Raoul's China Saloon (V5.0) Beta

The Bar Room => The BS-Wrestling Pit => Topic started by: Calach Pfeffer on December 01, 2020, 02:42:41 PM

Title: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 01, 2020, 02:42:41 PM
There seems like a thing with political and international China: it says right out in the open what it wants and hegemonical wyipipo around the world say what's going on, why are Chinese so secretive? I haven't studied international relations at all but is China inscrutable or does it just clearly state its goals in terms so foreign they don't have acceptable cultural correlates in English?

Take for example the current "breakdown" in relations between China and Australia. Raises the question: were there ever "relations" in the first place? Hosting diplomats, exporting resources and fleecing foreign students - what relationship is that? (Well, "trade", I guess.)

But what does China want right now? Does it genuinely want to do something as obvious as kill the chicken to scare the monkeys? Those fourteen demands, stick a knife in Australia so that the other wyipipo back down? And it's a goal they're so closely committed to they'll break off trade? Seems like yes.

So we're making mistakes if we view these events in a context of trade only. The world trade system isn't one China has ever genuinely subscribed to. They'll grow on the back of globalisation, but that hasn't ever meant they'll global partners. In fact, whatever butterfly is hatching from the cocoon larval China wove these last twenty years of expansion is something quite different from a global partner.

Right?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 01, 2020, 02:45:43 PM
What is China's endgame? That's the question Australia has no answer to (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/30/what-is-chinas-endgame-thats-the-question-australia-has-no-answer-to)

Diplomacy is the art of reading signals, and there was a tell on Monday about how serious this escalating diplomatic crisis is between Canberra and Beijing.

The tell wasn’t Scott Morrison’s demand for an apology and a retraction after an unprofessional and gratuitously offensive provocation from China’s foreign ministry.

The tell was the Australian prime minister’s very direct plea for dialogue....
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 01, 2020, 04:07:27 PM
Let's hope a direct plea for dialogue leads to some dialogue.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 01, 2020, 06:18:46 PM
It won't. If this really is a kill the chicken scenario then it's the reaction of monkeys that matters most. Chicken can recite East is Red in squawks and flaps until the cows come home to watch it bleed. It doesn't matter what the chicken says or does.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 04, 2020, 12:52:32 PM
Occurred to me as a general point, in a lot of ways China is a gigantic "eggs in one basket" experiment. I was thinking specifically about communication apps and bemoaning for myself how all sorts of avenues are shut. Like, want to livestream, so Twitch? Nope. Want to voice chat, so Discord? Nope. Want to video meet, so Zoom? Sure, that one still works. Tencent Meeting isn't ready to take over all of the Chinese market...

But isn't the technology ecology inside China really diverse? You can't Twitch but you can Douyutv. You can't Discord or Slack, but you can... is there a Chinese app that allows drop in voice chat?


Yadda yadda, I'm trying to ask: if the Chinese endgame is a rich and diverse internal marketplace with the smallest number necessary of external touchpoints, then what's with the bizarre attempts at communication: the trolling, the aggressive national stance, the "Chinese people's feelings"..

Have all the eggs in one basket but be serviced by the outside as well? That seems like it would explain the childish self righteousness. China's done very little to benefit the world off its own bat - no unique technology gifts, no Pax Sinica, no actually attractive soft power products - unless viewed from the third world rather than the wyipipo pov.


Jeez, China is a teenager
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 04, 2020, 04:57:59 PM
On the flipside, how would Australia or the US react if the online comments for every achievement or goal met was a barrage of "You can do anything, if you lie." or "It's break down in 2 days."?  Every time China launches a rocket into orbit or beyond, Facebook groups about space overflow with things like "it failed" (even though the reports often mention NASA sources talking about the success) or, worse, "I hope it blows up."

I've also seen editorials which pretty much say the US shouldn't allow China to do things in space.  Imagine if Pravda had run articles about keeping the dangerous Americans from ever gaining a foothold in space since that could affect Soviet interests just after launching Sputnik.

How about if most headlines about those countries in the foreign press were designed to cast doubt and insult the country?  China successfully eliminated the lowest tier of extreme poverty, which is an amazing accomplishment, but gets headlines like "China claims to have eliminated extreme poverty, but some people still feel poor."  How would the US react to "US cures cancer, doesn't do anything about other causes of death"?

China's finally figured out that sitting quietly doesn't stop this sort of thing.  The government decided to go from ignoring this sort of thing to hitting back with an impressive level of sarcasm over the bias.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 04, 2020, 09:53:46 PM
On the flipside, how would Australia or the US react if the online comments for every achievement or goal met was a barrage of "You can do anything, if you lie." or "It's break down in 2 days."?  Every time China launches a rocket into orbit or beyond, Facebook groups about space overflow with things like "it failed" (even though the reports often mention NASA sources talking about the success) or, worse, "I hope it blows up."

Or... how would Japan? How long did it take them to go from pariah to "Made in Japan" means cheap to technologically sophisticated nation? Or how about South Korea? Both countries even manage to make a cultural disdain for foreigners into a kind of soft power. Both countries even have (or had) space programs.

Imma go out on a limb and say the difference between Japan, South Korea, and China is some nations in that group engaged adequately with modernity and one hasn't yet. In fact, one of them seems to be working really hard to avoid modernity as it gathers up the spoils. What a sore winner that country is.

The other difference within that group is its not clear that China has anything to offer. That massed economic might doesn't make anything good. Korea and Japan moved up the manufacturing ladder and changed their countries. China turned to robbery, and now also berates and maligns and overtly seeks economic damage.

China is godzilla.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 04, 2020, 10:06:44 PM
On the actual flipside, there aren't enough resources in the world to support a second USA the size of China. For all that economic might, China just never is going to be "developed" in the sense of a house, two cars and a family in the suburbs for all. They don't have a good life to look forward to unless somehow the country or the world has a Thanos moment.

Thus, "endgame", keep the wheels spinning until no one wants a revolution anymore.

That's probably the real difference between Japan, South Korea and China: the first two are sustainable. The third is a giant sinkhole into which resources disappear.

\|||/
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 05, 2020, 08:55:33 PM
Can Australia cope with China's new world order? (https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/can-australia-cope-with-china-s-new-world-order-20201026-p568l6)

Australian diplomacy must be recalibrated to cope with the world as it is, not how we would wish it.

How did it get like this? The Australia–China relationship is at its lowest point since diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1972.

This is something the Australian government doesn’t wish to discuss. Its diplomats are paid to put a positive spin on things. Just when it seemed the situation could not get any worse, China took umbrage at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s initial unilateral proposal for an international inquiry into the Chinese origins of, and responses to, the COVID-19 pandemic. China invoked trade measures against Australian exports of barley and beef without senior government-to-government contact occurring.

Chinese students and tourists have been warned by the Chinese government to avoid travelling to Australia because it is said to be unsafe – they may face racist attacks. The Australian government, meanwhile, warned companies and government organisations that they were under unprecedented cyber-attack, with China clearly the unnamed culprit. Some commentators now argue that Australia–China relations will never recover....



A long and interesting description of the new world order and where it came from.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 07, 2020, 01:46:56 PM
At least some of the difficulty, and the hysteria, in dealing with China comes from the eternal compromise. If you have this or that value and you also have a "partner" that denies or distorts that value, there's some kind of exhausting dynamic that never goes away. You're obliged to suppress a value to maintain the "partnership" at the same time as the value itself urges its own promotion.

One gets tilted. Questions of "What is China up to?" become more pointed. And this would be especially so if one were not a professional diplomat or an adequate statesman.

Thus, as far as endgames are concerned, we're going to need really capable people managing this relationship.


We are, therefore, doomed.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 07, 2020, 07:42:52 PM
On the actual flipside, there aren't enough resources in the world to support a second USA the size of China. For all that economic might, China just never is going to be "developed" in the sense of a house, two cars and a family in the suburbs for all. They don't have a good life to look forward to unless somehow the country or the world has a Thanos moment.

Thus, "endgame", keep the wheels spinning until no one wants a revolution anymore.

That's probably the real difference between Japan, South Korea and China: the first two are sustainable. The third is a giant sinkhole into which resources disappear.

\|||/

I think you've missed a few memos.  Thankfully, China (and India, which will be passing China in population at some point), don't seem to have bought into the ideal of white picket fences, half acre lots, and 2 car garages as the ultimate signs of middle class success.  India lacks the land, and China could make this fit, but only at considerable environmental and economic cost.  China is also not going to do anything that will wreck the plan for peak C02 emissions by 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2060.

Instead, mass transit and tall apartment buildings are where both are heading.  Once Didi gets driverless cars, I expect the demand for private cars not to decline, but to show some signs of slowing.

Or... how would Japan? How long did it take them to go from pariah to "Made in Japan" means cheap to technologically sophisticated nation? Or how about South Korea? Both countries even manage to make a cultural disdain for foreigners into a kind of soft power. Both countries even have (or had) space programs.

Imma go out on a limb and say the difference between Japan, South Korea, and China is some nations in that group engaged adequately with modernity and one hasn't yet. In fact, one of them seems to be working really hard to avoid modernity as it gathers up the spoils. What a sore winner that country is.

The other difference within that group is its not clear that China has anything to offer. That massed economic might doesn't make anything good. Korea and Japan moved up the manufacturing ladder and changed their countries. China turned to robbery, and now also berates and maligns and overtly seeks economic damage.

China is godzilla.

When Japan was the land of cheap transistor radios and unreliable cars, a certain amount of complaints were justified.  Still, if Japan met some economic growth goal, that wasn't considered an invitation for venom and mockery in the US.  I'm also sure that not all Japanese products are of the same quality customers from around the world have come to associate with their biggest and most famous brands.

China also has moved beyond just making low price/low quality items.  The biggest names in many industries use China as their factory floor, and low quality won't cut it for those.  Now, more and more Chinese brands are being embraced by Chinese consumers, because they realize that a locally produced and branded item can be just as good as a much higher priced name brand.  These are the same consumers who used to snap up any foreign brand because it "had to be better" than the Chinese brand.  I consider this similar to my personal taste in watches.  I'd rather have a reliable, functional, and affordable Timex or Casio than the shiniest genuine Rolex.  I get more functionality and I don't have to worry about taking it off if I go swimming.  Yes,there are still Chinese consumers who snap up the designer labels, but the stores selling those in China are losing market share to the higher end Chinese brands.

Yet, certain westerners want to claim that everything made in China is defective, want to claim that every Chinese success is faked, and fall back to spraying bile when the evidence of  success can't be denied by saying "I hope it blows up."  Imagine if the UK had maintained its attitude of "a bunch of convicts who deserve to rot" against all Australians or "a bunch of ungrateful colonists" against the US long after those situations had changed.

It does look like Scott Morrison finally figured out that some of his troops deliberately planning and carrying out murders against innocent civilians in another country was actually a far worse crime than a Chinese diplomat sharing a computer generate image highlighting the fact that some of his troops were murderers.  Now he wants to discuss happy coexistence.

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/3112455/australia-pm-seeks-happy-coexistence-china-after-war-crimes

On Thursday, Morrison took a much different approach, telling reporters in Canberra that his aim was for the two countries to have a “happy coexistence”.

“My position and my government’s position is to seek constructive engagement,” he said.

“The relationship with China is a mutually beneficial one. It supports both our countries, it is good for both of our countries.” China is Australia’s largest trading partner.


Hopefully now both sides can sit down and have discussions about economic and other cooperation.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 08, 2020, 12:16:03 AM
I think you've missed a few memos.  Thankfully, China (and India, which will be passing China in population at some point), don't seem to have bought into the ideal of white picket fences, half acre lots, and 2 car garages as the ultimate signs of middle class success.  India lacks the land, and China could make this fit, but only at considerable environmental and economic cost.  China is also not going to do anything that will wreck the plan for peak C02 emissions by 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2060.

