Aug 01

Obama: “Does not seek to contain China.” Think again.

Written by guest on Sunday, August 1st, 2010 at 11:46 am
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Going back to 11/09 when Obama made his historical trip to Shanghai and Beijing, things seems to go pretty well for both countries. Obama said: “The United States does not seek to contain China. On the contrary, the rise of a strong and prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations.” Perhaps Obama spoke too soon.

It looks like 2010 will be the worst diplomatic relations between China and the US since 1989. It started with the censorship issue with google, then trying to isolate China from Iran’s with its nuclear program, the issue with the sinking of the Cheonan resulted in war games between South Korea and US in the Yellow sea. Perhaps these issues will come and pass, but there are more distressing issues in Southeast Asia.




According to this articles, there are several things happened between US and several countries in Southeast Asia. US has resumed relations with the Kopassus, Indonesia’s special forces, which had past history of atrocities and assassinations. Relations with Malaysia has improved despite Anwar Ibrahim being put on trial for sodomy. Laos (an ally of China) dispatched dispatched its highest delegation to the US since 1975. The Obama administration has ended Bush administration policy towards Myanmar by trying to reach out to that nation. US is reengaging military relations with Cambodia.


Recently, Hillary Clinton came into Vietnam as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the 15th anniversary of relations between Vietnam and the US. Furthermore, she also went to the ASEAN meeting and said, “The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea.” She also wanted to make land disputes in the Spratly Island as a discussion against China. The last time when the US was this engaged in Southeast China was during the Vietnam War.

So does Obama want to contain China? It is anybody’s guess, but it seems that US already have discussions of how to counterbalance China’s influence over Southeast Asia even before Obama was elected as president.


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71 Responses to “Obama: “Does not seek to contain China.” Think again.”

  1. jon Says:

    1. I dont know about CONTAIN, but certainly COUNTERBALANCE.

    2. This is geopolitics, where there are losers and winners in this huge global board game, and both US and China want to be on the winning side. And in the end, US = China, in terms of their shady attempts at hegemony and snagging allies. Let’s see what China and US/Western powers have in common:

    a. Acquiring allies that have participated in repression and cruel violations of human rights
    b. “Securing borders” by doing some repulsive stuff (US deports Mexicans to their poverty, CHina deports North Koreans to their torture and death)
    c. emits huge pollution and ESPECIALLY, tries to deny or distract from the fact that they are huge polluters and oil consumers
    d. Support for widely-condemned states who recently have had blood on their hands, and blocked UN condemnation (China protects N Korea, US protects Israel)
    e. Tries to bully neighbors because they think it is their “backyard” and they must rule it (China bullies in Spratly Islands; US bullies Latin America)
    f. both countries think they are heroes/victims and the other is the bad guys (China thinks it is anti-colonial and victim of imperialism; US thinks it is a freedom-fighter and force of good)

    I could go on and on. So: Does US want to contain, or at least COUNTERBALANCE China’s regional hegemony? Yes. But will China, given enough time, will do the same in the future to other countries, inc. US? No doubt.

    US = China = imperialists and hypocrites who seek to rule the world.


  2. pug_ster Says:


    While I agree that China is no saint, but I would not put it to a degree like the US. China’s ‘core’ interests are regional, while US’s ‘core’ interests seems to be everywhere. While it seems that China supporting North Korea is bad, if China decides to pull out aid to North Korea will be much worse, millions of North Korea will probably die of starvaton and regional conflict will probably spill out to its borders. China’s interests is stable neighbors, even if it is people like KJL running North Korea.


    As for the Spratly Islands, China and the ASEAN declared to peacefully resolve territory disputes pertaining the Spratly Islands in 2002. And then all of the sudden, this year the US somehow portray China as the aggressor.

    As for China wants to overtake the US as the world’s policeman? I highly doubt it, they have never done it during their 5000 years of history and if they decided to do so, it will probably be the beginning of their downfall.

  3. jxie Says:

    A running joke in the Chinese Internet forums and BBSes is calling China the “little white rabbit” (小白兔). “Little white rabbit” is a children’s song historically sung with slightly different beats but the same tune, in different areas. It’s about this hapless little white rabbit who must keep the door shut to block the big bad grey wolf out, regardless how sweet talking the big bad grey wolf is. The variation of this new version of the “little white rabbit” is that it has developed steel teeth of its own, and quietly turns into a meat-eating monster, but still has that honest and hapless look.

    The US strategy shown in H. Clinton’s recent moves, is practically directly from The Grand Chessboard written by Brzezinski. Its central thesis is that there shall not a dominant power emerging from Eurasia, which will eventually challenge the US. The strategy involves hugging Britain vis-a-vis a unified Europe, expanding NATO vis-a-vis Russia, allying with South Korea/Japan, supporting Taiwan/ASEAN vis-a-vis China, supporting Pakistan vis-a-vis India, supporting India vis-a-vis China, etc. The strategy is as old as human civilization. Ming had played it beautifully in areas north of the Great Wall, until Qing emerged.

    However, all great empires eventually fall. The further it expands, the quicker it collapses, simply because the energy it takes at the late stage to sustain the empire, is extremely taxing.

    Would you call Tang Taizong, who was called Heavenly Khagan (天可汗), a world police chief? Go figure, some in China now are researching and branding, get this, 天可汗制度 (Heavenly Khagan System).

  4. jon Says:


    thank you for your comments.

    First: i think my original comment was too strong and almost emotional, this was a mistake and i apologize for the tone.

    Second, I have to disagree that China’s interest will remain regional for very long. THe difference here must be made clear: the US’s foreign policy is often driven by moral superiority. China is self-interest pragmatism (which is not to say US is not self-interested pragmatically). However, while the fundamental motive may be different, how much different are the end results? In fact, we ALREADY see that China is supporting odious dictators in Africa and Asia (KJL being only the most famous example, there are many others. I am sure you know all abuot them). That, by DEFINITION, is more than “regional intervention” to the level of “worldwide influence.”

    I ask you: what is the difference between European colonialism of 1800s in Africa, versus that of China today? Answer: China does not coat it in religious nor moral terms (“we must spread Christinanity” or “we must civilize them”) but in mere economic terms (the all-time Chinese favorite phrase, “win-win” to describe Sino-African economic relations). But of course, we know it is not exactly “win-win”. And we know that just because the African leader says “I welcome the hand of China” does not mean his people concur.

    As for your comment on KJL: while I agree that maintaining stability is key, HOW do you defend sending refugees back to their torture chambers of n. Korea? Is deportation necessary to maintain stability, knowing that even KJL knows the borders are porous, knowing that refugees escaping = less mouths to feed in that famine-stricken country?

    As for your comment on Spratly isles: if China’s so-called “peaceful resolution” (note how obsessive China is with the use of the adjective “peaceful” even when it is not so) is so successful, why are so many neighboring Asian countries so threatened by China that they actually WELCOME the US’s participation?

    And finally, remember: I am not defending the US’s action, so much as criticizing China’s “victimization” and “leader of the anti-colonialist developing world” facade that the Chinese keep repeating to themselves and others, to justify their hegemonic posturing.

  5. jxie Says:


    FWIW, China has its own set of moral superiority narratives. All African nations, in dealing with China today, at the very least still maintain their own sovereignties, militaries and judicial finalities that they didn’t have in dealing with the European colonialists up to the WW2. Those are quite significant for most human societies, don’t you think?

    By odious dictators, I gather Zimbabwe, Sudan & Myanmar are high on your list. The funny thing is, AU’s take on Zimbabwe and Sudan, and ASEAN’s take on Myanmar are far closer to China’s than the West’s. Often time, small nations find a rising power is easier to deal with than a declining power, because the former is less hubristic and more willing to listen & cooperate. You can see that in the US vs the UK circa early 1900s, and today China vs the US.

  6. jon Says:

    Certainly China is doing more good to Africa’s long term development (mainly, infrastructure as well as an alternative partner to the moralistic West) than what happened in 1800s (also, I made a slight mistake: I should have referred to the subvert colonialism of the post-WW2 1900s, rather than the more blatant version of the 1800s). But my point still stands: China’s influence is not merely regional but global, and like the West, it will keep supporting unpopular regimes if it means extracting resources, at the expense of the country’s people’s well-being.

    Thanks for the response, by the way.

