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China, an emerging superpower or an old man on viagara?

alphacat

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It's fashionable nowadays to portray China as the next superpower. However, serious students of foreign policy and futurism have a few doubts.

1- China has no history of democracy or respect for the rights of the individual at all. Now, the reality is that to date, no modern society has ever been able to enter the ranks of first class modern nations without these characteristics. In fact, the deep seated authoritarianism of Chinese society is a prophylactic against democracy and individuality. Instead, China remains a police state.

2- No modern culture during the last 500 years has been able to establish and maintain superpower status without first being an intellectual superpower. China, like all mongoloid cultures in modern times, has a great deficit in true creativity. Worse, this deficit is based on the heavily ingrown traditions of authoritarianism, paternalism and group think as opposed to individual think. To date, modern China is an abject failure in this regard. A simple walk in any Chinese city will reveal stolen western intellectual product, but virtually nothing original which is home grown.

3- China has a military history of defensiveness and failure. The reality of Chinese military history is that against non- Chinese, they have almost always been the losers. Indeed, the famous Sun Tzu texts were written during one of hate many many periods of Chinese civil war.

4- Internal strife has been the bane of China for millenia. China traditionally splits into many parts which, for protracted periods war with each other. This could easily happen again.

5- Corruption has been and continues to be the bane of China. Chinese friends tell me that already, it is almost impossible to tell who really owns anything in China. Apparently, the Chinese government is worried in that estimates are already that 1.5% per year of China's GDP growth is corruption related.

6- Fear and hatred of Chinese cultural imperialism and economic domination are deep seated and wide spread in Asia. This will act as a natural hedge to excessive Chinese influence.

7- Last but by no means least, it should never be forgotten that China is outrageously overpopulated. This has already caused incredible pollution and via culture based infanticide to produce males, a ration of 1.2 males to females in the sub 15 age group in China.
 

mikeangelo

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excellent analysis.

This was my opinion on China until 18 months ago.

Let me address each point in turn

1)True to be a global leader you need to export an ideology that encompases all other people. The only two ideologies that are manifested in the world today are the ideologies of capitalism and that of Islam. Capitalism exists in state form and dominates the world whereas Islam presently exists as a non state form. Just because China lacks ideology doesn't mean that it can't be a major global player. It also doesn't mean that it cannot compete with America in certain aspects of foreign control. In fact what we are observing in S Asia and C Asia should be of some concern to all observers. One thing further to add is that China does not need to be democratic to progress. It requires an ideology. There is a difference. Communist Russia was a threat as was the Ottoman Empire of Islam.

2) This point is true, but there are trends that show that this is changing. up until recently, it was American companies establishing factories using Chinese labour and financed by Chinese banks. However recently we are seeing the chinese companies themselves growing. we are seeing increased partnerships between global financial institutions and Chinese home grown banks. There are reforms happening. The country is repositioning itself. I would recommend all people to keep their eye on banking reform in China. Also we have seen the recent Unocal bid by the chinese which is interestingly financed by a chinese bank in partnership with HSBC. This is an opening volley.

3) There is military reform occurring in China itself. China is also working on establishing bases throughout the bordering countries such as Pakistan and Krygystan. It is also developing its own capabilities in joint ventures with both Pakistan and India. These reforms are being done to prepare China for its future involvements. we will have to wait and see if these reforms are correct for China but we should not discount any future conflict with China, but at the same time not see it as an immediate threat.

4) China has many 'internal' problems, such as Tibet, Taiwan and many regional concerns such as Japan, North Korea. There is also the risk of restive provinces. It is very easy to destabilise. However that would be in noone's interest. Totally agree on that point. The other factor that we need to examine is the difference between the cities and the rural areas. The rural areas have not seen any economic benefits. Remember what happened to the BJP in india. They were removed from office and the Congress Party came into power on the back of the villagers.

5) Again totally agree with you on this one. They have been pushing for changes for WTO membership. However it is part of the culture there. We will have to observe this trend for china. It will need to overcome this problem if it wishes any level of progression.

6) This is true to a certain extent. However the situation is changing. Indonesia has been warming to the chinese. Despite the public bickering, China and Japan are still excellent trading partners. The other problem is that the other South Asian nations are generally weak nations. I would not count on them as resistance. China's central Asian expansion is of greater interest. This is something I like to keep my eye on. Let us see how this progresses. Keep your eyes on an organisation called the SCO.

