, mercenaries, gunboats, missiles, client elites, proxy states, multilateral institutions, multinational alliances.’  See: Robin Butlin.  Geographies of Empire.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009,  6.

[9] ‘Russo – Japanese War.’ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica.  Encyclopædeia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/event/Russo-Japanese-War

[10] ‘In 1937 skirmishing between Japanese and Chinese troops on the frontier led to what became known as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. This fighting sparked a full-blown conflict, the Second Sino-Japanese War.’  See: ‘Sino – Japanese War.’  http://www.history.co.uk/study-topics/history-of-ww2/sino-japanese-war

[11] Geographies of Empire, 39.

[12] Geographies of Empire, 49.

[13] Geographies of Empire, 54.

[14] Geographies of Empire, 54.

[15] ‘Commodore Perry and Japan (1853 – 1854).’  Asia for Educators. Columbia University. http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/japan_1750_perry.htm

[16] Chalmers Johnson.  The Sorrows of Empire.  New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004, 42.

[17] Mark Peceney.  Democracy at the Point of Bayonets.  Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 1999, 16.

[18] For a full list of conflicts see: Democracy at the Point of Bayonets, 16.

[19] According to Dictionary.com ‘Pax’ comprises ‘a period of general peace, especially one in which there is one dominant nation.’  See: Dictionary.com. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pax?s=t

[20] Charles Tilly.  ‘Reflections on the History of European State-making.’  The Formation of Nation States in Western Europe. Edited by Charles Tilly. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1975, 33.

[21] Martin Jaques.  When China Rules the World. The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order.  London: Penguin Books, 2009, 306 – 307.

[22] Paul Monk.  ‘China, America and the danger to world order.’  Quadrant. May, 2012.

[23] John Hemmings.  ‘The Potential For China – US Discord in the South China Sea.’  RUSI Journal.  April/May, 2011, Vol 156, 90.

[24] For a succinct assessment of China’s force projection see: Larry Wortzel.  ‘Enter the Dragon.’  The Journal of International Security Affairs, Fall/Winter, 2013, 19 – 21.

[25] Lindsay Murdiooch.  ‘It’s time to say goodbye to US.’  The Age. FaifaxMedia: Melbourne, 21 Oct, 2016, 13.

[26] Zhou Enlai debated Chinese foreign policy in the post-WWII era.  Enlai’s belief in the direction China should be directed is complex and multi-faceted, however he did consider Britain’s foreign policy to be pragmatic and focussed.  See: Kuo-kang Shao.  Zhou Enlai and the Foundations of Chinese Foreign Policy.  Houndsmills: MacMillan Press, 1993, 30 – 40.

[27] Graham Allison. ‘Of course China, Like All Great Powers Will Ignore an International Legal Verdict.’  The Diplomat.  11 July, 2016. http://thediplomat.com/2016/07/of-course-china-like-all-great-powers-will-ignore-an-international-legal-verdict/

[28] David Lynch and David Roe.  ‘US demands halt to China islands.’ The Age.  Melbourne: FairfaxMedia, 29 May, 2015, 2015, 8.

[29] Hugh White.  The China Choice. Why America should share power. Collingwood: Black Ink, 2012, 68.

[30]  Pre-emptive force is when a state defends ‘against violence that is imminent but not actual; they can fire the first shots if they know themselves about to be attacked.’  See: Michael Walzer. Just and unjust Wars.  New York: Basic Books, 2006, 74.

[31]  ‘Limited war’ as with ’total war’ is a complex and multi-faced happening.  Lewis sums up limited war in a very succinct manner:  ‘Modern limited war was an artificial creation caused by the development of nuclear weapons … Modern limited war required a nation-state to place artificial restraints in the conduct of war to preclude it from escalating into more total war …  Artificial limited war required nations to place limitations on the objectives sought; weapons and manpower employed; the time, terrain, and geographic area of hostilities; and the emotions, passions, and energy, and intellect committed by a nation.’  See: Adrian Lewis.  The American Culture of War.  The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom.  New York: Routledge, 2007, 203.  Emphasis in original.

This article was originally published on Geo-Strategic Orbit.

Dr Strobe Driver completed a PhD in war studies in 2011 and is a sessional lecturer and tutor at Federation University.  Since then he has been writing on Asia-Pacific security, War and Terrorism.  This is a modified article—with a more direct focus on Australia—than the one recently published on his blog Geo-Strategic Orbit; and subsequently published on E-IR.

 


7 comments

  1. OrchidJar

    Dr Driver, a wonderful read, thank you.
    Personally, I don’t think the parallels are there.
    The kinds of ententes that exists in the early 20C century have no current analogous counterpart.
    For a start we have no Bismarck!

    But I’m more than happy to hear, or be persuaded, different.

    I was encouraged to hear, in a confession that will both infuriate and utterly confuse my ideological brethren on this site, and give evidence for my earlier opinion, John Bolton rightly declare the other day that “Nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to”.

    Finally, and importantly, thank you very much for your references. They are fast becoming a thing of the past in our new “half-baked-opinion-is-all–that-one-needs- in-this -wild-west age–of-blogging”.

  2. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Having just scanned through Dr Strobe Driver’s article, I am a little concerned about the use of history to predict the future in this unique time of contemporary globalization.

    From a different perspective however, I would consider that an emergent PRC must be respected as the big economic and strategic power in Asia.

    My less theoretical recent articles on Indonesia on the AIM Network do share Dr. Driver’s concerns.

    China has riven to the occasion in its peaceful relations with Taiwan and South Korea.

