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China at sea

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By Hugo Restall

Comments by China's national defense spokesman last month make it about as official as it's going to get: China's navy is in the market for an aircraft carrier. This is a sign that Beijing sees its ultimate prize within grasp: emergence as East Asia's preeminent great power. So should the region, and the protector of its stability for the last half century, the United States, be worried?

First things first: China is not about to knock America off its perch as the world's sole superpower. Developing the capacity to deploy aircraft carriers is a feat of incredible complexity. China's carrier project will take at least a decade to realize, and it will require billions of dollars and a great deal of the country's military design capacity. Even the Soviet Union found it difficult to master carrier operation, as China knows full well -- since 1998 it has bought the hulks of three Soviet carriers to study them. Just forming the flotilla to protect one carrier would require most of the modern ships currently in China's fleet.

Yet there's every reason to believe China will achieve its goal eventually and deploy multiple carriers. It will likely start by using aircraft bought from Russia but go on to develop its own weapons systems. China will end up with a much smaller ship than the American super-carriers, with weapons about a generation behind. But this will still put it far ahead of its neighbors -- no East Asian country currently has carrier capacity.

So the balance of power in Asia is going to shift dramatically in the decade ahead, and nowhere will the effects be more evident than in the South China Sea. Beijing is already constructing a major naval base on its southern island of Hainan. The naval buildup would give Beijing a freer hand to enforce its claims to South China Sea islands -- claims that are disputed by five other countries. The waters through which much of the world's trade now flows, from the Malacca Strait to Taiwan, would effectively become a Chinese lake.

The timing of the move, too, is significant. China hesitated for years before declaring its intent to develop carrier capability because of the potential reaction of its neighbors. A Chinese aircraft carrier prowling the neighborhood could be the final straw that causes Southeast Asian nations to band together to protect their claims, or strengthen ties with the U.S. In particular, Vietnam has periodically hinted that it might put aside the past and form an alliance with Washington. By building up its military capability, China runs the risk of finding itself worse-off strategically.

But Beijing may feel it's now strong enough to fend off such moves. The underpinning of military power is economic strength. With the U.S. facing a major economic downturn, some in Beijing are looking forward to the decline of America's presence in the region, and they know that the leaders in other Asian capitals are making the same calculations. Now is an opportune time to push those leaders into accepting China's role as future regional hegemon, and test a new U.S. administration. If the U.S. were to relinquish its role, Southeast Asia might not be able to balance against China's might.

Already the doubts about the U.S. are inflicting a cost. Naval spending in Asia is surging, a development that could increase tensions along many other fault lines. The biggest question mark is how Japan, the only nation in the region that has the means and the motive to stand up to China, will react. Tokyo has long been preoccupied with securing the sea lanes through which its supply of oil passes. Should Japan feel the need to embark on a major rearmament program, it could touch off a regional arms race.

These are worst case scenarios. There is another possibility, however: that China's ambitious plan might be a positive development. In the past, the People's Liberation Army has emphasized asymmetrical warfare, apparently believing it could find inexpensive and innovative ways to counteract American might. If it is now moving toward a more conventional road of military modernization, pitting like against like, that is less likely to cause the miscalculations that lead to war, because China is less likely to be seduced by ideas that it can neutralize U.S. superiority with asymmetry.

The carrier plan also signals a shift away from devoting the bulk of the PLA's modernization drive to the goal of capturing of Taiwan. Beijing primarily needs more submarines and missiles to keep the U.S. out of the area and intimidate Taiwan into submission. A carrier would be little help in most such scenarios, since the island is already within easy range of land-based aircraft, and a carrier would be a tempting target for Taiwanese and U.S. forces.

A Chinese carrier could also participate in the kinds of goodwill missions that the U.S. has used to such positive effect. Since no other East Asian power possesses a carrier, China's new ship would be a status symbol, useful for showing the flag and enhancing national prestige. A carrier would also enable China to better contribute to peacekeeping and disaster-relief missions, as the U.S. showed after the tsunami four years ago.