  7. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Jon:
    I like how you’ve characterized things. Americans go the world over in an effort to further her self-interests, while using more warm/fuzzy, lofty-sounding but cringe-inducing pretexts. China is also starting to go the world over in an effort to further her self-interests, but the PR effort leans towards a more pragmatic angle. Similar substance, different sugar-coating.

  8. pug_ster Says:

    Jon #4,

    Thanks for replying, I don’t take it personally and no need to apologize as you keep the discussion civil.

    The thing is that nobody knows what’s going to happen to China for the next decade. You may be right that they might become a regional hegemony but I am just making my prediction. I think that China’s relatively weak military and social problems within China, I think it will take at least 20 years to see if China can tip the scales but even then, I doubt that a strong military is both a blessing and a curse (you can look at the US as an example.)

    The term “Human rights” is a term that goes both ways. When North Korean Citizens starve to death did the West help out the people in North Korea? In Zimbabwe, the IMF decided they want their money back, as a result hyperinflation happened to their currency and people left in droves in neighboring countries, did the West help? In Sudan, why did the West fund the rebel forces to fight against the Sudanese government? Personally, I think holding China on ‘Human Rights’ issues in those countries is just plain BS.

    As for the ASEAN nations, I think the reality is very much different from what the Washington Post described. The ASEAN nations will definitely welcome any economic help or moral support from the US, but I don’t think it will change the relations between them and China. Once the US does not have anything to sell to these ASEAN nations, they will probably turn to China. I think it is certainly cheaper for China to ‘bribe’ other countries by helping them to build infrastructure than to build up China’s army which will piss the other countries off.

  9. foobar Says:


    I ask you: what is the difference between European colonialism of 1800s in Africa, versus that of China today?

    One not so subtle aspect I think you might have left out is, military control and deterrence.

    Let’s not even consider the 1800s colonialism to today’s China. Instead, let’s consider today’s US (and to a lesser degree, a few other western countries) to today’s China.

    # of overseas military bases:
    US: >800
    China: 0

    # of overseas military personnel: (excluding UN peacekeeping missions)
    US: 130k (further excluding the 200+k in Iraq and Afghan)
    China: 0

    # of countries with military bases:
    US: >130
    China: 0

  10. jon Says:


    I think you misunderstood me. I didn’t mean to point out China’s deficiencies in human rights. To be honest, I am far more pro-China when it comes to hypocritical Westerners harping on about HR, esp. when, as you mentioned, their own countries fail so badly even today. Rather, my comment on N Korea was actually to point out only one of different examples of how, in the name of China’s self interest, it will exercise its large and (and unlike the US, growing) influence, to the severe detriment of the people of other countries. In other words, “peaceful rise” of China is a myth, and will become MORE of a myth as China keeps growing. And I drew an anology to US deporting of Mexicans to make a point: perhaps hegemonic China is not so different from hegemonic US after all.

    as for the tremendous global military presence of the US: how about for the fact that some of the host countries WANT that presence? For example, say what you want about Taiwan and South Korea, but they feel threatened (and RIGHTFULLY so) by China to the extent that they spend billions to buy American arms (in the case of Taiwan) or reserve land and resources for tens of thousands of American personnel (in the case of SOuth Korea). Heck, if the Vietnam War didn’t exist, today’s Vietnam would most likely have some kind of military arrangement with the US, JUST because of the threat they sense from their Big Brother above them. And back in the Cold War, West Germany was what South Korea is today.

  11. Tanmay Says:

    Come on guys there is no arguing against jon’s point of view!

    China is an aspiring super power. The only way to achieve this is to obtain resources and support everywhere possible.
    The US did this, Russia did this and now China is doing the same.

    The only difference is that China’s current resources and the opposition to it from the more powerful Americo-NATO block do not allow it to do in quite the same blatant way.
    So China is more subtle and quiet in it’s approach.

    Your main argument seems to be that China is only interested in regional stability and does not really seek to be active at the Global stage.
    Well, the fact is that China is still a budding and not a “mature” super-power. Give it time and it will be very “active” at the Global stage.
    Frankly I don’t find any reason why China shouldn’t extend her influence all over the world. This the only way China can ever be a super-power (Looking at the histories of every other super-power).

    There is no need for China to have sovereignty over other nations as long as it gets to do what it needs to in that country!

    You are wrong to state that China doesn’t have military bases in other countries. China is building a huge Naval base in Myanmar. Here are links that prove it and show other expansionist designs of China –

    The first link might be biased but the other two are above reproach!

    Two reasons why China doesn’t have more military bases at other places in the world:
    1) China doesn’t have the military resources of the US.
    2) China hasn’t yet acquired regional hegemony which is it’s first priority. For this it doesn’t need have military bases in other countries. Wait for this to happen and then let’s see how China reacts.


  12. pug_ster Says:

    @Jon 25,

    The term “Peaceful Rise” comes from that China became powerful not from wars and conflicts, but rather from peace and cooperation. The West always points to China for human rights issues on many things, including deportation. US deports Mexicans is not a human rights issues while China deports North Korean is an human rights issue.

    About your second paragraph. US occupied Okinawa after WWII,US occupied South Korean’s DMZ after the Armistice. Despite alot of protests from both countries for them to leave, somehow the US found a way to stay there. Also, China have never threatened South Korea and Japan since the 1950’s. As for Taiwan, China offered to remove missiles pointing to taiwan in exchange for steps toward military trust between the 2 countries and Taiwan refused.

    @Tanmay 11,
    I never said that China wants to be a superpower, contrary of what you hear from the Western Media.

  13. foobar Says:

    I don’t think you are showing I’m wrong, per se. None of your links actually supports your statement of China “building a huge Naval base in Myanmar” above reproach. The 3rd isn’t even there any more (shaky even for wikipedia’s taste?). The 2nd says itself that “Few of these reports drew on hard evidence or gave verifiable sources to support their claims”.
    Even if you do find good sources to confirm it, “building” is hardly the same as “having” a base with soldiers stationed.
    On the other hand, the Chinese has been “building” this base at Hainggyi Island, Burma for friggin 18 years, if your above reproach sources are to believe. The sat images on Google Maps, Bing Maps or whatever your favorite map is are far more recent than that. Is their any discernible structure you could point out as part of this huge naval base?

    But all that is beside the point. 1800s colonialism was based on military conquering and occupation, and couldn’t go on without it. How could military not be a distinction between China’s Africa venture of today and colonialism of 1800s? Unless you think Chinese military invasions in Africa are imminent and inevitable. Based on the two reasons you gave, perhaps you are saying that China’s African venture is contingent upon building its overseas military presence, it just hasn’t reached the level of the US yet? Well in that case, would you also say 1800s colonialism is much, much, much more closer to today’s US practices than to today’s Chine ones, whose military reach with a base ‘being built’ is at an infantile stage compared to the American’s?

  14. Tanmay Says:


    Your second paragraph does put things in a new perspective for me. Though I still see both countries trying to project their power as much as possible, there is a difference so far in their methodologies.

    But the question is, Is your objection against the methodology or the expansion itself?

  15. foobar Says:

    The Japanese and Koreans also WANT US military personnel who commit rape, murder, assault and robbery to be tried and punished accordingly. Has the US seen it fit to allow for that?
    The ‘fear factor’ is no less strong in the Phillipines than say Singapore, but the US left the Subic bay anyway.
    What these countries WANT has little bearing on what the US actually does.

  16. jon Says:


    I would argue that both the Mexican and N Korean examples are human rights issue, but that the former is more related to economical reasons and teh second is about a fear of instability, not only in china but among the N Korean populace.

    As for the protests of South Korea and Japan: in South Korea, most people understand the need for American presence. I am less certain about Japan, but both countries understand that China is not their friend but a rival, when it comes to security issues, while the US is a friend. I dont mean to put it so black and white, but the Cheonan incident is only the latest example of how China will put Chinese internal stability above the security of SKorea and Japan, EVEN if it means NKorea gets away with killing 41 soldiers, and will most likely TRY AGAIN, because China allows it to be unpunished. Result? it is up to South Korea, Japan, and US to put sanctions to teach N Korea the consequences of killing soldiers.

    And I have been disgusted by Russian and Chinese “experts” refusing to admit what the whole world knows: the Cheonan incident was from a NKorean torpedo, not from a stray mine or an “accident” or some bullshit. That is a direct insult not just to the 41 soldiers and their families who suffer, but the general security of the victimized nation. I ask you: If Taiwan did the same to a Chinese military vessel, and US protected Taiwan by refusing to recognize the culpability of Taiwan, would Chinese people say “oh it’s okay, in the name of stability and harmony, we should let Taiwan get away with killing our soldiers”??