Instead, mass transit and tall apartment buildings are where both are heading.  Once Didi gets driverless cars, I expect the demand for private cars not to decline, but to show some signs of slowing.

Quote
China also has moved beyond just making low price/low quality items.  The biggest names in many industries use China as their factory floor, and low quality won't cut it for those.  Now, more and more Chinese brands are being embraced by Chinese consumers, because they realize that a locally produced and branded item can be just as good as a much higher priced name brand.

Those two quotes don't quite go together. A sustainable yet consumer-driven economy?

As an aside, "moderately well off" doesn't mean consumer driven. It can't. It has to mean limited availability of goods and services.

Quote
Yet, certain westerners want to claim that everything made in China is defective, want to claim that every Chinese success is faked, and fall back to spraying bile when the evidence of  success can't be denied by saying "I hope it blows up."  Imagine if the UK had maintained its attitude of "a bunch of convicts who deserve to rot" against all Australians or "a bunch of ungrateful colonists" against the US long after those situations had changed.

They gave up that attitude?


Quote
It does look like Scott Morrison finally figured out that some of his troops deliberately planning and carrying out murders against innocent civilians in another country was actually a far worse crime than a Chinese diplomat sharing a computer generate image highlighting the fact that some of his troops were murderers.  Now he wants to discuss happy coexistence.

Now that is koolaid.

The Brereton Report was accepted in all its recommendations, 2 Squadron of the SASR no longer exists, dismissals and prosecutions are underway, and serving and ex-services suicides are up (10 in the last two months). Zhao Lijian was highlighting his own backside, it being pointed squarely at Australia as he watches Beijing. Much in the same way as Morrison was highlighting his own as he too was attempting to point the way to Beijing. Those two were being altogether irrelevant to how murder and mayhem are being actively  addressed within the Australia military and legal system - not secretly.

Both of those guys and their opinions are irrelevant. They don't affect the deliberate surgery the military is undergoing.

What those dudes do play to is the general public. It's the general public that's been surprised by this report. The report is the product of four years investigation. The military knew it was happening. Politicians knew. The general public are the ones who're can be played with right now.

I suppose really the key to any "relationship" right now lies in determining just how much disinterest Beijing has in the functioning of Australian society. That tweet bullshit for instance - it betrays zero interest in the institutions of law and the military as they exist in Australia - because it directly suggests that neither are doing well. The law isn't addressing the issue, it suggests. The military isn't either. The general public are wide open to shock because no institution is working for them, it suggests.
 
Of course, if that tweet were aimed at actual Australia, that's how it should be read. But it's a recent sport among outside Chinese functionaries, isn't it, the use of foreign social media to snipe at foreign institutions and politicians. They get points at home. If they're displaying any diplomatic position it's that international relations aren't more important than what the clique at home base thinks.

Quote
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/3112455/australia-pm-seeks-happy-coexistence-china-after-war-crimes

On Thursday, Morrison took a much different approach, telling reporters in Canberra that his aim was for the two countries to have a “happy coexistence”.

“My position and my government’s position is to seek constructive engagement,” he said.

“The relationship with China is a mutually beneficial one. It supports both our countries, it is good for both of our countries.” China is Australia’s largest trading partner.


Hopefully now both sides can sit down and have discussions about economic and other cooperation.

And that is disingenuous.

Beijing is pissed because it thought we had a deal. It was the same deal it has made with the Chinese people. Take the money and shut your mouth. Australia right now is being made an example of. Beijing is telling everyone, shut your mouth or you'll lose the money.

Second largest economy. Is the money enough? Is this new global order in which Beijing's might drives success everywhere properly funded? Are the right people getting rich?

I guess, if that's the way to look at it, then in Australia, no. The right people weren't getting rich.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 08, 2020, 03:51:08 PM
I think Beijing is annoyed for multiple reasons.  In addition to trade issues, there's the fact that not just western media, but western governments feel that they can criticize every move that China makes, but then don't seem happy at all when China points out things like war crimes in Afghanistan or police brutality in the US.  If Australia, the UK, the US, etc. really want a level playing field, they have to be ready to face criticism instead of using other countries as punching bags to score political points at home.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 08, 2020, 07:11:58 PM
I think Beijing is annoyed for multiple reasons.  In addition to trade issues, there's the fact that not just western media, but western governments feel that they can criticize every move that China makes, but then don't seem happy at all when China points out things like war crimes in Afghanistan or police brutality in the US.

Did China discover any of those things by itself? Was there some generally trustworthy process that they invoked to clarify the issues? Since no, "point out" seems a stretch. "Grab on to the coat tails of western institutions with a view to spoiling perceptions," seems more like what happened.

If China really wants a level playing field, it'll need somehow to arrive at relevant institutional competence. It'll need somehow to become admirable in its functioning, and not just for its size. Then when it "points out" the failings of other nations, we'll know it has produced a judgment worthy of note.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 09, 2020, 03:03:32 PM
So what's the bar of accomplishments to be able to point out war crimes and police brutality by other nations and have those facts be noteworthy?

Does successfully becoming the world's second largest economy while only assisting in 2 wars and declaring one small quick one count?  How many wars has the US engaged in since 1949?  How many wars have the US and it's allies assisted in?

Does turning a poor agrarian society into the world's second largest economy score any points?

Does successfully eliminating the lowest level of poverty while crushing a pandemic help?

Can a country only point out something it discovered using its own intelligence services?  I've seen plenty of hate tweets from US government officials based on nothing more than articles in the press.  I've seen a number of "coat tails" tweets from uninvolved governments supporting Australia in that recent twitter exchange with China.  Are you going to say those countries have no right to join the discussion?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 09, 2020, 05:28:43 PM
As is known to all, the ends don't justify the means. Grand achievement is the lesser for sordid foundation. And whatabouts aren't the measure of nations. Nations do or don't function well.

As for what "well" means, name any relative measure of success and there'll be an absolute hidden in there somewhere. Raising "people" out of poverty places some special emphasis on "people" and makes them different from animals. And it can't do that without at some point granting "people" some kind of absolute right to be.

But discussion of of these absolutes will be more or less muddled because people are stupid and venal. But the actual absolutes will apply across cultures. They wouldn't be actual absolutes if they didn't. And as such they won't be "universal human rights" because those things might be a bit too close to individualism to be actual absolutes. But they'll be somewhere in that ballpark.

Which is to say, sovereignty won't be undermined by actual universal rights. Those rights will slot into the foundations of any healthy vigorous culture still in existence.


Yadda yadda, the bar of accomplishments isn't the bar. We're not talking about the rights of a nation or its representatives to crow. We're talking about their right to be listened to. And amid all its accomplishment, China keeps on providing reason not to listen.

Soft power, basically. Admirable accomplishment isn't soft power.



There's going to be a question of who is the arbiter of admirability, and why is admiration being withheld from China. Isn't it just a plot to keep an emerging power down! If "the people" truly are unable to form universal judgments of their own, then yes, it's a plot. If "people" truly cannot stand by themselves as items of value, then yes, it's a plot. If "people" cannot ever be expected to detect their own universal value, then, oh yeah is it a plot. The "people" truly do need a great leadership in the form of a more enlightened party that has transcended its origin as "people", then yeah, plot.



Possible hidden "western values are best" in there, but come at me bro
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 09, 2020, 06:37:48 PM
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.  Using this standard, China could cure all diseases and then lift the entire world into a golden age of health and wealth and you would find a way to say this is somehow bad.

You want something a little more concrete?  The US president declared that the US won't donate 1 vial of vaccine to another country until everyone in the US who wants to be immunized has been vaccinated and there's an excess of vaccine available.  China continues to maintain difficult border quarantines and has already started transferring vaccines as donations and at very low prices to nations in need.  Yes, the US needs a lot of vaccines, but most other nations (including China) have joined a WHO program to try to provide free or affordable vaccines globally  Or will you claim that this is just another Chinese method to dehumanize people by helping them live better lives?

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 09, 2020, 07:18:50 PM
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.

It sure is. How did you find that in my claims?

Quote
You want something a little more concrete?  The US president declared that the US won't donate 1 vial of vaccine to another country until everyone in the US who wants to be immunized has been vaccinated and there's an excess of vaccine available.  China continues to maintain difficult border quarantines and has already started transferring vaccines as donations and at very low prices to nations in need.  Yes, the US needs a lot of vaccines, but most other nations (including China) have joined a WHO program to try to provide free or affordable vaccines globally  Or will you claim that this is just another Chinese method to dehumanize people by helping them live better lives?

Again with the accomplishments as currency? Good deeds aren't good character. At some point if there are enough good deeds, and nothing in conflict with the image created by those deeds, probably it'll no longer be necessary to wonder at the character behind the deeds. But currently the deeds are bullshit. They are compromised by the horrible things China has done along the way.

They could solve the image problem by owning up to inadequate systems. In theory that's exactly what Xi Jinping was about with the anti-corruption drive. Why didn't he get international kudos for that, eh? Unfucking his national systems so that his unimpoverished people need not suffer more. What's not to admire? Why wasn't it admired?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 10, 2020, 11:22:44 AM
Discipline inspection within China is a particularly interesting topic to peruse, partly because as a function within the party it was various degrees of toothless up until about 2012, but also because of comments like Deng's.

Wikipedia:

The importance of law in the struggle against corruption has been emphasised since the early 1980s.[101] Deng pointed out in 1980 that the anti-corruption effort was a political struggle which, to be successful, must be fought in an institutional environment.[101] At the 4th Plenary Session of the 15th CCDI in 2000, Jiang drew a similar conclusion: "The most important thing is to uphold and improve a system of institutions which can guarantee the Party's strong leadership and socialist prosperity, and make sure that the system is functioning by means of laws, regulations, policies and education."[102] Despite this, until the 16th National Congress the CPC's anti-corruption system was based on campaign-style events rather than formal procedures (partially due to the 1940s Yan'an Rectification Movement and its legacy).[102] The idea that campaigns – not institutions – were the best weapon against corruption predominated under Deng,[102] and is best seen in the establishment of the Central Party Rectification Steering Committee during the 1980s.[102] This was the CPC central leadership's preferred way to combat corruption, since its enforcement depended largely on the leadership.[102] However, the sharp increase in corrupt activities during the 1990s led the Party to change course

Going out on a limb: the majority of the China perception problems - why it's okay to poopoo any and all Chinese effort - stem from lack of perceptible institutional structure. Aside from the existence of a single, purportedly unified party, where does any institutional authority exist? Where and when does it happen that procedures and policy take precedence over persons with authority. It will sometimes. Most often it will appear as an authority figure saying "we have strict policies and regulations" as a way of saying no to some request or requirement. (Like for instance just about every restriction on Australian trade with China currently taking place.)

But when does it actually happen that the institution has the authority instead of the person citing the existence of an institution having the authority?

That there is and must always be this question, and the fact it so often has bad answers, is why all Chinese efforts are so easily branded fake or lies.


imo
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 10, 2020, 05:25:06 PM
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.

It sure is. How did you find that in my claims?

Right here where you said:

Raising "people" out of poverty places some special emphasis on "people" and makes them different from animals. And it can't do that without at some point granting "people" some kind of absolute right to be.




Quote
You want something a little more concrete?  The US president declared that the US won't donate 1 vial of vaccine to another country until everyone in the US who wants to be immunized has been vaccinated and there's an excess of vaccine available.  China continues to maintain difficult border quarantines and has already started transferring vaccines as donations and at very low prices to nations in need.  Yes, the US needs a lot of vaccines, but most other nations (including China) have joined a WHO program to try to provide free or affordable vaccines globally  Or will you claim that this is just another Chinese method to dehumanize people by helping them live better lives?

