Is China dangerous?

The power and influence of China is increasing. Will it take over for the US and do what the US has done? Or will it improve the world’s lot? The world has for a long time been engaged in power games – economic interests coupled with military power – with the Europeans and US meddling everywhere, with a military presence everywhere. If China develops it own thinking along the same lines, there will be conflict. Some say that China has a form of stagefright now, but surely that will vanish.

So China may be dangerous to the US, but hardly to the rest of the world. But the power balance must be adjusted, and that could be dangerous.

China has lived in its own closed society for a long time, and is now opening up to new experiences. Many other societies/civilizations  has come and gone during this time. It will take time for China to learn the new ways of international cooperation and find its place in the world. We do not know what it will be, the global role, military world role, the power game with the US, protection of trade interests with military forces.  As an example China and India now pledges to increase bilateral trade, support prohibition of nuclear weapons and make 2011 the year of China India cultural exchange.

Debate inside China is not heated, and there are limits to what can be said, what you have the right to know and the internet is tightly controlled. Facebook is not open.

The economic power of China is increasing rapidly, it already has the second largest economy in the world, it is hunting for resources all over the world. China is now a country of building sites and new factories, concentrating on making its people materially better off, but is also enlarging its military power, while at the same time building international relations widely. Big industries like the the car industry, civil aviation is growing. China is also scouring the world for technology – buying or lifting it into its own industries.

There are territorial claims, incidents in international waters, in the South China Sea, India, Pakistan. Many countries in Asia are arming up to prepare for what may come: Vietnam, Australia, Indonesia .. The future role of Korea is part of it. China also has “projects” going on near the Indian border, and it seems Tibet is negotiating for the future. Water matters are also part of international discussions. International principles of law should be established concerning maritime conflicts, border disputes.

So who will balance  the power game in Asia? What China does when it is ready is a great question. American centrality is waning, Europe has become a leftover, Japan is in a sad state. Western influence is not what it was. Latin America also trades with China and India, and explores new opportunities in Africa. Chinese foreign policy is developing, and the Foreign Minister is not included in the top level of Chinese politicians.

The essential global divide today is between the West  and  emergent nations like India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, China. The West is obviously feeling the heat. Most of the world’s population lives in the developing countries, and for billions of these opportunity is expanding rather than contracting

The Nobel Peace Prize  to Liu Xiaobo is an acknowledgement of the importance of  China on a developing world stage. The message is that basic human rights are necessary if China shall have it’s rightful place in a basically good world. Opennes is good for business too – ideas flow more easily. Governments should be open, power should be distributed and used wisely, never to harass individuals.

Controlling the expressions of a billion people is pure fantasy. The real long term power lies in the ideas, ideas presented by a few are often stronger than formal power.

China surely will use its power, and so will India, and the rest. A new situation is developing – so let us prepare ourselves the best we can. Go to China and see things for yourself – you may find it rewarding, and see that the Chinese are very cultured people.

The US is already in the process of creating pictures of China as an enemy and trying to recruit members to this enemy-club. Let us see to it that this strategy is not successful – first of all cooperation must be the aim. This kind of remark is called naive, but humanity must eventually come to their senses.

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