    That is what I mean by negative consequences of Chinese hegemony to some of her neighbors. They remind other Asian countries of how China will act, just like how Western powers protect their own puppets, to the detriment of other countries (and yes, NKorea is a puppet of China, even if it is hard to control and unpredictable). ANd you can BET that other neighbors like Vietnam, Phillippines, etc etc are observing the Chinese actions on Cheonan and are somewhat wary of similar things happening to them in the future.

  17. pug_ster Says:


    The issue with the Koreas is a sad sad indeed. While US and South Korea is hell bent on getting rid of KJL’s regime, China wants to stabilize the situation and North Korea has been asking for negotiations on a peace treaty with South Korea. While many people here in the US believe that North Korea sank the Cheonan, a good number of people out of all the places don’t believe that they did it: South Korea.


    About sanctions: since when sanctions was ever successful? Sanctions was only successful in prolong suffering of its people, and not the rulers. Chinese hegemony to some of its neighbors? Right. US has its military presence in South Korea and Japan while Taiwan wants to buy overpriced US arms. Personally I think China has the shorter end of the stick.

    FYI: Here’s a 4 year poll of South Koreans of what they think of the US and North Korea, You’ll be surprised.


  18. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    The LA Times article does describe some skeptics within South Korea regarding the “official” version of events. However, the article seems pretty silent on any speculation about the prevalence of such skepticism. It also raises some questions about the skeptics themselves. How ironic for the skeptics to be subjected to skepticism.

    The poll you linked has some major issues. First of all, it’s 4.5 years old. Second, it’s a sample of 1000 “young people”; what happened to the opinion of “old people”? Third, unusual for a poll of any substance to be reported without confidence intervals for the point estimates…makes me wonder about how rigorous this poll was. Fourth, the title of the article is more than a little misleading. It’s not that South Koreans would prefer living in North Korea; it’s simply that, among these 1000 young folks from 4.5 years ago, a plurality would want “Seoul (to) side with North Korea” in the event of a US invasion. Furthermore, it’s not clear what this ‘siding with NK’ actually means. All in all, I’m not sure what you think this poll says, but I don’t think the poll goes very far towards saying it.

  19. jon Says:

    First of all, I think you are misunderstanding what Koreans in SKorea are thinking, so I will help:

    1. “South Korea is hell bent on getting rid of KJL’s regime.” This is wrong. They are not “hell bent” on anything that destabilizes the peninsula by throwing off the regime, many Koreans are smarter than you make them out to be: they know the security and stability consequences of the regime dying in an unexpected, shocking manner.

    2. South Korean opinion is not something you can generalize like that. SK Cheung explains a bit, but lemme explain more: young Koreans are more likely to be liberal, which means being more soft on NKorea and antagonistic to the US, compared to the older generation who fought in the Korean War (and thereby saved South Korea from becoming a NKorea-like Stalinist nightmare, under the hegemonic shadow of Mao’s China). So to have a poll that asks only young Koreans, has very biased credibility. Also, remember that 2006 was when good inter-Korean relations seemed very rosy, but of course, KJL was playing us all as fools.

    3. Speaking of left-center, the silly conspiracists do exist, and believe that NKorea is not culpable. These fools have spread malicious rumor on the internet, have FAILED to present conclusive evidence explaining their conspiracy, and have FAILED to explain how the findings of the international investigative team are somehow wrong. Neither, I remind you, have the Chinese or Russian “experts”, which, I repeat, is more evidence of how “what is good for Chinese security” can conflict with “what is good for the security of Chinese neighbors’ security.”

    Also, if you seriously believe in this foolish conspiracy, you are also insulting the findings of the international team, and making a mockery of the heroic soldiers that gave their lives for the security of their country. I repeat: if Taiwan did the same, and the US tried to cover for Taiwan, would the Chinese stay calm for the sake of “stability”? Of course not, they would demand justice.

    4. Sanctions do not necessarily harm NKorean peasants. Lemme explain:
    a) do you know what happened to the hundreds of millions of dollars of food aid that SKorea gave to teh North during the two previous SKorean presidencies, under the Sunshine policy of being soft on NKorea? Lemme give you a hint: KJL fed his own soldiers, and sold – not gave away – the rest to his people. By being soft on NKorea, not only do you NOT help the NKorean starving poor, but also HELP the NKorean elites and their soldiers, thus prolonging their rule AND the suffering of the NKorean people.
    b) The measures taken against NKorea is not just that, it also aims to shut down the illicit money flow from foreign bank accounts, with which the regime uses to buy itself luxury cars and European wines. The SAME MONEY that the two previous SKorean presidents gave in the failed Sunshine policy of being soft on NKorea.

    5. I have no comment on Taiwan other than to say: I support China’s effort to reunify with Taiwan peacefully, and hope to see the day that China and Taiwan become one. I want China and Taiwan to succeed and rise – together.

    haha, but the cruel hypocrisy of China is, China will make sure the Korean peninsula never unifies, so that China will use its hegemony to use NKorea as a buffer state against SKorea. KJL regime may die, but NKorea will never die, for it is in Chinese interest to keep the Koreans divided.

    Chinese hegemony indeed.

  20. Josef Says:

    “The term “Peaceful Rise” comes from that China became powerful not from wars and conflicts, but rather from peace and cooperation. ”
    I am not challenging this statement in general, but for the China-Taiwan relationship, it needs some comment: You know that China threatens with war in case Taiwan declares independence. No peace and cooperation but blunt black-mailing.

    Also your statement about removing the missiles needs more explanation: (I copy that from the KMT friendly China post):
    Several Taiwan lawmakers dismissed China’s offer as propaganda.
    “Of course the two sides can discuss anything under the ‘one China’ policy, because if we accept that policy, it means that we surrender to China and are willing to become China’s son,” Opposition lawmaker Keh Chien-ming said told reporters.
    Lin Yu-fang, a lawmaker of the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party, said that China knew Taiwan would not accept talks because “all Taiwanese” would “rise up against” Taiwan President Ma Ying jeou.

    There was no immediate response to this offer as it came unexpected. At the moment the consequences of this offer are very unclear, i.e. the propaganda worked or backfired, but it definitely did not help improve the relation. If the intention was to jeopardize a potential arm sale from the U.S., I would say it failed.

  21. pug_ster Says:

    @Jon 19,

    1) I say ‘Hell bent” is because almost all financial and economic ties are cut by South Korea, including sending the necesary things like food aid.

    2) You have proof in terms of some kind of poll of what people in South Korea think, let me know. Otherwise, you are making things up and my proof stands.

    3) The La times article explains why it is not beyond a doubt that North Korea attacked the Cheonan and more than 20% of South Koreans actually believe that North Korea didn’t do it and it is not some kind of conspiracy theory. If it is an insult to the ‘international team,’ their evidence is just as convincing as yellowcake.

    4) I know your theory of sanctions sounds nice, but it doesn’t produce any results, in fact, it will make the situation worse.

    5) You will probably hear many ‘China’ Experts say that China doesn’t want the Koreas to unify. However, if you have any proof from Chinese leaders or government, let me know.

    @Josef 20,
    I know that you live in Taiwan so you probably know more about Taiwan than me. But I will probably say that this is due to mistrust between Taiwan and China. But I think this is due to what jxie mentioned in #3 about The grand chessboard. US’ influence on South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and now the Southeast Asian nations against China. I think it is only time when China can win over the US over influence in those countries. We will see.

  22. jon Says:

    1. I already explained what happens to the food aid, and why despite 10 years of the Sunshine Policy, famine is set to continue and KJL is as uncooperative as ever. Please read my comment again, then you see why food aid is not like giving a poor some food.

    2. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/06/24/2010062400430.html
    http://people-press.org/commentary/?analysisid=67 ….pay attention to the age-related content on this one.

    3. “”You could put that mark on an iPhone and claim it was manufactured in North Korea,”” haha I remember this “expert.” Where was HIS proof? So anyways, I read that LA article, and while I will be the first to admit that the authoritarian Skorean president’s actions are so opaque that they fueled the conspiracists, the opposition has yet to provide concrete, not circumstancial evidence, that backs up their conspiracy:


    ANd in case you didnt know: the SKorean president initially AVOIDED laying any fingers until after the investigation was concluded.