Again with the accomplishments as currency? Good deeds aren't good character. At some point if there are enough good deeds, and nothing in conflict with the image created by those deeds, probably it'll no longer be necessary to wonder at the character behind the deeds. But currently the deeds are bullshit. They are compromised by the horrible things China has done along the way.[/quote]

Check your own history if you want to see some horrible things.  For example, ask a native Australian how well they've been treated from the arrival of the first ships all they way up until today.

Deeds speak much louder than words, and advancing a country economically about 100 years during a 40 year period is unprecedented.  Eliminating the lowest level of poverty is unprecedented.

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They could solve the image problem by owning up to inadequate systems. In theory that's exactly what Xi Jinping was about with the anti-corruption drive. Why didn't he get international kudos for that, eh? Unfucking his national systems so that his unimpoverished people need not suffer more. What's not to admire? Why wasn't it admired?
Quote

Corruption is a problem that's actually harder to deal with than poverty.  Steps have been made, but there's not one country out there that's eliminated corruption.  Yet, even with the anti-corruption programs working their way forward, he still successfully completed the anti-poverty program, thereby greatly reducing the suffering of those who got left behind by the growing economy.


So, what magical standard does China need to meet to be able to launch a rocket on live television and internet feeds without having people say "I hope it blows up" or "It's fake"?  What standard does it have to meet to eliminate the lowest tier of poverty (which included the majority of the populated 40 years ago) without having this somehow being inadequate?  How about the opening of the economy.  If any other country jumped from being an impoverished agricultural nation to the world's second largest economy in 40 years, that would be hailed as an economic miracle.  Instead, governments that produce far poorer results want to heap scorn on it.

Is the only magical cure for China to embrace a governmental system like the US or Australia?  Neither of those could match what China's done, and the national governments of both countries are falling into gridlock due to factions refusing to work with each other (not to mention the US is currently having an onslaught of "legal coup" attempts to try to overturn their previously cherished concept of democratic elections).

I will admit that China's system is not perfect.  But, not one government on Earth can make that claim.  Every system of government is a system of tradeoffs.  What I do see is the Chinese people are no longer a nation with 80+ percent of the people in grinding poverty (and ZERO percent of the people in the worst possible poverty) and an economy that continues to expand to support a growing middle class.  I also see people and politicians in the west working hard to denigrate China's economic success (and all other successes), even major investment firms around the world place financial wagers based on the Chinese economic numbers are somehow "fake."

I think the flagrant double standards have less to do with flaws in the Chinese system and more to do with the fact that the Western system hasn't faced serious competition from a different political system since winning the race to the Moon in 1969.  Nearly 50 years as "the" way to best run the country (and the world) is now being threatened.  "Our way is the best way and all other ways are wrong, fake, and/or illegitimate" has been the mantra of quite a few in the West for a long time, so the urge to discredit anything positive from any other political systems is deeply ingrained.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 10, 2020, 11:04:29 PM
Wow, so you think lifting a nation out of poverty somehow demeans the people.  That's a bizarre view of reality.

It sure is. How did you find that in my claims?

Right here where you said:

Raising "people" out of poverty places some special emphasis on "people" and makes them different from animals. And it can't do that without at some point granting "people" some kind of absolute right to be.

That's the observation that raising people out of poverty is neither here nor there if "people" is not a morally relevant category or item. Which observation was made as a way of highlighting - pointing out, even - that achievement requires some touchstone or measure to exist and be called "good". That touchstone, ideally, would not be some culturally relative norm, but some absolute value of some kind. Making the original observation was a way of saying there are absolutes somewhere.


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Check your own history if you want to see some horrible things.  For example, ask a native Australian how well they've been treated from the arrival of the first ships all they way up until today.

And the reason for claiming absolute values exist is to go ahead and observe that whatabouts are not the measure of nations. Two nations, equally parlous in deed, are not exonerated by the existence of each other. They just both fail to reach the ideal. I can check my history as much as I like, it tells me nothing about Chinese inadequacy. At best, it makes it hard - politically - for me to do the finger pointing, even when fingers are rightly to be pointed.

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Deeds speak much louder than words, and advancing a country economically about 100 years during a 40 year period is unprecedented.  Eliminating the lowest level of poverty is unprecedented.

So... thanks, globalisation? China wasn't spending money it made by itself. It needed a world to want goods. And a changes to the definition of "poverty".

But so, the ends do justify the means, though? It's a laudable result, de-povertying the place, who cares if there was theft along the way? Probably, no one, in fact. Probably no one should care if the means were corrupt, inefficient, murderous in some places, callous in others. It genuinely probably does not matter. If that is where the bad stuff ended too. More importantly, no one should care about the bad stuff if it was all limited to the creation of good ends and is no longer a feature. Which is why talking about good deeds is irrelevant to bad deeds. The accounting doesn't square that way - the goodness of the good deed is supposed to have some morally relevant connection to the badness of the bad deed for them to tally or cancel in some way. In fact, trying to tally unrelated deeds only works if "people" is a shifting value, sometimes important sometimes not, which tends  to undermine the meaning of the original good deed, eh?

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So, what magical standard does China need to meet to be able to launch a rocket on live television and internet feeds without having people say "I hope it blows up" or "It's fake"?  What standard does it have to meet to eliminate the lowest tier of poverty (which included the majority of the populated 40 years ago) without having this somehow being inadequate?  How about the opening of the economy.  If any other country jumped from being an impoverished agricultural nation to the world's second largest economy in 40 years, that would be hailed as an economic miracle.  Instead, governments that produce far poorer results want to heap scorn on it.

Is the only magical cure for China to embrace a governmental system like the US or Australia?  Neither of those could match what China's done, and the national governments of both countries are falling into gridlock due to factions refusing to work with each other (not to mention the US is currently having an onslaught of "legal coup" attempts to try to overturn their previously cherished concept of democratic elections).

I will admit that China's system is not perfect.  But, not one government on Earth can make that claim.  Every system of government is a system of tradeoffs.  What I do see is the Chinese people are no longer a nation with 80+ percent of the people in grinding poverty (and ZERO percent of the people in the worst possible poverty) and an economy that continues to expand to support a growing middle class.  I also see people and politicians in the west working hard to denigrate China's economic success (and all other successes), even major investment firms around the world place financial wagers based on the Chinese economic numbers are somehow "fake."

I think the flagrant double standards have less to do with flaws in the Chinese system and more to do with the fact that the Western system hasn't faced serious competition from a different political system since winning the race to the Moon in 1969.  Nearly 50 years as "the" way to best run the country (and the world) is now being threatened.  "Our way is the best way and all other ways are wrong, fake, and/or illegitimate" has been the mantra of quite a few in the West for a long time, so the urge to discredit anything positive from any other political systems is deeply ingrained.

The magical standard is whatever whatever counts as soft power. Whatever makes the country generally admirable. Apparently making poor people less poor isn't it. And you'll have to know it isn't that because those good deeds are tarnished by ongoing or recent enough bad deeds and bad faith elsewhere. Or maybe it's racism, you know? Perhaps the white nations don't want to give yellow people that kind of credit. Maybe the Africans will.

I think probably it's not enough to say China has some severe moral transgression in its past, and arguably in its present as well. All sorts of white nations have gotten away with genocides for example and still retain, somehow, a modicum of worldwide good standing. China, I think, has not found a way to make people think the evil is eliminated. Great Leap Forward? Sure, bad call. We wouldn't do anything like that again.... Massacre a bunch of squares? Yeah, not these days, couldn't happen again. Imprison a generation? No, that's work experience in the butt end of the rooster of our great nation, that's all. Reduce life expectancy, intellectually cripple, maintain the largest police state known to eternity? That's not even happening.

Those whatabouts...   I wonder, could it be that Chinese political philosophy really does believe the lack of existence of an ideal state is reason enough to not be ideal. They can be bad, perhaps they reason, because westerners have been bad. That would seem to explain a lot of international relations, certainly.

How awesome is that? Chinese soft power is "lowest common denominator, bitches!" plus a complaint about why don't you love us any more.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 10, 2020, 11:22:57 PM
At least some of it has an origin in us-and-them. There's very little "we". I don't think China does any kind of a good job with global anything. Is there actually anything from China that finds ways to include "us", the not Chinese, with "them", the Chinese?

There isn't, is there. Something like that surely has a large part to play in why it's so hard to admire. You always have to do your admiring from outside, as a kind of supplicant.


Not everyone, obviously. Some are free to admire the hell out of the place. I'm saying rather that China finds ways to make it hard. There's always some kind of rebuff. And I think it's fair to say China does that on a worldwide scale, so it's not just me.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 11, 2020, 12:02:52 AM
You know, among diverse peoples, "universal human rights", instant "we". We all have this one thing in common, we are all human. Hot selling point for the west.

But if the basic rights we all have are just to health care, education, housing and poverty relief, then the only universal is "some people are richer than us, you rich nations look down on us, we are us and you are outside!"

Endgame: to have peoples be separate.


And that, folks, is why China will always have a hard time being popular.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 11, 2020, 06:10:52 PM
The west pledges a greater variety of human rights, but then turns around and beats reporters and people trying to assist those who've been tear gassed or pepper sprayed.  Minorities have "equal" rights in the west, while native populations and other minorities are still dying in disproprortionate numbers at the hands of the police.  How many countries around the world have been "liberated" by the USA and its allies in the name of "freedom" only to end up worse off than they were before?    Meanwhile, the US and its allies, while not endorsing the competing systems of government, cozy up to very oppressive regimes, either for access to oil or to have as customers that buy American weapons.

And then China gets condemned for not making promises the west breaks when it is convenient to do so.  It doesn't seem to matter to the west whether or not the Chinese people are happy with the direction their own country is going or not, since the west has already prejudged China as wrong.

I think the real issue is that the west doesn't want to see success by any competing system.  If some country came up with a novel new form of government that proved to be a literal heaven on earth, if it wasn't based on the western style democratic republic model, it would be ridiculed, derided, and might even be "liberated for the good of its oppressed citizens".

Any alternate system, peaceful or not, making its people happy or not, successful or not, providing for its people or not, contributing to the good of the world or not, is perceived by the west as "NOT LIKE US" and cannot be allowed to be praised.  Any criticism from a "not like us" country cannot be considered "worthy" without regard to whether or not the basis of the criticism is factual and valid.

https://www.getyarn.io/yarn-clip/e8f4829d-dc71-4af6-8c23-1e575042b7e8
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 12, 2020, 01:37:10 PM
It's interesting - soft power resides in perception, and perception can gloss over all sorts of grotesque implementation errors. The land of the free enslaves and murders the black and brown, for instance, but still maintains some legacy perception as a place of opportunity. And perception can gloss over all sorts of achievement. The land of the unfree raises living standards across the board (more or less), but still counts as a regime of oppression. How is it happening that actual functioning is not causing an update in perception?

I suppose the perceptions of people outside a given system depend on how accessible the rewards of that system are perceived to be. Irrespective of grotesque error within a system, how accessible do people think the rewards of that system are?

Raises the question of what is a reward, I guess. "Freedom" for instance is probably not a reward. It's a condition under which individual reward can be pursued. "Land of the free" is not what makes (former) USA attractive, it's what that freedom makes possible that is attractive (to some). Likewise, perhaps "repression" is not a punishment if, say, constant surveillance and the presence of consequences for loose speech appears to facilitate... an environment free from revolutionary upheaval? An environment of group unity and harmony of purpose? In the minds of those who value such outcomes, I guess.

What does China make possible? And can it be seen as attractive to a large enough group of the right people on the outside?



On balance, I think there's a big "nope" sitting right there. Used to be the only people who needed China to be attractive were the capitalists who needed factories, and to them it was so whatever. But these days... Maybe China needs better PR
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 14, 2020, 04:21:47 PM
On that last point, I can agree.  China played the inscrutable card for a very long time, and only recently got seriously involved in the PR game.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 15, 2020, 12:20:48 AM
I don't know. PR assumes some kind of relationship - or at least an audience. Is there anyone who can be China's audience? Are there any nations or groups China wishes to have a relationship with? There's inscrutable and then there's inaccessible, and if China has stopped being obscure about its meanings, it has not stopped being difficult to access.