The U.S. is watching these trends, and has reacted by redeploying state-of-the-art ships and aircraft to the western Pacific from elsewhere in the world, and building up facilities on Guam. But it needs to do more to persuade Asians that it intends to remain engaged in the region. Beijing has to get the message that trying to intimidate its neighbors will be self-defeating.

Hugo Restall is the editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review.

© Asian Wall Street Journal

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China's rise towards strategic dominance in the Pacific is doomed to fail for the simple reason that it is the one large militarily powerful Asian country that, although everyone will do business with her, is not trusted politically by all of her smaller neighbors. This is the result of an inherently different political system, a closed dicatorship which despite "opening" her doors still shrouds strategic information in secrecy. China's "threatening" position towards Taiwan, it's iron fist attitude towards Tibet and the Uighur Autonomous Region simply do not convey a warm fuzzy feeling to her neighbors, all of whom watched Tianamen Square in 1989 despite China's efforts to re-write that part of her history. Compounding the matter is that China since becoming the PRC has fought wars and had military conflicts with her neighbors, including her communist-socialist brethren USSR in the north and Vietnam in the south. No country in Asia has as many territorial disputes with other nations as China. Further open advancement of China's military capabilities, particularly the ability to project power further from her own shores will strengthen the resolve of her neighbors to lean towards the United States and the democratic allies. The United States, while not an Asian nation, is indeed a Pacific nation and will not sit idly by. The only way for China to succeed in replacing US dominance is if China herself changes, and earns the trust of her neighbors.

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Ossan: Do know that many Asian worry about the US much more than China? for these some 10- 20 years that we often heard so many innocent people killed in wars the US was involved or supported, and news like the US missles wrongly killed people is not seldom matters. the US government and media keep telling people about how dangerous China is and that did brainwashed some people, but much more people watch and see what the truth really is! As a Taiwanese, I know American is fine and I also don't really worry about China. But as an asian also, I want u don't suppose that we still think like what u think we should! So, pls Stop killing and cheating people and try to win our respect back! American!

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Didn`t the Japanese as well as the American's have carriers well before world war II? I think the Chinese are more than capable of building these ships.

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It is more or less true that China is ever building up stronger military especially navy. They will build up more strategical missiles, aircraft carriers. However China will not invade Taiwan or Japan. China just wants to be international police like US.

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Yosun, you may take a stance on supporting communist controled China if you wish, but Ossan is right about China's neighbors, There was a survey done a couple years back that showed many asian countries " the majority" liked seeing China rise as a society but did not trust China rise as a power. Sorry, China is not trusted or the leaders are not liked by others.. They are still a controlled society controlled by power humgry leaders that has shown will sacrifice anything and all for their hunger for power as history has proven this as FACT! All asia has freedom to historic facts and information, especially the history of the CCP, not like the society in China, which gives those out side of China reason to believe that China is not a trustworth partner when it comes to just about everything, Information is always kept at a very slow trickle out of China if at all. Democracies will never lay their trust is such a regime such as the leadership of those that suppress even their own people. Come on... face reality!

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It is true that some Asian nations are apprehensive about china naval expansion. In the reality, their navy has a long way to go. For building air craft carriers & Sub marines require massive amount of billions & decades. China's raders, sona sounder & sattelite navigation are inferior. They do not need to spend the fortunes for unreliable navy. Missiles are faster & more precised than air craft carriers.

MITRIV (Multiple Indepently Targetable re-entry Vehicles) are more useful than carriers. If they are wise they have to invest in cheaper & more efficient alternative. Not to bankcrupt them selves for unpreditable naval force.

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What will they name the carrier??? CNN Missile Sponge???

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Ossan: Do know that many Asian worry about the US much more than China? >for these some 10- 20 years that we often heard so many innocent people >killed in wars the US was involved or supported,

The US does not hide information the way China does. China doesn't even disclose how many of it's own people may have been killed by it's own govt. Innocent people are unwanted civilian casualties in any modern war. That you hear of such when the US is involved is because that information is not hidden and carried in the news throughout the world.

the US government and media keep telling people about how dangerous >China is and that did brainwashed some people, but much more people >watch and see what the truth really is!

The US govt does not have the cability to "brainwash" the people of India, Vietnam. Phillipines, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc etc etc.

As a Taiwanese, I know American is fine and I also don't really worry >about China. But as an asian also, I want u don't suppose that we still >think like what u think we should! So, pls Stop killing and cheating >people and try to win our respect back! American!

When a crisis like the Tsunami hits Asia, who is there is numbers to assist? How many countries in Asia refuse American military help for humanitarian purposes? How many are willing to let the Chinese People's Liberation Army into their country to assist? I'm sorry that you have such a negative view of the United States.

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All of you are correct to various degrees in regards to China's military expansion. As example, it was all of Asia, Europe, and the US that did not trust Japan in the 1930's when she re-militarized, and look what happened. China is not a democracy. At the same time, she is not a military dictatorship with a sole ruler till death. The question is how the nations in China's periphery will handle her behavior, however benevolent it is now or belligerent it might be in the future.

If China does in fact adhere to her policy of a peaceful rise, and is more interested in expanding her economy and providing opportunities for her masses, then there should be nothing to fear. But if China is determined to expand her territory for natural resources that overlap the claims of other nations, expect to see some difficult times ahead. My take is that China will not want to jeopardize her economy, already the world's 3rd largest, with a shooting war against a neighbor at this time.

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China will take lessons from the US' recent adventure as International Police Man, and balk at the cost and realize, "Damn! Why do we want to go to war or hold down and present order in a crapistan like that?"

That is if reason prevails, and it probably will. China will more than likely work towards gaining greater access to fuel and resources to keep its economy up. The big worry is if it would do the same as what everyone claims the US was doing in Iraq, war for oil.

Well, we may see something that frightening one day in our lives, but if China reminds itself that buisness runs smoother without conflicts and suspicious glares, it can easily be welcomed in the world, but it's problem with its way of governing will keep holding back its potential.

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"But Beijing may feel it’s now strong enough to fend off such moves. The underpinning of military power is economic strength. With the U.S. facing a major economic downturn, some in Beijing are looking forward to the decline of America’s presence in the region, and they know that the leaders in other Asian capitals are making the same calculations."

I think people are waiting to see the strength of Prof. Chalmers Johnson's analysis in his 3part series of problems facing the US. This is becoming noticable from economic comments coming out of DC. The economic problems is promoting some people to take a second look. The PRC Intelligentsia most likely is paying close attention to current events. The irony is the US policies in the region have multiplied the US military costs in the region.

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In my judgment, the US is an expert at bilateral relations w/ countries like PRC, Japan, but doesn't care nor understand fully the dynamics of a multilateral environment. These types of articles make me cringe because I could see the problems coming later when the policies are implemented.

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"Ossan: you have such a negative view of the United States."

That's completely wrong! I got my degree from Wisconsin, a quite conservative place, of the US and you should regard me as a pro-America man! and real friends always give you good advice because they hope you to be good, but your enemy only want you to keep doing bad things and they just laugh at the back.

"tonyus: seeing China rise ... but did not trust China rise as a power"

That's true, but China's 'trustability curve' is going up and how's that of the US? I hope Obama can change people's view of American.

I deeply understand Chinese civilization so I know China will never even want to be a super power like the US, Chinese civilization remind people never expand too much to somewhere you can't hold for long! that's why China had been strong for thousands of years until 200 years ago but he never try to keep conquering like Empire Rome or English ...etc. therefore China civilization keeps living so long even traditional Chinese words we use in Taiwan today is 90% the same as Han dynasty some 2000 years ago when Rome was the other stong country on earth but who know how to write Rome words today?.... My conclusion is that Chinese don't think expansion is a kind of "win" but way to fail. Communism may influence China for short time but it will die not long later like all those bad thoughts that ever appeared shortly during Chin's longest living history on earth.

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yosun.. Your words are speculation of the future, not of today.

