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China is a serious, long term threat to American strategic interests.

Allow me to define my position: While I certainly don't think China is not at least a moderate threat to the allies or interests of the US, and I agree on a containment policy, I firmly believe that the current regime [ch thng tr] is structurally vulnerable and that China's internal and international problems will prevent it from ever gaining real hegemony on a global or even regional scale. From what I infer, Pro's position is that China could actively check US hegemony in Asia and the rest of the world, and has the potential in the long-term future to challenge the US for supremacy in many of its economic, military, and political spheres of influence. [khu vc nh hng] There should be no semantics in this debate, as both sides should have an understanding of what the other is advocating. Rules: 1. Round One is acceptance and/or rule and definition clarification. 2. The burden of proof is divided equally. 3. All source material must be easily accessible. 4. The rounds must be easily readable in plain text, and usage of Italics, underlining, and bolding should be limited. 5. Spelling/Grammar and Conduct should not be voted on unless gross violation of either one is committed. I hope to learn much from my opponent. Thank you; I await his response. ---------In the comments section, PRO/CON agreed to the following definitions: Serious threat [mi e da nghim trng] - Strong possibility of a non-trivial weakening of the US's hegemonic position.[v tr thng tr ca US] Long term - Will not go away in a few decades and will PERHAPS remain a threat for much of this century. (I highlighted "perhaps" because I don't think anyone is able to project past a few decades) American strategic interests [mi quan tm chin lc ca M] - synonymous with the US's hegemonic position - military bases abroad [kh ti qun s bn ngoi](and other political

factors), economic hegemony via dollar/trade hegemony, and cultural hegemony. --CON also gave a common-sense explanation of the resolution: PRO is arguing that China will get strong enough to challenge the US. CON is arguing that this will not happen and that China will be weakened in the future. --Lastly I just want to note that the resolution deals primarily with future events, so this debate will engage in quite a few hypothesis. Regardless, whoever's scenario more supports their side of the resolution will be considered the victor. Cheers, and good luck. ------

China's position in the world.

China currently occupies many regions outside China property, most of which are distinctly nonHan Chinese regions- Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, etc. These buffer states provide military insulation against foreign aggressors with depth and geographical obstacles (mountains, deserts, and jungles). Brown = Han Chinese. Dark purple = Mongolian. Light purple = Turks. Dark yellow = Tibetan.

There is a large income disparity[ thu nhp khc nhau] between the rich regions of the coast and the much poorer inland regions which have historically resulted in tensions between the two (e.g. Chinese Civil War). This is due to the fact that coastal China has access to major world shipping routes.[giao thng quc t]

China has an extremely rapidly growing economy driven largely on foreign investment [kinh t pht trin nh u t nc ngoi] and manufactured good exports: [1.]. It has a huge industrial capacity in [ s mnh nn cng nghip] its coast that facilitates this growth, which is highly dependent on coal [2.] and oil imports [3.] to sustain the rapid development. China is not

capable of overcoming its dependence on foreign trade easily- consumption is only 37 percent of GDP, one of the lowest rates in the world [4.]. Ph thuc nhiu vo u t nc ngoi, ti nguyn thin nhin.

China's domestic stability.

I am sure that my opponent understands basic Chinese geopolitics [chnh tr nh vo v tr a l] , but I will outline them here. Throughout Chinese history, the coastal region and hinterlands [ ni a] have had conflicting interests. This leads to fragmentation[chia r] and civil war, as was demonstrated in the Chinese Civil War when Mao Zedong conquered the coastal region from the interior and created an extremely centralized society[tp trung ni b] cut off from world trade. Now that a reopened China is once again developing socioeconomic instability [bt n kinh t x hi] and power disparities, China's government maintains support by continual economic growth and mass employment [lc lng lao ng ng o], in addition to increasing development in the eastern and central parts of the country. China's economy obviously cannot keep growing forever- this would violate basic principles [vi phm nguyn tc c bn] of economics. Furthermore, the regime must allocate money politically [phn b ti chnh theo mc ch chnh tr] rather than allowing markets to allocate capital. Foreign investment and export growth were achieved artificially [kh t c] [5.] and hasn't created true wealth proportion to China's apparent growth. At the same time, the crony capitalism [nhng nh t bn b su] has created a massive debt bubble in China's banks [6.]. The similarities to Japan are clear. Japan in the 80's was an export dependent state[quc gia ph thuc vo xut khu] with little economic responsibility and an unsustainable growth rate. When the bubble bursts, as it did in Japan, it will be different for China, in which the regime's survival requires domestic stability, and domestic stability requires prosperity in the absence of any sort of unifying principle or ideology. It will be far more destructive for an inherently unstable power than it was for the United States or Japan.

