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GreaterChina

Mar19,2005

Thereal'Chinathreat'
ByChalmersJohnson Irecall40yearsago,whenIwasanewprofessorworkinginthe fieldofChineseandJapaneseinternationalrelations,thatEdwin OReischaueroncecommented,"Thegreatpayofffromour victoryof1945wasapermanentlydisarmedJapan."Bornin JapanandaJapanesehistorianatHarvard,Reischauerservedas USambassadortoTokyointheadministrationsofpresidents JohnKennedyandLyndonJohnson.Strangetosay,sincethe endoftheColdWarin1991andparticularlyunderthe administrationofGeorgeWBush,theUnitedStateshasbeen doingeverythinginitspowertoencourageandevenaccelerate Japaneserearmament. SuchadevelopmentpromoteshostilitybetweenChinaand Japan,thetwosuperpowersofEastAsia,sabotagespossible peacefulsolutionsinthosetwoproblemareas,TaiwanandNorth Korea,leftoverfromtheChineseandKoreancivilwars,andlays thefoundationforapossiblefutureSinoAmericanconflictthat theUnitedStateswouldalmostsurelylose.Itisunclearwhether theideologuesandwarloversofWashingtonunderstandwhat theyareunleashingapossibleconfrontationbetweentheworld's fastestgrowingindustrialeconomy,China,andtheworld's secondmostproductive,albeitdeclining,economy,Japana confrontationthattheUnitedStateswouldhavecausedandin whichitmightwellbeconsumed. LetmemakeclearthatinEastAsiawearenottalkingabouta littleregimechangewarofthesortthatBushandVicePresident RichardCheneyadvocate.Afterall,themostsalient characteristicofinternationalrelationsduringthelastcenturywas theinabilityoftherich,establishedpowersGreatBritainandthe UnitedStatestoadjustpeacefullytotheemergenceofnew centersofpowerinGermany,JapanandRussia.Theresultwas twoexceedinglybloodyWorldWars,a45yearlongColdWar betweenRussiaandthe"West",andinnumerablewarsofnational liberation(suchasthequartercenturylongoneinVietnam) againstthearroganceandracismofEuropean,USandJapanese imperialismandcolonialism. Themajorquestionforthe21stcenturyiswhetherthisfateful inabilitytoadjusttochangesintheglobalpowerstructurecanbe overcome.Thusfarthesignsarenegative.CantheUnitedStates andJapan,today'sversionsofrich,establishedpowers,adjustto thereemergenceofChinatheworld'soldestcontinuouslyextant civilizationthistimeasamodernsuperpower?OrisChina's ascendancytobemarkedbyyetanotherworldwar,whenthe pretensionsofEuropeancivilizationinitsUSandJapanese projectionsarefinallyputtorest?Thatiswhatisatstake.

TheDragon squeezesTaiwan
(Mar15,'05)

China,Greenspan rubsaltintodollar wound(Mar12,'05) Devilinthedetails ofUSJapanpact


(Mar12,'05)

Corneringthe dragon(Mar2,'05) TheDragonroars overUSJapan accord(Feb23,'05) China'threat'binds US,Japan militaries(Jan13,'05) ASEAN,Chinaall smilesfornow
(Dec3,'04)

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AliceinWonderlandpolicies China,JapanandtheUnitedStatesarethethreemostproductive economiesonEarth,butChinaisthefastestgrowing(atan averagerateof9.5%perannumformorethantwodecades), whereasboththeUSandJapanaresaddledwithhugeand mountingdebtsand,inthecaseofJapan,stagnantgrowthrates. Chinaistodaytheworld'ssixthlargesteconomy(theUSand Japanbeingfirstandsecond)andAmerica'sthirdlargesttrading partnerafterCanadaandMexico.AccordingtoCentral IntelligenceAgency(CIA)statisticiansintheirFactbook2003, ChinaisactuallyalreadythesecondlargesteconomyonEarth measuredonapurchasingpowerparitybasisthatis,intermsof whatChinaactuallyproducesratherthanpricesandexchange rates.TheCIAcalculatestheUnitedStates'grossdomestic product(GDP)thetotalvalueofallgoodsandservices producedwithinacountryfor2003asUS$10.4trillionand China'sas$5.7trillion.ThisgivesChina's1.3billionpeopleaper capitaGDPof$4,385. Between1992and2003,JapanwasChina'slargesttrading partner,butin2004Japanfelltothirdplace,behindtheEuropean UnionandtheUnitedStates.China'stradevolumefor2004was $1.2trillion,thirdintheworldaftertheUSandGermany,andwell aheadofJapan's$1.07trillion.China'stradewiththeUSgrew some34%in2004andhasturnedtheCaliforniacitiesofLos Angeles,LongBeachandOaklandintothethreebusiestseaports intheUnitedStates. Thetrulysignificanttradedevelopmentof2004wastheEU's emergenceasChina'sbiggesteconomicpartner,suggestingthe possibilityofaSinoEuropeancooperativeblocconfrontingaless vitalJapaneseAmericanone.AstheFinancialTimesobserved, "ThreeyearsafteritsentryintotheWorldTradeOrganization[in 2001],China'sinfluenceinglobalcommerceisnolongermerely significant.Itiscrucial."Forexample,mostDellcomputerssold intheUSaremadeinChina,asarethedigitalvideodiscplayers ofJapan'sFunaiElectricCo.Funaiannuallyexportssome10 millionDVDplayersandtelevisionsetsfromChinatotheUnited States,wheretheyaresoldprimarilyinWalMartstores.China's tradewithEuropein2004wasworth$177.2billion,withthe UnitedStates$169.6billion,andwithJapan$167.8billion. China'sgrowingeconomicweightintheworldiswidelyrecognized andapplauded,butitisChina'sgrowthratesandtheireffecton thefutureglobalbalanceofpowerthattheUSandJapan,rightly orwrongly,fear.TheCIA'sNationalIntelligenceCouncilforecasts thatChina'sGDPwillequalBritain'sin2005,Germany'sin2009, Japan'sin2017,andtheUnitedStates'in2042.ButShahid JavedBurki,formervicepresidentoftheWorldBank'sChina DepartmentandaformerfinanceministerofPakistan,predicts thatby2025ChinawillprobablyhaveaGDPof$25trillionin termsofpurchasingpowerparityandwillhavebecomethe world'slargesteconomy,followedbytheUnitedStatesat$20 trillionandIndiaatabout$13trillionandBurki'sanalysisis basedonaconservativepredictionofa6%Chinesegrowthrate sustainedoverthenexttwodecades.HeforeseesJapan's inevitabledeclinebecauseitspopulationwillbegintoshrink drasticallyafterabout2010.Japan'sMinistryofInternalAffairs reportsthatthenumberofmeninJapanalreadydeclinedby 0.01%in2004andsomedemographers,itnotes,anticipatethat bytheendofthecenturythecountry'spopulationcouldshrinkby nearlytwothirds,from127.7milliontodayto45million,thesame populationithadin1910. Bycontrast,China'spopulationislikelytostabilizeat approximately1.4billionpeopleandisheavilyweightedtoward

