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Peaceful rise, the biggest international relations issue of our life time

December 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

In 1996, Samuel P. Huntington published his famous book, “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” where he posited after the Cold War, the world is more likely going to have major wars due to civilizational fault lines than anything else. He recognized that the Cold War was a competition between the Capitalist West and the Communist East. Huntington provoked great debates among international relations theorists. Of course, Hungtington followed the heels of Francis Fukuyama who famously wrote “End of History” at the end of the Cold War, proclaiming that Democracy has won; that that system would be an eventuality for every nation on earth and there will no longer be any major conflicts after that.

Fukuyama has since recanted what he wrote, especially as China has risen in the last couple of decades with a system of its own (albeit changing). Regardless of whether Huntington or Fukuyama is ultimately right, the biggest international relations question for our life time and for the next few generations will be how a new power rises peacefully so the declining power does not clash with it. For now it appears to be between China and America, but for our collective future, it can be between any two nation states (or civilizations if you prefer). History tells us that those clashes are often brutal, and given the awesome technologies we have today, there is probably no place to hide and nobody spared.

If we don’t solve this problem as humans, we are guaranteed to self-destruct sooner or later. If Fukuyama is reading this post, he’d agree this is a worthwhile problem to solve. If Huntington is still alive today, he’d agree too.

In my prior post, “Top 5 things I thank, wish for in the U.S. of A.,” my number one wish of the United States was to “Create an institutionalized world-order where the next hegemon will not say, “We will act multilaterally when we can and unilaterally when we must.”” Why the United States? Because she is the sole superpower. For this next clash, she is guaranteed to be in the equation. I think she has the ability to do it if she chooses to lead our world in that direction.

I also think China has the potential to effect our world in that same direction. China sees the United States squarely in front of her. If China does not believe there could be a potential clash, we will not hear about “peaceful rise” from the Chinese government in her international relations.

Chinese State Councilor, Dai Bingguo

This leads me to a recent Op-Ed in China Daily by Dai Bingguo (戴秉国), a State Councilor and a national security advisor to Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡锦涛), entitled “Stick to the path of peaceful development.” By the way, both Kissinger and Brzezinski have spoken highly of him in the past. (Wikipedia.org)

The Op-Ed is China’s reaffirmation to “peaceful rise.”

[Update 12/14/2010: Per silentvoice’s comment below, there is an important distinction between “peaceful rise” vs. “peaceful development”:

p/s: I believe you are using the old term propagated by the western media. The current, official Chinese term is ‘peaceful development’ (和平发展),not ‘peaceful rise’ (和平崛起). Notice, in his article, Dai has been careful not to mix up the word ‘rise’ with ‘development’.

This is an important distinction, and I didn’t mean to misconstrue Dai’s Op-Ed. In my opinion, China is trying hard in taking a more humble stance. If the Western media prefer to frame it ‘rise’, then so be it, because I think it gives urgency to the overall issue.]

China Daily’s subscribers in North America include “the United Nations Headquarters, government agencies of the United States and Canada, universities, think tanks, major financial institutions and many high-tech companies.” That Op-Ed is meant for diplomats around the world.

Is China’s “peaceful rise” all talk or is it real? As China grows, her relations with the world both broadens and deepens. In order to build trust, China must articulate what her vision is for the world with respect to her rise. Other countries will correlate her actions with that vision. Greater correlation builds more trust. Hypocrisy builds distrust.

One interesting fact about China’s Constitution is what he said below:

To oppose hegemony has been written into China’s Constitution and the Constitution of the Communist Party of China. Probably, no other big country or political party in the world has ever done that.

But, I prefer to refrain from weighing in on what Dai wrote in this particular post. I prefer readers to read for themselves (full text shortly below).

If the U.S. does not provide leadership in this problem I described, then I think it is okay for China to take the lead. The Op-Ed is organized in the form of answers to ten questions. Countries around the world will challenge some of the assertions. Others will agree. At the end, a reasonable and practical answer will have to emerge. Humanity depends on it.

(This post was inspired by jxie in his recent comment about his view of China’s diplomacy in failing to expose the duplicity in the politics of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. I viewed it also as a lack of pro-activity in having a strategy around it – okay, conjecturing. From proactivity stand point, I thought this “peaceful rise” is actually one of the best examples in China’s foreign policy some of us might have missed.)

1. Why has China chosen the path of peaceful development?
2. What is the path of peaceful development?
3. What is China’s direction and strategic intention?
4. How to see China’s development?
5. Will China seek hegemony when it becomes more developed?
6. How will a fast developing China handle its relations with other countries?
7. How will China use its growing power and influence?
8. How is the path of peaceful development related to socialism with Chinese characteristics?
9. What is the relationship between the path of peaceful development and the building of a harmonious world?
10. Will China’s path of peaceful development lead to its desired outcome?

Stick to the path of peaceful development
By Dai Bingguo (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-13 08:02

The CPC Central Committee’s Proposal for Formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan for China’s Economic and Social Development adopted by the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee has drawn the grand blueprint for China’s development in the next five years. It is reiterated in the part on external relations that China stands firmly for peace, development and cooperation, pursues the independent foreign policy of peace, sticks to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening-up, safeguards China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and is ready to work with other countries to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. This explains fully China’s external stance, its path of development, its goal and the way to achieve the goal. Therefore, it has great relevance and far-reaching significance to China’s diplomacy under the new circumstances.

1.Why has China chosen the path of peaceful development?

To stick to the path of peaceful development is not an impulsive decision. On the contrary, it is a carefully considered choice based on our analysis of the great changes that have taken place in the world, in China and in China’s relations with the rest of the world. We realize that we must adapt to the changing situation and follow a path that suits the trend of world development and China’s national conditions.

The world is undergoing extensive and profound changes. Economic globalization and development of information technology are gaining momentum. Science and technology are advancing fast. The world is getting smaller and has become a “global village”. Countries are more closely linked and interdependent with their interests more closely integrated than ever before. They find more areas of common interests and more issues that need joint response. They want to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation more than ever before. To some extent, the world has become a community of interests. No country, even the most powerful ones, can stand alone and survive. The behavior of one country will have an impact not only on itself, but also on other countries. Those selfish practices of conquering or threatening others by force, or seeking development space and resources by non-peaceful means are losing ground. It has also become very unpopular for some countries to identify friends and foes on the basis of ideology and gang up under various pretexts in quest of dominance of world affairs. In response to increasing risks and challenges, the international community has opted for peace, development and cooperation, which is the irresistible trend of the times. Countries should consider themselves passengers in the same boat and cross the river peacefully together instead of fighting one another and trying to push one another off the boat.

China is undergoing extensive and profound transformation. More than 30 years of reform and opening -up has brought about earth-shaking changes in the country: from “taking class struggle as the key principle” to focusing on economic development and building socialist modernization on all fronts, from planned economy to socialist market economy through reform across the board, from a closed society and over emphasis on self-reliance to opening up and international cooperation, from emphasis on ideology in external relations to advocating harmonious co-existence of various social systems and development models and developing external relations in an all-round way. All this calls on us to act in light of the basic national conditions and features of development at the current stage of our country, deepen the reform and opening-up and accelerate the transformation of economic growth pattern.

China’s relations with the rest of the world have also undergone historic changes. With deepening reform and opening up and sustained economic and social development, China is increasingly integrated into the international community and closely connected with the world. Its future and destiny is increasingly linked with that of the world. China cannot develop in isolation of the world. And the world cannot achieve prosperity and stability without China. If we fail to manage well our relations with the rest of the world, we might miss the development opportunities provided by the overall peace in the world, relative stability in relations between major countries and fast progress in new science and technology revolution in the first 20 years of the new century.

2.What is the path of peaceful development?

Sticking to the path of peaceful development is a brand new development path put forward by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as the General-Secretary on the basis of the features of the times, China’s national conditions, domestic and international situations, and development experiences and lessons of other major countries. This is a major decision on China’s development strategy and a major statement of China’s external strategy.

In my view, there are five features of this path. First, the peaceful nature of development. China will not engage in invasion, plundering, war or expansion that Western powers used to practice. Our strength will be harnessed to serve world peace and integrate development with peace. Second, the independent nature of development. Independence is the fundamental feature of China’s diplomacy. And self-reliance is our fine tradition. Over the past 30 years and more, in our efforts to develop the country, we have mainly relied on reform and opening-up, our own wisdom and hard work, expanding domestic demand and transforming economic growth pattern. Third, the scientific nature of development. According to the requirement of the Scientific Outlook on Development that puts people first and pursues comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, we have intensified efforts to promote sound and fast economic development and the building of a harmonious society with a view to securing a sound domestic environment for peaceful development. Fourth, the cooperative nature of development. China is a member of the international community. It best serves our own and others’ interests to cooperate with others, and share interests and responsibilities. In external relations, we advocate friendship instead of animosity, cooperation instead of confrontation, trust instead of suspicion, and treating each other as equals instead of imposing one’s will on others. Fifth, common development. China’s national interests are consistent with the common interests of mankind. In developing itself, China aims to achieve common development with other countries and never does anything at the expense of others. We know full well that if a country wants to develop itself, it must let others develop too. If a country wants to have security, it must make others feel safe too. And if a country wants a better life, it must let others have it too.

3.What is China’s direction and strategic intention?

After over 30 years of reform and opening up, especially after China successfully hosted the Beijing Olympic Games and withstood the test of the international financial crisis, the world has shown a stronger interest in China’s strategic direction. Let me point out that China’s strategic intention is not as complex or unfathomable as some people may think. Nor is there any hidden agenda or ambition. In fact, China’s strategic intention can be defined in two words: peaceful development, i.e. harmony and development at home and peace and cooperation abroad. This is what we must focus on and achieve – not just this generation but for generations to come. This is the policy that will not change in 100 years or 1,000 years. To be specific, we need to achieve the goal by peaceful means, by continued reform and improvement of our own system, and through hard work, creativity and ingenuity of the Chinese people, and long-term friendly co-existence, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries.

This way, the Chinese people, accounting for one-fifth of the world’s total population, will rid themselves of poverty and lead a better life. This way, China will develop into a country where people are contented, society is harmonious, and political, material, cultural and environmental development proceeds in a balanced way. This way, China will become a most responsible and law-abiding member of the international community. In this process, we will develop socialist democracy and political system in light of China’s national conditions. In a word, the Chinese people have suffered long enough from poverty. Our greatest and only strategic intention is to live a better life, where every day is better than the previous one. We wish the same for all the people in the world. The CPC has termed this process “peaceful development” and the ways and means to achieve peaceful development “the path of peaceful development”. As one may notice, this path has been solemnly incorporated into the Report at the 17th Party Congress and reiterated in the proposal for the 12th Five-Year Plan at the latest plenary session. This speaks volumes about CPC’s sincerity and resolve to stick to the path of peaceful development.

4.How to see China’s development?

