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#1 Gunguy

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 0910 AM

I have hesitated to post this topic for about a month, but in other threads, such as the cyberspace thread, it is coming up. I know this is not a PC topic, but China is quite possibly becoming a major threat. They have been caaught numerous times performing cyber attacks on the US DOD computers. They are in the midst of a massive military build up working towards a power projection force. They are unwilling to allow their currency to float to Global norms, they have massive and very effective spy network in the US that steals Govt and corporate secrets seemingly at will. The flip side is they are our major trading partner. They are a direct reason for the new cyberspace command and they continue to disregard global intellectual and property rights.

The problem is, how do we shut them down from raping us, while keeping them as a reliable trading partner? Should we build our military in the future with an eye on countering China? Do we ignore their attempts to take advantage of our good nature? What do we do?
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#2 Brasidas

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 0926 AM

I have hesitated to post this topic for about a month, but in other threads, such as the cyberspace thread, it is coming up. I know this is not a PC topic, but China is quite possibly becoming a major threat. They have been caaught numerous times performing cyber attacks on the US DOD computers. They are in the midst of a massive military build up working towards a power projection force. They are unwilling to allow their currency to float to Global norms, they have massive and very effective spy network in the US that steals Govt and corporate secrets seemingly at will. The flip side is they are our major trading partner. They are a direct reason for the new cyberspace command and they continue to disregard global intellectual and property rights.

The problem is, how do we shut them down from raping us, while keeping them as a reliable trading partner? Should we build our military in the future with an eye on countering China? Do we ignore their attempts to take advantage of our good nature? What do we do?


Hope their emerging middle class is more even handed than the hoi poloi the communist party does stupid pet tricks for (shooting down satellites) tricks to keep happy.
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#3 Hellfish6

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 0941 AM

I think that within the next 10-20 years in China you'll see the PRC hold free and democratic elections, reintegrate peacefully with Taiwan, and become a moderating force in the world.

China just doesn't operate at the same pace as the rest of the world. They're a 3000 year old civilization with an unbroken history, their pace of change reflects that.
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#4 jakec

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1003 AM

I think that within the next 10-20 years in China you'll see the PRC hold free and democratic elections, reintegrate peacefully with Taiwan, and become a moderating force in the world.

China just doesn't operate at the same pace as the rest of the world. They're a 3000 year old civilization with an unbroken history, their pace of change reflects that.


In fact far from operating on a different pace or cliches about a 3000 year old civilisation, if your prediction comes true, that would put the CPC (Communist Party of China) on pretty much the same pace as the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) in terms of time to realise that Leninism is a bust politically as well as economically (i.e. 70 odd years in power).
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#5 Hellfish6

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1031 AM

I think it'd be a mistake to call China a communist country right now. They're more like an oligarchy at present, though at the local level there are elections.
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#6 Junior FO

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1105 AM

They are in the midst of a massive military build up working towards a power projection force.


Won't happen for the next few decades if ever. Expeditionary forces are the most expensive kind and give the least bang for buck. They are simply too poor to spend that kind of cash without near term tangible benefit. Aside from that they are, and always have been, essentially isolationist. Both will have to change before there is a consensus to invest the vast sums needed (remember they don't have an Ally which will help out with Logistics and Support if needed, they have to do everything themselves).

They are unwilling to allow their currency to float to Global norms, they have massive and very effective spy network in the US that steals Govt and corporate secrets seemingly at will.


I fail to see what the first has to do with anything. It might surprise you but the number of freely convertible currencies is actually in single digits. To the second point...considering the fact that Israel is apparently involved in half of all discovered espionage cases in the US might put things in a bit of perspective.

Apparently even we have been active in that regard. I'm actually surprised our Intelligence Service (such as it is) was able to pull off something like that.

continue to disregard global intellectual and property rights.


Again I don't see the point? For all the hooha about this, it's actually hurting them now and in the medium to long term it's going to hurt them even more. They will always be trapped in the low margin part of the value chain. Their domestic R&D is tiny and isn't likely to grow since there's no benefit. The domestic rivals have the habit of stealing tech from each other as well and since orders are only achieved by cutt throat price competition they are all living hand in mouth.