    And as a final comment on American military presence on SKorea: let the Koreans decide their military future. I am amused whenever any Chinese says their presence on Korea is proof of US colonialism…hypocritical, since by making such statements, they assume Koreans cant make their own future for their own security, as if they were mere pawns rather than full-fledged actors, and then turn to THREATS when they lose their $$$ flow from South.

    4. Results?? LOL. So what was the last ten years under KDJ and RMY presidencies – a raging success? The Keumkangsan incident is further evidence that NKorea cooperates for the money and aid from SKorea when it benefits their lavish lifestyles.

    5. you conveniently leave out the fact that Chinese govt officials are not transparent, so they will never say out loud a divided Korea benefits China.

    But it does. I can list them the ways it is so, but if you thought up the reasons yourselfs, I wouldn’t need to do it for you. So please do that first, before you claim ignorance.

    In conclusion: do you at least see why South Korea and other Asians feel at least a bit threatened by China? Harmonious rise, ha….yes, and I believe in world peace!

    PS: None of this is an attack on you, so please dont take anyting I say personally, it is just my critique on what seems increasingly popular Chinese bias among the Chinese people. Americans can be the same, misunderstanding why they have so many enemies, and asking stupid questions like “Why do they hate our freedom?” and “Why do the Chinese defend their evil govt?” I hope that China grows not only physically but mentally, and see things not just from their perspective, and understand why fellow nations would feel the way they do.

  23. jon Says:

    A typo mistake. This part: “and then turn to THREATS when they lose their $$$ flow from South” is supposed to follow immediately after this part: “The Keumkangsan incident is further evidence that NKorea cooperates for the money and aid from SKorea when it benefits their lavish lifestyles.”

    Apologies for the confusion!

  24. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster:
    you and Charles both have a curious tendency of declaring that you “stand by” your points, even after they’ve been rendered into steaming piles. If you have a more contemporary, better randomized, and more scientifically legitimate poll asking a more concrete question, now might be a good time to whip it out, seeing as you’re just standing around anyway. But the wimpy poll you showed us doesn’t “prove” a whole heckuva lot.

    Oh, so 20% of South Koreans don’t think NK did it? Fabulous. Could you help me out here: what’s 100% – 20%?

  25. jon Says:

    pugster and other pro-Chinese, lemme ask you a sincere, honest question, and I mean no offense:

    Do you honestly believe China’s security interests cannot threaten the security of some of its neighbors? Do you honestly beileve that the China Rise is as “harmonious” as the CCP would like to say it is? And finally, do you seriously believe that US military alliance is colonialism and nothing more?

    Because you give me the impression that you foolishly think that China is the only, or the main, victim. And remember, I AGREED with you that the US seeks to counterbalance Chinese influence, because US loves influence and hegemony. But I am saying: so does China. Even at the expense of some countries.

    This is a fact: I love China. I love the fact that millions have been lifted from poverty. I desperately WANT an alternative to the Western model for economics, diplomacy, etc etc. I really want China to succeed. And I am seeing the good that China has done, not only to itself but to others, like certain sectors of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. But that won’t stop me from criticizing its supporters’ stance when I think I detect hypocrisy, fallacy, or blinding pro-China bias.

    In summary: It’s not like I am accusing China of having WORSE motives than the old European empires, or the old Persian and Roman empires. Rather, I am saying that China’s motives are the SAME.

  26. Rhan Says:

    “Rather, I am saying that China’s motives are the SAME.”
    On what basis you believe China’s motive are the same? Any historical facts to substantiate your claim?

  27. pug_ster Says:

    @Jon 22

    1) I don’t see the logic of your statement. If they stopped sending food to North Korea, only its citizens will suffer. Whereas if they send food, the citizens won’t suffer as much. The North Korean propaganda machine will blame the government of South Korea, US and Japan for not doing so. That’s why not sending food to North Korea is counterproductive.

    2) My complaint is not about the age of the people who disagreed with the government’s line. Rather I am surprised of the number of people who disagreed with the government’s stance despite the length of the government goes thru by silencing dissentants and going thru all the effort to try to convince the public that North Korea did it.

    3) The joke about the ‘North Korean made iphone’ is the weak evidence that was brought forth. From the article that you mentioned, most of the people who disagreed that North Korea was responsible said that they don’t know who did it. And when you said “the opposition has yet to provide concrete, not circumstancial evidence, that backs up their conspiracy:” that is not the point.

    4) I would say it is a success not because of diplomatic reasons, but famine was avoided as the result of the Sunshine policy.

    5) Yeah you might be right on this one.

    No I don’t see how China is a worse threat as you didn’t explain it. China has been talking to its neighbors about peace while US is talking about war. Just look at the US trying to pushing Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan with its TMD (Theater Missile Defense) system, so US can have MAD (mutually assured destruction) in the Asia region. Only South Korea refused to do so.

    In perspective to this topic about ‘containing’ China, I think China did make a mistake of saying that SouthEast China is of their ‘core’ interest. I think China should’ve used the backchannel of diplomacy to other ASEAN countries in order to resolve their issues.

  28. jon Says:

    1. I already said who really benefits from South Korean aid. And SKorea did so much more than give just food…man, all that waste, going through KJL. I feel sorry for the SKorean taxpayers. Lemme ask you a question: why, despite the fact the current tensions, NKorea desperately wants to keep Gae-song compound running, and to restart Keumgangsan? (yes, this question is relevant to how misguided the Sunshine policy was)

    2. You challenged me on my assertion that young people are the most pro-NKorea on the issue, and why your original survey link was biased and misguided. THus I provided my two links, to answer your challenge. “the length of the government goes thru by silencing dissentants”…I cant argue with this. I agree, the current Lee president is an ass.

    3. “And when you said “the opposition has yet to provide concrete, not circumstancial evidence, that backs up their conspiracy:” that is not the point.” No, that is the point. Tell the Chinese and Russians to present an investigation themselves that challenges the original investigation. Until then, it is conspiracy. No proof and all smoke, so to speak.

    4. “famine was avoided as the result of the Sunshine policy.” Proof? There is no real indication that Sunshine policy truly fed the starving, because throughout the years it seems the food went to…..well, read my point #1 again.

    5. Nowhere did I say China is a WORSE threat (compared to..what?), in fact, I said the direct opposite.

    6. “US trying to pushing Taiwan, South Korea” Ok, I am less familiar with Japan, so I will give you that, but FORCE SKorea and Taiwan? Please. This is no involuntary colonial process going on, dude. Skorea and Taiwan sticks with US in security issues, because they feel China and Chinese actions is more a threat than not a threat.

    7. “US can have MAD (mutually assured destruction) in the Asia region” Wow, I can’t believe you actually said that. No, seriously. That is like an American saying that China wants to spread authoritarianism around teh world, or some other crap. Please, get a grip.

    8. Lemme give you one more example of Chinese hypocrisy: if the US-ROK military exercises off the Sea of Japan is a threat to the region’s stability, as the Chinese contend, DESPITE the fact that NKorea provoked it, then WHY is China doing its own massive exercises in the Yellow Sea as a REACTION to the US-ROK one?

  29. ChinkTalk Says:

    I have some pictures I would like to post on the comments section, would someone be kind enough to show me how to do it.

  30. Steve Says:

    @ pug_ster #27: Your argument #1 is very similar to Japan’s argument against the USA in August 1941 when the American embargoes were imposed.

  31. scl Says:

    The debtor nation tries to contain the creditor nation – does it make any sense? The last time U. S. tried to contain someone – Soviet Union, it ended up killing and maiming millions in Southeast Asia, and would have achieved absolutely nothing had Nixon not visited China. Mrs. Clinton talked like China was the only problem for the South China Sea. But in factor there are conflicts among the ASEAN nations themselves. Today’s China simply cannot be contained, because she is so well connected with the rest of world. China does not rely on sea lanes exclusively for energy and trade. The new “silk road” and pipelines from Central Asia and Russia are equally important.

  32. scl Says:

    # 19 says:
    ” haha, but the cruel hypocrisy of China is, China will make sure the Korean peninsula never unifies, so that China will use its hegemony to use NKorea as a buffer state against SKorea. KJL regime may die, but NKorea will never die, for it is in Chinese interest to keep the Koreans divided. ”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. China opposes only American military presence in South Korea and Japan, not Korea reunion. China supports Korea reunion without reservation, because it means the total and permanent withdrawal of U.S. troops and nuclear weapons from East Asia.