After over 30 years of reform and opening-up, China has achieved remarkable progress in its economic and social development. In recent years, in particular, China’s development has attracted even more international attention. Many think that China is already a developed country, on a par with the United States. This view indicates that the path of peaceful development can lead a nation to development and we have made the right choice. However, it also shows a lack of comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the level of China’s development. The reality is that China’s GDP, however big it may grow, must be shared among the 1.3 billion people. China’s per capita GDP is only $3,800, ranking about 104th in the world, even lower than many African countries. By the United Nations standard of one US dollar a day, 150 million Chinese are still living below the poverty line. Even by the standard of 1,200 yuan per capita income, over 40 million Chinese are still in poverty. Today in China, 10 million people have no access to electricity and each year, employment must be provided for 24 million Chinese. China has a huge population and a weak economic foundation. The urban-rural gaps, imbalances in industrial structure and underdevelopment of productivity are issues yet to be fundamentally addressed. In whatever sense, China is big in terms of population but small in terms of economy. It is a developing country in every sense of the term. The economic and social problems we face are the biggest and most difficult in the world. We have no reason whatsoever to be conceited or arrogant. Our road to real development and better life for our people will be long and hard. This will require the unremitting efforts of several generations or even more. Even if one day China comes close to Western countries, like the United States, Europe and Japan, in per capita GDP, the quality of our economy and life will still lag far behind.

I must point out in particular that even if China becomes stronger, it will remain a member of the developing world and will continue to stand by the developing countries and work in unity with them for common development. That is because we share similar historical experiences with developing countries, we were comrades-in-arms with them, and we have common development tasks and strategic interests. Our position will never change even when China’s economy has grown or its international status has changed. Now and forever, China is, and will remain the most sincere and trustworthy friend, brother and partner of the developing countries. Although there is room for improvement in our relations with the developing countries, China’s cooperation with them is open and honest and based on equality, mutual benefit and sincere friendship. The hat of the so-called “neocolonialism” does not fit China.

5. Will China seek hegemony when it becomes more developed?

This concern is unfounded. To oppose hegemony has been written into China’s Constitution and the Constitution of the Communist Party of China. Probably, no other big country or political party in the world has ever done that.

In terms of history, China has no culture or tradition of seeking expansion or hegemony. Throughout our history of thousands of years, benevolence and harmony are at the heart of our political and cultural tradition, which values harmony, good-neighborliness and friendship with all. China never sought expansion or hegemony even in its heyday centuries ago, when it accounted for 30 percent of the world’s GDP. Zheng He, a great Chinese navigator, led the world’s strongest fleet to the Western Seas on seven voyages, taking with him not bloodshed or war, pillage or colonization but porcelain, silk and tea. In the height of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 – 907), what Japan got from China was not threat but prosperity. China’s territory has basically been what it is today since the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD).

In terms of world development, revitalization of a country in the era of economic globalization can be well achieved through equal and orderly international competition and mutually beneficial cooperation. It’s no longer necessary or possible to take the old path of challenging either the existing international order or other countries. The rise and fall of some big powers in the world tells us: Expansionism leads to nowhere; arms race leads to nowhere; seeking world domination leads to nowhere; and peaceful development is the only right path. The more developed China is, the more it needs to strengthen cooperation with the rest of the world, and the more it needs a peaceful and stable international environment. Mutual benefit and common development is what we have learned most profoundly from over 30 years of experiences in foreign relations since reform and opening-up. That is also a key to our success. We must hold on to the key and never give it up.

In terms of our basic policy, never seeking leadership, never competing for supremacy and never seeking hegemony is our basic national policy and strategic choice. Whether a country is a threat to the world or not is a matter of what policies it pursues. China always adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, respects the right of the people in all countries to choose their own development paths, never seeks hegemony or leadership and never tries to dominate the world. As Comrade Deng Xiaoping once said, if one day China tries to seek hegemony in the world, people of the world should expose, oppose and overthrow it. The international community can hold us to account.

Some say China wants to replace the US and dominate the world. That is simply a myth. Politically, what we practice is socialism with Chinese characteristics. We do not export our social system or development model and we respect the choice of the people of other countries. Economically, we focus all our efforts on development. We are happy to see lasting prosperity and development in all other countries and we pursue common progress. Militarily, we reject any arms race. Our top priority is to enable the 1.3 billion Chinese people to have better clothes, better food, better housing and more convenient transportation. We cannot and will not spend heaps of money on weaponry.

We do not seek hegemony and will never compete with other countries for leadership in our region, seek so-called joint hegemony or follow so-called Monroe Doctrine. What we pursue is a policy of friendship, security and prosperity with our neighbors. The purpose of our Asia-Pacific strategy is to create a good, stable neighboring environment for our own development and achieve common progress with all countries. We want to be a good friend, good neighbor and good partner of ASEAN and all countries in Asia. The bilateral and multilateral agreements we have signed with Asian countries do not have a single article that is exclusive. We are open to regional cooperation and our intentions are transparent and good. We hope that what other countries do in Asia is not aimed to keep off, contain or harm China. We hope that what they say and do at our gate or in this region where the Chinese people have lived for thousands of years is also well intentioned and transparent. Take China’s development as an opportunity and seize it, and one stands to benefit.Doubt China’s regional and international strategic intentions and focus on finding fault and making trouble, and one will lose the good opportunity to cooperate with China. The attempts to team up to counter or contain China and the practices of sowing discords between countries in the region and conducting joint military exercises in China’s adjacent waters are a clear demonstration of the Cold War mentality. It is out of date and cannot stop China’s advances. It can only lead to the loss of the historical opportunity of developing cooperation with China. It is doomed to failure.

Some people misinterpret the Chinese idiom “keep a low profile and make due contributions”. They take China’s announcement of a peaceful development path as a smokescreen for its real intention before it gets strong enough. This is groundless suspicion. That Chinese idiom was quoted from Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s remarks from late 1980s to early 1990s, saying that China should keep modest and prudent, not serve as others’ leader or a standard bearer and not seek expansion or hegemony. This is consistent with the idea of the path of peaceful development.

In short, the Chinese is a good-will and responsible nation. We respect others, but do not allow others to bully us. We are developing socialist democracy based on our national conditions. We value, respect and protect human rights. We may encounter many difficulties on our way forward, but we will never waver in reform and opening-up. We will always keep an open mind and learn from others. In our relations with other countries, we will seek equality, harmonious co-existence, mutual benefit and common development. Ours is a country that follows the path of peaceful development and treats others with candor and sincerity. The world may feel reassured and confident in dealing with such a country as China.

The international community should welcome China’s peaceful development rather than fear it, help rather than hinder it and support rather than constrain its effort. The international community should understand and respect China’s legitimate interests and concerns in the course of its peaceful development.

6. How will a fast developing China handle its relations with other countries?

As a Chinese saying goes, “Scooping rice from the same pot, the ladles may inevitably knock against each other”. As we live in a global village, frictions and clashes of various kinds are inevitable. It is nothing alarming. What matters is the principles that one follows in trying to tackle the problems: A tit-for-tat tactic or making a fuss of a minor problem, or rather, a totally different approach? We have our basic principles in our external relations, which have proven effective over the past decades. First, we follow the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. To be specific, we reject interference in others’ internal affairs and the use or threat of use of force and we do not enter into alliance with any country. Second, we follow the win-win strategy of opening-up and never adopt the beggar-thy-neighbor policy. We value, develop and protect common interests and strive to make the pie of common interests bigger and better. Third, we stand for settlement of disputes and conflicts through dialogue and negotiation and by seeking common ground while shelving differences. That is what we have been doing over the past years. We have set up strategic dialogue and consultation mechanisms with the United States, Europe, Japan and some emerging countries and have been engaged in in-depth exchange of views with them on important overarching and long-term issues concerning the world situation and bilateral relations. Those discussions have helped to enhance mutual understanding and trust, seek strategic consensus, expand common interests and reduce troubles and setbacks. For knotty problems, we have proposed that they be put aside until conditions are ripe for solution. Some issues can even be left to future generations.

Some people argue that since the Chinese government has never renounced the use of force for the settlement of the Taiwan question and China’s military spending is growing continuously, it is contradictory to China’s statement about its path of peaceful development. In my view, no development path should be chosen at the expense of major national interests, core interests in particular. What are China’s core interests? My personal understanding is: First, China’s form of government and political system and stability, namely the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the socialist system and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Second, China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity. Third, the basic guarantee for sustainable economic and social development of China. These interests brook no violation.

The Taiwan question constitutes China’s core interest concerning its unification and territorial integrity, dear to the heart of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and the whole Chinese nation. On this question, we pursue the basic principle of “peaceful unification and one country, two systems”. We will never allow Taiwan to split from China, nor will we ever commit ourselves to the renunciation of force. This is not targeted at our Taiwan compatriots but a handful of Taiwan separatists. In recent years, the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations has made positive and significant progress as evidenced by the signing of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the two sides, which opens up greater prospects for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. However, there are those who, out of Cold War mentality and geo-political needs, have continued to sell weapons to Taiwan in disregard of China’s firm opposition. Such failure to keep one’s word should be corrected at once as it is not conducive to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and runs counter to the trend of peace, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific region.

China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. Its military building is aimed at upholding sovereignty and territorial integrity, safeguarding its more than 22,000 km-long land boundary and 18,000 km-long sea boundary and ensuring development in a peaceful environment. It is neither driven by arms race nor the desire to seek hegemony or expansion. Some people in the world have the unnecessary worry that China will turn its growing economic power into military might. Compared with quite a number of countries such as the United States and Japan, China’s military spending is minimal both in aggregate and per capita terms and cannot pose a threat to other countries. As for transparency, there is no country that is absolutely transparent in the military field. China’s military transparency has been rising over the past decades. Its strategic intent, in particular, is more transparent than many other countries, especially some major powers. For example, we have openly declared to the world that we will never seek hegemony and openly committed to no first use of nuclear weapons and no use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. If other countries follow suit, it will no doubt be a great contribution to world peace, stability and development.

7. How will China use its growing power and influence?

The objective of China’s development boils down to one sentence: to build a harmonious society at home and help build a harmonious world abroad. This means China will first of all be responsible to its 1.3 billion people and also responsible to people across the world and world peace and development so that the fruits of China’s development can benefit both its own people and the international community. There is misunderstanding about “giving top priority to China’s development”. Some people take it as a sign of ducking China’s international obligations. In fact, since the beginning of the reform and opening-up, the Communist Party of China has made it one of its three historical tasks to uphold world peace and promote common development. In recent years, the Party has further introduced the idea of building a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. We are paying greater attention to and giving more input in international and regional affairs. First, China has taken an active part in the joint response to global issues such as energy, food, climate change, terrorism, natural disasters, infectious diseases and financial crisis as well as the settlement of regional hotspot issues such as the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue, Palestine-Israel conflict and the Darfur issue in Sudan. Second, China is active in the building of the international system. China has been a responsible player in the international system. It is a beneficiary as well as a builder and contributor. The current international system is not perfect and should be reformed and improved to keep pace with the changing time so as to be fairer and more rational. China is ready to play a more active role in this process, including the making and improvement of international rules and will continue to assume international responsibilities and obligations commensurate with its national strength. Third, China has actively promoted the development agenda. We have focused on our own development. As China’s development is an integral part of the world development, the further it develops, the better for the world. Over the years, China’s economy has contributed over 10 percent to world economic growth and over 12 percent to international trade growth, creating millions of job opportunities for relevant countries and regions. At the same time, we are not only an important participant in but also a major promoter of global development. We are ready to work with other countries to push forward the UN Millennium Development Goals in the interest of world prosperity and progress.