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approximately1.4billionpeopleandisheavilyweightedtoward males.(AccordingtoHowardFrenchoftheNewYorkTimes,in onelargesoutherncitythegovernmentimposedonechildper familypolicyandtheavailabilityofsonogramshaveresultedina ratioof129boysbornforevery100girls147boysforevery100 girlsforcouplesseekingsecondorthirdchildren.The2000 censusforthecountryasawholeputthereportedsexratioat birthatabout117boysto100girls.)Chinesedomesticeconomic growthisexpectedtocontinuefordecades,reflectingthepentup demandofitshugepopulation,relativelylowlevelsofpersonal debt,andadynamicundergroundeconomynotrecordedinofficial statistics.Mostimportant,China'sexternaldebtisrelativelysmall andeasilycoveredbyitsreserveswhereasboththeUSand Japanareapproximately$7trillioninthered,whichisworsefor Japan,withlessthanhalftheUSpopulationandeconomicclout. Ironically,partofJapan'sdebtisaproductofitseffortstohelp propupAmerica'sglobalimperialstance.Forexample,inthe periodsincetheendoftheColdWar,Japanhassubsidized America'smilitarybasesinJapantothestaggeringtuneof approximately$70billion.Refusingtopayforitsprofligate consumptionpatternsandmilitaryexpendituresthroughtaxeson itsowncitizens,theUnitedStatesisfinancingtheseoutlaysby goingintodebttoJapan,China,Taiwan,SouthKorea,HongKong andIndia.Thissituationhasbecomeincreasinglyunstableasthe USrequirescapitalimportsofatleast$2billionperdaytopayfor itsgovernmentalexpenditures.AnydecisionbyEastAsian centralbankstomovesignificantpartsoftheirforeignexchange reservesoutoftheUSdollarandintotheeuroorothercurrencies toprotectthemselvesfromdollardepreciationwouldproducethe motherofallfinancialcrises.

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Japanstillpossessestheworld'slargestforeignexchange reserves,whichattheendofJanuarystoodataround$841 billion.ButChinasitsona$609.9billionpileofdollars(asofthe endof2004),earnedfromitstradesurpluseswiththeUS. Meanwhile,theUSgovernmentandJapanesefollowersofGeorge WBushinsultChinaineverywaytheycan,particularlyoverthe statusofChina'sbreakawayprovince,theislandofTaiwan.The distinguishedeconomicanalystWilliamGreiderrecentlynoted, "Anyprofligatedebtorwhoinsultshisbankerisunwise,toputit mildly...Americanleadershiphas...becomeincreasingly delusionalImeanthatliterallyandblindtotheadversebalance ofpoweraccumulatingagainstit." TheBushadministrationisunwiselythreateningChinabyurging JapantorearmandbypromisingTaiwanthat,shouldChinause forcetopreventaTaiwanesedeclarationofindependence,theUS willgotowaronitsbehalf.Itishardtoimaginemore shortsighted,irresponsiblepolicies,butinlightoftheBush administration'sAliceinWonderlandwarinIraq,theacuteanti Americanismithasgeneratedglobally,andthepoliticizationof America'sintelligenceservices,itseemspossiblethattheUS andJapanmightactuallyprecipitateawarwithChinaover Taiwan. Japanrearms SincetheendofWorldWarII,andparticularlysincegainingits independencein1952,Japanhassubscribedtoapacifistforeign policy.Ithasresolutelyrefusedtomaintainoffensivemilitary forcesortobecomepartofAmerica'sglobalmilitarysystem. Japandidnot,forexample,participateinthe1991waragainst Iraq,norhasitjoinedcollectivesecurityagreementsinwhichit wouldhavetomatchthemilitarycontributionsofitspartners. Sincethesigningin1952oftheJapanUnitedStatesSecurity Treaty,thecountryhasofficiallybeendefendedfromsocalled externalthreatsbyUSforceslocatedonsome91basesonthe

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externalthreatsbyUSforceslocatedonsome91basesonthe JapanesemainlandandtheislandofOkinawa.TheUS7thFleet evenhasitshomeportattheoldJapanesenavalbaseof Yokosuka.Japannotonlysubsidizesthesebasesbutsubscribes tothepublicfictionthattheUSforcesarepresentonlyforits defense.Infact,Japanhasnocontroloverhowandwherethe USemploysitsland,seaandairforcesbasedonJapanese territory,andtheJapaneseandUSgovernmentshaveuntilquite recentlyfinessedtheissuesimplybyneverdiscussingit. SincetheendoftheColdWarin1991,theUnitedStateshas repeatedlypressuredJapantoreviseArticle9ofitsconstitution (renouncingtheuseofforceexceptasamatterofselfdefense) andbecomewhatUSofficialscalla"normalnation".For example,lastAugust13,thensecretaryofstateColinPowell statedbaldlyinTokyothatifJapaneverhopedtobecomea permanentmemberoftheUnitedNationsSecurityCouncilit wouldfirsthavetogetridofitspacifistconstitution.Japan's claimtoaSecurityCouncilseatisbasedonthefactthat, althoughitsshareofglobalGDPisonly14%,itpays20%ofthe totalUNbudget.Powell'sremarkwasblatantinterferencein Japan'sinternalaffairs,butitmerelyechoedmanymessages deliveredbyformerdeputysecretaryofstateRichardArmitage, theleaderofareactionarycliqueinWashingtonthathasworked foryearstoremilitarizeJapanandsoenlargeamajornewmarket forUSarms.ItsmembersincludeTorkelPatterson,Robin Sakoda,DavidAsherandJamesKellyattheStateDepartment MichaelGreenontheNationalSecurityCouncil'sstaffand numerousuniformedmilitaryofficersatthePentagonandatthe headquartersofthePacificCommandatPearlHarbor,Hawaii. America'sintentionistoturnJapanintowhatWashingtonneo conservativesliketocallthe"BritainoftheFarEast"andthen useitasaproxyincheckmatingNorthKoreaandbalancing China.OnOctober11,2000,MichaelGreen,thenamemberof ArmitageAssociates,wrote,"Weseethespecialrelationship betweentheUnitedStatesandGreatBritainasamodelforthe [USJapan]alliance."JapanhassofarnotresistedthisUS pressuresinceitcomplementsarenewednationalismamong JapanesevotersandafearthataburgeoningcapitalistChina threatensJapan'sestablishedpositionastheleadingeconomic powerinEastAsia.Japaneseofficialsalsoclaimthatthecountry feelsthreatenedbyNorthKorea'sdevelopingnuclearandmissile programs,althoughtheyknowthattheNorthKoreanstandoff couldberesolvedvirtuallyovernightiftheBushadministration wouldceasetryingtooverthrowthePyongyangregimeand insteaddeliveronUStradepromises(inreturnforNorthKorea's agreementtogiveupitsnuclearweaponsprogram).Instead,on February25,theStateDepartmentannouncedthat"theUSwill refuseNorthKoreanleaderKimJongil'sdemandforaguarantee of'nohostileintent'togetPyongyangbackintonegotiationsover itsnuclearweaponsprograms".AndonMarch7,Bushnominated JohnBoltontobeUSambassadortotheUnitedNationseven thoughNorthKoreahasrefusedtonegotiatewithhimbecauseof hisinsultingremarksaboutthecountry. Japan'sremilitarizationworriesasegmentoftheJapanesepublic andisopposedthroughoutEastAsiabyallthenationsJapan victimizedduringWorldWarII,includingChina,bothKoreas,and evenAustralia.Asaresult,theJapanesegovernmenthas launchedastealthprogramofincrementalrearmament.Since 1992,ithasenacted21majorpiecesofsecurityrelated legislation,ninein2004alone.ThesebeganwiththeInternational PeaceCooperationLawof1992,whichforthefirsttime authorizedJapantosendtroopstoparticipateinUN peacekeepingoperations. Remilitarizationhassincetakenmanyforms,includingexpanding

