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China and War

Articles like this, "China Bulds a Smaller, Stronger Military" truly make me fear for the future. Most of the time I am a very happy optimistic person, aside from the occasional panic attack... But when I think about China, populous, becoming rich, demanding resources, smart, and seemingly very naturally aggressive, and able to target the US with nuclear ballistic missiles... Combined with coming years of peak oil production and resource conflicts... Well, the world doesn't seem like a very happy place anymore. I start thinking things like, well, maybe it's good we're in a war. It's good practice! Maybe we should give more money to the military... GAH! Peace and flowers! But China Scary! Brain short circuit. What are we going to do in the coming Chinese-Taiwan war? Stand back as Taiwan gets flattened? Intervene? And get how badly burned? Will Taiwan acquire it's own nuclear technology? Will Japan get sucked in? (Will that involve giant robot mecha? Woo! Wait...) Will the subsequent nuclear escalation end the world?

Is there a way to effect a peaceful cultural revolution? Is there a Chinese Sesame Street? Can we please get better at diplomacy? How long will it take China to become rich and decadent and soft? Will we have a Cold War with China? (Hey, does that mean I get to go to Mars?) Or a very short, very hot war?

I suppose it makes me understand, in a more visceral fashion, how the rest of the world sees the United States.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
angelbob
Apr. 13th, 2005 03:28 am (UTC)
China has certainly historically been less-than-aggressive. I don't know how much the conversion to Communism changed historical precedent in that regard, though.
katharos
Apr. 13th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
Noooooo! The scare mongering mind control rays must have control over my brain. Perhaps ruthlessly practical is a better label than aggressive? They certainly have many culturally fine qualities. I think maybe I should visit.
cheerfulchaotic
Apr. 13th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
I tend to think that they'd recognize the value in not bombing one of their prime markets. They seem to be taking a very peaceful and highly effective route to draining us of our currency by undervaluing their currency with a static exchange rate. Unlike a universal undervaluation, this is sustainable. It also makes us want to buy stuff from them, lots of stuff, and then more stuff, because their currency is undervalued, so their products are cheap. Meanwhile, our stuff is too expensive to sell to them. And they collect US currency. What is that good for? For buying anything and everything in the US, mostly. They do have an awfully high savings rate in China.

Don't worry, peak oil will suck big for them too.
katharos
Apr. 13th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
I'm glad I have such wonderful and rational friends. They comfort me when I am alone in the dark with my laptop in a hotel room in LA. :-D
bn29
Apr. 13th, 2005 05:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, China doesn't really need to worry about attacking the US physically unless we wake up to the imminent economic threat and decide to do something about it.

However, shit like this: "Chinese navy's fast-paced ship construction program includes landing vessels and troop transports. Two giant transports that were seen under construction in Shanghai's shipyards a year ago, for instance, have disappeared, presumably to the next stage of their preparation for deployment." Scares the living hell out of me for what it means to the Tiwan situation.

The only thing that's let me sleep well re: China in the last few years is the fact that they don't have a blue water navy of any appreciable size or power. However, the fact that they are finally building troop transports and buying DDGs from the Russians is a bad fucking sign. Now, those kilos aren't going to be a problem for any modern US sub, but I don't know what kind of sonar and countermeasures those DDGs have, nor how good their SSBNs are at playing quiet. I'd like to think that each one of them has an 886 or Seawolf on its tail, but who knows, right?

Sigh. Diplomacy would be a good thing. But once they've sucked out whatever economic juice the can from us in order to jumpstart their own internal economy, short of a provoking a world-shattering nukefest or all out war, I fear there's not much for the US to do to keep them from whatever military ambitions they might be looking for. And that economic collapse will suck royally - have no doubt.

I expect 2030-2040 will not be so much fun.

I blame the Russians for not caring about anything other than getting some cold hard cash for their weapons systems and the US people (myself included) for not understanding the national economic ramifications of their spending choices.
bn29
Apr. 13th, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
"I'd like to think that each one of them has an 886 or Seawolf on its tail, but who knows, right?"


Er... sorry, that should be 688, not 886. I'm lisdexic tonight...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )