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2003-10-14 International
Our "allies" are at it again
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Posted by Anonymous 2003-10-14 12:20:18 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [379 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 I put this is 3x and I'm done. Sorry about the bad link.

Posted by Anonymous 2003-10-14 12:22:35 AM||   2003-10-14 12:22:35 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 The Axis redux? The 'Other' Axis of evil?

I guess it's a strong combination: EU's defense non-force combined with Chinese 'technology.' In times of war I call that a target-rich environment.
Posted by badanov  2003-10-14 8:33:57 AM|| [http://www.rkka.org/weblog]  2003-10-14 8:33:57 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 Wet French dreams. Germany likes the Chinese market, but a "strategic alliance", especially directed against the U.S. is BS.

Alliot Marie is a bitch though. (Pardon my French)
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-14 9:08:24 AM||   2003-10-14 9:08:24 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 Last June, the French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, proposed sharing sensitive military technology with Beijing. She called for a softening of the arms embargo imposed on the country after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Well, that's enough reason to cut off the intel flows, if we haven't already. Not that it'll help much, what with the Dems just as anxious to supply Beijing with information...
Posted by mojo  2003-10-14 10:59:58 AM||   2003-10-14 10:59:58 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 The west in general has been drooling over China, postulating great opportunities if the Chinese market ever opens up. If we're in at the ground floor when that happens, oh boy. Problem is it may take a revolution and change of governments to open up the markets to the extent these people predict. Until then the PRC is not a friend of the west.

India has been a total failure at marketing themselves. They have everything China has (except the prison labor) and they're generally Democratic and generally speak English and generally trying to improve.

The West has been licking the boots of the wrong Asian protosuperpower if you ask me.
Posted by Yank 2003-10-14 11:01:15 AM||   2003-10-14 11:01:15 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 Yank -- that's been going on forever. I remember a book about General Stilwell that explained America's 19th century China policy much the same way.
Posted by Robert Crawford  2003-10-14 12:30:31 PM|| [http://www.kloognome.com]  2003-10-14 12:30:31 PM|| Front Page Top

#7 The Chinese government said the EU was transforming the global landscape with its successful currency launch and strides towards a joint foreign policy, defence, and judicial union. Describing EU integration as "irreversible", Beijing marvelled at Europe’s 25-35 per cent share of the global economy and its projected 450 million population after expanding into the former communist bloc next year.

This paper is more of the same propaganda that's been coming out of Beijing since China turned communist. The Chinese have been predicting American decline since they've been putting out position papers. Here's a link to Chinese views about America from the National Defense University. It's basically a load of wishful thinking about American decline.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-14 12:30:50 PM||   2003-10-14 12:30:50 PM|| Front Page Top

#8 RC was that B. Touchmans book? Stillwell and the American Experience in China?

Just think 300 million celestials needing lamp oil. Or just think 1 billion chinee each needing one Whopper... same old story.

BTW: Gen. Marshall had Stillwell down in his little black book to lead the invasion of France. (In 1942).
Posted by Shipman 2003-10-14 2:12:07 PM||   2003-10-14 2:12:07 PM|| Front Page Top

#9 Just think 300 million celestials needing lamp oil. Or just think 1 billion chinee each needing one Whopper... same old story.

Actually, the Chinese market is already pretty big for mass market items and services produced by American firms. American fast food chains are sprouting up like mushrooms across China. Kodak's third largest market in the world is China, where it has a 60% market share. Compare Kodak's share in China with its 10% share in Japan, and it is pretty clear that China's economy is already way more open than the Japanese economy.

I see Buicks in China, but nowhere else in the Far East - I wonder if American cars have retained some cachet in spite of all the Chinese ideological rhetoric. Just as the car on display at Chiang Kai Shek's old mansion in Nanking is a Buick, Mao arrived in Tiananmen Square at the time of the liberation in a Jeep. Note that the Chinese drive on the right side of the road, unlike in much of East Asia.

The Indian economy is overhyped, possibly because of the significant high-tech services component of its economy - the problem is that India is not equally open to the kind of light manufacturing that is propelling the Chinese economy forward. And it was light manufacturing (toys, clothing, shoes, et al) that got the East Asian economies on the trail to prosperity. When some people look at India, they see only what they want to see.

