Philippine Commentary Terms China`s `True` Color as `Bloody Red`
The Mindanao Examiner Online
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Commentary by Perry Diaz (California): “China`s True Color”
Communist China`s founder Mao Zedong used to say, “Power comes from the barrel of a gun.” It was true in his lifetime, and it was true during the reformist period of Deng Xiaoping. It was true during the tiger economy surge under Jiang Zemin. It was true during the globalization era of Hu Jintao. And it would be true in the era of Xi Jinping, China`s new ruler. And no matter how much China tries to promote “soft power” in an attempt to co-exist peacefully and harmoniously with the rest of the world, China is still the bully that is systematically slicing the Western Pacific like salami... piece by piece.
Mao laid out China`s global goal in no uncertain terms. “We must conquer the globe where we will create a powerful state,” he said. Indeed, China today has territorial claims in nearly 20 countries, which include the following: Burma, Laos, Northern India, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Ryukyu Islands, 300 islands of the South China, East China and Yellow Seas, as well as Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Taiwan, South Kazakhstan, the Afghan province of Bahdashan, Transbaikalia and the Far East to South Okhotsk (Source: Pravda, 17 July 2012). According to Mao, these territories were lost after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912. He dreamed of retaking them but didn`t live long enough to see it happen.
And as China grows stronger economically and militarily, her voracious appetite for grabbing her neighbors` land and waters, including the East China Sea and South China Sea, has put the Asia-Pacific region - nay, the world - closer to another senseless conflict. Territorial disputes In my article, “Trouble spots in Western Pacific waters” (5 October 2012), I wrote: “On 24 July 2012, in her boldest move to date, China established a prefecture-level government in Sansha City located in Woody Island, which will administer all of the Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, and Macclesfield Bank. Woody Island -- which was uninhabited when China forcibly took it from Vietnam 38 years ago -- is now populated with more than 1,000 Chinese civilians with roads, a bank, a post office, a supermarket, and a hospital.
Interestingly, Sansha is the smallest prefecture-level city by both population and land area (13 square kilometers or five square miles) but the largest by water area with two million square kilometers (772,000 square miles). In addition to the city government, China is also going to establish a military garrison in Sansha to protect her territory and sovereignty over the entire South China Sea.
“With the establishment of the prefecture of Sansha, China achieved what she wanted without firing a shot: the entire South China Sea! Vietnam and the Philippines immediately protested China`s action. In response, China warned them against meddling in her internal affairs.
“What`s China`s next move in the South China Sea?” Shock and awe On 22 September 2012, at the opening of a trade fair for the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Nanning in southern China, then Vice President Xi said in his keynote speech that China`s own prosperity could only be guaranteed by having good relations with China`s neighbors. “The more progress China makes in development and the closer its links with the region and the world, the more important it is for the country to have a stable regional environment and a peaceful international environment,” he said. That`s well and good.
But he also told the ASEAN leaders: “We are firm in safeguarding China`s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and are committed to resolving differences with neighbors concerning territorial land, territorial sea and maritime rights and interests peacefully through friendly negotiations.” It sounds like doubletalk to me. How can one negotiate with someone who already has a firm stand and is unwilling to compromise? It seems that his message was more like, “Let`s agree on my terms.”
By mid-November, when Xi took over the post of Secretary General of China`s Communist Party and concurrently Chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, things began to happen.
On 28 November, China Daily reported that China`s island province of Hainan had empowered its border patrol police to “board or seize foreign ships that illegally enter its waters, or order these ships to change course or stop sailing.”
The new regulation prohibits six illegal activities such as entering the province`s waters without permission, damaging coastal defense facilities, and carrying out publicity campaigns, which threatens the country`s security.
And here is the stinger: The regulation also emphasizes that the “border police should strengthen the patrol of the waters off Sansha City and coordinate activities with the routine patrols of the South China Sea to protect the country`s maritime interests.”
The regulation will take effect on 1 January 2013. China Dream The next day, 29 November, Xi and the six other members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party Central Committee Political Bureau (Politburo) -- China`s highest political body that rules the country - visited the “Road toward Renewal” exhibition at the National Museum of China, which features Chinese history since the First Opium War in 1840-42.
