Why We Can Chill On China

I’ve heard several people comment that China is equally bad as Iraq (which is somewhat true). VodkaPundit has a good response to that criticism.

Just to add to it, since China has possessed nuclear weapons for decades now, the regional balance of power has already acclimated. Nor is China currently ruled by a raving madman. However, a nuke in Iraqi hands would be far more destabilizing to the region, and I doubt that Saddam is rational enough not to give nuclear weapons technology to someone like al-Qaeda.

3 thoughts on “Why We Can Chill On China

  1. “Wake me in a dozen years”

    Too late for the millions of people that the Chinese government will slaughter like cattle in the mean time.

    My worry isn’t about China being a threat to the US. It’s about their brutal government being a threat to their own people- and I’m wondering what can be done about that. Trade embargos? They don’t work on little countries (Cuba, Iraq, etc)- would they be effective on a massive country like China (If the US, Japan, and EU all agreed to cut off trade to China, that would be a trillion dollar blow to their economy- unfortunately, it goes both ways.) I’m also worried that an embargo would have the opposite effect- instead of giving in to any ultimatums we’d issue, there would be a sudden Maoist resurgence that would result in more oppression, not to mention the possibility of millitary action against Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, or India, and a third world war. In other words, that’s not a solution.

    I try not to think in nationalistic, us-versus-them ways. Having studied evolutionary psychology, I can certainly see that such positions are necessary, yet it’s that way of thinking that has gotten the world in the position it is in now. By this thinking, Saddam can’t wait- but neither can China.

    My worry over attacking Iraq (I’m in support of it, by the way) is that we’ll incur needless civilian deaths. We’ve taken blitzkrieg to a level that would impress Gen. Fuller with our carpet bombing and missile systems, and we rely on the same disgusting total-war tactics that made the world wars so bloody. Destroy their bases, yes- but couldn’t we lay off the cities? Our bombing (as is evidenced in Afghanistan) was not nearly as surgical as we like to think.

  2. In the case of China, the only way that anything can be done is for the people to decide to initiate their own regimes. Tianamen Square was the start of what is probably going to be the end of the Communist regime and the start of a new, less repressive one. At least that’s the hope – how long that will take is something no one can really answer right now. (Iran’s another case where the people will likely make the regime change long before we could ever realistically do it.)

    As for Iraq, the problem comes in the fact that Saddam has deliberately put military bases near civilians. Our weapons will help minimize civilian losses, but there will be some unavoidable civilian deaths. Hopefully we’ll have learned from Afghanistan and will use better intelligence to tell us where to hit and when.

  3. I certainly hope you’re right on both counts. Having heard from some members of China’s younger generation, I know that the sentiment among the youth is pro-western… but will time, ideology, and economic realities kill their idealism? I hope not.

    As for bombing Iraq, I certainly hope that we’re more careful than we’ve been in Afghanistan (and in former Yugoslavia during the Clinton administration- the bombing campaigns were brutal in both cases). But again, time will tell.

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