Thursday, December 29, 2005

Encircled With Chaos

We understand the dictators in Beijing worry about being encircled by strong democracies.

American allies Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Mongolia, and India are all China's neighbors, checking its aspiration to emerge as the unrivalled Asian power.

This is good strategy with long historical precedence.

Of course, China is not sitting there silent. Its out-of-the-box counter-strategy is truly fascinating.

Instead of encircling its rivals with strong powers, it's trying to hem them in with chaos.

Consider India. Our neighborhood is a study in political anarchy. Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, and Burma are all burning.

Consider South Korea and Japan. Their neighbors in Pyongyang are anything but predictable.

In most of these cases, there's a Chinese footprint behind the anarchy.

Which is worse? Being encircled by strength or by chaos?


TTG said...

Great point, but just one thing - didn't China disavow itself of the Nepalese Maoists? Maybe I'm not up on my foreign policy happenigns these days, but I thought China steered clear of Nepal..

Primary Red said...


Not clear what China's actual attitude is to the Maoists -- its clear though what its attitude is towards democracy in Nepal, the only sure way to bring stability there.

Best regards

libertarian said...

Very interesting observation PR. Judging from their efforts, seems like China's reserving its best shot for India (geography helps too). This makes sense - Japan, Australia and South Korea can act as checks and balances at best. India is the only real long-term rival. They've utilized the Pakistani tail to wag the Indian dog brilliantly.

Long-term their strategy will likely falter because "great powers" pursue order in their neighborhoods relentlessly, and because some of that chaos will likely spill across it's own borders.

Primary Red said...


one can only hope!!

best regards & happy new year.


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