The truth is more complex, namely that the Chinese economy appears to be taking off, but the Chinese seem dead set on casting us as their enemy. China is CINO (Communist in name only) - the leadership is casting off state-owned factories as fast as they can without touching urban unrest. In place of Communist ideology, they have adopted the fascist ideology of the former Nationalist government. In other words, China today is pretty much similar ideologically to Chiang Kai Shek's regime pre-liberation, which resembled Franco's Spain and Mussolini's Italy, albeit on a continental scale.

The Indian economy continues to stagnate due to the dead hand of government regulation, and no amount of cheerleading will change this. Are the Indians our friends? I doubt it - the Indian government mainly sees itself benefitting from playing the US off against China and Pakistan. I think they'll sell us down the river at the first opportunity. Note the recent meeting between the Chinese and Indian leaders, where the Indian Prime Minister said (and I paraphrase) "when China and India stand together, the world must take notice". It's the same old the West is oppressing us rhetoric we've been hearing from the Indians since their independence. In the first place, their backing of the Soviet Union was why we struck up a strong relationship with Pakistan. The Indians are pure opportunists with chips the size of cinder blocks on their shoulders - calling them friends is an overstatement of the highest order.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-14 3:12:39 PM||   2003-10-14 3:12:39 PM|| Front Page Top

#10 Barbara Tuchman was a teriffic writer / historian. I have The Guns of August (WW-I root causes) and The First Salute (Amer Revolution) - both awesome. I already miss her - the fall of communism and the rise of the jihadi terrorists are certainly target-rich environments for someone of her talent.
Posted by .com 2003-10-14 3:22:59 PM||   2003-10-14 3:22:59 PM|| Front Page Top

#11 I have The Guns of August (WW-I root causes) and The First Salute (Amer Revolution) - both awesome.

Barbara Tuchman's basic (and erroneous) point of view was that nobody was responsible for WWI - the mobilizations on both sides triggered the war. The truth is more complex - WWII was basically WWI replayed, but this time with the Allies in the role of appeasers. If the Entente Powers had appeased the Kaiser in WWI, and allowed Germany and Austria-Hungary to expand in Europe, the result would have been German control of the European continent a full 2-1/2 decades earlier. Tuchman wrote well, but her conclusions were erroneous - if Germany had not been bent on expansion, WWI would not have occurred - its root cause remains German expansionism in Europe.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-14 3:45:11 PM||   2003-10-14 3:45:11 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 ZF, Your reference to Kodak's disproportionate market share in China needs to acknowledge that Kodak's main global rival is Fuji. I would imagine that Japanese products have a very hard time making headway in China. Re. the fast food outlets - I can vouch for that personally. After a particularly nasty bout of gastroenteritis near Chengdu eight years ago, it was chicken burgers from the city's KFC which restored my appetite. There were 25 McDonalds in Beijing, even then.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-10-14 4:37:08 PM||   2003-10-14 4:37:08 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 I think the French are getting a little twitchy with dictatorship withdrawal. US knocks off one French-subsidised nut case? Support a bigger one. Very sophisticated, no?

Let's see how eager Europe is to be dragged along on this adventure.
Posted by BJD (The Dignified Rant) 2003-10-14 5:26:37 PM|| [www.geocities.com/brianjamesdunn/TDRhome.html]  2003-10-14 5:26:37 PM|| Front Page Top

#14 Both Indians and Chinese have proven to be exceptional workers and wonderful capitalists when removed from their own governments limitations. I think the Indians are more likely to remove those limitations since they are unafraid of revolution.
Posted by Yank 2003-10-14 6:00:41 PM||   2003-10-14 6:00:41 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 Your reference to Kodak's disproportionate market share in China needs to acknowledge that Kodak's main global rival is Fuji. I would imagine that Japanese products have a very hard time making headway in China.

Animosity against the Japanese is at a very low ebb. Japanese pop is all the rage in China, and the execrable Hello Kitty phenomenon (another Japanese import) rages out of control even among full-grown Chinese women. China's current Great Satan is the US - note that there are numerous expatriate accounts of the Chinese cheering bin Laden's men on even as it was televised live in China. The current ideological thrust in China is to think of the Japanese as fellow Asians (except when the Chinese are looking to get concessions from them, in which case the Japanese are cast as WWII-era villains). The current Chinese slogan is Asia for the Asians, which actually mirrors to a T the propaganda approach taken by the Japanese during their conquest of East Asia during WWII.

