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October 04, 2005


tim fong

Van Crevald says:
"That said, one should add that, historically speaking, China has been inward-looking. Unlike the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R, it has never sought to make the rest of the world share the blessings of its own ideology. Nor does it have a particularly bad record of military aggression."

This is wrong. It's only "inward looking" if one counts Tibet, Korea, Vietnam and Japan (to include Okinawa) as "inner." Look at the fact that in Japan, Korea and Vietnam, the governing elite carried out business in written Chinese, using theory and practice from Chinese philosophy. This was no accident. The Chinese were not afraid to invade either, which they did in Vietnam and Tibet several times.

Yes, China did turn inward when one of the Ming emperors shut down the sea going fleet. But, arguably, the modern Chinese government has learned this lesson and is no longer interested in repeating that past.

As to getting the rest of the world to buy in to Chinese ideology, witness the Beijing government's attempt to establish centers for teaching Chinese language and culture internationally.

I respect some of Van Crevald's other insights into 4GW, but he's wrong about China.

John Robb

I think what he means is in relative terms -- in contrast to US and USSR attempts at global control.

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