Or am I just assuming an identity China doesn't think I have? (Which is to say, does China think everyone is the audience because ultimately everyone will be a subordinate?)



China sees splittists with black hands and ulterior motives. I think that tells us something about China
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 15, 2020, 12:21:59 AM
Chinese Communist Party database leak reveals infiltration into Western companies (https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/chinese-communist-party-database-leak-reveals-infiltration-into-western-companies/news-story/8fa8f08a2e29564413499f7769ae0bae)

An unprecedented data leak has revealed how alleged Chinese Communist Party members have embedded themselves inside some of the world’s biggest companies, including defence contractors, banks and pharmaceutical giants manufacturing coronavirus vaccines.

The Australian newspaper has obtained the leaked database of almost two million CCP members – including their party position, birthdate, national ID number and ethnicity – and 79,000 branches, many of them inside companies, universities and even government agencies.

Among the companies identified as having CCP members in their employ are manufacturers like Boeing and Volkswagen, drug giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and financial institutions including ANZ and HSBC, according to the reports.

The membership records also show that the CCP has infiltrated the Australian, British and US consulates in Shanghai, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade using a Chinese government agency, the Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Department, to hire local staff.

“It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world,” The Australian journalist and Sky News host Sharri Markson said.

“What’s amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the Communist Party, and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the US to the UK, but it’s amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping.”

Markson said CCP branches had been set up inside western companies where members, “if called on, are answerable directly to the Communist Party” and President Xi himself. “It is also going to embarrass some global companies who appear to have no plan in place to protect their intellectual property from theft, from economic espionage,” she said....



Presumably not a hoax
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 15, 2020, 07:10:38 PM
China has wanted resources and servies - iron ore, coal, liquified natural gas, education, tourism. Australia has wanted money and manufactured goods. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, trade with China is - was - about 27% of all Australian international trade. Pundits suggest iron ore has 5 years left as a lever, maybe 10. Further, and more generally, if China is truly to be replaced as a trading partner, it'll take a decade or more likely multiple decades to recover trade levels.

It's not good for me, and it's sure as shit not good for anyone left in the country who hasn't bought their own house and secured their government pension, but it can be done. It might even be helped by happening now. A year of covid has changed what people think is possible.

Governments that propose an actual decoupling probably will get a short term boost in popularity, and then be turfed out as the economic truth begins to dawn. But governments that propose appeasement likely won't last either. The literally stupid shit China has demanded in those 14 points more or less guarantees that.


There's a weird thing in Chinese popular economics, the notion that trade is humiliating. The idea that foreigners make money by offering goods and services somehow hurts the pride of the nation. "You make so much money from us," kind of deal, like somehow the trade was unbalanced, or somehow they had to overpay. Or perhaps that a trade relationship was supposed to also include some kind of further cooperation and you're a bad partner for not doing it. There's actually something to that effect in Xi Jinping's comments recently - something about the crime of eating at the party's table, taking the party's money, but not being... loyal? Can't find the reference any more.




Whatever. We're a middle weight nation, and maybe not even that. Our economy's going to shrink.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 16, 2020, 08:16:20 PM
Of course PR has an audience.  Some is targeted and some is literally for anyone who will listen.

Until recently, China wasn't really into international PR, but having the very word "China" inspire instant negativity wasn't something that could be ignored forever.  Even today, I spotted some extreme right wing morons trying to build a conspiracy because the US Senate Majority leader (a republican) was married to a Chinese woman.  Turns out that she's finishing up her 4 years as the US Secretary of Transportation and held a cabinet level position for 8 years in the previous republican administration, but once these people heard there was a Chinese woman married to a high ranking politician, all they could think was about spies and conspiracies.  Any competent PR specialist will tell you that China needs to try to persuade people to rethink these extremist xenophobic views.

Trade vs. humiliation.  Look up the 100 year of humiliation, which included 2 wars where losing meant being forced to permit the opium trade to flourish to support the British Empire.  China has been forced at gunpoint into large numbers of unfair trade deals.  China fully understands mutually beneficial trade, but has learned through painful experience to be extremely cautious.  On the other hand, once China makes a deal, it doesn't break it on a whim, unlike a soon-to-be ex-president of the USA.  As trust is built, claims by both sides of trade agreements being humiliating and unfair will slowly quiet down.

In trade, most things are negotiable, but a few likely aren't.  The Australian side needs to have their own list and each side needs to know what the other thinks is mandatory vs. open to discussion.  That's the way to move back towards deals that provide benefits to both sides.


I was also once surprised to find my place of work had been "infiltrated" by a member of the Soviet Communist party.  Except that infiltrated was absolutely the wrong word.  He was a visiting postdoctoral researcher invited over due to his scientific work.  He performed quite well while in the US and had coauthored several papers.  I'd known him for about 8 months or so when he casually mentioned he was a party member.  To absolutely no one's surprise, it made zero difference to what he was researching.  When his postdoc appointment was over, he didn't run off with a stash of classified documents and and he didn't drag anyone off to a gulag.

So, if among 2 million Chinese Communist Party members, some have, through their own hard work, achieved decent ranks in business or other endeavors, it doesn't mean they get our their secret decoder rings every night to read their latest orders from above.  The CCP isn't some super-secret spy organization.  There's at least one family living 2 streets over from me that has a sign that (very) roughly translates as "Home of a CCP member."

Oh, and I've also learned that my own family has been "infiltrated."  It was only a year or two ago that I found out that my father-in-law was a CCP member.  He's currently mostly inactive, but still gets invited to "party-only" parties.  I'm not sure how often he goes.  Frankly I'm amused that most westerners I know would be terrified if they found out I was related to a CCP member.

The charity group I've been with for over a decade regularly deals with local party officials (not just rank and file members) to help identify children who are most in need of financial assistance for their education.  All the party officials I've met have been the kind of hard working civil servants who keep the wheels of government turning.  Just like civil servants in other countries, some will work for the government until they retire and some will move to the private sector.

Maybe some newspaper needs to write up a report about how may western civil servants (even elected ones) later ended up being very well paid employees in industries they used to regulate or award government contracts to.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 16, 2020, 11:27:29 PM
Saying perhaps China needed better PR was kind of a joke. For one thing, propaganda departments have existed since the beginning and the science of shaping opinion via controlled presentation of information hasn't ever been out of favour. For another, it's not truly likely that China is misrepresenting itself. Lots and lots of fact has gone missing, but I sincerely doubt China has been being inscrutable and rigidly upright because they don't know any better. The relations they have established with the public are the relations they do want.

I also don't think the national humiliation is the same as the sound people make when they're talking about people who are not Chinese making money out of China. My own experience with that kind of sound started back in the days of "Oh you foreigners salaries are so high". There's some weird toxic thing in there about who can and who can't gain in relationships. Straightforward trade relationships, for instance, appear to be some kind of affront to the relationship requirements of Chinese. Straightforward trade is too shallow a partnership to be respected. Something like that. You're supposed to enter into a long term relationship that doesn't change and doesn't have an accounting - it just goes back and forth forever with requirements changing as circumstances change, and people neither winning nor losing but always cooperating. It's some cultural thing that locates value in this kind of long term bondage rather than in discrete, honourably executed deals.

But there you go with the "side" rhetoric. It's one of those bits of terminology that Chinese diplomacy and business negotiation has granted some kind of elevated role. It shoehorns into discussion a particular collection of claims that are far more normative than they are empirical. For instance, that there are sides. I know far too little about international relations or real life business deals to know why it is really there. I just assume it exists as a framing device and - like so many Chinese framing devices - seeks to establish separations. It wants it to be normal that we are separate peoples with incompatible requirements.


It's just weird to ignore how long the party has conceived of "the west" as an ideological enemy. Far, far longer than the west has conceived of China as an ideological enemy.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 17, 2020, 06:05:57 PM
Internally, China is good at getting messages across.  External PR, especially via active official social media presences is still rather new for China. More so if you look at pointing out how many countries have and are doing terrible things while pretending to be the finest possible examples that all should emulate without question.

There are different styles and degrees of humiliation, both personal and as a nation.  If you were teaching in an Australian school and found out visiting foreigners with lighter duties were making a lot more than you, that might be personally humiliating and lead to toxic relationships between you and those foreigners.  Having been forced into trade "agreements" at gunpoint is a lot more humiliating and toxic.

I think western politicians and some (not all) in the press are trying to make the party their primary enemy instead of China as a whole is an attempt to appear politically correct and paper over some deep xenophobia.  The xenophobia is still there and the mask can slip away easily, as in the case of a republican cabinet member who is married to the republican Senate is automatically labelled as a probable spy by Trump fans the moment someone mentions that a Chinese woman is married to a Senator.  The "not like us" mentality held by many westerners applies equally to the party, the government, and to anyone of Chinese ancestry, even though the official rhetoric is now mostly directed at the party.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 17, 2020, 07:16:39 PM
Internally, China is good at getting messages across.  External PR, especially via active official social media presences is still rather new for China. More so if you look at pointing out how many countries have and are doing terrible things while pretending to be the finest possible examples that all should emulate without question.

Eh. They're fine at getting their messages across to the audiences they want to get messages across to. Chinese "diplomatic" twitter isn't a communication tool between China and the people or countries named in the tweets.

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There are different styles and degrees of humiliation, both personal and as a nation.  If you were teaching in an Australian school and found out visiting foreigners with lighter duties were making a lot more than you, that might be personally humiliating and lead to toxic relationships between you and those foreigners.  Having been forced into trade "agreements" at gunpoint is a lot more humiliating and toxic.

"Facts", eh?

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I think western politicians and some (not all) in the press are trying to make the party their primary enemy instead of China as a whole is an attempt to appear politically correct and paper over some deep xenophobia.  The xenophobia is still there and the mask can slip away easily, as in the case of a republican cabinet member who is married to the republican Senate is automatically labelled as a probable spy by Trump fans the moment someone mentions that a Chinese woman is married to a Senator.  The "not like us" mentality held by many westerners applies equally to the party, the government, and to anyone of Chinese ancestry, even though the official rhetoric is now mostly directed at the party.

Global Times assures us that the Five eyes cooperation will not take place (https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1209938.shtml). Western countries are too venal. Individual nations will go behind the cooperatives back and make deals with China because they can't resist serving their own national interest.

Facts.


I think the only really illuminating way to look at China is in terms of the norms it seeks to create.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 17, 2020, 11:38:42 PM
You know, as far as international relations are concerned, I don't know that I'm obliged to either sympathize or empathize with China's stated historical grievances. As a person, I may listen to the stories and wonder wtf. But as a national champion the only thing I'm obliged to consider is whether or not I can accommodate whatever it is they want from this being part of national and international discourse. Can I put up with it? There's no independent court where the justice or otherwise of their claims can be adjudicated. There's just us.

It might help me know what to do if I could understand why the grievance still exists. Understanding might allow me, as national champion, to put up with what might otherwise be conceived of as intemperate demands.

But I don't know that in the end I'd have to agree to recognise the injustice as injustice. I'd just have to recognise that within *their* system, it is injustice. I'd just have to decide - somehow - that *their* system had adjudicated wisely and well, and that that judgment from their system can - somehow - have some standing within mine. That kind of decision doesn't have to be based on empathy. Maybe sympathy. But more likely just on a decision that we can stretch out our negotiations to accommodate it.

It'd be a relatively weak relationship. It'd fall apart eventually if whatever reparations they demand finally become more than we'd like to tolerate. Indeed, if we did not understand the injustice in the same way they did, it's basically guaranteed that eventually the reparations will become intolerable.

It's like with Black Lives Matter. If you don't empathize with the historical injustice, eventually you're going to say the black people are asking for too much.