As remarked to China not wanting to expand??? There are many instances today where China is in conflict to your words. Take Tibet, t5ake Taiwan, take exploration of over lapping economic zones with Japan and China going forward with drilling in the sea after agreeing to joint ventures of such sort. Go back further into history if you would like to contradict your statements with the great leap forward where 100.s of thousands were sacrificed for power!! You words a baseless as for factual events that has taken place that you seem to ignore. Just look as t eh socialist party when they fled to Taiwan , remember 228???? Even the leaders in power of Taiwan today *KMY) have a history of killing and brutality. Look at the revenge they are taking on the DDP members of the last administration, seems not one of those legislators will end up off the KMY hit list, which has made many countries look at Ma's administration and comment on , hoping the KMY does not take steps backwards on rights, not only for the ddp party but for the people of Taiwan itself.. Sort of strange how Taiwan can all of a sudden have certain principles on the minds of democracies around the world that are based on troublesome principles other have worried about and has called for change within China for so long.

One other problen I see with the Taiwan China deals of today is if you yourself would like to see Taiwan fall to its knees as for dependency on China like Hong Kong has become in such a record breaking time period. Also if you would like to see such moves as military interactions between Taiwan and China at the expense of the US stopping military weaponry and equipment to Taiwan because of the threat of secret sophisticated technology able to be stolen by China through Taiwan's interaction with the Chinese military, which in return could mark the undeniable take over of Taiwan by China. There is much at stake when it comes to the almost 60 year conflict between your country of Taiwan( or should it be said "province of China" ) and that of China.

Let us not forget what the aborigines of Taiwan went through in the past from Chinese taking over their Island, so when you talk about language????? It is not funny, but I have to laugh at how you come up with this part of your post....>>>therefore China civilization keeps living so long even traditional Chinese words we use in Taiwan today is 90% the same as Han dynasty some 2000 years ago when Rome was the other stong country on earth but who know how to write Rome words today?<<<<.... Seems all of that was sort of forced upon those which the island once was inhabited by and if such force was not exerted upon them maybe Portuguese also could have been said to be the same as you claim Han Chinese language is so prevalent in Taiwan today. Anyone that takes over a society and establishes their culture among those original inhabitants have no chioce in the matter , just like we are seeing in Tibet, the stealing and trying to replace a culture.

Many know the history of China and many are not going to see China in this positive innocent setting as you are trying to describe. The CCP is brutal rule and its past is very well established in history books that most of the world are allowed to read and study. Articles written today still are proof of China's heavy handed control over society in all forms that the population of the world has access to, not just its nieghbors, which I am sure are all following and keeping up with as China's devolpments expands , especially militarily.

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Sorry about the mis type of KMY I did mean KMT

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mushroomcloud;

My take is that China will not want to jeopardize her economy, already the world's 3rd largest, with a shooting war against a neighbor at this time.

If China's economy heads south and China sees even more unrest in the rural areas, more student grumblings, and more unemployment, you'll quickly see the CCP start to stir up nationalist sentiments again. It has staked its existence recently on economic growth, and if it can't deliver on that and faces unrest, it'll really quickly fall back on flag-waving and stirring up China's latent (but strong) xenophobic nationalism against Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, or even India and "the West". A war is more likely in the near term, not less.

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Unagidon,

I agree with your assessment, but hope for the sake of peace in Asia that this scenario does not come true.

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Tonyus: During Chinese 4000++ years history, China ever separated to 2 or 3 or ... even as many as 16 countries/kingdoms but all of them are always part of culturally China, the concept of China is wider than what u think! Who are Taiwanese? people who live in Taiwan are Taiwanese and 95% of these people came from China from 50-60 years before through all the way back to 400 years ago so Taiwanese naturally use their fatherland's Chinese words before KMT and even before Chin dynasty that began 360 years ago! Anyway, you're free to judge all other countries and say the US is always right and close youe eyes and ears to all advice ...etc. I'm curious if you know that Tibet belongs to China 300 years ago when the US wasn't even existing on earth yet? BTY, are you aware that its because of CIA and Egmont Group’s help, so current Taiwan government can discover last president’s serious corruption guilt? So u noticed Friendship between the US and Taiwan ? and do u suppose the US would say nothing if Taiwan really do something "steps backwards on rights ...."

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but all of them are always part of culturally China

But not linguistically, how many of them speak "Chinese"? How may languages and cultures are there within "China"?

China's supposed continuous thousands of years of history may be true, but it's the same as saying that Europe has had thousands of years of continuous culture - different languages and cultures within one bigger meta-culture with loosely similar values. Nothing really to brag about, except for those countries with an insuperiority complex.

