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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 1-Mar-07
China's Foreign Minister replies to "China threat" to US and Japan

Web Log - March, 2007

China's Foreign Minister replies to "China threat" to US and Japan

And China changes the official transcript to hide what he really said.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Qin Gang, China's Foreign Minister (like our Secretary of State), gave a press conference at which he was asked about Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks last week, in Australia, criticizing China's military buildup.

Qin was also responding to some remarks from Japan: Shoichi Nakagawa, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, echoed Cheney's remarks in questioning China's future intentions with its military:

"If something goes awry in Taiwan in the next 15 years, then within 20 years Japan might become just another one of China’s provinces. If Taiwan comes under (China’s) complete rule, Japan could be next."

Nakagawa's point is this: China says repeatedly that Taiwan is part of China, and if there is any hint in Taiwan of a move toward independence, then China will take military action to forcibly annex Taiwan. Furthermore, China's military buildup has particularly targeted force against Taiwan. Therefore, if anything "goes awry" in Taiwan at any time, then China will annex Taiwan by force, and then China will move on to annex Japan, according to Japanese minister Nakagawa.

There was a conciliatory response from Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo:

"It is meaningless to discuss just a part of the entire speech. It’s also been said in the past that Japan would become the 51st state of the United States."

Har, har.

In passing, it's worthy of note that Abe Shinzo has been plummeting in the polls. He was looking good when he was first elected in September, but now his government apparently has no clear objective, economic and unemployment problems are mounting, and two top officials have been forced to resign over financial scandals. One reason for the "chaos" is clear, according to Newsweek: He's surrounded by young and inexperienced advisers who don't know what the hell they're doing. They're from the the same young South Korean generation of advisers who are over their head in dealing with the nuances of the North Korean nuclear problem.

Thus, Japan joins the list of countries that are increasingly becoming paralyzed and dysfunctional -- including the U.S., UK, Israel, all of the EU, China, South Korea, and now Japan.

China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang <font size=-2>(Source: China Foreign Ministry)</font>
China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang (Source: China Foreign Ministry)

Returning now to Qin Gang's press conference in China, here's how China Daily described the Qin's response to the "China threat" question:

"China adheres to the 'path of peace'

China adheres to the path of peaceful development and is "an important force in the maintenance of peace and stability in the world and the region", Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing yesterday. ...

Rejecting Cheney's criticism, Qin said China's constructive role in the Six-Party Talks to make the Korean Peninsula nuclear free is clear evidence of China's commitment to world peace.

He reiterated China's stance against weapons of mass destruction and stressed that the country has been promoting the peaceful use of outer space.

Qin also rejected charges made by Japanese politician Shoichi Nakagawa on Monday against China's military spending. ..

While reiterating that the Taiwan question is China's internal affair, Qin said China is a big sovereign country with a long borderline and coastline, and thus its maintenance of a certain military force is "beyond reproach".

That's nice. Now let's take a look at the official transcript, from China, of the press conference:

"Q: Shoichi Nakagawa, Chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan said yesterday that Japan might become another province of China within the following two decades if Taiwan were united into the mainland in the next 15 years. Moreover, China's growing military expenditure is a grave issue. Do you have any comment? Secondly, the US Vice President Cheney expressed concern over China's growing military power, deeming it incompatible with China's peaceful development and criticized China's outer space test. Do you have any comment?

A: As for your first question, it must be pointed out that the Taiwan question is China's internal affairs which brooks no interference from any foreign or outside forces. Japan has made explicit commitment on the Taiwan question in the three political documents between China and Japan. We hope Japan can adhere to its commitment and ensure healthy and normal development of our bilateral relations.

Regarding the so-called China's military build-up and intransparency of military expenditure in his statement, we have actually made clear our position and proposition on many occasions. Japan is clear about it. As a sovereign state with a long border on land and the sea, it is beyond questioning for China to maintain a certain level of national defense strengthen just to safeguard its own sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as national unity. Whereas Japan, a country with 1/25 of China's size and with 1/10 of China's population, has maintained a huge military expenditure. China's military expenditure is only 67% that of Japan and only 7% that of Japan in per capita terms. A country with a much smaller population and size than China keeps such a titanic military expenditure and constantly cries out "China Threat". What is its real intention? Isn't it strange? Japan has always asked China to increase transparency. So we also ask Japan to do the same and tell us their real intention is. Can they explain the real motives behind series of their military moves such as trying to include China's Taiwan into Japan's Contingency Plan and the above-mentioned remarks on Taiwan?