The problem is, how do we shut them down from raping us, while keeping them as a reliable trading partner? Should we build our military in the future with an eye on countering China? Do we ignore their attempts to take advantage of our good nature? What do we do?


:rolleyes:

Hope their emerging middle class is more even handed than the hoi poloi the communist party does stupid pet tricks for (shooting down satellites) tricks to keep happy.


Actually the middle class is exactly the crowd they are catering to with these kind of tricks. Those below are too busy scrambling trying to eke out an existence to bother with that kind of stuff. You have to be middle class to be aware of the fact that an outside world exists in the first place.

I think that within the next 10-20 years in China you'll see the PRC hold free and democratic elections, reintegrate peacefully with Taiwan, and become a moderating force in the world.

I think it'd be a mistake to call China a communist country right now. They're more like an oligarchy at present, though at the local level there are elections.


I'd multiply those numbers by a factor of 10 and that's only if everything works out PERFECTLY. In the meantime, there are plenty of reefs which will easily sink that ship. Remember that the last 20 years have been the easy bit. The stress test will be when things slow down. The structure presently is a house of cards, any slowdown is likely to turn into a full blown recession and could easily trigger a major internal crises. The question isn't if, but when and how.

Oligarchy is probably the most precise term. The other term that comes to mind is Mess. I'm actually at a loss of how to describe it.

Edited by Junior FO, 21 June 2007 - 1110 AM.

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#7 savantu

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1116 AM

I think Russia should be more worried than the US , their far east holds what China desperately needs : natural gas and oil.

Will the US go to war for Taiwan ? As time passes that possibility diminishes IMO.10 years from now China will invade Taiwan and this will be a simple beep on the stock exchanges of the world.
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#8 TheSilentType

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1121 AM

I think Russia should be more worried than the US , their far east holds what China desperately needs : natural gas and oil.


I cannot picture China risking a nuclear war over this. They're better off investing in nuclear power, buying up foreign oil fields and making friends with people like Hugo Chavez.
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#9 LeoTanker

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1202 PM

They are unwilling to allow their currency to float to Global norms


Does the US Dollar float? ;)
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#10 RETAC21

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1220 PM

Not a threat in the short to medium term militarily. A cold war like situation may arise where they try to gather technical intelligence to improve their forces but there are not enough point of friction yet. IMO war by proxy is the most likely situation, possibly in the ME.
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#11 Luckyorwhat

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1427 PM

They are unwilling to allow their currency to float to Global norms,



Not banker-hating, but China is perfectly reasonable in this. If you look at the scope of Breton-Woods and the subsequent Asian version, it's insane. A handful of super-rich and super-powerful men deciding the shape of the world, "You shalt sell us all your gold, and the Western hemisphere shalt have floating exchange rates. The Asians shall have fixed exchange rates, etc etc just like Moses speaking from the mountain.

It's an offensive situation in many respects, can't blame China one bit for rubbing their noses in it many years later when they get a chance.

For what it's worth floated exchange countries still cheat, Canada was accused (caught) many times artificially lowering the price of the dollar in order to boost exports under Liberal gov'ts who sought short-term benefits at all costs.


P.S. China may be able to hit, but they can't take punches. No other country is so utterly dependent on so few dams.
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#12 Josh

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1443 PM

P.S. China may be able to hit, but they can't take punches. No other country is so utterly dependent on so few dams.


They also are increasing dependent on oil delivered through shipping lanes which their Navy couldn't possibly defend against even the smallest of modern navies. A couple of D/Es could cloes the strait of Hormuz and I'd hate to be the PLAN having to try to root them out. That said, they always could just launch ballistic missiles at a country threatening their life line.

I suspect the appraisal a couple posts up is accurate: China is on the way up unless/until social unrests overcomes all their progress, and whatever happens the West is going to be a mere spectator. I suspect in the long run that the PRC in some form will be the next dominant power, with India being their chief rival and the West fading in mid to low level powers. Hey, we had a good run.
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#13 EchoFiveMike

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1506 PM

The West's(US's) largest threat from China is basic theft, mainly of intellectual property. Our service based economy is PFU if the other guy shamelessly steals what we're trying to sell. S/F....Ken M
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#14 Luckyorwhat

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1549 PM

They also are increasing dependent on oil delivered through shipping lanes which their Navy couldn't possibly defend against even the smallest of modern navies. A couple of D/Es could cloes the strait of Hormuz and I'd hate to be the PLAN having to try to root them out. That said, they always could just launch ballistic missiles at a country threatening their life line.


