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Obama confronts an Asia reshaped by China's rise

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Of course the China experts will say China is #1. And everyone seems to be looking for ways to diminish the US role. But in the end, if Asia wants to follow the corporate world and fall in love with China, there are costs to that decision and risks.

China is not the rock stable place they like to have us think they are. Instead it is a nation with many internal problems and potential conflicts looming.

Add to that their human rights record and growing will to use military power as a trading card, I see more danger in China than benefit today.

But then again, if China continues to advance towards more capitalistic political structures, we may see it divide into many nations in the not too distant future as money drives regions to strike out on their own. Or at least try to.

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Isn't this commentary about nine years late?

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Beijing’s robust military buildup are likely to be papered over

Obama and Neville Chamberlain have a lot in common here.The goal of peace and prosperity at all costs will only bring war.

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China will implode and break apart into several different countries eventually. Ones in the East and South will thrive but those in the other parts of the country will turn into places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. The country cannot continue on its path of major inequalities in life style and incomes.

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USA will implode and break apart into several different countries eventually. Ones in the East and West will thrive but those in the other parts of the country will turn into places like Canada and Mexico. The country cannot continue on its path of major inequalities in life style and incomes.

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Well China does have a history of imploding and reforming. It's not a big reach to say it could happen again. The US, hmmm only once.

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Funny how everyone is a China expert here. I know this is an open forum but seriously please have some logic and facts to back up one's statements. Otherwise it will be like sitting in an lecture with a pre-school toddler trying to lecture about Nuclear Phyics.

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Funny how everyone is a China expert here.

One doesn't need to be an expert to assert the obvious, so you're saying China hasn't imploded and reformed numerous times in it's history? All those changes of dynasties went smoothly?

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There has been a lot of independent negotiation within Asia in terms of free trade deals and this is diminishing the U.S's importance in the region. But when China push their agenda, it will be interesting to see how the likes of India and Japan respond.

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One doesn't need to be an expert to assert the obvious, so you're saying China hasn't imploded and reformed numerous times in it's history? All those changes of dynasties went smoothly?>

stating the obvious? Please stop embrassing yourself. What country hasn't gone through civil war and internal strife? So French is going to have another revolution? The US another civil war? Blacks in the US will be slaves again?

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What country hasn't gone through civil war and internal strife? So French is going to have another revolution? The US another civil war? Blacks in the US will be slaves again?

Any of these are possible.

France has had numerous revolutions another one shouldn't come as a great surprise. The issues that caused the US civil war haven't really been settled and are revisited nearly every election. Blacks as slaves again seems unlikely.

I know you don't want to hear this but China is a huge country with internal deomgraphics (large minority populations) that have led to problems with the country falling apart (only to reintegrate). Those issues haven't been settled and may never be settled. Taiwan, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Uighurs, Hong Kong? Is this not why scholars argue deomcracy doesn't work for China? Was this not the theme of "Hero"?

Oh and yes I was required to study Asian history as it relates to China as part of my Japanese studies (my profs thought China was that important to understanding Asia). These aren't really far out there issues I'm talking about...

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When China becomes too strong its neighbouring countries are in trouble because fear of military invasion. But when China becomes so weak and in turmoils its neighbouring countries are also in troubles because fear of refugees tsunami. America should continue to present in Asia for eternity to maintain balance and to keep China stable and peaceful.

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Funny how everyone is a China expert here. I know this is an open forum but seriously please have some logic and facts to back up one's statements. Otherwise it will be like sitting in an lecture with a pre-school toddler trying to lecture about Nuclear Phyics.

Great comment.

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Why do we need US in Asia? Shouldn't we look after ourselves? A country and its leader is only interested in its own people and interests. That is their first and fore most priority. All others come in second or even last. Keep in mind, regardless of which country, every action has its own motive that may not be as noble as it seems.

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All this talk about China imploding can come true, if, and only if China degenerates and becomes weak, as has happened in the past, during the Opium Wars for example.

China knows this. That's why they have been very disciplined on making sure that the provinces are connected via excellent infrastructure to ensure inter-state commerce and communications. A China as inter-connected as it is today means there is far less of a chance of the nation splitting apart, because that would be really bad for business.

On to ethnic divisions. It's no secret that the Uighurs and Tibetans hate the Chinese and would want to secede if given the chance. That's precisely why China flooded both regions with ethnic Han Chinese, similar to how the US flooded and conquered much of the US away from the native Indians.

So, the only true way for China to implode is if the Han Chinese revolt on a massive scale, overcoming the millions of PLA forces, backed by millions of People's Armed Police on duty, backed by millions of militia members. Of course, this can all happen due to the income disparities (already mentioned), and rampant official corruption. More realistically, the Han Chinese will realize that it's better to stick together in an unequal society rather than one ruled by anarchy and chaos.

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know you don't want to hear this but China is a huge country with internal deomgraphics (large minority populations) that have led to problems with the country falling apart (only to reintegrate). Those issues haven't been settled and may never be settled. Taiwan, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Uighurs, Hong Kong? Is this not why scholars argue deomcracy doesn't work for China? Was this not the theme of "Hero"?>

China is over 90% Han chinese and Buddist, which is probably the most non violent religion known to man so I am not sure how China will implode from this angle.

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China is over 90% Han chinese and Buddist, which is probably the most non violent religion known to man so I am not sure how China will implode from this angle.

I think mushroom cloud summed it up quite nicely. Less likely, but not that far removed from possibility.

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Why do we need US in Asia? Shouldn't we look after ourselves? A country and its leader is only interested in its own people and interests.

I agree with this statement. Every country is self serving. USA even more than most. A rethink of USA influence in the East is timely.

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I thought western readers would understand more about China by now...but reading the comments I am totally wrong. It seems like they think China is only about "human rights" and "military threat", also absurdly believing China would split up (rofl!). I would love to see the total failure of the west by their own ignorance!

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Medias are exaggerating about China. China has the fastest and strongest economy on the earth. It has the largest foreign reserve amount. However not everyone in China is enjoying the fruits of economic boom. Especially western areas are impoverished. Even in the eastern costal area, gap between have and have nots are huge. Mining industry is very unsafe. Officials are corrupted.

Obama worries more about US budget deficits and unemployment. As far as China is not invading any nation and selling the US treasury bonds, he does not concern much about others. The course of his concern is not depending on media.

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