Азиатские тигры (igor_tiger) wrote,
Азиатские тигры

Китай в геополитике

Как Китай играет Большую Игру

One of the reasons the United States and its NATO allies are losing ground to China in the global geopolitical race is the belief in the permanence of tradition and precedent in world affairs—this in an age when paradigm shifts are taking place at an accelerating pace, and when even core realities can change beyond recognition within a decade.
There’s no better example of this trend than the People’s Republic of China itself, which has morphed several times since its founding in 1949. Indeed, to understand present-day China better, and to adjust policy accordingly, some Western analysts might need to set aside the fundamental preconceptions they’ve picked up from studying China’s evolution. Because the fact is, many of them are no longer valid.

Broadly speaking, each decade since 1949 has seen changes in the form and spread of economic progress and societal evolution in China. The first saw the consolidation of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) power. The next, 1959-69, saw the establishment of Mao Zedong’s personal dictatorship over the party. The third, 1969-79, reflected the leadership's efforts at fashioning a strategy for ensuring the global success of China, even if this meant allying itself with the United States. The period from 1979 to 1989 saw the reversal of the economic stagnation of the previous three centuries.

But if the 1990s were a period of experimentation with Western culture and possible strategic alliances, the next decade saw the growth of a Han nationalism that had as its core objective the restoration of China's long-cherished status as the world’s leading nation. This was reflected in a deepening self-reliance in technology as well as a geopolitical push to wrest primacy from the United States—first in Asia and Africa, before moving on to South America and finally Europe.

Because China has emerged as a serious challenger to US pre-eminence, it’s not surprising that one of the arenas of confrontation is Afghanistan. If this rivalry hasn’t received the attention that it’s due, it’s more than likely because China has typically attempted to fulfil its objectives there in as ‘silent’ a way as it can (this is in stark contrast with the United States, which usually advertises its engagement and confrontation, in part to bolster perceptions of US global primacy).

Many of those who suffer the misfortune of still remembering the words of Rudyard Kipling believe that the present Afghan situation resembles his ‘Great Game,’ which was played out between the British and Russian empires for mastery of Central Asia. But while current events in Afghanistan are indeed following an already-trodden path, it’s one that’s less 19th century and more 20th —specifically the 1980s. In this age of accelerating change, history seldom gets repeated beyond a 20-year cycle (a cycle which itself is likely to shorten further).

What’s taking place in Afghanistan is in many respects a repeat of what took place when the United States and Saudi Arabia used the Pakistan Army to wage an unconventional war against the Soviets. Today, that very military (the only one in the world to have Jihad as its official motto) is being sought out by China to script the humiliation of what some see as an exhausted superpower—the United States.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about the new Great Game is that it may not be taking place with the participation of several of the organs of state power in China. In fact, it looks very much like it’s being scripted almost entirely by a single entity—the PLA—which has today become a near autonomous player within the Chinese structure of governance.

This is a considerable shift. Both Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping kept the PLA on a tight leash, the former making it an accomplice of his depredations on those elements in the CCP that he regarded as foes, and the latter succeeding in pushing it out of sight. However, once Jiang Zemin took control of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1990s, he began to indulge the PLA, a process that has yet to be reversed by his successor.

In part, this could be down to the fact that Jiang established a possible precedent whereby a CCP general secretary could extend his period in formal authority and policy relevance by continuing as chairman of the Central Military Commission beyond his retirement as CCP general secretary (Jiang doing so for 20 months after handing over the party baton to Hu Jintao in 2002).

Given his Asia-oriented geopolitical vision and his desire to ensure that the CCP respond to grassroots sentiment rather than rely on coercion, Hu is likely to seek to continue as CMC chief even after stepping down as party head in 2012. Because of this, he too has adopted as conciliatory a line towards the PLA as Jiang did, in the process allowing it to fashion policy in several crucial theatres, including India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In each of these, the policies adopted by the CCP core reflect the perceptions and narrow needs of the PLA rather than that of the broader state.

