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Old 11-25-2019, 12:12 PM
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'dopers, has your view of China changed (positive or negative) in the last 10 years?


I'm wondering where 'dopers are with respect to their view of China. Has your view of China changed at all in the last decade (say, since 2010), and if so, how? I guess to flesh this OP out, what are your thoughts about the trade war? The protests in Hong Kong? The concentration camps in Xinjiang. Their environmental policies and practices? Their Belt and Road plans and implementation? Their policies in the East and South China Seas region?

Really, though, what I'm looking for is how 'dopers see China today as opposed to perhaps how you saw them 10 years ago, and whether your thinking has changed, and if so how...and if not, perhaps some detail as to your thoughts on the country. Feel free to digress on any or all subjects concerning China, Trump's trade war or whatever, though I'd like to make the thread about China, not the US or EU or whatever.

(Just as a reference, this video is the one that sparked my thought on making this thread. It's a rather long and, probably dry debate about China, the trade war, China's economy, and the impact of all of this on China and what the Chinese leadership may or may not be thinking. You don't have to, nor do I expect anyone too watch the video, but figured I'd link to it anyway)
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:21 PM
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My view on China hasn't changed, I wouldn't say. I've always been reticent about them as business partners, and felt they hadn't moved at all, really, on human rights. Hong Kong and Xinjiang just confirm it.

I don't have a view on Trump's Trade War as I'm not in the US, except that it seems more about Trumps Mode of Business than anything to do with China.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:43 PM
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I would say I am more negative, though I was never naive about what their government's interests were. It's been clear since the 1990s (if not sooner) that they would be an adversary to countries with democratic values. But 10 years ago, I didn't know who Xi Jinping was, and I didn't understand his designs on global power. Nor did I foresee rounding up millions of Uighurs and setting up a security state on steroids. What China's doing should scare the piss out of everyone because just as America and England laid down a democratic template for other countries to follow (with results that vary of course), I see China as laying down a completely different kind of blueprint.

All of that said, I think that Trump's foreign policy has been disastrous, and while casual observers might think it's China's economy that's getting dented, the trade wars with China and everyone else, along with demands that allied partners pay double what they are now for their own security, is playing right into China's hands. The Chinese play the long game, and the Trump presidency is making it an increasingly safe bet that China will emerge the undisputed global power, and that realization might happen much sooner than we anticipate.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:50 PM
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It's been 12 years since the melamine tainted pet food fiasco of 2007. Following that mess I stopped purchasing anything "made in China" if possible. My China boycott goes on today, although for certain items it's impossible.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:53 PM
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I would say worse, although I'm no expert.. For a while it seemed like China was on a gentle slope in the direction of freedom, as it shifted from a state run economy to a more capitalist mode. With the installation of Xi Jinping, the direction seems to have reversed, with more central authority , and increase in censorship, suppression of dissent, the Xinjiang re-education camps, and bullying in the south China sea.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:14 PM
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My thoughts on China has changed over the years. With that said I was part of the anti-Japanese movement who thought Japan was going to take over the world (during the 1980's not the 1940's). I was very adamant about buying american.

However I have found from a working class view that americans who can make a difference don't honor that, and the 'buy american' is a sham to shame one into paying higher prices for lower quality goods by those in power to those without power. Sometimes to enrich those americans who buy from china to resell it, sometimes for inferior goods produced in the US of A. American does not make high quality any more, just living on a reputation and a false dream.

The long and short of it is I found that no one wanted to pay me a 'american' wage for my wares so I have no obligation to buy american or buy the BS that anyone should buy american while the american fat cats are buying chinese and telling us to buy there stuff at higher prices. I refuse to be duped into buying (stuff I need) when the price is high and selling (my labor) when the price is low. American economics have taught me otherwise, I need to buy low and sell high. So until I get my price I will not consider their price or product.

My take today is that China makes some of the worlds finest goods (iPhone anyone?), but also the cheapest crap. I place their quality of good on a scale from 1 to 10 everywhere from 1 to 10 (the US I place most goods from 3-6 though with a rare few cases and getting rarer of a 9 or 10), overall China is higher quality given a price point.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:25 PM
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Assuming we're talking about the Chinese government (the Chinese people and Chinese culture are fascinating and amazing!), then definitely worse. But I don't begrudge them their trade strategies -- they're going to try and benefit their own economy, whatever that entails. We can and should fight them on it when we can get some sort of advantage, but I see that just as a big game of chess.

I see them worse because it's becoming increasingly clear what a brutal and authoritarian regime they are, brutalizing and terrorizing their own people who dare step outside very narrow boundaries of speech and expression. I think that should be the focus of foreign policy (a more free China can only benefit humanity around the world) even more so than trade, and perhaps we should try and link incentives on the latter for improvements on the former.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:37 PM
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No. It was pretty obvious where China was going 10 years ago, they're on that same path. The only thing really knew is the current trade situation with the US and they're reacting just as almost everyone expected.

