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Opinion: Ottawa seems to be out of ideas on devising a new kind of China policy
JUNE 19, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID MULRONEY. SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND
David Mulroney was Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

A new approach is needed to managing Canada’s relationship with China – one that’s alive to Canadian vulnerabilities as well as our national interests.....There are many smart reasons for engaging China, but flattering the leadership in Beijing isn’t one of them. Good ideas emerge from hard thinking about long-term Canadian interests. Even summoning the vision and courage to think strategically would mark a significant improvement over our current China policy, which appears to be conjured up from equal measures of wishful thinking and parliamentary politics.....Thinking strategically requires asking why China is being so assertive, (e.g. building a blue-water navy, militarizing rocks and shoals in the South China Sea)....These are part of a patient and persistent Chinese effort to push the U.S. out of Asia and achieve regional dominance – and that is clearly not in Canada’s interest. The U.S.’s commitment to Asia enabled regional balance and, with it, peace and rising prosperity. More to the point, a China-dominated Asia would hardly be friendly to Canadian values and ideas.
(1) Abandon our current policy of “comprehensive engagement” – the notion that we should say yes to just about anything related to China. Cancel the commitment of $256-million over five years to the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
(2) reassessment of our relationship with Taiwan.
(3) move from talking about human rights in China to actually doing something about them. We normally count on the United Nations to address major human-rights abuses, but the UN, anxious to avoid offending Beijing, has been silent in the face of the government’s mass detention of Uyghurs and its brutal assault on their religion, language and culture.
(4) do the same for China’s beleaguered Tibetans. Canada’s commitment would be a welcome signal to both communities that they haven’t been forgotten.
(5) investment at home, too. Put more money into domestic security, combatting Chinese interference more effectively. And we shouldn’t be afraid to name and shame perpetrators when we discover examples of meddling; Beijing won’t like it, but it will also probably tone down its more egregious activities.
(6) invest in China competence in Ottawa, where the commodity is alarmingly scarce. Future leaders in key departments, in the security agencies and in the Canadian Forces need to be far more aware of how China works and how it thinks. This isn’t about agreeing with China, but about understanding it – something that we’re having a hard time doing at present. To do so, Ottawa should create a special “China School” that not only offers language training but also exposes top people across government to the best thinking on China’s politics, economics and security issues.
AIIB  Beijing  bootcamps  Canada  Canada-China_relations  Canadian_Forces  China  China_rising  David_Mulroney  DND  human_rights  ideas  idea_generation  maritime  national_interests  op-ed  policymaking  policymakers  political_staffers  reinvention  security_&_intelligence  South_China_Sea  strategic_thinking  Taiwan  Tibet  Uyghurs  values  wishful_thinking 
june 2019 by jerryking
The U.S. Is Ceding the Pacific to China
March 3, 2019 | WSJ | By Mark Helprin.

While Washington’s focus is elsewhere, Beijing plays the long game—that means preparing for war.

The only effective leverage on China, and by extension North Korea—which otherwise will retain nuclear weapons whether overtly or covertly but certainly—is to alter the correlation of military forces in the Western Pacific, and indeed in the world, so that it no longer moves rapidly and inevitably in China’s favor, which is what China cares about, the essence of its policy, its central proposition. Though with some effort the U.S. is perfectly capable of embarking upon this strategy, it has not. It seems we lack the awareness, political will, intelligence, probity, discipline, leadership, and habit of mind to do so.
America_in_Decline?  Asia_Pacific  balance_of_power  China  China_rising  geopolitics  hard_power  long-term  long-range  maritime  Mark_Helprin  North_Korea  nuclear  PACOM  political_geography  rivalries  South_China_Sea  strategic_geography  submarines  trade_wars  U.S.  U.S._Navy  USMC  U.S.-China_relations  Xi_Jinping  zero-sum_games 
march 2019 by jerryking
What Can the Next President Do About Russia? - WSJ
By ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Updated Oct. 16, 2016

Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing’s aggression is cool, Moscow’s is hot....Russia’s economic situation is much worse than China’s, and so the incentive of its leaders to dial up nationalism is that much greater. But the larger factor, one that Western elites have trouble understanding, cannot be quantified: A deeply embedded sense of historical insecurity makes Russian aggression crude, brazen, bloodthirsty and risk-prone. ....How does the U.S. build leverage on the ground, from the Baltic Sea to the Syrian desert, that puts America in a position where negotiations with Russia can make a strategic difference?....