Likewise they could attempt to close the Malacca straits, cutting off oil shipments eastwards.
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#15 Brasidas

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1617 PM

I think it'd be a mistake to call China a communist country right now. They're more like an oligarchy at present, though at the local level there are elections.


Calling the powers that be "the communist party" in the PRC is pretty accurate. Calling the "communist party" the "communist party" is not the same as calling the PRC communist. Get the connection? *hint hint*
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#16 Cdn Blackshirt

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1749 PM

I'm not sure I agree that China becoming a democracy will somehow make it "safer". I think there's a fairly strong nationalist sentiment and all they need to do is get to 25% of the United States' per capita income at which point their GDP's become equal....which means one hell of a lot of money for the military (especially considering they have no legacy albatroses like Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security and instead of debt, have large cash reserves).

Bottom Line: I predict we'll see China seize some of the contested islands in their coastal areas within the next 5-years and will then begin to build expeditionary forces in short order in a direct attempt to supplant the United States as the world superpower. I should add, using their $USD currency reserves, they'll crash the dollar as part of their strategy (and they will have a strategy) when the time is right.


Matthew.

P.S. From a grand strategic standpoint the United States needs to close market access to the PRC now. They are building their own worst enemy. Specifically, if the Communist Party of China suddenly stops providing the economic growith provided by US-market access, that's when the people will get pissed and throw them out.
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#17 Gabe

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1839 PM

P.S. From a grand strategic standpoint the United States needs to close market access to the PRC now. They are building their own worst enemy. Specifically, if the Communist Party of China suddenly stops providing the economic growith provided by US-market access, that's when the people will get pissed and throw them out.


And then the people will democratically elect a new Hate-America party for messing up their economy.
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#18 Luckyorwhat

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1844 PM

I'm not sure I agree that China becoming a democracy will somehow make it "safer". I think there's a fairly strong nationalist sentiment and all they need to do is get to 25% of the United States' per capita income at which point their GDP's become equal....which means one hell of a lot of money for the military (especially considering they have no legacy albatroses like Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security and instead of debt, have large cash reserves).

Bottom Line: I predict we'll see China seize some of the contested islands in their coastal areas within the next 5-years and will then begin to build expeditionary forces in short order in a direct attempt to supplant the United States as the world superpower. I should add, using their $USD currency reserves, they'll crash the dollar as part of their strategy (and they will have a strategy) when the time is right.
Matthew.


They already have 3/4 the GDP, are 'Fait Accompli'-ing Vietnamese islands, and were demonstrating beach landings last year in that operation, 'peace and happiness' or something.
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#19 tankerwanabe

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1926 PM

Every a couple of decades, the Chinese has a nasty habbit of having a small rebellion that eats up about 20-40 million lives. I think they're sorta worried more about that than expanding. This also epxlains their obsession with Taiwan.
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#20 Brasidas

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 1949 PM

Every a couple of decades, the Chinese has a nasty habbit of having a small rebellion that eats up about 20-40 million lives. I think they're sorta worried more about that than expanding. This also epxlains their obsession with Taiwan.


I don't think so.

Taiwan hasn't ever really been a part of "the empire" proper. The main problem with Taiwan, is that it lays right off the center of China's coast and it's economically powerful. That's a strategic threat.

It's also a point of national pride, seeing as it's the last nationalist bastion.

The Chinese also usually have those rebellions when the peasant class feel uppity, repressed, there is a large amount of social turmoil, and the mandarins are abusive, and the emperor (PRC paramount leader in this case) is exceedingly weak.

When you see the mandarins (provincial party leadership) getting away with murder and not being executed and the new middle class going through economic hardship, then I think you'll see signs of internal strain like rebellious sentiment.
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