China’s Stupid Unrealistic Peaceful RisePosted: August 18, 2016
China has pursued peaceful rise for decades and reiterated times and again that it does not seek hegemony. As it was very weak in the past, no one feared that China would grow strong enough and become a hegemon.
However, China has indeed been peace-loving for decades. The islands and reefs within its nine-dash line have been taken by rival claimants much weaker than it, but it refrains from taking them back by force. On the contrary, it has been making great efforts to resolve its territorial disputes with rival claimants through peaceful negotiations.
The problem now is that Chinese economy will soon surpass US economy and thus China will probably replace the US as number one in the world.
The US certainly does not allow that. In his speech, US president Obama made American people very happy by telling them that the US will remain number one in the world for 100 years to come. Seeing China’s potential to replace the US as world number one, Obama started US pivot to Asia to contain China so as to ensure that the US will remain number one in the world for 100 years.
What about other countries?
They do not want China’s peaceful rise either as who can ensure that China will not bully other countries, especially its neighbors when it has become number one in the world.
There are historical reasons:
Russia is afraid that China may ask it to return the 2 million square kilometers of land China’s Qing Dynasty ceded to it. India is afraid that China may attack it to solve its border disputes with India. China attacked and defeated Indian troops due to the disputes decades ago. Japan is especially nervous as it has brought more than 8 years of misery to Chinese people when it invaded China and tried in vain to annex China.
To counter Chinese retaliation, Japan has decided to enhance its military strength and rely on US protection.
For China’s smaller and weaker neighbors, they may be economically benefited from China’s rise, but they are afraid that China may grow into a dangerous tiger living in their neighborhood. Better the US remains number one or at least a balancing rival to China.
From the above you see that China is surrounded by enemies when it pursues peaceful rise.
If China had continued its peaceful rise, it would have first of all been attacked by the US as China was regarded as a weak country for others to take it piece by piece. Even the very weak Philippines dared to drive Chinese away from Scarborough Shoal thinking that the US would have helped it. It was sad that it lost access to the shoal and the waters around it due to the Scarborough standoff.
The Philippines even dared to file a case of arbitration to entirely deprive China of its historical rights and interests in the South China Sea. It reminds China of its misery of being cut into spheres of influence by Western powers.
However, Chinese leaders have the vision to foresee US and Philippines’ conspiracy and have begun intensive arms race with the US ever since US declaration of its pivot to Asia.
As a result, China has grown strong enough to resist US military intervention. When, the US, Japan, Australia urge China to respect the arbitration ruling and give up its rights and interests to the South China Sea, China simply responds with its military strength. It sends warplanes including fighter jets and bombers to conduct combat patrol of the disputed waters.
US sends its warships to threaten China with the excuse of freedom of navigation operations. China’s senior admiral warned the US that such operations may end in disasters.
China’s strong military response has made its neighbors retract their support for the US in urging China to respect the ruling when their leaders met Obama in February.
Now, the situation is calm in the South China Sea because of China’s pursuit of military rise instead of peaceful rise.
All China’s neighbors oppose China’s peaceful rise. China was surrounded by enemies when it pursues peaceful rise.
You may have heard US politicians say that they welcome China’s peaceful rise, but who believes that? If the rise is welcome, why shall the US plan to transfer 60% of its military to Asia to deal with China?
Why shall the US be so upset when China has built artificial islands on the reefs in the South China Sea? The anti-submarine network on artificial islands and along Chinese coast will detect US submarines and the warplanes there will kill US submarines detected before and after they attack at China with cruise missiles launched from the South China Sea.
Why shall the US develop B-21 bombers? It is due to the bombers’ capabilities to bomb Beijing. Since US aircraft carriers cannot come within the range of China’s anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles and since US submarines will be destroyed by Chinese warplanes stationed on China’s artificial islands, the US has to have B-21 to attack China.
What about China stopping its rise to enable the US to remain world number one for 100 years? Lots of Western experts, writers and journalists want precisely that. They have been predicting China’s collapse for decades. China’s collapse means misery for a billion people, but they don’t care. They will be pleased if China collapses but are disappointed that their predictions have never come true.
China has a much larger population; therefore, its economy shall grow much larger than the US if it wants its people enjoy similar living standards as American people.
Therefore, China must become number one in economy. Whatever is China’s political system, Chinese government has the obligations to make Chinese economy grow larger than the US, i.e. make China number one in the world in economy. As the US is unhappy about that, China has to grow into number one militarily too.
Now, China’s correct choice is the pursuit of peaceful rise among friends and military rise among enemies.
Article by Chan Kai Yee on China’s policies of peaceful rise.