Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long?

Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long?

It is quite interesting to observe that for millennia, two neighbouring countries, ethnically, linguistically, racially diverse (and for some time religiously as well) were able to co-exist for thousands of years without wars in between. European powers been fighting each other for centuries, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Mongols, Arabs, etc.

How could India and China maintain the peace for that long (ignoring some recent post WWII border skirmishes)?


Because China was actually pretty far from India.

For most of the past millennia, China and India were not "neighbouring countries" in any meaningful sense of the word. Most Chinese empires did not actually stretch all the way to the Indian subcontinent. It seems you're considering China and India based on their modern borders, but that is misleading: modern China possesses vast territories beyond its historic core.

Although the Chinese established wide ranging empires at different points of history, they did so from a home country that's roughly located like the red shaded region below:

The maximum extent of Chinese empires (the yellow bits) reflected the limits of their logistics from home. This "supply range", if you will, reached its longest under the sophisticated military science of the Manchurian war machine, during the Qing Dynasty.

The hostile geography in India's direction, and huge distances involved, made it difficult for China to actively pursue war any further from home. For reference, expeditions to Korea were major causes in ruining the once mighty native Chinese Sui and Ming Empires. And Korea could be resupplied by ships.

Actually, China has not historically been particularly adept at waging large scale war over long distances. Most of China's modern conquests are a legacy of its Manchurians conquerors, who ruled China for most of the modern era up until 1911.

Now, the maximum extent of Qing rule is mostly preserved today barring Manchuria and Mongolia. If you look at the modern border,

You can see that India actually neighbours Tibet and, further north, Xinjiang. Although both regions are now under the ultimate control of Beijing, that is not the case for most of recorded history.

Xinjiang

Literally "New Territories", Xinjiang was home to a series of different peoples and polities until 1759. This regions were at times under a strong China's influence, notably during the Tang Empire, but invariably Chinese power would wane amid civil war and internal unrest. None of China's previous "conquests" here, which were often achieved via diplomatic means (notably by wedding princesses to local rulers), lasted long.

That changed only in the mid-18th century, when the Qing Empire launched a series of brutal wars that forcibly put the region into the Qing Empire in a process so bloody it has been termed a genocide.

天無所訴,地無所容,自作自受,必使無遺育逸種於故地而後已。計數十萬戶中,先痘死者十之四,繼竄入俄羅斯、哈薩克者十之二,卒殲於大兵者十之三,除婦孺充賞外,至今惟來降受屯之厄魯特若干戶,編設佐領昂吉,此外數千里間無瓦剌一氈帳

Roughly translated: They have no appeals to Heaven and no place on Earth. They brought this on themselves. They will leave none of their seed in their homeland. Of the hundreds of thousands of families, four in ten died of disease; two in ten fled into Russia and Kazakhstan; three in ten were vanquished by our army. With the exception of women and children taken as rewards, only a handful of Oirat(?) families who surrendered remained. Other than that there not a single tent remained across thousands of miles.

-- A Military History of the Qing Dynasty, by Wei Yuan.

Tibet

Once upon a time Tibet was, in fact, a powerful empire that posed a credible threat to Tang China. That did not last; however, like Korea, Tibet remained a distinct polity separate from China in most of the centuries since. While Tibet was always liable to be within the Chinese sphere of influence (again c.f. Korea), this only became more pronounced from the late 18th century onward.

It is difficult to say when exactly did Tibet fell to China. A good point however is 1792, when the Qing Empire, fresh from saving Tibet from the Nepalese invasion, was able to impose unprecedented controls on Tibet. The most important measure taken was the Chinese intervention in the succession of Tibet's religious/political leadership.

Nonetheless, as late as 1904 Great Britain could still sign a treaty with Tibet: the Convention Between Great Britain and Thibet (1904). And in 1907, two European Great Powers would declare:

In conformity with the admitted principle of the suzerainty of China over Thibet, Great Britain and Russia engage not to enter into negotiations with Thibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government.

-- Article II, Convention Between Great Britain and Russia (1907)

This status was explicitly confirmed by China as well in 1914's Simla Accord:

The Governments of Great Britain and China recognizing that Tibet is under the suzerainty of China, and recognizing also the autonomy of Outer Tibet, engage to respect the territorial integrity of the country, and to abstain from interference in the administration of Outer Tibet (including the selection and installation of the Dalai Lama), which shall remain in the hands of the Tibetan Government at Lhasa.

The Government of China engages not to convert Tibet into a Chinese province. The Government of Great Britain engages not to annex Tibet or any portion of it.

-- Article II, Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet (1914)

Tibet subsequently expelled Chinese troops and became de facto fully independent until 1951, when Communist forces annexed Tibet to the newly created People's Republic of China.

In Conclusion:

China and India had peace for a long time because:

  • Until relatively recently, Tibet and modern Xinjiang were massive buffer state/region/Turkic tribes.
  • The geography made war an unattractive prospect
  • China proper, which was not usually particularly adept at long distance warfare, is very very far from India

Note also that they weren't really at peace all that time either. Even when separated by large distances and the Himalayas, Chinese and Indian polities still actually did fight each other on at least two occasions:

  • 648 - against the Harsa Empire's usurper.
  • 1841-1842 - against the Sikh Confederacy.

I would also include these, but I acknolwedge they are arguable:

  • 1790-1792 - against the Kingdom of Nepal.
  • 1903-1904 - against British India

Good Fences Make Good Neighboors

The answer consists of 1 word - Himalayas.

Okay, let me add the second word: Tibet.

Basically, the two cultures have been completely separated by an insurmountable barrier (not to mention that the fact that India and China share a border today is an artifact of the 20th century, when China annexed Tibet).


If you look at the map,

you can see that there are highly mountainous regions covering northeastern India and Southwest China. So even if you draw a boundary line somewhere through these mountains, you can see that the desirability and likelihood of moving or fighting across these mountains is pretty slim (at least until 1962). They acted as a buffer zone between the two countries' population centers (on the eastern part of the map for China, on the southwestern part of the map for India). India's capital Delhi, is just west of these mountains, and China's capital, Beijing, is on the eastern edge of them.

The area in between includes some of the most desolate, difficult territory in the world.


They were peaceful because they didn't LOOK for wars and preferred trading with each other. Although many answers give simple reasons for NOT fighting war as a cause for peace I think that is based on the assumption that they were LOOKING for war with neighbours. But I present you a different point of view removed from the assumption that peace comes not from ceasefires or destructive deterrents nor lack of interest in invading but rather the natural tendency to live harmoniously with neighbours.

Fact is both India and China were trading with each other for more than 2000 years via the silk road and maritime routes. Himalayas are not the only route! they can go meet through Burma and we know both of these countries have been a sea faring nation for a much longer time than Europe. It has been documented Buddhism, sugar, Indian astronomy and some math, wootz steel, cotton among other things has traveled to china from India, while India bequeathed from the chinese silk, fishing nets, gunpowder and various tools among other things. Thus to say war couldn't have happened because its too far is facile as there were already long established trading routes and commodity driven markets that were apparently ready for the taking for the Europeans. In fact, if you look up the Indian ocean trade it was largely peaceful between africa, middle east india and china until the europeans entered the fold 800 years later. This is supported by John Greene of Crash Course series on Youtube.

Thus the assumption that distances are too far to wage war is a self defeating argument as there are were tons of exchange happening already for a very, very long time. China is even mentioned in the Mahabharatha.

But I am also questioning the mindset that to have peace only the absence of war is necessary. This maybe true now, but as I have demonstrated peace existed among the most economically strong countries such as India and China for millennia without having to wage constant wars. There have been many instances in history, but not really touched upon in western history books, of cultures conducting business and exchange largely peacefully for centuries without resorting to military support.


As mentioned, the two areas have been historically very decoupled. Very few (any?) crops moved from one region to the other in antiquity. Agriculture and writing seem to have evolved independently in both areas, implying lack of contact. Ironically, the region with the most extensive cultural transmission in Asia was Mongolia/Siberia, since the people there were much more nomadic.


Did China Have A Chance To Win The Opium War?

The most consequential war involving a European nation in Asia in the 19th century is the 1839-1842 Opium War. The war was fought between a large British expeditionary force composed of nearly 20,000 British troops and three dozen of the Royal Navy’s modern warships, against about 100,000 Chinese defenders. The war lasted for nearly three years that witnessed several campaigns fought at battle grounds usually hundreds or even thousands of miles apart in Southern, Central, and Northern China. Some of these battles were fierce, bloody, and protracted, others were lopsided and peculiarly quick.

It was also one of the most controversial military conflicts in British history, largely due to the tenacious campaign within the British government by the trigger-happy liberal interventionist Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, and his equally fierce opponents led by William Gladstone, who called Palmerston’s Opium War with China “a war more unjust in its origin, a war more calculated in its progress to cover this country with permanent disgrace.” Over the Tory Party’s vigorous objection, the House of Commons reluctantly passed Palmerston’s motion for the conflict with a narrow vote of 271 to 262.

The Opium War still haunts China with an indelible historical and national syndrome of victimhood and vengeance, making the defeat in the war the most potent rallying cry in today’s China for revenge in the thinly veiled call for the restitution of a “Chinese Dream,” making China the most destabilizing actor in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

Military historians have long determined that the outcome of the war was already decided before it had started, as it was a war fought between the industrializing and technologically advanced Great Britain, which had the world’s most powerful navy, and the backward land empire that was China under the Manchun rule.

However, were there any missed opportunities for China during the three-year war? If we cast aside the teleological analysis from the winner’s perspective and add a few “what-ifs,” the question to ask might be: did China ever have a chance to win in the Opium War?

During the drawn-out conflict, China held advantages over the British in terms of strategic depth, numerical superiority in troop strength, familiarity with battle terrain, spirited resistance at some key battles, and excellent coastal fortifications at key points such as the entrances to the Pearl and Yangtze Rivers.