For without the proper geopolitical context, the secretary of state is a missionary, not a diplomat. ...In the cyber domain the U.S. has not sufficiently drawn red lines. What kind of Russian hacking will result in either a proportionate, or even disproportionate, punitive response? The Obama administration seems to be proceeding ad hoc, as it has done with Russia policy in general. The next administration, along with projecting military force throughout the Russian near abroad, will have to project force in cyberspace, too.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Kaplan  threats  deterrence  nationalism  Baltics  NATO  U.S.foreign_policy  leverage  geopolitics  log_rolling  diplomacy  realism  balance_of_power  realpolitik  cyber_warfare  autocracies  insecurity  hacking  maritime  punitive  retribution  retaliation  South_China_Sea  ad_hoc  red_lines  China  autocrats 
october 2016 by jerryking
The new game | The Economist
Oct 17th 2015 |

America still has resources other powers lack. Foremost is its web of alliances, including NATO. Whereas Mr Obama sometimes behaves as if alliances are transactional, they need solid foundations. America’s military power is unmatched, but it is hindered by pork-barrel politics and automatic cuts mandated by Congress. These spring from the biggest brake on American leadership: dysfunctional politics in Washington. That is not just a poor advertisement for democracy; it also stymies America’s interest. In the new game it is something that the United States—and the world—can ill afford.
Asia_Pacific  China  gridlocked_politics  indispensable  influence  international_system  NATO  networks  network_density  network_power  political_power  Obama  Russia  South_China_Sea  strategic_alliances  superpowers  Syria  transactional_relationships  U.S.foreign_policy  politics  Vladimir_Putin 
october 2015 by jerryking
U.S. Surveillance on Island Reveals Chinese Arms - WSJ
By JULIAN E. BARNES in Washington and GORDON LUBOLD in Singapore
Updated May 28, 2015
China  maritime  South_China_Sea  surveillance  security_&_intelligence 
may 2015 by jerryking
In High Seas, China Moves Unilaterally - NYTimes.com
By JANE PERLEZ and KEITH BRADSHERMAY 9, 2014

Vietnam has proved to be a tougher adversary, sending out its own ships to meet the Chinese flotilla and, according to Chinese government reports, using them to ram Chinese ships as many as 171 times in four days.

A prominent Vietnamese political analyst, Nguyen Quang A, summarized the standoff this way: “Invasion is in their blood, and resistance is in our blood.”

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The timing of the move was perceived by some in the region as a test not only of the ability of Southeast Asian nations to stand up to their far more powerful northern neighbor, but also of President Obama’s resolve less than a month after he promised to support American allies in Asia as they deal with a stronger China.

China’s action was almost certainly a long-term plan — the deployment of a deep water drilling rig takes months of preparation.
adversaries  China  China_rising  CNOC  maritime  oil_industry  Vietnam  SOEs  South_China_Sea 
may 2014 by jerryking
Saving the System - NYTimes.com
APRIL 28, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. ....Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you (JCK: Worst of all worlds).
authoritarianism  autocracies  category_errors  China  Colleges_&_Universities  Crimea  curriculum  David_Brooks  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  dilemmas  diplomacy  geopolitics  grand_strategy  insouciance  international_system  Iran  liberal_pluralism  multiple_stressors  obliviousness  power_plays  power_to_obstruct  rogue_actors  Russia  self-congratulatory  South_China_Sea  stratagems  strategic_thinking  strategy  Walter_Russell_Mead  worst_of_all_worlds  Yale 
april 2014 by jerryking
Islands of ill dispute – between China and Japan - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 27 2013 | The Globe and Mail |editorial.

