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Panel: China Not Yet Ready Militarily, Economically to Take on America’s Global Role

A Chinese People’s Armed Police guard on Tiananmen Square, in front of the portrait of Mao Zedong.

Because Beijing lacks the hard power of global military strength and the soft power to shape other nation’s attitudes through its economic diversity, one of China’s leading diplomatic scholars said it is not now in China’s interest as a rising power to try and take over the United States’ role in the world in maintaining international order.

Speaking Tuesday as part of a panel at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank, Jia Qingguo, dean of the department of diplomacy at Peking University, said in answer to a question, “China should expect the United States to live up its responsibilities” in maintaining the international order and where it can “China should help the United States.”

Jia acknowledged “maintaining the international order is a very costly business,” but the United States through its creation of a network of alliances, such as it has with Japan and Korea, use of U.N. organizations and development of various types of partnerships, such as it has India and others, has defrayed some of that expense.

The “U.S. has been quite successful in that role” as world leader, but now under President Donald Trump may be adapting a new approach of being less engaged globally, a stance that might benefit Washington in the short run but leave it weaker in the future.

David Finkelstein, director of China studies at CNA, said Beijing is “taking directions we not used to seeing in the past” in arenas of international engagement.

The reason: “China’s national interests are changing” to include global security concerns that range from evacuating more than 30,000 Chinese civilians from chaotic Libya in 2011 and establishing its first permanent overseas maritime base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Closer to home as an activist power, “Beijing also uses economic sticks” to bring Taiwan into line with a one-China policy, pressure South Korea to reject the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense ballistic missile system and urge Japan to surrender its claims to islands in the East China Sea. It deploys economic carrots through its development bank and the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

As an example of its new interests and Chinese assessments of them militarily, Finkelstein pointed to changes in the People’s Liberation Army. The PLA has shifted from only being a homeland defense force to protect the party’s control of the country and defend its borders.

Under President Xi Jinping but keeping the homeland mission, it also has focused on warfighting not only close to home but further abroad in a variety of domains. Similarly, there has been new emphasis placed on the PLA Navy’s ability to conduct long-range military operations. Beijing is also now saying it is developing a force to fight terrorists without relying on the U.N. for approval.

The idea in the minds of the Chinese leadership, Finkelstein said, is “to shape and not just react” to events in protecting their interests.

In many ways, China is behaving similarly to “rising powers” of the past as the United States was in the 19th century– riding on the coattails of the global power at the time, Great Britain, on international issues and a revisionist hands-off approach to other nations in America’s backyard through the Monroe Doctrine, Michael Green, an Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.

“Our relationship is not a zero-sum game” with a winner and loser, Jia said that relationship can evolve over time on a host of issues.

Using North Korea’s continuing development of nuclear weapons as an example of change, he said, “At the beginning, [the Chinese] people were asking how much we can help North Korea” in ways to stop that program and build up Pyongyang’s economy. But now, “North Korea poses more of a security threat” and is viewed “as a strategic liability, not asset.”

Jia said now the Chinese are asking themselves “how much should we work with the international community” to end this threat.

  • muzzleloader

    So the Chicoms want the S. Koreans to give up THAAD, they are cowing Taiwan into submission, and they want to turn the SCS into a private lake. They also could very well be playing the U.S in regards to North Korea. I don’t trust China one bit on anything. Rivals, yes. Trading partners in some areas. Friends to be trusted? No.

    • angpilipinongayon

      “they are cowing Taiwan into submission,”

      Taiwan is the remnant of the abusive pro democractic forces in mainland China. So in short, Taiwan is a renegade province of China and is technical still at war with mainland China.

      • Ctrot

        ” abusive pro democractic forces”?

        Do you have any idea of the abuses committed under the communist regime now in command of mainland China? At least 40 million DEAD.

        • R’ Yitzchak M

          55 milion.. but unfortunatelly no one counts. They were happened to be victims of “social(ist) justice” taking from the people who earned and giving to the mob. Mafia, Cosa Nostra, Socialists made a religion out of robery.

          • Ctrot

            I stated “at least” 40 million, I was being conservative. Some put the number at 70-80 million.

        • angpilipinongayon

          I am not talking about the abuses committed under the communist, I am talking about the Civil war, in which the pro democratic forces which is the KMT tolerated the abuses and supported the elite, while the CCP liberated the peasants from these abuses.

          quora dot com / How-did-Mao-Zedong-win-the-Chinese-civil-war

          • Ctrot

            Oh how convenient for you to limit your outrage to time periods outside of the communist rule of China that killed tens of millions.