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Remilitarizationhassincetakenmanyforms,includingexpanding militarybudgets,legitimizingandlegalizingthesendingofmilitary forcesabroad,acommitmenttojointheUSmissiledefense ("StarWars")programsomethingtheCanadiansrefusedtodoin Februaryandagrowingacceptanceofmilitarysolutionsto internationalproblems.Thisgradualprocesswasgreatly acceleratedin2001bythesimultaneouscomingtopowerof PresidentGeorgeWBushandPrimeMinisterJunichiroKoizumi. KoizumimadehisfirstvisittotheUnitedStatesinJulyofthat yearand,inMay2003,receivedtheultimateimprimatur,an invitationtoBush's"ranch"inCrawford,Texas.Shortlythereafter, Koizumiagreedtosendacontingentof550troopstoIraqfora year,extendedtheirstayforanotheryearin2004and,onOctober 14,personallyendorsedBush'sreelection. Anewnucleargiantinthemaking? Koizumihasappointedtohiscabinetsovertheyearshardline antiChinese,proTaiwanesepoliticians.PhilDeans,directorof theContemporaryChinaInstituteintheSchoolofOrientaland AfricanStudies,UniversityofLondon,observes,"Therehasbeen aremarkablegrowthofproTaiwansentimentinJapan.Thereis notoneproChinafigureintheKoizumicabinet."Membersofthe latestKoizumicabinetincludeDefenseAgencychiefYoshinori OnoandForeignMinisterNobutakaMachimura,bothardent militaristsMachimuraisamemberoftherightwingfactionof formerprimeministerYoshiroMori,whichsupportsan independentTaiwanandmaintainsextensivecoverttieswith Taiwaneseleadersandbusinessmen. Taiwan,itshouldberemembered,wasaJapanesecolonyfrom 18951945.UnliketheharshJapanesemilitaryruleoverKorea from191045,itexperiencedrelativelybenigngovernancebya civilianJapaneseadministration.Theisland,whilebombedbythe Allies,wasnotabattlegroundduringWorldWarII,althoughitwas harshlyoccupiedbytheChineseNationalists(ChiangKaishek's Kuomintang)immediatelyafterthewar.Today,asaresult,many TaiwanesespeakJapaneseandhaveafavorableviewofJapan. TaiwanisvirtuallytheonlyplaceinEastAsiawhereJapanese arefullywelcomedandliked. BushandKoizumihavedevelopedelaborateplansformilitary cooperationbetweentheirtwocountries.Crucialtosuchplansis thescrappingoftheJapaneseconstitutionof1947.Ifnothing getsintheway,Koizumi'srulingLiberalDemocraticParty(LDP) intendstointroduceanewconstitutionontheoccasionofthe party's50thanniversarythiscomingNovember.Thishasbeen deemedappropriatebecausetheLDP'sfoundingcharterof1955 setasabasicpartygoalthe"establishmentofJapan'sown constitution"areferencetothefactthatGeneralDouglas MacArthur'spostWorldWarIIoccupationheadquartersactually draftedthecurrentconstitution.TheoriginalLDPpolicystatement alsocalledfor"theeventualremovalofUStroopsfromJapanese territory",whichmaybeoneofthehiddenpurposesbehind Japan'surgetorearm. AmajorgoaloftheAmericansistogainJapan'sactive participationintheirmassivelyexpensivemissiledefense program.TheBushadministrationisseeking,amongotherthings, anendtoJapan'sbanontheexportofmilitarytechnology,since itwantsJapaneseengineerstohelpsolvesomeofthetechnical problemsofitssofarfailingStarWarssystem.TheUnited StateshasalsobeenactivelynegotiatingwithJapantorelocate theUSArmy's1stCorpsfromFortLewis,Washington,toCamp Zama,southwestofTokyointhedenselypopulatedprefectureof Kanagawa,whosecapitalisYokohama.TheseUSforcesin Japanwouldthenbeplacedunderthecommandofafourstar general,whowouldbeonaparwithregionalcommanderssuch

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general,whowouldbeonaparwithregionalcommanderssuch asCentcomcommanderJohnAbizaid,wholordsitoverIraqand SouthAsia.ThenewcommandwouldbeinchargeofallUS Army"forceprojection"operationsbeyondEastAsiaandwould inevitablyimplicateJapaninthedailymilitaryoperationsofthe Americanempire.Garrisoningevenasmallheadquarters,much lessthewhole1stCorpsmadeupofanestimated40,000 soldiers,insuchasophisticatedandcentrallylocatedprefecture asKanagawaisalsoguaranteedtogenerateintensepublic oppositionaswellasrapes,fights,caraccidentsandother incidentssimilartotheonesthatoccurdailyinOkinawa. Meanwhile,JapanintendstoupgradeitsDefenseAgency (Boeicho)intoaministryandpossiblydevelopitsownnuclear weaponscapability.GoadingtheJapanesegovernmenttoassert itselfmilitarilymaywellcausethecountrytogonuclearinorder to"deter"ChinaandNorthKorea,whilefreeingJapanfromits dependencyontheUS"nuclearumbrella".Militaryanalyst RichardTanternotesthatJapanalreadyhas"theundoubted capacitytosatisfyallthreecorerequirementsforausable nuclearweapon:amilitarynucleardevice,asufficientlyaccurate targetingsystem,andatleastoneadequatedeliverysystem". Japan'scombinationoffullyfunctioningfissionandbreeder reactorsplusnuclearfuelreprocessingfacilitiesgivesittheability tobuildadvancedthermonuclearweaponsitsHIIandHIIA rockets,inflightrefuelingcapacityforfighterbombers,and militarygradesurveillancesatellitesassurethatitcoulddeliverits weaponsaccuratelytoregionaltargets.Whatitcurrentlylacks aretheplatforms(suchassubmarines)forasecureretaliatory forceinordertodissuadeanuclearadversaryfromlaunchinga preemptivefirststrike. TheTaiwaneseknot JapanmaytalkalotaboutthedangersofNorthKorea,butthe realobjectiveofitsrearmamentisChina.Thishasbecomeclear fromthewaysinwhichJapanhasrecentlyinjecteditselfintothe singlemostdelicateanddangerousissueofEastAsian internationalrelationstheproblemofTaiwan.Japaninvaded Chinain1931andwasitswartimetormentorthereafteraswellas Taiwan'scolonialoverlord.Eventhen,however,Taiwanwas viewedasapartofChina,astheUnitedStateshaslong recognized.Whatremainstoberesolvedarethetermsandtiming ofTaiwan'sreintegrationwiththeChinesemainland.Thisprocess wasdeeplycomplicatedbythefactthatin1987ChiangKai shek'sNationalists,whohadretreatedtoTaiwanin1949atthe endoftheChinesecivilwar(andwereprotectedtherebytheUS 7thFleeteverafter),finallyendedmartiallawontheisland. Taiwanhassincematuredintoavibrantdemocracyandthe Taiwanesearenowstartingtodisplaytheirownmixedopinions abouttheirfuture. In2000,theTaiwanesepeopleendedalongmonopolyofpower bytheNationalistsandgavetheDemocraticProgressiveParty (DPP),headedbyPresidentChenShuibian,anelectoralvictory. AnativeTaiwanese(asdistinctfromthelargecontingentof mainlanderswhocametoTaiwaninthebaggagetrainofChiang's defeatedarmies),ChenstandsforanindependentTaiwan,as doeshisparty.Bycontrast,theNationalists,togetherwitha powerfulmainlandersplinterparty,thePeopleFirstPartyheaded byJamesSoong(SongChuyu),hopetoseeaneventualpeaceful unificationofTaiwanwithChina.OnMarch7,theBush administrationcomplicatedthesedelicaterelationsbynominating JohnBoltontobetheUSambassadortotheUnitedNations.He isanavowedadvocateofTaiwaneseindependenceandwasonce apaidconsultanttotheTaiwanesegovernment. LastMay,inaverycloseandcontestedelection,ChenShuibian