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All,

We need to stay on topic, this is about China's recent naval expansion, and how this event will shift the balance of power in Asia.

But the prospect of China becoming more belligerent as it's economy goes south is of real concern, not only from a military standpoint, but from the reality that China will pull out it's ~$1 trillion dollars loaned to finance the huge American deficits, and invest it closer to home. This will blow a huge hole in the already weak US economy; a US economy going south means the world economy will go south along with it.

The fear of China losing interest in being America's biggest banker is actually greater in the near-term than any military adventures, I'm afraid.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/worldbusiness/08yuan.html?_r=1&ref=asia

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UnaqiDon: That's a good academic research topic. well, it's hard to find out all of ancient Chinese pronounciations today, but researchs reveal that even their pronounciations were partly different like today but most of their words were the same( also same as today's), couple kingdoms did ever tried to invent new words but just vanished later. And in Europe that different kingdoms used different words since ancient age and all the words keep changing so people today can't read any ancient words of any countries.(it might because of barbarians intruded Europe and Christian-Muslim wars...too much conflicts..). anyway, I don't know today's English or French..etc. has been being used for how long backward from now.(if anyone have these information pls let me know). So European cultures keeps living and dead, living and dead... But China culture keeps living so historians say China culture is longest living culture on earth.

sorry, mush: I discussed much these off... things. BTY, according to countries' actual behavior, I need to say all of us are wrong, because the only superpower are Isareal these days --even UN can't hold them!

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"First things first: China is not about to knock America off its perch as the world’s sole superpower."

In the long term, yes, it is. Absolutely. Of course, such things don´t happen from one day to the next. But look back and see how quickly the UK and the Soviet Union crumbled in hindsight.

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Yosun you sound like a typical Chinese that had been isolated in China for 60 years or a member of China's propanfa machine. You know what, over the centuries leader of masses of land has changed, even countries that never existed has risen and become into existance from large portions that has been divided up because of waring fashions and or other reasons. As you want to claim China owned this. 200 million years ago or even 50 years ago, The inhabitants of that region are the rightful voice to make the decision of the direction in which they want to travel. Meaning... What China may have controlled centuries ago or decades ago does not mean diddly and does not give China any right to reclaim them today . US may not have exited back then, but as you should very well realize , all the countries the US liberated over the decades where never taken and claimed to be US territory, or you would be seeing all of south Asia US territory and your so prized China might as well had been claimed by the US as its own territory in the way you are thinking as if China has a right to every piece of land it once controlled. Sorry, that is not reality as you wish it to be, and another reason China is seen as a threat to the world and especially its neighbors. As my statement about US claiming China back at that time, if the US did not step in and save there stinking butts from Japan China would have been eaten alive like at the time was happening to them.. Another thing is how China has always taunted to their people about beating japan in the war, that is a friggin joke of all times to the world and their nationalistic rhetoric to the Chinese people, China was lucky US come to their rescue.. hmmmm or where they lucky> The people of China sure did not benefit from it , now did they??? 50 years of isolation and still today ruled under the tight grip of the leaders of suppression. Funny Taiwan was not part of China so they did not come under communist rule , the party you seem to stand up for, geez,, It makes me wonder if you are really from Taiwan , because all my friends from Taiwan, even that voted for the KMT, does not want any unification with China, at the most just the status quo and the others wishing to be recognized independence in the eyes of the world community. You are one of the smallest minority groups touting China China China , in Taiwan today. China has no right to reclaim any land that they had lost and even by the most , any land the CCP never even ruled, including Taiwan. And why fo you wish to over look China;s horrible past,,, and "present" ? We see the lack of trust around the world for China, facts are facts

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TonyUS: I suppose this place is for people from different places to share their opinions or thoughts... etc. and when things beyond that then it's better to stop, anyway for me I think that way. if u call me someone Chinese Communist, I also can say you sounds like Russian extremist trying to make people hate the US bla bla bla... I already said u're free to say anything u want, but I have no idea why you can't tolerate others' different thought? Is it your so called US style democracy? If you always regard people of different opinion are someone against you then I really don't wonder why all those muslim, Russian, anti-nuke Japanese, anti-war European.... are all your enemy!