But these advantages were not fully utilized by China during the Opium War. In fact, many of them were squandered mindlessly.

China’s vast land mass at its strategic rear has given the government in Beijing a penchant for favoring a war of position, spreading its troops all over the place, with coastal fortifications as its chief line of defense to stop the British “barbarians” at the front gate. As a result, this advantage in land mass also created slow mustering-time and troop movements throughout the conflict. While the coastal guns at the fortresses in Guangdong [Canton] and the Yangtze River mouth did give the British a very hard time, the British conducted a war of movement with its large, some of them steamed propelled, Royal Navy ships moving quickly up and down along the long coast of southern, eastern, and northern China looking for the weakest links of the Chinese coastal defense to attack, achieving overwhelming successes.

Had China been more flexible on its positional warfare strategy, but instead let the British get through the coastal area, luring the enemy into China’s vast hinterland to fight on land, the outcome might have been different. It would have also obviated the devastating effects of Britain’s far more powerful ship-mounted guns that out-ranged the Chinese coastal gun batteries. Only on a few occasions when the British made tactical errors by going deep inland, outside of the ship guns’ range, to places like the village of San Yuanli did they suffer greatly. But the Chinese high command did not catch the strategic cues provided by its enemy’s errors and modify its war approach.

The land mass also misled China to underestimate Britain's ability to re-supply and reinforce its expeditionary forces from its many colonies through South and Southeast Asia.

On paper, China maintained an 800,000 strong military force, with about 30 to 40% of them equipped with firearms. But much like today's Chinese People's Liberation Army under the communist government, these were troops who had lived in peace for generations without any combat experience. Many were extremely lax in training and readiness, with a significant number of them being also hopelessly corrupt. In the end, Emperor Daoguang could mobilize only about 100,000 of them incrementally, which often took months to muster at the reinforcement points of rendezvous or battle stations. In contrast, the British troops, including most of the 5,000 Royal Army soldiers and 7,000 Royal Marines and sailors, were richly experienced, battle-hardened, and highly disciplined as a result of their prior services in various colonial wars in Africa and other parts of Asia.

The same can be said about the quality of commandership. While the British commanders such as Admirals George Elliot and Sir William Parker, and negotiators such as Charles Elliot and Henry Pottinger were experienced and of ample wiles, China’s commanders and negotiators were usually wrapped up not in sound tactics and stratagems, but in moral outrage over the opium trade, yet simultaneously in great fear of the emperor who could easily put them to death over tactical or negotiation errors, big or small. To be sure, there were many truly heroic and brave Chinese soldiers and commanders, but they were usually outgunned and poorly commanded. Thousands of them fought to the last second before they were killed in battle or committed suicide to avoid a dishonorable surrender or capture. Yet frequently, their key commanders such as Generals Yi Shan and Yang Fang in the pivotal Battle of Canton in the Spring of 1841, were hopelessly incompetent and cowardly, resulting in a complete rout for the Chinese.

The Opium War was also a psychological war. The Manchu court’s stupefying arrogance with regard to imperial protocols and diplomatic decorum incensed the equally arrogant British, who were determined to humiliate psychologically the Celestial Middle Kingdom and destroy the extraordinary self-righteousness and moral superiority of the Manchu court. Furthermore, during the war, the British commanders were able to recruit Chinese mercenaries, whom the Chinese government had rightly called “traitors,” to fight for the British side in pivotal battles such as the one for the control of Humen and Chuanbi in January 1841.

In February 1841 and March 1842, the Chinese seized first the British transport ship Nerbudda, and then the brig Ann in the Chinese held island of Taiwan. Hundreds of their crews were captured by the Chinese. On August 10, 1842, four days before the official Chinese delegation left to surrender to the British and negotiate a peace treaty, the Chinese troops in Taiwan executed 197 British prisoners on order from the Chinese Emperor Daoguang, who wanted to kill the British prisoners “in order to release our anger and enliven our hearts.”


India, China reject US bid to mediate on border issue

The Indian government on Friday doubled down on its rejection of US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on the border standoff with China, with people familiar with development contradicting the American leader’s remarks that he had discussed the “big conflict” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

China too rejected Trump’s offer of mediation, and foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the two countries don’t need the intervention of a third party as they have existing mechanisms to resolve problems. China’s foreign and defence ministries described the situation at the border as “stable and controllable”.

The reactions from New Delhi and Beijing came hours after Trump reiterated his offer to mediate between India and China to resolve the standoff between border troops of the two countries at a briefing at the White House early on Friday (Indian time).

Trump initially made the offer to mediate through a tweet on Wednesday. Though it was tacitly turned down by India’s external affairs ministry on Thursday, he went a step further and said on Friday that Modi was “not in a good mood” regarding the “big conflict” with China.

The people cited above, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the last conversation between Modi and Trump had occurred long before the standoff with China became public, and the discussion had centred around the US request for supply of hydroxychloroquine to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There has been no recent contact between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump. The last conversation between them was on April 4 on the subject of hydroxychloroquine,” said one of the people cited above.

“Yesterday [Thursday], the external affairs ministry had made it clear that we are directly in touch with the Chinese through established mechanisms and diplomatic contacts,” the person added.

This is the second time New Delhi has called out such a claim by Trump regarding mediation between India and another country. In July 2019, India dismissed Trump’s remarks, at a joint news briefing with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, that Modi had asked him to help resolve the Kashmir issue.

At that time too, Trump contended he had spoken directly with Modi about Kashmir. “And he actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator, or arbitrator? I said ‘Where?’, and he said ‘Kashmir, because this has been going on for many many years’,” Trump had said at the time.

Trump created a flutter on Wednesday with his tweet about mediating to end the standoff: “We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!”

After studied silence for a day, the external affairs ministry cleared the air at its weekly briefing on Thursday. Asked about Trump’s offer, ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava ruled out any role for a third party in addressing the border tensions: “As I’ve told you, we are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue.”

Despite the position adopted by India, Trump reiterated his offer to arbitrate when he was asked by an Indian reporter about the border standoff at the White House briefing.

Prefacing his offer to mediate with the comment that “they like me in India”, Trump said: “They have a big conflict going with India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people, two countries with very powerful militaries. And India is not happy, and probably China is not happy. But I can tell you, I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He’s not – he’s not in a good mood about what’s going on with China.”

Asked specifically if he would mediate between India and China, Trump replied: “I would do that. You know, I would do that. If they – if they thought it would help if I were the mediator or the arbiter, I would do that. So, we’ll see.”

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian rejected the US offer to mediate by saying: “Between China and India, we have existing border-related mechanisms and communication channels. We are capable of properly resolving the issues between us through dialogue and consultation. We do not need the intervention of the third party.”

Both Zhao and, for the first time, defence ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang described the situation at the border as “stable and controllable”.

“The two sides have the ability to communicate and solve relevant issues through the established border-related mechanisms and diplomatic channels,” Ren said in an online media interaction on Thursday.

Zhao told a regular news briefing on Friday: “We have been implementing the important consensus reached by leaders of both countries, observing the bilateral agreements and have been committed to safeguarding territorial sovereignty and security, stability and peace in the border area.”

The statements from China’s foreign and defence ministries were perceived as a sign that, at least as of now, the government isn’t willing to let the situation worsen through a war of words with India.

To be sure, India has rejected China’s assertion that Indian troops carried out illegal constructions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Arun Singh, who served as India’s envoy to the US during 2015-16, described Trump’s mediation offer as an effort to “project that he is influential internationally”.

“The US president is erratic and unpredictable and even Twitter is hiding his tweets. I’m sure even he wasn’t expecting a positive response from India or China. We should ignore it and move on,” Singh said.

China’s state-run media too dismissed Trump’s proposal.

“The latest dispute can be solved bilaterally by China and India. The two countries should keep alert on the US, which exploits every chance to create waves that jeopardise regional peace and order,” the nationalistic Global Times tabloid said in a comment piece.

The article titled “China, India don’t need US help on their frictions” further said: “It seems Trump finally knows that China and India, the two largest Asian powers, share borders. Early this year, A Very Stable Genius, a book written by two Washington Post journalists, revealed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shocked and concerned when Trump told him India and China did not share a border.”

It noted India had turned down Trump’s offer last year to mediate on the Kashmir issue, and that India “perhaps has been aware of the US’ bad history of mediation in which the US made troubles rather than solved problems”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that the government must come clean on the border face-off between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“The Government’s silence about the border situation with China is fueling massive speculation and uncertainty at a time of crisis. GOI must come clean and tell India exactly what’s happening,” Gandhi tweeted on Friday.


Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long? - History

C hina is a sovereign state with a population of over 1.3 billion people. The nation possesses the world’s largest economy by some measurements, the world’s largest population and the fourth-largest territory.

These are the building blocks of a superpower. While the world anticipates China gaining superpower status, analysts debate over when and whether its rise will be peaceful.

The Trumpet forecasts that China will continue to grow as a formidable power, combining its strength with Russia. Further, we forecast that it will play a major role in waging economic war that will devastate America.

Where do these forecasts come from?

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The Asian Fortress

China is located in East Asia. Its east borders the Pacific Ocean. Its southeastern border is mostly a hilly jungle difficult to travel through. The south and west of China border the Himalayas, the world’s tallest mountain range. This poses another barrier to trade and military forces, except on its northwestern border through Kazakhstan. The famous medieval network of trade routes from Europe to Asia, called the Silk Road, ran through Kazakhstan to China. To China’s north, the Gobi Desert runs along China’s border with Mongolia. China also borders Russia to the north in a relatively uninhabited region.

With borders like these, China is geographically secure. Historically, its geography allowed China to develop without much interaction with foreign powers, unless it chose to. Its territory and population size also make it hard to conquer. The only successful invasion of China was by the Mongolian horsemen in the 1200s. Even though the Japanese invaded and occupied large parts of eastern China in the 1930s, they could never get the Chinese to capitulate.

