China's strategic miscalculations in South China sea - Vietnamese scholar

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Yusuf, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Hoang Anh Tuan, Director-General of the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, explains that “Regrettably, China does not yet recognize the extent to which its aggressive course in the South China Sea is damaging its diplomacy with neighboring countries.”
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    “A respected characteristic of a truly global power lies in its ability to admit and move beyond historical misadventures.”
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    http://www.eastwestcenter.org/sites/default/files/private/apb_181.pdf
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    EAST WEST CENTER
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    ASIA PACIFIC BULLETIN
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    NUMBER 181, SEPTEMBER 27, 2012
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    Chinese Strategic Miscalculations in the
    South China Sea
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    BY HOANG ANH TUAN
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    Just less than a decade ago, China ranked as the world’s fifth largest economy. Since then,
    high domestic economic growth has enabled it to surpass Japan as the second largest global
    economy, and China is now poised to overtake the United States as the world’s largest
    economy, possibly within the next 10 to 20 years. With a huge population and a dynamic
    economic foundation, there is every reason to believe that China could very well one day
    become the world’s largest economy. However, attaining that level of economic prowess
    is no guarantee of superpower status. It took the United States over 75 years and two
    world wars to become a global superpower in terms of both economic and military
    supremacy.
    -
    This suggests that even if China does ascend to become the world’s largest economy, it
    will not automatically transform itself into the most powerful nation. The key lesson for
    China is that it needs to develop a technologically advanced economy enhanced by good
    governance, effective policy making, and respected global citizenship supported by levelheaded
    diplomacy. Sustaining superpower status is no small challenge. History is full of
    accounts of failed superpowers that collapsed into obscurity by virtue of succumbing to
    competitors, committing strategic blunders that squandered resources, compromising the
    interests of their citizenry, or misjudging the intentions of rivals.
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    For China, the South China Sea dispute represents the kind of challenge that could
    determine whether or how China will indeed ascend to superpower status. Regrettably,
    China does not yet recognize the extent to which its aggressive course in the South China
    Sea is damaging its diplomacy with neighboring countries.
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    First, sovereignty disputes with some ASEAN neighbors have severely weakened China's
    standing in the region and beyond. The deterioration of China’s relationship with the
    West after the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident should be a strong reminder to Beijing of
    its recent strategic errors in judgment. During that period, ASEAN played an important
    role as a conduit for China to the outside world. Indeed, it is in large part due to China’s
    relationship with ASEAN that China was able to gradually resume normal diplomatic
    relations with the West.
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    China’s current assertiveness in the South China Sea is now slowly but surely eroding its
    positive image with its ASEAN neighbors as a peacefully rising power. Without exception,
    countries within Southeast Asia and beyond are very cautious of China’s rise. Even as
    China’s national economic and global stature increase, its influence, image and “soft
    power” abroad is declining dramatically.
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    Second, China’s aggressiveness has resulted in the United States reprioritizing its global
    strategy with its “pivot” or “rebalance” toward the Asia-Pacific region. This policy
    adjustment by the United States has given Chinese policymakers serious reason for concern and activated the fear that China might again end up being contained in much the
    same way as the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.
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    China now sees “US hands” in both its internal and external affairs. Examples this year of
    US influence in China’s domestic affairs include Wang Lijun, Chongqing’s former police
    chief, applying to the US Consulate in Chengdu for political asylum and the blind lawyer,
    Chen Guangcheng, fleeing to the US Embassy in Beijing. Throughout the region, US allies
    including Japan, South Korea and the Philippines have all upgraded their already strong
    military cooperation with the United States. If China continues to ignore the interests or
    concerns of its neighbors who have a stake in the South China Sea, its aggressiveness is
    likely to galvanize increased regional cooperation with the United States.
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    Third, troubles with close neighbors also affect the image and position of China in the
    world. The most important condition for any country aspiring to ascend to global power
    status is to maintain good relations with its neighbors. However, if China is unable or
    unwilling to maintain a cordial relationship with its closest neighbors, how can countries
    further afield trust and respect this aspiring superpower? As long as China is unable to
    maintain a significant level of trust and friendship with its neighbors, benevolent global
    power status for China is likely to remain a pipe dream.
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    Fourth, China’s dramatic assertion of unilateral sovereignty over the South China Sea has
    adversely affected the peaceful environment China desperately needs to become a global
    power. If conflict does break out, it is likely to have a sustained, widespread and long-term
    detrimental impact on the regional economic and security situation in the region. China
    itself would severely be impacted as nearly 80 percent of its oil imports and the majority of
    its goods, imports and exports, flow through the Strait of Malacca and other South China
    Sea routes.
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    Central to the dispute is China’s claim of sovereignty over the U-shaped line that it claims
    to have inherited from the Kuomintang government, and which was only officially
    submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2009. As the
    lines are not based on any legal foundation and have no specific geographical coordinates,
    they leave room for inconsistent explanations from China. It should be noted that the
    Chinese U-shaped line covers 80 percent of the South China Sea, while China only
    administers 15 percent of that area.
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    China’s unilateral claims of sovereignty over the years to the South China Sea has made the majority of Chinese citizenry mistakenly believe that China does indeed own the entire
    area within the U-shaped line and that the line makes up China’s southern border.
    However, newly discovered maps in 1904 dating from the Qing Dynasty do not show the
    Paracel and Spratlys Islands. Instead, it is Hainan Island that is depicted as China’s
    southern most border. Unfortunately, this U-shaped line is now very much like a bone in
    China’s throat that it cannot swallow or remove.
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    A respected characteristic of a truly global power lies in its ability to admit and move
    beyond historical misadventures. US efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam are a case
    in point. China is a great civilization which gave birth to great men like Laozi, Confucius,
    and Li Shizen, and by following the teachings of these renowned philosophers China
    should be capable of overcoming its miscalculations in its South China Sea policy.
    -
    First and foremost, China should take constructive steps to bring about an amicable
    conclusion to negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, and
    implement a face-saving policy renouncing once and for all its U-shaped line. Obviously,
    this will be a difficult decision for China to take. However, the international dividend and
    return for China’s peaceful rise would ripple far beyond the neighborhood and confines of
    the South China Sea.
    -
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    This says it all.