Over the past 15 years, the control of ‘the party over the gun’ has eroded, one consequence being that displays of muscle have taken place that have run counter to Deng’s philosophy of ‘speaking softly’ even while carrying a big stick. One clear example was the display of military temper across the Taiwan Strait in the 1990s. More recently there’s been the present standoff with India over the status of Kashmir and tensions with South-east Asian countries about the extent of their claim on territorial waters in the South China Sea.

In foreign policy, the PLA has become an autonomous player within the CCP pantheon, rather than being limited by the policy set by the State Council. Because of this, some disconnect has developed between General Secretary Hu's vision of a close alliance between China and India and the actual direction of policy.

The PLA, after all, has its own priorities, seeing the Pakistan Army as its closest ally in Asia after the militaries of North Korea and Burma. The consequence has been a policy toward India that has been tilted in a way similar to that adopted by Nixon and Kissinger in the early 1970s.
Meanwhile, while the US defence secretary fantasizes publicly about the loyalty and reliability of the Pakistan Army, despite the reality being that since the launch of the Afghan war in 2001 and the 2003 occupation of Iraq, more and more members of Pakistan’s officer corps have turned hostile to the United States (a sentiment apparently not hidden at regimental dinner tables).
The reason why such a shift in opinion is significant can be found in the fact that successors of Zia ul-Haq as Pakistan’s chief of the army staff need the support of the key corps commanders to retain authority within the overall force. In a way, this dependence on his peers is similar to that of the once all-powerful general secretary of the CCP, who needed to have the backing of the Politburo to ensure he didn’t go the way of Hua Guofeng, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang—all three of whom were rendered ineffective by opposition from within the Politburo's Standing Committee.

Today, Pakistan’s corps commanders view Beijing as a far more natural partner than Washington, and consequently respond to signals from there rather than from the Pentagon. But even if Chief of the Army Staff Gen. P A Kayani wanted to advance the NATO agenda in Afghanistan (itself improbable) he’d be unable to do so, given his need to have senior commanders on his side in the perpetual effort to ensure the primacy of the military over the civilian establishment in Pakistan.

Yet, although the Indian strategic community regards the world's most populous democracy as being the target of the PLA's expansion of its capabilities within the Indian Ocean Rim, the reality is that India plays only a subsidiary role in the PLA’s considerations. The PLA actually sees the US armed forces as its main rival, and responds to India only to the extent that it perceives Delhi to be a fellow traveller of the United States.

It’s hardly a secret that the PLA would like the US military to exit from Asia, and what better way of hurrying this along than by ensuring that NATO is defeated in Afghanistan, the way the USSR military was? The best way of achieving this objective is through the Pakistan Army, which has perfected the science of professing compliance with US commands while apparently doing very little to carry them out. Indeed, it has shown considerable skill in doing the reverse, sabotaging US interests through ‘retired’ and ‘on leave’ personnel, so that deniability can be maintained. Both the Pakistan Army and the PLA evidently believe that a US victory in Afghanistan would entrench US forces in that country, while a defeat would send them packing, leaving the  country as low-hanging fruit for the intrepid duo to dominate.

Small wonder, then, that the many ‘operations’ against the Taliban that are being conducted by the Pakistan Army seem to be having zero success in checking the progress of that ragtag band, this despite the fact that—unlike in 1994-95—the Taliban is feared and loathed by the overwhelming majority of Pashtuns.

This is why the PLA is even willing to make a foe of India—riling Delhi over Kashmir, including by rejecting visas to Indian army commanders who they had themselves invited to visit, and stationing thousands of uniformed personnel in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir, ostensibly to build roads.

So what would the prize be should China prevail in this 21th century version of the Great Game? It would be nothing less than the replacement of the United States by China as the pre-eminent military power in Asia. It would look much, in fact, like the defeat of the Soviets in 1988, which ultimately led to the eclipse of Moscow by Washington across the globe.