7) this is an interesting angle. hmm I need to research this a little more. I will get back to you on this one. If you have any good articles then please forward them.
 

Simon W. Moon

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alphacat said:
1- China has no history of democracy or respect for the rights of the individual at all. Now, the reality is that to date, no modern society has ever been able to enter the ranks of first class modern nations without these characteristics.
Correlation does not equate to causation.

Btw, how are you defining your terms?
What characteristics make a country a 'superpower'? WUsing the definition you're using, was the former Soviet Union a superpower?
What characteristics make a country a first-class, modern nation? I Sweden a first-class, modern nation? What about Japan, France, and Brazil? Are any of them first-class, modern nations?

alphacat said:
In fact, the deep seated authoritarianism of Chinese society is a prophylactic against democracy and individuality.
And what's the time period o your considerations here? Ten years? One century? Ten centuries?

alphacat said:
China, like all mongoloid cultures in modern times, has a great deficit in true creativity.
I've got to get a definition and a citation for this claim. What constitutes "true creativity?" And where'd you get the idea that China has a "deficit"?

alphacat said:
Apparently, the Chinese government is worried in that estimates are already that 1.5% per year of China's GDP growth is corruption related.
What a particularly peculiar statistic. Where'd you come across such a thing?
 

alphacat

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mikeangelo said:
excellent analysis.

This was my opinion on China until 18 months ago.

Let me address each point in turn

1)True to be a global leader you need to export an ideology that encompases all other people. The only two ideologies that are manifested in the world today are the ideologies of capitalism and that of Islam. Capitalism exists in state form and dominates the world whereas Islam presently exists as a non state form. Just because China lacks ideology doesn't mean that it can't be a major global player. It also doesn't mean that it cannot compete with America in certain aspects of foreign control. In fact what we are observing in S Asia and C Asia should be of some concern to all observers. One thing further to add is that China does not need to be democratic to progress. It requires an ideology. There is a difference. Communist Russia was a threat as was the Ottoman Empire of Islam.

2) This point is true, but there are trends that show that this is changing. up until recently, it was American companies establishing factories using Chinese labour and financed by Chinese banks. However recently we are seeing the chinese companies themselves growing. we are seeing increased partnerships between global financial institutions and Chinese home grown banks. There are reforms happening. The country is repositioning itself. I would recommend all people to keep their eye on banking reform in China. Also we have seen the recent Unocal bid by the chinese which is interestingly financed by a chinese bank in partnership with HSBC. This is an opening volley.

3) There is military reform occurring in China itself. China is also working on establishing bases throughout the bordering countries such as Pakistan and Krygystan. It is also developing its own capabilities in joint ventures with both Pakistan and India. These reforms are being done to prepare China for its future involvements. we will have to wait and see if these reforms are correct for China but we should not discount any future conflict with China, but at the same time not see it as an immediate threat.

4) China has many 'internal' problems, such as Tibet, Taiwan and many regional concerns such as Japan, North Korea. There is also the risk of restive provinces. It is very easy to destabilise. However that would be in noone's interest. Totally agree on that point. The other factor that we need to examine is the difference between the cities and the rural areas. The rural areas have not seen any economic benefits. Remember what happened to the BJP in india. They were removed from office and the Congress Party came into power on the back of the villagers.

5) Again totally agree with you on this one. They have been pushing for changes for WTO membership. However it is part of the culture there. We will have to observe this trend for china. It will need to overcome this problem if it wishes any level of progression.

6) This is true to a certain extent. However the situation is changing. Indonesia has been warming to the chinese. Despite the public bickering, China and Japan are still excellent trading partners. The other problem is that the other South Asian nations are generally weak nations. I would not count on them as resistance. China's central Asian expansion is of greater interest. This is something I like to keep my eye on. Let us see how this progresses. Keep your eyes on an organisation called the SCO.