    Even by Chinese map of 1904, it indicates the fairy tales that China has spun as 'history' to claim the complete South China Sea.

    It exposes the total fabrication that underlines China's interpretation of Lebensraum to include islands and seas!
     
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  4. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    so vietnam, phillippine has an old map shows the SCS belong to them? :rolleyes: hence the fact is disputed area.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    But Chinese map of 1904 states that there is no dispute and it is not Chinese in the first place!
     
  6. fluke

    fluke New Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    The article is well written. The author GENTLY reminds that if China dares to take the South China Sea by force, it will suffer the consequence as 80% of oil import and other goods pass through the sea controlled by Asean countries. Su-30 from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam or F-15 from Singapore can effectively reduce or stop the flow and cause a crash in China's economy.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    Zheng He (1371–1433), formerly romanized as Cheng Ho and also known as Ma Sanbao and Hajji Mahmud Shamsuddin, was a Muslim Hui-Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who commanded voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Somalia and the Swahili coast, collectively referred to as the "Voyages of Zheng He" from 1405 to 1433.

    China will use his maps to claim all areas visited by him are part of China!

    That is how the pennies fall for China and its claims or so it appears.


    [​IMG]
    Part of the chart showing India at top, Ceylon upper right and Africa along the bottom

    South and SE Asia

    The Galle Trilingual Inscription stone tablet, erected by Zheng He around 1410 in Sri Lanka, records details about contributions of gold, silver, and silk that Zheng He made on behalf of the emperor at a Buddhist mountain temple.[47][48] Also, a commemorative pillar at the temple of the Taoist goddess Tian Fei, the Celestial Spouse, in Fujian province records details about his voyages.[49] It has the inscription:
    We have traversed more than 100,000 li (50,000 kilometers) of immense water spaces and have beheld in the ocean huge waves like mountains rising in the sky, and we have set eyes on barbarian regions far away hidden in a blue transparency of light vapors, while our sails, loftily unfurled like clouds day and night, continued their course [as rapidly] as a star, traversing those savage waves as if we were treading a public thoroughfare…
    —Erected by Zheng He, Changle, Fujian, 1432. Louise Levathes


    Good reason to strike a claim on Sri Lanka?

