Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

China

Ask many mainstream Americans about the current economic rise of China and you're likely to receive a not so positive reaction. More than likely they'll reflect upon the Chinese emergence as a global force in a negative, even threatened manner.
While the Bush administration has done a decent job in maintaining positive discourse with Hu Jintao (the resignation of Rumsfeld and last months visit by G.H.W. Bush certainly didn't hurt) there remains an undercurrent of viewing China as something of an expansionist regime in waiting. Biding it's time, building both capital, global economic dominance and military might for the day when they'll entertain a policy of aggressive expansion.
For those that maintain this view I would invite them to read Sun Bin's analysis and discussion of Deng Xiaoping's coined Tao Guang Yang Hui.
An excerpt from Sun Bins introduction with the general principles of Tao Guang Yang Hui:
  1. avoid leading or forming faction in any international conflict, stay neutral in all circumstance, "Don't stick your head out"
  2. do not try to lead an opinion in international politics, do not try to represent any interest group, stay away from any sphere of influence
  3. avoid any trouble, controversy or antagonism in world politics, be humble but try not be humiliated, and even accept minor humiliation if you have to, "yield on small issues" in every possible occasion
  4. concentrate on economic development
  5. focus on forming a friendly relationship with ALL countries in the world, irrespective of the ideology of the countries you deal with. i.e., forget the old "party ideology"
The punch list doesn't do Sun Bins explanation (or the detailed structure of the strategy) much justice but it provides a flavor for what it entails. Both his explanation (which even a pinhead like me can grasp, lol) and analysis provide a good deal of supplementary links (which I have yet to fully explore) that flesh out the strategy rather effectively.

I'm not so naive as to believe China-US relations will or should be frictionless in the coming future especially given both countries thirst for oil amidst declining supplies and likely growing international political differences (Sudan, Iran) nor do I suggest the US should step aside and not aggressively compete politically and economically. Further, I don't deny the fact that China still has a long ways to go in the human rights department and has some dicey domestic possibilities to deal with. However, the conception of China as a hegemonic (yes, I know I'm throwing that term around a lot lately) threat seems both knee jerk (spastic, even) and myopic in my view.