Responding to China’s Year of the Tiger


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Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard met with her Japanese counterpart, Naoto Kan, in Tokyo last Thursday. In addition to expressing her heartfelt support for the Japanese people after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, Ms. Gillard pledged to move “forward a vision for bilateral security and defense co-operation” with Japan. Mr. Kan agreed.
Today, Ms. Gillard is in Seoul meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Myung-bak. According to Tokyo sources, she will likely be seeking to establish regular defense talks between the Australian and South Korean militaries.
While Ms. Gillard will be stopping in Beijing next, Chinese leaders have been monitoring her trip with great apprehension. Closer defense ties between Australia, Japan, and Korea seem to lend credence to the notion that a military coalition of American allies might be taking root in East Asia.
The idea that the US might seek to block China’s rise is already deeply entrenched in groups of nationalistic youth who make up much of China’s blogosphere. Suspicion runs so deep in some groups that respected Chinese academics have accused the US of invading Afghanistan simply to surround the People’s Republic of China. But if Chinese leaders see this as proof of their fear that “the west” seeks to encircle China, they should be reminded of their role in this self-fulfilling prophesy.
Last year China took an unusually assertive stance in the region, provoking a strong reaction from its neighbors and the US. From the Sino-Japanese trawler incident, to broader disputes over territorial claims in the East and South China seas and the Senkaku islands, to China’s shifting export policy on rare earth elements, China’s foreign policy in 2010 unraveled much of the goodwill of its “charm offensive” and earned it the suspicion of most powers in the region.
But whether China’s actions last year are the chicken or the egg does not matter as much as how the US and other countries respond going forward. Stronger military ties that could serve to constrain the PRC are the result of China’s perceived aggression in 2010. This must be made clear to Beijing.
However, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and other counties looking to hedge their bets against a rising China should do so carefully. Suspicion begets suspicion, and spiraling insecurity is difficult to stop. When Ms. Gillard visits Beijing, she should work to improve military to military relations between Australia and China. Transparency and dialogue cannot always stop conflict, but uncertainty and poor communication frequently hastens it.
— Jordan D’Amato


6 comments on “Responding to China’s Year of the Tiger

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interesting. A bit of an internet search reveals that Chinese companies have a pretty deep involvement in the American wind power sector.
    Its not unreasonable to assume, considering how much bullshit Obama has fed us on a myriad of issues, that his whole schpeil about green energy jobs is bullshit as well.
    Is our alternative energy sector offshoring the jobs that are created, as we produce more and more wind and solar energy??? Apparently so.
    Should we be suprised??? Speaking for myself, hardly. Our mega-corporations, whom our politicians are prostituted to, really have no national loyalties, being global in the scope of their operations. This is particularly true of the energy mammoths, such as GE or BP. Paying NO or little corporate taxes, and having operations, facilities, and expanding markets WORLDWIDE, what incentive do they have to exhibit any kind of loyalty to one nation or the other?
    When a monster like BP can garner tax breaks and profits that are larger than the average annual budget of the regulatory agencies tasked to protect “we the people”, then “we the people”, and our environment, are in deep shit indeed. Factor in the Supreme Court decision to allow these monstrous mega-corporations to buy elections, then your health, the health of your environment, and the futures of your children become little more than sellable items. Are we to be suprised at the amount of multi-millionaires that have slithered to the top of the food chain in Washington DC?
    For the right price, to open the right market, they WILL kill you. The air, the water you drink, the soil your vegetables come from, and the meat you eat will be poisoned if it is profitable to the entity doing the poisoning.
    And this is the reality of it. They now OWN Washington DC, and the elitist klatch of criminals masquerading as “representatives” of the people. You are NOTHING to them.
    We WILL have a major earthquake on the West Coast. And the Japanese were more prepared for such an event than we are. Think about it.
    WHY do we still have Mark I reactors online, and grossly overfilled spent rod pools scattered all over the United States? WHY does BP get a free pass for poisoning a huge segment of our population and wreaking an environmental disaster that was avoidable? Why does the EPA and the NRC place the interests of the nuclear energy companies above YOUR interests? Why are the Chinese getting the jobs that this posturing fraud Obama waves in front of our faces to entice us to vote him in so he can sell us out for a second term?
    Because MONEY is more important than YOU are in Washington DC. DC is no longer our national capital. It is just the corporate headquarters of a global enterprise, where American lives are bought and sold to the highest bidders, be it as cannon fodder, or the victims of the criminal poisoning of our environment. All for profits.