8. How is the path of peaceful development related to socialism with Chinese characteristics?

These are the two sides of the same coin. On one side, the path of peaceful development is intrinsic to socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the end of the day, a country’s choice of development path is determined by the nature of its system. The innate greed of capitalist society and capital determined that the rise of Western powers was accompanied by aggression and expansion, full of blood and violence. China, a socialist country, is committed to the goal of prosperity, social justice, national development and world peace. China will remain in the primary stage of socialism for a long time to come, and the mismatch between the people’s increasing material and cultural need and the backward production is still our major problem. This fact dictates that we must constantly put development on top of the agenda in the Party’s effort to rule and revitalize the country, and create a stable international environment of lasting peace; it also determines that “in pursuing socialism, we should constantly raise productivity and advocate peace.” (Deng Xiaoping). On the other side, the path of peaceful development is an integral part of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which manifests itself in many respects, such as in the economic, political, cultural, social, ecological and other fields. And its manifestation in external relations is the path of peaceful development. In other words, peaceful development represents the basic nature, features, content of and means to achieve socialism with Chinese characteristics in external relations. To hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics means we should hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation and never waiver in taking the path of peaceful development. This is a basic conclusion our Party has reached after analyzing the world situation and summarizing the experiences and lessons of development history of both China and other countries. It is an important result we have achieved in suiting Marxism to Chinese realities and the time; it is also a fundamental guarantee for China to realize scientific development in the complex and volatile international situation.

9. What is the relationship between the path of peaceful development and the building of a harmonious world?

To stick to the path of peaceful development is to make known to the world how China is to realize development and revitalize itself. It represents essentially a choice of the development path and strategy our Party has made. To promote the building of a harmonious world tells what kind of world and international order China is committed to build. It represents essentially the international order and code of conduct our Party advocates. A commitment to the path of peaceful development is the basis and prerequisite of building a harmonious world while the latter is the inevitable need of the former. China upholds the unity of the two and advocates both patriotism and internationalism. By taking the path of peaceful development, the Chinese people, accounting for one-fifth of the world population, can lead a better life, which will be a tremendous contribution to mankind and make the world a more harmonious place. China has made clear to the world and repeatedly stressed its commitment to the path of peaceful development, because we want to demonstrate our sincerity in pursuing peaceful development and also to inspire more countries to join us on the path of peaceful development. If more countries do so, a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity won’t be far away. And if the world we live in becomes more harmonious, China’s path of peaceful development will also become more smooth and stable. Taken in this sense, the commitment to the path of peaceful development and the building of a harmonious world serve as each other’s condition and are mutually-reinforcing and they cannot be separated artificially.

10. Will China’s path of peaceful development lead to its desired outcome?

It will. The world may notice that in the past 30 years, we have broken the precedents of emerging powers engaging in plunder, aggression and rivalry for hegemony by opening a whole new path in the time of globalization, the path of peaceful development through hard work, wisdom and win-win cooperation. China’s progress in the five years of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) has proved once again that the path of peaceful development will lead to a bright future. In the past five years, China’s aggregate national strength has kept growing; it has taken part in international cooperation in a wide range of areas; its international standing and influence have risen remarkably; its relations with other countries have deepened and its diplomatic work has achieved great success.

In these five years, under the wise leadership of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, we have worked to serve the overall interests of development, bearing in mind our central task, seized opportunities and coped with various challenges. We have hosted grand events, overcome crisis, promoted development and built a good image. We have furthered China’s interests and made new strides in our diplomatic work. The CPC Central Committee has successfully convened the meeting on foreign affairs work. In the meeting, on the basis of a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the developments and changes in the domestic and international environment, the central leadership has stressed that China’s relations with the rest of the world have gone through historic changes. And a host of major strategic thoughts on foreign affairs, such as the overall consideration of domestic and external situation, the commitment to the path of peaceful development and an opening strategy of mutual benefit and win-win progress, and building a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity have been put forward, which will guide our diplomatic work along the path of scientific development.

During the past five years, we have taken into account domestic and international situations, conducted diplomatic work in all fields and endeavored to create a peaceful international environment and favorable external conditions for China’s modernization drive. We have steadily promoted China’s relations with major countries, neighboring countries and developing countries and further pushed forward our friendship and cooperation with other countries in a comprehensive manner. We have actively conducted multilateral diplomacy and summit diplomacy, Party and State leaders have stated our major policies and positions on many occasions and we have taken an active part in the cooperation to tackle the international financial crisis and efforts to push forward reform of the international economic system. We have played a unique constructive role in dealing with climate change and other global issues. We have integrated the “bring-in” and “going global” strategies and energetically carried out economic and trade cooperation with other countries, and rendered good service to the domestic efforts to fight the crisis, maintain stability, promote development and transform economic development pattern. We have made good use of the hosting of the Beijing Olympic Games, the 60th anniversary of the founding of new China, the Expo 2010 Shanghai China, the Guangzhou Asian Games and other major events to strengthen public diplomacy and people-to-people and cultural exchanges and build up China’s image as a culturally-advanced, democratic, open, progressive and responsible major country, make more friends among countries in the world and deepen our friendship with them, actively guide international public opinion and help deepen the building of state soft power. We have firmly safeguarded our country’s sovereignty and security, resolutely countered separatist and sabotaging activities and actively engaged in international cooperation in non-traditional security. We have put people first, made diplomacy serve the people, safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses and citizens abroad and carried out a lot of international rescue and peacekeeping activities. We have expanded our shared interests with other countries through extensive cooperation and promoted common development with mutual benefit and win-win progress. We have also worked energetically to diffuse frictions, differences, misgivings and misunderstandings through various forms of strategic dialogues and policy consultations.

It has been proven by practice that as we pursue reform and opening-up to stay in line with the trend of economic globalization, build friendly partnership with other countries through peaceful development and international cooperation, properly handle various problems and frictions, play a constructive role in international affairs, move the international order in a fair and rational direction, we will be able to open a path of peaceful development in line with the trend of the time and this road will lead to a bright future.

The author is Chinese State Councilor.

  1. December 13th, 2010 at 23:28 | #1

    “Peaceful Accommodation” would be the same thing, except that it would be coming from the U.S.’s direction.

  2. Josef
    December 14th, 2010 at 02:16 | #2

    “We will never allow Taiwan to split from China, nor will we ever commit ourselves to the renunciation of force. This is not targeted at our Taiwan compatriots but a handful of Taiwan separatists. ”

    At least Dai Bingguo says clearly that peaceful development is second priority.
    If PRC would renunciate force, Taiwan people, so called separatists, might vote for independence and the “Taiwan Compatriots” would only be the “handful” (actually they are already a handful only and becoming less and less). But I admit this hypothetical vote result can not be proven, while the “Taiwan Compatriots”, which I assign here to the tiny political party which wants unification, is definitely diminishing.

    I hope that someday even people like Dai Bingguo starts to accept the reality that Taiwan is already split from China: It don’t need to declare independence as it is already independent and therefore also don’t need a vote on it. But it is also clear that Dai Bingguo can not say anything against the official CPC doctrine. I hope on the long term this doctrine will change: no one wants to live under permanent fear on war.

  3. silentvoice
    December 14th, 2010 at 09:59 | #3

    @YinYang: There’s a book by Mark Leonard called “What does China think”. It discusses the issue of Peaceful Development and the different schools of thought on that in China (pp. 89 to 93). The short summary is not everyone in China agrees with the use of that phrase, and people like Dai Bingguo represents a minority. The book is available online if you search for it a little.

    p/s: I believe you are using the old term propagated by the western media. The current, official Chinese term is ‘peaceful development’ (和平发展),not ‘peaceful rise’ (和平崛起). Notice, in his article, Dai has been careful not to mix up the word ‘rise’ with ‘development’.

  4. December 14th, 2010 at 11:46 | #4


    Thanks for the Leonard reference and for pointing out the difference between ‘peaceful rise’ and ‘peaceful development.’

    I don’t think Dai represents a minority.

    Even back in 2001 Tsinghua University Professor Yan Xuetong articulated it. I have a post earlier in the year based on that:
    Tsinghua University Professor, Yan Xuetong: “The Rise of China in Chinese Eyes”

    And here another article of his applying Xun Zi’s thoughts:
    Tsinghua University Professor, Yan Xuetong: “Xun Zi’s Thoughts on International Politics and Their Implications”

    To me, I think either ‘rise’ or ‘development’ is fine – there has to be urgency to this issue, and it is legitimate. The world has to find a peaceful transition; either China one day overtaking the U.S. or some other country doing it.

  5. Charles Liu
    December 14th, 2010 at 13:20 | #5

    Josef, continuation of China’s civil war would clearly be an exception to the rule.

    I mean read what US Code says about Native American Nations seeking independnece – if the Native Americans ever take up arms again, all bets are off. I think it’s the same for China.

  6. December 14th, 2010 at 13:51 | #6


    Look, because you have a “separatist” or “independence” view towards the politics of Taiwan, it does not automatically mean Dai’s “peaceful development” is a second priority. That is taking way too narrow a view.

    There has been tons of discussions over the politics of Taiwan over at FM which we also carry on this blog:

    Two of the earliest articles on the Taiwan topic was by Buxi:

    The discussions within them are even more interesting, as often the case is with this blog:

    Taiwan’s Ma Yingjiu – A New Era

    The challenge in Taiwan

  7. SilentChinese
    December 14th, 2010 at 14:10 | #7


    Peace does not come with price of soverignty, A Peaceful intent never meant a forefeiture of one’s legitmate rights.

    if you think China can trade soverignty for peace, then she did not learn anything from 1931.

    yes, Taiwan was seperated from China politically and may be culturally for 60 years, but this came as the result of United State’s Unilateral intervention in the chinese civil war.

    for the global power today to say to china that she should just be quiet and accept the status quo, or else in danger of disturbing the “peace”, especially on this issue… the argument does not hold with any rational , fair-minded, and peace loving man.

  8. SilentChinese
    December 14th, 2010 at 14:12 | #8

    which-ever way the chip falls.

    Rise of CHina is likely to be the Most important geopolitical issue for our generation.

    mis-manage it and you will have massive human suffering on scale not seen since ww1.

  9. SilentChinese
    December 14th, 2010 at 14:14 | #9

    A Peaceful intent never meant a forefeiture of one’s legitmate rights.

    Dito for Senkaku, SCS, and Territorial dispute with India.

  10. scl
    December 14th, 2010 at 18:42 | #10

    Actually, protecting one’s territorial integrity is a prior condition for a nation’s development.

  11. December 14th, 2010 at 19:21 | #11


    Btw, I’ve updated the post per your comments – I didn’t want to misconstrue what Dai wrote. The ‘rise’ and ‘development’ is an important distinction.

    Again, thanks.

