Thursday, August 31, 2017
China and Japan, Should the West Care?
read it here). Any of these articles, taken on their own, put forward a compelling case. However, it is when World War II enters the conversation, which is absolutely inevitable when dealing with Japan as *everything* revolves around World War II, that we start to have problems at least so far as the U.S. and the West are concerned.
To illustrate this, I point to an interview, also in Japan Forward, by YouTube personality Yoko Mada with Hidetoshi Ishii, “a Japanese expert on the politics and history of Asia” who has very definite ideas on what needs to happen in the region (see it or read it here). First of all, for those on the left or even moderate right anywhere in the western world, any Japanese talk of a “Greater Asia” is inevitably going to cause blowback over memories of Imperial Japan’s “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” and the “Greater East Asian War” (which is what Japan calls World War II, look for Hitler and Mussolini far under the bus). They bring up something I have written about before (here, a plug for me this time) which is the claim that Imperial Japan was really the “good guys” in World War II, in fact the *only* “good guys” (Adolf & Benito still under that bus) as Japan was fighting a righteous war for ‘Freedom’ to liberate Asia from the wicked, western, colonial powers, because colonialism is a western thing, it is racist, it is wrong, it is evil and before you even ask, no, Korea doesn’t count, because it’s not colonialism if Japan does it. Silly. It is also noteworthy that, in the interview, a great emphasis is placed on Hong Kong (the former British Crown Colony now languishing under mainland rule) and that everyone in Japan, and America and the western world should back the cause of Hong Kong independence from China.
In the old days, prior to World War II, things were very different. Countries such as Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, Portugal and the United States had an interest in Asia because they had colonies there which were important parts of their economies. If you go back prior to World War I, Germany did as well (and to a much lesser extent, a few others too). This is not the case anymore obviously. The British started giving up their Asian colonies almost as soon as the war was over. The Dutch had to give up the East Indies in 1949, the French were forced out of Indochina in 1955, Portugal lost Goa to India in 1961 and handed over Macau in 1999, the United States had agreed to Filipino independence before World War II, delivered it in 1946 and was evicted from Subic Bay in 1992. All of this, according to the “Japan fought World War II to end western colonialism” narrative, is ultimately thanks to Japan and, as such, runs contrary to the Japanese argument that the western powers today have any real, vital, national interest in what happens in the region. Why should, for example, the British ultimately care if Hong Kong remains a part of China or becomes independent when Hong Kong stopped being a British concern in 1997? And, again, based on the point that the same country arguing that Britain should be concerned is also arguing that they ultimately deserve the “credit” for Britain losing her Asian colonies in the first place.
This is not unique to Japan, it is only that Japan, because of the war, casts itself more broadly, taking “credit” for the end of the other empires touching East Asia. However, since the Chinese military buildup, The Philippines has now said some U.S. troops can come back to Subic Bay after all and even Vietnam, which bases so much of its current identity on anti-Americanism, has decided that the United States isn’t really all *that* bad and now allows American warships to visit Vietnamese ports. If they were in a position to help them at all, I don’t doubt they would take the same attitude toward the French. From the point of view of western civilization, how is any of this not seen as a case of trying to have your cake and eat it too? In other words, why should western powers protect eastern powers for nothing in return? The strength and potential threat of China is supposed to justify everything and yet, the west, thanks mostly to allowing China into the World Trade Organization and other similar acts, is economically invested in maintaining good relations with China. Whether a good decision or not (and I think it was not), this is nonetheless a fact.
Personally, I would have preferred Japan and the Allies never went to war at all or would have preferred the Japanese to have attacked the Soviet Union rather than the British and Dutch in Southeast Asia. I prefer the days when the Empire of Japan was still around and one of the club. I would have also liked to see a revived Qing Empire in China as part of that club as well. In any confrontation between Communist China and the State of Japan, my own sympathies are certainly going to be with the Japanese and, in the event of such a calamity, my friends know I would do anything to help them. When taken up to the level of countries, however, national interest is the determining factor and since the end of the colonial period, commerce is the only way the west is involved with the East Asia. The Chinese army is not threatening to invade Europe or North America and if the Australians considered such a thing remotely possible, they would probably have taken care to maintain a navy that would actually pose a challenge.
Given the current state of affairs, it could well be argued that China poses an existential threat to Japan, not only because of their military strength but because of the degree to which anti-Japanese hatred is used as a unifying force in China. What is more difficult to argue is that China poses an existential threat to America or western civilization in general. Most of the west is frankly unable to do anything even if it should and, as for the United States, the most potent threat posed by China is the possibility of China’s new currency system replacing the dollar as the international reserve currency. That, however, is something that will not and cannot be stopped by American bases in Japan, American troops in South Korea or by the elimination of artificial islands in the South China Sea. Western civilization is under threat, of that I am in no doubt. However, that China is such a threat seems dubious, though I am open to arguments on the subject. With no real stake in the region, since the end of western colonialism, it seems more like the west is being called upon to, once again, take the side of others in a fight that is not theirs.
Posted by MadMonarchist at 4:27 AM
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The Chinese have low reserves and empty cities based upon their make-work (broken window fallacy) economy. The central Asian rail links will be valuable. Workers are showing up to empty factories to mill about because firing them is impolitic.ReplyDelete
Their biggest note makes USD $10. Chinese are warehousing pallets of paper in black market finance schemes. Their biggest enemy is mildew.
Meanwhile Chinese elites are desperately looking for the exit. They all want to live and invest in the west.
Yeah, the US imports loads from China, but what do they get in return? Paper money...
The anglosphere has had its way with China in the past. When they don't acquiesce perhaps something will happen. As it is, nothing else may be necessary. Their system is closer to collapse than their manufactured statistics would suggest.