Speaking before the officials gathered at the event, Xi told his comrades to keep in mind that “the path decides the destiny” and he indicated how difficult it is to choose the “right road.” But he reminded them that they have to continue taking that road, “unswervingly.”
Then he talked about the “China Dream,” saying: “In my view, to realize the great renewal of the Chinese nation is the greatest dream for the Chinese nation in modern history.” “We, this generation of Communists, must take what has been left to us by our predecessors as a departure for forging ahead into the future,” he said.
And while he emphasized Deng Xiaoping`s revisionist brand of communism - “socialism with Chinese characteristics” -- Xi tried to reconnect with the Maoist old guard by quoting Mao, “But man`s world is mutable, seas become mulberry fields.” It seems like he`s blending his own ideological brand - a mixture of Maoism and Deng`s revisionism.
He concluded his speech by saying: “I believe that by the time when the Communist Party of China marks its 100th founding anniversary (2020), the goal to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects will be inevitably achieved.”
Xi`s metaphor is easily understood, which doesn`t leave any ambiguity on what`s in his mind. Makes one wonder if the event was stage-managed for the whole world to see what he intends to do during his 10-year reign. True color Xi laid out his master plan of what he`d accomplish by 2020; that is, a world superpower. He didn`t waste any time in consolidating his political power at home and at the same set in motion the steps necessary to take full and exclusive control of the East and South China Seas... and beyond.
But for every action there is always reaction. The question is: How would China`s neighbors react and would they appease her just like what the European nations did to Germany 74 years ago?
In the final analysis, Xi`s dream of China becoming a world superpower could bring the specter of another Cold War... or worse, a shooting war. Indeed, China is now showing her true color... that is, bloody red!
(Description of Source: Zamboanga City The Mindanao Examiner Online in English Online publication that started as a public service blog in 2005 and expanded into film, television and media carrying news and images from the southern Philippines. It is maintained by idealist people and responsible journalists committed to helping the poor. It also publishes a weekly regional newspaper, The Mindanao Examiner, circulating in Mindanao and in Sabah, Malaysia. Circulation: 25,650. URL: http://www.mindanaoexaminer.com/)
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Indian Commentary: Firmness, `Restraint in Rhetoric` Needed for Dealing With PRC
The Pioneer Online
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Commentary by G. Parthasarathy: “A Rising China Bares its Fangs”
The mouthpiece of China`s Communist Party, People`s Daily, claimed on October 14, 2009, that Indians have become “more narrow minded”. It accused India of “provocation” on border issues with China and asserted that as “nationalism sentiment” rises, Indians are turning to “hegemony” in relations with neighbours. People`s Daily called on India to give a “positive response” to China`s efforts to resolve the border issue. Pakistan was referred to as one of the countries suffering from Indian hegemony, as India allegedly sought to “befriend the far (United States and Russia) and attack the near (Pakistan and China)”. The Chinese conveniently forget how they colluded against India with the Nixon Administration during the Bangladesh conflict in 1971 and with the Clinton Administration, after India`s nuclear tests in 1998.
While China has sought to undermine India`s relations with countries in its Indian Ocean neighbourhood, even going to the extent of transferring nuclear weapons designs and knowhow to Pakistan, India has yet to fashion a coherent policy on the fears that China`s east and south-east Asian neighbours have of China`s efforts to dominate the Asia-Pacific region. Assured by the support it received after a visit by Deng Xiao Ping to Washington, China launched an unprovoked attack on Vietnam in order to teach it a “lesson” in 1979. Deng proclaimed that the “lesson” was meant to be similar to that administered to India in 1962. China again used force against Vietnam when it forcibly occupied the Paracel islands in 1974. There was yet another military engagement between China and Vietnam, when China occupied the Johnson Reef in 1988. In July 1992, China occupied Vietnam`s Da Lac Reef, establishing its first military presence there since the 1988 clash.