  12. Josef
    December 14th, 2010 at 19:50 | #12

    yinyang, I just quoted correctly, that in THIS point the “peaceful development” was given second priority. Furthermore your references are dated 2008 – in the meantime we had a local election, where KMT won 3 out of 5 regions, but DPP collected more votes than KMT. I try to have a neutral view on the subject and try to quote facts, like this election results. The interpretation of course, like, to which side you assign the “status quo voters” etc.. is subjective. But one thing we can say is: it is definitely not a handful separatists, no matter how you count.
    Silentchinese, there is a difference between “just be quiet” and threatening another nation.
    scl, you too use very soft words “protecting one’s territorial integrity” to justify a potential aggression. And territorial integrity would mean that China rules now over Taiwan – let’s at least accept reality!

    This topic is not on Taiwan, so I accept yinyang’s critics. I just was wondering about the “strong statement” behind the topic: I think every nation would call their policy “peaceful development”, and when it comes to an issue, where obviously it is violated, example U.S. in Iraq, then legitimate rights or, to quote again the original text, “at the expense of major national interests, core interests in particular. ” are used to defend the action. It is obvious that neither China would say: we need our army to attack Japan, the same like neither the U.S. would say: we need the army to attack Mexico.
    But there is a difference as China, at least until now, did not do it, while others did it (US many examples, USSR in Afghanistan, Britain on the Falklands). I would have appreciated, on very personal reasons, that the “exception Taiwan” would have been avoided in the text.

  13. Wukailong
    December 14th, 2010 at 20:28 | #13

    I don’t think the terms “rise” v.s. “development” has anything to do with the Western media. I’m following policy developments here closely and haven’t seen much focus on the topic lately. However, “和平崛起” was used at least until last year. “和平发展” seems to be a very recent development (perhaps because it sounds better), but it was used at least as early as 2005:


  14. December 14th, 2010 at 23:54 | #14


    I haven’t had chance to catch up with the discussions in Buxi’s posts regarding Taiwan. Allen has been heavily in those discussions too.

    From my perspective – when we talk about legitimacy from context of peace, certainly the independence political positions in Taiwan must be recognized. That same recognition should be granted the pro-unification camp too in Taiwan. Furthermore, the position of the 1.3 billion people on the Mainland deserves recognition equally due to the region’s history.

    “Independence” and “self-determination” sound straight-forward and “moral.” But in practice it is not necessarily so. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say Taiwan becomes independent on these grounds. Would you then support a powerful country further dividing up Taiwan into separate pieces? The fault lines are very easy to make. Should Taiwan further divide between Hakka’s, aboriginals, “Han”, Taipei, Kaohsiung, men, women, or whomever? What reasons or at what point would you find legitimate to keep certain grouping of people united at the expense of “independence” and “self-determination?”

    Hong Kong was ruled by the Brits for a long time too. Being separated for a long time does not automatically legitimize independence. If you buy that argument, then you should have no qualms with Mainland taking Taiwan by force and keeping it for a long time.

    As you said, China has been benign compared to the other major powers. Taiwan has been a tool of geopolitics for the U.S. – at the expense of Mainland and Taiwan. Those considerations all matter.

    So, having included Taiwan in Dai’s Op-Ed needs to have everything taken into consideration. You can’t have peace unless you take all the politics into consideration.

  15. December 15th, 2010 at 00:44 | #15


    Baidu Baike (百度百科) still also has materials for “和平崛起“:

    It looks like Chinese officials and scholars switched from “和平崛起” to “和平发展” around 2004/2005 time-frame.

    I don’t know what motivated China to switch the phrase. But I am sure “China threat” has a lot to do with it. Okay, I’ll accept this is conjecturing.

  16. December 15th, 2010 at 01:26 | #16


    If there is one topic I’ve written most about, it is self determination.

    Here is a very brief though by no means exhaustive summary – and, of course, my very first blog post.

  17. Wukailong
    December 15th, 2010 at 03:39 | #17

    @YinYang: Interesting. I have a book at home that I bought around 2006 which is entitled “中国和平崛起”, but a quick check reveals it was published in the late 2004. So like you say, that’s probably when the change was made.

  18. SilentChinese
    December 15th, 2010 at 08:35 | #18

    Josef :Silentchinese, there is a difference between “just be quiet” and threatening another nation.scl, you too use very soft words “protecting one’s territorial integrity” to justify a potential aggression. And territorial integrity would mean that China rules now over Taiwan – let’s at least accept reality.

    The reality is that Taiwan was seperated from China, first by army-and-navy of imperial japan, then by the army-and-navy of United States in a unilateral military intervention in the chinese civil war.
    This is the reality I am aware of. do you object to that reality?

    second, there is also a difference between “threatening another nation” to robustly guard your legitmate interests. If Neville Chamberlin and the French in 1930s threatened the germany with war if they invade Sudatenland, do you think it is legitmate? given the history that followed?

    The reality is China has long standing territorial disputes with many of its neighbors. this is not something that came about because china is communist or china is economically strong. (in-fact every one of these disputes was a carry over from the previous regime, i.e. ROC, whose official residence is in Taiwan btw). In many cases, China was historicallly prevented from robustly exercise its legitmate claims by force of arm, (translation: organized state violence.) either by Empire of Japan or United States of America.

    Interestingly, The same countries now who are using raw military force to contain china and to prevent china to assert these legitmate claims, with clear motive to contain a china that is rising economically and militarily, with the logic that a surgent power must displace the current power.

    and I will take this chance to expond on a little more.

    Is china the aggressor here? Does the active assertion of one’s legitmate interests means aggression?
    you can claim that china’s assertion of legitmate interests on these issues (Diaoyutao, SCS, Southern Tibet) not legitmate, but clearly the counter claims or just the status quo are just nebulous.
    Does one need to forfeit his/her legitmate interest just because geopolitical calculations demand that the insurgent power be neutered for keeping the status quo?
    History of 20th Century is littered with carcasses of war because rising powers are not accommodated gracefully, and their legitmate interests are denied because of the short term self-serving interest of the status quo. If history taught us a lesson, it is a that a power denied its legimate interests will not go away quietly, (Italy, Japan, Germany)

    The fools in the west think that a liberal and democratic china would neuter china. thus making every effort to turn china into a western-liberal-democracy in its mold. first of all it will not succeed. if one is foolish enough to believe a dozen years of liberal democracy can prevail against 2000 years of meritocracy.

    second, do the fools in the west really think this is really in humanity’s and the fools’ best interest (never mind CHina’s best interes) to have a liberal-democratic china? first of all a new democracy will be frault political in-stability, and everytime china has had a political transition in modern era, it was a net loser in term of territories. thus whoever the new political power will be in china, thus it will have burning issues to resolve again with its neighbors, and with a new found sense of wronged and wounded power.

    And fundamentally does a liberal-democratic china automatically mean a neuter china? Both of China’s big democratic neighbors, India and Japan, are both net Gainers of territory (often, but ot all, at china’s expense) in the past 60 years. (How about asking Japan to hand over Okinawa/Ryuku and ask India to cough up Buttan?) taken by the few but significant data points. Why should we expect a Liberal-Democratic China to be Neutered?

    Are India and Japan / US willing to face a expanisionistic but Democratic China? these are not trivial issues. and the drum beaters of Wester-Liberal-Democracy should really keep these questions in mind.

  19. SilentChinese
    December 15th, 2010 at 08:53 | #19

    bit more rant:

    Those who think clearly in the west and tries to accommodate the peace-ful “rise” of china are often labeled the appeasers, with direct parallel to “1930s Neville Chamberline and appeasing the Nazi Germany”, historic lessons and projections abound.

    well, China has its own Neville Chamberline moment and it is 9-18 1931.

    and it is also drawing similar lessons.

    The lessons being that ceding one’s territorial and political soverignty to appease an aggressive neighbor will not bring peace.

    ( In west’s historic lesson ( Sudetenland) it is interesting because it is not even their own land they are giving away but Czechslovakia’s. )

    To ask China to give up its legitmate territorial claims just because of interest of status quo, or else labeling china being an aggressive power in mold of Hitler’s Germany, this draws almost the same lesson for both West and China. both risk being the appeaser.
    and as in history as it is today, what’s at stake for china is again its territories lost, and what’s at stake for the west is what she thinks is her in-alienable right to dominate the world.
    history would have ryhmed, but, Except the people in charge in china are making sensible. accommodations… they have settled land borders with Russia and Vietnam, both who has fought wars over territories. and they are typically accepted the smaller share of the claim.

    Understand this, and you will understand why I call the people who are in charge in the west, fools.

  20. December 15th, 2010 at 10:57 | #20


    Thanks for sharing your views. You have covered a lot of ground. I agree with many of your points. The issue you brought up of West “containing” China deserves a bit more nuance.

    On one hand, there are definitely many Westerners wishing to do that. Their mentality are still in a Cold War state. As you said, the geopolitics support this argument.

    But you will agree “containment” does not fully explain the West’s policy towards China. For example, if the U.S. is 100% interested in containing China, the U.S. will not trade with China, and she will make an effort to block all of the West from trading with China. The relationship in these other dimensions as well – travel, cultural, Chinese students studying abroad, sister cities, expanding IMF, World Bank to have a fairer share of responsibilities, Strategic Economics Dialog, and so forth all point to efforts toward friendly relations.

    We cannot expect the West to switch to an “all or nothing” approach with China. It is a complicated mixture. Their geopolitics and ideology confrontations are wrought with hypocrisy and unfairness.

    I am not arguing that China’s 30 years of growth were due to the West’s policy. They were all efforts of the Chinese people and their government. The point is that the world order lead by the West (ok, U.S. primarily) has space for China to thrive.

  21. SilentChinese
    December 15th, 2010 at 11:45 | #21


    Containment does not mean one can not stir the pot.
    It is simply hedging: behavior modification over time (in the old speak: peaceful transition/ he ping yan bian) with hard containment for saftey.

    of course, There are also elements in china that is wishing for complete and utter westernization. that’s not new and existed ever since first contact with western powers holding bigger guns.
    ofc course, there also elements wish to resisit the behavior modification.

    My point goes deeper than all this though. fundamentally, From where does the west think that it derives the moral right to contain china? or attempt to modify its behavior? following the rehtoric, Is every man suppose to be equal? Isnt the opinion of one suppose to be equal to another in a democratic system? if china were attempt to convince its westerners the merit of a confucian parternal state, will the western powers be out raged? or bit more fundamental: does the golden rule not applicable here?

    Does the western intellectual elite and by extension the political-economic elite think they can play god by modifying a proud and oldest continuous civilzation (which comprises 1/5 of world’s humanity) ‘s fundamental behavior ? Isn’t that cultural genocide of the first degree?

    I for one does not believe in any group has any innate superiority. I am against cultural genocide. thus my answer to above question is an emphatic “no”.

    I am not entirely convinced any more that “world order lead by the West (ok, U.S. primarily) has space for China to thrive.”.

    Western Liberalism in its oldest tradition, (athenian democracy and pelopennesian war) has a exhibited a sign of utter intolerance of anything other than its own political system. Athenians during that time actively meddled in other’s affaris, supporting the “democratic parties” that is sympathetic to Athens, and even if the city state is democratic, but choose not to align itself with Athens, Athens simply used its superior military power to eradicat the entire city state.