Китай как супердержава

(Йошка Фишер, немецкий экс-министр "голубых кровей", в Ялте во время  YES написал статью для Проекта «Синдикат»)

Given its rapid and successful development, there can be no doubt that the People’s Republic of China will become one of the dominant global powers of the 21st century. Indeed, despite the massive problems that the country is confronting, it could even emerge as the global power.
But it would be a mistake to assume that the reemergence of so-called “XXL powers” like China and India will simply bring a continuation of Western traditions. We will have to deal with a different type of superpower.
Ever since the European powers set sail at the end of the 15th century to conquer the world, historiography and international politics have become accustomed to a certain pattern: military, economic, and technological power is translated into the exercise of influence over other countries, conquest, and even global dominance and empire.
This was particularly true in the 20th century, when, in the wake of two world wars, the United States and the Soviet Union replaced the European world powers on the global stage. The Cold War and the period of U.S. global dominance after 1989/1990 followed this pattern as well.

But China’s rise to global power, I believe, will not, owing to its massive population of 1.2 billion people, which threatens to overstretch the structures of any kind of government system and its decision-makers. This is all the more true in times of rapid fundamental change, as is occurring in China now.

The permanent danger of overstretching the country’s internal political structures is unlikely to permit any imperial foreign-policy role. Insofar as this is true, the United States won’t be replaced as the dominant power unless and until it abdicates that role. This may sound simple, but it will have far-reaching consequences for the coming century’s international order.

The vital interests guiding Chinese policy are internal modernization, the ruling regime’s political stability and survival, and the country’s unity (which includes Taiwan). These interests are unlikely to change for a long time.

As a result, China will become a largely inward-looking superpower, which ― precisely for that reason ― will pursue its foreign-policy interests in a completely unsentimental manner. Militarily, China will focus primarily on its regional supremacy, because the country’s unity depends on it. Otherwise, though, the transformation of China’s economy and society will be all-important, because the regime’s stability depends on it.

For the Chinese leadership, this means that a growth rate of about 10 percent per year will be essential for a long time. Otherwise, the rapid and fundamental transformation of the country from a largely agrarian to an ultra-modern industrialized society could not proceed without destabilizing the system.

But this focus on internal growth will have massive political consequences, both domestically and in foreign-policy terms. Domestically, China will be the first country that, due to its sheer size and required GDP growth, is forced to pursue a “green” economy. Otherwise, China would quickly reach its “limits to growth,” with disastrous ecological and, as a result, political consequences.

Since China  will be the most important market of the future, it will be decisive in determining not only what we produce and consume, but how. Consider the transition from the traditional automobile to electric transport.
Despite European illusions to the contrary, this will be decided in China, not in the West. All that will be decided by the West’s globally dominant automobile industry is whether it will adapt and have a chance to survive or go the way of other old Western industries: to the developing world.
In foreign-policy terms, China will attempt to protect its domestic transformation by securing resources and access to foreign markets. Sooner or later, though, China’s government will come to realize that America’s role as a global regulator is indispensible for China’s vital foreign-policy interests, because China is unable to assume that role, other global players aren’t available, and the only alternative to the U.S. would be a breakdown of order.

This U.S.-Chinese tandem will run far from smoothly, and will do little but ameliorate crises and periods of serious economic and political confrontation, like that which is currently looming over the bilateral trade imbalance.
Strategically, however, China and the U.S. will have to rely on one another for a long time. This co-dependency will, at some point, also take shape politically, probably to the chagrin of all other international players, particularly the Europeans.
could change the course of this development only if it presented itself as a serious player and stood up for its interests on the global stage. The “G-2” of China and the U.S. would probably be happy about that. But Europe  is too weak and too divided to be effective globally, with its leaders unwilling to pursue a common policy based on their countries’ own strategic interests.

Tags: Китай

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded