China's accidental empire is a growing danger

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by LETHALFORCE, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    China's accidental empire is a growing danger | Bill Emmott - Times Online


    China's accidental empire is a growing danger

    As the world's newest superpower expands trade and flexes its military muscle, a perilous regional arms race looms

    A Victorian historian said that Britain “conquered... half the world in a fit of absence of mind”.

    Chinese Communist Party leaders are not normally associated with absentmindedness, but rather with cool, calculated, long-term strategic thinking. Yet China might well now be building a mixture of influence and obligation - the modern version of an empire- in quite a British way, and one that promises to cause increasing tension with its giant neighbour and regional rival, India.

    Events in Sri Lanka, as that nation finally brings an end to a quarter-century-long civil war, are the latest example of China's growing overseas reach. The victory of the Sri Lankan Government was assisted by the supply of arms from China, especially fighter jets, as The Times revealed on May 2, while the Chinese are also building a spanking new port on the southern coast of the country, which the Chinese Navy will be able to use for refuelling and repairs.

    This is part of a broad move by China into the Indian Ocean, which India has traditionally considered its sphere of influence. Chinese engineers are building another port at Gwadar in Pakistan; roads are being cut or improved through Burma to help trade routes between Yunnan province in China and the Indian Ocean; ties are being improved with island nations such as the Seychelles; surveillance stations are being sited or upgraded on Burmese islands.


    During the 1990s, Chinese foreign policy followed a dictum laid down by Deng Xiaoping, the country's wise old leader, in line with an ancient Chinese saying that China should (to paraphrase) “keep its head down, build its strength and hide its claws”.

    The old Maoist-era policy of trying to export revolution was dropped. Border disputes with most of China's Asian neighbours were resolved. Aid started to be handed out to poor countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Burma to buy friendship, promote trade and, others would argue, build dependency.

    China's long-time policy of supporting Pakistan, as a means of keeping India preoccupied by the confrontation with its old enemy, was maintained, but in a more discreet way. Arms sales and other aid were also provided to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, but China was careful not to make the support too blatant and substantial, for fear of annoying India.

    Just as in 19th-century Britain, however, commerce is now producing a new set of complications. Chinese industry's hunger for oil and other natural resources from the Arabian Gulf and from Africa has led to huge increases in trade across the Indian Ocean to China, as well as to big investments by Chinese state-owned companies in mines and oil wells in Africa.

    Chinese workers have moved to Africa, and Chinese soldiers have been sent to protect them in the more unstable countries, such as Sudan and Ethiopia. Most of all, though, Chinese trade will increasingly need protection against piracy or, in future, against blockades in times of international conflict.

    Hence the flag of Chinese military power is following its trade. And when countries such as Sri Lanka ask to buy weapons, while others deny them because of bossy worries about human rights abuses, what could be more natural, commercial and friendly than for China to accede to their requests?

    Everything China is doing in the Indian Ocean can be explained away by its growing economy and by the natural evolution of a new superpower's military expansion.

    Ports and roads need to be built to avoid China being exclusively dependent on ships passing through the Malacca Strait between Singapore and Indonesia, which could easily be blockaded by enemies. The Chinese Navy needs ports and refuelling stations to be able to play its part in policing sea lanes in the Indian Ocean, just as Indian, British, French, American and, soon even Japanese, warships do.

    Much of China's double-digit annual increase in military expenditure is now being devoted to strengthening its navy, where in the past the stand-off with Taiwan was the main concern. New classes of submarine are being introduced. At the recent 60th-anniversary celebrations for the Chinese Navy, loud hints were dropped that China would soon start building aircraft carriers, essential for any country wanting to project its naval power beyond simply coastal patrols.

    Thus, on the face of it, no one should be worried, or still less surprised, by the steady expansion of Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean and in Africa. It is just what you would expect from the world's third-largest economy, one that certainly has proud visions of itself as one of the global leaders of the future. Yet many people certainly are worried. And they are right to be.