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LastMay,inaverycloseandcontestedelection,ChenShuibian wasreelected,andonMay20,thenotoriousrightwingJapanese politicianShintaroIshiharaattendedhisinaugurationinTaipei. (IshiharabelievesthatJapan's1937RapeofNankingwas"alie madeupbytheChinese".)ThoughChenwonwithonly50.1%of thevote,thiswasstillasizableincreaseoverhis33.9%in2000, whentheoppositionwasdivided.TheTaiwaneseMinistryof ForeignAffairsimmediatelyappointedKohSekaiasitsinformal ambassadortoJapan.KohhaslivedinJapanforsome33years andmaintainsextensivetiestoseniorpoliticalandacademic figuresthere.Chinarespondedthatitwould"completely annihilate"anymovestowardTaiwaneseindependenceevenifit meantscuttlingthe2008BeijingOlympicsandgoodrelationswith theUnitedStates. ContrarytothemachinationsofAmericanneoconsand Japaneserightists,however,theTaiwanesepeoplehaverevealed themselvestobeopentonegotiatingwithChinaoverthetiming andtermsofreintegration.OnAugust23,theLegislativeYuan (Taiwan'sparliament)enactedchangesinitsvotingrulesto preventChenfromamendingtheconstitutiontofavor independence,ashehadpromisedtodoinhisreelection campaign.Thisactiondrasticallyloweredtheriskofconflictwith China.ProbablyinfluencingtheLegislativeYuanwasthewarning issuedonAugust22bySingapore'snewprimeminister,Lee Hsienloong:"IfTaiwangoesforindependence,Singaporewillnot recognizeit.Infact,noAsiancountrywillrecognizeit.Chinawill fight.Winorlose,Taiwanwillbedevastated." Thenextimportantdevelopmentwasparliamentaryelectionson December11.PresidentChencalledhiscampaignareferendum onhisproindependencepolicyandaskedforamandatetocarry outhisreforms.Insteadhelostdecisively.Theopposition NationalistsandthePeopleFirstPartywon114seatsinthe225 seatparliament,whileChen'sDPPanditsalliestookonly101. (Tenseatswenttoindependents.)TheNationalistleader,Lien Chan,whosepartywon79seatstotheDPP's89,said,"Today wesawextremelyclearlythatallthepeoplewantstabilityinthis country." Chen'sfailuretocapturecontrolofparliamentalsomeantthata proposedpurchaseof$19.6billionworthofarmsfromtheUnited Stateswasdoomed.Thedealincludedguidedmissiledestroyers, P3antisubmarineaircraft,dieselsubmarines,andadvanced PatriotPAC3antimissilesystems.TheNationalistsandJames Soong'ssupportersregardthepriceastoohighandmostlya financialsoptotheBushadministration,whichhasbeenpushing thesalesince2001.Theyalsobelievetheweaponswouldnot improveTaiwan'ssecurity. OnDecember27,mainlandChinaissueditsfifthDefenseWhite Paperonthegoalsofthecountry'snationaldefenseefforts.As onelongtimeobserver,RobertBedeski,noted,"Atfirstglance, theDefenseWhitePaperisahardlinestatementonterritorial sovereigntyandemphasizesChina'sdeterminationnottotolerate anymovesatsecession,independenceorseparation.However, thenextparagraph...indicatesawillingnesstoreducetensions intheTaiwanStrait:solongastheTaiwanauthoritiesacceptthe oneChinaprincipleandstoptheirseparatistactivitiesaimedat 'Taiwanindependence',crossstraittalkscanbeheldatanytime onofficiallyendingthestateofhostilitybetweenthetwosides." ItappearsthatthisisalsothewaytheTaiwanesereadthe message.OnFebruary24,PresidentChenmetforthefirsttime sinceOctober2000withchairmanJamesSoongofthePeople FirstParty.Thetwoleaders,holdingdiametricallyopposedviews onrelationswiththemainland,nonethelesssignedajoint

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onrelationswiththemainland,nonethelesssignedajoint statementoutlining10pointsofconsensus.Theypledgedtotry toopenfulltransportandcommerciallinksacrosstheTaiwan Strait,increasetrade,andeasethebanoninvestmentsinChina bymanyTaiwanesebusinesssectors.Themainlandreacted favorablyatonce.Astonishingly,thisledChentosaythathe "wouldnotruleoutTaiwan'seventualreunionwithChina,provided Taiwan's23millionpeopleacceptedit".

