cassowary wrote: ↑
Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:12 am
The key point to take away is that whenever China was strong it expanded. Whenever it was weak, it shrank or even disintegrated into warring states. Now Xi feels that China is strong and wants to expand. He also needs to buttress CCP rule. The only reason the Chinese people tolerate the CCP is because it delivered the goods ie improved people's standard of living.
But now China is having its first recession in decades. Xi knows his people will get restless. So he has to appeal to nationalism. To many Chinese who knows their history, they understood that national strength = expansion. Xi is hoping that national pride will serve as justification for continued CCP rule because its top leaders want power, money and girls.
That's why it is picking fights everywhere - India (over its borders), Japan (Senkaku/Diaoyu), Taiwan, many SE Asian cuntries (disputed islands and S China sea.
This gives Trump and the US an opportunity to gain India as an ally.
Relations between the two countries are the best in decades. This is another of Trump's achievements. The strategy should be to get companies to shift their supply chains out of China. A few will go back to the US but most will go elsewhere - including India. So, an FTA with India would help.
Thanks Cass. I welcome your imput.
I agree. With the PRC economy going backwards Xi and colleagues really have nothing to fall back to other than "glory of"empire" expansionism stuff. Xi might have misred Chinese history somewhat though. Whenever China has expanded in the past it was able to do so arguably because their was nothing its approximate size nearby to oppose it. Conversely, whenever China has been weak and divided it has been due to its own internal decay and mismanagement - often a bi-product of its earlier successes (or rather, of the smugness that too often grows from too much unwonted success).
This raises the question in my mind: what would the USA gain by having India for an ally?
Despite having a small thermonuclear arsonel of its own (for last resort use against PAKISTAN; not to fend off the PRC which it cannot match in military might): I see India as being geostrategically, hopelesly compromised. China occupies the high ground immediately to India's north (the Tibet Plateau and Himalaya heights) while, just as dangerous to India's west is Pakistan - an ally of the PRC. If India were to become embrioled in a long conventional border war with China do you believe that Pakistan would not make a grab for Indian Kashmir while India was in its time of peril?
India has so fumbled its diplomacy since independence that it does not have a single friend in the entire region where it is geographically domesciled.
About the only thing India has going for it in defence strategy is a gift of nature. The high altitude of the Himalaya passes and if the Tibet plateau behind it would make it devilishly hard logistically for the PRC to send an army down into northern India. For the same reason India would find it near impossible to overrun Tibet. Which is no doubt the reason why India has never been part of any Chinese empire of the past (or vice-versa
Despite its demographic size I see India as inherently a weak country. Two other points going against it is that in trhe past it has demonstrated itself to be no one's firm ally and it is led by myopic fools.
...and speaking of myopic fools and fickle allies: there is the problem of Mr. America First failing to provide effective leadership even for the United states. How could such a moral pygmy provide credible leadership for a multi-national alliance system in the Asia-Pacific region: with or without India included?
Obama in his day tried to build an economic'military pact including these same (Asia rim) countires (the trans-Pacific Partnership) for the purpose of containing China and had Trump wanted to he could have taken this up where Obama left off and by now brought it into being. Instead he scuppered it early in his first year in office on what I saw as a very slim pretext. I have read that Trump's reason (as distinct from his cover story) for so doing was that he loathed and detested Obama personally so much that upon assuming office the twit wanted to tear down all of Obama's acheivements out of sheer petty-spite. Never mind that some of those policy acheivements like the TPP might have had merit.
Please, don't get me started on Trump!