China's foreign relations.

China requires significant control over its shipping routes and aims to build up its maritime strength (sc mnh hng hi)in the future. China has laid their claim in the "nine-dash line" a boundary marking its territory in the South China Sea. This is an important point.

Japan and Korea.

Japan is almost completely reliant on imported energy sources [7.], all of which go through the important corridor that China lays claim to. This is largely the same for Korea [8.]. Both have an interest in keeping the seas under the control of

a friendly power, and the United States has, by far, the most navy in the world, with its own interests in containing China. Anti-Japanese protests and boycotts are common in China [9.] due to cultural animosity(xung t v vn ha). China and Japan will not become friends in the foreseeable future. Korea is less inherently hostile and more dependent upon China, and may be an unreliable ally to the United States.

Australia is one of the richest countries in the world, but is heavily dependent on oil and petroleum imports to maintain the standard of living, which are in turn dependent on shipping routes [10.]. Australia must maintain good relations with a maritime power in order to secure those routes, which is currently the United States (which also happens to be culturally similar to Australia). Australia will not turn away from the United States unless a new power rises, and China's weak navy and uncertain economy will not give them any incentive to do so. The United States has recently opened a new military base in Darwin in order to cement this relationship against China [11.].

Southeast Asia.
India and Vietnam also threatened with China's maritime claims. India, while not an ally of the US, is attempting to help the containment effort and establish cooperative relationships with Vietnam and other countries threatened by them [12.]. China and India have been trying to contain each other and each is asserting its influence in other countries such as China's aid to Pakistan [13.]. However, Burma is an ally of China, and in addition to the economic cooperation between the countries, China is building ports in Burma in order to escape encirclement and contain India [14.]. Out of time for now- I will do an analysis(thc hin mt phn tch) of China's military, navy, and power projection in the next round.

China is an inherently vulnerable empire. It is dependent upon open shipping lanes and perpetual

economic growth for political stability, and its claims have brought it into conflict with its more powerful neighbors, many of which are inherently maritime nations such as Japan or the US. When the economy falters, so will political stability, and the risk of China's critical ports being blockaded keeps it from directly challenging the US. The US has alliances throughout the region, and has centuries of experience at projecting power throughout the world. The Chinese are not an economically or politically stable nation, and that is the determining factor in its ability to act internationally. ----------------I thank CON for a substantive argument, and I applaud his thirst for knowledge on this topic. However, while CON presents an excellent synopsis of China's current position in the world, there is scant historical depth in CON's synopsis. I will demonstrate that the history is extremely important in ascertaining the nature of China's ascendancy in the near and long term. I will present my case utilizing a hegemonic framework in an order of increasing importance cultural, economic, political - vis a vis the US. For most historical references, I will use [1] utilizing the following format: (key word [source]). When the key word is absent, it denotes that it is the same as the word used in my argument.

Hegemony and Realism

This framework has several core assumptions [2]: 1) The international realm is anarchic 2) States are the primary actors 3) States cannot be certain of the intentions of other states 4) All states have an offensive capacity 5) States are rational and have survival as the primary goal Under this framework, states can never be sure if another state will in some way do harm to each other. Therefore, the best way to minimize harm is to eliminate the potential for harm, usually through hegemony [1]. Hegemony involves dominance through whatever means are available. This will to dominate is inevitable, and is a given in my framework. The only real question is whether or not China will actually be able to usurp in a non-trivial fashion US dominance. The US currently has a near-global hegemony. The following map illustrates the point succinctly:

(source: - The US has permanent occupying forces in most European countries, and these European countries in turn have troops in Africa. One can draw a distinct border that comprises the US hegemony - only Russia and China, and maybe South America, are outside of this border. Iran looks ripe for the taking. India was a former British colony, and we have occupying troops in Britain. - US culture enjoys an unparalleled global audience - most large-budget Hollywood movies earn more overseas than they do in the US proper. - Economically, we are the largest economy in the world. The dollar is the reserve currency of choice. Wall Street's reach knows no bounds. - Politically, we are a key member in nearly every major international organization, and the UN, IMF, and World Bank are headquartered in the US. All I need to demonstrate in order to win this debate is that China poses a strong possibility of a non-trivial weakening of the US's hegemonic position - i.e., the "serious threat". I will argue that not only is this happening as we speak, but that this will continue for the foreseeable future, including the "long term" of several decades outward.

Cultural Hegemony
This is probably the easiest to demonstrate. China's cultural impact easily threatens the weak vestiges of America's cultural hegemony in East/SE Asia, and potentially Central Asia and the Middle East. C1) Confucianism [1] is prevalent in SE Asia, Korea, and Japan. Former prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew is (in)famous for citing Confucian traditions as to how and why it has become successful, in direct contradistinction to Western traditions [3]. Qufu, the Confucian "holy site", is in China. Confucius was Chinese. The implications for US hegemony in Confucianist countries are self-evident - Confucianist countries would naturally gravitate towards each other, with China as the dominant and founding entity. C2) Buddhism [1] is much stronger in China than in India, its country of origin, much like how Christianity is much stronger in Europe than in Israel. Most Buddhist countries in East/SE Asia share more characteristics with Chinese culture than Indian culture because of the strong Buddhist traditions embraced by China. Regarding implications for US hegemony, see C1 above. This minimizes the impact of CON's arguments regarding Tibet, a Buddhist theocracy. This also strengthens ties between China and India, the world's two most populous countries. C3) Taoism [1] is also a homegrown Chinese religion prevalent in East Asia, particularly Japan and Korea [4]. For implications to US hegemony, see C1. C4) China also has Islamic traditions spanning centuries; up to one-tenth of China's population may be considered Muslim (Islam [1]). One of the most famous admirals in Chinese history was Hui Muslim (Cheng Ho [1]). One of the oldest mosques in the world is in China, built by a companion of Mohammad himself, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas. [5] This has enormous implications as to how China could spread cultural influence globally outside of its traditional sphere of influence in East Asia. The US presence in Islamic countries is tenuous at best. If China were to fully embrace Islam for whatever reason, the potential for a near-permanent Middle-East/Central Asia/China alliance becomes much more pronounced. This is easily possible - over 100 years of constant civil strife, culminated in the cultural cleansing we call the Cultural Revolution (look at second tab, [1]), has essentially left the Chinese devoid of spirituality - they are ripe for embracing a universal religion like Christianity or Islam. By embracing Islam, a religion with which it already has tradition and familiarity, China easily can become a "serious threat" to the US in that it may find

easy partners in states like Iraq and Saudi Arabia that, while hosting US troops, have been antagonistic to the US presence. The US has no credible cultural counter to this. We fear Arabs in our midst in hushed whispers, and the POTUS's middle name is considered unspeakable. Islam is currently the world's second most populous religion, not including China [6]. Add China into this, and you get the real possibility of a global Islamic cultural resurgence. C5) Unlike the West, which has a monopolistic religious tradition under the banner of Christianity, China and its neighbors has a syncretic tradition (syncretic [1]); the religiosity of Taoism and Buddhism and the philosophy of Confucianism merge to form a complex moral and ethical tradition shared by many in the region. This syncretic tradition is capable of accommodating external traditions like Buddhism and potentially Islam without social upheaval. Even without considering Islam, China's pre-existing, shared syncretic traditions dramatically lessens the impact of Japanese, Korean, and SE Asian antagonism against China. C6) China is already threatening US hegemony culturally and economically in countries with which China shares cultural aspects. As illustrated above, China tends to dominate in these cultural aspects. With a growing economy and a reassertion of its cultural traditions post-Cultural Revolution that may possibly further incorporate Islam into its syncretic traditions, the US hegemonic presence will become further threatened in these regions. This is a multi-millennial, long-term trend, one that has experienced a noticeable depression since China's contact with the West, and one that has reasserted its original expansionistic trajectory since Mao's ascension. C7) CON's points about domestic instability are way overblown; CON has fallen victim to intellectualist propaganda on this subject. The Chinese overwhelmingly identify themselves as ethnically Han [7], not "coastal" versus "inland". CON's claim that Mao was a result of regional differences is false - from 1911-1950 China waged de facto civil war. This conflict and the causes of it precede Mao and are irrelevant to regionalism. I will expound on this later. --Next round, I will present China's global challenge in economic and political contexts. I reserve the right to further rebut CON's other round #2 points later, so please do not consider them drops. Thank you.

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