    On other occasions it has used force when cornered as in the Korean War and punishing raids into Vietnam in 1980 over Vietnamese intervention in Cambodia in 1979 with financial and strategic support from the USSR.

    Dr Driver should consider a sequel article on what Australia and perhaps what our ASEAN neighbours can do to accommodate the peaceful rise of China.

    I like Dr. Driver’s earlier work: The Road to Perdition: Australia and the Neocon Agenda which is readily available online through Google (
    http://papuqs-snippets.com/the-road-to-perdition-australia-and-the-neoconservative-agenda-by-dr-strobe-driver/).

    At first glance this might be a welcome address at a US Strategic Naval College with its talk of inevitable consequences from the rise of the PRC.

    However, be assured by the conclusions in The Road to Perdition: “Therefore it is time to dump the allegiance to Neocons domestically and internationally or Australia will suffer”,

    What a relief! Dr Driver presents a strong argument but it is an argument for change in Australia’s foreign policy in directions which I would love to hear and support with his excellent theoretical perspectives.

  3. Harquebus

    We’ve been here before.

    “I am still quite satisfied that the policy of the Australian Government in relation to trade with Japan was right, and has been in effect very much to our benefit. In the first place, if Australia had prohibited the export to Japan of materials – whether scrap iron, wool or wheat – capable of military use, we might very well have provoked this war with Japan at a much earlier date than December 1941.”
    http://menziesvirtualmuseum.org.au/transcripts/the-forgotten-people/69-chapter-11-scrap-iron-for-japan

    Search criteria: pig iron for japan

  4. townsvilleblog

    When the yank president says ‘China is raping the USA” then it seems another world war is inevitable, they yanks have always been war mongers and are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide I don’t want to sacrifice my young daughter for some capitalist war on communism why can’t the yanks just mind their own business!

  5. Phil Atkinson

    Soon after Obama announced his “pivot to Asia” (with the aim of containing China and increasing the containment of Russia), the PRC regurgitated their “nine dash line” spiel and started militiarising islands in the South China Sea. The practical effect of that was to increase the Chinese border perimeter and offer additional protection to the homeland. It’s a reaction, not an expansion and this is one theme on which western media has been lying to us in their propaganda war. It is wise and prudent to check Chinese expansionism by trade, but not by military means. If there is a “war” it will doubtless be over the South China Sea islands and limited to a skirmish in that area. It is simply not in Chinese or American interests for there to be a prolonged war. Chinese military is set to defensive capabilities, not offensive. They have one aircraft carrier, with another under construction. The USA has 6 battle fleets on permanent station throughout the world. There is no comparison between the two militaries in offensive capability.

  6. strobedriver

    Thank you all for your replies.as i find them very thought-provoking.

    In reply, first of all where I stand is, I come to this argument with a view that Australian politics with its current politics increase the chances of a limited war happening between Australia and China, and it is due to the dogma of steadfast reliance/historical acceptance/obsequious approval of ongoing US actions in the region. This was set in place in the post WWII era of politics with a view that it would remain permanently in place — this will not be the case in the region and China is at the forefront of the power-stakes changing and Australia is where the ‘pointy end’ of action will take place. Moreover, President Duterte of the Philippines has already shifted alliances and more of Australia’s regional neighbours will follow (or offer quasi-approval) of China because they are much more reliant on China and its policies in the region in the future than what has been offered by the US over many years..
    Thankyou to Denis for the offer to write about our ASEAN neighbours, but it would be along the lines of overwhelming acceptance of China’s economic benefits overriding any geo-strategic alliance/s with Australia, and also with regard to Phil’s comment the issue is that China does not have to collide with US military forces only offer the chance that a single carrier fleet might be destroyed if it were to be engaged — and bearing in mind that Chinese ship-to-ship missile technology actually superseded the US in 2011 gives some food for thought. And moreover, if Trump moves to a Wilsonian-doctrine of ‘isolationism’ then Australia really is, on its own.

    The point of this is you can’t ignore power of a nation that had a lesser GDP than Australia in 1990 and is now – after 26 years – has a GDP 16+ times greater than Australia’s. This is a monumental leap with all the domestic problems and international issues it brings as per Britain from circa-1700 through to the end of WWI.

    The point being Australia needs to move beyond the past and proactively instigate a new set of balanced policies that acknowledge the role China has in the ‘new world;’ see that there are new issues that are desperately in need of addressing; and stop with the sclerotic modes that were put in place in the 1950s, in the 21st century.

    Finally, the people in my (writing) occupation call between 2020-2030 the ‘dangerous decade’ and it is shaping up thus. I forecast (through articles that I write) that it will come later in that decade rather than sooner – probably about 2028 when Australia is officially at war with China in the region – and it will be due to consistent government inabilities to face the facts whilst relying on being told what ‘should be’ rather than ‘what is.’ China is rising and to paraphrase Deng (not a direct quote) ‘if there is a uni-polar world it will be China, if there is a multi-polar world, then China will be one of the poles.’ Like it or hate it, it’s a fact and Australia is at the epicentre of this seismic geo-political and geo-strategic change.

    Thanks again for your comments and for reading the above.

  7. wam

    great read!!! China has been admirable for their accomplishments over thousands of years. They have been exceptionally involved in Australia’s history and development.
    thenewhubofqldblog the septic president doesn’t understand the word rape.
    It is a curious indictment of his sexuality in that everything I hear from the man is a premature ejaculation.
    I await his, and the world’s, realisation that chiang kai chek invaded taiwan and displaced the original inhabitants previously under japanese rule. The aboriginal protests were met with at least one brutal massacre so the situation is little different from Aust, NZ or the USA

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