National Conflicts Heating Up?

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Red Hughs
National Conflicts Heating Up?
Printer-friendly version

This Item seems to indicate US-China conflicts may be reaching the surface:


China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said on Tuesday.


I don't think it's anything

I don't think it's anything new, or something to worry about. China has a history of acting like a rebellious step-child of American imperialism, utilizing its economic position to be a sort of international 'spoiler' to get what it wants at the moment.

I haven't read the NY Times

I haven't read the NY Times article (why can't links be direct on here?) but, without overestimating it at the moment, China is definitely a rising imperialist power the belligerent tendencies of which are not entirely under its control.

Not so much a rebellious child or a "global tearaway", China is now fully engaged in the dynamics of a major imperialist power. While it by no means stacks up militarily against the US, it seems to me the "hurt" and "slights" it rails against from the west is reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s.

There's the stand-off between China and the US over climate change and the current dispute over its "undervalued" currency (though here the Chinese bourgeoisie are worried about the social consequences of raising prices as an outcome of any concessions to the US).

Qingli Dai, a Chinese diplomat based in London, said recently: "The continuous loss of (Chinese) territory has been one of the deepest wounds in the Chinese psyche in the century following the Opium War in 1840" (Guardian, Oct. 12). He was talking about the row with Japan over islands in the East China Sea. At a meeting attended by the Pentagon's Robert Gates earlier this month in Hanoi, both Vietnam and Indonesia expressed concern about China's psysical aggression in the East and South China seas. Hillary Clinton has warned China to settle disputes "peacefully".

China is still smarting over US arms sales to Taiwan and further, Obama has insisted on the latter's "leadership role in Asia". A few weeks ago, Time magazine warned of a new "Cold War" of proxy struggles between China and the US and I think that one can already see this through Chinese support for Pakistan and Chinese supported maoist "insurgencies" against US ally India (as well as possible and careful arming by China of Taleban forces).

Francois Godement in "Geopolitics on Chinese Terms" published by the European Council, suggests that China's defensive stance is coming to an end, that the cautious approach centred on conflict avoidence is over and it will "let its writ run without restraint".

Red Hughs
Well, the thing is also that

Well, the thing is also that article itself by one of mouth pieces of American interests. It leaves that implication that China is withdrawing it's unique resources but the actual situation is that "rare earths" are quite common and they're mined in China because China has cheap labor and has been willing to accept the environment destruction that goes along with mining resources as cheaply as possible. So the article itself seems like a kind of sabre rattling.

One would still expect China is aware of the implications of withholding these minerals so altogether it seems like "simmering tension" or brinkmanship.

Still, I wouldn't claim any detailed knowledge of this stuff - I do have a friend who's a China Scholar and I'll this by him sometime.

I think that there's a

I think that there's a definite "heating up" in the imperialist appetites of China and that Devoration's position underestimates this important and long-term development.

To the above examples can be added: the provision of ordnance to the Sri Lankan regime in order to "deal with" the Tamil insurgency and population, getting China in return another deep water port to add to its ever-expanding "string of pearls"; Chinese weaponary supplied to Darfur despite the former's denial and its attempts to stifle a UN report on the subject; just like over Darfur, China is a member of the sanctions committee over Iran but the US has let it be known that it is keeping "a significant list" (Guardian today) of Chinese companies and banks that are continuing to provide restricted technology and materials to Iran.