The difference there being the historical injustice was human, not national.


Begs the question, I guess, shall we understand the century of humiliation to be a human injustice?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 18, 2020, 03:29:02 PM
"Begs the question, I guess, shall we understand the century of humiliation to be a human injustice?"

I think the Chinese people who fought 2 wars to try to prevent the UK from selling opium would say it was a human injustice.

I thing the families of those who ended up addicted would say it was a human injustice.


Look at WWII.  Germany and Japan did terrible things.  How they handled these things was very different.

Germany acknowledged their crimes and passed laws designed to make sure their crimes against humanity would not be repeated.  This includes making sure that all German children are taught about what happened.  Germany is now well trusted by its neighbors and has fairly good relationships with them.

Japan tries to deny many of the crimes it committed against its neighbors.  Some of their school curriculum even teaches that their attempts to conquer other countries were justified.  Even this many years after the war, China isn't the only country in east Asia that has serious issues with this.  It's hard to have trust and good relations when one side has done terrible things to the other and refuses to ever fully acknowledge what happened.


It's also hard to build trust when editorials run on news sites in the country with the biggest military in the world with the post-1945 record for most countries invaded babble on about how a war is inevitable.  Then,when China adds more equipment to its far more modest forces, those same pundits twist that as if China was building a massive fleet of landing craft with the capability of sneaking all the way across the Pacific and say the US should strike before it's too late.  These psychotic flashbacks to the US-Soviet cold war aren't helping anyone and make the entire world a more dangerous place for all of humanity.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 18, 2020, 08:48:45 PM
"Begs the question, I guess, shall we understand the century of humiliation to be a human injustice?"

I think the Chinese people who fought 2 wars to try to prevent the UK from selling opium would say it was a human injustice.

I thing the families of those who ended up addicted would say it was a human injustice.

For the kind of commentary I was attempting to generate it doesn't matter if they do. For the justice they're attempting to acquire it matters if other people would. They aren't getting extra benefits from people who don't think they were hard done by. They're definitely not getting extra benefits from people who think not only are they're no longer hard done by but that their leaders are milking history worse than a football player milks a glancing tackle. Besides which, draw a good connection between conditions now and conditions then or go jump in a lake. The narrative is so tainted we're going to need an actually trustworthy commentator before anyone does anything about anything.

A statesman of some kind perhaps.

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Look at WWII.  Germany and Japan did terrible things.  How they handled these things was very different.

Germany acknowledged their crimes and passed laws designed to make sure their crimes against humanity would not be repeated.  This includes making sure that all German children are taught about what happened.  Germany is now well trusted by its neighbors and has fairly good relationships with them.

Japan tries to deny many of the crimes it committed against its neighbors.  Some of their school curriculum even teaches that their attempts to conquer other countries were justified.  Even this many years after the war, China isn't the only country in east Asia that has serious issues with this.  It's hard to have trust and good relations when one side has done terrible things to the other and refuses to ever fully acknowledge what happened.

It's going to be even harder and never stop being so the longer international institutions for dealing with history continue not existing. Conventions on war and war crimes. International courts. International accords of substance and with teeth. At least some of the horseshit that's spoken about international relations and the consequences of history arrives exactly because individual nations appear to be avoiding the creation of genuine international authority. What's China's position on that? They've been busy white-anting the WHO and the UN. What are they wishing for in their place? They are definitely wishing for something.


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It's also hard to build trust when editorials run on news sites in the country with the biggest military in the world with the post-1945 record for most countries invaded babble on about how a war is inevitable.  Then,when China adds more equipment to its far more modest forces, those same pundits twist that as if China was building a massive fleet of landing craft with the capability of sneaking all the way across the Pacific and say the US should strike before it's too late.  These psychotic flashbacks to the US-Soviet cold war aren't helping anyone and make the entire world a more dangerous place for all of humanity.

Eh, maybe China can grow up. If they're relying on newspaper articles, they're no smarter than some pair of dudes on an internet forum.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 18, 2020, 11:33:31 PM
Come tot think of it, it also begs the question in what terms does China want the century of humiliation recognised? As is known to all, there are no universal human rights, so what was the injustice?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 21, 2020, 05:01:12 PM
Come tot think of it, it also begs the question in what terms does China want the century of humiliation recognised? As is known to all, there are no universal human rights, so what was the injustice?

The lack of a universally agreed upon set of rules isn't as big of an obstacle as one might think.

How would the UK react if any other country used troops to force its government to accept that country selling drugs inside the UK that the UK declared to be illegal?  It wouldn't matter if 100 other countries thought this was a fine negotiating tactic and awarded the aggressor a Nobel Prize in economics.  The UK would consider it to be a breach of national sovereignty and a rather bad thing to do.  Even if this had been over 100 years ago, the UK would at least expect the other country to acknowledge that this was wrong and promise nothing like it would ever happen again.

This is where Japan failed miserably.  It's tried to whitewash or ignore a lengthy list of items it would never have tolerated from any outside power.  It doesn't matter whether some other country considers these to be a rights/legal violation or not.  What matters is that Japan would consider all of those actions to be criminal if the same actions were taken against its land and people.

Perhaps someday, the world will finally hammer out some form of fully enforceable international laws.  In the meantime, I'd love to see the rulings from the highest court in the UK and Japan over whether those 2 countries would tolerate similar abuse followed by indifference or even historical rewrites to justify the crimes.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 21, 2020, 10:43:33 PM
Come tot think of it, it also begs the question in what terms does China want the century of humiliation recognised? As is known to all, there are no universal human rights, so what was the injustice?

The lack of a universally agreed upon set of rules isn't as big of an obstacle as one might think.

How would the UK react if any other country used troops to force its government to accept that country selling drugs inside the UK that the UK declared to be illegal?  It wouldn't matter if 100 other countries thought this was a fine negotiating tactic and awarded the aggressor a Nobel Prize in economics.  The UK would consider it to be a breach of national sovereignty and a rather bad thing to do.  Even if this had been over 100 years ago, the UK would at least expect the other country to acknowledge that this was wrong and promise nothing like it would ever happen again.

Yeah, I thought it was probably gong to be sovereignty.

Betcha that ends up being race-based. Which country has the longest continuous civilization? And presumably also not the longest continuous governing body?

Still, I suppose one can see why sovereignty is the flex China hopes to pull on the world. They're better at humanity and culture because they've been doing it longer. And it's another one of the cool separations China seems to love so much.

It's strange though. Why would one nation hold another nation's sovereignty to be inviolable? "You're not us. We govern ourselves. Hand over your shit." If one nation's sovereign right to decide what it alone shall do is NOT subordinate to some larger governing principle, since when does that nation decide not to invade? "You can't invade us, we're the only ones who can govern us!"

It's horseshit.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 22, 2020, 04:03:48 PM
There are only two ways to work out an international dispute.  One is based on international law, which you've already said won't work, since there is no universal agreement.

The other way that an actual agreement can be reached is via agreement between the laws of the two countries.  If the UK can claim military action against them to force them to allow import and sale of drugs they consider to be illegal is an inherently illegal action under UK law, then they should be capable of acknowledging what they did during the Opium Wars was equally wrong, promise never to do it again, and make sure their own people are educated about it as part of the effort to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.

The Germans managed to do this.  Yes, they had to, but they didn't just mutter a quick apology from a script and then try to pretend nothing happened.  Instead, they firmly embraced their duty to do all they could to make sure the horrors their nation unleashed couldn't be repeated.  Their military effort to conquer Europe during WWII failed, but their way of acknowledging what happened granted them the trust to become the most powerful nation in the EU.

Are the Brits and Japanese somehow incapable of doing the same, not just for China, but for the other nations they terribly abused?  If so, they have no right to expect those nations to offer trust in any negotiations.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 22, 2020, 05:03:48 PM
"Duty"?

It's not going to work.  It's one of the oldest successful rebuttals there is: if all truth is relative then "all truth is relative" is relative too, which is to say, there are times and places where "all truth is relative" is not true, which is to say, some truths are absolute. Friggen Plato. Or maybe Socrates. I forget. Point being, all systems of relative value always fail to maintain their case.

Universal human rights gets going by asserting that one determinant in the direction of any given self is the determination produced from inside that self itself. Any attempt to interfere with that determination is unsuitable. Presumably "sovereignty" as a right gets going by observing that one determinant in the direction of any given nation is whatever that nation determines for itself, and any attempt to curtail that determination is unsuitable.

But that truly works only if people are subordinate to nation. People tend to end up subordinate to nation states, but that's practice, not proof of principle. Even worse for "sovereignty" as a principle is what would sovereignty be if people were not capable of self determination? If people genuinely need not be respected for their own determinations, the nation states they produce need not either. Which is to say, the relative value of this or that nation's sovereignty relies on the absolute value of people as self determiners. Nations have a principled existence in the same way bread does: it's made by people.

So "duty" to this or that nation is a product of acknowledging the existence and nature of the humans that arranged it. From there you can go on to say such things as, wow, that nation is friggen weird in the way they do things but I guess I can get behind it now that I understand what those people want.

China's going to need a proof of how "China" as an entity transcends its existence as the product of humans. And the Yellow Friggen Emperor isn't going to cut it.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 23, 2020, 07:02:32 PM
Before the League of Nations and the UN, there wasn't a whole lot of world-wide agreement on anything, but any two nations with similar or even completely different forms of government were capable of entering trade deals and even could issue apologies for things that would clearly violate the laws of both countries.

Now you are arguing that in Calech-world, lack of universally agreed upon laws and rights effectively allows any nation to do anything it likes to a "less than Calech standard" nation and not take the slightest action to prevent further abuses of it's own laws and the laws of the target nation.

So your opinion appears to be that Germany would have had zero responsibility to apologize and amend its ways if it had unleashed its horrors on China instead of on Europe and its own people unless China makes some poorly defined transcendence of its existence?

So, without 100% of nations agreeing on universal laws and rights, any nation that doesn't meet your standards is fair game for invasion, attempted conquest, biologic warfare experiments on civilian populations, genocide of whatever groups the invaders see fit, or any other form of assault and bears zero duty to acknowledge it's actions and take steps to prevent future atrocities.

Based on that twisted world view, it's no wonder the US and Australia still abuse the survivors of their indigenous populations while accusing other nations of not adhering to international rights standards that they ignore whenever it's convenient.  No wonder the US refuses to even allow the possibility of any of its soldiers being put in trial in an international court.

Imagine for one moment Australia being abused in the way Asia was abused by Japan and explain how your "superior" form of government and society would entitle Australia a real apology and an honest recounting of events in the history taught to Japanese schoolchildren that China, South Korea, and many other nations are still waiting for.  Also, please tell me which countries in 1945 Europe failed to meet your standards so that Germany can have your blessings to whitewash actions against them in its history classes.

Or, are both your Eurocentrism and dislike of China so severe that you'd happily require proper treatment of all European countries and throw most of east Asia under the bus just to make certain that China is kept in some special "neither the people or government deserve anything but abuse" category you seem to want to lock China into?

If this is how the Australian government thinks, all of east Asia (except the Japanese who have your personal permission to do anything they like because they got forced into a Western style constitution after the fact) should seriously think about boycotting Australia until a rational government comes into power.

Personally, I hope the Australia government is saner than this.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 23, 2020, 11:28:06 PM
lol, yeah.

In practice, to all of that, before there were big enough wars that the practices changed, yes. Pretty much any nation was free to do whatever.

Naturally, of course, in principle, even before big enough wars, no to all of that. In principle, no nation was allowed to do whatever.


But what are these "horrors"? Genocide is horrific because it violates the sovereignty of the host nation? The nation in the form of its government is shocked at the loss of what it governs? Or is it the feeling in the hearts of the remaining populace? What's so horrific about a nation changing size unexpectedly? It went against the will of the people?

Still not seeing how violating the rights of a people to govern themselves, or to be citizens in a nation that has somehow elected to govern itself, counts as significant if it does not also violate individual identity.

