Skip to comments.Victor Davis Hanson commentary: China behaving as Japan did in 1930s
Posted on 01/09/2014 8:12:34 PM PST by traumer
In the 1920s, Japan began to translate its growing economic might after a prior 50-year crash course in Western capitalism and industrialization into formidable military power.
At first, few of its possible rivals seemed to care. America and European colonials did not quite believe that any Asian power could ever dare to threaten their own Pacific interests.
Japan had been a British ally and a partner of the democracies in World War I. Most of its engineering talent was trained in Britain and France. The West even declared Japan to be one of the Big Five world economic powers that shared common interests in peace, prosperity and global security.
Occasional parliamentary reforms had convinced many in the West that Japans growing standard of living would ensure cultural and political liberality.
That was a comforting dream, given that by the 1930s, Americans were disillusioned over the cost of their recent intervention in the Great War in Europe. They were weary of overseas engagement and just wanted a return to normalcy. A terrible decade-long depression at home only added to the popular American desire for isolation from the worlds problems.
(Excerpt) Read more at dispatch.com ...
The difference between Japan in the 30s and China today is that Japan didn’t have an empire while China does now. The Chicom’s foreing policy efforts are thus largely aimed at keeping their empire together which they are attempting to do by stirring up anger against outsiders such as the Japanese. But I predict that within 10 years, China will break apart in the same way that the Soviet Union did. In a world of instant communication, empires that are kept together by force of arms simply do not last very long.
But will the Chicoms collapse without a whimper? I once read a general of their saying that, in the event of collapse, they would focus the frustrations and anger of their people “into a fist, striking outward.”
I mean, collapse WITH a whimper*. Typo!
Quite prescient for a surfer... /g I agree with you.
And, the US is in the situation Russia was in in the late 80s......
Who is going to counter China?
Think Manifest Destiny in the 1800’s. The US was around 70 years old and beat up Britian twice + Mexico + the Barbary pirates. We were big and tough. Germany and Japan became independent nations around 1870. 70 years later they got heir butt kicked after thinking they could dominate.Think Russo japanese war. USSR came about in 1917 and the wall came down in 1989-72 years later. No war. When will China turn 70?
What is it that VD Hanson is advocating in this column? He says the US was “humiliated” by Assad. Is he saying Obama was right and we should be at war in Syria — in order to impress China?
We’re weaker today because we’ve fought all the wars that Hanson was pushing over the past 15 years (although we stayed out of Syria so far) We can keep China at Bay quite handily without launching more Middle East wars, whether or not VD Hanson agrees.
>The difference between Japan in the 30s and China today is that Japan didnt have an empire while China does now.
Japan was an empire in the 1930’s. They occupied Korea, Formosa, and Manchuria, none of which were Japanese territory.
China has not yet invaded any sovereign power (save the tiff with Vietnam, which didn’t last long).
During the 1930’s, the Japanese formed a militaristic fanatical society based on feudal military might. The Chinese are building an economic centered society and their main means of conquest (for now) is business based. The Japanese formed their fanatical devotion around the Emperor and the worship was so extreme that there was suicides in front of the Imperial Palace after the Emperor made his speech about no longer wishing to be considered a divine being.
Right now the Chinese don’t have an Emperor or national living symbol to bow to, to butcher entire nations for, so so far we don’t have that factor motivating them. With luck, chances are they’ll become a fairly benign economic superpower and maintain fierce nationalism, but fierce nationalism has certainly always been a facet of the Chinese psyche.
They are building their military like crazy, but that is a simple reaction to prevent colonialism like in the 1800’s. I hope that they remain fairly like this and don’t get the chance to test their military might. They have fiercely trained soldiers (check out their training courses on YouTube) and are well equipped, but certainly, at the moment they aren’t likely sure of how to realistically get their military around the world and they aren’t tested in actual warfare in any area.
I sincerely hope they are never tested since they might know their strengths and weaknesses and then decide how to invade the US or any other country that can give them what they want (or they’ll just take it more likely).
Chances are the Chinese won’t invade us unless some serious diplomatic mess occurs. I might be wrong, but they don’t have too malicious of a view of us. They might view us as a variety of things, but they don’t likely view us as a legitimate threat to their interests or their country.
I’m optimistic that the Chinese won’t invade us or anyone else. Chances are they’re leery about war since they might in fact commit a blunder in formal warfare and then lose face.
It all depends on who China views as an enemy at any given time during one or another given situation. As for countering China, it’s best to leave well enough alone and be thankful China isn’t interested in world conquest by military means.
That's not he's saying at all.
We were , in fact, humiliated in Syria, thanks to Obama's artless foreign policy. Assad played Obama and Kerry for fools and Putin collected the chips.
That was inarguably a diplomatic humiliation -- resulting in a loss of respect for America. Our influence is diminished because of it.
In comparison, China occupies many areas that would instantly break away if PLA troops were withdrawn. For example, the autonomous regions would all break away if Chicom political power imploded tomorrow. This includes Tibet, Inner Mongolia and the Uyghur region where there is a Muslin insurgency underway. Additionally, most of the provinces in the south, where they don't speak the Mandarin dialect, would also break away. And Taiwan goes without saying.
Here is a standard definition of an empire: Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy.
Under that definition the Union of Soviet Socialist States and the People's Republic of China both qualify as empires.
He is saying that Obama has weakened the military to the point where we are unable to effectively respond to a situation in Syria. Syria revolution which was initiated by Obama's misguided meddling is now beyond our control. As are most of the "Arab Spring" countries.
Iraq which was a victory has been turned into a huge disaster, again by Obama's misguided foreign policy. Afghanistan, "Obama's war" is moving in the same direction. The middle east contagion is now spreading into north Africa.
The wars of the last fifteen years do not compare with the eight trillion dollars in national debt that Obama's incoherent domestic and foreign policies have cost this country.
That said, I am not that concerned about the rise of China, but more by her decline. The demographics of China just don't work. She will be increasingly dangerous in multiple ways as her decline accelerates in the 20s and 30s of this century.
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