  33. pug_ster Says:


    You brought up a point here. During the cold war years, the US lost alot of creditability as well. The CIA backed militant groups came and bit the US in the end. The Latin/South American and Southeast Asian countries formed an alliance to try to devoid themselves from US influences. To a certain extent, these countries now welcome US backed economic aid but not the CIA covert ops from the Cold war days.

    But I have to disagree with you the term ‘contain’ when it comes to China and USSR. USSR rose up as a result of Russia taking over many of its neighboring countries whereas China was not. Containing means limiting the countries sphere of influence and not to overthrow their governments. And US has done that, thru its influence to countries like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, etc…

  34. jon Says:


    I mean no offense, but it must be a nice feeling to believe China has good intentions for the Korean peninsula, if only the imperial US would withdraw their obviously exploitative army! GRR! (not.)

    It is in China’s security interests to keep the peninsula divided and drip-feed the awful NKOrean regime, their “blood brothers”:
    1. it forces the US and ROK to have a dependant relationship with China over any NKorea-related issue, be it nuclear or famines, etc. Nothing gets done without China’s permission, so to speak. In geopolitics, this is power, and it is good.
    2. if Korea unites, it will eventually be under ROK leadership, similar to what happened to Germany uniting under the West Germany. But ROK is a rival not an ally to Chinese eyes. Thus, NKorea serves as an important buffer zone against ROK, just like Eastern EUrope for Soviet Russia. Here is the kicker – unlike ROK citizens (who regularly elect left-leaning pro-NKorean politicians), DPRK citizens have ZERO say on their role as a buffer zone. Hey, kinda like Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe, no?

    I hate to break your pro-Chinese narrative, but the US is not in SKorea exploiting ROK in a neocolonial relationship; US is a team and trusted ROK ally, much more than DPRK is to China (who kills SKorean soldiers with impunity).

    if you have no response to my previous post, I will assume that you wave the white flag, and will claim victory to our little debate.


  35. Jason Says:

    I hate to break your narrative, Jon. S. Korea is the only country that US has control over S. Korea’s military.

  36. Steve Says:

    The Mutual Defense Treaty between the USA and South Korea does not give the US control over South Korea’s military, it gives the US control over the US military stationed in South Korea. Just how to use those forces is determined by mutual agreement.

    And why do you think South Korea wants this partnership? And why do you think Japan wants partnership with the USA? And why do you think Vietnam wants to have naval exercises with the US Navy? And why do you think Indonesia wants to have military exercises and training with the US Military? Same with the Philippines? All these joint exercises are undertaken by both countries, not arbitrarily by one. And why do you think that is?

  37. Dragan Says:

    #34 Jon

    I think you oversimplify China’s interests in Korean Peninsula.

    SK might not be outright ally, but certainly is not rival. Start with a look at the trade numbers. SK is source and destination of investment, valuable market for Chinese goods, source of technology and key partner in regional diplomacy. Now, what does NK bring to China? Possibility of nuclear neighbor? An excuse for the presence of US military on Korean Peninsula? Continuous challenge for China’s security & embarrassment for her diplomacy? Bottom line, NK is not a buffer AGAINST but a magnet FOR military presence of US, and is not China’s ally at all but a huge burden.

    Beijng’s moderate support for NK comes from three sources: 1.) the commitment to non-interference that is ultimately designed to ensure no one will interfere in Chinese affairs re Taiwan, Tibet etc., 2.) regional instability and worsening of security situation for China that may result from collapse of NK regime, North – South war, SK occupation of NK and finally, 3.) possibility of huge number of NK refugees that would cross to North China in the case of any of these developments, with unpredictable consequences for North China’s social stability.

    That is actually the reason why China at the moment prefers status quo. But that does not mean that in long run China does not want unified Korea – though she wants only unified Korea that does not harbor American troops and is friendly to China. For that to happen NK should not collapse or be forced to submit to SK, China should be trusted friend for Seoul (and Beijing indeed has a lively diplomacy in this regard) and Beijing should be involved in the process of reunification.

    #36 Steve

    They want these arrangements with US merely in order to maximize their security and balance China’s influence. They are equally smart to fully engage China where it benefits them, such as trade, regional politics, Chinese investment and market etc. What they are really trying to do is to make best of the fact that two great powers are competing for influence in the region by balancing between the two. They do not, in any mean, exclusively side with US against China. Actually, both in Japan and SK, there is a strong opposition to American military stations. Also, it becomes more and more obvious that model for peaceful coexistence and partnership with China is sought at the moment, for example, just think of Hatoyama and his call for asian community and closer relationship with China or establishment of AMF – that is a preview of the way things will happen in the future

    Inevitably, Chinese influence will grow over US’ if her economy keep growing. Equally, at some point, if China’s military keep growing, US will not be even able to maintain military force in region that will be able to balance China, at least not without huge expenses. For US, it’s battle lost in advance, and I’d reckon all parties would save a lot of money and nerves and increase security situation in region if they were to agree a collective security arrangements that would prevent military build up in Asia instead of engaging in balance and counterbalance games that increase tensions and costs fortunes as they do now.

  38. Raj Says:

    just think of Hatoyama and his call for asian community

    You do realise he’s not Prime Minister anymore, right?

    A call for an Asian Community is a nice idea, but it’s so far off I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen in our lifetimes. There’s too much suspicion and too much rivalry.

  39. Dragan Says:

    He is not, but improvement is general trend in sino-japanese relations and it will stay like that. With AMF, ASEAN+3 and deepening economic ties the only direction their relationship will go is toward friendship and partnership, given some contentious issues such as NK, military build up or Diaoyu Islands dispute do not spiral out of control, which is not likely given the strong connections that already exist between the two.

    I agree that Asian Community might not happen just yet, for many reasons. Maybe even not in our lifetimes. But that does not mean that regional integration will not proceed and that Japan and China will not continue to deepen their cooperation.

  40. Josef Says:

    “…agree a collective security arrangements …”
    It is true that China is currently playing this song, – see also the offer on removing missiles pointing to Taiwan. And like China, you also added as by-sentence “…no one will interfere in Chinese affairs re Taiwan”.- China added similar: as long as security arrangements are discussed under the “one China principle”
    What you are saying is: if everyone accepts China’s plans and intentions, China would be willing to cooperate. But that is not a solution or compromise. In this case I prefer for Taiwan your mentioned “balance and counterbalance games ” which potentially increase tensions but keeping peace and the status quo (i.e. a free and democratic Taiwan).

    Similar you wrote for the Koreas: … though she wants only unified Korea that does not harbor American troops…
    So if the other side disarms and becomes controllable, China would agree to this “collective security arrangement”. This are just sweet words.
    Also SCL wrote similar before in #32
    China supports Korea reunion without reservation, because it means the total and permanent withdrawal of U.S. troops and nuclear weapons from East Asia.
    Same argumentation. What I want to emphasize is that China did not move her position at all.

  41. UFQ Says:

    Bye-bye, Miss American Pie

    Edmund Burke’s statement, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it” is frequently cited, but in truth, even history’s obvious lessons are unrecognized by many who know history very well.

    There was a time when every school child could recite the Gettysburg Address from memory, especially its famous peroration: “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” But that resolution has largely gone unfulfilled. So exactly what did the Civil War accomplish?

    Most certainly, it preserved the union territorially and abolished slavery—two noteworthy things. But the slaves who were freed, rather than being benefited by their freedom, were left in the lurch, and the prejudicial attitudes of Confederate whites were most likely hardened; they certainly were not softened. So although the war united the nation territorially, it failed to unite its peoples, and that division is still evident today.

    After the 2004 Presidential election, The Dallas Morning News ran a feature about this division titled Beyond the Red and Blue. Using the red states that went to President Bush and the blue states that went to Senator Kerry, it pointed out how red and blue states ranked in various categories.

    People in red states are less healthy than those in blue states.
    People in red states earn less than those in blue states.
    People in red states are less educated than those in blue states.
    More people in red states live in mobile homes than those in blue states.
    The red states have higher birth rates among teens than the blue states.
    More people are killed by guns in the red states than in the blue states.

    And the Dallas Morning News missed a number of other inferior attributes of the red states.

    The red states have higher rates of poverty, both generally and among the elderly, higher rates of crime, both general and violent, have higher rates of infant mortality and divorce, and have fewer physicians per unit of population than do the blue states.

    These statistics do not paint a pretty picture. And since the red states are commonly referred to as the conservative heartland, one would think that the people who live in these states would vote against conservative candidates merely on the basis of their own rational, self interests. But they don’t.