  2. DakotabornKansan says:

    Don Bacon said,


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Chinese wind turbine maker Goldwind wins two U.S. deals
    Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Company, a leading Chinese wind turbine maker, has won two new orders in the United States, the company said here Monday.
    These two orders comprise of five 1.5 megawatt (MW) direct-drive permanent magnetic wind turbines, sold to clients in the United States, said Goldwind.
    The turbines will be installed in two wind farms respectively located in Ohio and Rhode Island, which are funded by local American companies. Goldwind did not say when the two turbines will be delivered.
    Despite surging growth of annual output in recent years,most Chinese-made wind turbines are supplied to the domestic market.Chinese wind turbines have little track record in the U.S. or Europe.
    In 2010, China exported 13 wind turbines, totaling 15.55MW. Exporting wind turbines has become a strategic target for leading Chinese wind turbine makers as they compete to take up a larger share of the world market.
    Tim Rosenzweig, chief executive of Goldwind USA Inc., the American arm of Goldwind, said “Goldwind has achieved marvelous results in tapping the world market since our American arm was established a year ago. Our company has employed local staff workers and cooperated with local suppliers. It proves effective to promote our internationalized expansion through a localization strategy.”
    Gosh, what a pity this article doesn’t name the American corporations buying these turbines from China. It would be nice to be able to write the CEOs and congratulate them on their patriotism and contribution to our economy in these hard times, eh?


  4. Taylor says:

    “The idea that the US might seek to block China’s rise is already deeply entrenched in groups of nationalistic youth who make up much of China’s blogosphere.”
    It all depends what these people mean by “block China’s rise.” If that means not allow China to ransack the world in a quest to feed its economy, yeah, there might be some blockage there. If they think the U.S. is just going to attack China for getting rich, they are indeed paranoid.
    Bottom line: If you’re a declining global hegemon with your formidable military might being stretched and stressed throughout the Middle East while a scary competitor rises in Asia, it’s good to have friends.


  5. Don Bacon says:

    No worries, mate, Ms. Gillard will be faithful to the U.S. Julia Gillard made it clear to the US Congress om March 10 that Australia is a U.S. ally.
    “You have an ally in Australia.
    An ally for war and peace.
    An ally for hardship and prosperity.
    An ally for the sixty years past and Australia is an ally for all the years to come.
    Geography and history alone could never explain the strength of the commitment between us.”
    Now that’s an ally.
    Hopefully she will take your advice and be friendly to China, something the U.S. hasn’t been. China IS of course virtually surrounded by US military forces and alliances, from Korea and Japan, from a couple of navy fleets, and from Afghanistan-Pakistan-India.
    The trawler incident, compared to U.S. military exploits, has certainly been overblown. It was an incident, nothing more. The U.S. claim that it has vital interests in the South China Sea is ridiculous, like if China claimed it had vital interests in the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration wisely decided not to state explicitly that the Senkaku Islands, which are under Japan’s control but claimed by China, are subject to the U.S.


  6. JohnH says:

    Well, duh! “The idea that the US might seek to block China’s rise is already deeply entrenched in groups of nationalistic youth who make up much of China’s blogosphere.”
    Not surprising, since controlling China is well entrenched in the history of British and now American colonialism.
    American foreign policy “experts” wish only to trumpet America’s intentions, but history tells a different story: imperialism and the desire for submission of China among others.


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