In the coming months and years we may see something very different happening as a result of the Hong Kong protests. On that issue China is at the crossroads, let's hope they choose the right direction.

Last edited by TriPolar; 11-25-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:01 PM
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China's treatment of the Uighurs is Xinjiang is pretty horrific, so my opinion of their government has worsened in the last few years.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:09 PM
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Worse, but mostly because I really hadn't given China much thought in years beginning with 2. Until just this year.

About that first sentence: like most westerners, my views of China a few decades back were strongly affected by the Chinese government's crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989. But time moved on, other issues moved to the forefront, China's internal issues for the most part stayed out of the news in the West, and after a while I really didn't have much of anything current to base an opinion of China on. So that's where I was ten years ago, or even one year ago.

But lately I've been hearing about the protests in Hong Kong (and the need for them), and the concentration camps in Xinjiang. So I've gone from hardly thinking about China at all, and having even less of an opinion about it, to realizing there's some nasty shit going on over there.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:57 PM
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China is developing but not at the acceptable rate for a first world country. It is a very large country where many areas are not quite up to standards that we would hope, so a lot of the country is still living under conditions of the past. The power structure is still trying to maintain a level of control over the populace that is unrealistic in the modern world. But this power structure is very entrenched and conservative. It will take time, probably another 20 years before living standards are up to first world status.

As for the demonstrations in Hong Kong. Hong Kong lived as a semi-autonomous territory of China while under British rule, they are now coming to grips with the fact that Hong Kong is now China. Perhaps the standards of Greater China will rise to meet those of HK or HK will experience a diaspora of talent and fall down to meet the conditions of Greater China, only time will tell.

The time for these demonstrations in Hong Kong was when the UK pulled out, that was their last chance, only the population was lulled by the putting of the final dates way into the future, some other generation's problem. The younger generation is now realizing this, it is now their problem.

Hong Kong is China, and those who do not realize this are fucked. The only real change will come if the corporate money decides to pull the money and jobs away until real reforms are made.

And that is a hilarious, optimism.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:06 PM
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I have always had a pretty consistently negative view of China as a nation for my whole life, and nothing over the past decade has changed my view of the country.

But I've interacted a whole lot more with many mainland Chinese people (due to a different social circle that I now live in) and I like most of them a great deal. I've learned a lot from them, found them refreshingly honest and blunt (albeit sometimes very narrow-minded or materialistic).
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:25 PM
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No. It was pretty obvious where China was going 10 years ago, they're on that same path.
This is pretty much how I feel. The only reason I feel more negative about China now than I did ten years ago is that they're farther down the path.

My current worry is a story I heard a couple of days ago. Apparently a lot of business people who deal with China are experiencing unexpected breakdowns in their dealings with Chinese firms. There's a pattern of Chinese companies recently ripping off the non-Chinese companies they're doing business with.

There's always a danger of this happening but it hasn't been an issue in China until recently. Companies know that they can often make a quick profit by cheating on a deal. But the price they pay is getting a reputation as a company that cheats on its deals. Most companies are smart enough to understand it's smarter to look at the long term picture and collect smaller profits year after year rather than try to collect a one-time big profit.

But there's an exception; when companies don't expect for there to be a long time relationship in the future, they can decide to grab whatever they can now and not worry about the consequences. Chinese companies have been trustworthy in the past but now appear to be grabbing the short term gains. One explanation would be that the people running these companies are aware that there is going to be a major disruption in foreign trade in the near future.

My theory is that the Chinese government is planning a major diplomatic push within the next two years. Probably in the South China Sea. They've been moving people and military supplies into the area and laying the diplomatic groundwork. I think they're planning on moving things to the next level and will state a policy of actively enforcing its claims in the area.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:44 PM
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My current worry is a story I heard a couple of days ago. Apparently a lot of business people who deal with China are experiencing unexpected breakdowns in their dealings with Chinese firms. There's a pattern of Chinese companies recently ripping off the non-Chinese companies they're doing business with.
Whoa...I guess it depends on your definition of 'recently'.

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My theory is that the Chinese government is planning a major diplomatic push within the next two years. Probably in the South China Sea. They've been moving people and military supplies into the area and laying the diplomatic groundwork. I think they're planning on moving things to the next level and will state a policy of actively enforcing its claims in the area.
Actually, I heard a theory that the Chinese Communist Party is planning to do exactly what they said they would, i.e. they are planning to deal once and for all with Taiwan in the near future. Basically, the theory goes that the CCP thinks (with some justification), that if they do something horrific that the attention span of the West will basically have us forget about it within a fairly short time frame. As China wants the west to be happy with it for it's anniversary, they want to get the bad stuff out of the way so we will happily be there for the big party in 2049.

Anyway, lots of good answers. Appreciate the input. It's often hard to gauge where the board is on some things, as they are often overlooked or not really discussed because people are so focused on other things.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:53 PM
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Basically, the theory goes that the CCP thinks (with some justification), that if they do something horrific that the attention span of the West will basically have us forget about it within a fairly short time frame. As China wants the west to be happy with it for it's anniversary, they want to get the bad stuff out of the way so we will happily be there for the big party in 2049.
Chances are China would also want to do such things while Trump and/or a Bernie/Warren type is in power.