7) this is an interesting angle. hmm I need to research this a little more. I will get back to you on this one. If you have any good articles then please forward them.
I am not asserting that China will not be a global power, of course it will be and so I agree with many points you make. However, I still feel my points regrading societal organization and the potential of the individual are paramount. As it appears to me that the Chinese have made no progress in these areas and that indeed, for them to make progress would be extremely difficult, I stand by my original thesis.

Remember, we had the same paradigm sssert itself about 15 years ago when the rest of Asia began to boom. Asians began talkign about "The Asian Way" their disdain for America and it's values and how they would surpass us...
the rest, as they say, is history.
 

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Simon W. Moon said:
Correlation does not equate to causation.

Btw, how are you defining your terms?
What characteristics make a country a 'superpower'? WUsing the definition you're using, was the former Soviet Union a superpower?
What characteristics make a country a first-class, modern nation? I Sweden a first-class, modern nation? What about Japan, France, and Brazil? Are any of them first-class, modern nations?

And what's the time period o your considerations here? Ten years? One century? Ten centuries?

I've got to get a definition and a citation for this claim. What constitutes "true creativity?" And where'd you get the idea that China has a "deficit"?

What a particularly peculiar statistic. Where'd you come across such a thing?
I think the theme of the thread was superpower, which was in the sense of the U.S. In terms of the current definition, the former Soviet Union was not a superpower, although you could say it was an ersatz superpower. I disagree with your remark about correlation and causation. Of course, something new could happen. My observation though, stated that there was no history of any other course being true. What there is a history of, is China expanded and then collapsing in on itself. There is also a history of modern asian nations having rapid initial economic expansion followed by collapse as the rest of their culture and society fails in it's ability to support this rapid growth.
 

nkgupta80

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No modern culture during the last 500 years has been able to establish and maintain superpower status without first being an intellectual superpower. China, like all mongoloid cultures in modern times, has a great deficit in true creativity. Worse, this deficit is based on the heavily ingrown traditions of authoritarianism, paternalism and group think as opposed to individual think.
The transformation will happen slowly. With china incorporating a modern free market system into their economy, competition will call for greater creativity. As an intellectual power, China's human resource drain is slowly reversing, and thus the tech sector's growing. Coming from a land that invented gunpowder, paper, the compass, paper currency, i have no doubt that the Chinese will regain that creative power as their world status an economic power rises.

To date, modern China is an abject failure in this regard. A simple walk in any Chinese city will reveal stolen western intellectual product, but virtually nothing original which is home grown.
But that doesn't mean that they're "home-grown" Chinese culture is gone. It is very much intact. And whats wrong with incorporating Western Pop culture or western style city designs.
 

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mikeangelo said:
The only two ideologies that are manifested in the world today are the ideologies of capitalism and that of Islam.
Care to share the definition of ideology that makes this statement true?

mikeangelo said:
Capitalism exists in state form and dominates the world whereas Islam presently exists as a non state form.
What do you mean by the phrase "state form"?
 

alphacat

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nkgupta80 said:
The transformation will happen slowly. With china incorporating a modern free market system into their economy, competition will call for greater creativity. As an intellectual power, China's human resource drain is slowly reversing, and thus the tech sector's growing. Coming from a land that invented gunpowder, paper, the compass, paper currency, i have no doubt that the Chinese will regain that creative power as their world status an economic power rises.



But that doesn't mean that they're "home-grown" Chinese culture is gone. It is very much intact. And whats wrong with incorporating Western Pop culture or western style city designs.
Well you are correct, in the past China has shown some creativity, but not for a very long time. Some would argue confucian principles are anti-creative because they are anti-individualistic.

Of course home grown culture is not gone, I'm just pointing out that to really take the first rank you must create, not just copy. For instance, even Japan, which is to a great extent democratic, it is well known and well noted that the Japanese have failed utterly in basic science and technology, despite all their efforts to the contrary. Does this mean Japan is not a fine place with a well developed economy and culture... of course not.
 

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alphacat said:
I think the theme of the thread was superpower, which was in the sense of the U.S. In terms of the current definition, the former Soviet Union was not a superpower, although you could say it was an ersatz superpower.
Could you please be a little more precise in your definition of superpower? I still don't get it.

alphacat said:
I disagree with your remark about correlation and causation.
Disagree as much as you like. It's not up to debate. It's not an opinion. It's just how the world is. 'Post hoc ergo propter hoc' is a mental error.