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IftheUnitedStatesandJapanleftChinaandTaiwantotheirown devices,itseemspossiblethattheywouldworkoutamodus vivendi.Taiwanhasalreadyinvestedsome$150billioninthe mainland,andthetwoeconomiesarebecomingmoreclosely integratedeveryday.Therealsoseemstobeagrowing recognitioninTaiwanthatitwouldbeverydifficulttoliveasan independentChinesespeakingnationalongsideacountrywith1.3 billionpeople,9.6millionsquarekilometersofterritory,arapidly growing$1.4trillioneconomy,andaspirationstoregional leadershipinEastAsia.Ratherthandeclaringitsindependence, TaiwanmighttrytoseekastatussomewhatlikethatofFrench CanadaakindoflooserversionofaChineseQuebecunder nominalcentralgovernmentcontrolbutmaintainingseparate institutions,lawsandcustoms. Themainlandwouldbesorelievedbythissolutionitwould probablyacceptit,particularlyifitcouldbeachievedbeforethe 2008BeijingOlympics.ChinafearsthatTaiwaneseradicalswant todeclareindependenceamonthortwobeforethoseOlympics, bettingthatChinawouldnotattackthenbecauseofitshuge investmentintheforthcomingGames.Mostobserversbelieve, however,thatChinawouldhavenochoicebuttogotowar becausefailuretodosowouldinviteadomesticrevolution againsttheChineseCommunistPartyforviolatingthenational integrityofChina. SinoAmerican,SinoJapaneserelationsspiraldownward IthaslongbeenanarticleofneoconfaiththattheUSmustdo everythinginitspowertopreventthedevelopmentofrivalpower centers,whetherfriendlyorhostile.Afterthecollapseofthe SovietUnion,thismeanttheyturnedtheirattentiontoChinaas oneoftheUnitedStates'probablenextenemies.In2001,having cometopower,theneoconservativesshiftedmuchoftheUS's nucleartargetingfromRussiatoChina.Theyalsobeganregular highlevelmilitarytalkswithTaiwanoverdefenseoftheisland, orderedashiftofUSArmypersonnelandsuppliestotheAsia Pacificregion,andworkedstrenuouslytopromotethe remilitarizationofJapan. OnApril1,2001,aUSNavyEP3EAriesIIelectronicspyplane collidedwithaChinesejetfighteroffthesouthChinacoast.The USaircraftwasonamissiontoprovokeChineseradardefenses andthenrecordthetransmissionsandprocedurestheChinese usedinsendingupinterceptors.TheChinesejetwentdownand thepilotlosthislife,whiletheUSplanelandedsafelyonHainan Islandanditscrewof24spieswaswelltreatedbytheChinese authorities. ItsoonbecameclearthatChinawasnotinterestedina confrontation,sincemanyofitsmostimportantinvestorshave theirheadquartersintheUnitedStates.Butitcouldnotinstantly returnthecrewofthespyplanewithoutriskingpowerfuldomestic criticismforobsequiousnessinthefaceofprovocation.It thereforedelayedfor11daysuntilitreceivedaproformaUS apologyforcausingthedeathofaChinesepilotontheedgeof thecountry'sterritorialairspaceandformakinganunauthorized landingataChinesemilitaryairfield.Meanwhile,theUSmedia hadlabeledthecrewas"hostages",encouragedtheirrelativesto tieyellowribbonsaroundneighborhoodtrees,hailedthepresident
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tieyellowribbonsaroundneighborhoodtrees,hailedthepresident fordoing"afirstratejob"tofreethem,andendlesslycriticized Chinaforits"statecontrolledmedia".Theycarefullyavoided mentioningthattheUnitedStatesenforcesaroundthecountrya 200mileaircraftinterceptzonethatstretchesfarbeyondterritorial waters. OnApril25,2001,duringaninterviewonnationaltelevision, PresidentBushwasaskedwhetherhewouldeveruse"thefull forceoftheAmericanmilitary"againstChinaforthesakeof Taiwan.Heresponded,"WhateverittakestohelpTaiwandefend herself."ThiswasUSpolicyuntilSeptember11,2001,when Chinaenthusiasticallyjoinedthe"waronterrorism"andBushand hisneoconsbecamepreoccupiedwiththeir"axisofevil"and makingwaronIraq.TheUnitedStatesandChinawerealso enjoyingextremelycloseeconomicrelations,whichthebig businesswingoftheRepublicanPartydidnotwanttojeopardize. TheMiddleEastthustrumpedtheneocons'Asiapolicy.While theAmericansweredistracted,Chinawentaboutitseconomic businessforalmostfouryears,emergingasapowerhouseof AsiaandapotentialorganizingnodeforAsianeconomies. RapidlyindustrializingChinaalsodevelopedavoraciousappetite forpetroleumandotherrawmaterials,whichbroughtitintodirect competitionwiththeworld'slargestimporters,theUSandJapan. Bythesummerof2004,Bushstrategists,distractedastheywere byIraq,againbecamealarmedoverChina'sgrowingpowerand itspotentialtochallengeUShegemonyinEastAsia.The RepublicanPartyplatformunveiledatitsconventioninNewYork inAugustproclaimedthat"AmericawillhelpTaiwandefend itself".Duringthatsummer,theUSNavyalsocarriedout exercisesitdubbed"OperationSummerPulse'04",which involvedthesimultaneousdeploymentatseaofsevenofthe UnitedStates'12carrierstrikegroups.AUScarrierstrikegroup includesanaircraftcarrier(usuallywithnineor10squadronsof planes,atotalofabout85aircraftinall),aguidedmissilecruiser, twoguidedmissiledestroyers,anattacksubmarine,anda combinationammunitionoilersupplyship.Deployingsevensuch armadasatthesametimewasunprecedentedandvery expensive.Eventhoughonlythreeofthecarrierstrikegroups weresenttothePacificandnomorethanonewaspatrollingoff Taiwanatatime,theChinesebecamedeeplyalarmedthatthis markedthebeginningofanattemptedrerunof19thcentury gunboatdiplomacyaimedatthem. ThisUSshowofforceandChenShuibian'spolemicspreceding theDecemberelectionsalsoseemedtooverstimulatethe Taiwanese.OnOctober26inBeijing,thensecretaryofstate ColinPowelltriedtocalmthingsdownbydeclaringtothepress, "Taiwanisnotindependent.Itdoesnotenjoysovereigntyasa nation,andthatremainsourpolicy,ourfirmpolicy...Wewantto seebothsidesnottakeunilateralactionthatwouldprejudicean eventualoutcome,areunificationthatallpartiesareseeking." Powell'sstatementseemedunequivocalenough,butsignificant doubtspersistedaboutwhetherhehadmuchinfluencewithinthe BushadministrationorwhetherhecouldspeakforVicePresident CheneyandSecretaryofDefenseDonaldRumsfeld.Earlyin 2005,PorterGoss,thenewdirectoroftheCIA,Defense SecretaryRumsfeld,andAdmiralLowellJacoby,headofthe DefenseIntelligenceAgency,alltoldCongressthatChina's militarymodernizationwasgoingaheadmuchfasterthan previouslybelieved.Theywarnedthatthe2005Quadrennial DefenseReview,theeveryfouryearsformalassessmentofUS militarypolicy,wouldtakeamuchharsherviewofthethreat posedbyChinathanthe2001overview.

