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China's rising greeted with a large collective shrug of the shoulders

Those helpful people at World Public Opinion have been harassing the denizens of the planet again, this time enquiring as to the likelihood of the Chinese economy equalling or exceeding that of the US, and whether or not this would be a good thing. The Chinese are among the least bullish, at 50% thinking that they will catch up with their Uncle Sam, although the Indians are the least likely to agree at 22%. 60% of Americans have read the tea leaves and foresee China equalling the size of its economy.

As to whether this possibility is to be welcomed, some 60% of Iranians think it a good thing, as do 9% of Americans. The rest of the countries polled between 20 and 38%. The Mexicans, Indians and Americans were most likely to see this as 'mostly negative' at 31-33%. So, plenty of folk are still wedded to mercantilist economic nostrums by the look of things.

Moving away from questions of economics, WPO asked more pointed questions about whether China, the US and Japan could be 'trusted to act responsibly in the world'. Given that with economic clout comes geopolitical clout, it is unexpected that some of China's neighbours are the most trusting, at 57-59% - Australia , the Philippines and Indonesia. Korea, having felt the dragon's teeth, is a little less naive at 61% distrusting Peking. The French emerged as the least trusting at 76%. And surprise, surprise, the Chinese and the Koreans do not trust Japanese foreign policy either.

All that borne in mind, it is worth reading a piece by Ambrose Evans Pritchard in yesterday's Telegraph, which was ghettoised in the business section:


"Takemasa Moriya, vice-minister of defence, choosing his words carefully..told me Beijing was acquiring the capability to choke commerce on the Pacific Rim. "We need to prevent any situation where China could have a negative influence on trade. The Chinese navy was once primitive but has become very sophisticated. Its crews got seasick when they first crossed the Pacific. We never hear of seasickness any more. We see its warships in the Sea of Japan all the time and we can see very clearly how skilful it has become," he said.


...


"China has 50 state-of-the art submarines. It has acquired the Ukrainian aircraft carrier Varyag, allegedly for use as an offshore casino - a story that nobody believes. Leaping up the technology ladder, Beijing destroyed an old spy satellite with a deadly accurate kinetic missile in January. The DIA said this was a direct challenge to US mastery of space".

...

"Hitoshi Tanaka...éminence grise of Japanese diplomacy: "China wants to maintain a benign image. I don't think it will pursue hegemony for the time being, but nobody knows, so we need to maintain a hedging policy by expanding our security capability. What happens if China intervenes in Taiwan? That's a very real question."




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Anonymous chu chin chow said... 4:35 pm

We juss wan be falend wid ebelybody.  



Blogger Nick Drew said... 7:35 am

I told you my story about BAOR's "NAAFI's in Depth" strategy the other day. Now you tell us of China's "Offshore Casino" flotilla, which originates, I am sure, from the same military doctrine.

The people of Taiwan will need to watch out for those loaded roulette wheels.

How we have advanced from Chairman Mao's brutal methods!  



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