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markwu Post time: 2018-11-1 13:07
a small correction to a reply that will however not see the light of day:
Don't worry. A typo doesn't subtract more than a comma from a great post.
I want to get back to the issues at hand before I launch those three answers.
Beijing needs to handle things differently from Washington, both for practical and cultural reasons.
First the practical reasons.
Suppose we send in marines (we are already strong enough to do that militarily) and occupy any small country that is in conflict with us, or even arrest its president like the U.S. marines did with Panama's Noriega (he is still in a Florida prison) during George Bush Sr.'s term, that would have given the West a perfect excuse to join their hands against us.
Right now they don't have such an excuse and that's why there is still peace and quiet because a Western consensus cannot be reached in the face of China's strength and global community (datong) proposals.
So China has to make sacrifices on the practical level with the Philippines and now possibly with Japan too. The worst troublemaker is Vietnam because it is physically proximal to the Xisha and Nansha islands.
Another practical reason that tips the balance against our use of force is that we are developing economically-feasible technology to explore environmentally-clean resources such as Flammable Ice which is within the reach of very few other countries, at a time when every nation should be environmentally responsible to the global community.
On the cultural side, the most important reason is that Chinese culture itself advocates peace, and that's why it has survived without interruptions since its inception.
Anthropologists did extensive studies on high primates' social behavior and they found that chimpanzees in general enjoyed a far more peaceful social network than other primates and they had performed the best on the survival-of-the-fittest scale, and their collective harmony with nature accounted for the fact that one of their genealogical branches evolved into humans (Homo sapiens).
As far as nations go, aggressive use of violence -- especially the kind used when a nation has the upper hand and feels most tempted to do so -- is counterproductive because such violence is logistically non-sustainable.
Just look at all the conquering armies of Assyrians, Athens, Sparta, Romans, Ottomans, Portuguese, Spaniards, Dutch, French, British, Germans, Japanese, Soviets and now the Americans -- historically any nation that uses aggressive violence to enforce its hegemony had ended up in failure.
That's because there is this intrinsic physical law in our universe that dictates against Hegemony Without Honey. The days when Americans could take a joking stab in the ribs and laugh at themselves are gone. Those were the halcyon days when Americans could call themselves "Ugly Americans," worked hard and were at least gracious to their ladies.
They were the most innovative and most globalized in their aspirations, and for about five seconds they were on the right side of history -- remember that the first transnational company was American.
Now they have shootings almost every week, try to hide from their debtors at the UN, withdrawn from nearly all major international engagements and are beating up their ladies when they are too lazy to work at sweaty manufacturing jobs. America is sick to the core and expects China to foot the bill for the medications through levying tariffs against the latter's nominally "unfair" trade practices.
The only thing unfair about China's trade practice is that for far too long her industrious, highly-intelligent workers have made too many personal sacrifices (like left-alone children and many other social problems) to manufacture affordable goods for average American -- in the process enriching America's transnational companies while still getting blamed for their back-breaking efforts.
So now this army of WASPs have crossed the Lubricorn and reached over to the other side of the Moral Divide.
Such a side-switching deal with Great Satan is sweetened by the latter's promise that America doesn't need to care about Mankind's shared goals any more.
It has withdrawn from nearly all the consensual treaties in the name of MAGA and the underlying message is "Let our lazy, selfish WASPs thrive even though we know we don't deserve It ."
They are fixated in this anti-immigrant thing because they are not searching within themselves for the reason for their descent from their high pedestal, but are still blaming it on both foes and allies. It is not even the Imperial Overreach of yore but the "Incredibly Shortsighted Mr. Magoo" at core.