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posedbyChinathanthe2001overview. Inthiscontext,theBushadministration,perhapsinfluencedby theelectionofNovember2andthetransitionfromColinPowell's toCondoleezzaRice'sStateDepartment,playeditsmost dangerouscard.OnFebruary19inWashington,itsignedanew militaryagreementwithJapan.Forthefirsttime,Japanjoinedthe USadministrationinidentifyingsecurityintheTaiwanStraitasa "commonstrategicobjective".Nothingcouldhavebeenmore alarmingtoChina'sleadersthantherevelationthatJapanhad decisivelyendedsixdecadesofofficialpacifismbyclaiminga righttointerveneintheTaiwanStrait. Itispossiblethat,intheyearstocome,Taiwanitselfmayrecede inimportancetobereplacedbyevenmoredirectSinoJapanese confrontations.Thiswouldbeanominousdevelopmentindeed, onethattheUnitedStateswouldberesponsibleforhaving abettedbutwouldcertainlybeunabletocontrol.Thekindlingfora SinoJapaneseexplosionhaslongbeeninplace.Afterall,during WorldWarIItheJapanesekilledapproximately23million ChinesethroughoutEastAsiahighercasualtiesthanthe staggeringonessufferedbyRussiaatthehandsoftheNazis andyetJapanrefusestoatonefororevenacknowledgeits historicalwarcrimes.Quitetheopposite,itcontinuestorewrite history,portrayingitselfastheliberatorofAsiaandavictimof EuropeanandUSimperialism. InfortheChineseapainfulactofsymbolism,afterbecoming Japaneseprimeministerin2001,JunichiroKoizumimadehisfirst officialvisittoYasukuniShrineinTokyo,apracticethathehas repeatedeveryyearsince.Koizumilikestosaytoforeignersthat heismerelyhonoringJapan'swardead.Yasukuni,however,is anythingbutamilitarycemeteryorawarmemorial.Itwas establishedin1869byEmperorMeijiasaShintoshrine(though withitstoriiarchwaysmadeofsteelratherthanthetraditionalred paintedwood)tocommemoratetheliveslostincampaignsto returndirectimperialruletoJapan.DuringWorldWarII,Japanese militariststookovertheshrineandusedittopromotepatriotic andnationalisticsentiments.Today,Yasukuniissaidtobe dedicatedtothespiritsofapproximately2.4millionJapanesewho havediedinthecountry'swars,bothcivilandforeign,since1853. In1978,forreasonsthathaveneverbeenmadeclear,General HidekiTojoandsixotherwartimeleaderswhohadbeenhanged bytheAlliedPowersaswarcriminalswerecollectivelyenshrined atYasukuni.Thecurrentchiefpriestoftheshrinedeniesthat theywerewarcriminals,saying,"Thewinnerpassedjudgmenton theloser."Inamuseumontheshrine'sgrounds,thereisafully restoredMitsubishiZeroType52fighteraircraftthataplacard saysmadeitscombatdebutin1940overChongqing,thenthe wartimecapitaloftheRepublicofChina.Itwasundoubtedlynot anaccidentthat,inChongqingduringthe2004AsianCupsoccer finals,ChinesespectatorsbooedtheplayingoftheJapanese nationalanthem.Yasukuni'sleadershavealwaysclaimedclose tiestotheimperialhousehold,butthelateEmperorHirohitolast visitedtheshrinein1975andEmperorAkihitohasneverbeen there. TheChineseregardYasukunivisitsbytheJapaneseprime ministerasinsulting,somewhatcomparableperhapstoBritain's PrinceHarrydressingupasaNaziforacostumeparty. Nonetheless,BeijinghastriedinrecentyearstoappeaseTokyo. ChinesePresidentHuJintaorolledouttheredcarpetforYohei Kono,SpeakeroftheJapaneseDiet'sHouseofRepresentatives, whenhevisitedChinalastSeptemberheappointedWangYi,a seniormoderateintheChineseforeignservice,asambassadorto JapanandheproposedjointSinoJapaneseexplorationof

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JapanandheproposedjointSinoJapaneseexplorationof possibleoilresourcesintheoffshoreseasthatbothsidesclaim. AllsuchgestureswereignoredbyKoizumi,whoinsiststhathe intendstogoonvisitingYasukuni. MatterscametoaheadinNovemberattwoimportantsummit meetings:anAsiaPacificEconomicCooperation(APEC) gatheringinSantiago,followedimmediatelybyanAssociationof SoutheastAsianNations(ASEAN)meetingwiththeleadersof China,JapanandSouthKoreathattookplaceinVientiane.In Santiago,HuJintaodirectlyaskedKoizumitoceasehis YasukunivisitsforthesakeofSinoJapanesefriendship. Seeminglyasareply,Koizumiwentoutofhiswaytoinsult ChinesePremierWenJiabaoinVientiane.HesaidtoPremier Wen,"It'sabouttimefor[China's]graduation"asarecipientof Japaneseforeignaidpayments,implyingthatJapanintended unilaterallytoendits25yearoldfinancialaidprogram.Theword "graduation"alsoconveyedtheinsultingimplicationthatJapan sawitselfasateacherguidingChina,thestudent.

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KoizuminextgavealittlespeechaboutthehistoryofJapanese effortstonormalizerelationswithChina,towhichWenreplied, "DoyouknowhowmanyChinesepeoplediedintheSino Japanesewar?"WenwentontosuggestthatChinahadalways regardedJapan'sforeignaid,whichhesaidChinadidnotneed, aspaymentsinlieuofcompensationfordamagedonebyJapan inChinaduringthewar.HepointedoutthatChinahadnever askedforreparationsfromJapanandthatJapan'spayments amountedtoabout$30billionover25years,afractionofthe$80 billionGermanyhaspaidtothevictimsofNaziatrocitieseven thoughJapanisthemorepopulousandrichercountry. OnNovember10,theJapanesenavydiscoveredaChinese nuclearsubmarineinJapaneseterritorialwatersnearOkinawa. AlthoughtheChineseapologizedandcalledthesub'sintrusiona "mistake",DefenseAgencydirectorOnogaveitwidepublicity, furtherinflamingJapanesepublicopinionagainstChina.From thatpointon,relationsbetweenBeijingandTokyohavegone steadilydownhill,culminatingintheJapaneseAmerican announcementthatTaiwanwasofspecialmilitaryconcernto bothofthem,whichChinadenouncedasan"abomination". Overtimethisdownwardspiralinrelationswillprobablyprove damagingtotheinterestsofboththeUnitedStatesandJapan, butparticularlytothoseofJapan.Chinaisunlikelytoretaliate directlybutisevenlesslikelytoforgetwhathashappenedand ithasagreatdealofleverageoverJapan.Afterall,Japanese prosperityincreasinglydependsonitstiestoChina.Thereverse isnottrue.Contrarytowhatonemightexpect,Japaneseexports toChinajumped70%between2001and2004,providingthemain impetusforasputteringJapaneseeconomicrecovery.Some 18,000JapanesecompanieshaveoperationsinChina.In2003, JapanpassedtheUnitedStatesasthetopdestinationfor Chinesestudentsgoingabroadforauniversityeducation.Nearly 70,000ChinesestudentsnowstudyatJapaneseuniversities, comparedwith65,000atUSacademicinstitutions.Theseclose andlucrativerelationsareatriskiftheUSandJapanpursuetheir militarizationoftheregion. Amultipolarworld TonyKaronofTimemagazinehasobserved,"Allovertheworld, newbondsoftradeandstrategiccooperationarebeingforged aroundtheUS.ChinahasnotonlybeguntodisplacetheUSas thedominantplayerintheAsiaPacificEconomicCooperation organization(APEC),itisfastemergingasthemajortrading partnertosomeofLatinAmerica'slargesteconomies...French foreignpolicythinktankshavelongpromotedthegoalof

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foreignpolicythinktankshavelongpromotedthegoalof 'multipolarity'inapostColdWarworld,ie,thepreferencefor manydifferent,competingpowercentersratherthanthe 'unipolarity'oftheUSasasinglehyperpower.Multipolarityisno longersimplyastrategicgoal.Itisanemergingreality."

