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Face It, China Won the Cold War (Part I: Kill With a Borrowed Sword)

BRANDON J. WEICHERT | THE WEICHERT REPORT

THIS IS A 10 MINUTE READ.

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No, the Cold War Was Not Just a Bipolar Conflict

When studying the Cold War, historians and foreign policy experts alike assume that it was a simple bipolar competition between the Communist bloc of the East and the capitalist bloc of the West. To mainstream pundits, the Cold War was a conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. Yet, this view misses the complexity involved. For instance, within the Communist bloc, there was much division between the members–specifically between the ruling, industrialized Soviet Union, and the more revolutionary, agrarian-type Marxists in the Developing world, notably China. In fact, while many assume that China was but a tertiary player on the world stage–subordinated to the whims and antagonisms of either the Soviet Union or the United States–the truth of the matter is that China has been planning its ascent to global domination since Mao Zedong rose to power there in 1949.

Rather than being a simple bipolar fight between the Communists and capitalists, the Cold War was actually a tripolar contest between the United States, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China. While the United States and the Chinese aligned closely in the latter half of the conflict in order to rub out the Soviet Union, as you’ll see over the course of this three-part special, the collapse of the Soviet Union was but the beginning of China’s long march toward what it believes will be global hegemony.

Just when America should have steeled itself to resisting the rising Chinese threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States was lulled into passivity by airy assumptions of the “end of history,” that pervaded the 1990s. In the post-Cold War era, America came to believe that economics, more than any other issue, would decide the course of history. After all, war had been made obsolete with the advent of nuclear weapons. This is especially true, if one views nuclear arms in the same millenarian fashion that Americans tend to (as evidenced by V.D. Sokolovskiy’s “Soviet Military Strategy,” and Derek Leebaert’s “The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Shapes Our World,” most foreign actors do not share America’s apocalyptic view of nuclear arms).

Besides, the Cold War was a battle over which economic system would govern the affairs of Mankind. Communism lost. It was assumed that America’s challenge in international politics for the post-Cold War period would be a technocratic one: how best to implement the dominant socio-economic and political system–liberal capitalist democracy–devoid of challenge from a rival power. The United States had defeated Communism and there were no ideological challengers or near-peer rivals on the horizon (or, rather, U.S. policymakers ignored rising challenges because they bought into the utopian globalist vision of a world governed by technocrats who all generally agreed that democratic capitalism was the best way forward). And, as the song goes, “victorious in war shall be made glorious in peace.” Thenceforth, the Democratic Globalists (a.k.a. “Neocons”) and the Liberal Internationalists in the West simply assumed that their worldview would be exported everywhere.

Not so fast. 

Indeed, the United States did win the Cold War–but not without China’s help. Had it not been for the Sino-Soviet split during the 1960s, and the subsequent rapprochement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, it is likely that the Cold War would have continued on for many more years. The Chinese Communist Party arose in a country that was mostly agrarian and woefully impoverished. Now, after the Cold War, China is a rising global power that will likely be the largest economy in the world in but a few short years and whose military power is on the ascendance, even as America’s economy is increasingly hobbled and its military power is consistently questioned.

More importantly, China, unlike countries such as Britain or France, did not share America’s liberal democratic worldview. Their intentions were revanchist. However, just as with the Soviet Union from 1949-53, the Chinese needed to acquire as much “assistance” from the technologically, militarily, and economically superior United States as it could, before overtly challenging the West. It was within this context that Deng Xiaoping, the successor to Mao Zedong (and a man revered in China as the “Paramount Leader”), advised future generations to follow his 24-character stratagem for victory: “Coolly observe, calmly deal with things, hold your position, hide your capacities, bide your time, accomplish things where possible” (tao guang yang hui)–which, in Western policy circles was reduced to the so-called “hide and bide” dictum.

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The man who succeeded Mao Zedong, was once imprisoned by Mao as a political opponent. Time Magazine erroneously dubbed Deng as moving China “Away From Marx.” In fact, this could not have been farther from truth, as part two will reveal. In fact, it is likely that Communist movement comported with the pure Marxian principles. If anything, Communist movements tended to vacillate between either the Leninist, Stalinist, or Maoist variant. Deng, with the embrace of capitalism under his reign, was moving China toward the Leninist camp (Lenin famously put forward the New Economic Policy in 1928 for the USSR, which was essentially State Capitalism–the system that China currently uses).

