Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

"Asian dynamism"

Robert D. Kaplan opines in yesterday’s New York Times that the "ultimate strategic effect of the Iraq war has been to hasten the arrival of the Asian Century." Whether Iraq is the cause (any of the philosopher’s four) is not really the point ("hasten" may be correct). The point is that the Pacific Ocean is already a very busy place, and it will become very interesting, and dangerous, and the cause of that danger, despite Kaplan’s attempt at indirection, is China. The good news out of all this? Kaplan’s side point that we need more multilaterialism is too opaque. We have made allies with India (one of the Bush administration’s least noticed achievements) and we have very good relations with Australia and South Korea (I would also add that our good relations with Mongolia is related to the China problem). Furthermore, we have not discouraged the Japanese from rearming; and they are. But it is likely that my children’s yet unborn children will have to deal with China’s rise, in Asia, both in water and land. Save this essay.

Discussions - 5 Comments

China's rise will cause her neighbors to start reaching out for allies, which will naturally lead them to the Anglosphere, to the United States, to Australia, to India and to Japan.

We really don't have to do much to end up with a de facto alliance against China. China's rearming is forcing Japan to emerge from her shell, and is also forcing India to choose, and there's no choice but the Anglosphere.

China's blundering will cause Taiwan and Japan to go nuke. Soon China will find herself surrounded by hostile, nuclear states. And we won't have had to do much of anything, but sit back, kick up our feet, and observe the whole damn thing.

We needn't be concerned by China. What we need to concern ourselves with is our own drift towards decay, through socialized medicine, through a hyperlegal culture, through an overly regulated economy, through Congressional spending sprees. But most of all, through an establishment that is determined to reach out to an "international community" that is nothing more than a sham, a legal fiction at best. There is the Siren song that will pull us to our doom. So long as we ward that off, so long as we chart our own foreign policy, so long as we heed the urgings of American Exceptionalism, we'll be OK.

The worse threat is indeed at home, but China is a far more serious worry than Dan thinks, and his predictions of such vigorous responses by, e.g., Taiwan and Japan are dubious. Presidential candidates who show little sign of understanding this Chinese threat (except for China's economic competition, a significant but secondary issue) should definitely lose points with intelligent voters.

ALL Republican candidates should start educating the public NOW about the need to spend more $$ on defense. That is the true lesson of Kaplan's essay.
The point is probably lost on Ron Paul, but I bet he leaves the party anyway. Wish he would.

Why should we be scared of China appart from the fact that Ron Paul is fairly correct on fiscal policy? All those US treasury bonds purchased by China put us in a rather tight pickle. I went up to Canada last week and I could only get 1.03 Canadian for a US dollar... I hear that it briefly even hit parity on the Forex! Two years ago I could get $1.65...

It is not at all clear to me that geopolitical prognosications are not biased towards defense and aerospace contractors. If other scientific forecasts of impending global doom such as... global warming say, if this was taken as seriously we would all be pedaling Huffy's, BMX's and Schwinns. But in regards to other natural disasters and doomsday scenarios we reasonably say...look we have unlimited wants and limited resources. How worthy is the goal? What is the likelyhood that the goal could be accomplished at a cost that would prevent it from being worse than the disease?

Why should we spend more money on defense? Why should we spend more money on anything? If you ask me about the geopolitics of Asia I will say that in truth the issue is US government bonds...but really saying Asia is an excercise in indirection...I mean China... China is financing our debt. Ron Paul is an honorable man speaking the truth to a nation that has grown fat and indolent on having cake and eating it too.

There's so much more to foreign policy than economics. China has always considered itself the Middle Kingdom - the center of the universe. They were caught with their pants down by the Europeans in the 16th century, and have been paying for it ever since. Furthermore, the up-and-coming generation in China has a surplus of 200 million males to which a female counterpart does not exist. Now, the Chinese understand they have to take things slowly and methodically, which is exactly what they're doing. Dr. Schramm is exactly right in saying that our de facto alliance with India will probably go down as one of the most foresighted accomplishments of the Bush adminstration, and is also right in saying this is an issue to be resolved in about 50 years from now.

3: Ron Paul is an honorable but confused man, who doesn't understand today's world or today's America. He is right to raise the libertarian banner on economic and size-of-government issues, but he does it in the wrong way. 4: An alliance with India is definitely a good idea. Enjoyed your post.

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