What characteristics make a country a first-class, modern nation?
Is Sweden a first-class, modern nation?
What about Japan, France, and Brazil? Are any of them first-class, modern nations?

What's the time period of your considerations where China's deep seated characteristics prevented it from having some version of democratic governance? Ten years? One century? Ten centuries?

You said, "China, like all mongoloid cultures in modern times, has a great deficit in true creativity."
What constitutes "true creativity?"

you also said, "...estimates are already that 1.5% per year of China's GDP growth is corruption related."
I was unaware that corruption (in its traditional sense) contributed to the GDP. Where did you find this estmate?
 

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1)ideology is a fundamental belief system from which systems emanate.

2) The capitalist ideology has a people that have accepted it as the basis of thought for their society and it has govenments that apply the Capitalist system over the society. Namely America, the Western European countries, Australia etc.

The Islamic ideology only exists amongst the people. The people still hold to Islam and recognise the systems that emanate from it. However the systems are not applied by a government over a society and hence an Islamic state does not exist.
 
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Simon W. Moon

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alphacat said:
...[Of] Japan, ...it is well known and well noted that the Japanese have failed utterly in basic science and technology...
Please provide some examples of this. Particularly of it being well known that a country with space program has failed utterly in basic science and technology.
 

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mikeangelo said:
1)ideology is a fundamental belief system from which systems emanate.
Well, there happen to be quite a multitude of ideologies manifested in the world today. If you like I could name more than a dozen off the top of my head.
Is there some definition of ideology you were using that would make your statement that there are only "...two ideologies that are manifested in the world today..." a true statement?


What do you consider to be the basis for Iran's "state form"?
 

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And so what does this have to do with the topic?
 

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Well you are correct, in the past China has shown some creativity, but not for a very long time.
In this you are wrong. China is on par with the greatest civilizations of the time. They're creativity encompassed not only philosophy, but also the arts and science. As you said, asian countries have not developed a "modern culture" during the last 500 years. In China resulted from the very mistaken idea that they had discovered all they needed in the world. But prior to this change in ideology, China was the most modern and progressive in the world.

Of course home grown culture is not gone, I'm just pointing out that to really take the first rank you must create, not just copy. For instance, even Japan, which is to a great extent democratic, it is well known and well noted that the Japanese have failed utterly in basic science and technology, despite all their efforts to the contrary. Does this mean Japan is not a fine place with a well developed economy and culture... of course not.
I agree somewhat. The asian systems of education have focused on precision and accuracy a lot more than creative problem solving skills that the US education system promotes. Asians are beginning to realize this and are modifying their education accordingly. But I don't think Asia is too far behind, especially in the tech/science sectors. The latest in technology is always been in Asia. They are rapidly catching up, and by fixing their faults they will show lots more progress.
 

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Simon W. Moon said:
Please provide some examples of this. Particularly of it being well known that a country with space program has failed utterly in basic science and technology.
Basic science and technology are cutting edge, the primary discoveries upon which appications are made. The space program as practiced by Japan is derivative, it relies primarily on the basic discoveries of others. This is all well known.
 

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*damn i really need to stop cutting and inserting in my posts, my grammer really screws up....
 

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nkgupta80 said:
In this you are wrong. China is on par with the greatest civilizations of the time. They're creativity encompassed not only philosophy, but also the arts and science. As you said, asian countries have not developed a "modern culture" during the last 500 years. In China resulted from the very mistaken idea that they had discovered all they needed in the world. But prior to this change in ideology, China was the most modern and progressive in the world.



I agree somewhat. The asian systems of education have focused on precision and accuracy a lot more than creative problem solving skills that the US education system promotes. Asians are beginning to realize this and are modifying their education accordingly. But I don't think Asia is too far behind, especially in the tech/science sectors. The latest in technology is always been in Asia. They are rapidly catching up, and by fixing their faults they will show lots more progress.
I am unawre of what you mean by the "latest technology is always been in Asia." Having the latest cell phone is not what I'm talking about. For instance, Asians manufacture a great number of cell phones. The designs for the chips used in those phones as well as the technologies those phone systems are organized and run on are all American.
 