Geographically, China’s coast is its most vulnerable frontier. It is where the Japanese invaded and how the British Empire forced the Chinese into trade concessions in the 1800s. The British Empire’s prosperous trade actually destabilized China. The rich coastal areas benefiting from the trade resisted government policies and control that sought to curb trade. This led to the collapse of the central government and civil war. It was in this context that Japan invaded and remarkably failed to conquer.

All of this shows that while China is vulnerable to invasion from the coast, the real threat isn’t from a military invasion. No nation has the interest or the forces to invade and occupy mainland China and hope to win. The real threat is economic. It is vital to China’s prosperity that no nation can threaten it economically through its coast.

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Emerging From Isolation

The history that is important to the Trumpet’s forecasts begins in 1949 when Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China. Mao modeled China’s political structures on those of the Communist Soviet Union. This attracted Soviet loans, boosted growth in the Chinese economy, and put it on an ideological path opposite of the United States.

At first the relationship between Russia and China was successful. The Soviet advisers and loans increased industrialization in a backward agrarian society. Mao signed a mutual defense treaty with the Soviet Union in February 1950 and declared that the Chinese-Soviet friendship would be “everlasting, indestructible and inalienable.”

The relationship began to break down after Mao launched his own modernization program in 1958 that failed. His radical attempts to remake China’s society reversed many of the economic gains. Russia openly criticized China and cut off military aid. Within 15 years, the friendship ended.

The Chinese began to drift from Soviet Russia both philosophically and strategically, and started looking elsewhere for economic prosperity.

In 1971, the People’s Republic of China gained membership in the United Nations, raising its status to a major world political power. The following year, U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China, the first step in formalizing relations between the two countries. The visit paved the way for the robust economic ties the two nations share today.

It was in the 1970s that China’s economic growth really began to take off. In December 1978, China allowed farmers to sell their produce in local markets, a step away from pure communism. The government also allowed individual businesses to conduct trade with foreign businesses.

From 1978 to 2012, China’s gross domestic product grew an average of 9.4 percent every year. No other nation’s economy has grown so fast for so long. After 35 years of almost uninterrupted growth, by some measures, such as purchasing power, China’s economy is now the largest in the world.

China’s per capita gross domestic product rose from $439 in 1950 to $7,578 in 2014. That is a remarkable achievement. Since opening up trade to foreign markets, China has abandoned its historic isolation.

The Trumpet also watches China’s relationship with Russia, which has undergone dramatic changes. The relationship reached a low in 1969 when Russian and Chinese troops fought a border battle. But beginning in 1989, when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visited Beijing, China and Russia’s relationship has strengthened. In 1991, the two countries resolved their border differences, and in 2001, they signed a “friendship cooperation agreement.”

The two nations formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 1996 to strengthen political and economic cooperation with Central Asian states. China is now Russia’s largest trading partner, while Russia is a valuable source of oil and natural gas for China.

It is these two factors, China’s increasing economic power and its strengthening relationship with Russia, that the Trumpet follows—and both of these trends continue to grow. The question on analysts’ minds is whether China’s growth and ambition will continue to be peaceful, or if it will turn to war. China’s recent actions give a clear answer.

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A Belt, a Road, a Bank …

In recent years, China has been expanding its ties with the rest of Asia. In 2013, China launched its “One Belt, One Road” strategy to build transportation infrastructure routes for trade from Asia to Africa and Europe. It covers an area that holds 55 percent of the world’s gross national product, 70 percent of the global population and 75 percent of known energy reserves.

In 2016, China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a new Chinese-run international bank. The bank reduces Asia’s dependence on the U.S.-controlled World Bank and aims to replace the U.S. dollar with the Chinese yuan in trade.

When the bank was proposed in 2013, the U.S. tried to convince other nations not to join, but failed even to persuade its closest allies. This handed the U.S. an embarrassing defeat and clearly signaled that China is aggressively looking to replace the U.S. in certain markets.

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And Many Islands

The clearest indication that its challenge will not be peaceful comes from what China is doing militarily. In 2008, China became the world’s second-largest military spender. It has been modernizing its navy and is set to have more ships than the U.S. Navy by 2020.

In 2014, China ramped up its territorial claims in the South China Sea when it began creating artificial islands in disputed waters and militarizing them. Some of the islands are as far as 800 miles from mainland China, but only 150 miles from the Philippines. According to United Nations law and the International Court for Arbitration’s 2016 ruling, such turf belongs to the Philippines. But China refuses to accept the court’s ruling or international law, and neither is enforced.

China has also bolstered its military cooperation with Russia. Since 2005, Russia and China have conducted joint military exercises.

While Chinese troops haven’t been sent against the U.S., China is already attacking America—through cyberwarfare.

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China’s Direct Challenges to America

In 2013, China hacked and stole two dozen major weapons systems from the U.S. It was one of the largest breaches in U.S. military security. Since then, multiple high-profile hacks have targeted U.S. utility companies and American government officials.

China also opened a new front in its challenge to the U.S.—space warfare. In 2007, China shot a ballistic missile into space to destroy an old weather satellite, proving it could threaten U.S. satellites.

All these actions show China’s plans to challenge and eventually replace the U.S. as a superpower.

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A Bold Forecast

The Trumpet follows its parent magazine, the Plain Truth, by reporting and analyzing Chinese cooperation with Russia and its recent economic growth. During a time when China was an undeveloped nation squabbling with Russia, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong forecast that China would soon become a powerful nation that would rally behind Russia to counter threats from the West.

A December 1959 Plain Truth issue stated:

Lenin wrote that the way to Paris, London and New York is via [Beijing] and Delhi. … [P]art of the Communist plan [is] to place India and Pakistan in a giant vice between Russia and China. … Red China insists it has a legal right not only to Tibet but [also] to many parts of India and Southeast Asia. … Their constant dream for centuries has been ultimate world conquest! … China knows, however, that in this highly industrialized age she can accomplish this dream only as an ally of Russia. … China is now ready to begin devouring the rest of Asia with Russia’s secret military backing.

It is hard to think that in 1959 someone was warning that China would be a threat to the world order and that it would side with Russia to do so. But Mr. Armstrong did and he was right. China is still trying to achieve its dream to become a world superpower. Current Chinese President Xi Jinping promised in his book The Governance of China that China will achieve this by 2049. And today it is once again an ally of Russia.

Since that forecast, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has added more detail to how China will attempt to achieve its dream. And it has everything to do with the West and its standard of living.

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A Coming Trade War

Gerald Flurry forecasts that China will aggressively seek to replace the U.S., so much so that it will go to economic war. But it won’t do so alone. In his booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, Mr. Flurry writes: “Europe and Asia may work together to economically besiege America.”

Until recent disagreements put the U.S.-China relationship on shakier ground, this was not a popular view, because China and the U.S. are so economically tied together.

First, China holds over $1.1 trillion in U.S. federal debt, making it one of the largest foreign holders of U.S. debt. A conflict between the two nations would see the value of China’s investment drop.

Second, trade between the two nations is enormous. Altogether, $598 billion worth of goods was traded between China and America in 2015. This made China America’s third-biggest trade partner. America is China’s second-largest trading partner after the European Union. However, of those goods, the U.S. only exported $116 billion worth while it imported $482 billion worth from China. That is a trade deficit of $366 billion, meaning China has more to lose if a conflict does erupt. That’s nearly half of the total U.S. trade deficit.

With trillions at stake, it seems hard to believe the two nations would risk any kind of conflict. But tensions are already deepening. And Mr. Flurry’s statement is based on the sure word of Bible prophecy, which means it is certain to happen.

Chapters 22 and 23 of Isaiah discuss a powerful “mart of nations” (Isaiah 23:3) that includes both European and Asian nations. Isaiah 23:1 shows that Chittim—an ancient name referring to modern China—is a major part of this economic alliance. You can find out more on how Chittim refers to China by reading our article “Is China in the Bible?”

These chapters in Isaiah, along with other Bible passages, make evident that this “mart of nations” will soon dominate global trade for a short period of time—at America’s expense.

These prophecies are why the Trumpet watches China’s rise so closely!

Revelation 16:12 and 9:16 show that in the end time, which is the age we now live in, a bloc of Asian nations called “the kings of the east” will have a combined military force of “200 million mounted troops” (New Living Translation). Such a vast force could only be assembled by including the massive population of China. This is one more solid proof that China is one of those “kings of the east.”

In light of such prophecies as these, and understanding the massive clash that it is leading to (Daniel 11:40-44), the significance of the current tensions between America and China becomes clear. In recent years, the U.S. has seen its manufacturing factories and jobs outsourced. Some estimates put it at over 3 million jobs lost from the trade deficit. This is turning U.S. domestic policies to be more anti-China.

China has pushed the value of the yuan to a low against the dollar. This currency manipulation makes Chinese goods even cheaper, angering American firms. But China is facing a slowing economy and labor unrest as it struggles to keep its people employed.

Depending on whom you ask, you will receive different answers on whether the trade deficit and debt is a negative or a positive for either nation. What can’t be denied is the scope of trade at risk.

But even with all that at stake, the Trumpet forecasts that a trade war will erupt. As the scriptures above make clear, China will participate in crippling the U.S. in a trade war. But how can it do so without crippling itself and committing economic suicide?

It will have help. China will achieve this crippling trade blockade with help from the world’s biggest trade bloc, the European Union. The EU is the world’s largest exporter and accounts for 16 percent of the world’s imports and exports.

These two trade giants could work together to bring down the U.S., and Isaiah chapters 22 and 23 show that that is precisely what will happen! By working together, two of America’s top three trade partners could rapidly destroy the U.S. economy.

Prophecy is the guide. It is why Mr. Armstrong was accurate in his forecasts and why Mr. Flurry is accurate in his. A third of the Bible is prophecy and most of it is for our time today. Bible prophecy describes an economic siege on America and Britain that is orchestrated by the EU and China.

