Sunday, December 31, 2006

[china] the scope of the threat [part 2]

Alliances

China pursues alliances with other countries for obvious reasons. At present, it feels it must avoid being dragged into local conflicts about spheres of influence, or struggles over natural resources. Thus some more recent examples include:

China - Australia

China – Pakistan

China – Russia - India

China – India

China – Taiwan

China – Africa

China – Iran

Meanwhile, China concludes energy alliances and expressions of mutual friendship with the US, assuring the latter that all is well. The reasoning is fairly obvious.

Dr. Yan Xuetong, Director of the Centre for Foreign Policy at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), China's largest international research institute, warned in an article in 1997 that the probability of China's avoiding war for at least 10 more years will increase the more it also avoids any confrontation with at least two of the other major powers and as long as certain policy goals are maximized:

· annually increase in exports up to 9 %
· avoiding simultaneous confrontation.
When the U.S. leadership finally realizes that China's power is about to surpass hers, it will form a coalition to strangle to death the rising power.

President Jiang Zemin advocated that China's military programs be focused on the potential Revolution in Military Affairs which will not "mature" until at least 2030, rather than improving current weapons; by which time China, or possibly Japan, would score highest in the world in CNP and would be well positioned, as General Mi Zhenyu has written, to "get ahead of all the others".

China's well-connected ultranationalist author, He Xin, advocates on the other hand, that China should align with every currently anti-American nation in the world. He Xin's critics, however, project a sharp decline in the global role of the US, asserting that in two decades or so:

· The US will inevitably decline to one of five powers - Japan, the European Union, Russia, and China [each equal to the United States], with the United States, Russia, and China having nuclear equivalence.

· Within two or three decades, the problem will solve itself. And so patience and caution are wiser than aggressive coalition building.

Liu Jinghua, of CASS, warns that by 2020, the policy of "concealing abilities and biding time" will not be sufficient and "once the flood begins, we must have a Great Wall which cannot collapse."

One part of this Great Wall must be a partnership with Russia, to defeat Western containment, aimed at restricting access to capital markets and technology, promoting Western values and using military power " as the core" against China. China just needs not to provoke the current hegemony until the Great Wall can be ready.

Zhang Wenmu, of the CICIR, says that because of America's desperate need for new oil and gas resources, especially in Central Asia, it has interfered in the Tibet issue, as part of a larger scheme involving the enlargement of NATO and the redefinition of the US-Japan Defence Guidelines.

An example of this is NATO presence in Afghanistan, ostensibly to fight the Taliban but also strategically placing it so that it can hedge China in on its western frontier.

According to Zhang, US strategy was always to "follow the oil". In World War II, it did not intervene until Japan moved toward oil. Similarly, before the Gulf War, the United States ignored Iraqi expansion towards the North and West but when Saudi and Kuwait oil was threatened, the US went to war.

Zhang writes that, in 1998, the United States had a "two arms" strategy to contain both Russia (with NATO enlargement) and China (with the new Japan Defense Guidelines and promoting the China Threat Theory).

In addition, Zhang predicts that the United States wants to screen off both Chinese and Russian access to Central Asian oil and gas.

If there is internal turmoil in Tibet or further north in Muslim Xinjiang, Zhang predicts that the United States will try to set up an international no-fly zone, as it did after the Gulf War, thus "dismembering" Tibet and Xinjiang, the hub of China's geopolitical position and causing the loss of the high plateau, which provides natural protection to the west.

Therefore the development of its western regions is paramount and concentration on numerical superiority in land forces will prevail and act to make the US think twice.

China must also develop sea lanes and control them, thus circumventing any blockage on its land routes. The essential problem here is that it has never really been a maritime nation, it’s vast land forces its main strength.

Another aspect China feels it must look at is the “strategic misdirection” of the US which has won it victories before.

More on that in Part 3.

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