The basic point here is that the Chinese buy American products for reasons unrelated to what they think of US foreign policy (which is shaped by unrelenting Chinese propaganda outlets like the People's Daily and Xinhua newswires, not to mention leftist newswire agencies like Reuters, AP and AFP). These reasons include quality, image and suitability to their needs. The Chinese buy American goods for the same reason that Americans buy foreign goods - these goods meet their needs at a reasonable price.

Re. the fast food outlets - I can vouch for that personally. After a particularly nasty bout of gastroenteritis near Chengdu eight years ago, it was chicken burgers from the city's KFC which restored my appetite. There were 25 McDonalds in Beijing, even then.

In Shanghai, I kept on running into American fast food outlets within easy walking distance of each other (in one instance, two McDonalds were separated by a hundred yards). I have run into McDonalds outlets even in Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, which is pretty out in the sticks.

There is a significant market for US capital goods in China. For many American companies, it won't be the biggest market for a while, if ever - China is still a poor country and will remain so for decades. But the range of goods the Chinese buy is pretty wide, and the Chinese seem to believe in buying from several sources whenever possible. In one particular rural area where the Chinese were blasting through some hills to make roads, I saw excavators and cranes from Hitachi, Hyundai and Caterpillar. China continues to buy a large number of planes from the US, despite what some commercial airplane analysts have described as Boeing's diminishing competitiveness in that segment. The Chinese market for American products is not currently huge, but it is definitely far bigger than the Indian market for many products.* And that is why so many foreign companies are clamoring to get into China.

* While I was working as a numbers guy at a Fortune 50 corporation, China was a rounding error. India was not even a rounding error - the subject of India never even came up.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-14 6:10:50 PM||   2003-10-14 6:10:50 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 Both Indians and Chinese have proven to be exceptional workers and wonderful capitalists when removed from their own governments limitations. I think the Indians are more likely to remove those limitations since they are unafraid of revolution.

Actually, the Chinese government is rapidly dismantling the barriers to the expansion of the Chinese economy. In my travels through China, I have noted the emigration of farmers and laid-off workers from China's Rust Belt to the coastal cities where most of the foreign multinational corporations (and subcontractors for foreign MNC's) have set up shop. The recently-arrived wait at bus stops for factory recruiters (just as illegal Latin American laborers wait at NY day labor hubs - it's just uncanny how similar the arrangements are). Every time I've visited China, another area is being developed, new foreign-owned plants have sprung up like mushrooms and nice new roads paved over what used to be farmland.

The danger from China isn't that it will implode - it's that it will grow strong and then assert its revanchist territorial claims across East Asia. The current Chinese leadership has Chiang Kai Shek's fascist mentality (when he ruled all of China), which is that China has been humiliated and needs to reassert its greatness. The historical Chinese way of reasserting China's greatness has been military expansion, contrary to Chinese claims of peaceful intent.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-14 6:25:29 PM||   2003-10-14 6:25:29 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 Personally, I would like to see as many vibrant economies throughout the world as possible. I'm not much of a zero-sum guy.
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-14 9:19:08 PM||   2003-10-14 9:19:08 PM|| Front Page Top

#18 Thanks Zhang Fei....

Is the launch still on for tomorrow? I'd pay serious money to be there.

Posted by Shipman 2003-10-14 10:10:41 PM||   2003-10-14 10:10:41 PM|| Front Page Top

#19 Is the launch still on for tomorrow?