    In Malacca

    At the time when his fleet first arrived in Malacca, Chinese people were already living there. Ma Huan refers to them as tángrén (Chinese: 唐人). Ming China found Malacca to be a useful transit centre for replenishment of fleet supplies, and received valuable gifts from Zheng He's fleet. The sultan and sultana of Malacca at the time visited China at the head of over 540 of their subjects and ample tribute. Sultan Mansur Shah (ruled 1459–1477) later dispatched Tun Perpatih Putih as his envoy to China, carrying a letter from the sultan to the Ming emperor. The letter requested the hand of an imperial daughter in marriage. In the year 1459, a princess (Hang Li Po or Hang Liu), was sent by the Ming emperor to marry the sultan. The princess came with 500 sons of ministers and a few hundred handmaidens as her entourage. They eventually settled in Bukit Cina, Malacca. It is believed that a significant number of them married into the local populace. The descendants of these mixed marriages are locally known today as Peranakan and still use the honorifics Baba (male title) and Nyonya (female title).

    n Malaysia today, many people believe that Admiral Zheng He (who died in 1433) sent princess Hang Li Po to Malacca in the year 1459. However there is no record of Hang Li Po (or Hang Liu) in Ming history. She is mentioned only within Malaccan folklore and in the Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals.

    The Tibetan Overlord married a Chinese Princess and that is one of the major argument as to why Tibet is a part of China and so Malacca too should be a part of China on the same premise.

    Islam

    Zheng Hoo (Zheng He) Mosque. A mosque named after the famous navigator in the Indonesian city of Surabaya Accounts contemporary to Zheng He's era suggest he may have been a Muslim; these include the writings of the Muslim Ma Huan.

    Indonesian religious leader and Islamic scholar Hamka (1908–1981) wrote in 1961: "The development of Islam in Indonesia and Malaya is intimately related to a Chinese Muslim, Admiral Zheng He. "In Malacca he built granaries, warehouses and a stockade. Zheng He built Chinese Muslim communities in Palembang and along the shores of Java, the Malay Peninsula and the Philippines. They preached Islam according to the Hanafi school of thought and in Chinese language.

    Li Tong Cai, in his book 'Indonesia – Legends and Facts', writes: "in 1430, Zheng He had already successfully established the foundations of the Hui religion Islam. After his death in 1434, Hajji Yan Ying Yu became the force behind the Chinese Muslim community, and he delegated a few local Chinese as leaders, such as trader Sun Long from Semarang, Peng Rui He and Hajji Peng De Qin. Sun Long and Peng Rui He actively urged the Chinese community to 'Javanise'. They encouraged the younger Chinese generation to assimilate with the Javanese society, to take on Javanese names and their way of life. Sun Long's adopted son Chen Wen, also known as Radin Pada (Raden Patah), is the son of King Majapahit and his Chinese wife."

    Therefore, the Chinese Admiral got done the infrastructure and spread religion in Indonesia. Surely that would also make a good ground to claim Indonesia and waters thereat at China.

    Wiki
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  8. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    No, China would bite and grab slowly, very clinically. A hot head on clash is not probable, given the reasons you've already mentioned.
    China may not even attack anyone in the region. To reach its goal it may rather force other instabilities and things like regime change in the small countries of the region.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
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  9. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    In due time perhaps. First China's "peaceful" rise has to complete.
    And even then, it would depend upon the Indonesia of that time. I think China won't meddle much wherever Islam has made inroads.Because they bite back very hard.
    IMO only alliances or neutrality would work for them.
     
  10. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    But Chinese map of 1945 states that it is Chinese and vietname/philipine had no problems with it!
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    In 1945 was Vietnam or Philippines in any position to accept or reject?
     