China wouldn't want to mess around with a fairly conventional president, such as a Hillary, Biden or Obama. But someone like Trump is flighty, America-first, unstable and might decide not to intervene against China. And someone like Warren or Bernie might be so democratic-socialist that they don't want to intervene in a war, either.
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Old 11-25-2019, 06:11 PM
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I came of age during Mao's Cultural Revolution so my impression of China had been increasing for a while. Then came Tiananmen, and then Xi. I'd say I'm back in '73 now.

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Old 11-25-2019, 07:52 PM
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No. They are a more frightful great power competitor than the former USSR and many of our political and business leaders have made a deal with the devil for personal enrichment. It’s going to be good to be #2 in the world though. We’ve been complacent.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:45 PM
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10 years ago, it was bad. Now it's worse. Much of what Nemo said. A bunch of Shit-hooks in my opinion.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:46 PM
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I have always been somewhat curious about the difference in how the general populace in the US reacted to the USSR vs. China. The USSR was cast as the enemy during the cold war, and those of us of a certain age see strong echos with Putin in charge. So, the image has been one of two powers scowling at each other.

Whereas, even though China was "Red China", after the Nixon thaw there seemed to be more of a laissez faire fair embrace of China as "well, they are kinda moving in the right direction..." What with their embrace of their form of capitalism and importing of western cultural and commercial icons. They buy up all a bunch of our gov't bonds, we use their factories, they send all their kids to our colleges, etc.

But for me, trying not to sound too simple minded, I've always been feeling like saying, "Uh, guys....GUYS! Have you really looked at what they've been up to? It's not good."

So, I don't know about the last 10 years part, but I do think they will get far worse over the next 10 years.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:49 PM
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Actually, I heard a theory that the Chinese Communist Party is planning to do exactly what they said they would, i.e. they are planning to deal once and for all with Taiwan in the near future. Basically, the theory goes that the CCP thinks (with some justification), that if they do something horrific that the attention span of the West will basically have us forget about it within a fairly short time frame. As China wants the west to be happy with it for it's anniversary, they want to get the bad stuff out of the way so we will happily be there for the big party in 2049.
I considered Taiwan as a possibility. But my gut feeling is the South China Sea. I feel China will be methodical and look to advance itself one step at a time. And the South China Sea is a smaller step because there's no significant local population to take into account. And China has been emphasizing its claims in the South China Sea while it's been keeping quiet about Taiwan.

If they are able to take the South China Sea and other countries let them get away with it, then I think they will start a new push against Taiwan using the momentum they gained.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:33 PM
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Guess as the token non-Westerner I’ll take a shot. More positive. The Chinese have pulled hundreds of billions of people out of poverty and have provided investments and technical expertise in other countries where it’s been lacking and sorely needed.

The “human rights” claim is bunk. No one thinks of them as some sort of saint. But dopers, most of whom live in countries whose political machinations in the last decade and a half has led to destruction and untold misery for millions from the East Med to the Persian Gulf, really have no standing to call them out.

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Old 11-25-2019, 10:24 PM
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I have always been somewhat curious about the difference in how the general populace in the US reacted to the USSR vs. China. The USSR was cast as the enemy during the cold war, and those of us of a certain age see strong echos with Putin in charge. So, the image has been one of two powers scowling at each other.

Whereas, even though China was "Red China", after the Nixon thaw there seemed to be more of a laissez faire fair embrace of China as "well, they are kinda moving in the right direction..." What with their embrace of their form of capitalism and importing of western cultural and commercial icons. They buy up all a bunch of our gov't bonds, we use their factories, they send all their kids to our colleges, etc.

But for me, trying not to sound too simple minded, I've always been feeling like saying, "Uh, guys....GUYS! Have you really looked at what they've been up to? It's not good."

So, I don't know about the last 10 years part, but I do think they will get far worse over the next 10 years.
I don't look at Russia in it's current incarnation as a natural enemy. I think Russia is a declining power, is surrounded by historic competitors, has a vast amount of territory to defend, and is dealing with poor demographics.

I also feel we deal with Russia in a dishonorable fashion after the breakup of the USSR. We could have helped tremendously in modernizing that nation instead of exploiting the breakup.

We've been exploiting the Chinese populous with regards to labor while pretending to be virtuous domestically. China is building up it's industrial base and technology while our industrial base is hollowing out. If China develops a strong AI first things will be very interesting.

An additional concern about China is that they remind me of a colonial era European power in that they are not going to let public opinion get in the way of strategic goals. In the competition between nations that may turn out to be advantageous. The one thing that China has that other totalitarian police states did not have is near technological parity combined with productivity parity. That's why I feel that the US leadership has sort of betrayed the West by allowing the catch up.

Just my thoughts. I wonder if another Pacific war is inevitable.