The United States is right to have ignored China’s declaration of an air-defence zone over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. The islands themselves – tiny, uninhabited lumps of land – are insignificant. But China’s declaration of a kind of airborne sovereignty over them amounts to a unilateral and unacceptable escalation of a low-level conflict. It raises tensions between China and Japan, and threatens to destabilize the entire region, since China has similar, ongoing disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and other maritime neighbours.
China  Japan  U.S.  conflicts  editorials  South_China_Sea  maritime  sovereignty  Asia_Pacific  disputes  provocations 
december 2013 by jerryking
James Webb: The South China Sea's Gathering Storm - WSJ.com
August 20, 2012 | WSJ | By JAMES WEBB
All of East Asia is waiting to see how the U.S. will respond to China's aggression.

As the region has grown more prosperous, the sovereignty issues have become more fierce. Over the past two years Japan and China have openly clashed in the Senkaku Islands, east of Taiwan and west of Okinawa, whose administration is internationally recognized to be under Japanese control. Russia and South Korea have reasserted sovereignty claims against Japan in northern waters. China and Vietnam both claim sovereignty over the Paracel Islands. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia all claim sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, the site of continuing confrontations between China and the Philippines........History teaches us that when unilateral acts of aggression go unanswered, the bad news never gets better with age. Nowhere is this cycle more apparent than in the alternating power shifts in East Asia. As historian Barbara Tuchman noted in her biography of U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Stillwell, it was China's plea for U.S. and League of Nations support that went unanswered following Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria, a neglect that "brewed the acid of appeasement that . . . opened the decade of descent to war" in Asia and beyond.
Barbara_Tuchman  China  Vietnam  Philippines  maritime  Asia_Pacific  sovereignty  conflicts  South_China_Sea 
january 2013 by jerryking
Why China and Japan Can’t Get Along - NYTimes.com
By ODD ARNE WESTAD
Published: January 6, 2013

few economies and societies on earth more complementary than China’s and Japan’s. The Chinese are relatively young, poor and restless and fiercely committed to economic growth. The Japanese are relatively old and sated, but technologically advanced and devoted to guarding their high standard of living. Proximity would seem to make the two nations ideally suited to benefit from each other.

But Japan is afraid of China’s rise, because the Chinese economy is so much more dynamic than Japan’s. And China is troubled by Japan, because the island nation seems to act as an unsinkable American aircraft carrier just off its coast....Japan’s rise in the late 19th century was seen as an affront by China, which had always felt entitled to the mantle of regional leadership. Mao Zedong and other founders of the Chinese Communist Party adopted these views and bequeathed them to their successors.

Most Chinese today therefore regard Japan’s wealth, and its position as America’s main ally in Asia, as results of ill-gotten gains. Even when the Chinese state was at its weakest, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its elites felt that the Confucianism China had exported to its key neighbors — Korea, Japan and Vietnam — was the root of a common culture. Other countries in the “Confucian zone” were supposed to simply accept China’s natural leadership.

Beijing’s policies in the South China Sea today resemble those of the Qing empire, China’s last ruling dynasty, in the late 18th century. The emperor then, Qianlong, liked to speak to the “myriad nations” to the south as a father would address his children. Current Chinese leaders, who are exerting their influence in countries like Vietnam and Laos, echo his paternalism. ...
China  disputes  Japan  history  Asian  Asia_Pacific  Confucian  chauvinism  South_China_Sea  paternalism  19th_century  China_rising 
january 2013 by jerryking
A New Era of Gunboat Diplomacy - NYTimes.com
By MARK LANDLER
Published: November 12, 2011

For all its echoes of the 1800s, not to mention the cold war, the showdown in the South China Sea augurs a new type of maritime conflict — one that is playing out from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arctic Ocean, where fuel-hungry economic powers, newly accessible undersea energy riches and even changes in the earth’s climate are conspiring to create a 21st-century contest for the seas.

China is not alone in its maritime ambitions. Turkey has clashed with Cyprus and stoked tensions with Greece and Israel over natural-gas fields that lie under the eastern Mediterranean. Several powers, including Russia, Canada and the United States, are eagerly circling the Arctic, where melting polar ice is opening up new shipping routes and the tantalizing possibility of vast oil and gas deposits beneath.

