Wednesday, January 11, 2006
# Posted 10:54 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
"The Beijing Consenus" is a very long (60 pp.) policy paper written under the auspices of the Foreign Policy Centre, an influential British think tank with strong ties to New Labour. Cooper Ramo was formerly an assistant managing editor at Time as well as foreign editor in charge of all international coverage. He is also tied into the Council on Foreign Relations and the Davos crowd. In other words, he is very much part of the establishment, as opposed to a lone wingnut at whose expense I've decided to have a good time.
So, getting to the point, I thought I'd post some of the best-worst quotes from Cooper Ramo's paper and let them speak for themselves:
China's new development approach [aka "the Beijing Consensus"] is driven by a desire to have equitable, peaceful high quality growth...it is about using economcs and government to improve society. (pp.4-5)And to cap off those analytical gems, here's what Cooper Ramo has to say about Western experts on China:
The farther you move from China, the more the thinking is oversimplified. (p.9)At least on that point, I have been thoroughly persuaded by Cooper Ramo. (3) opinions -- Add your opinion
"Rather than building a US-style power, bristling with arms and intolerant of other worldviews, China's emerging power is based on the example of their own model, the strength of their economic position and their rigid defense of the Westphalian system of national sovereignty"
It is not because China is morally superior to the United States that they are committed to peaceful, consensus based world politics but rather that China is being prudent enough to realize that at the moment any other approach would not work. If you can't do it, don't do it -- try something else. Their ability to project force beyond Asia remains limited, their defense budget remains a mere fraction of our own, and right now were they to attempt to use military might to pursue economic expansion (blowing open foreign markets a la Admiral Perry) they would find their efforts frustrated at every turn.
The best way to get what they want given today's world conditions is to keep saying and doing exactly what they are saying and doing. By laying low until they are in a position of power they can achieve more than were they to boldly declare themselves "arrived" and begin acting as another hegemon. By giving suspicious critics little to no hard evidence to contradict the impression that China is committed to the Westphalian system of national sovereignty they make it all the more difficult for would-be whistleblowers to sound the alarm.
The real test will be to analyze how China does act once it has arrived.
China is self-confident enough as a culture to be patient. Nonetheless, one of Sun Yat-sen's dreams was to make China independent and worthy of respect. Considering the way the Chinese have trampled the rights of minorities in Tibet, Jinjiang, and Mongolia, it is difficult to believe that a powerful China would let Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Japan live in peace, especially considering that Chinese minorities in those places have been mistreated.
"Ideally, in Chinese eyes, the establishment of 72-hour conventional superiority [over Taiwan] would remove the need for any sort of war, cold or hot, nuclear or not, since it would demonstrate to the Taiwanese that they have no choice but to submit to the policy Beijing has in mind. (p.45)"Post a Comment
To restate this remark:
"Ideally, in Chinese eyes,it would be possible to conquer Taiwan without firing a shot, or anyone in the West noticing".
No doubt the Taiwanese are most reassured.