June 26, 2013
The South China Sea Dispute, the writer claims, is a clash of civilisation ala Samuel Huntington and it could lead to war between the United States and China. That to me is too alarmist. Why should both United States and China take the route to mutual destruction and bring untold collateral damage to the peoples of ASEAN, Japan, South Korea and Australia. After all the dispute has nothing directly with the United States since it involves some claimants like Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei who are members of ASEAN.
We should, therefore, allow diplomacy to take its course. Yes, there will be no bullying by China and anybody else.The Chinese leadership is enlightened enough to know that China cannot impose its own solution to the South China Sea dispute and must respect the legitimate interest of other claimants. Given goodwill and soft diplomacy, the South China Sea dispute can be resolved. But it is difficult to predict Chinese behavour since it has begun to take a tough stance on the matter.–Din Merican
South China Sea dispute: Who is bullying who?
On June 25, an article titled “China’s bullying tactics backfire in Australia” was posted at China Daily Mail, providing statistics about China’s unpopularity.
First, China has never bullied Australia. Most of the content of the article is correct but the title is wrong.China is indeed becoming increasingly unpopular in Western countries.
Second, what shall Chinese people do to make them not so unpopular in other countries. They have to improve their behaviors and shall not be rude or ignore other countries’ rules or ethics when they travel abroad.
Third, what shall Chinese government do? Isolation may be better. However, that is impossible in a globalized world especially when other countries are trying to restrain China.
Neither China nor those countries are to complain. The problems lie deeply in the conflict of civilizations which according to American gifted political Scientist Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations may lead to a war between the United States and China.
Some people have tried to deny such clash, but has 911 not proved that? By denying it, the United States has failed to deal with the root cause: Islamic radicals’ hatred against the United States. As a result, US people live in constant fear of terrorist attack.
Fourth, who is bullying who? In fact, no one is bullying anyone.What people regard as bullying originates from the clash of civilizations.
In my post South China Sea Dispute: Chinese People’s obsession, I said, “First of all, Chinese people regard as top priority keeping the legacy they have inherited from their ancestors, but such legacy may perhaps be useless or even an expensive burden.”
Now due to the clash of civilizations, such obsession in fact may lead to a war as predicted by Huntington. Chinese people regard Taiwan as a part of such legacy. Japan seized it and due to the separation caused by Japanese occupation, some Taiwanese people have been alienated from China and want independence.
The United States supports them as according to Western values, people have the right to do so, but due to difference in values, almost all Chinese people do not allow that. They support Chinese government’s stance that if Taiwan announces independence, Chinese troops will take Taiwan back by force.
The United States has passed a law that if Taiwan is attacked, US troops will interfere.If the United States does so when Taiwan declares independence, what will be the consequence?
A war between China and the United States. China has been preparing for such a war even a nuclear one for a long time. There is quite a detailed description of that in my above-mentioned post.
There is no use to talk about China bullying Taiwan (lots of Western people believe so) or the United States bullying China (almost all Chinese people think so).
Luckily, neither the United States nor China wants a war. The United States told Taiwan it would not support Taiwan if it declared independence when the pro-independence DPP was in power for 8 years in Taiwan; while China, though refuses to waive its option of a military solution if Taiwan announces independence, has tried its best to win over Taiwan peacefully.
Now, war is even more possible because of the South and East China Sea disputes. Why Western countries do not regard the Republic of China as aggressive in claiming those islands and even almost the entire South China Sea before communist takeover of the Chinese mainland or Taiwan after the takeover? Chinese people wonder.
Chinese people do not know that it is understandable that Western people feel threatened when China may become a superpower. That is natural due to the uncertainty. No one knows whether China will become a source of war like the sudden rise of Germany in the 20th century.
US switch of pivot and support for contenders for China’s claim make Chinese people believe that the United States is bullying China; while the United States and quite a few Western countries believe China is bullying contenders by sending its navy to safeguard its sovereignty.
In fact, no one is bullying anyone. The misunderstanding is caused by difference in values.
Westerners have their theory to negate China’s historical grounds for its claim. China refuses to accept Western theory on the ground that it is a colonist theory based on which Western aggressors took lots of colonies.
Will this clash of civilizations lead to a war? At least, it has led to a cold war now?
China’s recent purchase of lots of Russian oil and most advanced Russian fighter jets and Chinese support for Russia on the Syrian issue are a clear signal that a cold war partnership is taking shape.
In the Russia-China camp, there will certainly be Iran and some autocracies like Russia and China.Do you like that scenario?
Make allowance for Chinese people’s obsession. Understand that Chinese people will even risk a nuclear war to keep their legacy. Try to find a peaceful solution when China is willing to resolve the disputes peacefully. Each country’s dispute with China is different, why insist on a group solution? Why does the United States believe that it shall support contenders militarily to force China to accept a group solution?
If Western countries do not welcome China into their community, they will drive China to Russia’s and other autocracies’ side.That is very dangerous.
Westerners’ enmity will cause Chinese people to rally around the Chinese Communist Party that knows how to exploit such enmity for its popularity. Chinese democracy and human rights fighters will have an increasingly difficult environment because of that!
Are Westerners really support those fighters or merely exploit those fighters to restrain China? Are you not blocking China’s transformation from an autocracy into a democracy?
Do not have the illusion that China will not become powerful if it remains an autocracy. When Germany launched the two world wars, it was an autocracy! The world can only be safe when China is a democracy!