Events are moving toward the fulfillment of this prophecy. In recent years, the EU’s economic powerhouse overtook the U.S. and Japan to become China’s biggest trading partner. China and Europe have undertaken many joint ventures in recent years, including a 2015 landmark deal between Germany’s largest exchange and China’s Foreign Exchange Trade System, a deal that is significantly strengthening financial links between the two sides.

The Trumpet forecasts that the U.S. and British peoples will be left out in the cold as Europe and Asia cooperate and call the shots in the global economy. The U.S. will be literally besieged, economically frozen out of world trade!

This prophecy is also described in Deuteronomy 28, which foretells of America being besieged by its enemies: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” Mr. Flurry writes about this passage: “For many years, Mr. Armstrong said the siege prophesied in verse 52 symbolized America’s economy being battered by foreign competition. ‘And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates …’” (ibid).

These gates refer to strategic choke points in world trade. Over 90 percent of world trade is carried on the seas. These choke points are narrow shipping lanes through which much of world trade travels. In fact, more than 40 percent of the world’s oil supply passes through six relatively narrow shipping lanes. The choke points of world trade are strategic sea gates that can be used to shut down trade, such as the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, the Bab el-Mandeb at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, the Turkish Straits, Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca by Singapore and the Strait of Hormuz by Iran.

China has acquired real estate in many important ports and choke points. It bought Panama’s largest port and the Pakistani port of Gwadar, close to the Strait of Hormuz. It now controls the Australian port city of Darwin. Most of these gates were once controlled by the United States and the British Empire, but the tide has turned in the last few decades.

Mr. Flurry continues concerning these gates:

Who has those gates? America and Britain have or had the gates, and we are going to be besieged in all of them. We have already virtually lost control of all of them. This is a prophecy for this end time.

The Holy Roman Empire, [a 10-nation European federation that will soon come out of the EU] along with the kings of the east (the Asian nations), will cause economic problems and bring on destruction in many ways “until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee” (verse 52). The real pressure is coming from without. “In all thy gates” refers to a trade war.

Because of these prophecies, the Trumpet watches China as it acquires more ports and continues to challenge America economically. For much of China’s history it was an isolationist regional power. But now, thanks to Soviet and American help, China is a world heavyweight. And in order to protect itself and to secure its economic needs, it will act aggressively.

These prophecies go beyond a currency war or a loss of manufacturing jobs. They foretell an all-out economic war that will destroy America’s economy! Imagine what would happen if China unloaded all its holdings of U.S. debt. Imagine what would happen to America’s standard of living if cheap Chinese goods were no longer sold. Imagine what would happen to U.S. trade if ports and sea gates were closed off. China will be one of the leading nations to bring these scenarios to fruition.

_____

Why the Trumpet Watches China

It is amazing to see how God’s prophecies about China for our day coincide with China’s recent activity. God gave China its unique geography and influenced world events enough to ensure they would unfold according to His prophecies. Now this Asian giant is coming out of its isolationist ways. It has gained tremendous economic clout that poses a considerable threat to the United States. Its capability as a military power is also rising to levels commensurate with those foretold in Scripture.

But that doesn’t get to the heart of why the Trumpet reports on China’s rise. We follow this trend because of what will happen after the siege. All of these major events prophesied in the Bible are part of a series of events that lead right up to the return of Jesus Christ.

So when the Trumpet reports on these disturbing trends, it’s with the anticipation and hope of what they ultimately lead to: a better world, led by the only government capable of bringing peace.

SHOULD YOU FEAR CHINA?

Over the last 60 years, China has transformed from a poor, struggling nation to an economic juggernaut. Most analysts say that the 21st century will belong to China. How strong will the Chinese get? And will they affect your life?

The Bible actually describes the economic might of 21st-century China and specifically prophesies the trade bloc that is developing between Asia and Europe (Isaiah 23). Moreover, it prophesies that China and its Asian allies will use their economic power to field a 200 million-man army (Revelation 9)—and go to war. To learn what the Bible says about modern China, request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.


In Pursuit Of Global Equilibrium

National grand strategies no longer fit today’s world.

Parag Khanna is the founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario-based strategic advisory firm. His latest book is “The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict and Culture in the 21st Century.”

SINGAPORE — When professors at China’s famed Peking University invited me to give a lecture on grand strategy, it was a chance not only to compare Chinese and American visions of their place in the world but perhaps even to reconcile them.

A number of Chinese scholars have recently introduced novel vocabulary into geopolitical discourse, such as the pursuit of “symmetry” instead of hierarchy and understanding “relationality” as the context of great power dynamics. These interventions have important normative value. They suggest that rather than fear China as a hegemon seeking singular global dominance, East and West can coexist in harmonious equanimity, like two dancers holding hands so both stay standing. But, much like the more famous Chinese phrase “peaceful rise,” they also have political value — as code for speaking softly while building a stronger stick.

What America has experienced in the past three decades is now happening to China: Counterreactions to China’s aggression have cemented coalitions among states permanently suspicious of it, and the demand for Chinese leadership is declining even as its power grows. Both America and China thus need to grasp that complex feedback loops are the turbulent new playing field of competition, with more actors operating in parallel and around each of them — and faster than in previous eras of great power rivalry. We have entered, for the first time in history, a truly global diplomatic marketplace.

The reason American grand strategy has become such an anodyne exercise is that it still holds the United States to be the central decisive sun around which all other planets revolve. Only a process utterly bereft of geographical, cultural or contextual nuance could produce static charts comparing America and China’s “gross national power.” Each time I see one, I reach for my revolver.

Not surprisingly, the post-Cold War articulations of American grand strategy have all failed by their own account, whether regarding preventing the rise of a peer competitor, promoting democracy, championing global free trade or leading a liberal international order. Even those areas where America can still claim dominance — financial muscle and digital technology — are becoming highly competitive arenas. (Energy, both hydrocarbon and renewable, is ubiquitous.)

China scores points for strategic creativity, but it too has been blinded by hubris. Fully aware of America’s preponderant military assets, China focused on branding infrastructure as a global public good, a win-win formula to modernize dilapidated postcolonial and post-Soviet nations while also engineering its way out of the so-called “Malacca trap” — dependency on imports and exports flowing through the narrow Strait of Malacca. But China’s far-flung supply chains were also too important to passively let its clients elect good leaders, hence white-elephant projects and debt traps became a preferred neocolonial tool.

Which brings us to the present: No country trusts either America or China, and neither power can subdue the other. Military victory can only be limited in scope given universal deterrence. Financial liquidity is infinite, thus bankrupting the other won’t work either. Are Americans and Chinese the only ones who don’t understand that hegemony is not the pathway to fulfilling either their own or the world’s needs?

For a grand strategy in the 21st century to be worth the paper it’s written on, it needs to incorporate an element of global strategy: What is a power’s contribution to global goods and maintaining a baseline of civilizational stability?

America’s protection of open sea lanes, China’s financing of infrastructure and Europe’s promotion of environmental regulation are all examples of contributing to the global good, but they fall well short of a “G3” coordinated global strategy on the scale the world needs today. Having distinct American, Chinese and European strategic cultures is not enough when we need a global strategic culture as well.

Grand strategy seeks dominance global strategy seeks equilibrium. Without a common strategic culture, global governance is a farce, and challenges large and small fall through the cracks — only to bite us later on. Colonial-era border disputes flare up and escalate into war, and failed states become humanitarian crises. Proactive dispute settlement and postwar reconstruction are just two legacy agendas that have been poorly managed and thus portend future trouble.

Far more existential challenges loom for which global strategy is a sine qua non. Confronting climate change will require much more than gradual emissions reductions. Which powers will form the essential coalition to finance, research and launch oceanic and atmospheric geoengineering initiatives to absorb carbon and reverse global warming? Who will develop and distribute vaccines for both humans and animals to decrease the likelihood of future pandemics that ravage our population and food supply? This is the time for what Noema editor-in-chief Nathan Gardels calls “planetary realism,” meaning cooperation in areas of common civilizational interest.

There is nothing soft or subordinate about these objectives to the Olympian aspirations of grand strategy. History is the story of empires lacking the foresight to avoid reaping what they sow, from anti-colonial nationalism to terrorist “blowback.” For example, America’s limp climate policy, combined with a miserly approach to Latin America, will eventually spur massive waves of climate refugees. And China’s relentless damming and diversion of the Mekong and Brahmaputra River headwaters may bring mass migrations from Southeast Asia northward.

Both America and China have the attitude that what is good for them is good for the world. But in fact, that is true only in reverse. Unrestrained protectionism and industrial policy hamper growth in the same markets America and China want to boost exports into. The synchronized global recovery in growth and trade brought about through coordinated action after the global financial crisis is impossible in today’s beggar-thy-neighbor world.

In a geopolitical marketplace, great powers can keep each other honest, leading global strategic competition to look more like a race to the top than the bottom. Europe and America can offer lower lending rates for infrastructure than China China can export affordable solar and nuclear power more rapidly than Western economies and India can offer digital governance solutions to countries without stealing their citizens’ data. And nations too smart to pick sides will “multi-align” among various suitors to get the best deal for themselves.

Grand strategists in all nations must reckon with today’s globally distributed multipolarity and dynamic ties among all regions and powers. It is not a temporary condition but our abiding reality. This, not the inert game of Risk, is the complex geopolitical foundation of the decades ahead. America may purport to be the “leader of the free world,” while China espouses a “community of common destiny.” But neither has a global strategy to match.


The Maverick Dalai Lama

In 1697, fifteen years after the death of Lobsang Gyatso, the Sixth Dalai Lama was finally enthroned.