    There’s an obvious clash here, for the red states are the home of that group that calls itself “moral America.” But how can a moral viewpoint countenance poverty, crime, and infant mortality? What kind of morality is it that doesn’t care for the welfare of people? Just what moral maxim guides the lives of these people? Certainly not the Golden Rule, the Decalogue, or the Second Commandment of Christ. From what I have been able to gather, moral America needs a new moral code. The one it has is, to use a word the members of this group dislike, relative.

    So what motivates the conservative nature of the people in the red states? Let’s look at some history.

    For a century after the Civil War, the south voted Democratic, but not because the people shared any values in common with the rest of the nation’s Democrats. (Southerners even distinguished themselves from other Democrats by calling themselves “Dixiecrats.”) These people were Democrats merely because the political party of the war and reconstruction was Republican. And when, in the mid-twentieth century, the Democratic Party championed an end to racial discrimination, these life-long Democrats quickly became Republicans, because the Republican party had in the intervening years become reactionary.

    What motivates these people even today, though most likely they don’t recognize it, is an unwillingness to accept the results of the Civil War and change the attitudes held before it. When a society inculcates beliefs over a long period of time, those beliefs cannot be changed by a forceful imposition of others. The beliefs once practiced overtly continue to be held covertly. Force is never an effective instrument of conversion. Martyrdom is preferable to surrender, and even promises of a better future are ineffective.

    So what did the Civil War really accomplish? It united a nation without uniting its people. The United States of America became one nation indivisible made up of two disunited peoples; it became a nation divided, and the division has spread.

    Therein lies a lesson all nations should have learned. By the force of arms, you can compel outward conformity to political institutions and their laws, but you cannot change the antagonistic attitudes of people, that can remain unchanged for decades and longer waiting for opportunities to reassert themselves.

    Any astute reader can apply this lesson to the present day’s activities in the Middle East. Neither force nor promises of a future better than the past can win the hearts and minds of people. And soldiers who die in an attempt to change another people’s values always die in vain.

    All wars, even when carried on by the strongest of nations against weak opponents, are chancy, and their costs, in every respect, are always much more than anticipated, even putting aside the physical destruction and the lives lost.

    Nations that have started wars with the psychological certainty of winning rarely have, and when they have, the results were rarely lasting or those sought. As Gandhi once observed, “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”

    The Crusaders, fighting under the banner of Christ, could not make Palestine a part of Christendom. France, under Napoleon, conquered most of Europe but lost it all and Napoleon ended up a broken man. Prussian militarism prevailed in the Franco-Prussian War, but in less than a century Germany had lost all. The Austrians in 1914 could not only not subdue the Serbs, the empire and its monarchial form of government were lost. The Germans and Japanese after 1939 and astounding initial successes were reduced to ruin.

    But even the winners are losers.

    Americans won the Mexican War and acquired the southwestern United States, but that conquest brought with it unfathomable and persistent problems—racial prejudice, discrimination, and an irresolvable problem of immigration and border insecurity. Americans likewise won the falsely justified Spanish American war and acquired a number of colonial states but were unable to hold most of them. The allies won the Second World War, but France and England lost the colonies they were fighting to preserve, and these two powers, which were great before the war, were reduced to minor status (although both still refuse to admit it). Israel has won five wars against various Arab states since 1948, but its welfare and security have not been enhanced, and Arab hatred and intransigence has grown more common.

    People need to realize that after a war, things are never the same as they were before, and that even the winners rarely get what they fight for. War is a fool’s errand in pursuit of ephemera.

    At the end of World War II, American leaders wrongly assumed that America’s superpower status gave it the means to impose its view of what the world should be like on others everywhere. Then came Korea and the assumption proved false. Despite all of the destruction and death inflicted on the North Koreans, their attitudes went unchanged. The lesson went unlearned. It went unlearned again in Viet Nam, after which Henry Kissinger is reported to have naively said, “I could not believe that a primitive people had no breaking point.” The Vietnamese never broke. Now again Americans are foolishly assuming that the peoples of the Middle East will change their attitudes if enough force is imposed for a long enough time and enough promises of a better future are made. History belies this assumption.

    Unfortunately, history teaches its lessons to only those willing to learn, and the American oligarchy shows no signs of having such willingness.

    So let’s start singing bye-bye, Miss American Pie
    Warring is nothing but a bad way to die!

    John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

  42. Dragan Says:

    # 38

    tried posting this earlier but it seems that it got lost in spam

    Hatoyama might be gone, and Asian community might not happen tomorrow or ever, but the improvement of ties between Japan and China is a trend that will go into the future, given that some contentious issues such as NK, military build up or Diaoyu Islands dispute do not spiral out of control – and that is not likely considering the substantial ties that already exists between the two countries.

    Same goes for for further regional integration that would include SK and ASEAN, especially with AMF, ASEAN +3 and other institutional mechanisms that are being developed at the moment, and , of course, expected increase in economic exchange.


    If China does not change her stance it does not mean that her stance is wrong. For example, would US tolerate Chinese troops on Cuba? US have issue with China developing its navy toward the capability to assert itself in its own neighborhood, imagine the outrage the the global military reach of China would cause in Washington. Yet, it is taken for granted in Washington that US has the right to have its troops around the globe.

    While China would certainly be happy that the US troops are out of Korean Peninsula, there is no indication that it would try to install its own army there or control Korea(s) by the power of military threat. It would hurt her grand fp strategy in many ways as well as its ability to protect itself from interference of others, as explained earlier.

    It is important to note that China officially claims that it does not want to push US totally out of the region. US is at the moment an important balancing factor in the region and in some ways, like preventing Japan from developing its own army, even helpful for some of China’s objectives. Yet, being encircled from all sides by US troops does threaten her security and should not be expected to be desired or accepted by China, understandably so.

  43. Arsent Says:

    And Google is controlled by the CIA and Americans sunk the Cheonan as a false flag attack, right?

    Please. Any nation worth its salt would try to outpace and contain its rivals. Would China not do the same? Isn’t that what they’re doing now to India, encircling them with Sri Lanka/Pakistan while buying out the nearby resources? There’s nothing wrong with it. China’s aggressive competing strategy is why I respect the Chinese more than Americans.

    You say America seeks to contain China. Partially true. Americans are frightened of an upcoming challenger, as they should be. But what actions have they really taken? The American media focuses almost entirely on its own politics and its two wars, and pretty much nothing on China given how important China is today. Americans don’t have the guts to implement any serious protectionism measures against China, only passing minor policies that get blown out of proportion in the Chinese media. America does not have the drive to do anything decisive. It has no long-term plan to deal with China for better or for worse. Only stopgap measures to placate current issues. Of all the actual propaganda and containment “strategies” America could use in its advantageous position, there is hardly anything being done. Perhaps the recent war games near Korea and interference in the South China sea are signs of American wariness, but they are posturing at most. Should China choose to ignore these actions, the Americans would not dare go further.

    So no, I don’t see any serious effort to “contain” China. Americans are going to watch knowingly as China grows and surpasses the US, and do nothing about it. It is probably for the better. Their complacency has no place in civilization.

  44. No99 Says:

    I think outside the rhetoric, most people who have their feet on the ground with the world kind of knows that there is so much work to be done in China that those theories about containing China is a little redundant. Also, America has enough issues of its own where they ought to be more careful about destroying their own homes than worrying about another powerful country growing stronger day by day.

    BTW, in a unlikely hypothetical scenario, if there was a conflict between the two countries, I wouldn’t be surprised if out of nowhere you see Chinese military posts popping out all suddenly. I remember reading a rumor about Chinese troops in Mexico and other Latin American countries. This was back in 2003. I don’t believe it, but something of that sort could be possible in the near future. Supposedly, more and more UN combat troops are being filled by Chinese personal, so it might be through that route rather than straight up PLA only command centers like the American military. Just speculating with a little imagination.

  45. Steve Says:

    @ Dragan #37: Agreed. Countries do what is in their best interests and if those interests happen to coincide with the best interests of China, the USA or any other country, that’s all find and dandy but it’s just as likely that next week another interest will coincide with a different country.

