- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (March 16, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 074568825X
- ISBN-13: 978-0745688251
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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China's Coming War with Asia 1st Edition
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In China?s Coming War with Asia, Jonathan Holslag explains why a rising China cannot help but become a revisionist power. As Beijing grows stronger, it will seek greater influence over key global institutions, strive to reduce the U.S. role in Asia, and attempt to alter the regional order in Asia in its favor. His analysis is nuanced and his tone is measured, but his conclusions are far-reaching, ominous, and compelling. The book is a must-read for anyone who wants to see beyond today?s headlines and get a glimpse of the more dangerous future that lies ahead.
Stephen M. Walt, Harvard Kennedy School
China?s ambition is to rise peacefully. Avoiding fierce conflicts with its Asian neighbors is essential to such goals. Jonathan Holslag makes a brilliant case for the geopolitical dilemma facing the rising China, and his argument that China will likely enter into major conflict with Asia is compelling and thoughtful. Both Chinese experts and decision-makers will find this book illuminating reading.
Men Honghua, Central Party School, China
An intellectually challenging and well-written argument by one of Europe?s brightest young Asia hands that Asia is doomed to war because China?s aspirations and the expectations of its Asian neighbors are irreconcilable. Well worth reading even by those who believe that smart diplomacy can preserve peace.
Susan L. Shirk, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, UC-San Diego
"The book... provides a very timely and readable account of the challenges China, the region, and the United States face related to Chinaï¿½s rise."
About the Author
Jonathan Holslag is a Professor of International Politics at the Free University of Brussels. His work focuses on international political economy, regional security in Asia, and the relations between Europe and Asia
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There are four great aspirations that China is out to achieve: the integration of frontier lands, mostly Tibet, Xinjiang, and territory along the Indian border, to keep people supportive of the party, to get sovereignty recognized and respected, and to recover lost bits of territory. By this they mean Taiwan (that wants independence and recognition as a separate country from the rest of the world), the Spratly Islands, claimed by the Philippines, the Parcel Islands (Vietnam), the Senkaku Islands (Japan), also known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, and also total control of the East and South China Seas. The Chinese government is extremely stubborn on these issues and will never, under any circumstances, relinquish these claims, and they have the full backing of the Chinese people, even those that do not wholeheartedly support the government itself.
The people of the other Asian countries have different ideas, and conflicts over these is the theme of this book. The South China Sea has minerals, oil, and natural gas the Chinese want, and need to exploit for their population of 1.3 billion people, but other countries have an equal claim on them. These countries are Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, and in the East China Sea, Japan and Taiwan. This is a matter of concern because these countries, unified, still cannot face China, so they are relying on the United States to help. The U.S. has bases in some of these countries, and are reestablishing them in the Philippines and, of all places, Vietnam, at their request. So the U.S. is in a position where they must help these allies, at the cost of losing their position as a world power, at least in the Western Pacific Ocean, and that is what China wants.
Economically, China has a per capita of about US$6071 and is trying to raise it to US$12,000, equal to that of the U.S. Their neighbors have benefitted from China’s prosperity, up to a point. There are trade agreements, to which these countries profit, and there are several trade organizations. Many of these countries supply China with raw materials is which the Chinese manufacture their goods, and sell them back to the rest of Asia. There is trade in everything, from food, to computer chips, to automobiles, and other consumer goods, and people in these countries are getting rich, so it does pay to have China as a neighbor in their rising prosperity. China also has businesses set up in these countries, employing the natives of these countries.
China’s vision of itself is prosperous and industrious cities along its coast with garden like towns further inland, all connected by high speed rail, control of Taiwan, with their own autonomy, and the South China Sea with luxurious resorts in the Spratly Islands, with the Chinese Navy controlling both the South and East China Seas. Peace and trade would prevail with the rest of Asia. This would be sort of a Utopia.
The rest of Asia does not share this vision, and here is where the problem lies. The minerals in these seas are claimed and just as badly in their countries as well as China. There is the Law of the Sea Treaty put out by the U.N., but China does not recognized this treaty, so they build up artificial islands in the Spratlys and Parcels, as currently read about in the news, and build up navy and air bases. Along with these, they build up derricks and mine the minerals almost up to the coastlines of Vietnam. China is also building up their navies, along with a new space command, with spy satellites and anti-satellite weapons. A new arms race is coming into being, that heavily involves the U.S.
China supposedly has no new territorial ambitions, and has no desire to run the world, just their part of the Pacific Ocean and the two seas, and their islands. With the U.S. having military bases in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and reestablishing bases in Vietnam and the Philippines, at their request, they feel that have no choice but to build up militarily, because this is their own backyard. Traditionally, China feels entitled to control the East and South China Seas, their trade routes, and a good portion of the Western Pacific.
The U.S., of course, doesn’t want this, and they feel that China will control trade routes from China all the way to India, denying passage to whomever they please. China, is, of course monopolizing the resources these seas have to offer, and have gone as far as to bully other countries for them. They are also building dams along the Mekong River and other international waterways, denying water and resources to other countries downstream.
This is where it stands today, China against the rest of Asia, with the U.S. backing Asia. The title of this book may not mean an all out war militarily, but the threat is there. China wants to reassert themselves after centuries of oppression, and take back the lands, the seas, and its islands that once belonged to them and the rest of Asia feels threatened by this. China feels that the U.S. wants permanent control of the entire Pacific Ocean, up to their coastline, and China wants them out of what they feel is their territory. This can be justified from their point of view.
In their own eyes, China is not the villain in all this, and the author, Jonathan Holslag does not picture China as such. China is a rising power, both militarily and economically, and they, as they see it, want control of their own backyard.
If this can be resolved, with agreements, and concessions, from everyone, including the U.S., then I feel all these countries should get together and try and do so, no matter how long it takes. All countries involved wants what they feel is rightfully theirs, and all of their claims conflict with China, and China is very stubborn in not relinquishing their own claims, which they have had for literally centuries. The U.S. has to be involved because Asia requires their services, and the U.S. has to save face.
All that can be said here is that a solution must be found before there really is a war, with a bad outcome for all sides.
The first is Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another in which not only does author Dr. Spencer R. Weart thoroughly prove the titular point, he also proves some interesting corollaries, such as the fact that democracies and non-democracies very frequently go to war without either initially intending to, through an oft repeated process of diplomatic misunderstanding he calls the Appeasement Trap. Basically, what democracies view as Being Reasonable, dictatorships view as Signs of Weakness so dictatorships respond by Demanding More when they should be Cutting the Best Deal They Can Get. Instead dictatorships respond to democracies' attempts to be reasonable with increasing unreasonableness until scales fall from democratic eyes and the conclusion is reached that since we cannot reason with them,
we must kill them until they become more reasonable. It is pretty easy to see that getting China into trouble with the USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and India.
The second is Empires of Trust: How Rome Built--and America Is Building--a New World. Professor Thomas F. Madden got so sick of imbecilic reporters and commentators comparing the United States to the Roman Empire, intending it as criticism, that he decided to write a book proving them wrong. Instead he wrote a book proving them right, just not right in the way the morons thought. He argues that the Pax Romana, the existence of Rome as the lone superpower of its day, was far more welcomed and appreciated by countries and peoples of the day than we realize because Rome gradually acquired a reputation of dealing honestly and responsibly with its power to the point that most were mostly content to live in a Roman world where Rome for the most part said what she meant,...
and meant what she said. China cannot dream of being given such trust in the foreseeable future while the United States has already earned it.
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