Tsangyang Gyatso (1683-1706) was a maverick who rejected the monastic life, growing his hair long, drinking wine, and enjoying female company. He also wrote great poetry, some of which is still recited today in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama’s unconventional lifestyle prompted Lobsang Khan of the Khoshud Mongols to depose him in 1705.

Lobsang Khan seized control of Tibet, named himself King, sent Tsangyang Gyatso to Beijing (he “mysteriously” died on the way), and installed a pretender Dalai Lama.


Taoism

Taoism (also known as Daoism) is a Chinese philosophy attributed to Lao Tzu (c. 500 BCE) which developed from the folk religion of the people primarily in the rural areas of China and became the official religion of the country under the Tang Dynasty. Taoism is therefore both a philosophy and a religion.

It emphasizes doing what is natural and "going with the flow" in accordance with the Tao (or Dao), a cosmic force which flows through all things and binds and releases them. The philosophy grew from an observance of the natural world, and the religion developed out of a belief in cosmic balance maintained and regulated by the Tao. The original belief may or may not have included practices such as ancestor and spirit worship but both of these principles are observed by many Taoists today and have been for centuries.

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Taoism exerted a great influence during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and the emperor Xuanzong (reigned 712-756 CE) decreed it a state religion, mandating that people keep Taoist writings in their home. It fell out of favor as the Tang Dynasty declined and was replaced by Confucianism and Buddhism but the religion is still practiced throughout China and other countries today.

Origins

The historian Sima Qian (145-86 BCE) tells the story of Lao-Tzu, a curator at the Royal Library in the state of Chu, who was a natural philosopher. Lao-Tzu believed in the harmony of all things and that people could live easily together if they only considered each other's feelings once in a while and recognized that their self-interest was not always in the interest of others. Lao-Tzu grew impatient with people and with the corruption he saw in government, which caused the people so much pain and misery. He was so frustrated by his inability to change people's behavior that he decided to go into exile.

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As he was leaving China through the western pass, the gatekeeper Yin Hsi stopped him because he recognized him as a philosopher. Yin Hsi asked Lao-Tzu to write a book for him before he left civilization forever and Lao-Tzu agreed. He sat down on a rock beside the gatekeeper and wrote the Tao-Te-Ching (The Book of the Way). He stopped writing when he felt he was finished, handed the book to Yin Hsi, and walked through the western pass to vanish into the mist beyond. Sima Qian does not continue the story after this but, presumably (if the story is true) Yin Hsi would have then had the Tao-Te-Ching copied and distributed.

The Tao-Te-Ching

The Tao-Te-Ching is not a 'scripture' in any way. It is a book of poetry presenting the simple way of following the Tao and living life at peace with one's self, others, and the world of changes. A typical verse advises, "Yield and overcome/Empty and become full/Bend and become straight" to direct a reader to a simpler way of living. Instead of fighting against life and others, one can yield to circumstances and let the things which are not really important go. Instead of insisting one is right all the time, one can empty one's self of that kind of pride and be open to learning from other people. Instead of clinging to old belief patterns and hanging onto the past, one can bend to new ideas and new ways of living.

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The Tao-Te-Ching was most likely not written by Lao-Tzu at the western pass and may not have been written by him at all. Lao-Tzu probably did not exist and the Tao-Te-Ching is a compilation of sayings set down by an unknown scribe. Whether the origin of the book and the belief system originated with a man named Lao-Tzu or when it was written or how is immaterial (the book itself would agree) and all that matters is what the work says and what it has come to mean to readers. The Tao-Te-Ching is an attempt to remind people that they are connected to others and to the earth and that everyone could live together peacefully if people would only be mindful of how their thoughts and actions affect themselves, others, and the earth.

Yin-Yang Thought

A good reason to believe that Lao-Tzu was not the author of the Tao-Te-Ching is that the core philosophy of Taoism grew up from the peasant class during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE) long before the accepted dates for Lao-Tzu. During the Shang era, the practice of divination became more popular through the reading of oracle bones which would tell one's future. Reading oracle bones led to a written text called the I-Ching (c. 1250-1150 BCE), the Book of Changes, which is a book still available today providing a reader with interpretations for certain hexagrams which supposedly tell the future.

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A person would ask a question and then throw a handful of yarrow sticks onto a flat surface (such as a table) and the I-Ching would be consulted for an answer to the person's question. These hexagrams consist of six unbroken lines (called Yang lines) and six broken lines (Yin). When a person looked at the pattern the yarrow sticks made when they were thrown, and then consulted the hexagrams in the book, they would have their answer. The broken and the unbroken lines, the yin and yang, were both necessary for that answer because the principles of yin and yang were necessary for life. Historian John M. Koller writes:

Yin-yang thought began as an attempt to answer the question of the origin of the universe. According to yin-yang thought, the universe came to be as a result of the interactions between the two primordial opposing forces of yin and yang. Because things are experienced as changing, as processes coming into being and passing out of being, they must have both yang, or being, and yin, or lack of being. The world of changing things that constitutes nature can exist only when there are both yang and yin. Without yang nothing can come into existence. Without yin nothing can pass out of existence (207).

Although Taoism and the Tao-Te-Ching were not originally associated with the symbol known as the yin-yang, they have both come to be because the philosophy of Taoism embodies the yin-yang principle and yin-yang thought. Life is supposed to be lived in balance, as the symbol of the yin and the yang expresses. The yin-yang is a symbol of opposites in balance - dark/light, passive/aggressive, female/male - everything except good and evil, life and death, because nature does not recognize anything as good or evil and nature does not recognize a difference between life and non-life. All is in harmony in nature, and Taoism tries to encourage people to accept and live that kind of harmony as well.

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Beliefs

Other Chinese texts relating to Taoism are the Chaung-Tzu (also known as the Zhuangzi, written by Zhuang Zhou, c. 369-286 BCE) and the Daozang from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and Sung Dynasty (960-1234 CE) which was compiled in the later Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). All of these texts are based on the same kinds of observation of the natural world and the belief that human beings are innately good and only needed a reminder of their inner nature to pursue virtue over vice. There are no "bad people" according to Taoist principles, only people who behave badly. Given the proper education and guidance toward understanding how the universe works, anyone could be a "good person" living in harmony with the earth and with others.

According to this belief, the way of the Tao is in accordance with nature while resistance to the Tao is unnatural and causes friction. The best way for a person to live, according to Taoism, is to submit to whatever life brings and be flexible. If a person adapts to the changes in life easily, that person will be happy if a person resists the changes in life, that person will be unhappy. One's ultimate goal is to live at peace with the way of the Tao and recognize that everything that happens in life should be accepted as part of the eternal force which binds and moves through all things.

This philosophy corresponds closely with the Logos of the Roman stoics like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. They claimed the Logos was a force of reason and that nothing which happened according to the Logos could be bad only people's interpretations of what happened made those circumstances seem bad. Taoism claims the same thing: nothing is bad in itself, only our self-interest makes us think that some events in life are bad and others good. Actually, all things happen in accordance with the flow of the Tao and, since the Tao is natural, all things are natural.

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Unlike Buddhism (which came from India but became very popular in China), Taoism arose from the observations and beliefs of the Chinese people. The principles of Taoism impacted Chinese culture greatly because it came from the people themselves and was a natural expression of the way the Chinese understood the universe. The concept of the importance of a harmonious existence of balance fit well with the equally popular philosophy of Confucianism (also native to China). Taoism and Confucianism were aligned in their view of the innate goodness of human beings but differed in how to bring that goodness to the surface and lead people to act in better, unselfish, ways.

Taoism & Confucianism

The philosophy of Taoism grew into a religion of the peasant classes of the Shang Dynasty, who lived closely with nature. Their observations of the natural world influenced their philosophy, and one of the things they incorporated was the concept of eternity. The tree which seemed to die came back to life in the spring season and the grass grew again. They concluded that when people died they went somewhere else where they continued to live, they did not just disappear. Everyone's ancestor who had ever died still lived on in another place and in the presence of the gods Confucians believed in this same concept and revered their ancestors as part of their daily practices.

Ancestor worship became a part of Taoist rituals, although the Tao-Te-Ching does not support it outright, and a reverence for nature and the spirits in nature - very similar to the Shintoism of Japan - came to characterize Taoist observances. Even though Taoism and Confucianism are very similar in many core beliefs, they are different in significant ways. A refusal to participate in strict rites and rituals sets Taoism apart most dramatically from the philosophy of Confucius. Koller writes:

Confucius advocated rites and music so that the desires and emotions might be developed and regulated, for therein lay the development of humanity. To Lao-Tzu, efforts to develop and regulate the desires and emotions seemed artificial, tending to interfere with the harmony of nature. Rather than organize and regulate things to achieve perfection, Lao-Tzu advocated letting things work to their perfection naturally. This means supporting all things in their natural state, allowing them to transform spontaneously (245).

To Lao-Tzu (the name is used here as an expression of Taoist thought), the more regulations one demanded, the harder one made one's life and the lives of others. If one relaxed the artificial rules and regulations which were supposed to improve life, only then would one find that life naturally regulates itself and one would fall into pace with the Tao which runs through and regulates and binds and releases all things naturally.

Rituals

This belief in allowing life to unfold in accordance with the Tao does not extend to Taoist rituals, however. The rituals of Taoist practice are absolutely in accordance with the Taoist understanding but have been influenced by Buddhist and Confucian practices so that, in the present day, they are sometimes quite elaborate. Every prayer and spell which makes up a Taoist ritual or festival must be spoken precisely and every step of the ritual observed perfectly. Taoist religious festivals are presided over by a Grand Master (a kind of High Priest) who officiates, and these celebrations can last anywhere from a few days to over a week. During the ritual, the Grand Master and his assistants must perform every action and recitation in accordance with tradition or else their efforts are wasted. This is an interesting departure from the usual Taoist understanding of "going with the flow" and not worrying about external rules or elaborate religious practices.

