Unfavorable ratings of China have ticked above a majority in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That’s not the heartiest welcome for Xi Jinping, the country’s current vice president — and perhaps future president — ahead of his meeting with President Obama on Tuesday.
In the new survey, 52 percent say they view China unfavorably, with 37 percent holding favorable views. Just over a year ago — around the time of the last official Chinese visit — there was a more even divide: 42 percent favorable and 49 percent unfavorable. Now, as before, strongly unfavorable views outnumber strongly favorable ones by about 3 to 1.
Born June 1953
Career His father was a revolutionary hero and a steady rise through party ranks, aided by expert networking, is set to take Xi to the very top. His family background has dogged him at times but also speeded him on his course.
High point Emerging as heir apparent to Hu Jintao at the 17th party congress in 2007. Many had expected Li Keqiang – now expected to become premier – to take the position.
Low point Coming last in the vote for membership of the central committee in 1997, amid hostility to princelings. Connections won him a place as an alternate.
What he says “Are you trying to give me a fright?” (when asked by a reporter, in 2002, whether he would be a top leader within the decade).
What they say “He’s more assertive than Hu Jintao. When he enters the room, you know there is a significant presence here … [But] when they rise through their hierarchy, it serves no purpose to indicate differences or even alternative directions.” (Henry Kissinger)
For Xi Jinping, set to become China’s next leader, father’s past is sensitive
Xi and his princeling comrades (dong-chi) will be confronted by certain facts. Red China and the United States have developed a co-dependency: borrowing from China to finance the federal debt and the availability of cheap export goods to American consumers. In order to sustain economic growth, the Party must increase domestic consumerism. This in turn grows the middle class which will demand more freedom.
The social contract between The Party and the population depends upon increasing and sustainable properity — national capitalism entails market risks, like democratic capitalism. Increasing wages, however, necessarily means fewer jobs for the export market and lower economic growth to sustain social stability. An emphasis on domestic consumerism, including rural development, is in the long range self-interest of The Party and the Chinese people.
Among the future economic problems, beyond Party solidarity in the wake of the Bo Xilai scandal, is a burgeoning real estate bubble. We all know that a similar scenario resulted in the meltdown of the US economy.
Figures don’t lie, but liars figure (…and more empty shopping malls)
China’s ‘black collar class’ unmasked: The ten most powerful business chiefs who are poised to take over the world
Control of the skies: Zhang Qingwei
Why China’s Political Model Is Superior
By ERIC X. LI
Published: February 16, 2012
THIS week the Obama administration is playing host to Xi Jinping, China’s vice president and heir apparent. The world’s most powerful electoral democracy and its largest one-party state are meeting at a time of political transition for both.
Many have characterized the competition between these two giants as a clash between democracy and authoritarianism. But this is false. America and China view their political systems in fundamentally different ways: whereas America sees democratic government as an end in itself, China sees its current form of government, or any political system for that matter, merely as a means to achieving larger national ends.
In the history of human governance, spanning thousands of years, there have been two major experiments in democracy. The first was Athens, which lasted a century and a half; the second is the modern West. If one defines democracy as one citizen one vote, American democracy is only 92 years old. In practice it is only 47 years old, if one begins counting after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — far more ephemeral than all but a handful of China’s dynasties.
Why, then, do so many boldly claim they have discovered the ideal political system for all mankind and that its success is forever assured?
The answer lies in the source of the current democratic experiment. It began with the European Enlightenment. Two fundamental ideas were at its core: the individual is rational, and the individual is endowed with inalienable rights. These two beliefs formed the basis of a secular faith in modernity, of which the ultimate political manifestation is democracy.
In its early days, democratic ideas in political governance facilitated the industrial revolution and ushered in a period of unprecedented economic prosperity and military power in the Western world. Yet at the very beginning, some of those who led this drive were aware of the fatal flaw embedded in this experiment and sought to contain it.
The American Federalists made it clear they were establishing a republic, not a democracy, and designed myriad means to constrain the popular will. But as in any religion, faith would prove stronger than rules.
The political franchise expanded, resulting in a greater number of people participating in more and more decisions. As they say in America, “California is the future.” And the future means endless referendums, paralysis and insolvency.