        • Niki Ptt

          Ever heard of Chiang Kai-shek and the 38 years long White Terror? Taiwanese are no choir boys either…

          • Ctrot

            Chiang Kai Shek could have murdered everyone on Taiwan and still not come close to the number killed by Mao. He WAS a choir boy in comparison to Mao

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        Not so Formosa (today’s Taiwan) was independent idigenous DEMOCRATIC society that accepted refugees from the mainland China.. China has no more moral nor LEGAL claim on Taiwan than Mexico has on the Washington DC. The Taiwan as was the Hong Kong advanced democratical society with the flourishing democracy and economy second to none.. By not defending the self determination of the Hong Kong and delivering milions of people to the tyranny built the China into the invincible force that is exponentially growing and will threaten every of its neighbors as well it will be very soon a single global super power under the very same apetite for the expansion.

        • angpilipinongayon

          Correct today, what I stated is the KMT tolerated the corruption in Mainland China during the civil war. They supported the elite, the warlords who oppressed the poor, (THAT IS WHY I LABELED THEM AS ABUSIVE) I am looking at you @ctrot:disqus
          . That is why the CCP won the war because they have the support of the peasants which constitute the majority of the Chinese population, the CCP won not because they were communists but because of their sound leadership at that time. I say at that time, since you may confuse it to China today and foolisly link it with their aggressive 9-dash claim which is not relevant to China’s civil war.

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            Communist “wisdom” was based on level of ruthlessness and the utter contempt on the masses they led. Russia was at its border and with unlimited supply of hardware and genocidal “know how” nationalist Chinese could not stand the chance because conflicting reports and a idiotic notion that Chinese communists culd be reasoned with.. some 55 million corpses later genocidal entity was well established by that time.. It has nothing to do with “peasants” “people” or any other conventional b.s. the communist appologists come with but brutal, sadistical and totally genocidal policies toward achievement of apsolute tyrranical powers and NOTHING else. Taiwan is island without any resources but it’s people.. it was an economically significant player on the globe until our idiots put those people on embargo to appease the Chinese communists and their ever growing appetite. Brutality is not a wisdom it is just product of the impotent – unchecked justice and nothing else. Apeassement of tyrants is investment into the chaos that will surely come as product of lawlessness and a rule of force we learned apsolutelly nothing from history

      • Jay

        How’s the weather in Beijing?

  • AmPatriotSmith

    I agree with both of you posting on here. I don’t trust China one bit. Their stance in the South China Sea says it all. At some point, they will take US over militarily and economically and that will weaken us until we are no longer viable. Don’t believe me? Just look at our internal problems. There aren’t very many politicians that would be able to thwart the negative effects on this country from the Progressive Left — the real enemy of the American people. I firmly believe that. What gave America its true strength was unity which translates into patriotism and morality.

    • FelixA9

      The Progressive Left is far more of a danger to the US than Russia or China.

      • Stephen

        The US of my youth was focused on the Red Menace. Thank goodness for Centrists and level-headed thinking. (McCarthy & Hoover were both off the deep-end). We need to encourage a more-amiable Congress. Having two opposing teams unable to bridge the gap, will send our country into the proverbial ditch.

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        Pursuit toward apsolute power of “establishment” is a single party agenda of “Republican” – Democrat puppet show that sees a tyranny as a technological tool to maintain on the power (self) selected few.. by utilizing whatever means necessary. lies, intimidations, blackmail, utilizing politically driven “judiciary” a’ la Germany and Russian “trials” in the 1930’s.

        The most dangerous development in any society is politically driven “judiciary”.

      • AmPatriotSmith


    • Stephen

      The lack of bipartisanship is the single greatest threat to the US. From the beginning, our country allowed dissenting voices and majority rule. Our political machinery grinds to a halt, or goes on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. We need to get back to heated argument followed by total agreement… China. The inaction in the SCS will come back to bite us. The social outreach to the Philippines, by China, is a gentle harbinger of what is to come. After it happens; is too late!

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        The “Tea Party” suggestion of the maximum 2+1 term SERVICE to the country would eleviate “partisan” pressure of self “appointed elite” to grab apsolute power that is transcending all constitutional boundaries that were set by the founding fathers fho foresaw the direction of the uncontroled powers given to the mortal man.

        “The price of liberty is the vigallance of the people to protect it” by Thomas Jefferson.

        Another wise man also mentioned as a caveat I presume..

        “The every nation has the government it deserves..” Sir Winston Churchill.

        2 terms will limit the ambition of the mortals to the task they promised to DELIVER.