    It is very hard to see that the current world order will be have space for china. before going into WWI, America’s first global war as a international power, W. Wilson talked about making world safe for “democracy”, what he really meant was a liberal impulse to eradicate everyother political system and replace it with “democracy”. As my above analysis has shown, it is fundamentally against china’s material interest to become a “Western-Liberal-Democracy”. and even if she does, there will not be any garantees that china will not be actively “contained”.

    I think It is time to make the world safe for China.

  22. SilentChinese
    December 15th, 2010 at 12:15 | #22

    The Old Aztec Civilzation practiced human sacrifice. it is deeply emeshed in their cultura-religious-political system.

    Spaniards came along and wiped the whole civilzation out.

    clearly it was acceptable 300 years ago to do that. The spaniards did it with the full blessings and support of their highest contemporary moral authority the catholic church. and every respectable mainstream liberal thinker today label that event a cultural genocide.

    If the Aztec nation were to exist to this date, 21st century, will western powers attempt to convert the aztec people proper liberal democratic ways? and incite them to over thrown their system?

    Clearly it is not acceptable today. West does not do genocide any more.

    or does it?

    It is perfectally acceptable (or even encouraged and active national policy) when western powers attempt to convert/Influence the chinese ( or the middle easterners/ Afghans/ Iraqis for that matter) to proper liberal democratic ways? are the contemporary Chinese system worth less than the human sacrifice practicing Aztec system?

    square that with rehtoric.

  23. December 15th, 2010 at 13:02 | #23


    I agree – “hedging” is a very apt way to characterize the relationship.

    And, yes, Western hypocrisy is unbelievably high, especially in their media. One of our frequent topic here. And, certainly, if China or the Chinese government is much weaker than she is today, I am sure Westerners (those with the Cold Ware mentality) would be much more belligerent.

    I guess the bottom line for me is this – there is a huge segment of the Western population who genuinely believe in fairness. They should not be discounted or alienated.

  24. December 15th, 2010 at 13:06 | #24

    @Allen, #16

    I need to find ways to bring those articles to the fore. Great articles.

  25. SilentChinese
    December 15th, 2010 at 13:30 | #25


    hypocrisy in media is really a misnomer. it is the western intellectual elite that has that problem.

    your site has Yan Xuetong’s quote on how western powers created a world where military strength is more persuasive than moral strength. (un)fortunately china is learning and applying that lesson learned.

    I have a rather dim view on human nature. fairness is temporary and confined to specific circumstance. when push comes to shove I would not pin 1.4 billion people’s welfare on western middle class’s gullible sentimentalities.

  26. December 15th, 2010 at 15:04 | #26


    If you’d followed the discussions I had here: “Newsy.com, breaking the mold of Western media bias?,” you will realize the only way to “check” the awesome power of the U.S. is the American public.

    Chomsky is probably the biggest critic you can find of American hegemony. Here is a bit from that post:

    In my post, I talked about asking Professor Noam Chomsky how do we move towards a world that is less “power” based, and his response was that it depends on the “actions the public willing to take.”

    So, a big reason for this blog is to appeal to the fairness of the Western public; and I should add, some day as our Chinese improves, perhaps appeal to the Chinese public.

  27. SilentChinese
    December 15th, 2010 at 16:26 | #27


    “only way to “check” the awesome power of the U.S. is the American public.”

    sure, appeal to the fairness of the western public. or rather, like I would like to put it: appeal to western middle class’s gullible sentimentalities.
    But since the disparaity between the strength of voices are so great, I would not like to pin 1.4 billion people’s welfare on it.

    if power of a truth alone is strong enough, then all the money spent on advertising is wasted.

    I know, I am very pessimestic and depressing.

  28. Josef
    December 15th, 2010 at 21:38 | #28

    yinyang, I did not get your point on “a powerful country further dividing up Taiwan” with respect to “self-determination”.
    Also “Should Taiwan further divide between Hakka’s, aboriginals, “Han”, …”.
    My point is, the people are not so stupid that they cannot be asked. Yes, if there is a separatist group who promotes a Hakka country – let them do and ask Hakka, if they want to be independent. And believe me, they will select what is good for them. All other arguments, like history, race, language, whatever, like Allen wrote (in his links), are in my opinion not that relevant. Any bigger group, which dominates a certain area can go for it. Hakka will decide by themselves if it is a good idea to have an own country or not, but I would bet they will not decide on that, because it might only bring them misery: too small, missing infrastructures and organizations etc.. The people have enough common sense to decide on important questions what is good for them. So most of the hypothetical groups will not be suitable to get a majority for their independence. Taiwan, in terms of wealth and life quality, is better off as independent nation than being part of China.

    You write that:” Taiwan has been a tool of geopolitics for the U.S. – at the expense of Mainland and Taiwan.”
    if Taiwan wants to be indepndent, why do you blame the U.S. If the U.S. wants to sell arms it still needs willingness of the buyer to have the trade done. So why at the expense of Taiwan?

    I do not recognize any claims of 1.3 billion people on the Mainland, based on the history (you said). If there is some financial dispute (for the treasures in the palace museum, for example), this can be paid, but I do not see a claim that Beijing has to rule over Taiwan. Does the mainland have a claim over Singapore (Hawaii is also far away from the US)?

    Silentchinese what you wrote was mainly history (correct and real history), but that does not alter the reality of 2010.
    Your comparison with the Sudetenland is not really meeting the point, because you don’t seem to care who will be occupied. You write always about ” legitimate claims” but you don’t see the Taiwanese people, you only see a struggle between U.S. and China. I think in the first idea, one owns to himself and there is no legitimate claim that someone else owns you.

    I am not convinced that Taiwan would like to join a democratic, liberal China too. Here I mean based on a popular vote. Which brings me back to the very beginning, where I criticized the downplaying of the separatist to a “handful”. The separatist are not limited to the DPP,- also in the KMT you have a faction (historically proven by Lee Hui Tang, but also nowadays) which is not in favor of any reunification. The best view you get about the trend is, if you visit some university camp in Taiwan. The pro-unification camp should be granted attention too, yes, but as a matter of fact, this camp is decreasing, simply because the traditional family relations, strong due to the newcomers 60 years ago, getting weaker. Today, tourists from the mainland are usually seen as foreigners.

    Finally, using this rhetoric on “non renunciation of force” support the sad fact, that historically, liberty and freedom has to be won in a war. It is certainly not supporting a peaceful reunification.

  29. December 16th, 2010 at 01:51 | #29


    Do you think it is legitimate for a super powerful country to divide up a country? If you think so, why? If you don’t think so, why?

    Obviously I wouldn’t be interested in a no-answer answer if you say “if the country should be broken up in the first place.” I am interested in your answer in the case when the country had no internal reason to split.

  30. SilentChinese
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:32 | #30

    ” Silentchinese what you wrote was mainly history (correct and real history), but that does not alter the reality of 2010. ”

    Your argument is in reality a false argument.
    This is the reality of 2010, reality of 2010 is the after math of this history.
    If past does not pertain to the present, then one should also agree that murders should walk free. because whatever a murder did, it was donein past, thus if past does not pertain the the present, then the concept of justice and fairness means nothing. and murders should not get punished. Now do you support murders walking free? I hope you don’t.

    ” Your comparison with the Sudetenland is not really meeting the point, because you don’t seem to care who will be occupied.”

    Most of people that was in Sudetenland was germans, and they actively supported unification with Germany, but this was not my salient point. go back and re-read what I wrote.

    “You write always about ” legitimate claims” but you don’t see the Taiwanese people, you only see a struggle between U.S. and China. I think in the first idea, one owns to himself and there is no legitimate claim that someone else owns you.”

    I think you are confusing the issue by mixing the concept of personal property and national soveregnty.
    What I am talking about is state soveregnity, not slavery, please do not confuse those two concept.

    If a person think him or herself is not chinese, then they can give up their citizenship.
    If those in TW think they do not belong to citizenship of china, then they can give up their citizenship. They can still own private property in TW. If they really don’t like the government, they can leave. there is no stopping to them.

    let me put it this way: Let’s say you are an american citizen and you go out to texas and buy yourself a 1000 acre ranch, then you apply to give up US citizenship and became a Mexican citizen. you will still legally able to keep your property, no one will go out and take that away from you.

    Now, if you declare independence from state of texas and united states of america and renouce all legal obligations from US, care to guess how long local sherif and the FBI will come down and pay your little minted state a visit?

    Isn’t TW the same deal? owning land and having sovergnty, totally two different concepts.


    I do not “only see a struggle between US and CHina”, I see the struggle every where. btw clear headed rational thinker and the fools.

  31. SilentChinese
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:46 | #31

    This week,
    finally some one has officially said what they have been known for years. that the government and the military (formerly the KLA or the kosvo liberation army) of Kosovo, was basically a mafia organization engaged in human, drug, and organ trafficing, before, during and after the “liberation” of kosovo, up to this day.

    Now if you remember, the primary argument that West and US used to dismember Serbia and supported the independence of Kosovo was that serbia was engaged in horrendous crimes in Serbia, in a war against Kosovo liberation army. Now if you rememberm, back then the serbs accused the KLA the very same thing that these allegation now alleged. and the serb claim was dismissed as an excuse for their “nationalistic” behavior. and a war was forced onto serbs, the end results being the shattering and physical dismember of a state.
    This war, with physical serbian infrastructure largely reduced to hulks, was the first deliberate mass aerial bombing campaign against civilian targets in europe, since bombing of dresen and hamburg in WW2, and this all un-folded on television, in real time.

    all for what? so a mafia can have a free hand running a organ harvesting and drug running operation?!

    What on earth has West and United states has done in name of human rights? yinyang, you still want to appeal to fairness of the middle class sentimentalities? Do still think this method will have a good chance and impact? The horrors of war and the errors of their elite unfolded in their living rooms. and barely a wimper was heard. These people are hopless.

    in Another news, Richard Holbrooke (R.I.P.) has died.

    I am beginning to believe there is no such thing is pure coicidence.

  32. December 16th, 2010 at 11:30 | #32

    @SilentChinese, #31

    btw, I’ve deleted your duplicate comment in the other thread.

    Perhaps the West’s actions are best explained through geopolitics. Human rights have been used as a pretext for that. The WORLD generally votes against the West in the U.N. when it comes to human rights issues. They generally vote with China.

    LOL. You are clearly a very intelligent person. I really do believe there are indeed many great humanitarian work done – obviously not in the name of “human rights.” “human rights”, “freedom” are politics. So, that’s the trick. Those genuinely care do their best to avoid the ideological aspects. Those trumpet it do not care and are motivated by something else.

    But if we ignore those noise, there is Red Cross, Doctors without borders, and so forth. A lot of the formal world institutions that is attempting to solve real problems – even is a biased way to favor the rich countries – deserve some credit. Absent of them makes our world more chaotic. The developing nations have a right to push forward reforms in those to make this world more fair. Or take initiative on their own and form new ones, which hopefully are inclusive.

    In a broader sense – what has the West or in particular the U.S. done for the world? Here is a recent post: “Top 5 things I thank, wish for in the U.S. of A.

    As the West’s relationships with China – and even with geopolitics – they have broadened in the last few decades. The Chinese government is always appreciative of that. I think the Chinese people are too.