  12. WeNeedTheTruth

    WeNeedTheTruth Regular Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    If your "SCS" means "Paracel & Spartly islands", well we do have them. :rofl:

    [​IMG]
    Map of the Great Empire of An Nam (1838)

    [​IMG]
    Map of the United Empire of Dai Nam (1834)

    We also have a lot of official documents of our Monarchy and French Colonies, in addition to more than 10 old Western maps, 100 old Western books, which affirms our sovereignty over Paracels & Spartly since 17th Century.

    China will definitely loose if they are stupid enough to challenge our historical sovereignty :rofl:
     
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  13. Oblaks

    Oblaks Regular Member

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    That is if they could manage to get through their own internal turmoils
     
  14. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    you do know china has these map since 15th century, you lost about 300yrs in term of map. :rolleyes: who owns the island is disputeble, pretty much all agree. even philippine probably has some old maps in their closet.
     
  15. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    Did their masters-French or US reject this claim at the time?

    And it is too bad for these countries that they didn't even founded when China claimed these islands!
     
  16. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    But Vietnamese won in 1979 and their calculation were correct to give CCP a bloody nose!
     
  17. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    I agree most part of this article. Instead of double standard (we apply ocean treaty to Japan and Korea but historical claim to Vietnam and Philipine), China should follow the code of conduct (The international ocean treaty) to resolve disputes with our neighbors, including South East Asian countries, Japan and South Korea.

    I know most Chinese members here don’t agree with me because they believe the world doesn’t really follow the rule and no territories would be granted by foreign country voluntarily unless taken by force. But my point of view is China’s long term interest lies on we become a responsible member of world community, respect the rule both internationally and domestically. Instead of ignoring law and orders, being arrogant and ignorant, Chinese government should act as a trustworthy institution, a role model for Chinese people that can be trusted. Now many people can see they are just playing nationalism cards around, manipulating Chinese people’s patriotism to achieve political gain. Once they meet their needs, they could change face instantly. Such government could look aggressive today, but sell the country off tomorrow. I simply can’t trust a government without credibility.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
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  18. uvbar

    uvbar Regular Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    i think due to the media hype and suddenly grown muscles (and fall of west economies) china has got a perfect time to do the chest thumping
     
  19. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    Unfortunately, international ocean treaty allows the arguments on different consideration: history, geological location, treay, etc.
    So, China as same as japan, south korea, is following the code of conduct.


    You seems to misunderstand your countryman: they do believe the world should follow the rules. The question is who makes these rules.

    What is your definition of "responsible member"? Please point out one single action taken by Chinese government that noother country has done in Diaoyu island or south China sea dispute! If everyone is doing it, how can you single out China as "irresponsible"?



    Isn't diaoyu island the needs? Isn't Spratly islands the needs? What the other political gain are you talking about?

    When a country have dispute with foreigners, it is quite natural to see the rise of nationalism, it doesn't need manipulation!

    If a gov could not defend the country's interest TODAY, how can you be sure it won't sell the country off tomorrow?

    If you think that China has no right on Diaoyu island, then you are right to say so!
     
  20. WeNeedTheTruth

    WeNeedTheTruth Regular Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    Then show me that map.
    In PDF, chinese propagators have already said that they even have 2000-year-old maps, but they just can't provide it, so their "historical evidences" still remain invisible and mysterious ... :rofl: They don't have a single clear "historical evidence", poor them :rofl:

    I'm sorry but the French did rejected chinese occupation.
    A legal analysis in support of Viet Nam’s position regarding the Paracel & Spratly Islands

    Our country was still there, just under the "protection" of France like you guys were under the "protection" of Japan.
     
  21. WeNeedTheTruth

    WeNeedTheTruth Regular Member

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    Re: A distinguished vietnamese scholar on "chinese strategic miscalculations in the s

    Viking02 and BinhMinh02 incidents. Chinese Pirates (PLA) attacked Vietnamese ship in Vietnamese EEZ.

    Imagine that suddenly Russia need some lands and they invade some of your provinces in your Northern border... What will you do?

    Your national interests must not harm other's legal rights, so you have to follow some kind of international rules. It's the different between Modern Era and Middle Age.
    It seems that "mighty china" hasn't passed the Middle Age...
     

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