This three-part essay seeks to answer a simple question: Could it be that China, more than the United States, actually won the Cold War? And, if that is the case (as I suspect it is), what can America do about it?

PART I.

“Overtake Great Britain and Catch-up with America!”

In 1949, a seismic shift occurred in geopolitics. From the end of the Second World War in 1945 until 1949, the United States had led an anticommunist alliance that included China. After that year, the Chinese Civil War ended in a defeat for the American-backed Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek’s command, and a victory for Mao Zedong and his Communist Party. From 1949 until the 1960s, Mao was very much an admirer of Stalin (going so far as to fashion both a cult of personality as well as his style of dress based on Stalin). However, Mao was always a revolutionary Marxist at heart. Yet, while Stalin believed that Communism would prevail against the West, he was a bit more pragmatic in his application of force against the West. Mao wanted revolution everywhere, all of the time. Stalin was more concerned about shoring up the Communist bloc’s defenses against the West, and probing the West when it was convenient for Soviet foreign policy.

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It was during Stalin’s reign, that the Chinese acquired massive technology, industry, and weapons advancements that would ultimately set them on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons (they test detonated their first atomic device in 1964 and by 1966, they had ICBMs). The fact that China had such a large population in such a geostrategically important part of the world, meant that the West could not simply ignore Mao and his Communists. And, as the Soviets increasingly converted China from a backward agrarian economy to an industrial one, China’s importance only increased.

But, to the West, the real threat was the Soviet Union itself. China was an agrarian country that had been racked by decades of warfare. Plus, it was always assumed that Chiang Kai-Shek and his Nationalist government-in-exile operating on Formosa (present day Taiwan) would ultimately prevent Mao from becoming a significant problem for the West. What’s more, even the Soviets viewed Mao and his Chinese Communist Party as junior partners in the global struggle against capitalism.

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However, Mao had a very different worldview–one that not only envisaged China as the hub of global revolutionary Communism, but a vision that would see China becoming the greatest power in all of the world. To you and I, such a concept sounds fanciful at best (especially a plan that was purportedly formulated in 1949, when China was in complete turmoil). Yet, according to noted China scholar, Michael Pillsbury, it was 1949 when Mao Zedong first formulated what became known as the “One-Hundred Year Marathon,” or Mao’s 100-year plan that would take China from geopolitical obscurity into global preeminence.

To be sure, it is likely that Mao never wrote any detailed plan down. But just looking at China’s actions since his rise to power in 1949; understanding Mao’s early years in China–forged by internecine warfare between the various warlords of China in the 1920s, subjugated by the Japanese, and ultimately coming from behind-winds against the foreign-backed (though he was also) Nationalist forces in China’s Civil War–Mao clearly had an idea that China was once a great power and it should be once again (and that only he could make this a reality).

Although Mao was a Marxist revolutionary, his revolution was slightly different from that of the Soviets. The Soviets came from an industrialized country, whereas China was mostly agrarian. For Marxist revolution to work, it was always assumed that a state needed to be at a certain level of socio-economic development (i.e. an industrialized, capitalist economy). Indeed, most Communist revolutions until that point had greatest effect in the cities. Yet, in China, the cities were few and far between. The real power, as Mao understood it, was in the countryside.

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In a way, the dynastic cycle never ended (even though the last official Chinese ruling dynasty, the Qing, collapsed in 1912 and was replaced by warlordism).

Thus, while Mao was certainly imbued with a hefty dose of Marxist dialectic, and while he certainly embraced the redistributionist, illiberal politics of Marxist-Leninism, his revolution hewed much closer to the kinds of peasant rebellions that plagued China throughout its long history of dynastic cycles. Therefore, Pillsbury’s thesis isn’t that much of a stretch (that there is a long-running–albeit loose–plan shared among multiple generations of Chinese elite for global domination). China was great once. It could be great again. Mao was enough of a firebrand and unconventional leader–a force of nature, for better or worse–that he could have envisioned such an outcome for China.