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then I really don't wonder why all those muslim, Russian, anti-nuke >Japanese, anti-war European.... are all your enemy!

As I said, I'm sorry that you have such a negative view of the United States.

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"then I really don't wonder why all those muslim, Russian, anti-nuke Japanese, anti-war European.... are all your enemy!"

Above: Your enemy = TonyUS's enemy; but TonyUS≠US, Thanks God, God really bless America!

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Yosun.. your view is opposite of the majority of the Taiwanese people by a very wide majority at that..

You can have your opinion, but mine is based on human rights and against authoritarian rule by the powerful over the week and not bowing to those that have suppressed and still suppressing 1.3 billion people.

Yes we do have very different opinions on the China issue, but what promotes my view is the large majority of the Taiwanese society that thinks and shares the same orbit of myself that also deserves a voice on this matter that does not even know such a post exists here on JT. Also I do not want someone that claims to be from Taiwan use their single voice to try and make others believe your view is that of all or even a majority of Taiwanese, because it is not.

Take this comment you are the author of>

Do know that many Asian worry about the US much more than China? for these some 10- 20 years that we often heard so many innocent people killed in wars the US was involved or supported, and news like the US missles wrongly killed people is not seldom matters. the US government and media keep telling people about how dangerous China is and that did brainwashed some people, but much more people watch and see what the truth really is! As a Taiwanese, I know American is fine and I also don't really worry about China. But as an asian also, I want u don't suppose that we still think like what u think we should! So, pls Stop killing and cheating people and try to win our respect back! American!<<<<<<<<<<

I do not care about you being Asian and thinking your opinion represents all Asians, because it definitely does not. Tell me what Asian countries fear the US??? China??? Let us hope it does for Taiwan and the Taiwanese sake, which has kept Taiwanese safe from the communist rules all of these years to where Taiwan has been very prosperous while China and its people were isolated and closed off to the world and sacrificed by their leaders like a never ending commodity.

As for wars , now let us talk about war.... There has been no country ever fight a war with civilian casualties taken in as so much importance while in a battle. Whether you for or against Iraq, still the maneuvers that had taken place taking control over the dictator that has killed many thousands more innocent people, his own people at that, than the US did in its destroying his regime and control. Us used precision weapons and took many steps to avoid little civilian casualties than any country that had been in such a circumstance. Still please tell me what Asian countries are afraid of the US more than they are of China. I really want to know the answer to that.

And if you are really Taiwanese, then you should also know about the 1300 missiles aimed directly at yourself from China. I guess if Taiwan would kneel down in front of Hu you do not have anything to fear, but as we all know, the Majority of Taiwanese ,, the Majority... does not want that, so China in any Taiwanese eyes is a threat and something to fear. The only fear Taiwan has from the US is not intervening in a China take over of the Island, or now Ma just handing Taiwan over to China which would be against the large majority of the people of Taiwan.

Fact is, your opinion of China is not what the majority of Taiwanese agree with and your view is just one of the small minority of the Taiwanese population.

Last I would like to make a comment you made to me in the last post…

”” then I really don't wonder why all those muslim, Russian, anti-nuke Japanese, anti-war European.... are all your enemy!””

I am so sad these groups you list do not like our actions and what we stand for. Hehehe You are refering to the radical sides of societies?? Yes you are. I guess you would like to see all the communist government controlled countries have the nuclear weapons and the rest of us that stand for human rights and democracy sit and wait for them to be fired upon us.

The China debate will continue for years and should as long as China believes it can claim anything it wants and as it keeps the voice of its 1.3 billion people silent.

Here is an interesting article, one of thousands that truely describes the CCP stance on Taiwan and its 23 million people.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/01/13/2003433619

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Continued.....

I do not care about you being Asian and thinking your opinion represents all Asians, because it definitely does not. Tell me what Asian countries fear the US??? China??? Let us hope it does for Taiwan and the Taiwanese sake, which has kept Taiwanese safe from the communist rules all of these years to where Taiwan has been very prosperous while China and its people were isolated and closed off to the world and sacrificed by their leaders like a never ending commodity.