Taoist rituals are concerned with honoring the ancestors of a village, community, or city, and the Grand Master will invoke the spirits of these ancestors while incense burns to purify the area. Purification is a very important element throughout the ritual. The common space of everyday life must be transformed into sacred space to invite communion with the spirits and the gods. There are usually four assistants who attend the Grand Master in different capacities, either as musicians, sacred dancers, or readers. The Grand Master will act out the text as read by one of his assistants, and this text has to do with the ascent of the soul to join with the gods and one's ancestors. In ancient times, the ritual was performed on a staircase leading to an altar to symbolize ascent from one's common surroundings to the higher elevation of the gods. In the present day, the ritual may be performed on a stage or the ground, and it is understood from the text and the actions of the Grand Master that he is ascending.

The altar still plays an important part in the ritual as it is seen as the place where the earthly realm meets with the divine. Taoist households have their own private altars where people will pray and honor their ancestors, household spirits, and the spirits of their village. Taoism encourages individual worship in the home, and the rituals and festivals are community events which bring people together, but they should not be equated with worship practices of other religions such as attending church or temple. A Taoist can worship at home without ever attending a festival, and throughout its history most people have. Festivals are very expensive to stage and are usually funded by members of the town, village, or city. They are usually seen as celebrations of community, though are sometimes performed in times of need such as an epidemic or financial struggle. The spirits and the gods are invoked during these times to drive away the dark spirits causing the problems.

Conclusion

Taoism significantly influenced Chinese culture from the Shang Dynasty forward. The recognition that all things and all people are connected is expressed in the development of the arts, which reflect the people's understanding of their place in the universe and their obligation to each other. During the Tang Dynasty, Taoism became the state religion under the reign of the emperor Xuanzong because he believed it would create harmonious balance in his subjects and, for awhile, he was correct. Xuanzong's rule is still considered one of the most prosperous and stable in the history of China and the high point of the Tang Dynasty.

Taoism has been nominated as a state religion a number of times throughout China's history but the majority preferred the teachings of Confucius (or, at times, Buddhism), most likely because of the rituals of these beliefs which provide a structure Taoism lacks. Today, Taoism is recognized as one of the great world religions and continues to be practiced by people in China and throughout the world.


Why were China and India able to peacefully co-exist for so long? - History

he Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars were the direct result of China's isolationalist and exclusionary trade policy with the West. Confucian China's attempts to exclude pernicious foreign ideas resulted in highly restricted trade. Prior to the 1830s, there was but one port open to Western merchants, Guangzhou (Canton) and but one commodity that the Chinese would accept in trade, silver. British and American merchants, anxious to address what they perceived as a trade imbalance, determined to import the one product that the Chinese did not themselves have but which an ever-increasing number of them wanted: opium. Before 1828, large quantities of the Spanish silver coin, the Carolus , flowed into China in payment for the exotic commodities that Europeans craved in contrast, in the decade of the 1830s, despite an imperial decree outlawing the export of yellow gold and white silver, "only $7,303,841 worth of silver was imported, whereas the silver exported was estimated at $26,618, 815 in the foreign silver coin, $25,548,205 in sycee, and $3,616,996 in gold" (Kuo, p. 51). although the Chinese imperial governed had long prohibited the drug except for medicinal use, the "British Hong" (companies such as Dent, Jardine, and Matheson authorized to operate in Canton) bought cheaply produced opium in the Begal and Malwa (princely) districts under the auspices of the British East India Company, the number 150 lb. chests of the narcotic being imported rising from 9,708 in 1820 to 35,445 in 1835. With the British government's 1833 cancellation of the trade monopoly enjoyed by the East India Company, cheap opium flooded the market, and China's net outflow of silver amounted to some 34 million Mexican silver dollars over the course of the 1830s.

67th Foot taking [a] fort . [Clock on thumbnail for larger image/]

As the habit of smoking opium spread from the idle rich to ninety per cent of all Chinese males under the age of forty in the country's coastal regions, business activity was much reduced, the civil service ground to a halt, and the standard of living fell. The Emperor Dao guang's special anti-opium commissioner Lin Ze-xu (1785-1850), modestly estimated the number of his countrymen addicted to the drug to be 4 million, but a British physician practising in Canton set the figure at 12 million. Equally disturbing for the imperial government was the imbalance of trade with the West: whereas prior to 1810 Western nations had been spending 350 million Mexican silver dollars on porcelain, cotton, silks, brocades, and various grades of tea, by 1837 opium represented 57 per cent of Chinese imports, and for fiscal 1835-36 alone China exported 4.5 million silver dollars. The official sent in 1838 by the Emperor Dao guang (1821-1850) of the Qing Dynasty to confiscate and destroy all imports of opium, Lin Ze-xu, calculated that in fiscal 1839 Chinese opium smokers consumed 100 million taels' worth of the drug while the entire spending by the imperial government that year spent 40 million taels. He reportedly concluded, "If we continue to allow this trade to flourish, in a few dozen years we will find ourselves not only with no soldiers to resist the enemy, but also with no money to equip the army" quoted by Chesneaux et al., p. 55). By the late 1830s, foreign merchant vessels, notably those of Britain and the United States, were landing over 30,000 chests annually. Meantime, corrupt officials in the hoppo (customs office) and ruthless merchants in the port cities were accumulating wealth beyond "all the tea in China" by defying imperial interdictions that had existed in principle since 1796. The standard rate for an official's turning a blind eye to the importation of a single crate of opium was 80 taels. Between 1821 and 1837 the illegal importation of opium (theoretically a capital offence) increased five fold. A hotbed of vice, bribery, and disloyalty to the Emperor's authority, the opium port of Canton would be the flashpoint for the inevitable clash between the governments of China and Great Britain.

The Outbreak of the First Opium War

This war with China . . . really seems to me so wicked as to be a national sin of the greatest possible magnitude, and it distresses me very deeply. Cannot any thing be done by petition or otherwise to awaken men's minds to the dreadful guilt we are incurring? I really do not remember, in any history, of a war undertaken with such combined injustice and baseness. Ordinary wars of conquest are to me far less wicked, than to go to war in order to maintain smuggling, and that smuggling consisting in the introduction of a demoralizing drug, which the government of China wishes to keep out, and which we, for the lucre of gain, want to introduce by force and in this quarrel are going to burn and slay in the pride of our supposed superiority. — Thomas Arnold to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840

ritish merchants were frustrated by Chinese trade laws and refused to cooperate with Chinese legal officials because of their routine use of torture. Upon his arrival in Canton in March, 1839, the Emperor's special emissary, Lin Ze-xu, took swift action against the foreign merchants and their Chinese accomplices, making some 1,600 arrests and confiscating 11,000 pounds of opium. Despite attempts by the British superintendent of trade, Charles Elliot, to negotiate a compromise, in June Lin ordered the seizure another 20,00 crates of opium from foreign-controlled factories, holding all foreign merchants under arrest until they surrendered nine million dollars worth of opium, which he then had burned publicly. Finally, he ordered the port of Canton closed to all foreign merchants. Elliot in turn ordered a blockade of the Pearl River. In an ensuing naval battle, described as a victory by Chinese propagandists, in November 1839 the Royal Navy sank a number of Chinese vessels near Guangzhou. By January 1841, the British had captured the Bogue forts at the Pearl's mouth and controlled the high ground above the port of Canton. Subsequently, British forces scored victories on land at Ningbo and Chinhai, crushing the ill-equipped and poorly trained imperial forces with ease. Viewed as too moderate back at home, in August 1841 Elliot was replaced by Sir Henry Pottinger to launch a major offensive against Ningbo and Tiajin. By the end of June British forces occupied Zhenjiang and controlled the vast rice-growing lands of southern China.

The key to British victory was Her Majesty's Navy, which used the broadside with equal effect against wooden-hulled vessels, fortifications are river mouths, and city walls. The steel-hulled Nemesis , a shallow-draft armed paddle-wheeler loaned to the campaign by the British East India Company, quickly controlled the river basins and the Pearl River between Hong Kong and Canton, regardless of winds or tides that limited the effectiveness of Chinese junks. On land, Chinese bows and primitive firelocks proved no match for British muskets and artillery. For leading the Royal Marines to victory General Anthony Blaxland Stransham was knighted by Queen Victoria. His forces utterly defeated on land and sea, Lin Ze-xu in September 1840 had been recalled to Peking in disgrace, and Qi-shan, a Manchu aristocrat related to the Emperor, installed in Lin's place to deal with the foreign devils whose decisive victories were undermining the authority of the Qing Dynasty, which gradually lost control of a population of 300 million.

The Cost of Peace

i-shan's first major concession was to ransom Canton in the spring of 1841 from the British for six million silver dollars rather than try to defend it. By the middle of 1842, the British controlled the mouth of the Yangtze and Shanghai, and forced the Chinese to sign the first of a series of "unequal" treaties that turned control of much of the coast over to the West. While Chinese officials earnestly entreated Sir Henry Pottinger to cut the problem off at its source by recommending that the British government ban the cultivation of the poppy in India, Sir Henry argued that, as long as there remained substantial numbers of opium-addicts and corrupt customs officers in China, prohibiting the cultivation of opium in India "would merely throw the market into other hands" (cited by Ssu-Yu Teng, p. 70). Under the terms of the Treaty of Nanking (29 August 1842), signed as seems fitting now aboard a British warship at the mouth of the Yangtze, and a further "supplementary" treaty in 1843, China ceded the island of Hong Kong to Great Britain, opened five "Treaty" ports (Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Shanghai, and Ningbo) to Western trade and residence, granted Great Britain most-favoured nation status for trade, and paid nine million dollars in reparations to the merchants whose 20,000 chests of opium Lin Ze-xu had destroyed. China was compelled to abolish trading monopolies and limit tariffs to five per cent. Finally, and perhaps most important to China's loss of nationhood, the Manchu signatories accepted the principle of "extraterritoriality," whereby Western merchants were no longer accountable to China's laws, but rather to those of their mother countries. (In 1844, the United States and France extracted similar concessions from the imperial government, and the stage was set for the partition of the world's most populous nation by the numerically inferior but technologically superior Western powers.) No sooner had peace been negotiated than merchants began to hawk opium at fire-sale prices, and the conclusion of the Second Opium War (1856-58) removed all residual restraints on the trafficking of the drug as the Chinese themselves began poppy cultivation: by 1880, China was still importing 6,500 tons annually, but by 1900 it was producing some 22,000 tons itself.