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an fundamental belief must answer a fundamental question of where has all of creation come from, what will happen when creation will end and what is the purpose of our being in this universe in relation to the first two questions. An ideology differs in that the systems must emerge governing each and every aspect of our relations with ourselves, our fellow man and the objects within the universe from this base thought without having to refer outside of the fundamental thought.

Iran is not an Islamic state as they have references to non Islam in the Iranian constitution.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
In this you are wrong. China is on par with the greatest civilizations of the time. They're creativity encompassed not only philosophy, but also the arts and science. As you said, asian countries have not developed a "modern culture" during the last 500 years. In China resulted from the very mistaken idea that they had discovered all they needed in the world. But prior to this change in ideology, China was the most modern and progressive in the world.



I agree somewhat. The asian systems of education have focused on precision and accuracy a lot more than creative problem solving skills that the US education system promotes. Asians are beginning to realize this and are modifying their education accordingly. But I don't think Asia is too far behind, especially in the tech/science sectors. The latest in technology is always been in Asia. They are rapidly catching up, and by fixing their faults they will show lots more progress.
Well lets see if they can... this really is my point. Here to for, in the modern world, no society has suceeded in reaching high levels of creeativity without oraganizing their societies around the individual being superior to the group. This is exactly opposite how things are in asian societies. All data heretofor suggest they will fail. For instance, read about the "Science Cities" in Japan... total failures. it is very difficult for me to envison a society like China which is attempting to limit the internet allowing individuals to bloom unhindered.
 

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alphacat said:
And so what does this have to do with the topic?
Just trying to understand what people are saying in their posts. If I can understand what people are saying, I can reply in a more appropriate manner.
alphacat said:
Basic science and technology are cutting edge, the primary discoveries upon which appications are made. The space program as practiced by Japan is derivative, it relies primarily on the basic discoveries of others. This is all well known.
So this is what constitutes an utter failure in your eyes.
 

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mikeangelo said:
an fundamental belief must answer a fundamental question of where has all of creation come from, what will happen when creation will end and what is the purpose of our being in this universe in relation to the first two questions. An ideology differs in that the systems must emerge governing each and every aspect of our relations with ourselves, our fellow man and the objects within the universe from this base thought without having to refer outside of the fundamental thought.

Iran is not an Islamic state as they have references to non Islam in the Iranian constitution.
That's funny, because the official name of the country refers to it as an Islamic Republic... maybe you hsould tell the mulahs of their error.
 

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mikeangelo said:
Iran is not an Islamic state as they have references to non Islam in the Iranian constitution.
The Qur'an has references to "non-Islam." Is it not an Islamic text?


Let's see. Capitalism is an ideology. An ideology is fundamental belief system. A fundamental belief must answer a fundamental question of where has all of creation come from, what will happen when creation will end and what is the purpose of our being in this universe in relation to the first two questions.
So according to capitalism, where has all of creation come from?
 

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Tell you what. Nevermind. I'll depart before anyone else tries to blow smoke up my butt.
 

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Simon W. Moon said:
The Qur'an has references to "non-Islam." Is it not an Islamic text?


Let's see. Capitalism is an ideology. An ideology is fundamental belief system. A fundamental belief must answer a fundamental question of where has all of creation come from, what will happen when creation will end and what is the purpose of our being in this universe in relation to the first two questions.
So according to capitalism, where has all of creation come from?
Capitalism is an economic system. Your butt is the affair of yourself and your proctologist. The rest is just that I suspect you are a person who likes typing for it's own virtues, the content, or it's relevance be damned.
 

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I am unawre of what you mean by the "latest technology is always been in Asia." Having the latest cell phone is not what I'm talking about. For instance, Asians manufacture a great number of cell phones. The designs for the chips used in those phones as well as the technologies those phone systems are organized and run on are all American.
Even in American companies, the Asian population is not a small minority. Although the companies American, a lot of the design and research is also done in Asia by Asian workers. At the moment, China pumps twice as many capable engineers as America. Now these workers would have gone to America to earn a great living in the booming tech sector. But this drain on Asia's human resources is reversing. China's science and technology institutes are definately reaching American-calibur.

Just to note, I interned at the Basic Science Research Center at UT Southwestern two summers ago. I swear, nearly half of the department was Asian if not the majority.
 
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