  33. SilentChinese
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:32 | #33


    as a lowly peasant living in Qinghai Plateau, I will wait for China to be broken up like Former Yugoslavia and US-armed and funded Tibetan Liberation Army running amok and goudge the eyes and harvesting organs of anyone who doesn’t revere dalai lama… like it was done before in the 50s.

    then i hope red-cross and Medicine Sans Frontiers to come in and sew me up, minus my kidneys. and scurry out to what’s left of china with what few belonging that I have… content to start my life as a refugee.
    Then I will be appreciative for my liberal government’s effort at humanitarian work. and will go into one of the shoddily built refugee camps now, built by a million different humanitarian groups, just like those in haiti. and catch my self a cholera. I hope my wife and daughters are not desperte enough to hire themselves out to the multinational UN peacekeepers( invited by president liu xiaobo)as prostitutes. but the prospect is not great…

    for my troubled mind, I will go to the Vatican appointed bishops to seek forgiveness for my sins (being a chinese, mostly) and hope the priest doesn’t molest my boys.

    I hope groups Medicine sans frontier is never needed in china. it they are required along with the throns of other western charity groups, then the china is already lost.

    The western world under liberal humanitarian principles is sowing un-believable amount of hatred and discord every where, include in china. and that’s pretty much what will happen to a ordinary peasant in western china if the liberal humanitarians in the west get their way, and Radical Liberal democrats in

    long time ago, I once had a long talk with a western a human rights lawyer (pretty good one), I posed the question to him that human rights and sovergnty, which is higher?

    His answer was un-equivocally: soveregnity… the best garantor of human rights right now in the world was a functional and strong state. There is no realistic replacement. The worst violation of human rights has been failed states.

    God I hope Neo-Cons are in charge in China.

  34. SilentChinese
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:37 | #34

    …and Radical Liberal democrats in china get their way.

  35. SilentChinese
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:39 | #35


    Sure, delete DP, thanks.

  36. Josef
    December 16th, 2010 at 18:22 | #36

    yinyang, my answer certainly is no: It is never legitimate from a super power to split another country, BUT 2 things:
    First, not referring to Taiwan: I think you also agree that there can be severe internal reasons which forces other countries or the UN to intervene: I.e. a minority is kept in slavery or similar, like second class citizens and the hate is big. I am writing about Kosovo now. SilentChinese, you really have no idea what you are talking about. I am not writing about politics and KLA but simply the fact, that a Kosovo Albanian and a Serbian, if they met, would spit in their face each other at that time (and I have seen that). No one in Europe wanted a war (within) or a split, especially as Kosovo was regarded as too weak to survive as a state, but everyone saw the human tragedies which happened in this part of Serbia. Note, I don’t blame Serbia one-sided, but with Serbia ruling over Kosovo turned the life of Albanians into hell. SilentChinese, with your arguments agianst any intervention, South Africa would still have Apartheid.
    Second yinyang and SilentChinese: at a certain time, like 60 years, this historic arguments simply don’t count anymore – or the counter question: do you see a certain length of time when “accept facts” argument would hold? Would you agree to someone in the year 2500 would arguing that 500 years ago the split was caused by foreign powers? If you see a time span – when would it be?
    My point was: Taiwanese today don’t look back, like I wrote: the newcomers are mixed up in the society and the grandchildren don’t have any bond to the mainland anymore.

    SilentChinese to your other examples (thanks for them too, as they help to clarify positions): ” …then they can give up their citizenship.” (Suppose) more than 50% of the population should give up their citizen ship? Is that reasonable?
    Your Texan example sounds weird because you mentioned 1 American only. But what if the majority of Texans would want to declare independence. I don’t know the outcome, but I don’t think that the Civil War could hold here as an answer. Probably Canada/Quebec is more close, and, out of my head, they had public votes on it. But this would be more close to the TW example, except, that the split is already done. So actually TW don’t need any public vote anymore on that.

    And again, my critics at the original article was the downplaying of the independence movement.

    I think everyone agrees that a war must be avoided. I also hear nearly always the spontaneous answer on the independence question from (mainland) Chinese as: that means war! Now, is this rhetoric supporting this war answers? I think yes. I wonder if the publication of the reality, that not a handful separatist, but a large fraction of the population supports independence would change this “means war” mindset.

  37. December 16th, 2010 at 20:39 | #37

    @SilentChinese #33,

    long time ago, I once had a long talk with a western a human rights lawyer (pretty good one), I posed the question to him that human rights and sovergnty, which is higher?

    His answer was un-equivocally: soveregnity… the best garantor of human rights right now in the world was a functional and strong state. There is no realistic replacement. The worst violation of human rights has been failed states.

    Well said. I can’t find the comment a couple of years ago where I wrote similar … how if you travel around the world and don’t know where you are, by correlating the standard of living of people you observe in the community, you can very quickly determine which group of countries you are in. The former imperialists and the current friends of former imperialists will tend to have higher standards of living than the formerly colonized.

    The rights of people to live as human beings (in my book, “human rights”) start with the state, no question about it.

    Most honest people in Europe understands this, as you can see from this brief comment:

    One cultural difference I see between the US and Sweden is that there is no idea that the “government is evil” in the latter. Ever since the 18th century, people have learned to see the state as a guarantor of people’s livelihood, and this continues with the welfare system in place today. I also read about an investigation of people’s opinions a couple of years ago – poverty in the US is usually seen as the fault of the individual (just read whatever TonyP4 writes ;-), whereas in Sweden it’s considered to be the fault of the state.

  38. December 16th, 2010 at 21:28 | #38

    @Josef, #36

    I agree with you we cannot completely undo history. That’s not practical for many reasons.

    As to how long? I think it really depends on the situation. 60 years is very short. I have already given you an example in Hong Kong – much longer than 60 years in fact for reverting to China.

    We see a really big problem in Israel and the Middle East when you go back too far.

    Still, if you go down this “long enough” argument, then you should be perfectly happy with Taiwan being invaded by the Mainland and occupied for 60 years.

    You are indirectly saying “yes” to my question.

    I haven’t had chance to catch up with Allen, Buxi, and others articles/discussions. I think the solution lies outside of how we are viewing this issue.

  39. Rhan
    December 16th, 2010 at 21:32 | #39

    “His answer was un-equivocally: soveregnity”

    I agree, however, is that an apparent sovereignty risk that now poses to an Eastern society such as Singapore until they ignore human rights? And what about China? Allen quite often talks about balance, are they act within our expectation of balance?

  40. December 16th, 2010 at 22:20 | #40

    @SilentChinese #30,

    I agree with you about Taiwan, but I have a different angle (which I have expressed before – quite some time ago).

    Self determination is a powerful and just concept. The whole Chinese revolution is founded upon the idea of self determination of the Chinese people.

    However these days, people want to distort this concept for whatever cause they want to believe – which often, in the West, is to undermine China.

    Hence now we have people calling for self determination based on ethnicity, religion, language … or some notion of region such as city, island, mountain range.

    In the end, the disagreement we often have about self determination is not about self determination, but the level of granularity at which self determination applied.

    Why apply self determination at the island level for Taiwan? Why not the city level, district level, zip code level, village level, clan level, etc.

    I unapologetically call for self determination of Taiwan at the nation level. If the Chinese people as a whole determines that Taiwan should go separate, they will have to speak as a whole.

  41. Josef
    December 16th, 2010 at 23:31 | #41

    Allen, just to clarify: the disagreement is that either all, or only the ones who wants to separate decides, not the granularity. The granularity does not matter. The key is self determination, in the definition that those, who wants to be independent decides for themselves. As I wrote before, yes, why not city, district, zip code – not problem with that because the people are clever enough to know that this is not working.
    And what makes the difference to Singapore,- also Chinese people there: Shouldn’t there also all 1.3 Billion decide if Singapore is independent or not? Singapore state is also very young, if you regard 60 years as very short. For me 60 years is very long as it means generations changed, and new generations should be allowed to decide upon their own fate.

  42. Rhan
    December 17th, 2010 at 00:03 | #42


    Singapore is an entirely difference case. It was expelled and not secede, thus there are element of mutual agreed by both parties. I personally think Taiwan must obtain China nod if we are talking about independence, or any solution that is amicable.

  43. December 17th, 2010 at 00:24 | #43


    The issue is granularity. When you talk in groups, you can always find some who want to leave (and some who don’t) – do you only ask those, or the overall group? (note even if some group want to leave, you can also find further subgroups that don’t)

    Not sure about relevance of Singapore because China never considered Singapore as itself. No one here has suggested using self determination to acquire other territories – although one might make some kind of rule of the mob (i.e. democracy) to justify it…

    If China and Singapore want to join in the future, I suppose some majority would have to required – both within China – and also within Singapore.

    I can dig up a lot of discussions we’ve had before if you want … but it will take some time for me to get to them.

  44. Josef
    December 17th, 2010 at 02:11 | #44

    I guess we simply disagree, as I would let one leave if he wants too. My point is: usually groups which are too small and see that after leaving their life would be worse, will not leave, therefore this freedom to leave will not leading to chaos. There will be no Hakka movement for independent Hakka land with majority, or Taipei county etc.
    So to answer your question: In my opinion, if someone wants to leave, it is his decision and the group cannot force him to remain. Yes, I would ask only the ones who wants to leave.

    “The whole Chinese revolution is founded upon the idea of self determination of the Chinese people.”
    To get the analogy: why, at that time, not whole Asia was asked, but only the acting (corresponds to leaving) people?

    Singapore is indeed not so relevant. With that I wanted to point that the majority of people today (example born after the split) in Taiwan don’t have this relation to China, as it was in the past – same like Singaporeans. So from their point of view, and now in comparison with Singaporeans: what fault do they have, what did they do wrong, that someone outside (China) wants to force them under their rulership? Just because China consider it as itself! For this younger people, Singaporeans or Taiwanese, the picture is the same, but the behavior of China different.

  45. SilentChinese
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:15 | #45


    I think I must shake your liberal tree a bit here.

    you know the guys that they (you know) told you back then, as an justfication for your humanitarian intervention, you know, the free-dom fighters and oppressed, the KLA, well, it has just been shown that they were and still is a drug running organ snatching sex slaving mafia.

    what about the ethnic cleansing that roused up your humanitarian sensitivity? And guess what, up to a quarter million serbs now are in refugee camps. and all the romas and gypsies were driven out by the newly minted mafia state, i.e. the former free-dom fighters. Those who accused of others of ethnic cleanzing actually did the ethnic cleansing themselves.

    the intial number tossed around for the massacre in kosovo was half a million, then it got down to 100,000, all albanians. and when the war ended? the number got to 13000, split 7/3 between albanians and non-albanians.

    Bottomline, the Germans had an axe to grind with the old enemy serbs, and they armed Croats and Bosian Muslims in the Yugo war. American want a base in Bulkans. and Holbrooke hated Slobadan. Even the Brit FM at that time at Rambouillet said it was basically a setup, the terms were impossible for any serb leaders to sign. Serbia got bombed to smitherings, in a diliberate campaign to target civilian infrastructures. Now, if anyone else bombed civilian targets, what would you call them? terrorists? but hey those serbs kill people right? so they deserve to be bombed? is that your logic?
    Can You tell me that was a just war with honesty and sleep at night with a free conscience?

    and South Africa. glad you brought up that example.

