Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The China Condundrum

Every day, China is in the news. The Dragon of the East is stirring and we struggle to understand what this means....well, the American public struggles. Those who run this country here know very well what is going on. They think they will outwit the Chinese, a confidence the losing war in Iraq has barely dented.

I have had a catbird's eye seat to the evolving relationship of the Chinese/American imperial balances. My family has played in this little game many times, sometimes hidden from view, sometimes on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS.


China Fights Enlarging Security Council

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 5, 2005; Page A15

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- China's U.N. ambassador on Monday challenged Secretary General Kofi Annan's proposal to enlarge the Security Council to 24 members by year's end, dealing a setback to the second major effort in a decade to expand the powerful 15-nation body.

China's top U.N. envoy, Wang Guangya, said more time is needed to reach agreement on the politically sensitive issue. Wang also insisted it is "essential" that an agreement on enlarging the council be reached by a unanimous vote in the 191-member General Assembly, a standard that would permit a single U.N. member to undercut any rival's candidacy.


snip

Wang stopped short of publicly opposing Japan's candidacy for the council. But his remark came as opposition to Tokyo's prospects was mounting in South Korea and China, where demonstrators vandalized Japanese businesses in the southern and southwestern cities of Shenzhen and Chengdu over the weekend to protest its bid for a permanent seat

Most readers could have been forgiven in missing this story from several days ago because it was all Pope/Terri death wall to wall in America:

Sun Apr 3, 2005 09:43 AM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - Protesters smashed a local Japanese supermarket's windows after a demonstration in China against Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council turned violent, Kyodo news agency reported Sunday.

Protesters in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in southwest China broke the windows of Japanese-owned supermarket Ito-Yokado on Saturday, Kyodo said.

Many Chinese harbor deep resentment of Japan's war-time past and what they see as Tokyo's failure to own up to atrocities.


On the blog forums, again and again I find many posters falling for the propaganda/misreporting about China. American's views of China are heavily occulted by misdirection, misinformation and manipulation of perception. In other words, duped by propaganda generated by the powerful. Every time I point out how angry the increasingly powerful Chinese are about WWII, the response is, "You are crazy. The Chinese don't care about that". Worse, the Chinese remember the Boxer Rebellion and the Opium Wars and 150 years of kow towing to Europeans. They are willing to deal with the white bone demons so long as the demons do their bidding. I think the Chinese are realistic. They want to get along, it pays off to get along but it also is internally important to redress historic wrongs and to use the imperialist acts of other nations to cement the people of China into patriotically supporting the Chinese government.

Japan was involved in a fine balancing act between American power and Chinese territorial needs. But the world is changing, such as this matter:

China and Japan heat up fight over gas exploration in the East China Sea
The Asahi Shimbun

Japan ups the stakes in its dispute with Beijing over exploration in the East China Sea.

The government indicated Friday it is ready to take stronger steps in its dispute with China over exploration of oil and gas reserves in the East China Sea.

Shoichi Nakagawa, minister of economy, trade and industry, announced the results of a study Friday that he said shows a link between China's undersea exploration and Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

``We have all the necessary data so we will inform (China),'' Nakagawa said. ``If there is no sincere response in about a week, we will enter into procedures to establish test drilling rights in the region.''


snip

However, the Japanese government has not approved any of the applications on grounds the border between the EEZ of Japan and China was never finalized.

In the autumn of 2003, China disclosed it had begun an exploration project in the region. Japan has repeatedly urged Beijing to provide its exploration data while calling on it to stop the work.

Because China made no effort to respond to Japan's requests, members of the ruling and opposition parties had called for tougher measures against Beijing.



The EEZ is code for "exclusive economic zone" or what I would call "continental plate subjunction zone". A dangerous place prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Note several things: the Chinese are not negotiating with the Japanese. They are simply going ahead, waiting to see the the Japanese dare to stop them. The Chinese are watching Japan closely and remaining silent, a sign the rulers in China are unified in their plans for this volatile region. Last month, ASEAN had a historic meeting. The Chinese who don't belong were invited and the Americans were excluded even though we are part of ASEAN. The result of this SECRET meeting was the Japanese minister wondering out loud if Japan should cease buying American debt because it will be worthless. He was immediately punished and Koizumi laughed this off and Condi rushed to Japan to make a secret deal.

This deal didn't stay secret too long because no secret in Asia lasts more than a day, everyone is spying on everyone else and all spy on America. The political landscape changed again...America cemented a stronger tie to the Japanese militants who want to use the USA in building a New Co-prosperity Sphere, Koizumi made various public gestures basically bonzaiing at various military shrines and institutions. He turned on China and jeered even as the Japanese courts wantonly ruled against both the Korean and Chinese sex slaves of WWII. Japan never paid reparations to anyone and this complicates feelings of resentment. The Chinese government can and is allowing this resentment an outlet as a warning to the Japanese. Next will be public boycotts of Japanese goods, a thing that has been booted around Chinese campuses for a year.

The oh so clever American/Japanese hegemon game has utterly alienated...South Korea. The Chinese have gone to the Koreans to talk in private about reunification, trade and military cooperation. Once China subdues Taiwan, they will be able to shut Japan out of Asian markets if Japan won't cooperate with them militarily.

The great game of Go continues. By the way, take the time to check out Kiseido Go site. Learning the elements of this ancient war game can be most useful. Remember the "oh, isn't she cute in her fabulous outfit" breathless "reporting" on Condi's stompathon through Asia? It sounded like she successfully furthered our interests there.

This is true only if our interest is to turn Japan into our forward aircraft carrier in WWIII. If the Japanese thought WWII's nukes were bad stuff, wait until the nukes really fly this next time. America's trade deficit with China has exploded this month. America's diplomatic confrontations with China are exploding, too. Our need for cheap Chinese goods to keep the dragons of inflation at bay rise each month as the Fed churns out buckets of bucks and ships them over to China and already, the Chinese are testing our ability to keep afloat, merely by flexing how much debt they purchase each month. They analyse the data and so far, it looks very good. Every time they gently squeeze our economic throat, we choke up. Culture of Life News II visits many very good economic data drops in the blogger realm like Angry Bear and General Glut and businessman newcomer, the king of online graphs and charts, Calculated Risk and if I visit these sites, many of which I found via Google, you can bet, the Chinese have also figured out how to find such sites and read them. They track their opponents closely and they want lots of data to crunch and they want analysis and you can bet, they read me, we know each other.

It used to be, whenever I was published in the past, my mother would get a call from the not so forbidden city in Beijing and they would argue with her about me.

So you can bet, they are not ignorant about the dangerous trends that are obvious on Calculated Risk's many graphs!

Condi has stirred up a hornet's nest in Asia. Now everyone is on the move and these moves are not friendly at all. The game of Go has speeded up because of the looming financial meltdown of America and the oil crisis.

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