In the pages of The One-Hundred Marathon, Pillsbury elaborates how he became aware of China’s purported notions of displacing the United States as the global powerhouse. As so many great political events begin, they began over drinks with Soviet diplomats in New York City, when Pillsbury was a young staffer working at the United Nations in the 1960s (he had befriended several key Soviet diplomats at the UN and would routinely report on them to the CIA and FBI):

“In April 1969, as I gained trust and friendship, [Arkady Shevchenko] told me the details of atrocities committed by the Chinese at two clashes on the Sino-Soviet border that had taken place a month earlier, which were then unknown to most American intelligence officials. China had deceptively started the fight by ambushing Soviet troops. Shevchenko also told me that the Soviet leadership hated and feared the Chinese, believing that China was planning to take control of the Communist world and eventually assert global dominance. For decades, the Chinese had so skillfully played the part of weaklings dependent on Soviet assistance that the Soviets would challenge them directly.” 

Following these observations, Pillsbury asserts that, “The main Soviet message was that the Chinese were guided by their own historical ambition to restore their position atop the global hierarchy of nations.” From 1949-1953, the Chinese had used the Soviet Union to build up their economy, military, and industrial bases. By 1953, when Mao’s friend, Josef Stalin died, Mao assumed that China would be given the primary leadership role in the international Communist bloc. Understand, that at least theoretically, Communism was an internationalist idea: there were not supposed to be any national boundaries; it was merely the Communist world versus the non-Communist world. Yet, even with Stalin in the 1930s–“communism in one country”–the Communist bloc looked increasingly like a reconstituted Russian Empire with Communist characteristics.

Of course, Nikita Khrushchev, like Stalin, had a Russo-centric view of the Soviet Union. Neither he nor any other Soviet leader would defer to Mao in Beijing, on the simple count that Mao was the “senior” leader in the Communist world after Stalin’s death. More cynically, by 1953, it is likely that the Chinese had extracted all that they could from the Soviet Union and they were now looking to fundamentally alter the balance of power.

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History in the making: Nixon and Mao meet on Nixon’s historic mission to China in 1972.

Thus, by 1969, it became apparent to American leaders in Washington, D.C. that China wanted to switch sides. Ignoring the warnings from America’s long-time Soviet adversary in the Cold War about China’s true intentions, the United States began plotting to receive China with open arms. It just needed an opening from the Chinese. Of course, Mao was sending signals to Washington. Indeed, it is important to note that, while Nixon gets the credit for having “opened” China up to the world, the truth is much more complicated. In fact, Nixon merely opened the West to China; he received an invitation from Mao rather than having reached out and initiated detente with the Chinese, as the popular narrative maintains. As Pillsbury argues Mao’s view of both the Soviet Union and, eventually, the United States, was in keeping with ancient Chinese traditions–specifically the concept of “kill with a borrowed sword.”

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Pillsbury explains,

“The Chinese planned to use the Americans as they had used the Soviets–as tools for their own advancement, all the while pledging cooperation against a third rival power. This was how the Marathon was conducted throughout most of the Cold War–China using the Soviet Union’s rivalry with America to extract Soviet aid and then, when that faltered, shifting to the Americans by offering help against the Soviets.”

From the Nixon Administration onward, the United States embraced the Chinese as never before. Of course, once a policy is enacted in official Washington, it becomes increasingly impossible to kill. Over the course of successive administrations–of both the Republican and Democratic parties–what began as a limited entente with China under Nixon ballooned into a formal embrace of China’s worldview, specifically on the issue of Taiwan.

Whereas Nixon had refused to countenance even the thought of breaking America’s long-time diplomatic and strategic commitment to recognizing the democratic government on Taiwan (the Chinese Nationalist government-in-exile, that had lost to Mao in the Chinese Civil War, ruled from Taiwan, and still had a nominal claim that theirs was the sole legitimate government of China), President Jimmy Carter happily embraced the Chinese position that Taiwan was nothing more than a breakaway province. Carter abandoned America’s long-time democratic ally on Taiwan in favor of America’s long-time Cold War adversary, the People’s Republic of China. He committed America to upholding the Communist Chinese view of Taiwan as nothing more than a rebellious, breakaway province (or, as the Chinese love to claim, their view is similar to how President Abraham Lincoln viewed the South during the American Civil War).

As Bruce Herschensohn documents in “Taiwan the Threatened Democracy,” when news of Carter’s acceptance of the “One China” policy (which recognizes the Chinese Communist Party as the only official government of China and Taiwan, but still allows for Taiwan to maintain its independence), disgraced former President Nixon wrote a  letter expressing concern over the Carter Administration’s diplomatically destabilizing policy One-China policy.