Last edited by octopus; 11-25-2019 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:33 PM
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I also feel we deal with Russia in a dishonorable fashion after the breakup of the USSR. We could have helped tremendously in modernizing that nation instead of exploiting the breakup.
I'd say they did a pretty good job of "exploiting" themselves.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:42 PM
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Not much change for me.

I'm surprised that the party has hung on so long and demonstrated that a mixed-authoritarian political system can sustain so much robust economic growth.

I thought economic prosperity would lead to greater liberalism, but it seems like it's just empowered corruption and authoritarianism.

10 years ago I was alarmed at China's military expansionism. It's gone further and faster than I expected, but in hindsight not as much as it could. They really are skilled at playing the long game and expanding in small drips and drabs that aren't enough to provoke a response.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:02 AM
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its the same i dont think theyre trustworthy but i wonder what would happen if china had a real recession would the people revolt if it lasted too long or would the state say see thats what happens and go back to a communist style economy and hand out piles of cash to keep the peasants happy ...

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Old 11-26-2019, 03:44 AM
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My feelings haven't really changed, they're not nice as far as government and politics go, but in terms of concern I rank them way behind Russia and the USA in foreign impact or amount of evil perpetrated in the world.

The internal persecutions are terrible. So is stabbing children and driving trucks into civilian crowds, though, so I'm not exactly sympathetic to the Uyghur jihadists, either. Or the Russians who stoked the separatist fires early on, either.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:59 AM
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I think if you’re going to have a considered view of modern China, you need to go back to late 1978 and the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping. They basically opened up China for business and established an authoritarian sort of capitalism with dual tracks of state-owned and private industry. The authoritarianism could be harsh if you opposed it – see Tiananmen Square – but had a genuine primary focus of improving the economy and moving hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. After Deng Xiaoping’s death in 1997, the focus seemed to shift a bit. China already had external interests, especially in Africa, but the focus on their external interests and being a regional and world power increased. However, Deng’s successors were still in charge and the economic reforms continued including increased privatisation, and external investment. Authoritarianism continued, and nationalism increased, but both took a back seat to economic growth.

This focus on economic growth rather than state authority diminished in the early 2000’s. Under Hu Jintao, China’s central government became more powerful and less reform minded. Some of the privatisation was reversed and China became more focussed on displays of power, including through sport, the military, foreign relations and external investment. This assertion of state power, both internally and externally, showed China was moving in a different harder direction than it had under Deng Xiaoping. Hu Jintao’s leadership ended in 2012 when he was succeeded by Xi Jinping, who’s been even more autocratic. Xi has consolidated power under what the government claims are anti-corruption reforms, and has taken a very harsh line on dissent. China has also greatly increased its programs for accumulating and projecting external power.

So back to the OP, my view on China hasn’t changed since 2009. By that point, it was evident that they were committed to an autocratic central government, to being the predominant power in Asia, and to having worldwide influence. China’s simply gone further down the road they were already on since the early 2000’s. As a country, it’s become more powerful, more centrally controlled, and less open to opposition or democratic reforms. But these changes aren’t due to some hardline pivot. They’re continuations of policies that started changing well before 2009.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:01 AM
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My opinion of China was very negative ten years ago. They were persecuting Falun Gong, Tibetans, even the Uighurs. They had reneged on promises made to Hongkong. Their environmental record was abysmal; they were in violation of international agreements; and engaging in wide-spread industrial espionage and piracy. The Tiananmen Square Massacre was 30 years ago.

I may watch the video, but their recent behavior would have to be very bad indeed for my opinion to be even worse than it was ten years ago! Instead, I was hoping that some of their behavior might have improved a bit. They seem intent on becoming the century's super-power, but that is understandable.

In contrast to some other major players, China's behavior seems good! Russia is more blatantly evil than ever. The same for Saudi Arabia. I no longer have respect for Israel's government. Turkey, India, Pakistan, Thailand there's discouraging news everywhere. Even countries like the U.K. are on a downward trajectory. And of course, the U.S. has warped (temporarily?) into a personification of evil.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:39 AM
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Curious, because I'm not sure my opinion of China is accurately described as either positive or negative. I think I previously likely viewed them negatively, both WRT their human rights issues, and as a threat to Western interests. Now, I have developed a growing respect for their success - combined with my declining respect of so many aspects of American society and policy. 20 years ago, the US was poised to increase its position as the sole superpower - and hopefully influence a greener and more equitable planet. Instead, on countless fronts it pursued actions seemingly aimed at mortgaging its future.

Tough to be too critical of China's environmental policies, internal discrimination and corruption, and expansionist foreign policy, when we in America are so lacking in the same respects despite our wealth and other advantages.

All empires eventually decline. The US will not disappear, but it will definitely continue to decline WRT China - and likely other - powers and markets.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:45 AM
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My feelings haven't really changed, they're not nice as far as government and politics go, but in terms of concern I rank them way behind Russia and the USA in foreign impact or amount of evil perpetrated in the world.

