井底之蛙

9/8/2005

Chinese Expansionism v. Chinese Expansion

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 7:03 pm

Andrew Meyer takes an interview with Lee Kuan Yew and turns it into a short (considering the subject matter) but deep meditation on the history of China and “China,” the process of Chinese expansion and integration through trade and conquest. He concludes that “a ‘deep historical’ perspective makes Chinese aggression a less pressing long-term concern for global peace and stability than internicine strife within China itself.”

Though internal division and dissension are very important, I’m not sure whether I agree that, from an outsider perspective, they are more important than China’s rising nationalism and power. In fact, I think it’s entirely possible that internal dissension could drive external aggressiveness (Wag the Dog, anyone?), that nationalism could exacerbate internal tensions by narrowing the definition of full citizenship, and that external adventurism could exhaust the state’s ability to deliver benefits resulting in a loss of legitimacy. Possibly all at once.

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