        • Stephen

          Methinks we have suffered a coup; we just don’t know it…

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            Soros is a money laundering CIA operation, a’ la “Air America” in early 60’s-70’s. Soros was a instrumental into numerous government overthrows of targeted governments troughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.. After Iran Contra affair CIA learned that there is a necessity to disfranchise its operation to the separate “corporate” entities in order to have plausible deniability in the case that “project” might hit the fan.. So far in combination with the NSA listening, FBI collaborating and IRS targeting particular political leadership (Tea Party members could explain that process much deeper.. because they were used just as the “example” to others.) Imagine if Angela Merkel got ticked off on her phone being listened to.. how about Ohbumaaaah asking British MI5 Teresa May to listen and to tape conversation of the American elected president, so his party goons would be able to have a feeding frenzy for the years to come? US State Department, NSA, and CIA are political entities today that have absolutely NOTHING TO DO with the task they were created for. Instead of the intelligence gathering for the purpose of the national security.. they are today POLITICAL instruments to propagate particular (globalist) narrative, “optics”, and particular political agenda of the one party system run by the pocket despots “establishment” and any other constitutional attempt to initiate “grass root” democratic candidates is met with the all instruments of power to crush and to stifle the will of the common man who dare to challenge the “system” it is the tyranny of the organized racket that grew troughout the corruption, blackmail and worse. Trump definitely does not fell into the category of “establishment” General Flynn was their ARCH ENEMY because he knew the US State Department/CIA corrosive purpose in US Foreign afairs. They are serving their own “globalists” agenda and the “particular interests” of Saudi Arabia, Bechtell, Boing, GE etc.. as opposed to the general interests of the American people. Few USNI generals lost their career due to the dissemination contrary to the “optics” of Ohbumaaah and US State Department politically driven narrative. General Flynn was arch supporter of the TRUTH that is coming from the US NAVAL and the Military Intelligence in general which IS NOT politically driven to fit someone’s “narratives” – “optics” but instead were providing a clean data to the president to make the clear headed DECISSIONS which is still the constitutional duty of any sworn President of the US as opposed to the “politically” (corruption) driven agendas to change the way of life of the American People and to grab the absolute grip on power. Moneys and the economy is no longer preoccupation of the “socialist state” but absolute power that will render everything else irrelevant. So Soros and the rest of the players of self appointed “pocket despots” are either so arrogant they no longer care or desperate enough to expose their ugly deeds right now in order to stop the LAST legally elected President of the US. Just for the comparison there were 3 running candidates in the GB Teresa May was never under the Conservative consideration just 2-3 weeks before elections 3 candidates pulled out of race.. So Teresa took over.. she lost last election and the custom was that she should allow other to run for the leadership she has none of it.. She has nothing but the utter contempt on British people, their traditions, and the LAWS.. she is a “globalist” player.. that transcend her national interests and will use all means under her disposal to fulfill that agenda.. so she spying on Donald Trump the President elect of the US far exceeds the anything the Russians are accused of. So today there is a criminal element that is above the law, above the constitution and within the grasp of absolute (tyrannical) powers of the globalist “collective”.

        • AmPatriotSmith

          Don’t worry about the teaparty. The progressive left movement is a lot more dangerous. Did you ever read “Animal Farm”? They represent socialism.

          • Stephen

            Orwell expressed his concern about extremes. The Pigs were more equal, after all. 1984 presented an out-of-control Right-Wing. The heartless, uncompassionate drive to repeal & replace what needs to be amended & adjusted to allow interstate competition & require the Insurance Cos to participate. I can’t imagine going into an ER & being told, you’re retired military; we don’t serve your kind. A little reflection; our military health care is socialized medicine, active E-1s to O-10s, & dependents, all served.

      • AmPatriotSmith

        Good in sight

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        Bipartisan for any cost is the notion that “establishment” is utilizing To create one party system puppet show run by the perpetual “players”. Like parliamentarian “democracies” in Europe. The same people trough the decades who “act” their roles while maintaining the absolute – tyrannical POWERS. There is nothing wrong with the choices. The Tea Party was real choice “dipartsan” crooks did everything with their tyrannical powers to destroy it.. FBI, IRS, NSA, CIA.. every instrument of “government” was used to stifle the only real grass-root movement of actual TAX PAYERS

  • Hugh

    Whatever happened to an independent Formosa? And aren’t Formosans different to Chinese? And if a different country is invaded hundreds of years ago but is now independent, surely that invader can no longer claim control, (otherwise Italy as successors to the Romans could claim control of Britain, but not Scotland).

    • Stephen

      Overrun by the Nationalist Chinese as a last stand against Mao. Formosans kind of lost in the shuffle.