The internal persecutions are terrible. So is stabbing children and driving trucks into civilian crowds, though, so I'm not exactly sympathetic to the Uyghur jihadists, either. Or the Russians who stoked the separatist fires early on, either.
I'm not really wanting to debate people's answers (or I'd be talking about the 'bunk' claim about Chinese human rights abuses), but I'm curious. It's unsurprising you list the US as more of a threat/concern, given your feelings about the country, but why Russia? I can't for the life of me see how you could rank them higher on a concern meter than China at this point.

I won't debate the second paragraph with you, as I don't want to debate answers, but your second sentence there is...disappointing. It actually gives the CCP some measure of justification, which they don't have.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:50 AM
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Tough to be too critical of China's environmental policies, internal discrimination and corruption, and expansionist foreign policy, when we in America are so lacking in the same respects despite our wealth and other advantages.
NM...I'm not wanting to debate people's answers as it will take us down the rabbit hole. More interested in just getting folks thoughts on China.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:19 AM
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I can't for the life of me see how you could rank them higher on a concern meter than China at this point.
Has China invaded and annexed any neighbours' territory recently? Is China actively involved in any Middle East wars? Have Chinese agents poisoned anyone in a Western country recently? Have Chinese nuclear bombers landed in my back yard this year? Have the Chinese interfered in my local elections as well as some others of particular global significance?

I'd have to be a fool to not rate Russia higher than China as a concern.
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I won't debate the second paragraph with you, as I don't want to debate answers, but your second sentence there is...disappointing.
Commentary is debate.
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It actually gives the CCP some measure of justification, which they don't have.
Nothing justifies reeducation camps. But it's worth mentioning that the Uyghur aren't exactly just an oppressed minority here.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Has China invaded and annexed any neighbours' territory recently? Is China actively involved in any Middle East wars? Have Chinese agents poisoned anyone in a Western country recently? Have Chinese nuclear bombers landed in my back yard this year? Have the Chinese interfered in my local elections as well as some others of particular global significance?

I'd have to be a fool to not rate Russia higher than China as a concern.
Thanks for the answer. It's always interesting to me to see how people assess threat and what metrics they use. And also how much they know about the overall subject when making their assessment.

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Nothing justifies reeducation camps. But it's worth mentioning that the Uyghur aren't exactly just an oppressed minority here.
Is it worth noting that? I don't see how they AREN'T exactly an oppressed minority who the (Han) Chinese under the direction of the CCP are essentially trying to wipe out, culturally and even ethnically with forced marriages and colonization. I think it's worth noting that the Uygars aren't the only minority being oppressed fairly ruthlessly, or that this is tied to ethnicity, as there is tons of religious oppression as well.

At any rate, appreciate the input.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:37 AM
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I used to think of China's government as evil but practical. They wanted power above all else but beyond that were genuinely interested in helping China become economically strong. They would only do evil to stay in power but let non political people alone.

The treatment of the Uighurs has changed my mind in that it seems so unnecessarily evil. Xi is a tyrant wannabe and not a pragmatist like the previous leaders
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Has China invaded and annexed any neighbours' territory recently? Is China actively involved in any Middle East wars? Have Chinese agents poisoned anyone in a Western country recently? Have Chinese nuclear bombers landed in my back yard this year? Have the Chinese interfered in my local elections as well as some others of particular global significance?

I'd have to be a fool to not rate Russia higher than China as a concern.

Commentary is debate.
Nothing justifies reeducation camps. But it's worth mentioning that the Uyghur aren't exactly just an oppressed minority here.
I agree in general that Russia is more of threat. It is unstable and not on a path to economic success. Their economic plan seems to be destroying other economies to make theirs look better.

But you forgot about Tibet and we have no idea of the extent of global espionage by the Chinese because they are not so clumsy about it as the Russians.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:27 AM
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...

But you forgot about Tibet and we have no idea of the extent of global espionage by the Chinese because they are not so clumsy about it as the Russians.
And don't forget the Cow's Tongue. Or that they seem to be essentially buying huge swaths of Africa.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:42 AM
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Is it worth noting that?
I feel it is, yes.
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I don't see how they AREN'T exactly an oppressed minority
Nothing I wrote says they aren't.
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I think it's worth noting that the Uygars aren't the only minority being oppressed fairly ruthlessly
But they do seem to be the ones doing most of the bombings, and the stabbings...
which is why they're in reeducation camps and the equally separatist-y Inner Mongols aren't.
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there is tons of religious oppression as well.
Yes, I'm aware there's a religious element there. You could tell by how I used the word "jihadists", it's a subtle clue, I know.
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But you forgot about Tibet
How have I forgotten about Tibet? Did you miss the word "recently" in there?
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:53 AM
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But they do seem to be the ones doing most of the bombings, and the stabbings...
which is why they're in reeducation camps and the equally separatist-y Inner Mongols aren't.
I'm sure the Tibetans would disagree. But, hell, you are right...a few dozen Muslim extremists have in fact done bombings and stabbings, so that's why millions are in concentration and re-education camps. Not sure why so many non-Muslims are ALSO in such camps, but I'm sure it has to do with bombings and stabbings in some way...