    The most worried are in India, where the favoured phrase on military planners' lips is of “Chinese encirclement”, thanks to all those ports and military facilities being built in India's South Asian neighbourhood, and thanks to Chinese arms sales in the region. But other Asian countries, too, are nervous about an expanded and more powerful Chinese Navy, partly because many still have unresolved territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea but also because they can see the military balance in the region becoming ever more unequal.

    Most of all, Chinese expansion is causing concern because its military spending and operations are so untransparent, and because the region has no Nato or equivalent to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) through which regional defence and security concerns can be openly discussed and resolved. There is really only the US Navy and American diplomacy.

    No one can stop Chinese expansion. But what they can and should try to do is build regional institutions - Asian versions of the European Union, Nato or the OSCE - within which that expansion can be monitored and to some degree regulated. The alternative is a regional arms race as India, Japan and others build up their own military strength, as an insurance policy against future Chinese aggression. That is already beginning to happen. If that arms race gets out of control, the results could be truly dangerous for the whole world.
     
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  3. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    China is doomed to crumble under it's own weight, if it tries to do things too fast. Thats my personal opinion.
     
  4. shotgunner

    shotgunner Regular Member

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    China inherit its current geography from many generations of ancestors, not by forced aggression in recent decades. Actually, today's China is much smaller than when it was 400 years ago. Naturally, territorial dispute exit between most nations with long histories. No trivial solution about it, life carries on for most ordinary people who can't feel it.

    Empire meaning colonisation, slave trade, genocide of indigenous people, military occupation? Then let the Portugese, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, German, Japanese and of course the Great British wear that crown.

    Superpower meaning naked invasion for every term of presidency, possessing WMD to wipe out human civilisation 100 times, consume most resources/energy/products and give others IOU notes, support friendly dictatorship and overthrow disobedient democracies? Then no, China will never become a superpower.

    Looking from outside, people just intimidated by China's sheer size. But look inside, average people are just trying to improve lifes, and defend what they have, nothing more than that. The Western philosophy of confrontation, naked capitalism, zero-sum game, is really boring.

    Getting tired of bashing by the West, we just ignore it and carry on with what we do, bringing good lifes to ourselves, our neighbours, our friends and those in need. Our goals are public administration of Singapore, service sector of Hong Kong, hi-tech of Japan, industrial capability of Taiwan/Korea, and peacefully happy life. Empire? Superpower? That's just bashing in another manner, and that's very boring.
     
  5. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Wish the CCP thought the same way as you do shotgunner. Unfortunately, they don't. And they are the ones who shape China's foreign policy. India and China should have joined hands as leaders of an Asian block to safeguard Asian interests against western hegemony. However, China instead opted to attack India and ever since adopt a confrontationist stance and even going to the extent of supplying Pakistan with nuclear weapon designs. India could've transferred nuclear designs to Taiwan or Vietnam too, but we didn't, as we don't believe in confrontation.

    Unfortunately, China under the CCP has decided that the best future course for China is to hurt India. So don't be surprised if India responds by beefing up her defenses by whatever means it needs to.

    Just as China had a Sun Tzu, India had its Chanakya. China's superiority complex will only carry it so far.....until the mighty communist empire comes crumbling down like the USSR. As long as the CCP is in power, there cannot be peace between India and China. Chinese citizens will have to demonstrate their desire for peace and tranquility by forcing out the CCP from power and taking power in their own hands. They need a government which is accountable to them, not one which is bent on imperialist expansion under the garb of socialism.
     
  6. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    India's stand of bournday-dispute is that "whatever I stick to should belong to me"

    the only that can be negoticated is how and when China retreat from the disputed area and return it to india.

    such foolish stand seems not ot have changed until now.

    If India could not change such foolish stand, the boudary dispute wiould never be solved.
     
