Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 28-Dec-04
China's "sacred responsibility" is to stop Taiwan independence by force

Web Log - December, 2004

China's "sacred responsibility" is to stop Taiwan independence by force

A national defense white paper issued Monday by China threatens to use Chinese armed forces "to stop the Taiwan independence forces from splitting the country,"

The white paper accuses Taiwan of using the independence issue to incite the Taiwanese people's hostility toward the mainland. It condemns Taiwan's purchase of military weapons and equipment from the U.S., and adds, "Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of 'Taiwan independence', the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost."

China has substantially increased its defense budget in the last two years, and the new white paper says that the nation will maintain current troop levels at the current 2.3 million soldiers and will promote technological warfare to thwart any independence attempt by Taiwan.

The white paper comes just after a news leak Sunday that China's National People's Congress is finalizing a new "anti-secession" law. The new law calls for "peaceful unification" of China and says that China would resort to "non-peaceful approaches" to deal with Taiwan under "necessary situations."

Taken together, these two new policy positions represent an increase in the level of confrontation with both Taiwan and America. Beijing has previously threatened war in case Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian went ahead with announced plans to amend the Constitution in 2008 to move towards independence.

But the new statements not only extend the forbidden actions to any "reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of 'Taiwan independence," whatever that means, but also wires the warning into firm Beijing policy and law, rather than just talk.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this escalation goes to the nuts and bolts of the theory. Every nation goes through genocidal crisis wars every 70-90 years or so, and China's last one was the civil war between Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek from 1934 to 1949. Between crisis wars, a country goes through specific generational changes, referred to as an "austerity" period, an "awakening" period, an "unraveling" period, and then back to a "crisis" period.

The transition from unraveling period to crisis period represents a major change in public opinion, caused by the fact that risk-averse people in the generation that grew up during the last crisis war all disappear (retire or die) all at once, and are replaced by risk-seeking people in the generation born after the war. This major generational change is characterized by going from an unraveling period, in which problems are solved with compromise and containment, to a crisis period, when problems are solved with confrontation and risk taking.

That's what the new China policy seems to be doing. It's much more confrontative than previous policies have been, and indicates that the people of China are moving from risk-avoiding unraveling policies to risk-seeking crisis policies.

A key to understanding the new Chinese policies is the phrase, "to stop the Taiwan independence forces from splitting the country," This indicates that Beijing sees China in danger of coming apart, and blames Taiwan. One part of this is the recent increase in regional rebellions, as we're recently discussed. But note that the anti-secession law is directed not only at Taiwan, but also to China's western provinces, Tibet and Xinjiang, which are also threatening secession. Beijing cannot afford to let Taiwan move toward independence, since doing so would encourage Tibet and Xinjiang to do so as well.

America has already entered a crisis period, having done so after the Nasdaq crash in 2000, and especially after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. America's policy was extremely confrontative: invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq, locking up Muslims, and restricting individual rights through such mechanisms of the Patriot Act.

In fact, these kinds of crisis-era changes are taking place around the world. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has aggregated enormous new powers in the last year, including the abolishment of local elections, in favor of political appointments by Putin. Putin's nationalization of oil giant Yukos is evidently a part of an emerging pattern.

In Pakistan this week, President Pervez Musharraf has officially reneged on his promise to give up his control of the armed forces, Since he held dual roles as civilian leader and head of the armed forces, he had promised to give up his armed forces role by the end of 2004, but has now said he will not do so.

And we've recently seen the re this kind of dynamic in the Netherlands, where they're talking about deporting Muslims who can't pass a citizenship exam.

These countries are all moving in the direction of asserting national rights over individual rights. The reason that all of these countries are moving in this direction at the same time is because we're at a unique time in history, about 60 years after the end of World War II, when every country is experiencing the same generational change at the same time: The people in the generation that fought in WW II are all disappearing (retiring or dying) all at once, and are being replaced by the people in the generation born after WW II.

Slowly but surely (or maybe not so slowly), the world is moving, step by step, toward a new world war, a "clash of civilizations" world war. As described in the discussion of the six most dangerous regions of the world, that time might not be too far off. (28-Dec-04) Permanent Link
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