I have to believe so. This is either going to work, or it's going to be a big fireworks display. My reservations about the Chinese space program notwithstanding (given its transparent military applications), I have to say the astronauts going up are better men than I - under no circumstances would I risk life and limb heading up in one of those rocket-fueled tin cans. Given the Chinese record of poor quality control, these guys are really taking their lives into their own hands.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-14 10:26:10 PM||   2003-10-14 10:26:10 PM|| Front Page Top

#20 Thanks for the info from me, too, ZF. I must say, it seems to me as though Chinese popular attitude towards the Japanese must have mellowed somewhat since I was there. I learned that it was not good for your plans to, as a westerner, associate with Japanese, as the smiling locals could be quite devilishly unhelpful. On one train journey, from Jinjiang to Chengdu, the locals in our carriage gave incorrect information to our Japanese friends, meaning that they dd not get off at Chengdu's north station, but went on to another city - we, fortunately, only got off at the second station the train stopped at in Chengdu rather than our intended stop, the south station. The Japanese pair had already informed us that they had not been universally welcomed whilst in China. I don't think that we as Brits were every treated in a hostile manner. Do you know if the Zhuhai orgy incident has reignited old animosities?

I got a jist of official attitudes towards the anglophone world from reading the China Daily. Slanderous propaganda, as I recall.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-10-15 4:39:31 AM||   2003-10-15 4:39:31 AM|| Front Page Top

#21 I must say, it seems to me as though Chinese popular attitude towards the Japanese must have mellowed somewhat since I was there. I learned that it was not good for your plans to, as a westerner, associate with Japanese, as the smiling locals could be quite devilishly unhelpful. On one train journey, from Jinjiang to Chengdu, the locals in our carriage gave incorrect information to our Japanese friends, meaning that they dd not get off at Chengdu's north station, but went on to another city - we, fortunately, only got off at the second station the train stopped at in Chengdu rather than our intended stop, the south station. The Japanese pair had already informed us that they had not been universally welcomed whilst in China.

People in the interior have less actual contact with Japanese pop culture and real live Japanese. In the coastal areas, employees quickly learn that the best companies to work for are Western companies, followed by Japanese companies, followed by companies from the rest of East Asia (with Korean and Taiwanese companies at the bottom), followed by (private) Chinese companies. In the coastal areas, the relatively good conditions at Japanese firms, coupled with continuous exposure to Japanese pop culture have undoubtedly offset some of the propaganda barrages emanating from the central government.

Note that this artificially-generated animosity has almost zero impact on Chinese purchasing decisions. They still buy Japanese watches, cameras, cell phones, computers, cars, air conditioners, et al, without hesitation. In this respect, Chinese consumers are like consumers everywhere.

Do you know if the Zhuhai orgy incident has reignited old animosities?

I'm sure the Chinese are in high dudgeon over this incident, which was probably trumped up in the run-up to the anniversary of China's turning communist on Oct 1.* It's just another item they've added to their sack of grievances, just as the Germans used to do, just prior to WWII. These Chinese carry out these periodic mass campaigns before major national festivities to stoke Chinese nationalism. Like sheep, ordinary Chinese always respond with appropriate displays of indignation.

I got a jist of official attitudes towards the anglophone world from reading the China Daily. Slanderous propaganda, as I recall.

The English version of the People's Daily is mild compared to the Chinese version. To get the flavor of the naked propaganda posing as news, read it using Altavista's translation engine. It's an eyeful.

* The Japanese tourists, like tourists from much of relatively more-prosperous East Asia, probably did patronize local prostitutes - but this occurs on a daily basis. The professional liars at the Chinese Propaganda Ministry just chose to focus on a specific day, claiming that the Japanese were looking to humiliate the Chinese. And this is completely typical - taking events out of context is integral to how the Chinese lie.
Posted by Zhang Fei  2003-10-15 10:06:55 AM||   2003-10-15 10:06:55 AM|| Front Page Top

#22 Points noted, ZF.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-10-15 5:07:03 PM||   2003-10-15 5:07:03 PM|| Front Page Top

11:36 Anonymous
17:07 Bulldog
10:06 Zhang Fei
04:39 Bulldog
04:16 Bulldog
01:14 Old Patriot
23:47 esp
23:45 Uncle Joe
23:31 Mom
23:14 JAB
22:35 Alaska Paul
22:30 Bomb-a-rama
22:26 Zhang Fei
22:17 tu3031
22:15 Shipman
22:13 tu3031
22:10 Shipman
22:10 Alaska Paul
22:03 Shipman
22:00 Shipman
21:54 CrazyFool
21:43 Super Hose
21:38 Alaska Paul
21:36 Super Hose

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