(This, of course, leaves aside the fact that many of the stabbings were from Han Chinese, but what the hell)

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Yes, I'm aware there's a religious element there. You could tell by how I used the word "jihadists", it's a subtle clue, I know.
Here is what you wrote (for those who can't scroll up):

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So is stabbing children and driving trucks into civilian crowds, though, so I'm not exactly sympathetic to the Uyghur jihadists, either.
You used the word(s) 'Uyghur jihadists' and said you don't have much sympathy in the context of oppression. So, unless your 'subtle clue' was about Uyghur jihadists oppressing the good people of China, it's a bit confusing how you are tying that together with massive oppression of other religions...or, hell, massive non-religious and non-ethnic oppression. I'm not sure what you thought you were saying wrt wider religious or non-religious oppression, but your 'subtle clue' really wasn't either subtle or a clue.

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How have I forgotten about Tibet? Did you miss the word "recently" in there?
Do you think the oppression or colonization of Tibet is something that was long in the past??? Seriously...do you not know what's CURRENTLY going on in Tibet???

(This leaves aside all of the annexation by fiat of territory in the South China Sea, but I figure that doesn't count with you for some reason. The the economic colonialism China is doing by, essentially, debt trap diplomacy used to acquire key pieces of other countries infrastructure and facilities)
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  #39  
Old 11-26-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Has China invaded and annexed any neighbours' territory recently? Is China actively involved in any Middle East wars? Have Chinese agents poisoned anyone in a Western country recently? Have Chinese nuclear bombers landed in my back yard this year? Have the Chinese interfered in my local elections as well as some others of particular global significance?

I'd have to be a fool to not rate Russia higher than China as a concern.
I couldn't disagree more.

China is much, much for of a threat to the world than Russia is. China's ability to influence world events is only going to increase, and Russia's is only going to decrease with their respective economies going in different directions.

China is quietly invading Africa, and there presence there is everywhere. 20 years ago they were completely absent from that continent.

China has support North Korea for decades and continue to do so. U.S. Pacific allies are increasing concerned with China's designs on the region. Taiwan specifically is a target and I think they will be invaded within 15 years.

Russia is increasing a paper tiger militarily.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:44 PM
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Seventy years ago China was the place where "starving children would love to have my beets." At some points, India became the place where they wanted my beets. I was pretty young, but I learned a lesson from that. The lesson wasn't that political bias moved the compassion of my nation to a new location. I wasn't sophisticated enough to consider the popular political motives. It was clear to me that China had decided to feed their children. The entire problem of children hungry enough to actually want to eat beets was now happening in India. I wondered why the Indians has sent their beets to China, but wasn't all that interested. I never have been all that interested in economics. Or beets, but that's a personal issue.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:45 PM
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Maybe this is fodder for a different thread, but how exactly is China a "threat"? Any more that the US and western ideals is a "threat." They may be a threat to the US enjoying cheap consumption largely subsidized by the rest of the world, as well as our ability to force/coerce others to act in a manner consistent with our interests. But to the world as a whole?

I'm reminded of the bully on the block. He might feel threatened when another bully moves in. But I'm not sure it makes all that much difference to the rest of the kids (could even be to their interest to have 2 bullies to play off each other) - or to how the entire block functions as a whole.

Not saying it can't be the case, just that I'm not willing to accept it without some elaboration.
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:59 PM
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Maybe this is fodder for a different thread, but how exactly is China a "threat"? Any more that the US and western ideals is a "threat." They may be a threat to the US enjoying cheap consumption largely subsidized by the rest of the world, as well as our ability to force/coerce others to act in a manner consistent with our interests. But to the world as a whole?

I'm reminded of the bully on the block. He might feel threatened when another bully moves in. But I'm not sure it makes all that much difference to the rest of the kids (could even be to their interest to have 2 bullies to play off each other) - or to how the entire block functions as a whole.

Not saying it can't be the case, just that I'm not willing to accept it without some elaboration.
Probably does need it's own thread for this one. Briefly, China is a different kind of threat...more of an existential threat, really, than the Soviets, who really were always about overt physical threat. Basically, it's a battle of ideas and world view with respect to China. What you put in there about 'US and western ideals' is pretty much the reason. Those things ARE a threat to anyone who doesn't have a western, liberal democracy viewpoint. China, or specifically the CCP is a threat to anyone who does have such a viewpoint, as their worldview and outlook is completely different. And they have deliberately been threatening the west on this for years now. You even know at least one instance of this with the recent NBA dust up. You, perhaps, haven't put that together with all the other instances of them doing exactly the same thing that didn't make the news, and perhaps you haven't thought through the implications, or thought about the fact that it's not just corporations who are dancing to the CCPs tune.

