Mon, Aug 01, 2005 - Page 8 News List

World must wake to China threat

By Jerome Keating

The government controls the media and constantly clamps down on any gatherings and potential sources of trouble. The ease with which the well-orchestrated anti-Japanese riots were turned on and off like a steam valve illustrate both the government's need to deflect the focus onto an enemy outside and the ease with which the media is used to manipulate the public.

What keeps the masses satisfied under such draconian control is the fact that the economy keeps growing and money is being made. People can put up with losses of liberty if money is being made, but what would happen if the economy stopped growing?

Some people might ask what would happen to the world economy without China, but how closely are the two linked? How long would it take to replace Chinese factories with factories in other countries? What would it take to replace Chinese consumers with consumers in other lands?

The factories of China recently stole the lion's share of textile and other production from the factories of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh. Such movements could be reversed. The factories of the above countries would be more than happy to see the shoe on the other foot. And as for a consumer market, India and Pakistan offer markets that, in terms of population, will soon exceed China's.

The days of marching an army against China are over; Japan tried that, but the Chinese always had more land to retreat to. But now Japan would not need a land army to set China back. After a war of missile exchanges and bombings, would not Japan recover much more quickly than China? It is also worth noting that Japan's air defenses are better than China's. Going a step further, in a tit-for-tat nuclear exchange with the US, who do you think would come out on top?

Given this situation, what the rest of the world has to examine and realize is that it does not depend on China as much as it thinks it does. Certainly not to the extent that it will let itself be held hostage by nuclear threats by the likes of people like Zhu. The economic role China plays as producer and consumer can be easily replaced by many countries that are less belligerent.

The world has also to realize the extent to which it is being manipulated and held hostage by China's market. I applaud a country like Italy for having the courage to stand up to China and grant President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) a visa so that he could attend the Pope's funeral. China -- is trying to control the Catholic Church -- then refused to send their own delegates.

No one wants war, but as long as the hawkish generals in the PLA feel that they can pressure the world at a whim, the threats will continue and increase. Does anyone recall how Hitler said he would be satisfied with the Sudetenland?

Zhu's threats should be a wake-up call to the world. Do we really need a trading partner that says, if you don't give in to my demands to take over a free and democratic country like Taiwan, then I will nuke you regardless of the cost? What demands will be next? The world is competing for dwindling oil reserves, water supplies and other resources; it is a time when rational minds will be needed to build a better world. Zhu has already shown the true face of China that those living in Asia have known all along.

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