As for wars , now let us talk about war.... There has been no country ever fight a war with civilian casualties taken in as so much importance while in a battle. Whether you for or against Iraq, still the maneuvers that had taken place taking control over the dictator that has killed many thousands more innocent people, his own people at that, than the US did in its destroying his regime and control. Us used precision weapons and took many steps to avoid little civilian casualties than any country that had been in such a circumstance. Still please tell me what Asian countries are afraid of the US more than they are of China. I really want to know the answer to that.

And if you are really Taiwanese, then you should also know about the 1300 missiles aimed directly at yourself from China. I guess if Taiwan would kneel down in front of Hu you do not have anything to fear, but as we all know, the Majority of Taiwanese ,, the Majority... does not want that, so China in any Taiwanese eyes is a threat and something to fear. The only fear Taiwan has from the US is not intervening in a China take over of the Island, or now Ma just handing Taiwan over to China which would be against the large majority of the people of Taiwan.

Fact is, your opinion of China is not what the majority of Taiwanese agree with and your view is just one of the small minority of the Taiwanese population.

Last I would like to make a comment you made to me in the last post…

”” then I really don't wonder why all those muslim, Russian, anti-nuke Japanese, anti-war European.... are all your enemy!””

I am so sad these groups you list do not like our actions and what we stand for. Hehehe You are refering to the radical sides of societies?? Yes you are. I guess you would like to see all the communist government controlled countries have the nuclear weapons and the rest of us that stand for human rights and democracy sit and wait for them to be fired upon us.

The China debate will continue for years and should as long as China believes it can claim anything it wants and as it keeps the voice of its 1.3 billion people silent.

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To Yosun:

You do realize that what many posters' here on JT supports the objectives of US Foreign Policy towards the PRC and Taiwan/ROC - I don't think anyone would debate the US lean is hard. Even if what you are saying is true, it doesn't reinforce the actual US policy. Do you know the history behind the publication, "Far Eastern Economic Review"? Interesting.

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US protected not only Taiwan. South Korea, South Vietnam, Thai & Japan during 1960s. Failed for saving one of the nation becoming communist.

Uncomfortable truth is Taiwan is economically dependent on China now. Taiwan need export market for goods & service for surviving. Most Taiwanese do not want the unification. That's absolutely right. Most baby boomers want to keep their seperate their identities. Some elder speak "Hokkein or Fujian dialet from Fujian province". The real Taiwanese meaning is who were settlers of Taiwan before 1947. Migrants after 1947s are still called as mainlanders. So there are some mainlanders in Taiwan.

It is unrealistic for China forcing Taiwan to integrate with them. It is up to Taiwanese to decide. If they say NO China has to respect their wish. If they say YES it is nobody business. It will take many generations. China does not need expensive air craft carriers. If they can sustain their high economic growth for a long time, reunificaion is possible. However current economic downturn exposed the China weakness. China is less attractive for Taiwan now.

Military expansion will destroy the economy & broke the nation. Like Soviet union in late 80s & US right now. It is unwise for China to expand the super expensive navy.

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ApecNetworks: To know how others think is interesting anyway, and sorry that I didn’t read "Far Eastern Economic Review".

TonyUS: I suggest u to think about the following 3 problems that cause you hard to do logical discussion :