This isn't about an overt military threat of China in a similar vein to the US/USSR cold war. China is and has been building it's actual military up, especially from an asymmetric perspective wrt it's capabilities juxtaposed with the US's (since it sees the US as it's major adversary), but that is just a China/US issue. From the worlds perspective, at least the western world, it's what the CCP is doing wrt western political, economic and media related organs that should be the most concern. China has actively infiltrated all of those things in multiple countries. You can look up a lot of this yourself if you are interested, as it's not really that much of a secret...it's just something that isn't discussed that much on this board and isn't in the news as much unless it's something that catches the public's eye, briefly, such as the NBA thingy.

What I wanted to get out of this thread was a feel for what 'dopers were thinking with respect to China. It's kind of what I expected to see...a lot of 'dopers are worried about the more overt things China is doing...or aren't worried at all, and don't see anything wrong. To many, this is just the same old same old. The British Empire supplanted earlier powers, and was supplanted by the US. Now it's China's 'turn'. *yawn*. Or even that this is a good thing, as China is no different than the US, and what the US does is equally bad to what China is or has done...or much worse. China doesn't invade other countries, after all (well, leaving aside Tibet) or try and take their lands (leaving aside their stated goals in Taiwan or annexation in the South China Seas region), while the US does. The US is MUCH more destabilizing, etc etc. Except it's apples to oranges. Just like thinking China is a threat like the old USSR, and if they aren't, well, they aren't any real threat at all.

That seems to be where most people are at wrt China. A lot of negative views by 'dopers (some positive and many meh, which I also expected), which isn't surprising since a lot of the stuff they have done recently HAS been in the news (even John Oliver did an episode on China recently). But that's all internal to China...no threat to anyone, certainly not the same level of threat the US to everyone.
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  #43  
Old 11-26-2019, 03:01 PM
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I'm sure the Tibetans would disagree.
I'm loving how committed you are to this "NOT debating" thing....

And there aren't a million Tibetans in camps, so yeah, they would.
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But, hell, you are right...a few dozen Muslim extremists have in fact done bombings and stabbings, so that's why millions are in concentration and re-education camps.
Pretty much, yeah - or can you give another reason why one group of separatists is in camps and two other prominent ones aren't?

Note I'm not saying it's a good response, or defending the camps at all. But fighting back is why they are. That's observation, not approval.
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Not sure why so many non-Muslims are ALSO in such camps, but I'm sure it has to do with bombings and stabbings in some way...
Aah, you seem to have misread me somewhere saying all the people in the camps are Uyghur jihadists. In fact, I did not say that.
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This, of course, leaves aside the fact that many of the stabbings were from Han Chinese.
Yes, Han regularly go beserk and stabby too. That doesn't change the actions of the Uyghur jihadists.
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You used the word(s) 'Uyghur jihadists' and said you don't have much sympathy in the context of oppression.
Yes, I don't think oppression justifies driving a truck into a crowd of civilians, or stabbing kids. I'll happily stand by that apparently extremely controversial stance.
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So, unless your 'subtle clue' was about Uyghur jihadists oppressing the good people of China, it's a bit confusing how you are tying that together with massive oppression of other religions
It means I'm well aware that the drive here isn't just secular separatist rebellion. That I'm aware the Uyghur are laregly Muslim and that's part of the reason they're being oppressed by the Chinese. But like you said, too subtle for you.
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Do you think the oppression or colonization of Tibet is something that was long in the past???
Re-read what I actually wrote. I said recent invasion and territorial annexation by Russia was what concerned me. 1950 is not recent. Yes, I'm aware there is ongoing occupation and Hanification of Tibet, and I don't approve at all. But it concerns me a bit less than Russia's more recent actions in Ukraine, Georgia and the Caucasus overall. Or its general irredentist tendencies in the Baltics too. I quite like Estonia, and would appreciate it being free.
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Seriously...do you not know what's CURRENTLY going on in Tibet???
I've done you the courtesy of assuming you know what you're talking about, I'd appreciate it if you'd do the same and stop the little digs you've been making in this "Not" debate.
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(This leaves aside all of the annexation by fiat of territory in the South China Sea, but I figure that doesn't count with you for some reason.
Lovely strawman.

I haven't said at any point that anything China does doesn't count. It just counts less, FOR ME, than what some other countries do. Specifically, at this very moment, Russia and the USA.
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The the economic colonialism China is doing by, essentially, debt trap diplomacy used to acquire key pieces of other countries infrastructure and facilities)
Yeah, the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank and IMF are sooo much better. That's not economic colonialism at all.

Or they should all exercise their wonderful third choice of...absolutely nothing.

Last edited by MrDibble; 11-26-2019 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:13 PM
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Fair enough, XT. I guess I'm taking the long view that the jury is still out as to the merits and desirability of western democracy. I'm not at all sure what "western ideals" are. Here in the US, I'm not sure how much closer we are to democracy than China is to communism.

I'm less "worried" about China, than I am disappointed in my country. And if China gains influence and the west loses same, well, we get what we deserve.

And man, I feel like linking the post immediately above mine to the ongoing discussion of how GD could be improved...
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:22 PM
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Fair enough, XT. I guess I'm taking the long view that the jury is still out as to the merits and desirability of western democracy. I'm not at all sure what "western ideals" are. Here in the US, I'm not sure how much closer we are to democracy than China is to communism.