“This hunt for resources is going to consume large bodies of water around the world for at least the next couple of decades,
pacific  Artic  maritime  diplomacy  China  South_China_Sea 
november 2011 by jerryking
Why Is the U.S. Rehearsing for a Chinese Invasion of Japan?
Sep 23 2010 | The Atlantic | Max Fisher. China's increasingly
aggressive foreign policy and the volatility of its relationship with
Japan and its East Asia neighbors concerns the U.S. Someday in the
future, our influence abroad, and in East Asia especially, will wane.
The Obama admin. wants to guide East Asian politics in a direction
beneficial to long term U.S. interests which are 4-fold: establish a
mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution, so that war is less likely;
build precedent for the rule of international law, so that China can't
simply bully its neighbors; keep the U.S. involved in East Asian
politics so we aren't shut out; and prevent China from dominating the
South China Sea. The oil-rich sea lane has become a strategically
crucial link from East Asia to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East,
Africa, and beyond & whoever controls it will control the ability
of navies--whether Chinese, U.S., Indian, or NATO--to project force
across the Eastern & Western hemispheres.
rehearsals  East_Asia  China  China_rising  Japan  U.S._Navy  maritime  contingency_planning  U.S.foreign_policy  rule_of_law  aggressive  conflict_resolution  South_China_Sea 
september 2010 by jerryking
Letters to the Editor - Magazine - The Atlantic
Sept. 2005 | Atlantic | Assorted letters w.r.t Robert Kaplan's
cover story "How We Would Fight China" (June). "I believe that China's
intentions are much more defensive than offensive. But the U.S. mil.
must plan according to the capabilities of rising powers with which we
do not have alliances—because intentions and motives can shift
overnight. Although China's intentions may be good, PACOM would not be
doing its job for the taxpayers unless it planned for that to change."
"Of course, diplomacy will provide the ultimate solution in the Pacific,
but in order to avoid tragedy the military must think tragically.
Getting that right increases the credibility of our diplomacy. " "The fundamental driver of Chinese for. policy is not rapacious expansionism or Bismarckian realpolitik...China's for. policy is.. an extension of its domestic politics, specifically the ambition of the Communist Party to retain its pre-eminence despite the ongoing and wholesale transformation of Chinese society."
adversaries  Bismarck  capabilities  China  China_rising  expansionism  intentions  letters_to_the_editor  maritime  motives  PACOM  rapaciousness  rising_powers  realpolitik  Robert_Kaplan  South_China_Sea  thinking_tragically  U.S._Navy 
march 2010 by jerryking
China at Sea - WSJ.com
JANUARY 6, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By HUGO RESTALL. A
carrier project would shift the balance of power. the balance of power
in Asia is going to shift dramatically in the decade ahead, and nowhere
will the effects be more evident than in the South China Sea. Beijing is
already constructing a major naval base on its southern island of
Hainan. The naval buildup would give Beijing a freer hand to enforce its
claims to South China Sea islands -- claims that are disputed by five
other countries. The waters through which much of the world's trade now
flows, from the Malacca Strait to Taiwan, would effectively become a
Chinese lake.

The timing of the move, too, is significant. China hesitated for years
before declaring its intent to develop carrier capability because of the
potential reaction of its neighbors.
maritime  China  PACOM  balance_of_power  security_&_intelligence  China_rising  PLA  South_China_Sea 
march 2010 by jerryking
Beyond the Rim
December 13, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | by MARK HELPRIN. The
21st century will be not just the century of terrorism: terrorism will
fade. It will be a naval century, with the Pacific its center, and
challenges in the remotest places of the world offered not by dervishes
and crazy-men but by a great power that is at last and at least
America's equal. Unfortunately, it is in the U.S. nature neither to
foresee nor prepare for what lies beyond the rim. With its new economic
resources China has embarked upon a military traverse from reliance
upon mass to devotion to quality, with stress upon war in space, the
oceans, and the ether--three areas of unquestioned American superiority.
China  China_rising  confrontations  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  geopolitics  maritime  Mark_Helprin  mercantilism  PACOM  rising_powers  security_&_intelligence  South_China_Sea  space_warfare  unprepared  U.S.-China_relations 
march 2010 by jerryking

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