China claims that its territorial waters engulf three million sq km out of the total area of 3.5 million sq km in the South China Sea. Given these excessive claims, China is today engulfed in maritime disputes with Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan and both North and South Korea. Earlier this year, China complained about an official landing by Malaysia in islands it had claimed. In the same week, President of Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a decree laying claim to two Islands that China had claimed. In February 1995, China militarily occupied the Mischief Reef in the Spratlys Islands, which was claimed by the Philippines. A month later, Philippine forces seized Chinese fishing boats and destroyed Chinese markers in Mischief Reef. Malaysia and Vietnam have joined hands to counter Chinese expansionism by jointly submitting a proposal to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea questioning China`s claims and definition of its continental shelf. Such belligerence prompts China`s Asia-Pacific neighbours to seek a US presence in the region. India would be well advised to seek a more wide-ranging strategic engagement with China`s Asia-Pacific neighbours like Vietnam and Philippines in response to China`s policies of seeking to undermine India`s relations with its immediate neighbours.
While intimidating its smaller neighbours on issues of maritime boundaries through its growing military strength, China finds its quest for hegemony hampered by two large Asian neighbours --Japan and India. It seeks to exclude the United States and India from regional fora by calling for the establishment of an East Asian Community. Concerned by such Chinese moves, Singapore`s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong asserted: “I think the US has to be part of the Asia-Pacific and the overall architecture of co-operation within the Asia Pacific”. This fear of China is accentuated by the virtual paralysis in Japanese foreign policy. The Chinese have spread fears about a revival of World War II Japanese militarism and put Japan on the defensive by protesting about the visits of Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni shrine, which is dedicated to the memory of soldiers killed in service of the country.
Having emerged as the largest trading partner of Asia`s three largest economies -- Japan, South Korea and India -- and a major trading partner of the ASEAN, China appears determined to combine its economic clout and its military potential to emerge as Asia`s dominant power. Apart from using maritime power to enforce its territorial claims in the Asia-Pacific, China seeks to become a dominant player in the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean as well. Hence its proposal to the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet that in return for its recognition of American dominance in the Eastern Pacific, the Americans should acknowledge the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions as China`s sphere of influence.
China`s growing belligerence towards India on the border issue should be seen in this context of its determination to be the dominant power in Asia. Given Japan`s readiness to succumb to Chinese pressures, Beijing`s rulers see an emerging India, which shows the potential for rapid economic growth and is respected in the comity of nations as a stable democracy, as a challenge to its larger ambitions.
The unresolved border issue serves as a useful tool to keep India on edge and under pressure. China knows that no Government in India can agree to its claims on populated areas like Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Moreover, even though China acknowledged on November 7, 1955 that the “so-called McMahon Line” was the Line of Control in the eastern sector and reiterated this on November 21, 1962, Chinese forces increasingly violate this boundary.
One of the greatest failures of China`s Communist Revolution is that despite Han Chinese constituting 91 per cent of the country`s population, the Chinese are paranoiac about their ability to handle the nine per cent of their minority populations in the strategically important, Buddhist-dominated Tibetan Autonomous Region and in the Muslim majority Xinjiang Province. This, in spite bringing in Han settlers to reduce the indigenous populations to a minority.
Tawang is seen as symbolically crucial in Chinese eyes as a centre of Buddhist spiritualism. By laying claim to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, China has put India on the defensive diplomatically and militarily. The Prime Minister told his Chinese counterpart in Bangkok that India regards the Dalai Lama as an “honoured guest” and a spiritual leader. Even as the dialogue with China continues, to maintain peace and tranquillity along our borders, India should not buckle under Chinese pressure and reverse its decision on the Dalai Lama`s visit to Tawang. Firmness, together with restraint in rhetoric, and not appeasement, are required for dealing with a growingly jingoistic China.
(Description of Source: New Delhi The Pioneer Online in English -- Website of the pro-Bharatiya Janata Party daily, favors nationalistic foreign and economic policies. Circulation for its five editions is approximately 160,000, with its core audience in Lucknow and Delhi; URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com)
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