In Athens, ever-increasing popular participation in politics led to rule by demagogy. And in today’s America, money is now the great enabler of demagogy. As the Nobel-winning economist A. Michael Spence has put it, America has gone from “one propertied man, one vote; to one man, one vote; to one person, one vote; trending to one dollar, one vote.” By any measure, the United States is a constitutional republic in name only. Elected representatives have no minds of their own and respond only to the whims of public opinion as they seek re-election; special interests manipulate the people into voting for ever-lower taxes and higher government spending, sometimes even supporting self-destructive wars.
The West’s current competition with China is therefore not a face-off between democracy and authoritarianism, but rather the clash of two fundamentally different political outlooks. The modern West sees democracy and human rights as the pinnacle of human development. It is a belief premised on an absolute faith.
China is on a different path. Its leaders are prepared to allow greater popular participation in political decisions if and when it is conducive to economic development and favorable to the country’s national interests, as they have done in the past 10 years.
However, China’s leaders would not hesitate to curtail those freedoms if the conditions and the needs of the nation changed. The 1980s were a time of expanding popular participation in the country’s politics that helped loosen the ideological shackles of the destructive Cultural Revolution. But it went too far and led to a vast rebellion at Tiananmen Square.
That uprising was decisively put down on June 4, 1989. The Chinese nation paid a heavy price for that violent event, but the alternatives would have been far worse.
The resulting stability ushered in a generation of growth and prosperity that propelled China’s economy to its position as the second largest in the world.
The fundamental difference between Washington’s view and Beijing’s is whether political rights are considered God-given and therefore absolute or whether they should be seen as privileges to be negotiated based on the needs and conditions of the nation.
The West seems incapable of becoming less democratic even when its survival may depend on such a shift. In this sense, America today is similar to the old Soviet Union, which also viewed its political system as the ultimate end.
History does not bode well for the American way. Indeed, faith-based ideological hubris may soon drive democracy over the cliff.
March 13, 2012 at 08:46:51
The Great Scam of China
By Gildas Sapiens
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the Chinese Communists feared they would soon become the target of a new, ruinous Cold War. They needed a new strategy to deal with the “New World Order”.
Fortunately for them, the USA was distracted by Saddam Hussein’s defiant antics after his army had been unceremoniously expelled from Kuwait, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, & the Israel Lobby’s obsessive, supremacist ambitions to reshape the entire Middle East for Zionism.
The Chinese Communists had their breathing space, to ponder Sun Tzu’s maxims:
- “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
- “All warfare is based on deception.”
- “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment – that which they cannot anticipate.”
- “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”
…& to devise their strategy.
Thus, since the mid-1990s, the Chinese Communist Party has conspired, with “Westernized” Chinese Nationalist entrepreneurs from Hong Kong & Taiwan (who’ve provided the smiling, acceptable face of doing business with the Communist Party & the Red Army), to tear the manufacturing (&, increasingly, the service-sector) hearts out of the USA & Europe, undermining (perhaps fatally) the entire Western economy, & bringing to their Chinese subjects a level of prosperity unknown in China’s history.
Meanwhile, the Party, itself, remains an unreformed, unreconstructed, totalitarian, potentially-genocidal Mafia.
In short the Chinese Commies found a way to use Westerners’ greed, & especially the greed of the West’s 1%, to destroy their hated Western enemies without firing a shot.
Sun Tzu & Emperor Qin Shi Huang would be ROFL in hysterics!
The myth of China as a harmless tiger
James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has said that China poses a “mortal threat” to the United States. And that is not a myth.
The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the Philippines’ first Hamilton-class warship, docks at the Port of Manila in 2011.
Philippine Warship in Standoff With China Vessels
By JAMES HOOKWAY
The Philippine government said its newest warship is locked in a standoff with two Chinese surveillance vessels in a fresh dispute over fishing rights in the resource-rich South China Sea, potentially escalating an already-tense security environment in the contested region.
Wednesday afternoon, the Philippines said it had agreed with China to diplomatically resolve the dispute, according to the Associated Press.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario said he met with Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing and both reaffirmed their governments’ positions that the Scarborough Shoal where the ships are facing off was part of their own country’s territory and neither was ready to stand down.