    There is strong opposition to the American military bases in both Japan and South Korea. However, that opposition never changes much once a party comes to power because it’s still in both Japan and South Korea’s best interests to have those military bases there. Obama talked in his campaign about pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan quickly, yet once in power he had to deal with realities and his policies aren’t much different than Bush’s. China and Japan engage in huge amounts of trade, yet when I talked to normal Chinese people about Japan they hated, and I mean HATED the Japanese. Yet both countries continue to trade, regardless of Chinese (or Japanese) public opinion. Both governments realize it’s in their best interest. I hope all Asian countries want peaceful co-existence and partnership, regardless of their political and military alliances. China’s collective partnerships in East Asia so far have all been economic with the obvious exception of their military relationship with North Korea. So far there has been no movement towards Chinese military alliances with other countries in this region. In fact, if anything it’s moved in the opposite direction. Why do you think that is?

    BTW, the US tolerated Soviet troops in Cuba for decades so I wouldn’t write too much into that. You wrote, “Yet, being encircled from all sides by US troops does threaten her security and should not be expected to be desired or accepted by China, understandably so.” Again I ask, why is China encircled from all sides by US troops? That can only take place if the countries which encircle China feel they have reason to need US troops on their soil. Can you explain why they feel this way?

    I wouldn’t get too excited just yet about China being bigger than the USA. Since it seems people on this blog want to talk only about per capita size, China’s per capita income is somewhere around Angola’s. And right now, the USA spends more on their military than the rest of the world combined. Let’s be realistic here.

    As far as collective security arrangements, China has already told the other countries bordering on the South China Sea that it will only negotiate with each country separately and not collectively. Right now, the onus is on China to change it’s stance, not on it’s neighbors. Why doesn’t it want to have collective security arrangements in the South China Sea? Because it’s not in China’s best interests to do so, at least at this time.

  46. pug_ster Says:


    I thought this is an interesting article to counter my statement. Though this guy is just talking nonsense. The other countries only like US’s attention while they are here. After they are gone, the sentiment is gone too.

    Edit: Here’s another article by the economist about ASEAN and the US.


  47. pug_ster Says:


    Another article questioning US troops presence in the Philippines. The article thinks that China is a threat, based on some Chinese submarine planting a Chinese flag in the ocean floor. I could not imagine what kind of threat would come up next, maybe send another fishing boat to the Diaoyo area.

  48. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Did you read the article? THe “article” doesn’t think China is a threat; but some Filipinos interviewed by the journalist do. Are their fears legitimate? Well, that’s a pretty tough question to answer from the perspective of not living there. So if you want to ask a better question, you might want to look into whether the fears noted by the Filipinos in the article are representative of the sentiments of Filipinos in general.

  49. pug_ster Says:


    That’s the problem. If it sounds like US interests to contain China, it would sound negative in Western Media because it sounds like the Filipinos are there to do the dirty work for US interests. So the “article” portray that Filipinos are alluding to the “China Threat” theory and the need for the US support for them. This has been the the same excuse for the ‘need’ for US troops in Okinawa and South Korea DMZ.

  50. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “So the “article” portray that Filipinos are alluding to the “China Threat” theory and the need for the US support for them.”
    —and what is your basis for questioning the accuracy of this portrayal? Do you have reason to believe, or better yet, evidence to substantiate that the Filipinos quoted in the article do not represent the general sentiment of Filipinos on the issue? If you do, then you have a legitimate complaint. Otherwise you’re again just complaining about what the journalist wrote (because it’s not super complimentary to China) regardless of the justification for what was written.

  51. pug_ster Says:


    what is your basis for questioning the accuracy of this portrayal? Do you have reason to believe, or better yet, evidence to substantiate that the Filipinos quoted in the article do not represent the general sentiment of Filipinos on the issue?

    I never said that was general sentiment from the Filipinos, but how the article seem to portray the Filipino sentiment.

  52. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Oh brother. Ok, let me try to ask it another way. What is your complaint about how the article portrays Filipino sentiment? Do you think it is an inaccurate portrayal? If so, why do you think so?

  53. pug_ster Says:

    I’m sure that you get a few Filipino China haters and you can hash out propaganda like this.

  54. S.K. CHeung Says:

    Whoa, dude. Take a chill pill. Where did you get “china hater” out of that article? Some Filipino people might be a little wary of China, but that doesn’t mean they hate China. I think you’re being a little loose with your inflammatory terminology.

    If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again…or so the saying goes. On that note, do you have reason to believe that the sentiments espoused by those interviewed in the article are only shared by the few among Filipinos?

    And OMG, “propaganda” again?!? You folks really never tire of the fancy lingo, do you?

  55. Dragan Says:

    @Steve #45

    sorry it took while to continue this conversation. Well, I disagree that the fact that US maintains a formidable force around China ( = encircle , contain China) is the product of China threat to its neighbors. Was China threat to Afghanistan and Pakistan? Kyrgizstan? US troops are nominally in SK because of NK. Are they in Guam , South China Sea, Philippines because of other countries fear from China? Nope, but they are there because of the desire to maintain the military domination to serve their interests.

    For Japan, It is really political decision to swing away from alliance with US to alliance with China or neutrality. The signs are there this is being considered, and even Hatoyama is gone, the idea is there to stay. Within a collective security arrangements, Japan could regain the military independence, which is in long run certainly more desired than being in protection of US.

    I think your remarks re collective security arrangements in SEA are right on spot, though on certain issues,such as Myanmar, Economic integration etc. China adapts multilateral approach. Yet, with US strongly back in region, there are no more incentives for China to deal with SEA countries one on one re Spratly/Paracel. I think they will adopt collective arrangements now, and you can see that is being considered, if not already in motion, now:


  56. victor Says:

    To my eye these are the problems with China.

    1. It is a ruthless dictatorship that treats its people as jus economic animals that must not aspire to choose their leaders.

    2. If the Chinese government does not respect its people, feels threatened by them and does not hesitate to murder them it is idiotic it is going to treat foreign countries any better.

    3. China has no sense of fair play or of the rule of law; the rulers are de facto above the law.

    4. China carries a deep resentment of the West, even if de facto has surrendered to westrern ideas, economic system and even professes the same values. It had surrendered to a Western idea when it adopted Marxism and it has done that again when it adopted economic capitalism. It still resists a even more powerful Western idea: democracy. It is amazing but clever as the Chinese are to make and invent things they have not caugh the feeling for an idea that started in Greece 500 years BC!. They resent the West because they have told themselves they were the ccenter of the World, and they still do. Since the facts of the last millennia do not jive with that they seek a scapegoat; the West. Bu the West is the culmination of a number of civilizations that started in Ur, and continued with Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, the Europeans, Americans and even now the evolved Japanese. Those civilizations, together, by a stroke of luck perhaps, have resulted in the leading lights for the World (with a lot of tragedy thrown in). What the Chinese have achived, being extraordinary in many cases, pales with the achievements of what started in Ur and finally has arrived to China. So the Chinese, instead of resentment towards the West should just join in the common enterprise of lifting the live and dignity of Chinese and others. In fact, if China continues in its ways it will continue to be an unstable country, like she has been for the las few centuries and more recently; remember the Red Guards and the reneguin on the Red Guards and on Mao while pretending they do not: Are the Chinese rulers nuts? Do they think ordinary Chinese and the rest of the World are idiots? Do they smoke something? It is pathetic but is also scary that people can deny reaity in such a way.

    5. I hope de free democracies, including all in the West, India, Japan and other free countries in South America, Africa, etc., realize he current Chinese system is not legitimate and must be changed; yes by the Chinese from within but we must help them and never let up in the ideological war that freedom and democracy must win.

  57. silentchinese Says:

    Oh Victor,

    I am so moved by your ideological moralizing grandstanding.

    moved to vomit.

    please cut back the veil and let’s just call them chinese savages and Yellow peril shall we.

    reminds of white man’s burden and victorian prosleytizing…

    1) RIGHT, we treat our citizen here in the civilized west as what? voters and consumers? with commercial ads in the tubes in both cases so we can manipulate their feelings?

    2) have you spent any time talking to some ordinary chinese? I highly doubt but If you do visit their internet discussions, you will see that they often think government treat foreigners better than their countrymen.
    How is that jiving with your rehtoric?

    3) fair play. right. given what europeans did to china I wouldn’t think they would believe in any thing but might makes right. never mind that. let’s see… copenhagen. who are the ones that insist on scraping kyoto and the “common but differentiated responsibilty” who are the ones that insist china/india cutting back on greenhouse gas despite of their per-capita output only fraction of “West”….and the who are the ones that polluted this world in the first place? and who are the ones that promised some vulnerable island nations aid just so they can claim the moral high ground but scuttle the kyoto?
    Not china.

