As a science fiction fan Star Trek was one of my favorite, especially the “Prime Directive” which prohibit interference of other cultures and their developments. Of course it was a doctrine more in violation than its strict adherence since this was entertainment. Recently there was an outcry in Weibo when China joined a few others in voting against an U.N. Assembly motion on Syria. China has been following a Prime Directive like policy in against interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Of course this policy is somewhat defensive and ridiculed by West, but let me expound this a little more here.
China historically has been a non expansionary power. With deserts north, oceans east, mountains west, and south jungles and diseases, China prides in calling herself The Middle Kingdom. Geography maybe a limiting factor, yet at the height of power in Ming Dynasty, admiral Chen Ho with his mighty fleet visited various kingdoms south and west not for conquest, but more as curiosity gatherings. Philosophically, Taoism preaches harmony with nature, and Confucianism morality within. China has been defensive power since Han dynasty more than 2,000 years. It maybe psychologically better to gain pyrrhic victories with punishing expeditionary forces north, but much better for treasury and society by marrying off some women dressed as princesses or even some real princesses to tribal Hun chiefs and the use of the Great Wall.
With the Opium Wars China was forced to face the outside world and the resulting century of humiliation. Mao was a military genius in securing the surrender of local warlords from Xinjiang and ruling aristocracy from Tibet, both outside forces tried to pry away even today. Today with the market reforms and freer movements of internal population I suspect it’s only a matter of time modernization will resolve those problems to the disappointment of West. As for South China Sea, the name should have tell West something. When West stirred up nationalism in China, it should expect blowback. If Vietnam and Philippines are willing to negotiate seriously with China rather than wasting treasury to arm race with China, I expect China will be willing to settle Spratly Islands to status quo for join controls. Philippines especially is unwise to confront China, with the climate warming and yearly increasing exposure to typhoons, most of those islets will be under the sea, and rentals from former Clark Airbase or Subic Bay Naval base will gain her little.
For the last 60 years, even during the height of Cultural Revolution, China has a policy of none intervention of internal affairs of other nations. It may be a necessity before, but China still adheres to it now she’s strong, and from the experiences of U.S. in Middle East, bankrupting treasury while generating enemies all over, I suspect Prime Directive is more than a wise policy in real world.
Ever since Obama has became president in 2009, Obama has taken a different stance towards maintaining its global hegemony. Bush II’s tactics is to take over countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and rebuilding the countries. Obama’s tactics is to fund or promote 3rd parties to do their work for them. Obama’s Asian Pivot policy is to promote other countries like Vietnam, Philippines and Japan as a bulwark towards China to maintain US’ influence in the Pacific. In the Middle east however, Obama’s policy is different than Bush’s policy to fund terrorist/extermists groups to do their dirty work.
Just like America funded the Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in the 1980’s, Obama’s tactics is to fund radical Islamists to overthrow or destabilize countries in the Middle East like in Libya and Syria but Obama is short sighted in its consequences. Unlike Bush, Obama wants to change unfavorable regimes on the cheap and has no desire to rebuild those countries. As the result, this created a flood of new refugees from these war torn regions coming to many Western countries. Many European were open to this option but increasing number of terrorist attacks in their cities like the recent one in Paris and now trying to stop this ISIS plague from spreading to its countries by stopping immigration to their countries.
America on the other hand has no problems letting ISIS operate because of all the oil revenue they generate from Syria, Libya and Iraq. America was ‘bombing’ ISIS for a whole year but ISIS operated openly in relative calm in Raqqa, Syria.
Now these very same Western Politicans start waking to the notion of trying to stop terrorist attacks from coming to its shores and realized the blowback they have created. Many people in European and the US now start to rethink their strategy of fighting ISIS rather than trying to fund these very same terrorists to try to get rid of Assad.
I think it is about time for some lighthearted subject matter. I have written awhile back that China’s so-called censorship does not stop creativity, rather it is the lack of “environment” that is the biggest bottle neck. One can talk about innovation, creativity, freedom etc but without a viable market there would be no cutting edge artistic commercial creation. My favorite for 2015 is Monkey King: Hero is Back (西游记之大圣归来).
If you guys have kids, you should watch it with them. You will not regret it. Either way enjoy the trailer here which is in English:
When China recently announced change in 1 child policy, it was a total surprise to western observers and China experts. Some interpreted it as due to slow down in economy, labor shortages, or aging of the population. Others crowed triumphantly as failure of the population planning program, and human rights triumph over the authoritarian government. It would be pointless to rebut them here as different value systems preclude any logical meeting of mind. For example, the question of human rights for China differs from the western liberals. Here I just want to express my view over the years.
When I left China in summer of 1959, Great Leap Forward was all but over. Shortages and rationings were in full effect. I remember each has coupon entitled each adult 2 ounces of cooking oil per 10 days even in Shanghai. While one has 4 ounces of meat coupon the meat was sold out by daylight. I and other children usually wait in lines at 3 AM as adults have to work. We learned that meat lines didn’t guarantee it has meat to be sold in morning, so we usually waited on the beef stall as usually there were some supplies for Muslims as government policy favored minorities. When I was in Hong Kong during the next 2 years I read about possible famines in the newspapers. About some economist proposed population control and angered Mao. Over the years I have read about Malthus and Paul Ehrlich on zero population growth.
When China announced the 1 child policy I was fully supportive. To me it was obvious the benefits to the society, and the experience of the past 35 years validated it. It would be difficult to enforce and some tragedy was inevitable, such as forced abortions as when one is forced to live under rules they were eager that other were also. There can be no human right if people are starving, and society takes precedence over individual. I also do not want China to beg for help from the West, as advertising on TV asked donations for Care packages for famine victims in Africa which solves nothing except maybe relieve the conscience somewhat. Most people in the West consider the 1 child policy to be barbaric and violation of human rights. Yet looking at Chinese philosophical debates, even Western philosophies the society always takes precedence over individual.
When the 1 child policy was announced, it was understood that change will be necessary in 30-40 years as population stabilizes and ages. So now it comes to pass and West again trumpets the experience of India over China, democracy over authoritarianism. China growth under 7%, while India with fudging of numbers seem to better China. Green Revolution may have temporarily retarded the population problem India will face, but in 30 years I think China will stand as a shining example for all to emulate, and no one will bother to compare India to China again except maybe as a cautionary tale.
US, by claiming the right of conducting military surveillance under “freedom of navigation”, escalated the provocation by essentially the logic of “We are here with guns, what are you going to do about it?”