I suppose if a given people were so given over to group identity that they did genuinely identify more with the nation as determiner of their future than with themselves as individual agents, then hurting the nation would hurt them. And thus, to avoid causing suffering, one should avoid harming the ability of that nation to guide those people.

That Supreme Leader tho. By what principle do we know he is doing right?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2020, 12:59:08 PM
The World China Wants (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2020-12-08/world-china-wants)

How Power Will—and Won’t—Reshape Chinese Ambitions

Does China want to transform the global order to advance its own interests and to reflect its own image? That may be the most important question in geopolitics today, yet the answers it elicits tend to reveal more about modern biases than they do about what a future Chinese superpower would look like. Those who want to project forward to a malevolent, expansionist China point to evidence of aggression in Beijing’s posture today. Those with a less apocalyptic view highlight more accommodating features in Chinese policy or note that China will face plenty of challenges that will keep it from reshaping the world even if it wants to. Many Western observers see a burgeoning new Cold War, with China serving as a twenty-first-century version of the Soviet Union. ...
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 24, 2020, 05:19:56 PM
I would think that any sane nation would realize that genocide is wrong and genocidal activities should be acknowledged and active steps taken to prevent recurrence without having to waste time figuring out how to ask if people's will was violated by attempting to exterminate them.  One using that sick logic, you could exterminate the Amish and say it's ok and there were no real victims of a crime since none of them raised a hand to resist.  Similarly, trying to define of the government of the victims of genocide is worthy to get an acknowledgement or apology is also a warped request.  Germany didn't ask the countries it abused to submit "Like Us vs. Not Like Us" questionnaires to see whether the dead people lived under rulership that qualified their deliberately inflicted deaths to be considered criminal or not.

Do you really think that using people in a conquered area for biological warfare experiments would be acknowledged and active steps taken to prevent recurrence by any sane nation without having to waste time figuring out how to ask questions about whether their government was worthy of getting an acknowledgement or apology?

Your arguments are nothing come down to nothing more than "If I don't like your government, then any other government can feel free to invade your country, slaughter your people, force your women into prostitution, use civilians in biological warfare experiments, and do anything else they feel like with complete impunity and can teach their schoolchildren lies to make them feel their country was justified for launching a war of aggression, thus laying the groundwork for future wars.  I'll even let them get away with this against countries with governments I do like just to make sure they don't have to ever acknowledge what they did to you."

These "not like us means they are fair game for anyone" attitude has been acted on before.  Australia and the US nearly wiped out their native populations, with the US even resorting to deliberately spreading smallpox as part of the program.  The UK and many other European nations decided that those who lacked their "enlightened" governments needed to be colonized and "civilized" under the boot heels of their military forces.


So, which of these enlightened governments still thinks it is so superior to China, Korea, the Philippines, etc. that it feels Japan not doing what Germany did is the right choice?  Or is it that only white majority countries are entitled to apologies?


As for the article, I think the people desperately trying to make a new Cold War with China replacing the USSR are wrong in their outlook.  First, they've missed the fact that Russia has been trying its best to bring its former Soviet Republics back into its control.  Second, and much more obvious to anyone who doesn't want to explain all things new as simple repeats of old things, despite some government similarities, China is not the Soviet Union any more than the USA is a reincarnation of ancient Athens.  China is trying to expand its influence via peaceful trade, not by exporting revolution.  China doesn't send its troops off to remote places to help "liberate" other countries (which the Soviets sometimes did and America still actively does).  China doesn't have a massive Navy designed to rule multiple oceans and has only a small number of the nuclear weapons (while both Russia and the USA each still have enough to single-handedly end civilization).  Sadly, some people are determine to ram China into a Soviet shaped hole in their minds instead of taking an unbiased look and realizing that China is quite different from the Soviets and from the USA.

Perhaps these people should consider that continuously spewing hate at China might actually be one of the main reasons why China has finally taken a more aggressive stance.  In school, sometimes the victim of a hateful bully needs to smack the aggressor firmly to finally end the abuse.  Approaching China with the same basic politeness afforded to 190+ other nations (many with very questionable governments and rights policies) would go a long way towards allowing improvements in relations.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2020, 06:14:51 PM
I would think that any sane nation would realize that genocide is wrong [...]

In a world where the nature of human rights is a contested question, there is no "I would think..." There is only "tell us what you mean, China, and make it a good story because we already have lots of our own ideas."

Anything that China believes creates obligations for everyone else in exactly the same way it does for individual people - not at all.

That's to say, unless there is some reason to suppose the entity "China" has transcended its origin as a product of human beings, and we are therefore more obliged to it than we would be to some people with opinions.

It is farcical propaganda to assert that China is merely trying to create good things in a world that need not take notice. And out of date too. Tao guan yang hui is so 2010 and expired under Xi.

As for China being the injured party, with that much economic power under their belt, claiming injury is ludicrous play acting. It's national psychodrama for profit for as long as you do not state what can make you whole, and even then it will remain lies and propaganda unless you come clean and state that lack of restitution makes you enemies. Put up or shut up, basically.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2020, 07:23:53 PM
Might be the downside of great power status: you have to also stop being the whiny punk power or be perceived as setting up for war
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2020, 07:40:28 PM
kinda brings us full circle too: whiny punk power inflicts economic damage, is now great?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 28, 2020, 05:38:26 PM
Hows this if you don't agree with "I don't think"

After losing the war having a few weeks to reflect on why the whole "Master Race" thing was wrong and a poor excuse for genocide, the vast majority of Germans realized that their nation (and many of their own people) had done wrong things to Germans citizens as well as to the citizens of many other countries.    Instead, the Germans did acknowledge and apologized all of their actions, outlawed denial of the Holocaust, and make sure to educate their children about all the evils of the Nazi regime to help make sure there were no repeats.

What the Germans never did was make up pathetic excuses about how unprovoked warfare and mass murder of civilians was perfectly OK in some placed because some of the countries they did this to didn't have the right kinds of governments that met the "Calech Standard" of what makes slaughter of civilians a crime.

On the flip size, Japan refuses to fully acknowledge numerous crimes in numerous countries, some of which have very firm adherence to post war human rights standards.  Japan refuses to teach facts of what happened to its children, thereby increasing the chance that such actions could take place again.

By your claims, if 25 years from now, Japan does a repeat and includes both China and Australia among its victims, Australia would deserve no acknowledgment, no apology, and expect no efforts by Japan to warn future generations that biological warfare experiments in occupied Sydney, enslaving Australian women to serve as comfort women for Japanese troops, and "the rape of Melbourne" were even slightly bad.  Instead, you would be agreeing to the worst parts never being acknowledged and the unprovoked invasion to be taught as a fully justified action of the very honorable Japanese military.  And all of this is because for some reason you can only vaguely define, China and its people don't deserve to be treated as well as the worst country that Hitler invaded and you would prefer to throw your own nation under the bus than give China any chance of having a single abuse by Japan be acknowledged.

Or would Japan owe Australia better treatment than it gave to EVERY country it invaded in WWII?  If so why?

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 28, 2020, 07:29:44 PM
One thing puzzling me here is the British Empire didn't lose the opium wars. What's with the examples of Japan and Germany? They both lost their wars. So, China's emergence now as an international operator and standards setter is like having won the long war? USA, UK, Australia must just suck it up because they're the losers now?

China waited for a messed up WTO appellate body, a fraught presidential transition, and a world economy depressed by a pandemic before it struck Australia. Indeed that does read like the works of an opportunistic enemy rather than a partner or a friend. And perhaps now even a triumphant enemy too. I guess we'll have to apologise for what we've done wrong.


By the way, as a procedural item and as I'm sure you know, practice and principle aren't the same thing. This "Calech [sic] Standard" you've mentioned a few times, it isn't a standard - at best it's a report of historical practice - and it isn't mine - it belongs to us all.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 29, 2020, 04:59:30 PM
I noticed you've conveniently side-stepped Japan's failure to acknowledge its actions vs Germany stepping up and going to great efforts to avoid a repeat.  Most of Europe trusts Germany.  Most of east Asia doesn't have the same level of trust in Japan.

It is easier to get an apology our of the loosing side, but not impossible.  The US is finally taking some concrete steps to deal with its abuse of Native Americans.  Better late that never.

To expect China to forgive and forget items that were never properly acknowledged is like expecting African Americans for forget all the murders of black "suspects" at the hands of police in 2020 (and before) until real reforms take place.  China is pragmatic and will continue doing business, but the repeated abuse it suffered at the hands of countries that claim moral superiority while continuing to abuse their own people and others is not something China will fail to consider.

Please explain the "historical practice" of refusing to acknowledge abuses of countries that don't meet your claimed standard of "historical practice."  Something tells me that your viewpoint would greatly shift if you were subjected to the "historical practices" (and even current practices) of the Australian police in dealing with Indigenous Australians.



Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 29, 2020, 07:12:08 PM
I noticed you've conveniently side-stepped Japan's failure to acknowledge its actions vs Germany stepping up and going to great efforts to avoid a repeat.  Most of Europe trusts Germany.  Most of east Asia doesn't have the same level of trust in Japan.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I don't know what you're getting at with the comparison - something about how nations should act? But it sounds like bullshit in the same way China's century of humiliation sounds like bullshit: facts dressed up. Terrible things occurred, those terrible things are now understood to be motivating, the terrible doers must x y and z. It's bullshit because nations aren't people. They include people, but they don't relate to one another as people relate. They aren't the same kind of entity. And while people can take up the cause of a nation, a nation taking up the cause of a people is... necessarily and always suspect. If the grief and anger of a people exists, and is promoted, then that grief and anger is now something else. The moral status of that promotion is dependent on the moral status of the promoter, not those who suffered.

Quote
To expect China to forgive and forget items that were never properly acknowledged is like expecting African Americans for forget all the murders of black "suspects" at the hands of police in 2020 (and before) until real reforms take place.

It's not. When African Americans are in possession of sufficiently global economic power, then it'll be like that.

Quote
  China is pragmatic and will continue doing business, but the repeated abuse it suffered at the hands of countries that claim moral superiority while continuing to abuse their own people and others is not something China will fail to consider.

That's that same bullshit again, the wildly inappropriate pretence that the national is the personal. The battered wife has a good job now and a nice place to live, and the abusive ex-husband can't come hang around that much anymore.....

Oh... South China Sea.

Yeah. China lost those opium wars because it never was a decent ocean-going power. Gunboats made them lose. And the US can still sail its navy around the place. The century of humiliation continues. The wife married another deadbeat.

Quote
Please explain the "historical practice" of refusing to acknowledge abuses of countries that don't meet your claimed standard of "historical practice."  Something tells me that your viewpoint would greatly shift if you were subjected to the "historical practices" (and even current practices) of the Australian police in dealing with Indigenous Australians.

Something that occurred in history. Probably less ambiguously titled if named "historical occurrences". You've been attributing moral positions to me while I've been attempting impersonal description. Now if I'd said something like "It was right and proper that X used to do Y", then I'd be in a pickle.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 30, 2020, 06:39:05 PM
I've pointed out that 2 countries that lost one war took totally different approaches to their misdeeds and ended up with very different relationships with their neighbors.  No blathering about moral status somehow being independent will change the simple fact that Germany's efforts to make sure its actions were never repeated led to trust and Japan's efforts to whitewash and glorify what it did remains a source of distrust and friction between Japan and many of its neighbors.


Your response was to claim China was somehow unworthy and undeserving of getting the same treatment from Japan than Germany gave to European countries.  That sounds like xenophobic BS to me.

Your attempt to compare claims of ownership of a few disputed sandbars to what Japan undisputedly did to large numbers of humans is sad.

