China: These Stains Must Be Washed Away By Deeds


October 14, 2009: China is coping with the media power of social networking sites on the Internet, by simply blocking access. This is particularly true of sites like Twitter, and Chinese companies offering similar services. The Internet continues to be the biggest leak in a country where the police state government insists on controlling the media. This effort has proved that, while the Internet cannot be completely controlled by government effort, it can be largely contained.

In western China, 21 Uighurs were put on trial and accused of  starting the unrest there last July. The court sentenced six of these Uighurs to death. The Uighurs know what happens to non-Han groups when the Han decide to move in. For this sort of thing has been going on for thousands of years. Han migrants move in and take over the economy, and everything else. The original inhabitants are marginalized, and slowly fade away via assimilation and intermarriage. No minority does this willingly, but armed resistance has only been able, at best, to slow the process. No one has ever halted the Han tide. Some say Korea and Mongolia are examples of the Chinese being halted. But Chinese respond that no one really wants to go to Mongolia, and "we're still working on Korea."

China is also increasing cooperating with Central Asian countries to the west, especially when it comes to tracking and controlling Islamic militants. The Central Asian countries, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, are now all police states (to one degree or another) and very fearful of Islamic radicalism, and, to a lesser extent, proponents of democracy (who are less violent than the Islamic crowd). Democracy is still a potential problem, but it tends to be most popular among the newly educated and affluent, not the poor and desperate. You can more easily cut deals with democrats, while the Islamic radicals just keep coming at you with murderous intent.

China has obtained the right to develop new Iranian oil fields, and in return is acting as Iran's defender in the UN. It will be impossible to enact truly painful sanctions on Iran as long as China blocks such efforts (by having a seat on the Security Council).

China also blocks similarly serious efforts against North Korea. Part of this is because of $2 billion worth of trade annually between China and North Korea. North Korea's government may be murderous and brutal, but China prefers to have a communist police state on its border, rather than a democracy. China will continue to prop up the tottering North Korean government with economic aid, and diplomatic protection. This comes at a price, as it enables the Chinese to openly cultivate "pro-China" members of the North Korean leadership. It's no secret that this group could stage a coup at any time, and this keeps the North Korean leaders on their toes.

Chinese border guards are becoming more active in southern Tibet, and are increasingly crossing the border (or "Line of Actual Control") that was established in the early 1960s after the two nations halted their little border war (which China basically won.) India calls the area on their side Arunachal Pradesh, while the Chinese call it "southern Tibet." Chinese foot patrols and helicopters now frequently zip across the border, then quickly return, with impunity. The foot patrols sometimes leave little messages on boulders, as if  to quietly stake a claim. India is unsure exactly what the Chinese are up to here, and are moving more troops and aircraft into their northeast, just in case. This could explode into border incidents, or worse.

October 1, 2009: But throughout most of China, it was a holiday. In the capital there was a big parade, featuring nearly 10,000 troops and hundreds of armored vehicles and missile transporters. The message here was mainly for the Chinese people, to reassure Chinese that China was no longer "weak" (as it had been, in Chinese eyes, for the last few centuries) and now capable of asserting itself in the world. This is a big deal for the Chinese, who have always considered themselves the middle of everything (the "Middle Kingdom") and the most advanced culture on the planet. This reputation has been tarnished by several centuries of failure, defeat and foreign occupation. These stains must be washed away by deeds, and this parade is one of them. More formidable tasks lie ahead, like how to avoid massive pollution problems as so many of the 1.4 billion Chinese strive to obtain the same affluence several hundred million people living along the coast have achieved. Everyone wants that, and the world may not have sufficient resources to supply it easily, or peacefully.

China arrested 21 Tibetans for taking part in anti China protests. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

September 25, 2009:  China has sold Bolivia a $300 million telecommunications satellite (which China will build and launch). China has cornered the market for low cost satellite services, and cuts prices even further to help seal deals to obtain local raw materials (minerals and oil).China will supply weapons, diplomatic clout and just about anything else, in order to obtain access to these resources.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close