  7. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Quite the opposite. It is China that keeps making claims about Arunachal Pradesh and is only interested in how and when India can return AP to China. India doesn't say the same about Aksai Chin, although we could. In fact, Nehru even said that Aksai Chin should not be given great importance because "not even a blade of grass grows there". So India actually compromised on its borders long back. But China refuses to do the same about AP.
     
  8. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    pls read the book "india's war on CHina" written by a britishman.

    before the war in 1961, CHina suggested that INdia could keep AP if CHina were allowed to keep Aksai chin. at that time, CHina even suggested that Tawang could be ceded.

    However, Nehru insisted that "whatever I stick to should belong to India, whatever it is Asai china or AP". "only that can be negoticated is when and how CHina retreat ".

    Futhermore, Nehru sent India troops beyond M-line. whick made Chinese leader not trust Nehur any more.


    now, CHina would not cede Tawang anymore. India now can not gain what it could gain any more.
     
  9. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    You're lying. That's not the way it happened. China had already sneakily constructed a road through the Indian territory of Aksai Chin, and India found out about it years later. It was only after India raised this issue that China brought AP into it. In fact, at that time, even Tibet was not under the control of China, so there was no question of Tawang being part of China.

    That's just an excuse. Your leaders knew at that time that the demarcation of the Macmahon line was done on a paper map with a thick pencil edge that could correspond to a "boundary" that wasn't exactly razor sharp. There were differences in perception between both sides, as in some places, the boundary was not marked at all.

    If you're telling me that Mao believed that India was going to send the Indian Army all the way to Lhasa to take over Tibet, you're out of your mind. Not even the British ever did that. No, your leaders knew very well that wasn't India's intention, and we only wanted to defend our own territory. But that didn't matter to them. For them, the war was about the future leadership of Asia, and about showing India that it was inferior, and about Mao's personal contempt for Nehru, whom he considered to be a "British stooge".
     
  10. advaita

    advaita Regular Member

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    Face the Reality

    My ideas below are not merely a response to you. It is a retrot to your kind of incompetent thought.

    COMPARATIVES:
    Reality of India - Inspite of Islamic Invaders, UK, Pakistan, China, US & Other countries in Europe and North America having made there fair share of attempts at converting us, exploiting us, breaking us up, sanctioning us, restricting us and in general not cooperating with us, we Indians (all 1 billion plus) live under a single economy, common socio-political system (a feat that even the most homogenous Chinese civilization could not achieve), common legal & taxation system (a feat that even the most developed western civilizations are finding so hard to repeat), common religion of tolerance and forbearance (a feat that even the most angry of all religions, Islam could not achieve) and already turned over one economic ideology of socialism after having fully understood its shortcomings and on to our second economic idea of libralisation which has yielded some impressive results for us. While we went from 550 plus princely states at the time of independence to a unified country. Our biggest challenger China went from a unified homogeneous society to one that is fearful of its own citizens.

    Reality of India's Might - In spite of one of the lowest military budget (measured as percentage of GDP) and some pretty inefficient governance our military has kept the country a single safe union in one of the most toxic neighborhoods.
    Nehru was naive when it came to China, but his vision (left of centrist), yes it was his vision only because Gandhi (spiritual guidance to India) and Sardar Patel (Temporal guidance to India) had already died, helped raise an India out of the ashes of 1000 + years of servitude. And whatever mistakes he may have committed his daughter set them right in less then 12 years (first by breaking up the looming partnership of China & Pakistan-Partners in Oppression & Sectarianism and then by taking India to defensive nuclear power). From a 1:10 armed forces ratio for India: China in 1962 to 1:2 armed forces ratio for India: China now. We are still behind China militarily but today is no 1962 and I can assure you tomorrow will be a lot different from today.
    Lay Indians do not give any thought to China of today or even of the past, he goes about doing his duty to the best of his ability knowing fully well that only his success in his chosen work can provide real safety to India and the real weapon in the hands of our military.

