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Build China Up September 12, 2006

Posted by federalist in Diplomacy.
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A lot of American military planning is done for the “major theater war,” and right now the most significant world military power outside of the United States the planners can see is China.  It’s not too hard to imagine China erupting onto the world stage in an offensive way.  After all, the country is still run by a repressive Communist Party.  It feels very strongly that Taiwan, our ally, should pay it more respect than Taiwan can reasonably afford to pay.  Their military has demonstrated a lack of that certain level of diplomacy and discipline that befits a superpower.  And they keep on trying to steal our military technology.

So as a military rival, it seems at times like it’s only a question of when it’s going to heat up and how hot the war’s going to get.

Meanwhile, a lot of lazy, unskilled Americans are unhappy to discover that China is overflowing with workers capable of churning out many of the same goods and services we used to get paid for, and willing to do it for a lot less money.

But James McGregor has a good counterpoint in today’s WSJ, “No More Chinese Whispers.”  After reading his essay I am left with the impression that maybe we can forge economic ties that will allow us to build China up into something of a partner, or at least a responsible world actor.

(It would certainly be nice if someday soon we could leave policing of the western Pacific rim to a coalition of the Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese.)

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