I will reiterate that China is a peace-loving country committed to the road of peaceful development. China's development is conducive to regional and world peace and stability. We will not threaten any one, nor do we hope or allow to be blackmailed or threatened by others.

As for your second question, China firmly pursues a path of peaceful development and is an important force to safeguard world peace and promote common development. ...

We are ready to work with the US to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, strengthen dialogues, exchanges and cooperation in all fields and properly address differences, so as to promote continuous, healthy and stable development of China-US constructive and cooperative relations."

As usual, this is a standard boilerplate response to this type of question, making the following points implicitly or explicitly:

Finally, let's take a look at the report by a Reuters reporter who was actually present at the press conference:

"If someone always tears through your clothes and even wants to lift open your underwear, saying 'Let me see what's inside', how would you feel? Would you want to call the police? ...

China maintains a reasonable national defense strength to protect our sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and national unity. Not for expansion, and certainly not for wars of aggression abroad."

This is a lot nastier and harsher than the official transcript. It reminds one that Hitler said one thing to the British Prime Minister ("peace in our time") at the same time that he was secretly meeting with Mussolini to make specific plans for war with Britain.

At the very least, it shows that the Chinese government won't hesitate to lie to downplay their intentions.

However, I wanted to point out this subterfuge for another reason: It's clear that Qin was expressing a great deal of personal anger at the U.S. for questioning China's military buildup. This is not the first time we've noticed this.

There was the 2005 warning given by top-level Chinese army officer General Zhu Chenghu if America interfered with Taiwan: "If the Americans are determined to interfere [then] we will be determined to respond. We . . . will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian [a city in central China]. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."

And just this past August, Sha Zukang, the Chinese ambassador to the U.N., furiously and harshly threatened the U.S. over Taiwan. He was literally screaming in an interview with a BBC reporter:

"The moment that Taiwan declares independence, supported by whomever, China will have no choice but to [use] whatever means available to my government. Nobody should have any illusions on that. ...

It's not a matter of how big Taiwan is, but for China, one INCH of the territory is more valuable than the LIVES of our people."

[With regard to the U.S.'s constant criticism of China's rapid militarization:] It's better for the U.S. to shut up, keep quiet. That's much, much better. China's population is 6 times or 5 times the United States. Why blame China? No. forget it. It's high time to shut up. It's a nation's sovereign right to do what is good for them. But don't tell us what's good for China. Thank you very much."

This intense fury is similar to Senator Ted Kennedy screaming angrily at the top of his lungs two weeks ago, and NBC reporter Chris Matthews was screaming hysterically a month earlier. As I recently discussed, this is caused by "cognitive dissonance," as Boomers' fundamental beliefs, developed when they were college kids burning their draft cards while their girlfriends were burning their bras, are now being challenged by intractable events in Iraq. The result is hysteria, paralysis, and a collection of idiotic proposals emanating from pundits and Congress.

So now we see the same thing happening in Japan and China. It's a fair question to ask, what is the source of the cognitive dissonance in their cases? What are their fundamental decades old beliefs that are being challenged by current events?

In the case of Japan, it's fairly obvious. For decades, they believed that their pacifist policies, combined with an umbrella of protection from the United States, would protect them from another war like World War II.

In the case of China, it's more complicated. I can't give you detailed sources on this, but it's the impression I've gained from reading hundreds of articles about China in the last few years:

These are the fundamental, axiomatic, core beliefs of China's post-war generation (corresponding to our Boomers). They have spent their lives looking ahead to a future where they would be the peer of the United States, perhaps replacing the Soviets as the world's second superpower, well-respected, and in control of their own boundaries, including the island across the Straits of Taiwan.

These fundamental beliefs are being challenged by current events in two ways:

So when Sha Zukang, the Chinese ambassador, was screaming furiously, and said, "one INCH of the territory is more valuable than the LIVES of our people," and "It's high time to shut up. It's a nation's sovereign right to do what is good for them. But don't tell us what's good for China," he was reacting with total disbelief that America could possibly be pursuing its course. The screaming was an expression of desperation.

Nobody wants a war, not the Chinese, not the Japanese, not the Americans, especially the kind of war we're headed for. And yet wars happen all the time. That's the contradiction that most people don't understand. Japan and America are headed for war with China because none of us has any choice. China MUST annex Taiwan. America MUST defend Taiwan.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, a war with China is coming with absolute certainty, and probably sooner rather than later. It will be a major component of the coming "clash of civilizations" world war. (1-Mar-07) Permanent Link
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