"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
5 The Technology War1 The Geopolitical WarChapter 7: US-China Relations and Wars2020-10-18Journal1 The Geopolitical War2 The Geopolitical War3 The Geopolitical War4 The Geopolitical War5 The Geopolitical War6 The Geopolitical War7 The Geopolitical War8 The Geopolitical War
Sovereignty, especially as it relates to the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the East and South China Seas, is probably China’s biggest issue. As you might imagine, the “100 years of humiliation” period and the invasions by foreign “barbarians” during it gave Mao and the Chinese leaders to this day compelling reasons to a) have complete sovereignty within their borders, b) get back the parts of China that were taken away from them (e.g., Taiwan and Hong Kong), and c) never be so weak that they can be pushed around by foreign powers. China’s desire for sovereignty and to maintain its distinct ways of doing things (i.e., its culture) are why the Chinese reject American demands for them to change Chinese internal policies (e.g., to be more democratic, to handle Tibetans and the Uighurs differently, to dictate China’s dealing with Hong Kong and Taiwan, etc.). In private some Chinese point out that they don’t dictate how the United States should treat people within its borders. They also believe that the United States and European countries are culturally prone to proselytizing—i.e., to imposing on others their values, their Judeo-Christian beliefs, their morals, and their ways of operating—and that this inclination developed through the millennia, since before the Crusades. To them the sovereignty risk and the proselytizing risk make a dangerous combination that could threaten China’s ability to be all it can be by following the approaches that it believes are best. The Chinese believe that their having that sovereignty and that ability to approach things that they believe is best as determined by their hierarchical governance structure is uncompromisable. Regarding the sovereignty issue, they also point out that there are reasons for them to believe that the United States would topple their government—i.e., the Chinese Communist Party—if it could, which is also intolerable.\[4\] These are the biggest existential threats that I believe the Chinese would fight to the death to defeat and the United States must be careful in dealing with China if it wants to prevent a hot war. For issues not involving sovereignty, I believe the Chinese expect to fight to influence them non-violently but to avoid having a hot war over.
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