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(From Left to Right): Then-President Jimmy Carter (D) speaks with former President Richard Nixon (R), while the two American presidents joke around with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (holding the drink on the right) at a state dinner in the White House.

In Nixon’s view, recognizing the One China policy was not a pragmatic compromise to keep a vital Cold War ally, China, happy–as the Carter Administration publicly sold it–but was, in fact, a terrible deal that would only encourage the Chinese toward greater antagonism. Nixon was a practitioner of realpolitik, he harbored little sentimentality toward allies–particularly those who did not share America’s commitment to democracy, capitalism, or human rights (such as China). Nixon was merely interested in preserving a balance of power that was relatively beneficial to America and could last indefinitely. With the Carter Administration’s embrace of the One-China policy, the balance of power was threatened.

In Nixon’s prescient assessment, with the leverage of Taiwan taken off of the table, the United States had lost a key bargaining chip for future deals with China. It also made it easier for China to extract greater concessions in the coming years. China, Nixon understood well, was a revanchist state with authoritarian tendencies. Thus, it would not remain a stable or reliable partner in America’s balance-of-power scheme (which Nixon crafted when he was President) without the United States holding significant leverage over the Chinese.

Here is former President Richard Nixon’s letter expressing dissatisfaction and concern with then-President Carter’s decision to recognize Red China as the sole legal government of China (if desiring to skip the letter, scroll down for the conclusion of this article):

December 20, 1978

Dear Mr. President,

After receiving the briefing you thoughtfully provided, I should like to pass on to you my personal views with regard to your decision to normalize relations with the PRC.

I have made no public statement because since your action has already been taken it is now U.S. policy, and I see no constructive purpose to be served by publicly second guessing what you have done. However, I have some views about implementing the policy and on issues relating to it which I think might be useful for you to consider.

First, as to the process by which the agreement was reached, I know from experience that particularly when negotiating with the Chinese, secrecy is indispensable if there is to be any chance for success. The Congress, of course, will have an opportunity to play a role in approving appropriations and other legislation necessary to implement the agreement.

I have three major concerns: the adequacy of the guarantees against the use of force to resolve the Taiwan issue; the credibility of U.S. commitments to our other allies and friends in view of our termination of the Taiwan Treaty; the effect of your ability as President to enlist public support for your other foreign policy initiatives in the future.

No reasonable person would question Dr. Brzezinski’s assertion that the PRC, because of its control over population and territory, is in fact the government of China. However, no political realist can ignore the fact that the 17 million people on Taiwan, who have prospered greatly under a non-communist government, have an almost fanatical core of support in the nation and in the Congress. You addressed this problem in your December 15 announcement. I believe, however, that it is essential that you and your representatives give additional assurances firmly and unequivocally. 

I recognize that realistically the possibility of a PRC military attack on Taiwan will be remote for several years. But I believe the U.S. should publicly go on record that any use of force against Taiwan should irreparably jeopardize our relations with the PRC. I believe, also, that we should make it clear that we not only have the right to approve private arms sales to Taiwan, but that we intend to exercise that right for as long and to the degree necessary to deter any use of force against Taiwan. If because of the delicate state of our negotiations with the PRC you feel the administration could not go this far, I would not discourage the Congress from doing so. If the Congress does proceed in that manner I would urge you not to oppose such action publicly and that you privately inform the Chinese of the problem. They will strenuously object, but they will understand because they need us far more than we need them. They also will be impressed by the fact that those who are most strongly pro-Taiwan are also those who are most strongly anti-Soviet.

There are those who contend that the pro-Taiwan forces are stupid, short-sighted, and reckless. Assuming for the sake of argument this is to be true, they are a fact of American political life and they are effective. Unless their opposition is mitigated, you will probably win the battle; but you may lose the war because the fallout on future foreign and defense policy battles you will have to fight will make the Panama Canal controversy look like a Sunday school picnic in comparison.

With regard to the effect of your decision on other allies and friends, I believe it is essential for you to reiterate that Taiwan was a special case and that the U.S. firmly stands by all its treaty and other commitments and under no circumstances will we renounce a treaty simply because we determine our interests are no longer served by it. As a respectful suggestion you might indicate that while you do not give an inch on the proposition that President has a Constitutional right to rescind a treaty without obtaining Senate approval, you will in the future voluntarily submit such decisions to the Senate.