You mixed “people”, “country”, “government” 3 items all together. for example, When people said he don’t like something the US government/ Army/ President did that doesn’t mean he hate the US people or the US; I am Taiwanese and Chinese and I naturally love China culture doesn’t mean I like communist government! Why can’t I love Chinese and American and dislike China government and US government at the same time? These 4 are different things! Don’t habitually change others’ key words then use that to criticize others. For example, I said “ people ‘worried’ about the US….”, then u changed ‘worry’ to ‘fear’ and ask me to prove it. Hey, man: how can u change my words then ask me to prove it ??? every word has different defination! Ok, maybe people fear China more than the US, but the current US president is not mature and often do some unpridicable thing so people worry more about the US! Got it! Like parents worry about their unstable son might drug/ gamble/ fight outside doesn’t mean they don’t love the son. Another example is that I didn’t say anything about “ reunification of China & Taiwan” but u keep talking about I support it something??? Let me make it clear: I love Chinese but I don’t like communist government, I don’t want Taiwan to reunify with China right now, But, suppose 20/30 years later when China become a good democratic country and 50%+ Taiwanese support to take part in China then why not? Don’t act like you know what the majority Taiwanese want but u actually can’t prove it or know nothing! I voted Chen at 2000 election and Ma at 2008 election and both of them elected then so I actually have been standing with the majority of Taiwanese all the time and it doesn’t matter even Chen did some bad thing later and also Ma get 58% vote at 2008 but you seems like don’t really respect this Taiwanese democratic outcome ….. PS1. And one other thing, why u always need people to reveal how much they love the US? People of all over the world can love any different people just up to them, anyone who doesn’t like the US does’t mean he is bad! I like American but I don’t like the US government so what? Like a girl need her bf keep talking “ I love u”.. PS2. Taiwan, Republic of China was ally of the US during WWII but couple decades later President Carter betrayed us to set up diplomatic relationship with Communist China …….. Why? Do you love communists? So I said People and Government are different items!
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.Sorry Yosun, but my findings are from the polls taken through out Taiwan population. Your views are fine, but just because you are Taiwanese does not make it that all Taiwanese think on your same train of thought and the polls taken prove that.

You can have your opinion, you have the right to , but do not try and make it as if your opinion is that of all Taiwanese or all of Asian population. That is what your past posts has promoted as when you say , as I being Asian.

I will agree with some of your recent post, If the majority wants unification,, not reunification as you put it, that is another thorny term within Taiwanese population, I see you refer to the topic as REUNITE, Again that term is very offensive to many Taiwanese people as many see Taiwan never a part of China or ever ruled by the CCP. Again the fact that you do not represent even all in Taiwan let alone the rest of Asian people of Asia.

China is not trusted by the large majority of Taiwanese and not trusted by the large majority of the world. Just fact. To add to that, I have nothing against Chinese people, I hang out with one studying over here in the US, I do not like his view of Taiwan as if it belongs to China, of course, hahaha He knows that I believe the people of Taiwan have the right to decide for themselves their destination, it is hard for the people of China to accept such an ideology because they have been taught, this can not be the case and that Taiwan is theirs, So here we have the correlation between the Chinese government and the mentality of the people. Maybe not all because I have another Chinese friend in China that his view is that China should leave Taiwan alone. So there is a mix,but as you and I both know the society of China has been controlled by censorship and teachings only along the lines of what empowers the communist regime in China and that is still going on today.

I agree with Zenpun on his remarks about it taking generations if at all because if China became a democracy and cared for people and human rights, then Taiwan could always stay a separate identity just as island of of the US such as Bahamas and the rest. No need to feel the need to control another or take claim to another. Sort of a fantasy thought , you think? But why not? Same with Tibet. China right now is still the authoritarian type rule controlling society and has not let up on that type of authority over its population. hm another article that might be of interest...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090113/ap_on_re_as/as_taiwan_democracy_report;_ylt=AmFGsyOq7xf8jc89pKgJSksBxg8F

If China would relinquish such rule , Taiwan would not be seen as such a threat and could enjoy regular relations and even friendship with one another, even if not one country but separate, but one thing would be they are of a common nature as a people of democratic nations, same as with the situation with Tibet, but as we have seen the CCP has moved thousands into Tibet trying to make it where Tibet will be inseparatable from China such as the circumstances that has taken place in Georgia with so many Russians that had migrated there while under Soviet rule. Like pollution taking over an area, not by accident but on purpose in the case of Tibet by the CCP.. But that is the CCP at their best as usual in trying to take control over another, just as they are trying to with Taiwan and its people.

As we speak of generations, this not only on Taiwanese part but generations for the mind set of the majority of Chinese in China. to come around to thinking differently of Taiwan along with the rest of the world and its people. 50 years of isolation and directing what can be learned and what can be taught take a long long time to rid itself from society and dilute it within a society so closely monitored and molded.

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In fact all want to display their military might for touch guy image. For China navy case, China want to display their modernization as fully grown adult. In the reality China is still a teenager for modern warfare.

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