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EvidenceiseasilyfoundofmultipolarityandChina'sprominent roleinpromotingit.JustnoteChina'sexpandingrelationswith Iran,theEuropeanUnion,LatinAmericaandtheAssociationof SoutheastAsianNations.IranisthesecondlargestOPEC (OrganizationofPetroleumExportingCountries)oilproducerafter SaudiArabiaandhaslonghadfriendlyrelationswithJapan, whichisitsleadingtradingpartner.(Ninetyeightpercentof Japan'simportsfromIranareoil.)OnFebruary18,2004,a consortiumofJapanesecompaniesandtheIraniangovernment signedamemorandumofagreementtodevelopjointlyIran's Azadeganoilfield,oneoftheworld'slargest,inaprojectworth $2.8billion.TheUShasopposedJapan'ssupportforIran, causingCongressmanBradSherman(Democrat,California)to chargethatBushhadbeenbribedintoacceptingtheJapanese IraniandealbyKoizumi'sdispatchof550Japanesetroopsto Iraq,addingaveneerofinternationalsupportfortheUSwarthere. ButthelongstandingIranianJapanesealignmentbeganto changeinlate2004.OnOctober28,China'soilmajor,the SinopecGroup,signedanagreementwithIranworthbetween$70 billionand$100billiontodevelopthegiantYadavarannaturalgas field.Chinaagreedtobuy250milliontonsofliquefiednaturalgas (LNG)fromIranover25years.ItisthelargestdealIranhas signedwithaforeigncountrysince1996andwillincludeseveral otherbenefits,includingChina'sassistanceinbuildingnumerous shipstodelivertheLNGtoChineseports.Iranalsocommitted itselftoexporting150,000barrelsofcrudeoilperdaytoChinafor 25yearsatmarketprices. Iran'soilminister,BijanZanganeh,onavisittoBeijingnotedthat IranisChina'sbiggestforeignoilsupplierandsaidhiscountry wantstobeChina'slongtermbusinesspartner.HetoldChina BusinessWeeklythatTehranwouldliketoreplaceJapanwith Chinaasthebiggestcustomerforitsoilandgas.Thereasonis obvious:USpressureonIrantogiveupitsnuclearpower developmentprogramandtheBushadministration'sdeclared intentiontotakeIrantotheUNSecurityCouncilfortheimposition ofsanctions(whichaChinesevotecouldveto).OnNovember6, ChineseForeignMinisterLiZhaoxingpaidararevisittoTehran. InmeetingswithIranianPresidentMohammadKhatami,Lisaid thatBeijingwouldindeedconsidervetoinganyUSeffortto sanctionIranattheSecurityCouncil.TheUShasalsocharged ChinawithsellingnuclearandmissiletechnologytoIran. ChinaandIranalreadydidarecord$4billionworthoftwoway businessin2003.ProjectsincludedChina'sbuildingofthefirst stageofTehran'sMetrorailsystemandacontracttobuilda secondlinkworth$836million.Chinawillbethetopcontenderto buildfourotherplannedlines,includinga30kilometertracktothe airport.InFebruary2003,CheryAutomobileCo,theeighthlargest automakerinChina,openeditsfirstoverseasproductionplantin Iran.Today,itmanufactures30,000Cherycarsannuallyin northeasternIran.Beijingisalsonegotiatingtoconstructa386 kilometerpipelinefromIrantothenorthernCaspianSeato connectwiththelongdistanceKazakhstantoXinjiangpipeline thatitbeganbuildinglastOctober.TheKazakhpipelinehasa capacitytodeliver10milliontonsofoiltoChinaperyear.Despite USblusterandbelligerence,Iranisanythingbutisolatedin today'sworld. TheEuropeanUnionisChina'slargesttradingpartnerandChina istheEU'ssecondlargesttradingpartner(aftertheUnited
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istheEU'ssecondlargesttradingpartner(aftertheUnited States).Backin1989,toprotestthesuppressionofpro democracydemonstratorsinBeijing'sTiananmenSquare,theEU imposedabanonmilitarysalestoChina.Theonlyother countriessotreatedaretrueinternationalpariahssuchas Myanmar,SudanandZimbabwe.EvenNorthKoreaisnotsubject toaformalEuropeanarmsembargo.GiventhattheChinese leadershiphaschangedseveraltimessince1989andasa gestureofgoodwill,theEUhasannounceditsintentiontoliftthe embargo.JacquesChirac,theFrenchpresident,isoneofthe strongestproponentsoftheideaofreplacingUShegemonywitha "multipolarworld".OnavisittoBeijinginOctober,hesaidthat ChinaandFranceshare"acommonvisionoftheworld"andthat liftingtheembargowill"markasignificantmilestone:amoment whenEuropehadtomakeachoicebetweenthestrategic interestsofAmericaandChinaandchoseChina". InhistriptoWesternEuropeinFebruary,Bushrepeatedlysaid, "Thereisdeepconcerninourcountrythatatransferofweapons wouldbeatransferoftechnologytoChina,whichwouldchange thebalanceofrelationsbetweenChinaandTaiwan."Inearly February,theHouseofRepresentativesvoted4113infavorofa resolutioncondemningthepotentialEUmove.TheEuropeans andChinesecontendthattheBushadministrationhasvastly overstateditscase,thatnoweaponscapableofchangingthe balanceofpowerareinvolved,andthattheEUisnotaimingto winmassivenewdefensecontractsfromChinabuttostrengthen mutualeconomicrelationsingeneral.ImmediatelyafterBush's tourofEurope,theEUtradecommissioner,PeterMandelson, arrivedinBeijingforhisfirstofficialvisit.Thepurposeofhistrip, hesaid,wastostresstheneedtocreateanewstrategic partnershipbetweenChinaandEurope. Washingtonhasbuttresseditshardlinestancewiththereleaseof manynewintelligenceestimatesdepictingChinaasaformidable militarythreat.Whetherthisintelligenceispoliticizedornot,it arguesthatChina'smilitarymodernizationisaimedpreciselyat counteringtheUSNavy'scarrierstrikegroups,whichwould assumedlybeusedintheTaiwanStraitincaseofwar.Chinais certainlybuildingalargefleetofnuclearsubmarinesandisan activeparticipantintheEU'sGalileoProjecttoproduceasatellite navigationsystemnotcontrolledbytheUSmilitary.TheDefense DepartmentworriesthatBeijingmightadapttheGalileo technologytoantisatellitepurposes.USmilitaryanalystsare alsoimpressedbyChina'slaunch,onOctober15,2003,ofa spacecraftcontainingasingleastronautwhowassuccessfully returnedtoEarththefollowingday.OnlytheformerUSSRand theUnitedStateshadpreviouslysenthumansintoouterspace. Chinaalreadyhas500550shortrangeballisticmissilesdeployed oppositeTaiwanandhas24CSS4intercontinentalballistic missiles(ICBMs)witharangeof13,000kilometerstodeteraUS missileattackontheChinesemainland.AccordingtoRichard Fisher,aresearcherattheUSbasedCenterforSecurityPolicy, "TheforcesthatChinaisputtinginplacerightnowwillprobably bemorethansufficienttodealwithasingleAmericanaircraft carrierbattlegroup."ArthurLauder,aprofessorofinternational relationsattheUniversityofPennsylvania,concurred.Hesaid theChinesemilitary"istheonlyonebeingdevelopedanywherein theworldtodaythatisspecificallyconfiguredtofighttheUnited StatesofAmerica". TheUSobviouslycannotwishawaythiscapability,butithasno evidencethatChinaisdoinganythingmorethancounteringthe threatscomingfromtheBushadministration.Itseekstoavoid warwithTaiwanandtheUSbydeterringthemfromseparating TaiwanfromChina.Forthisreason,China'sproformalegislature,

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TaiwanfromChina.Forthisreason,China'sproformalegislature, theNationalPeople'sCongress,passedalawthismonthmaking secessionfromChinaillegalandauthorizingtheuseofforcein caseaterritorytriedtoleavethecountry. TheJapanesegovernment,ofcourse,backstheUSpositionthat Chinaconstitutesamilitarythreattotheentireregion. Interestinglyenough,however,theAustraliangovernmentof PrimeMinisterJohnHoward,aloyalallyoftheUnitedStates whenitcomestoIraq,hasdecidedtodefyBushontheissueof liftingtheEuropeanarmsembargo.Australiaplacesahigh premiumongoodrelationswithChinaandishopingtonegotiatea freetradeagreementbetweenthetwocountries.Canberrahas thereforedecidedtosupporttheEUinliftingthe15yearold embargo.ChiracandGermanChancellorGerhardSchroederboth say,"Itwillhappen." TheUnitedStateshaslongproclaimedthatLatinAmericaispart ofits"sphereofinfluence",andbecauseofthatmostforeign countrieshavetotreadcarefullyindoingbusinessthere. However,inthesearchforfuelandmineralsforitsbooming economy,ChinaisopenlycourtingmanyLatinAmerican countriesregardlessofwhatWashingtonthinks.OnNovember 15,PresidentHuJintaoendedafivedayvisittoBrazilduring whichhesignedmorethanadozenaccordsaimedatexpanding Brazil'ssalestoChinaandChineseinvestmentinBrazil.Under oneagreementBrazilwillexporttoChinaasmuchas$800million annuallyinbeefandpoultry.Inturn,ChinaagreedwithBrazil's statecontrolledoilcompanytofinancea$1.3billiongaspipeline betweenRiodeJaneiroandBahiaoncetechnicalstudiesare completed.ChinaandBrazilalsoenteredintoa"strategic partnership"withtheobjectiveofraisingthevalueofbilateral tradefrom$10billionin2004to$20billionby2007.PresidentHu saidthispartnershipsymbolized"anewinternationalpolitical orderthatfavoreddevelopingcountries". Intheweeksthatfollowed,Chinasignedimportantinvestment andtradeagreementswithArgentina,Venezuela,Bolivia,Chile andCuba.Ofparticularinterest,inDecember,PresidentHugo ChavezofVenezuelavisitedChinaandagreedtogiveitwide rangingaccesstohiscountry'soilreserves.Venezuelaisthe world'sfifthlargestoilexporterandnormallysellsabout60%of itsoutputtotheUnitedStates,butunderthenewagreements Chinawillbeallowedtooperate15matureoilfieldsineastern Venezuela.Chinawillinvestabout$350milliontoextractoiland another$60millioninnaturalgaswells. ChinaisalsoworkingtointegrateEastAsia'ssmallercountries intosomeformofneweconomicandpoliticalcommunity.Such analignment,ifitcomesintobeing,willcertainlyerodeUSand Japaneseinfluenceinthearea.InNovember,the10nationsthat makeupASEAN(Brunei,Myanmar,Cambodia,Indonesia,Laos, Malaysia,thePhilippines,Singapore,ThailandandVietnam),met intheLaotiancapitalVientiane,joinedbytheleadersofChina, JapanandSouthKorea.TheUnitedStateswasnotinvitedand theJapaneseofficialsseemeduncomfortablebeingthere.The purposewastoplanforanEastAsiansummitmeetingtobeheld nextNovembertobegincreatingan"EastAsiaCommunity".Last December,theASEANcountriesandChinaalsoagreedtocreate afreetradezoneamongthemselvesby2010. AccordingtoEdwardCodyoftheWashingtonPost,"Trade betweenChinaandthe10ASEANcountrieshasincreasedabout 20%ayearsince1990,andthepacehaspickedupinthelast severalyears."Thistradehit$78.2billionin2003andwas reportedtobeabout$100billionbytheendof2004.Assenior JapanesepoliticalcommentatorYoichiFunabashiobserved,"The

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JapanesepoliticalcommentatorYoichiFunabashiobserved,"The ratioofintraregionaltrade[inEastAsia]toworldwidetradewas nearly52%in2002.Thoughthisfigureislowerthanthe62%in theEU,ittopsthe46%ofNAFTA[theNorthAmericanFree TradeAgreement].EastAsiaisthusbecominglessdependenton theUSintermsoftrade." Chinaistheprimarymovingforcebehindtheseefforts.According toFunabashi,China'sleadershipplanstousethecountry's explosiveeconomicgrowthanditsevermorepowerfullinksto regionaltradingpartnerstomarginalizetheUnitedStatesand isolateJapaninEastAsia.HearguesthattheUnitedStates underestimatedhowdeeplydistrustedithadbecomeintheregion thankstoitsnarrowmindedandideologicalresponsetotheEast Asianfinancialcrisisof1997,whichitlargelycaused.On November30,MichaelReiss,thedirectorofpolicyplanninginthe StateDepartment,saidinTokyo,"TheUS,asapowerinthe WesternPacific,hasaninterestinEastAsia.Wewouldbe unhappyaboutanyplanstoexcludetheUSfromtheframework ofdialogueandcooperationinthisregion."Butitisprobably alreadytoolatefortheBushadministrationtodomuchmorethan delaythearrivalofaChinadominatedEastAsianCommunity, particularlybecauseofdecliningUSeconomicandfinancial strength. ForJapan,thechoicesaremoredifficultstill.SinoJapanese enmityhashadalonghistoryinEastAsia,alwayswith disastrousoutcomes.BeforeWorldWarII,oneofJapan'smost influentialwritersonChineseaffairs,HotsumiOzaki,prophetically warnedthatJapan,byrefusingtoadjusttotheChineserevolution andinsteadmakingwaronit,wouldonlyradicalizetheChinese peopleandcontributetothecomingtopoweroftheChinese CommunistParty.Hespenthislifeworkingonthequestion"Why shouldthesuccessoftheChineserevolutionbetoJapan's disadvantage?"In1944,theJapanesegovernmenthangedOzaki asatraitor,buthisquestionremainsasrelevanttodayasitwas inthelate1930s. WhyshouldChina'semergenceasarich,successfulcountrybe tothedisadvantageofeitherJapanortheUnitedStates?History teachesusthattheleastintelligentresponsetothisdevelopment wouldbetotrytostopitthroughmilitaryforce.AsaHongKong wisecrackhasit,Chinahasjusthadacoupleofbadcenturies andnowit'sback.Theworldneedstoadjustpeacefullytoits legitimateclaimsoneofwhichisforothernationstostop militarizingtheTaiwanproblemwhilecheckingunreasonable Chineseeffortstoimposeitswillontheregion.Unfortunately,the trendofeventsinEastAsiasuggestswemayyetseea repetitionofthelastSinoJapaneseconflict,onlythistimetheUS isunlikelytobeonthewinningside. (Sourcecitationsandotherreferencesforthisarticleareavailable onthewebsiteoftheJapanPolicyResearchInstitute.) ChalmersJohnsonispresidentoftheJapanPolicyResearch Institute.ThefirsttwobooksinhisBlowbackTrilogyBlowback: TheCostsandConsequencesofAmericanEmpire,andThe SorrowsofEmpire:Militarism,Secrecy,andtheEndofthe Republicarenowavailableinpaperback.Thethirdvolumeis beingwritten.ThisarticleappearedpreviouslyonTomdispatch http://www.tomdispatch.com/andisusedherebypermission. (Copyright2005ChalmersJohnson.)

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