I'm less "worried" about China, than I am disappointed in my country. And if China gains influence and the west loses same, well, we get what we deserve.

And man, I feel like linking the post immediately above mine to the ongoing discussion of how GD could be improved...
And that was why I made this thread, to gauge where 'dopers were (and weren't) on China. I'm not here to debate what YOU (or even MrDibble's) views, I wanted to see what they are. I have to admit, I'm a bit shocked at MrDibble's response...I'm not sure he sees his response the same way I do, but frankly I'm horrified by some of what he said in his post above yours. But what I wanted was to get those sorts of views. Appreciate your response...and his too, as well as everyone else who participated.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:52 PM
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Maybe this is fodder for a different thread, but how exactly is China a "threat"? Any more that the US and western ideals is a "threat." They may be a threat to the US enjoying cheap consumption largely subsidized by the rest of the world, as well as our ability to force/coerce others to act in a manner consistent with our interests. But to the world as a whole?

I'm reminded of the bully on the block. He might feel threatened when another bully moves in. But I'm not sure it makes all that much difference to the rest of the kids (could even be to their interest to have 2 bullies to play off each other) - or to how the entire block functions as a whole.

Not saying it can't be the case, just that I'm not willing to accept it without some elaboration.
Well you may be right. But currently, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore (and I'd guess Hong Kong) would rather have the U. S. bully in the Pacific rather than the China one. Why would you suppose that is?
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:04 PM
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Well you may be right. But currently, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore (and I'd guess Hong Kong) would rather have the U. S. bully in the Pacific rather than the China one. Why would you suppose that is?


I'd imagine they prefer the type of influence the US exerts over China's flavor. But I don't know whether military vs economic/cultural control by China is more likely.

They are wealthy nations, vested in the status quo. But I imagine they would be able to sell their wares and remain wealthy under China's influence as well as under the US - in all but the most extreme, military invasion/annexing scenario.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:14 PM
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I'd imagine they prefer the type of influence the US exerts over China's flavor. But I don't know whether military vs economic/cultural control by China is more likely.

They are wealthy nations, vested in the status quo. But I imagine they would be able to sell their wares and remain wealthy under China's influence as well as under the US - in all but the most extreme, military invasion/annexing scenario.
Absolutely they would (well, assuming prosperity continued unabated under a Chinese hegemonic world...which isn't all that far fetched but not a sure thing either). The problem would be they would have to toe the CCP line or risk dire consequences. You can see this dynamic with all the countries that recently decided to withdraw support and acknowledgment of Taiwan, for instance, as well as companies (international, non-Chinese) companies that either had to change web sites or maps to reflect the 'fact' that Taiwan is, in fact, just a province of China. This is just one small, vertical issue, but it's a good view of how things would be (and actually are, to a certain extent even today) under a Chinese dominated landscape.

Taiwan, of course, would be fucked, but a lot of other countries would be substantially less free, even if they did remain prosperous, under a Chinese world. That's probably more relevant to what spifflog was getting at.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:12 PM
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I'd imagine they prefer the type of influence the US exerts over China's flavor.
You make that sound as if it's a bad thing as if all "influence" is created equal.

Yes, they'd like the influence of a democratic state largely supportive of free and open ideals as opposed to a brutal dictatorship, with an oppressive government and poor human rights record, focused on the intimidation of it's neighbors at best and invasion and subjugation of one of it's neighbors at worst.

Imagine that.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:19 PM
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I used to think of China's government as evil but practical. They wanted power above all else but beyond that were genuinely interested in helping China become economically strong. They would only do evil to stay in power but let non political people alone.

The treatment of the Uighurs has changed my mind in that it seems so unnecessarily evil. Xi is a tyrant wannabe and not a pragmatist like the previous leaders
I've kind of come to that same conclusion myself. I used to think that a lot of their stuff was just pragmatism combined with a sort of "if all you have is a hammer..." sort of situation.

But in the last decade, it seems like they've shown a much more ambitious side of themselves that's unfettered by ethics or morals. They're basically picking a fight in the South China Sea.. just because they know that we're not willing to get into a shooting war over little speck islands like the Spratlys or Paracels. And they're willing to turn a blind eye to all sorts of nefarious bullshit if it turns them a profit. And they're willing to crack down in an absurdly brutal fashion on ethnic minorities. And erect the "Great Firewall".

And most perplexing of all, threaten other countries, companies and people when they criticize them them for doing evil stuff. I mean, what exactly will China do to Sweden if the Swedish don't quit honoring an author they've imprisoned for political reasons? Or all that professional video gaming business with Activision, or the NBA business a while back Completely unacceptable in the modern world, but we (the Western world) don't take a hard line and draw a boundary.

They seem to have gone off the deep end with respect to their totalitarian nonsense and seem to be expecting the rest of the world to respect it or something now.

Last edited by bump; 11-26-2019 at 05:21 PM.
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