The Second Opium War

he outbreak of fresh hostilities under such circumstances was almost inevitable because Chinese officials were extremely reluctant to enact the terms of the treaties of 1842-44. Since the French and Americans had extracted additional concessions since the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, including clauses about renegotiation after twelve years, Great Britain insisted upon exercising its "most-favoured nation status" in 1854. This time, the British demanded that China open all her ports to foreign trade, legalise the importation of opium from British possessions in India and Burma, exempt British goods from all import duties, and permit the establishment of a full embassy in Peking. For two years Qing court officials stalled, trying to buy time. However, events ran out of their control when on 8 October 1856 officials boarded the Chinese-registered but Hong Kong-based merchant vessel Arrow , which they suspected of involvement in both smuggling and piracy. The British trade officials naturally argued that as a foreign vessel the Arrow 's activities did not fall under Chinese legal jurisdiction, and that therefore the sailors who had been arrested should be released under the extraterritoriality clause of the Treaty of Nanking.

Having dealt with the temporary distraction of the Sepoy Mutiny in India, in 1857 Great Britain dispatched forces to Canton in a coordinated operation with American warships. France, seething over the recent Chinese execution of a missionary, Father August Chapdelaine, joined Russia, the U. S. A., and Great Britain against China. However, a joint Anglo-French force, without other military assistance, under the command of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, Lord Elgin, and Marshall Gros seized Canton late in 1857 after valiant but futile resistance by the city's citizens and Chinese soldiers. In May 1858, the Anglo-French naval taskforce captured the Taku forts near Tiensin (Tianjin), effectively ending hostilities. France, Russia, the United States, and Great Britain then forced China to agree to open eleven more major ports to Western trade under the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (June 1858). When the Chinese once again proved slow to enact the terms of the treaty, Britain order Admiral Sir James Hope to shell the Chinese forts at the mouth of the Peiho River in 1859. The Chinese capitulated, permitting all foreigners with passports to travel freely in China, and granting Chinese who converted to Christianity full property rights.

Since Chinese officials once again refused to enact a treaty provision, namely the establishment of Western embassies in Peking, an Anglo-French force launched a fresh offensive from Hong Kong in 1860, ultimately destroying the Emperor Xianfeng's Summer Palace in Chengde, and the Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace in Peking amidst wide-spread looting by both troops and civilians.

Under the terms of the Convention of Peking, signed by Prince Gong, brother of the Emperor Xianfeng, on 18 October 1860, the ports of Hankou, Niuzhuang, Danshui, and Nanjing were opened to foreign vessels, as were the waters of the Yangtze, and foreign missionaries were free to proselytize. China had to pay further reparations, this time ten million taels, to each of France and Britain, and another two million taels to British merchants for destruction of property. Finally, China ceded the port of Kowloon to Great Britain, and agreed to permit the export of indentured Chinese labourers to the Americas. Arguably, without such a massive injection of cheap labour the transcontinental railways of the United States and Canada would not have been completed so quickly and economically. On the other hand, China's humiliation led directly to the fall of the Manchu Dynasty and the social upheavals that precipitated the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.

What had begun as a conflict of interests between English desire for profits from the trade in silk, porcelain, and tea and the Confucian ideal of self-sufficiency and exclusion of corrupting influences resulted in the partitioning of China by the Western powers (including the ceding of Hong Kong to Great Britain), humiliating defeats on land and sea by technologically and logistically superior Western forces, and the traditional values of an entire culture undermined by Christian missionaries and rampant trading in Turkish and Indian opium. No wonder the Boxer rebels' chief goal was to purify and reinvigorate their nation by the utter annihilation of all "foreign devils."

Bibliography

Chesneaux, Jean, Marianne Bastid, and Marie-Claire Bergere. China from the Opium Wars to the 1911 Revolution . Trans. Anne Destenay. New York: Pantheon, 1976.

Fay, Peter Ward. The Opium War 1840-1842 . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Kuo, P. C. A Critical Study of the First Anglo-Chinese War with Documents . Westport, Conn.: Hyperion, 1935.

Morley, Henry. "Our Phantom Ship: China." Household Words No. 66 (28 June 1851): 325-331.

Teng, Ssu-Yu. Chang Hsi and the Treaty of Nanking 1842 . Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1944.

Waley, Arthur. The Opium War Through Chinese Eyes . London: George Allen & Unwin, 1958.

Wallbank, Taylor, et al. "A Short History of the Opium Wars." Civilizations Past and Present , 1992. Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. 18/06/2006.


An alliance of pariahs

If a ɽ-10' alliance emerges, with the countries gathering this week in England at its core, a large number of countries likely would affiliate themselves more or less closely with it — including many of China's nervous neighbours such as Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

China probably would have a much weaker alliance behind it, said Hung.

China's primary potential allies in a bipolar world, said Hung, "are the countries that have little choice but to rely on China, on its market and on its financial system. The countries that are sanctioned by the U.S. and Western coalition like Russia and Iran and of course, North Korea as well. They need China's financial power, market and resources to alleviate the negative impact of the Western sanctions.

"They have to stick with China. But they are not the kind of friends that share fundamental values or even geopolitical interests."

Hung said the Western alliance, though stretched and tested, is much deeper. "It has a long history as a democratic alliance that went through the two world wars and the Cold War together."


Indian Defence Review

On July 8, 2013, the pro-PRC Chinese-language newspaper, Wenweipo, published an article titled “中國未來50年裡必打的六場戰爭 (Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years)”.

The anticipated six wars are all irredentist in purpose — the reclaiming of what Chinese believe to be national territories lost since Imperial China was defeated by the Brits in the Opium War of 1840-42. That defeat, in the view of Chinese nationalists, began China’s “Hundred Years of Humiliation.” (See Maria Hsia Chang,Return of the Dragon: China’s Wounded Nationalism. Westview, 2001.

Below is the English translation of the article, from a Hong Kong blog, Midnight Express 2046. (The year 2046 is an allusion to what this blog believes will be the last year of Beijing’s “One County, Two Systems” formula for ruling Hong Kong, and “the last year of brilliance of Hong Kong.”)

Midnight Express 2046 (ME2046) believes this article “is quite a good portrait of modern Chinese imperialism.” What ME2046 omits are:

  • the original Chinese-language article identifies the source of the article as 中新網 (ChinaNews.com).
  • The Chinese-language title of the article includes the word bi (必), which means “must” or “necessarily” or “surely.” That is why the word “sure” in the English-language title of the article.

The Six Wars [Sure] To Be Fought By China In the Coming 50 Years

China is not yet a unified great power. This is a humiliation to the Chinese people, a shame to the children of the Yellow Emperor. For the sake of national unification and dignity, China has to fight six wars in the coming fifty years. Some are regional wars the others may be total wars. No matter what is the nature, each one of them is inevitable for Chinese unification.

The 1 st War: Unification of Taiwan (Year 2020 to 2025)

Though we are enjoying peace on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, we should not daydream a resolution of peaceful unification from Taiwan administration (no matter it is Chinese Nationalist Party or Democratic Progressive Party). Peaceful unification does not fit their interests while running for elections. Their stance is therefore to keep to status quo (which is favourable to the both parties, each of them can get more bargaining chips) For Taiwan, “independence” is just a mouth talk than a formal declaration, while “unification” is just an issue for negotiation than for real action. The current situation of Taiwan is the source of anxiety to China, since everyone can take the chance to bargain more from China.

China must work out a strategy to unify Taiwan within the next ten years, that is, by 2020.

China must work out a strategy to unify Taiwan within the next ten years, that is, by 2020. By then, China will have to send an ultimatum to Taiwan, demanding the Taiwanese to choose the resolution of peaceful unification (the most preferred epilogue for the Chinese) or war (an option forced to be so) by 2025. For the purpose of unification, China has to make preparation three to five years earlier. So when the time comes, the Chinese government must act on either option, to give a final answer to the problem.

From the analysis of the current situation, Taiwan is expected to be defiant towards unification, so military action will be the only solution. This war of unification will be the first war under the sense of modern warfare since the establishment of the “New China”. This war will be a test to the development of the People’s Liberation Army in modern warfare. China may win this war easily, or it may turn out to be a difficult one. All depend on the level of intervention of the U.S. and Japan. If the U.S. and Japan play active roles in aiding Taiwan, or even make offensives into Chinese mainland, the war must become a difficult and prolonged total war. On the other hand, if the U.S. and Japan just watch and see, the Chinese army can easily defeat the Taiwanese. In this case, Taiwan can be under control within three months. Even if the U.S. and Japan step in in this stage, the war can be finished within six months.

The 2 nd War: “Reconquest” of Spratly Islands (Year 2025 to 2030)

After unification of Taiwan, China will take a rest for two years. During the period of recovery, China will send the ultimatum to countries surrounding the Islands with the deadline of 2028. The countries having disputes on the sovereignty of Islands can negotiate with China on preserving their shares of investments in these Islands by giving up their territorial claims. If not, once China declares war on them, their investments and economic benefits will be taken over by China.

At this moment, the South East Asian countries are already shivering with Chinese military unification of Taiwan.