    4) Last time I checked the Egyptians, Arabs and Persians were not regarded as “West” by the west. and the later too certainly had close contacts with Chinese through out the history. interesting the way you lump them in “West”. I don;’t think they will be flattered.

    5) Let’s do this. Let’s have a world government, where 1 person 1 vote rule applies. I think chinese (and indians, and the third world poor countries) would LOVE to to have some thing like that. but somehow I highly doubt this will be agreed to by the west. heck, two insignificant little countries in the western europe even have trouble giving up UN permenant security council powers. and IMF/World bank rights.
    good luck.

  58. silentchinese Says:

    Oh Victor,

    I am so moved by your ideological moralizing grandstanding.

    moved to vomit.

    please cut back the veil and let’s just call them chinese savages and Yellow peril shall we.

    reminds of white man’s burden and victorian prosleytizing…

    1) RIGHT, we treat our citizen here in the civilized west as what? voters and consumers? with commercial ads in the tubes in both cases so we can manipulate their feelings?

    2) have you spent any time talking to some ordinary chinese? I highly doubt but If you do visit their internet discussions, you will see that they often think government treat foreigners better than their countrymen.
    How is that jiving with your rehtoric?

    3) fair play. right. given what europeans did to china I wouldn’t think they would believe in any thing but might makes right. never mind that. let’s see… copenhagen. who are the ones that insist on scraping kyoto and the “common but differentiated responsibilty” who are the ones that insist china/india cutting back on greenhouse gas despite of their per-capita output only fraction of “West”….and the who are the ones that polluted this world in the first place? and who are the ones that promised some vulnerable island nations aid just so they can claim the moral high ground but scuttle the kyoto?
    Not china.

    4) Last time I checked the Egyptians, Arabs and Persians were not regarded as “West” by the west. and the later too certainly had close contacts with Chinese through out the history. interesting the way you lump them in “West”. I don;’t think they will be flattered.

    5) Let’s do this. Let’s have a world government, where 1 person 1 vote rule applies. I think chinese (and indians, and the third world poor countries) would LOVE to to have some thing like that. but somehow I highly doubt this will be agreed to by the west. heck, two insignificant little countries in the western europe even have trouble giving up UN permenant security council powers. and IMF/World bank rights.
    good luck.

  59. UFQ Says:

    Very well said Silentchinese ! Sorry, kindly move over a little, I feel the urge to throw up too !

    Gosh! Where do these people (probably some ex-colonial subjects) get their brains blanched and whitewashed ?

  60. wuming Says:

    I found victor’s post … genuine. Brainwashed? obviously. Vomit inducing? perhaps. But it is so politically incorrect and logically confused that I don’t think anybody can make this stuff up. Its otherworldly reading of the history is the most striking feature. I’d argue that any blog need to hear voices like this.

  61. no99 Says:

    Well, let me play devil’s advocate for victor here,

    I’m going to put aside politics, if possible, and say that he is right in one regard. The “West” and Japan to that extent, came to dominate scene “recently” precisely because they were a product of thousands of years worth of work from many ancient civilizations, grab (or steal in some cases) the best from everywhere and added their own contributions. However, it is short lived, because there’s so many issues about western modernity in general. In all honesty, if people were to read between the lines and go beyond national-ethno-racial-euro centric attitudes, frankly speaking, there’s just as much originality and hard work in the ideas of the “developed” world as the “developing” world.

    Some people might not understand my next paragraph, but bear with me for a bit.

    Greek democracy was pretty limited, and in essence, probably was no different than ordinary village rule common throughout the world. Surprisingly, one of the few places where women had better status and could do as much as men was in Persia. Talking about the past here. I think victor got the “it all started in Ur” statement from the biblical tradition of how Abraham came from there (there were other cities in Sumer, besides that one and the Egyptian kingdoms were alive and well at the same time). If you want to know what really happen, most likely mankind got “it’s all” started from East Africa (yes, there were civilizations, empires there as well, just as old and sophisticated as the ones West Asia).

    “Some”, not all Chinese, as it is with non-western non-Chinese, probably do view others with jealousy, but who isn’t? Similar feelings happen when a poor person sees a rich person, or those without college degrees whenever he/she sees someone who did graduate from college. It’s normal, and relative (meaning this mentality can change easily for whatever reason).

    It’s perfectly fine to seek out the best where ever it may be, and retain what’s good about your own ways and keep improving with whatever works. Humans have been doing that since the beginning of civilization.

  62. Dragan Says:

    An excellent opinion article from Global Times to supplement discussion:


  63. pug_ster Says:

    Good post Dragan. I think I said in my other thread http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2010/10/14/chinas-foreign-minister-dont-get-mad-get-even/ there’s a at least 10 different ways for China screw up but only one way to get it right. I thought that this is an interesting discussion in global Times about it.


    Definitely China has diplomats and others who work behind the scenes to avoid confrontations or other military flareups. I think in hindsight many of these incidents this year will have a lasting impression, like the Cheonan, Iran and google censorship had already been pretty much left in the backburner.

  64. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Without US support, Japan wouldn’t have clashed with China over the Diaoyu Islands.”
    —is that right?

    The guy certainly represents the CCP perspective well. As for how accurately he grasps the perspective of other East Asian nations, that seems much more debatable. But the rubric that any conflicts are the US’s fault and no fault of China is certainly not an original one.

  65. pug_ster Says:


    Robert Gates said: “US troops in Pacific keep China at Bay.” And the rhetoric just keep on rolling.

  66. Johnny Boy Says:

    If you know how Chinese empires have behaved in the past, their ideas of peace is backed by their vast armies. They steal and rob smaller nations and coerce by threat of force. Since the smaller nations become scared of a military conflict with China peace is maintained, the smaller nations give China what they demand and everyone lives peacefully.

    China wishes to return to the days when they can continue this behavior. But Chinese ambition has always been to rule “All Under Heaven and Earth”.

    They will squeeze you economically when you have become dependent on them. They will build their armies so that you dare not attack them. They will create enemies in your countries and along their borders to keep you occupied while they steal land and resources.

    The US has not been more openly hostile towards China yet. China is financing their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Once these two nations have been secured, they will form the initial stages of regime change in Pakistan and Iran. Pakistan will be the first to fall through destabilization, terrorism, and revolution. Once Pakistan is a friendly state, they will move into Iran by force if the regime doesn’t play ball. Once these China allies have been plucked, the US will create a major uprising in China that will pave the way for sanctions on China that will threaten the regimes control. By this time, the US and allies will be prepared for a major conflict with China by controlling the oil. China will be forced to strike or submit. Nuclear weapons will be used by both sides.

    When the dust settles, the NWO will be established. Then the armies of Heaven shall cleanse the Earth.

    Quite the imagination….

  67. Nala Says:

    @Johnny Boy:
    Are you trying to be sarcastic? The way you describe China sounds exactly the US has been doing since WW2.

  68. Johnny Boy Says:

    Partially sarcastic. However, China’s leadership is oppressive. They are occupying several territories under oppressive rule. The Chinese occupy, assimilate the newly occupied territory by means of mass ethnic Chinese into occupied territory eventually becoming the ethnic majority of the area. Eventually, Tibet will no longer be able to reclaim independence from the oppressors because the majority of the area will be Chinese. The Chinese have been doing this for thousands of years, they are good at it.

    But, China is an empire that has been built on military strength, aggression, and oppression. The Chinese empire when backed by the strongest army become bullies. You think the Chinese play by international rules of law? The only law they know is the one backed by armies. When their armies are strong they push into other countries territories and make claims about how historically the empire of some dynasty had ruled there so it is their territory. Since Mongol empire was inherited by the Yuan Dynasty they will be using this as justification for occupying other countries.

    The only way to free the Chinese people, Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Aksai Chin, etc. is to split China. The Chinese empire cannot exist without oppression. To split up China unfortunately requires that you weaken China economically. The CCP will lose their legitimacy to rule and their hold of the empire will fall apart.

  69. Johnny Boy Says:

    Imagine, in the land of your ancestors, you can no longer be free. The Chinese controlling everything from the market, what you’re allowed to wear, what religion you may practice, where you’re allowed to fish…. Then, providing your daughters to be wed to Chinese men.

  70. Johnny Boy Says:

    If you don’t like it and start trouble? You get thrown in jail. You mysteriously die before being released. Your organs freshly harvested for transplant that same day.

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