    Did Nato or US march in with their army and bomb the heck out of johannesburg and capetown? Oh no, back at the height of aparthied instead ARMED the SA apartied regime to fight to communists in the bush wars. the primary aim of SA apartied regime in that war? it was to deny majority black Nambia to obtain independence and annex Nambia, and EXTEND the apartied system into Namibia!


    it was only after 1989 that US, STARTED to contemplating sanctions, and full sanctions rolled in well into the 90s.
    Where were the humanitarian interventionist back during the Nambian Bush Wars? there weren’t any when it was really needed!

    Have I shaken you tree of Liberal humanitarian white-washed history enough? or should I go on?

  46. December 17th, 2010 at 10:19 | #46

    @Josef #44,

    Yes we simply disagree. You are definitely free to pick your arbitrary group (Taiwan, Hokka, whatever) … but so can I pick mine.

    As for your question why Chinese revolution but not Asian revolution – why Chinese group but not Asian or whatever other group. Can’t say. It’s politics.

    And that is my point all along. Self determination is a framework which is powerful (though I won’t necessarily say normative). The disagreement we have mostly is on the politics – which group.

    In my understanding of the Chinese view, self determination was a powerful reactionary call to rise for the Chinese people in response to Western colonialism. That call is still very much alive. But beyond that, it really has no deeper meaning than that.

    P.S. As for your question about younger people and their political allegiance / duty in Taiwan, Singapore … that’s an eternal question even in Western political thinking. What is the social contract? When is it formed? Do we need to take a vote on the legitimacy of the gov’t every few years? If so – what of the minority whose choices were overridden by the majority?

  47. SilentChinese
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:25 | #47


    On self determination:

    One must be careful when talk about these concepts, less they are mis used.

    going more back, Self determination was first put forward by Woodard Wilson in 13 points during WWI as an idealized way to sort out the mess post hapsburg collapse in Eastern Europe and Bulkans.
    It never meant to be applied to vast colonial holdings of British and French, or even American Holdings in philipines, or hawaii, or anything the Victors determine to be rightful ownership! It certainly did not apply in case of Shandong, where the German Concessions was handed over to Japan, people of China and birth place of confucius be damed.

    Then post WW2 self determination incorporated into UN according to UN Charter, was meant as a method which people would determine their own political fate. in practice, it was used by people under western colonialization were to obtain independence peacefully. It was never-ever meant as a way to undermine the soveregnty of a legal state. ever.

    Meant is the key word here.

    it was never meant to use as an weapon of sessision.

  48. SilentChinese
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:27 | #48

    Allen :my understanding of the Chinese view, self determination was a powerful reactionary call to rise for the Chinese people in response to Western colonialism. That call is still very much alive. But beyond that, it really has no deeper meaning than that.

    I second that opinion,
    Self determination was never meant to be political in nature only.
    It is the right for a people to conduct is own affairs.
    resisting these “universal values” and “westernization” included!

  49. December 17th, 2010 at 10:30 | #49

    @SilentChinese #47,

    Agreed. Self determination is a tool to advance a political agenda. At different times in history, it has been used to apply to various very specific groups. Self determination has never been used as a way to undermine sovereignty of a state (by the way, self determination applied at the national level = national sovereignty) although “human rights” lawyers in the latter part of 20th century have tried to use it to give motive to various secessionist, political movements around the world.

    Again this is the point I tried to communicate in my first blog post ever – but I agree again, self determination is such an emotive word, maybe I should just stick to law, not concepts.

  50. SilentChinese
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:35 | #50

    US and Western political elite justified aerial bombing of civilian targets and forced dismemberment of a sovereign European State, and tossed a entire people into a organ snatching narco mafia state, and created hundreds and thousands of refugees in the process, all this based on what? on a lie that was told repeatlly on television that in end based on NET 4000 lives lost, in a civil conflict with a narco running gurrellia.

    and they did it all over again in 13 years later. I can not believe people are this naive.

    I would think they need far less to they base their justifications on when they set their aim on china.

    Thank Mao china has the bomb.

  51. SilentChinese
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:52 | #51

    Rhan :“His answer was un-equivocally: soveregnity”
    I agree, however, is that an apparent sovereignty risk that now poses to an Eastern society such as Singapore until they ignore human rights? And what about China? Allen quite often talks about balance, are they act within our expectation of balance?

    In EU countries it is generally understood that privacy trumps first amendement rights. In US it is the other way around.
    Now should EU countries lose their soverignty if They have a different take on human rights than US?
    Now, In many States in USA, the elections are ran by the states, and secretary of states often tasked to ensure that the elections are fairly ran. Now, the secretary of state often was the campaign chair for their respective political parties. If something like this happened in a places, let’s say in haiti, US wouldn’t hessitate to send marines down their to “Set things right”. and they did! multiple times. often to the detriment of the people and countries involved. Now should EU or India or rest of world march in florida and demand a fair elections? first of all US Navy would not agree.

    West and US has power and insularity, derived from material superiority (guns, if you will) and the negative consequences of their actions will not be fully felt to the western middle class, but their sentimentalities matter, in elections. They act to make themselves feel good, real consequences to real people be damned. Liberal democracy is their state religion and they just want to feel good about themselves. there is no other rationality.

  52. SilentChinese
    December 17th, 2010 at 11:03 | #52

    I think I will take liberty and let loose bit more rant… since it is the holidays and its only couple hours past noon and I am drunk on egg nogg:

    How this world is ran on the surface:
    every 4 years the world chooses its leader.. no not Ban Kim Moon… President of United States of America and the man who heads the most powerful military on earth.
    you get to pick the less of two weebles, usually the south goes one way and California and NewEngland goes the other. regardless if one is saint and the other an lip-sticked pig. we all know that.
    So it comes down to a bunch of ill-informed soccer mom in suburbia midwest and old-jewish retirees in miami-dade in a dozen or so swing counties in 3-4 swing states. and they are choosing a guy (usually white, defintely rich, must went to yale or harvard) from two choices, whose real policy differences may come down to how much civil rights do they think the allow the gays-and-lesbians to have.

    How can any one think this is not a farce?

    How the world is really ran:

    Cables: Shell Boasted of Infiltrating Nigerian Gov’t


  53. December 17th, 2010 at 13:10 | #53


    Just to summarize.

    Self determination is a collective right, not individual right. It applies to making of a decision for a collective. Whenever you want to make a collective decision (sovereingty, making of law, policy, whatever), you will always have people who disagree with the majority. Why do the interests of certain subgroups trump those of the overall group while those of other subgroups don’t? That’s the fundamental question.

    As for the legimtimacy of the group – we can argue, of course – whether China’s group trumps that of its groups – say a province (like Fujian, where there are many many dialects) or regions based on dialects or some other region based on some geography, some constructs of language, ethnicity, religion … – but then we are arguing about politics, not self determination per se.

  54. Josef
    December 19th, 2010 at 17:27 | #54

    @SilentChinese and Kosovo: Europe in general did not have interest to have a war on its continent. And that is much more important than any feelings you described. If you would have allowed the Serbians to solve the problem theirs way, you would have been guilty to allow another holocaust (and I am really not overdoing here). I personally know few colleagues from Serbia, very reasonable and friendly people, but when it came to talk about Amselfeld and the Albanians, they simply wanted to vanquish them. I am not talking about politicians or the reported news, just about the normal man from the street. It is one point extremely surprising, that this development and hate only came up in the last few years – there were reports about that during Tito’s Yugoslavia such things never happened. So, could you sleep at night with a free conscience allowing another Holocaust in Kosovo?

    I know that China’s history books are very tainted with Serbian points of view when it comes to this topics. You wrote: “sort out the mess post Hapsburg “. From where did you get this wisdom? It is interesting that here you welcomed the secession, although there was no major rebellion reported against the Hapsburg! But we really got too off topic. I conclude here, that Europeans might have a better insight in this inner-European topics than tainted Serbia-friendly china.
    Of course you will again blame the EC being unfair when they probably will reject Serbia’s attempt to join, by arguing not being European enough (example joining China’s side at the Nobel prize ceremony, as the only country from Europe)

  55. Josef
    December 19th, 2010 at 17:53 | #55

    The definition of the group is the most important part of self-determination – without it, the word is meaningless. A propaganda word.

    Allen you wrote: “If China and Singapore want to join in the future, I suppose some majority would have to required – both within China – and also within Singapore.”
    So in this case for a unification you would grant Singapore the right to make a decision within.
    The author wrote about reunification (I did not invent this word here) – so would the people living in Taiwan also have this right?

    I know you will hate this cartoon, but consider, this is a major newspaper in Taiwan, and therefore reflecting to some extend the opinion of a bigger group , not only a handful separatists:

    For me, although yinyang called me separatist, peace is the most important thing over all. Many people in Taiwan (including a large KMT section) believe, that it is best kept, when Taiwan can defend itself. And this position, coming back to the original topic, is justified by the statement that China “never renounced the use of force for the settlement of the Taiwan question”. I think, this loop can only be broken from the more powerful partner, by renouncing the use of force, -no matter if missiles are removed or not.

  56. silentchinese
    December 19th, 2010 at 18:33 | #56


    “. So, could you sleep at night with a free conscience allowing another Holocaust in Kosovo?”

    and you can sleep at night knowing that you put in power a organ snatching drug selling mafia? all in the name of “Preventing another Holocaust”? which may or may not have happened.

    The post war analysis, even by the account of most serious experts from UN, the estimates of “massacred Albanians” came down from half a million to couple of thousands, on the same order as other so called “Oppressor” groups.

    How many serbian and gypsy kidneys did KLA sell so you can justify yourself? how many underage girls will you allow into sex slavery so you can enjoy your night of sleep? That’s not accounting the serbs who are sleeping in refugee camps, today, or the Romas and Gypsies that KLA ran out of the countrty.

    Look, You Europeans has to get over the fact that Holocaust happened. You can not make other people suffer just to make your conscience go easier.

    what European and Westerner Nations justify themselves on this war was flatout un-true. and the aftermath is more of a humanitarian disaster than before. See the pattern here?

    How many more people are you willing to kill for your “conscience”???

  57. Josef
    December 19th, 2010 at 20:08 | #57

    Silentchinese, you did not get my point. I just hope that you know at least one Serbian, who gives you an honest answer, what he thinks his countrymen were feeling at that time about the Albanians, and what solution a public opinion would have supported. I understand (but not agree to) the feelings of the Serbians at that time, they were humiliated, their country was divided and then, one of their most sacred areas was claimed by people they despise! So without a containment action everyone had to expect a major disaster. Serbian politicians too were trapped, they could not go against their people.

    How many Serbian and gypsy kidneys did KLA sell so you can justify yourself?
    500 victims are mentioned here, and they write there that Serbia is the source for this figure (so probably you would believe it). You asked that, and I don’t want to downplay the crimes, but also want to point out that this is uncovered by the same “Europeans and Westerners’ you despise so much. But you know that China has also a very bad reputation when it comes to unwilling organ donators, like prisoners, and there is nearly no one internal who is uncovering it.
    ps: there were much more article in this swiss news, so the news met the public.

  58. December 19th, 2010 at 22:06 | #58


    Ah…. So you want to go with peace – optimized happiness. Please check this comment and following discussions. Hopefully you will be enlightened somewhat.