At this moment, the South East Asian countries are already shivering with Chinese military unification of Taiwan. On one hand, they will be sitting by the negotiation table, yet they are reluctant to give up their interests in the Islands. Therefore, they will be taking the wait-and-see attitude and keep delaying to make final decision. They will not decide whether to make peace or go into war until China takes any firm actions. The map below shows the situation of territorial claims over the Spratly Islands. (Map omitted)

Besides, the U.S. will not just sit and watch China “reconquesting” the Islands. In the 1 st war mentioned above, the U.S. may be too late to join the war, or simply unable to stop China from reunifying Taiwan. This should be enough to teach the U.S. a lesson not to confront too openly with China. Still, the U.S. will aid those South East Asian countries, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, under the table. Among the countries surrounding the South China Sea, only Vietnam and the Philippines dare to challenge China’s domination. Still, they will think twice before going into war with China, unless they fail on the negotiation table, and are sure they can gain military support from the U.S.

The best option for China is to attack Vietnam, since Vietnam is the most powerful country in the region. Beating Vietnam can intimidate the rest. While the war with Vietnam goes on, other countries will not move. If Vietnam loses, others will hand their islands back to China. If the opposite, they will declare war on China.

Of course, China will beat Vietnam and take over all the islands. When Vietnam loses the war and its islands, others countries, intimidated by Chinese military power, yet still with greediness to keep their interests, will negotiate with China, returning the islands and declaring allegiance to China. So China can build the ports and place troops on these islands, extending its influence into the Pacific Ocean.

Up till now, China has made a thorough breakthrough of the First Island Chain and infiltrated the Second one, Chinese aircraft carrier can have free access into the Pacific Ocean, safeguarding its own interests.

The 3 rd War: “Reconquest” of Southern Tibet (Year 2035 to 2040)

China and India share a long border, but the only sparking point of conflicts between the two countries is only the part of Southern Tibet. China has long been the imaginary enemy of India. The military objective of India is to surpass China. India aims to achieve this by self-development and importing advanced military technologies and weapons from the U.S, Russia and Europe, chasing closely to China in its economic and military development.

In India, the official and media attitude is more friendly towards the U.S, Russia and Europe, and is repellent or even hostile against China. This leads to unresolvable conflicts with China. On the other hand, India values itself highly with the aids from the U.S, Russia and Europe, thinking it can beat China in wars. This is also the reason of long lasting land disputes.

In my opinion, the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India. By dividing into several countries, India will have no power to cope with China.

Twenty years later, although India will lag behind more compared to China in military power, yet it is still one of the few world powers. If China uses military force to conquer Southern Tibet, it has to bear some losses. In my opinion, the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India. By dividing into several countries, India will have no power to cope with China.

Of course, such plan may fail. But China should at least try its best to incite Assam province and once conquered Sikkim to gain independence, in order to weaken the power of India. This is the best strategy.

The second best plan is to export advanced weapons to Pakistan, helping Pakistan to conquer Southern Kashmir region in 2035 and to achieve its unification. While India and Pakistan are busy fighting against each other, China should take a Blitz to conquer Southern Tibet, at the time occupied by India.

India will not be able to fight a two front war, and is deemed to lose both. China can retake Southern Tibet easily, while Pakistan can control the whole Kashmir. If this plan cannot be adopted, the worst case is direct military action to take back Southern Tibet.

After the first two wars, China has rested for around ten years, and has become a world power both in terms of military and economy. There will only be the U.S. and Europe (on the condition that it becomes a united country. If not, this will be replaced by Russia. But from my point of view, European integration is quite probable) able to cope with China in the top three list in world power.

After taking back Taiwan and Spratly Islands, China has great leap forward in its military power in army, navy, air force and space warfare. China will be on the leading role in its military power, may be only second to the U.S. Therefore, India will lose this war.

The 4 th War: “Reconquest” of Diaoyu Island [Senkaku] and Ryukyu Islands (Year 2040 to 2045)

In the mid-21 st century, China emerges as the real world power, accompanied with the decline of Japan and Russia, stagnant U.S. and India and the rise of Central Europe. That will be the best time for China to take back Diaoyu Island and Ryukyu Islands. The map below is the contrast between ancient and recent Diaoyu Island and Ryukyu Islands (map omitted).

From the historical records of Chinese, Ryukyu and other countries (including Japan), Ryukyu has long been the vassal states of China since ancient times, which means the islands are the lands of China.

Many people may know that Diaoyu Island is the land of China since the ancient times, but have no idea that the Japanese annexed Ryukyu Island (currently named as Okinawa, with U.S. military base). The society and the government of China is misled by the Japanese while they are discussing on the issues of the East China Sea, such as the “middle-line” set by the Japanese or “Okinawa issue” (Ryukyu Islands in Chinese), by coming to think that Ryukyu Islands are the ancient lands of Japan.

What a shame for such ignorance! From the historical records of Chinese, Ryukyu and other countries (including Japan), Ryukyu has long been the vassal states of China since ancient times, which means the islands are the lands of China. In this case, is the “middle line” set by Japan in the East China Sea justified? Does Japan have anything to do with the East China Sea? (Those who have no idea in these details may refer to “Ryukyu: An indispensable part of China since the ancient times” written by me)

The Japanese has robbed our wealth and resources in the East China Sea and unlawfully occupied Diaoyu Island and Ryukyu Islands for many years, the time will come that they have to pay back. At that time, we can expect that the U.S. will be willing to intervene but has weakened Europe will keep silent Russia will sit and watch the fight. The war can end within half of a year with overwhelming victory of China. Japan will have no choice but to return Diaoyu Island and Ryukyu Islands to China. East China Sea becomes the inner lake of China. Who dare to put a finger on it?

The 5 th War: Unification of Outer Mongolia (Year 2045 to 2050)

Though there are advocates for reunification of Outer Mongolia at the moment, is this idea realistic? Those unrealistic guys in China are just fooling themselves and making a mistake in strategic thinking. This is just no good to the great work of unification of Outer Mongolia.

China should also pick the groups advocating the unification, aiding them to take over key posts in their government, and to proclaim Outer Mongolia as the core interests of China upon the settlement of Southern Tibet issue by 2040.

After taking Taiwan, we should base our territorial claims on the constitution and domain of the Republic of China (some people may raise a question here: why should we base our claims on the constitution and domain of the Republic of China? In such case, isn’t the People’s Republic of China being annexed by the Republic of China? This is a total bullshit. I will say: the People’s Republic of China is China the Republic of China is China too. As a Chinese, I only believe that unification means power. The way which can protect the Chinese best from foreign aggression is the best way to the Chinese people.

We also need to know that the People’s Republic of China recognizes the independence of Outer Mongolia. Using the constitution and domain of the People’s Republic of China to unify Outer Mongolia is naked aggression. We can only have legitimate cause to military action using the constitution and domain of the Republic of China. What’s more, it is the case after Taiwan being taken over by China. So isn’t it meaningless to argue which entity being unified?). China should raise the issue of unification with Outer Mongolia, and to take propaganda campaigns inside Outer Mongolia. China should also pick the groups advocating the unification, aiding them to take over key posts in their government, and to proclaim Outer Mongolia as the core interests of China upon the settlement of Southern Tibet issue by 2040.

If Outer Mongolia can return to China peacefully, it is the best result of course but if China meets foreign intervention or resistance, China should be prepared to take military action. Taiwan model can be useful in this case: giving an ultimatum with deadline in the Year 2045. Let Outer Mongolia to consider the case for few years. If they refuse the offer, then military action takes off.

In this moment, the previous four wars have been settles. China has the political, military and diplomatic power to unify Outer Mongolia. The weakened U.S. and Russia dare not to get involved except diplomatic protests Europe will take a vague role while India, Africa and Central Asian countries will remain silent. China can dominate Outer Mongolia within three years’ time. After the unification, China will place heavy troops on frontier to monitor Russia. China will take ten years to build up elemental and military infrastructure to prepare for the claim of territorial loss from Russia.

The 6 th War: Taking back of lands lost to Russia (Year 2055 to 2060)

The current Sino-Russian relationship seems to be a good one, which is actually a result of no better choice facing the U.S. In reality, the two countries are meticulously monitoring the each other. Russia fears the rise of China threaten its power while China never forgets the lands lost to Russia. When the chance comes, China will take back the lands lost.

When the Chinese army deprives the Russians’ ability to counter strike, they will come to realize that they can no longer match China in the battlefield.

After the victories of the previous five wars by 2050, China will make territorial claims based on the domain of Qing Dynasty (similar way by making use of the domain of the Republic of China to unify Outer Mongolia) and to make propaganda campaigns favoring such claims. Efforts should also be made to disintegrate Russia again.

In the days of “Old China”, Russia has occupied around one hundred and sixty million square kilometre of lands, equivalent to one-sixth of the landmass of current domain of China. Russia is therefore the bitter enemy of China. After the victories of previous five wars, it is the time to make Russians pay their price.

There must be a war with Russia. Though at that time, China has become an advanced power in navy, army, air and space forces, it is nevertheless the first war against a nuclear power. Therefore, China should be well prepared in nuclear weapons, such as the nuclear power to strike Russia from the front stage to the end. When the Chinese army deprives the Russians’ ability to counter strike, they will come to realize that they can no longer match China in the battlefield. They can do nothing but to hand over their occupied lands and to pay a heavy price to their invasions.


Struggling for soft power

China often stands in its own way when it comes to building up its soft power.

A point in case are the movies it enters into the Oscars foreign movie category.

There've been plenty of strong candidates in recent years but those didn't get picked, says Mr Rosen, likely because they tell a story that Beijing thinks reflects negatively on China.

The 2017 movie Angels Wear White dealt with child molestation while 2018's Dying to Survive told the story of a cancer patient illegally importing medicine from India.

Both movies were successful in China and have received international praise - but they don't depict the version of China that Beijing wants to world to hear.

"If they tolerated a little bit more criticism, they could be much more successful when it comes to soft power," Mr Rosen sums up.

"But they worry that once they open the floodgates, they won't be able to retain their control anymore."