With regard to specific countries, I am most concerned about South Korea. I realize that you have announced a decision to withdraw American forces by 1983, I would strongly urge you to reconsider that decision in view of Soviet supported adventurist policies in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and other countries in Africa. If you believe you should not do so, I would suggest that at this time it would be most helpful to increase substantially the budget for military aid to Korea as a symbolic move to put North Korea and others on notice that the action on Taiwan should under no circumstances be interpreted as the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal from other parts of Asia.

The Philippines, Indonesia, and Iran in different ways present difficult problems because of their corruption and in varying degrees their denial of human rights. At this time in view of the Taiwan decision, I believe it is important to publicly and privately give them unqualified support. It would be ironical to qualify our support to any country which allows some human rights at a time when we have dramatically moved toward normalization with full cooperation with a nation which allows none–the PRC.

I don’t mean to criticize your eloquent commitment to this cause, but I feel the greatest threat to human rights today is on the totalitarian left rather than on the authoritarian right.

With regard to my third concern, as one who initiated détente with the USSR, I must in all candor say that based on what I have read in the press, I have some grave questions about the terms that are being considered for SALT II. However, I believe it would be most unfortunate if Senators voted against SALT primarily because of resentment on the PRC normalization decision. We hear that some want to “get well” after supporting the Panama treaty. They will not be able to do so on normalization because it is a fait accompli. They might well take out their frustration on SALT specifically and détente generally. Since a yes vote on Panama has been interpreted as being “soft” they are looking for some way to connect the balance and a no vote on SALT provides that opportunity.

I believe that this is one of those critical times that you cannot afford any moves which justifiably or not are considered soft or weak, vis-á-vis the Communist powers. For example, any plans even to consider normalization with Cuba or Vietnam should be put on the back burner, which I assume would be your intention anyway in view of their barbaric behavior toward their own people and toward others.

I apologize for the length of this letter and I imagine that many of my suggestions will be like carrying coals to Newcastle, or bringing saki to Nada, as the Japanese would say.

From a purely partisan political standpoint, I would hope you would not take my advice. But I feel that the stakes for America and the world are too high for partisanship as usual. You have a supreme opportunity to lead the nation and the world into a new era of prosperity, peace, and justice. To paraphrase Charlie Wilson–what is good for you is good for America, and if it results in many happy returns for you in 1980, you will deserve it.

Please do not take time to reply to this letter. I have not written it ‘for the record’ and do not intend to make it public. I know that particularly at this time you are overburdened with work with the final budget decisions to be made, the State of the Union address to be prepared, and a possible Summit with Brezhnev on the agenda.

With warm personal regards.

Sincerely,

Richard Nixon

The Carter Administration’s acquiescence to China over the Taiwan issue was a portend of things to come after the Cold War. Indeed, whether spoken or not, it also lent credence to Pillsbury’s concept of the One-Hundred Year Marathon. From 2009-2013, Xi Jinping, the man who would become China’s most ultra-nationalist leader since Mao in 2012, made several references to creating a “Chinese dream”–referring to a book by Chinese People’s Liberation Army Colonel Liu Mingfu.

That book, The China Dream, details how China has set about on a course of global domination, beginning with Mao’s rise to power in 1949, going through the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War, thereby setting the stage for China’s ultimate victory over the West. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported that in a 2013 speech, President Xi referred “to 2049 as the date the dream will be realized–one hundred years after Mao Zedong’s ascension in China and the formation of the Communist state.”

“[Colonel Liu] alludes to the importance of studying American weaknesses, and preparing to hit the Americans once the West becomes wise to China’s true game plan. Liu also hints at the existence of an official Marathon strategy among the Chinese leadership, praising Mao Zedong because ‘he dared to craft a grand plan to surpass America, stating that beating the United States would be China’s greatest contribution to humanity.'” – Michael Pillsbury in “The One-Hundred Year Marathon”

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“Await the Exhausted Enemy at Your Ease”

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Confirming Michael Pillsbury’s suspicions about Chinese intentions is none other than the strategist, Edward N. Luttwak. Writing in his 2012 work, “The Rise of China vs. The Logic of Reason,” Luttwak argued that the Chinese historically view foreigners with suspicion and treat them unequally. Indeed, this is confirmed by ancient Chinese imperial traditions of looking upon China as the center of the civilized world, while viewing all other groups and tribes as existing in varying degrees of barbarism on the periphery of China’s great empire (Tianxia, or, “All Under Heaven”). Thus, even at times when China was a conquered or subjugated nation, the Chinese (specifically, the ruling ethnic Han) still viewed themselves as the superior, more cultured people compared to those who overran them throughout their history.