Mr. del Rosario said that despite the impasse, “we resolved to seek a diplomatic solution to the issue.”
“The ambassador of China took the view that they have full sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal,” Mr. del Rosario told reporters after the meeting at his Manila office, according to AP. “So, in a sense we had reached an impasse in terms of our positions. And so there’s a real challenge for us in terms of our agreement to keep on talking today.”
The two navies engaged each other after the Philippine vessel—a former Coast Guard cutter provided by the U.S. Navy—attempted to arrest the crew of several Chinese fishing boats who were anchored at Scarborough Shoal, off the Philippines’ northwest coast but which is also claimed by China. The Philippine government said Chinese surveillance vessels intervened to prevent any arrests, leading to the standoff, and that Filipino sailors who inspected the Chinese vessels on Tuesday found illegally collected corals and live sharks in one of the fishing boats.
China is locked in a series of overlapping territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei, who claim either all or part of the South China Sea as their sovereign territory. The dispute has flared in recent months as the region’s potential energy reserves begin to draw growing attention.
Over the past year, Vietnam and the Philippines have accused Chinese navy craft of harassing oil-exploration vessels operating in their United Nations-defined maritime economic zones. Beijing has denied that, but has warned Vietnam and the Philippines from prospecting in the area without its permission.
“This is part of larger pattern. These new standoffs are coming to light only because we are better positioned to stand up to China now,” said a Philippine military official who asked not to be identified.
China’s foreign ministry in Beijing couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. The Chinese Embassy in Manila released a statement earlier in the day saying that 12 fishing boats had sought shelter from a storm in a lagoon. “Two Chinese marine surveillance ships are in this area fulfilling the duties of safeguarding Chinese maritime rights and interests,” the statement said, adding that the shoal “is an integral part of the Chinese territory and the waters around the traditional fishing area for Chinese fishermen.”
Vietnamese navy personnel patrolled on Truong Sa islands, also known as the Spratly islands, on April 13, 2010.
The U.S., too, has angered China in stating that the South China Sea, which carries about half the world’s trade, remains free for navigation. Washington has stepped up military and diplomatic ties with Hanoi and Manila, providing the refurbished cutter, now named the Gregorio del Pilar, to the Philippine navy last year and pledging to deliver another craft. Next week, the U.S. and Philippine militaries will resume an annual series of military exercises, including drills off the Philippines’ western coast.
Those exercises appear likely to further antagonize Beijing. Already this week, a hawkish Chinese general has warned that the Philippines is facing its “last chance” to peacefully resolve sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea. Maj. Gen. Luo Yuan, writing in the Global Times newspaper, accused the Philippines of hijacking a recent Southeast Asian summit in order to further pressure China over the South China Sea, and warned that Manila’s alleged provocations would fail.
“The biggest miscalculation of the Philippines is that it has misestimated the strength and willpower of China to defends its territorial integrity,” Gen. Luo wrote.
While not necessarily reflecting the Chinese governments views, Gen. Luo’s comments show signs of growing impatience with the Philippines after Manila adopted a more aggressive stance towards its South China Sea claims under President Benigno Aquino III, who was elected in 2010 and has since sought to revive the Philippines’ sometimes fragile ties to the U.S.
Diplomats say the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was much more wary of antagonizing Beijing.
The Philippines is also working on developing a closer relationship with Vietnam.
Previously there was relatively little contact between the two countries, but now there is a growing military-to-military relationship that might soon result in the two countries holding formal exercises, or at least joint search-and-rescue training, diplomats say.
In addition, the Philippines has proposed holding soccer matches between Filipino and Vietnamese troops on some of the contested atolls in the South China Sea. Philippine Admiral Alexander Pama Tuesday told reporters the Philippines has suggested sending some sailors and troops to Vietnamese-occupied islands, while Vietnamese troops could visit Philippine-held islands. Adm. Pama said it could be called the “fun games,” and stressed there would be no firearms training involved.
Chinese fishing boats leave disputed shoal, defusing standoff between China, Philippines