Remember that the intel community's view of the USSR was that of a flawlessly efficient state managed economic juggernaut. That was until the lack of a price discovery mechanism caused their entire system to collapse. Something as simple as the lack of an honest price for a loaf of bread was their downfall. This is the context in which I view the ghost cities.
It is certainly true that China is not what it appears to be, though most in the west, who have never been there, do not realize it. No cure has been found for the export-dependent economy and they are sitting on a demographic time bomb. Nonetheless, in economic terms, finding a country that is 'well off' is like finding the thinnest kid at 'fat camp'. None are in great shape.Delete
From a practical, purely business/benefit minded point of view, we have no reason to favour Japan over China, though if China secures control over trade it would beneficial for us to support them, and there is also the fact that any measures we take against Kimjongunland requires China's support to succeed.ReplyDelete
But from a moral standpoint, we have an obligation to Japan as we have an alliance with them (at least, I think we do, I remember them being listed as an MNNA), so in the event of war between China and Japan, we have moral obligations to provide some kind of aid to Japan.
The best thing we could do for Japan though, would be to start pushing for them to stand on their own two feet, as even if we save the day for them every single time China or anyone else does anything to them, I feel it robs this ancient civilization of its dignity to just have their defense be mostly a foreign power.
Certainly the USA is currently bound by treaty to defend Japan from any attack and, as things stand, if China took any hostile action the USA would have no real choice but to go to war with China, which would be ruinous for both economies.Delete
The question, however, is whether this policy is wise and not only from the American perspective but the west as a whole. How far should western civilization go to defend an Asian power that casts itself as the enemy of western civilization in Asia? Who is more willing to defend the honor of their forefathers? I'm not sure the right in the western world has really thought about this very carefully. In Japan, it is fairly simple; the left says that all empires are bad whereas the right says that all western empires are bad but theirs was not and should be credited with bringing down those terrible western empires.
The left reviles taking their own side in any event but, for the right, if westerners defended their forefathers the same way that the right in Japan defends theirs, it would seem to make common ground rather difficult.
I have mixed feelings about the current attitude of the Japanese Right. On one hand, as Pennsylvania is part of the USA, I shall support the USA as long as Pennsylvania willingly remains (Even if I disapprove of the governments actions, loyalty to a country is not the same as loyalty to a government), and through my bloodline I also owe loyalty to Germany (Same as above, I do not recognize any post 1918 government but that is not the same as loyalty to the country). In this instance, I would probably be more sympathetic to those who believe that America/USA/Pennsylvania and Germany can do no wrong than those who oppose everything about them, even though neither reflects my views of them, so I can see where the Japanese Right is coming from, but on the other hand, it is very immature of someone not to recognize that their side is capable of doing or being wrong, and while I have a great admiration for Japan (Moreso for Imperial China but that is not the point), for my homeland and my ancestral land, it does not mean I can not recognize when one of these does wrong, and when they do wrong, it is important to acknowledge it so the wrong can be righted.Delete
But what I wrote seems to be all over the place, so to sum it up, I'd rather the Japanese Right take this extreme than the opposite one, but I don't like this mindset either.
the only reason why Japan and USA allied itself with the USA is because General Douglas MacArthur kicked in and found out in the last minute when American leftists including FDR and Truman was about to completely make Japan into a 100% American colony and destroy Japanese aristocracy and MacArthur stopped the Chinese and Soviet advance on Japan and then on the whole of Korea in Korean War. USA fought the wrong enemy long ago. Japan was about to do USA and the whole West a favor by completely kicking out Communism out of the Far East as well as kicking out Europeans that were secretly helping Soviet Union spread Communism by helping Chinese who wanted Europeans keep Asia as 100% slave colony of the West with spreading opium like what China wants to do now. had if Japan was independent from the leftist-Anglo-influence in USA and Britain and won the right to govern Asia, their would not be a Vietnam War and Korean War. btw there is a statue of General Douglas MacArthur in South Korea. so is considered a hero of Asia because of exposing the Chinese, the Soviet Russians and Anglo-America leftists of who they really are.ReplyDelete
Quite a story you have there. I see no point in trying to argue about it. I will only say that you have a very good chance of getting what you want. The left and the right in America are both increasingly tired of the current alliances and overseas interventions. Europe is gone from Asia, I tend to think America soon will be too. Staying neutral and doing business with China is the current trend. I would not be at all surprised if the U.S. dismantles its bases and withdraws from Japan in the not-too-distant future.Delete
Japan wanted "Asia for the Asians", it looks like they're going to get it.
that will be ok, as long as China does not militarily invade Europe and America. and if they do, another military confrontation with China would be inevitable including a witchhunt on Chinese people in general in every country that has Chinese in the near future as well akin to another Cold War.ReplyDelete
In that case, there shouldn't be a problem because China is certainly not going to invade Europe or America. They need Europe & America to buy their exports and pay back the debts they owe. If China is going to invade anyone it will most likely be Japan via the Senkaku Islands or India. So long as this is done after all U.S. bases have been withdrawn from the region, it will be no business of anyone in the west. In fact, there is a new school of thought being put out that global stability can best be maintained if the current order is abandoned in favor of a triple alliance of America, China and Russia. Someone at a U.S. "think tank" proposed this notion to me just yesterday.Delete
well i guess that means all of those "third-world" countries that have problems with China or that start having problems with Chinese now or in the near future will have to fend for themselves and that includes Africa. so now everyone is on their own.ReplyDelete
That wouldn't bother me. However, just because Europe or America isn't involved doesn't necessarily mean these places will be "on their own".Delete