A Chinese Trifecta

Posted by: Phineas on January 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

On the occasion of the State visit by Chinese fascist junta leader President Hu Jintao, PJTV analysts Stephen Greene, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle look at the growth of Chinese economic and military power, and the challenges a rising dragon may pose for the US:

I thought Whittle’s observations on the Chinese military perceptive, particularly regarding the PLA’s focus on the top-line weapons without the support structure and the experience we and other great powers have had. And I agree with their “middle ground” approach to assessing the challenges posed by China: neither making light of them, nor going into a panic-driven depression on the assumption that all is lost. (Besides, preemptive surrender is France’s job.) For my own part, I see China not as our “great good friend” and not as a declared enemy (yet), but a strategic competitor whose assessments of its own interests often work at right angles to our perceptions of our interests. Diplomatic and economic competition and conflict is inevitable, but a shooting war is not. It all depends on how both sides manage their relations.

I do wish they had taken the time to talk more about China’s internal problems, because they’re serious and threaten China’s rise to Great-Power status and even its stability: banking regulations hiding bad loans that could make our situation look like chump change; rampant corruption that’s creating more and more popular resentment; the anger of rural workers who come to the cities to work and then don’t get paid; a ham-handed diplomacy that winds up scaring much of East and Southeast Asia into our arms; and an aging population that, as Mark Steyn has put it, means the nation will grow old before it grows rich.

One eye-popping fact: China has to add 17,000,000 jobs per year to keep up with population growth.

Like the Trifecta crew, I’m confident we’ll do fine in our competition with China… as long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “A Chinese Trifecta”


  1. Steve Skubinna says:

    I may be wrong (and that’s just a pro forma declaration – nobody better take it at face value!) but China is not interested in global reach. Their military ambitions are so far regional and will likely remain so. China historically has not been interested in maintaining influence beyond its borders.

    Sure, they’re the center of the universe, Celestial Throne, wellspring of civilization yadayadayada… but to them that’s always translated to sitting immobile in the center and grandly and passively receiving obeisance from the world’s barbarians.

    They are not suited temperamentally to global power, nor are they actually interested in it. What’s their proposal for Mideast peace? How do they plan to address disease, starvation and corruption in Africa? What are their plans for responsible environmental stewardship?

    Nada, zilch, zip, the big goose egg.

    They want aircraft carriers for the same reason the Soviets did, and the same reason the Russians maintain a carrier they don’t have the money, equipment, and expertise to operate – a carrier battle group is the ultimate expression of a first rate, globe girding military. They want to be international players in the world currency market because… because then everyone will have to acknowledge them as Big Boys.

    They want the trappings of leadership, not the actual burdens and responsibilities.

  2. Carlos says:

    “…I see China not as our “great good friend” and not as a declared enemy (yet)(still)…”

    There. Corrected it for you, Phineas. China has been our enemy since they ran Chiang Kaishek off the mainland, with no temporary or permanent interruption.

    ‘Tis best not to forget that. Just by sheer numbers they could overrun and do away with our country if desired.

    BTW, Steve, your analysis is interesting.

  3. Tango says:

    …China’s leaders will eventually be forced to export their military. For those who doubt me, take a look at their demographics. For many years the Chinese have been aborting female babies – in numbers that stagger the mind. They are already top heavy with huge numbers of young males. Young men with almost no hope of landing a Chinese wife. Numbers don’t lie.

    Kings of the East, indeed.

  4. RM says:

    2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner holds state dinner for man who has 2010 winner under house arrest. (Hot Air poll)