    Aiming for peace and some sort of optimal happiness (which is necessary for optimal peace) is a commendable goal – and I’d have no problem if the West makes all political decision based on such a lofty concept. We could effectively make every political decision – including sovereignty of course – with the eye to optimize human happpiness on earth – to overall peace. But is that how the world functions?

    Let’s not apply ideals sparingly and discriminantly toward specific groups of people at specific points of time for a specific goal but not anywhere else (would Taiwan independence lead to optimal happiness for humanity or for only a very specific group of people at the expense of larger humanity – and if only a very specific group, why – see #53 again). That’s like a killer preaching peace only when a gun is pointed at his head but at no other times…

    The idea of an optimal peace of course may not be desirable necessaril. If the majority of the world want to take advantage of a minority, it would become perfectly legit to doing so – oppressing of a minority can be justifed on the overall happiness of the majority – the appeasement of which is one apporach to maintaing peace…

  59. Josef
    December 20th, 2010 at 01:19 | #59

    I completely disagree. It would mean to justify slavery, as long as the slaves are in minority.
    And on which point is your argumentation not applicable to the Chinese people of Singapore?
    Can you exactly describe where Taiwan’s independence would go on the expense of larger humanity?
    What exactly do you expect from Taiwan?

  60. December 20th, 2010 at 02:06 | #60


    Btw, I was just searching back into older discussions. Josef is a Taiwan citizen according to this comment (addressed to Allen in fact) earlier in the year.

    Allen #16. It certainly is also my tax which Taiwan will spend for this weapons, and I think that the majority in Taiwan, like me, will not regard that as wasted. And this is, because I don’t share your point that it destabilize the region, but rather the opposite: Taiwan will remain difficult to be blackmailed with military force. This arms race is not a chicken/egg problem, as one side is clearly aggressive and the other is defensive.

    I have read on other forums as well – the Greenies pretend to be Westerners or argue implying they are. They use non-Chinese names generally. Their politics are often in driving a wedge between China and the West.

  61. December 20th, 2010 at 02:12 | #61


    I am curious what you think of this hypothetical scenario. Let’s say, Taiwan becomes independent. Then she decides to host U.S. or Japanese military bases. What of then?

    How do you sincerely argue for the Chinese this is not of their concern, especially given Taiwan was taken by foreigners, returned to ROC at the end of WW2, and forced to remain separated due to U.S. intervention?

  62. December 20th, 2010 at 09:52 | #62

    @YinYang #61,

    I think we can safely close the case with Josef … you can’t help someone blind to see even with the most powerful glasses – he has to have something to start with … unless, of course, you find it entertaining for our user to go back and worth for a while longer.

  63. SilentChinese
    December 20th, 2010 at 14:10 | #63

    so let get this straight.
    Your argument of “preventive war” rest on the fact that some people “might” do something bad. so they needs to be “contained”? by contained means chopped up in peices? the fact that the very “preventive war” you argued for caused the dismemberment of a proud state which in turn caused the hatred and discontent of these proud people?
    doing something to prevent something that will happen because the thing you propose to do in first place?
    what kind logic is that?

    Btw, the official report that came out last week did not came from a serbian source, it came from council of europe. oh…. right, the news is bad, so it must be un-reliable.

    on to Organs and CHina.
    I know, you will bring this up eventually. and attempt to use this to “shame” china so KLA organ snatchers and their western liberal humanitarian friends doesn’t look bad in comparison.
    first of all, what is that? is that the same comparative moral hazard that you guys accuse of china apologist engage in all the time? (WEst is did it too!)
    the key difference here is, i think, that the un-humane and un-checked chinese states was able to largely stamped that alleged practice out over time. or certainly continuously drive up the cost of doing such illegal activity; while the western liberal states, through its “humanitarian” actions, actually facilitated a criminal organization that engaged in these activity to control a sovereign state and thus potentially expanding that activity. the fact there is a report on such activity does not mean the western liberal states and their ideology is exonerated!

    bottom line: western liberal states, through its “humanitarian wars” are enablers of human organ snatching-sex-slaving-drug-running mafia. there is no other way to go around this. the facts are here staring at you in the face. one can defend KLA until your face turns blue, but those Roma and Serbian refugee doesn’t lie.

  64. SilentChinese
    December 20th, 2010 at 14:13 | #64

    Josef :I completely disagree. It would mean to justify slavery, as long as the slaves are in minority.And on which point is your argumentation not applicable to the Chinese people of Singapore?Can you exactly describe where Taiwan’s independence would go on the expense of larger humanity?What exactly do you expect from Taiwan?

    you seem to wave aside KLA’s organ snatching/ sex-slaving/ drug running with moral hazard with considerable ease. why the difference in picking the lesser of two weebles?

  65. SilentChinese
    December 20th, 2010 at 14:25 | #65

    yinyang :
    I have read on other forums as well – the Greenies pretend to be Westerners or argue implying they are. They use non-Chinese names generally. Their politics are often in driving a wedge between China and the West.

    My objection mainly comes down to onething,
    consistent application of one’s believe and ideology, not just when circumstances suits them.
    to do less than that is hypocrisy. hypocrisy is the highest moral hazard. it means violating the golden rule.

    onto TW,
    the historic fact is once up on a time, Taiwanese think themselves as chinese, and think Taiwan is integral part of china,
    but the physical and political seperation from China, first by imperial army and japan, and then by the intervention of US Military in the after math of a civil war… cause majority of today’s taiwanese think themselves as not part of china and Taiwan not as part of china. or at least very ambivalent about those identities. Things change with time and circumstances.

    If physical military might can creat circumstances that change what a group’s identity, and the consequences of such action are seen as legitmate and acceptable, then certainly commercial and cultural interactions can do the same, and seen as legitmate and acceptable. and if it comes down to use physical military might again, then, what’s not legitmate about it? Hell, Japan occupied Taiwan for 50 years, and how many Japanophiles they have in Taiwan today?

    It is completely legal if one does to another it but not the other way around?

  66. Josef
    December 20th, 2010 at 18:00 | #66

    @YinYang:”and forced to remain separated due to U.S. intervention?” – do you imply that Taiwan (today) is forced from the U.S. to remain separated? Did you ever consider to take Taiwan’s opinion also into account?

    @Allen: I understand the social responsibility of brilliant, wise or wealthy people to the nation. But this is an individual responsibility but we are talking here about physically separated big groups of people. You did not answer any question of mine. But I am not challenging any more, but accept that we have a different point of view.

    @Silentchinese: your rhetoric is very aggressive and you would support a war, I assume most likely because you think you can not be a victim. I advise you to reflect on that.
    About KLA: I never ever justified anything like that. If you accuse me, then please follow the words I written not your extrapolations. I told you, that unlike you it seems, I have personal experience with good friends from Serbia and Croatia, and my opinion about the situation at that time was the result of this relations.

    I don’t think something can be really proven here, but different point of views can be elaborated. My main point was, that threatening Taiwan’s people is not supporting any peaceful reunification.

  67. Josef
    December 20th, 2010 at 18:07 | #67

    yinyang, you asked so I should answer:
    I am curious what you think of this hypothetical scenario. Let’s say, Taiwan becomes independent. Then she decides to host U.S. or Japanese military bases. What of then?
    Yes, you best let SilentChinese answer this question. And yes, it would be very good to have this scenario elaborated to those people who answer : “Independence, that means war”. Because they might start to reflect that the conflict is not necessarily contained to a small island, south of China.

  68. silentchinese
    December 20th, 2010 at 19:19 | #68


    Do not assume because your assumptions are usually incorrect.
    Please do not brand me as “supporting war”.
    I do not support war. it is you who supported wars is it not? based on some opinion or some conversation with some friend of yours?

    accusing me of having aggressive rhetoric? I may be sarcastic or harsh in the pursuit of a debate, and leading to some very uncomfortable conclusions, sure, but no, not easily branded by you as “aggressive”?

    I merely followed what’s logical and carried into its logical end. If you reject my logic as being false, then please say so. If you just happen to find the logical end disagreeable, then sorry, truth might be inconvenient, but it has its values.
    as to opinions, one can hold their opinions, and one can demonstrate other’s opinion to be false, with agreed up on premises and logic, this is the gist of a rational debate.

    for the benefit of this debate: just think of me as Spock with its pointy ears and hefty dose of dark humor, speaking in British accent. may be it will make you feel less “threatened”.

  69. silentchinese
    December 20th, 2010 at 19:24 | #69

    Josef :
    yinyang, you asked so I should answer:
    I am curious what you think of this hypothetical scenario. Let’s say, Taiwan becomes independent. Then she decides to host U.S. or Japanese military bases. What of then?
    Yes, you best let SilentChinese answer this question. And yes, it would be very good to have this scenario elaborated to those people who answer : “Independence, that means war”. Because they might start to reflect that the conflict is not necessarily contained to a small island, south of China.

    Your point being? that risk of damage to economic prosperity will weaken their political resolve?

    No political regime in China can survive an overt loss of sovereignty. this has been the case for the last three and all three in modern era. who ever (communists or not) is in charge will strive to regain sovereignty. this is the political plank that every political entity in china campaigned upon.

    A weak China under Mao didn’t yield to a nuclear armed america at height of cold war, what would you think a much more powerful china today would yield?

  70. raoindia
    December 24th, 2010 at 19:16 | #70

    China is a friend of Pakistan, Burma, North Korea, Iran etc,. If you want to raise peacefully, you must be on the right side. When you look at all the states which have deep rooted relationship with china, one thing is clear: China seeming to be ganging up against the true democracies.

  71. December 25th, 2010 at 09:21 | #71

    raoindia :
    If you want to raise peacefully, you must be on the right side.

    The “right side” inherently implies a conflict.

    If you want to make your own list of “Axis of Evil”, don’t assume China will be either “with you or against you”.

    That’s so Bushit.

  72. December 25th, 2010 at 10:23 | #72

    raoindia – I am curious who India considers her friend. You want to list them?

  73. PL123
    December 26th, 2010 at 05:42 | #73

    As my above analysis has shown, it is fundamentally against china’s material interest to become a “Western-Liberal-Democracy”. and even if she does, there will not be any garantees that china will not be actively “contained”.

    @ SilentChinese

    I agreed with you that, there is no guarantie China will not be contained when she becomes a democracy system. There are too many way US and China are confrontating, specially US is having so many economic and financial problem. They need someone to blame.

  74. PL123
    December 26th, 2010 at 06:16 | #74

    raoindia :China is a friend of Pakistan, Burma, North Korea, Iran etc,. If you want to raise peacefully, you must be on the right side. When you look at all the states which have deep rooted relationship with china, one thing is clear: China seeming to be ganging up against the true democracies.

    Why on earth any nation have to be only on the right side or on one side? Why so extreme, either this or that? And where is the right side? The right side can be changed since nothing is eternal. China´s peaceful rise or develope is a natural thing happen by opening up her market, do trade with all nations. I mean all nations, not only those western nations.

    I am not surprised that you are so one-sided political mind. You believe only your true greatest democracy of the world, but in Chaos. Be careful which side you are on in later time? Be prepare for that too..

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