Yes, China lost the opium wars.  The reason doesn't matter.  The lack of even a polite acknowledgement contributes to Chinese distrust of western powers, which is simple and logical.  If you think calling China pragmatic for dealing with countries that performed acts that violate their own self-proclaimed moral superiority is BS, would you prefer China instead decide to not deal with untrustworthy countries?  Your claim of confusing personal vs national is also BS.  Nations are run by people and those people remember abuse of their nations just as easily as they remember personal abuse.  You certainly have no trouble remembering all your complaints about China.

You seem to think that China is somehow not entitled to point out hypocrisy of other nations that frequently criticize China.   The Soviets weren't like the west either.  They just never held back on criticizing obvious hypocrisy when the US or one of its allies did something blatantly against western claims of being unshakable bastions of freedom, democracy, and human rights.  Now that China has finally fired back in the "Slap Other Countries via Twitter War" and pointed out very bad things done by Australia and the US, you've gone for a gold medal in mental gymnastics to try to somehow prove that China's government somehow isn't permitted to make such comments and that any such comments should be ignored without regards to the facts of the issue.  In the end, all of your BS arguments boil down to nothing more logical than "Not like us!"

Your personal opinion of the China and its government won't magically render facts pointed out by the government void no matter how many bizarre reasons you come up with.  If China decides to point out that on December 16, 2020, the US was one of only 2 countries in the world to vote against a UN General Assembly resolution  for Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, that the UK, the EU countries, Canada, and Australia were among the 51 countries that abstained, and that 130 countries (including China) voted in favor, those votes are just as much inarguable facts as they would be if Scott Morrison held a press conference on the subject.

How can you believe the US is a country that any nation should trust if its police regularly abuse and murder a disadvantaged minority?  International rules on human rights as well as the US Constitution (plus federal and state laws) make it very plain that this is wrong.  How can you complaint about any other country not having an exact copy of rights laws the US, UK, Australia, and more decide can be ignored at will?  How can you still claim that only your favored countries are allowed to point out facts about other countries?  Oh, that's right.  You'll just dredge up some new claim about why Calech-favored-nations have special privileges because of "historical practice" or some equally undefinable BS to try to justify your "Not like us!" views.



Ignoring Calech-World for the moment, I've been observing the hatred of China in other places.  Some of it is people who miss the cold war and desperately want a new one.  For many politicians, the demonizing of China (or the "I'm not really a racist, just substitute "CCP" for "China" and "Chinese people" in all the hateful things I've already said." subset of politicians) is a standard ploy.  Find something different (Not like us!), look for flaws (every country has some), treat all negative rumors as facts, and magnify it all into a giant threat to your very way of life.  This is an easy way to unite the voters into voting for whoever promises to protect them from the scariest stories.

Then there are the people who try to denigrate every accomplishment of China.  If China builds a bridge, the instant response of these types is either "It will collapse" or even "I hope it collapses and kills a lot of people."  Some just never noticed that if you want to buy low quality products at cut rate prices, China will still sell those to you just as fast as China will sell you better products at a higher price.  Many people had a similar attitude towards Japanese cars as cheap and easily broken in the 1970's, but even a relative of mine who participated in fighting the Japanese had to (VERY!) grudgingly admit that a 1980 Toyota was an extremely good car for the money, but not everyone caught onto Japanese car quality as fast as he did.

Those that have finally realized that although China is not the leader in a number of areas, but that it does lead in others and is catching up in many, have another worry.  The British Empire was the most powerful force on Earth, both economically and militarily for a long time.  Sitting on top for a long time usually leads to laziness.  If it didn't, we'd all be under the Roman Empire or else the Mongols would have taken the the whole world.  The US has been #1 since 1945 and has been unrivaled since the fall of the Soviet Union.  A perfect example of US laziness is summed up in one simple question "If the US can put a man on the Moon, why can't the US put a man on the Moon?"  Yes, it was a great accomplishment, but then the technology itself was thrown away.

Now, something different has arisen to rival.  Unlike highly expansionist empires, China doesn't build a vast military and try to encircle the world with colonies and military bases.  Although officially communist, China has shown economic expansion at a rate and duration never before seen and has been passing the US in more and more ways.  From the western perspective, denial was the first reaction, but now major investors take market positions based on Chinese economic numbers, not in spite of them.  For those who've moved past denial, the concept of the US actually falling to the second largest economy in the world is very hard to accept, but this is where laziness comes in.

The launch of Sputnik lead to a nationwide push in science and engineering that enabled the US to win the Moon Race as well as to have technological developments that led to more economic growth, thus enabling it to bankrupt the Soviets in the arms race.  The problem is that it's just so much easier to keep saying "But we went to the Moon over 50 years ago and we're still number 1" and finding ways to complain about China and to try to slow Chinese development than to step up and kick start science, technology, and the economy again.

In a way, it's sad.  Imagine where the US (and the world) technological level would be today if the US had never felt even modestly rivaled by the Soviet Union.  If the US was smart, instead of clamoring for war (or denying that some "Not Like Us!" system could really work), it could be actively pushing science, technology, and the economy in a determined (but peaceful) competition with China.  In the end, this would benefit the whole world.  Instead, America seems intent on letting a few crazy billionaires decide which areas the country will remain competitive in while the rest of the economy falls into stagnation.

Either way, the Chinese economic, scientific, and technological progress will continue no matter what many in the west wish would happen.  To get back to the original title of this thread, China's endgame is further progress no matter what any other country decides to do.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 07, 2021, 01:16:25 PM
Dude, that was weird. It's all so much easier if you remember that "China" isn't old. At a stretch it has 72 years. The current constitution is younger than me. The rest is lies because culture and history aren't government. Let the novelists, playwrights, and poets eulogise the dead. If the political suits want to score points against current opponents, fine. But they aren;t the keepers of the nation's legacy.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 07, 2021, 06:43:44 PM
btw, the kind of unhinged allegation you get when the cultural, the political, and the historical are as conflated as they are in China, it probably behoves us all to yadda yadda yadda and so on.

It is interesting though, how poorly the Chinese system separates those. Might be something about the endgame in there.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 07, 2021, 10:28:50 PM
The current government was founded in 1949, but that doesn't erase history of what was done, some of it by people who are still alive to people who are still alive. 

I'll continue to stand by my opinion, backed by the clear examples laid out by Germany and Japan (which also made no moves to take German-style post-war actions to China's previous government in 1945-1949).

A number of countries in Europe got redone from 1945 to present.  Strangely, I don't see Germany (also under a totally new government after the war) trying to use Calach-thought to evade responsibility by saying anything as lame as "We won't acknowledge what we did to human beings who lived on that piece of land because the government over that land got replaced by a new one after what we did." or even "We don't agree with the government over than land and this lets us pretend we did nothing wrong there."  Instead, Germany still actively strives to educate its children with historical facts in an effort to make sure not to repeat its past actions without the slightest regard for who did or does govern the other locations it abused.


The results speak for themselves.  Germany is trusted and considered to be a leader by its neighbors.  Japan has distrust and repeatedly erupting disputes with a number of neighbors based on its attempts to hide from history.  I think this is a shining example of honesty truly being the best policy.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 09, 2021, 01:11:26 PM
Those results speak for nothing. It isn't the world at large that grieves a made-up century of humiliation. What you're urging is for the wrong-doing nations to begin expiations until at some point China says okay that's enough we're square now. But has China given any sign of what will count as a good enough kowtow to their fraught historical narratives? Is there any clearly stated endgame?


That's why it's best to remember that "China" is young. Their international statecraft is barely more than a collection of national stories they tell themselves.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 09, 2021, 10:11:24 PM
Most modern apology/restitution narratives focus on groups or people that remain dispossessed. Black and brown, usually. And often situated within larger nations that built part of their modernity on the death and damage they did to those black and brown.

Most modern big war narratives focus on how the wars are over. World War 2 is getting old enough that documentaries featuring soldiers revisiting sites of significant conflict, crying a bit and shaking hands with former enemies don't happen any more.

Small war stuff goes on, of course.

So what's up with China getting rich, powerful, and not satisfied with what others have done for them today?


I wonder if those current narratives about past horrors aren't holdovers from an earlier stage of China's development that persist because they're genuinely emotive but China doesn't know how to update them.

Then again, China is remarkably adept at excising entire aspects of their own history. If they wanted massacres and wars to be forgotten, it could be made to happen. So the current narratives exist for a reason. But are they adapted to the actual conditions China finds itself in? Is the reason those narratives exist properly adapted to current conditions?


China still thinks of itself as surrounded by enemies.

And that's the "enemies" fault because they're not more accommodating of China's rightful place?


That doesn't sound good.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 09, 2021, 10:37:27 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_China
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 11, 2021, 12:54:49 AM
‘Even mourning is said to shame China’: women of Wuhan fight to be heard (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/10/even-mourning-is-said-to-shame-china-women-of-wuhan-fight-to-be-heard)
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 12, 2021, 08:31:01 PM
Maybe if someone bothered to ask China they would say what would be appropriate.  I've noticed that you always avoid answering the same question with regard to how you would react if exactly the same thing was done to Australia.  You must think it's ok to have your own people unapologetically abused as long as this ensures that no other nation has to acknowledge any misdeeds against China.

In the meantime, the issue between South Korea and Japan just got shoved back into the limelight:

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/01/70612452d5a3-japan-foreign-minister-protests-s-koreas-comfort-women-ruling.html

Which clearly proves that China is not alone in its objections to Japan's activities during WWII.  Of course, Calach will happily claims that Japan doesn't even owe those Korean women any form of acknowledgement or apology, because that would make it hard for him to not say the same thing about Chinese women given the same (or worse) treatment.  The lack of European ancestry in Korean women may also play a significant role in Calach's thought processes on this issue.

Reparation amounts are always disputable.  Refusal to even acknowledge live victims of such a crime were wronged isn't, except if your brain has soaked up enough Calach-thought.  Once you have, you can justify any bad act merely by thinking like Calach.

Under Calach-thought, if China was also a victim of a crime by another nation, then the crime deserves no acknowledgement and can be covered up.  Any nation complaining about such a crime is automatically demoted to the unworthy "Not Like Us!" category in order to preserve Calach-thought's universal maxim that China somehow is always wrong and doesn't have the right to even point out the flaws of hypocritical nations.

Calach-thought also seems to have trouble of examples between winning nations and losing nations in a war, despite the fact that "war crimes" should be applied equally.  Yet, he seem ok with European nations to receive apologies and to take steps to prevent those crimes from happening again while he exempts the people in Asian nations victimized by Japan from any need to follow Germany's example  This whole thread makes it obvious this flagrant double standard is primarily because China is one of the Asian nations that was abused in that war.

Even though there is no 100% universal definition of rights, Calech-thought uses China not making promises to its citizens that are routinely ignored by his own country and other "One Of Us" nations to support stripping China of any right to complain about any past crime against Chinese citizens, even the use of its citizens for biowarfare experiments or to point out that "One Of Us" countries routinely use their rights declarations for toilet paper when oppressing some segment of their own citizens is convenient.

Of course, the lack if a perfect and universally agreed upon set of rights is also used under Calach-thought to undermine any argument about a "One Of Us" nation to even grudgingly confess to actions that should be reviled by all civilized nations.

Calach-thought justifies oppressing minorities within his own nation and nations in the "One Of Us" category and ignoring sacred pledges granting allegedly universal rights to all citizens because the oppressed minorities lack sufficient global economic power.

To expect China to forgive and forget items that were never properly acknowledged is like expecting African Americans for forget all the murders of black "suspects" at the hands of police in 2020 (and before) until real reforms take place.

It's not. When African Americans are in possession of sufficiently global economic power, then it'll be like that.

This may explain why Calach-thought can so easily ignore not only attempted genocide against Australian's indigenous people, but the fact that they still have a hugely disproportionate number of of "police-related" deaths.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-52900929

Of course, the BBC is allowed to discuss this flagrant use of Australia's guaranteed rights as toilet paper, but China still lacks standing.