    Reality of India's future - In spite of being one of the last to join the race for globalization, we are the second fastest growing economy even in a recession (in spite of one of the smallest economic stimulus package as a percentage of GDP). Our economic rise is much slower to Chinas but much more sure. See the five yearly moving average of GDP growth rates. Our political class set the might of ordinary Indians free in just a few sectors and just look at the results. Sure there are more sectors to be freed up and liberalized, in time even they will see the light of Holy Aditya. Ever heard of "Slow is smooth smooth is fast"

    Reality of China - Now China is a country/society that still considers Mao its father even though he killed his own people in the Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution (and by god how many). Mao was not even the first one to do this, your kings kept killing you for personal ideas that usually had no future. Even though your people (seriously intelligent) were quite like lay Indians but they had something that Indians never had, an insane servility to the centre (while Indians looked up to its spiritual history for current temporal success, your people allowed their spiritual strength to get sapped by whichever Chinese despot was in power). You have moved from one extreme to another economically, politically and militarily that only goes to show your susceptibility to mass vacillations. This susceptibility itself will negate whatever success you people evolve over many years of labour. We build over past success you simply negate except when it comes to borders where you begin to run after every harebrained claim that any chinese despot ever made. Whenever our minorities experienced trouble the state helped them to whatever limited capacity it had. In your case the trouble for minorities was started and sustained by the state be it Tibeteans or Uighurs or Mongols or even in the case of poor ignorant North Koreans and Myanmarese who do not understand what goodness China has showered on their culture by making a brother fight his brother. You are only trying to repeat in Indian subcontinent what you had earlier accomplished in Korean Peninsula and by which you yourself suffered in history and suffer even now. India gave Buddhist thought (amongst the most peaceful) to China to help enrich Chinese culture and centuries later China responded by giving Military of Pakistan to India the single biggest sectarian idea in the history of India in fact in the history of the world. China is an infection, some will succumb to it, some will develop immunity to it, some will find a temporary cure for it and some others will find a permanent cure for it. Economically your banks do things never heard of. Your industry puts unprecedented pressure on the environment where you live thus increasing the proportionate cost of changes that will have to be carried out to meet the multilateral environmental targets. Your hard earned money is put in assets that are only going to be devalued and you cannot even change the holding currency because of the impact cost that it would carry. US will gradually become a binary to you like in binary stars that sustain no life and are quick to self destruct.

    Reality of China's Might - Consistent ability to support basket cases who exploit there own people. Lost to Vietnam. Lost Pakistan to US. Lost North Korea to obscurity. Above all lost the faith of its own youth by killing them in Tiananmen. Just generating a population which fights not because it believes in the national goal but because of fear of what his more servile neighbors will turn him up to the Chinese Nazis. Absolutely none of its neighbour believes and either maintains strong militaries and intelligence or maintains close relations with US. Its only friendship with US is based on money power and leaves China far more vulnerable to US then US is to China. Just wait till you flex your muscles to get US out of Japan and you will see the true strength of Japan (whatever strength you sport the Japanese do it even better). You should be thankful your main competition is with people who carry no wish to repeat your success in destabilizing others and who, thanks to Chou En Lai have learnt to deal with the Chinese vacillations and thanks to Deng have learnt to be confident in market economics. Indians have turned a corner in the growth path of civilizational magnitude. From here on Indians can only go up and the only destruction that can ever come can come from the All Mighty.

    Reality of China's future - The unprecedented population growth and industrialization-consumption in last century (something that has never happened in the history of the world) has thrown up challenges where Chinese methods will simply fail. You keep killing your own intellectuals who are supposed to provide direction to the society and rely instead on a small clique who think that they are China and the population of China are merely their slaves. Your people will simply be at sea while dealing with the complexities of modern day life for the simple reason that they historically allowed others to think for them and now have lost the capacity to they never respected. Our human resource is matching up to everything the Chinese human resource is achieving in every direction of life even though you have a huge lead in terms of Literacy and Money power. You have more money but poorly used. By trying to be a predator civilization you will only gain a predators fate, just remember the ancestors of felines used to hunt the ancestors of humans but eventually the offsprings of felines today find themselves endangered at the hands of the offsprings of the apes who were weaker then the felines but made the evolutionary jump to the faculty of thought. That very same evolution is now continuing along the lines of cultural development in the case of humans. You think that incessant incursions in Indian territory is force projection through forward policy, what you fail to realize is that with every incursion that fails to become a full fledged war the Indian take it to mean that you have lost the nerve for a straight fight. You are more then welcome to try your ideas in Tawang. We will see.