Luttwak takes the example of the Xiongnú horsemen. In this example, the ethnically-dominant Han Chinese were overrun by the Xiongnú and over the course of many years systematically worked to lull their conquerors into a false sense of security. Luttwak points to a series of “tools” in China’s “barbarian-handling toolbox”:

  1. Induced Economic Dependence
    1. According to Luttwak, the Xiongnú were “made economically dependent on Han-produced goods, sophisticated silk and woolen cloths instead of their own rude furs and felt, and all manner of other products beyond their own modest craft skills. At first supplied free as unrequited tribute, they could still be supplied later on when the Han were stronger, but only in exchange for services rendered.”
  2. Indoctrination
    1. Luttwak explains, “the Xiongnú were to be persuaded to accept the authoritarian Confucian value system and the collectivistic behavioral norms of the Han, as opposed to the steppe value system that generated voluntary allegiance to heroic (and successful) fighting and migration leaders [those who had conquered the Han in the first place].”
      1. This was partly achieved through intermarrying the Xiongnú with the Han leaders.
        1. Thus, eventually, the Han and Xiongnú would become one with the dominant culture being Confucian, meaning that ultimately, the Han had the last laugh (and made the Xiongnú vassals in the long-run).

From there, Luttwak makes his most startling projection (one that I happen to generally agree with): he states that from 198 BCE to 51 BCE, the two sides began their trading relationship as equal trade partners and then, over time, as the ethnic Hans consumed the Xiongnú through marriage and subordinated them to Confucian culture, when the Xiongnú were entirely dependent on the Han for all goods and trade, the Han essentially converted their equal trade deal into one in which the Xiongnú effectively became vassals. Given this historical code of conduct of the usually militarily weaker Chinese toward potentially more powerful military and economic rivals, Luttwak believes that the Chinese are simply using an old playbook adapted for the 21st century–against the United States.

As Luttwak elaborates:

“The derived rules of conduct form a logical sequence:

  • Initially, concede all that must be conceded to the superior power, to avoid damage and obtain whatever benefits or at least forbearance that can be had from it.

  • Entangle the ruler and ruling class of the superior power in webs of material dependence that reduce its original vitality and strength, while proffering equality in a privileged bipolarity that excludes every other power (“G-2,” at present).

  • Finally, when the formerly superior power has been weakened enough, withdraw all tokens of equality and impose subordination.”

Who doubts that this is at least what a large chunk of Chinese military strategists and political leaders desire to do with America today? Given these troubling assertions, read on to part two, in order to see how the patterns are currently playing themselves out in the Sino-American relationship today. While many Western observers may scoff at the concept of a 100-year plan for global domination, remember that China has existed for thousands of years. It has seen countless dynasties rise, rule, and decline, only to be replaced again. Further, even as it has been conquered by outsiders, the dominant Confucian culture and ethnic group, the Han, have long maintained that they would overcome any foreign conquest with subversion and time–a long-running plan, as evidenced by their response to the Xiongnú invasion.

We in the United States cannot fathom such a long-term plan, because we are governed by bi-and-quadrennial electoral cycles where the entire political culture can be fundamentally transformed. Further, our country has existed for little more than 200 years and the United States has existed as the global hegemon for barely 70 years. Thus, we tend to view history in a linear fashion. However, the Chinese, replete with thousands of years of history, view history in cycles. They believe that now is the point in the cycle of history for China to return as a dominant force in the world system.

And, as Napoleon Bonaparte warned Lord Amherst in 1816, “China! There lies a sleeping giant. Let him sleep, for when he wakes he will move the world.” We should have listened to Napoleon more carefully at the end of the Cold War. Now, we are paying the price–literally and metaphorically.

Part two coming tomorrow!

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