From the Age of Exploration, when the East was opened up to the West (often at gunpoint, just ask Japan), relative to the colonial empires, China did indeed lack possession of sufficiently global economic power, and paid a price.  It wasn't as bad a price as the entire continents that were overrun (Africa, Australia, and the Americas), but if history had been just a little different, the plans to partition and annex China into a set of western colonies had already been drawn up.  So, western nations and even modernized Japan used China as a doormat and felt no need to apologize to such an "inferior" nation.  I believe this contributes to Calach-thought's view of China as being unworthy of any form or respect and acting with great offense if China gets "uppity" and dares to point out the hypocrisy of "superior" nations (especially his own).  "Heaven forbid that the land where kangaroos are granted superior rights to aboriginal peoples ever have to show the slightest trace of respect to some poor backward non-white nation not worthy to crack open a can of Fosters" would seem to be a common thought in those attuned to Calech-thought.

Calech-thought seems to require China to be required to endure continued hypocritical scorn heaped upon it, to never point out the flaws of "superior" countries, and to endure various sanctions without being allowed to retaliate.  This is exactly how school yard bullies want the world to always work.

Oh wait, what if we apply this Calach-thought economic double standard for rights to China vs Australia instead of black vs white America or aboriginals vs white Australia?

Then modern China took a big turn economically.  It's now the world's second largest economy.

Let's apply "possession of sufficiently global economic power" and see.

Australia's 2019 GDP was about 1.38 trillion US$.  China's 2019 GDP was about 14.4 trillion US$.  Guangdong Province alone had a higher GDP than Australia.  The newest projections put China passing the US for Worlds Largest GDP in 2028.

Bullies usually end their bullying careers badly.  They continue to act as if nothing will ever change even as some of their smaller victims hit a growth spurt and pass them in size.  Just as one day the bully's world view is ruined when he finally realizes he can no longer continue terrorizing his victims into compliance with his cruel whims, Calach-thought's dream of Australia becoming the economic and (im)moral leader of SE Asia is being crushed.

If Calech-thought were not so overflowing with inconsistencies and double standards, that twisted though process would allow China to ignore any hint of fairness for Australia and Australians by China, since Australia is certainly not in "possession of sufficiently global economic power" to be worthy of China's respect.

Yet, China doesn't do this.  When it is subjected to hypocritical attacks or trade sanctions, it responds far more proportionately than a certain soon to be former US president did with Canada and Mexico over a perceived unfairness in a well established treaty.

My hope is that very few people will subscribe to Calach-thought.  It wriggles and turns to allow massive injustice done by one set of countries does (even to their own people) while immunizing those countries against criticism from those not in the "One Of Us" club, while also stripping those "Not Like Us (especially China)" countries of any possibility of being able to be operate on a level playing field in trade or any other form of international negotiations.

The world is changing.  A government system different than what nearly all Saloon dwellers grew up with has done things that seemed impossible not so long ago.  No one system stays on top for eternity.  The sooner a new system gets complacent, the sooner it's forced to either reform or face serious loss of its power.  No amount of Calech-thought can stop this.  So far, the West is stuck in denial instead of trying to make any serious changes.  The good news is that China isn't interested in conquering the world, so there's still time for the West to try to live up to it's claimed ideals and find new ways to try make itself more competitive.  If it doesn't, eventually, China will end up being completely unrivaled on top.  Then China will have to work very hard to avoid the same complacency that took down all the previous world leaders, eventually with a chance of being in competition against some new political system that no one's even thought up yet.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: AMonk on January 13, 2021, 03:38:52 AM
Gentlemen -- your civil disagreement, debate and "banter" is in danger of becoming NOT.  Please take care, lest you descend into personal attacks.

Thank you bjbjbjbjbj

AMonk
Classroom Monitor


Now, drinks are On The House.  Noles, set them each up with a pint of Civet Juice, please agagagagag
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 14, 2021, 10:27:28 AM
Beijing curates history. That is the origin of every dismissal I make of The Humiliation and its meaning. Any investment I make in understanding or even acknowledging the impact of history on China and Chinese as expressed by present day believers and polemicists is exactly proportional to my investment in the wisdom and merit of that curation.

In that respect it is interesting to observe the "baseless speculation" that SARS-CoV-2 has its origin in bats or pangolin. The main reason for ignoring the western conspiracy theory that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a Wuhan lab was the, what's it called? Viral ethnography? The lack of evidence in the genomic structure of tampering and the substantial scientific evidence in that structure of evolutionary similarity to bat coronaviruses.

That's to say, Beijing curates history and seems to do so according to some standard other than verifiable fact. I can observe then that the "century of humiliation" exists now, and it does so in the minds of the believers and polemicists, and that's about all I can observe without recourse to actual historians, who, for all I know, on this topic, might not exist either.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 14, 2021, 05:06:27 PM
I wish all sides would stop politicizing a naturally evolved virus.  Zoonotic infections happen quite frequently around the world.

Here's just a sample of the evidence against "made in an evil lab" conspiracy theories:

The 2019‐new coronavirus epidemic: Evidence for virus evolution - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.25688

The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2 - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

Baseless Conspiracy Theories Claim New Coronavirus Was Bioengineered - https://www.factcheck.org/2020/02/baseless-conspiracy-theories-claim-new-coronavirus-was-bioengineered/

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 15, 2021, 03:29:13 PM
SARS-CoV-2 is not a genetically modified terror virus. The reported science backs this.

The reported science does not, and can not, tell us for how long after it had been found in the wild, SARS-CoV-2 or a near equivalent had been stored at that lab in Wuhan before some hapless gain-of-function researcher went grocery shopping without washing his shoes.

That job, the one of telling us how the mistake happened, isn't even the task of the hapless WHOsearchers soon to be following strict regulations in Wuhan.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 22, 2021, 05:46:05 PM
Science does tell us that it is very plausible that the virus passed from an animal to a human without any need for a detour through any lab inside or outside of China.  Viruses do this all the time.

Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 26, 2021, 10:12:44 AM
Politics and economics tell us something different.

In America for example, we know longstanding dumbassery over firearms, climate change, and health care is driven by gigantic vested interest. (Smoking used to be in that group too but the manufacturers shifted their attentions to the developing world.) Anti-vaccination movements appear to occupy some other realm unknown to vested interest, but in fact parochial faith is the big one there. Communities pit their local version of humanity against the incursions of Satan in the form of histories of medicine.

And now to China where the virus definitely didn't start and won't someone think of the old people (they definitely die in Norway from mRNA).

China pushes conspiracy theories on COVID origin, vaccines (https://apnews.com/article/china-coronavirus-origin-65c6958bb2d8d22d811bb3d0c90f7418)


What's the vested interest?
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 26, 2021, 04:17:00 PM
I would personally be happier of all sides didn't toss out conspiracy theories. For anyone on any side who wasn't an eye witness or doesn't have very solid evidence of where and how the transfer from animals to humans took place to claim to know exactly how this got into humans at this point is not helping to determine the truth.   I understand that China has floated some conspiracy theories because Trump started it and others in the picked it up and ran with it, but I think this is an area where taking the high road is the better path.  Making a list of all "possibilities" is reasonable.  Aggressive accusations by any side without evidence only makes the search for facts more complicated.

In the meantime, WHO is investigating and samples from around the world are being checked by independent laboratories.  If there's an intermediate animal between bats and humans, finding out what it is will greatly help narrow down possible points of origin, as well as whether or not any labs were studying samples of blood from the correct animals in the correct areas or not.

Sadly, even if the actual animal in question, the method of transfer to humans, and patient zero are all located and independently verified 1000 times over by the top scientists and health authorities of any country that cares to look, many people will still continue to believe whatever conspiracy theory best suits their personal biases.

In the meantime, nature is still busy cooking up nasty surprises around the world.  I hope the next time something like this happens, more countries will dive headfirst into containing the problem instead of trying to figure out if there's some way to politicize it.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 26, 2021, 06:43:59 PM
Post-truth supposedly started with Watergate, where access to news media grew widespread enough that instant national shame could come into existence. Not historical shame, because who actually feels that on a political level if you're not part of an interest group. Real time national shame was the existential threat of the 70s through the 90s. These days we have Trump and conspiracies, and they're probably better viewed as the relatively benign result of developed nations spending half a century mitigating world wide impacts of people knowing what was going on.

The idiocracy needs a fair bit longer than that to actually become the true foundation of "the west". It has to do away with centuries of "truth" and "reason" in education and development. In that sense the current generation looks shaky, but only viewed on their own short time line.

So, China jumping on that bandwagon... it's about the same as their own scientific and technological development - really shallow. But it'll work. Having centuries of "truth" and "reason" as a foundation over here won't redraw the erasures of the last few years over there, nor those of the next few.


So is it true? Is the Chinese endgame in fact that shallow? I'm going to say, in foundation, yes. Tremendous amouns of money right now is big right now, but it doesn't last. So... by way of contribution to the rest of the world, what else have they got? What's the big thing for us all to cheer on? Why is that country's current ideological positioning more than just a giant road bump?

They're going to champion the developing world? That's so five years ago. What's their real game now?


I don't know that they have one beyond "survival".
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on January 27, 2021, 06:03:41 PM
Check with the patent office (even the US Patent Office) and you'll see that China's science and technology development is getting deeper and wider,

Check the latest on foreign investment capital inflows and you'll see that investors from other countries are betting more and more money on China's future growth and development.

China's long term goals are not a secret  Every 5 year, 10 year, 15 year, and longer plan is publicly announced.  Things like when carbon emissions will peak, when gasoline powered cars will no longer be sold get announced.  Components for a space station will be launched soon, and a research base on the moon is being planned.

China operates on much longer time frames than most nations, so "end game" really doesn't fit as well as "major long term plans."  China plans to be energy independent, carbon neutral, and be a major player in science, technology, and finance, all while continuing to improve the lives of Chinese citizens.  All of this will happen no matter what attitude the US takes towards China, but a mutually cooperative approach from the US will make the US, China, and the rest of the world more prosperous than a deliberately obstructive approach.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 27, 2021, 07:18:39 PM
lol
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 27, 2021, 07:27:25 PM
But seriously, by accident I found myself listening to a presentation by Wang Gungwu today

How Political Heritage and Future Progress Shape the China Challenge with Wang Gungwu (https://youtu.be/kMcGx_Wr7rU?t=317)

It's damn interesting. In under about thirty minutes he provides what sounds like the authentic substance behind modern China's, until now, seemingly really shallow propaganda.
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 05, 2021, 11:32:42 PM
Bonus: an endgame for the US too

Short of War
How to Keep U.S.-Chinese Confrontation From Ending in Calamity
(https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2021-02-05/kevin-rudd-usa-chinese-confrontation-short-of-war)

Officials in Washington and Beijing don’t agree on much these days, but there is one thing on which they see eye to eye: the contest between their two countries will enter a decisive phase in the 2020s. This will be the decade of living dangerously. No matter what strategies the two sides pursue or what events unfold, the tension between the United States and China will grow, and competition will intensify; it is inevitable. War, however, is not. It remains possible for the two countries to put in place guardrails that would prevent a catastrophe: a joint framework for what I call “managed strategic competition” would reduce the risk of competition escalating into open conflict....
Title: Re: China's endgame?
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on February 08, 2021, 06:30:04 PM
Competition is what China is all about and what the US used to be about.  Getting on top let the US rig the game.  Think I'm wrong about the US rigging the game?  Just announce your country is going to sell oil where the official price isn't set in US dollars and see how long until you get "liberated" in the name of freedom and democracy.  That US dollar peg for most important commodities helps prop up the dollar no matter how much money the us borrows or prints.

If the US is open to fair competition, that will benefit the whole world, not just the US and/or China.  This could be just like how the technological spinoffs from the space race paid for the moon landings more than twice over and created new jobs completely unrelated to space exploration.