    MOST LIKELY SCENARIO:
    Our relations will remain sour because of our histories. The need to take care of our large populations even while taking care of the problem of pollution and the gradual cultural globalization will shift the competition, for the foreseeable future from to the realm of military might only to the realm of sustainable growth. Here India will score over China because of our historical investments in developing our conscience instead of merely running after statistics, a method that China has choosen. Thanks to Chou we know what we have to do militarily and thanks to Deng we know what to do economically, other areas of our life were already strong. We will eventually achieve the conversion of our large minority that follows Abrahmic religions from a suspicious population to a fully functional and working population actually enjoying the fruits of the labour that is India. The failure of Pakistan to continue challenging India in next few decades because of the unleashing of the Indian will to confront and engage Pakistan in areas (covert operations) where they had superiority will ensure that India comes up to its full potential. 9/11 was the turning point for the whole world and the kalchakra that will eventually bring up the billion population of India had started and will only get more and more, strong from hereon. But the world does not has to fear this situation. This world will eventually lack the capacity to take and absorb whatever good that India will throw at it. This will be a beneficial cycle and the challenge has shifted from real danger of Asia erupting in an all out military confrontation to the real danger of ensuring sustainable development.

    Though if any Chinese thinks Tawang is important for them, we respectfully welcome him to try under your honoured belief that this is 1962. :twizt:

    And BTW encirclement is nonsense in the fastest changing world. Even the US did not win over USSR because of encirclement. It won because it was faster and efficient at changing itself to face an ever changing environment compared to the monolithic Soviets who merely did more of what they were doing at the time of their birth. Learn something from history, or you will merely repeat it. With such stupidity you are becoming an embarrassment for Asia. From the top civilization of Asia to a country that cannot makeup its mind about Tawang in 2000-3000 years.:cray:

    regards
    :mornin:
     
  11. SammyCheung

    SammyCheung Guest

    Um.... I hate it break it to you. But the vast majority of Chinese people live in contentment and have no desire to see a radical change to the political system.

    Despite what you might think.... we are not "oppressed" at all. We have a very high standard of living now, and we can live like Americans or Japanese within 20 years.

    Other countries might have a problem with China growing strong and wealthy. But that's because they have their interests in mind. It is a total lie to say that the Chinese government does not serve the interests of the Chinese people as a whole.
     
  12. advaita

    advaita Regular Member

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    thats really great to hear from SammyCheung. Congratulations. I dont want to spoil your party. I was just trying to find the applicability of the essence of my country vis a vis yours since someone from China was raising some issues that were in essence a propaganda.
     
  13. SammyCheung

    SammyCheung Guest

    I think what you're trying to say is that India is "spiritually superior" to China.

    China's view on this is that China does not care about "spiritual superiority" since China is an officially atheist country. China is concerned about material superiority though, and China is confident that it will continue to lead in economic growth for the foreseeable future.

    Only the Chinese can determine what develop path it chooses to take. We are not going to change our political system to suit the tastes of other countries.
     
  14. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    We have seen what a myopic, astigmatic focus on 'material superiority' has led the world to. Consumption without end with neither food for the conscience nor the soul is not what human nature is endeared to in its fullest.

    Don't get your knickers in a twist just yet. You are not "projected to lead in economic growth" for the foreseeable future. Infact, the World Bank estimates that Indian growth will supercede China's by as early as next (financial) year. Everyone from Morgan Stanley to Goldman Sachs is more bullish on India than on China for the "foreseeable future".
     
  15. advaita

    advaita Regular Member

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    I am not talking about just spiritual superiority. I am talking about cultural superiority that enables us to not keep killing our people and instead try to coopt them in common tasks. Now within china it may not matter since all of you are HAN but without China it is an altogether different story.


    We dont care for what China cares. But we do care for what we care.


    Nobody is asking you to change anything about you. We are asking our own people to know that Chinese are happy the way they are and they are a danger to everybody else and so beware.

    And BTW unlike the Chinese Propagandist I care for timezones.
    bye for now, would have loved to continue this but may not find the time.:dozey:
     
  16. advaita

    advaita Regular Member

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    Dear Rage,
    My views about India are exactly the same but since you are introducing some companies into the picture. Request you to back that up with a claim. Not that they know better. Its just that both of us are not paid propagandist unlike some here.
     
  17. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    How would you know? Has your government ever asked the people what THEY wanted? Has there ever been a referendum on the political structure of China? I'm sure at least the Tibetians and Uighurs would want a different national system than the one present. And those are only the most prominent minorities. Tiananmen Square showed that even the Han Chinese weren't exactly pleased with the CCP.

    Whenever there is any dissent, whenever anyone asks for democracy, he is whisked away by the police or the secret service and never heard of again.

    If your government is so scared of new ideas it thinks will diminish its hold over its citizens that it kidnaps and tortures them, how can you claim to know what most Chinese want? The ones that do want another system are killed, and others are turned into obedient slaves through massive state propaganda. I wonder if most Chinese even know the full extent of Mao's crimes during the Great Leap or the Cultural Revolution.
     
  18. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    advaita, there is a thread on this board in the "Global Economics" subsection with multiple links to World Bank projections of India outstripping China's growth in the next financial year.

    Infact, let me take the pleasure of searching for it for you myself: http://www.defenceforum.in/forum/global-economy/2662-india-set-grow-faster-than-china-2010-world-bank.html


    Here is a link to Stephen Roach's, Morgan Stanley's Asia Chairman, take on growth vis-a-vis India and China:

    http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/fii-view/more-bullishindia-thanchina-stephen-roach/400250


    The following is a link to a synopisis of the [slightly dated: 2008] (Dominic Wilson) Goldman Sachs report on growth prospects for India and China in the medium term:

    http://www.livemint.com/2008/12/09213738/Will-India-overtake-China.html
     
  19. shotgunner

    shotgunner Regular Member

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    How could you have known?
     
  20. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Shotgunner, the CCP may be censoring their own media, but they cannot censor foreign media. And that's how I know. I read, watch, and listen to foreign news sources from all over the world. Uncensored, unfiltered. And unpropagandised.
     
  21. shotgunner

    shotgunner Regular Member

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    I think that most Chinese (to be accurate, I mean the ones I know, have dialogue with) have rough understanding of death toll caused by Mao's radical reforms. General impression is that he has guts to fight, have uptopian dream, but no solid action plans on economy. The one that led successful economic reform was Deng Xiao Ping, again I think most Chinese know that.

    Based on the same personal experience & observation, I also concur with the statement "...But the vast majority of Chinese people live in contentment..." if contentment here refers to satisfaction in material life. I am no fan of CCP, but after Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Chen Sui Bian, Thailand, some S American countries & George Bush's Patriot Act, I am not sure what is the right change for China. Some countries do look good e.g. Singapore, but due to vast difference in country size, are they China's role model? Some political experiments are being conducted in China's rural areas, and the HKSAR. Let's see how they turn out, and see what's next. I think education, size of middle class, sense of security (remember how GWB hold the country together by using War on Terror? A lot more classical examples) and cultural identity all have a role in determining the political progress of a nation.

    So danger to others? Forget it, too many unfinished business at hand now, China is no threat in the forseeable future.
     

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