A New Cold War?

Discussion in 'Strategic Defense' started by AndrewS, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    With the advent of the trade war, we're now seeing a lot of articles recently about how the US start and win a military-led cold war.

    However, the reasoning behind this is seriously flawed, so here is a condensed 1page rebuttal of the arguments for anyone who is interested.

    Point 1. The USA can build up its military to intimidate China

    This would have worked some 10 years ago when China was much smaller, but not anymore.

    In 2017, the IMF reports China's GDP as being 23.1 Trillion USD using PPP exchange rates. This is the best way to measure the output of actual goods and services, instead of using the undervalued exchange rate.
    In comparison, US GDP is 19.4 Trillion USD, which means China's GDP is already 19% larger than in the USA.

    Going forward, the 2017 Australian Foreign Policy White Paper estimates that by 2030, China will have a US$42 Trillion economy, while the US economy will be US$24 Trillion.
    In other words, China in 2030 would have an economy almost twice the size of the USA.

    And in the Australian Department of Defence 2016 Defence White Paper, China is expected to match US military spending by 2035.

    Earlier in 2018, the National Science Foundation reported to Congress that China is expected to spend more on R&D than the USA in 2018. That is driving much of the expected economic growth in China. It also means that China will likely become a hi-tech country.

    So if the USA starts a military/security containment policy and starts an arms race, why would China back away from such a competition?

    Remember that the low-tech Soviet Union economy went bankrupt because the hi-tech USA economy was always at least twice the size of the Soviets.

    Point 2. The rest of the world will join the USA in the military containment of China

    China is the world's largest trading nation, so it's not in China's interest to start a war which would inevitably disrupt economic growth in China. And economic growth (along with nationalism) is what the Communist Party bases its legitimacy on.

    China is geographically the same size as the USA, and has reached the limits of its natural expansion with the Pacific Ocean in the East, frozen Siberia in the North, the muslim deserts in the West, with the Himalayas and jungles to the South.

    China's remaining territorial disputes are about reclaiming existing territories, which are mainly uninhabited islands or plateaus. The noted exception is the unresolved civil war with Taiwan.

    So why would the rest of the world sign up to a policy of military containment and deterrence against China, given that:

    a) It would likely fail to deter China from competing, as noted in point 1

    b) Trigger a faster Chinese military spending ramp up. As per SIPRI, China's military spending has been stable at 2% of GDP for the past 20 years. But what is stopping China from doubling military spending to 4% of GDP, given this is what Russia and the USA were routinely spending.

    c) Would definitely poison economic relations with China

    In early 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese consumers are expected to buy $5.8 Trillion of goods, which is the similar to the US economy. But going forward, Chinese retail spending is growing much faster and should become much more important than the US market.

    China is also the world's largest trading nation and sits in the centre of many supply chains.
    Most countries in the world already count China as their largest trading partner, particularly amongst China's neighbours in Asia.
    This will still be the case even if Trump places tariffs on all Chinese goods entering the USA.


    Sources below
    http://sdsc.bellschool.anu.edu.au/e...new-navy-short-guide-australian-policy-makers
    Various from IMF, CIA Factbook, WSJ, NSF, SIPRI
     
  2. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Junior Member
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    And let us keep it that way, if I remember correctly. There is a distinct rule on the forum that explicitly forbids hypothetical discussion and debate in regards to politics and ideology. Especially if it has a specific axe to grind in mind.
    The trade war thread is bad enough, the last thing this forum needs is a "Cold War 2.0" thread which is an issue which is so loaded and so plague with uncertainties it did make the existence of the flying spaghetti monster seem plausible in comparison.
     
  3. PiSigma
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    PiSigma "the engineer"

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    There is such a rule. But how dare you question the existence of the flying spaghetti monster! His noodlelyness will not tolerate such insolence.
     
  4. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    If you read what I've written, this is a very high level response to the specific arguments that:

    a) the USA should start a cold war arms race
    b) the USA can easily win such a cold war arms race

    You'll notice that there is no politics or ideology involved, only economics and the self-interests of different countries.

    I think we should be more worried that there are so many decision makers in the USA who are:

    a) simply unaware of the economic balance
    b) assume that everyone else will blindly follow the USA.
     
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  5. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Junior Member
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    No, what you had posted is merely an amalgamation of probable situation that is back up by the sources that are highly disputable. The mere fact that claiming that China's economy would surpass that of the US in 2030 is already ample proof because many reputable economist had put in their caveats on that assumption.

    And the second fact is the notion of you claiming that the US would start a Cold War and would lose one. That is just as bad as the opponents claiming that China would start a Cold War in turn and lose it accordingly. Self-interests and economics are merely politics and ideology by another name, lets not try to twist words here. To put it simply, China's self-interests and economics are driven in part by geopolitics just as the US.

    And last but not least, there simple fact that you are trying to influence people here with your views and to push forth a particular agenda. And in turn hope to discredit American decision makers stinks of politics already.

    You can try to dress up your wordings as fancily as you like, but the end game which you are gunning for is plain for all to see.
     
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  6. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Junior Member
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    Oh course, forgive my insolence. We all bown down and accept the supremacy of our lord and savior the Cthulhu Spaghetti !!
     
  7. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    Of course there are caveats to future projections. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to predict what the future will look like.

    We don't even have to look to future projections in 2030 to make the point. In 2017, the IMF says that Chinese GDP is already 19% larger than the USA.
    That alone suggests that the USA would not be able to *win* an arms race.
    If you don't agree, then please argue with the IMF, the World Bank, the Australian Foreign Ministry, Australian Department of Defense etc on why their analyses are wrong.

    And of course I'm trying to influence the direction of that discussion. It is not in the interests of either China or the USA to enter in a new cold war arms race.

    But we're now seeing articles published in the Wall Street Journal which keep saying the USA can undoubtedly win an arms race with China, nor for fake news to go unchallenged.

    This fake news in the Wall Street Journal could have disastrous consequences.
     
    #7 AndrewS, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  8. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    Yes part of new cold war is to demonize China and drive propaganda war to dehumanized Chinese and drive paranoia and hysteria to fever pitch like the recent article on Chinese infiltrating western university to steal technology
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/30/world/australia/china-scientists-military-research.html

    It is mind boggling the hubris in western think tank that China can only developed by stealing technology how about doing your own research. And make mockery of the idea that science and technology know no border and benefiting mankind in general therefore shared human experience

    Here is a good oped from Global Times
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1125220.shtml
    ASPI report shows West’s anxiety over China
    Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/30 23:28:40
    According to a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), China has sent thousands of scientists affiliated with armed forces to the US and other Western universities, building a web of research collaboration that could boost Beijing's military technology development. The report also says that many of the scientists hid their military affiliations.

    The report is obviously catering to the West's anxiety over China's rise. It is coordinating with the US strategy of suppressing China's development, adding fuel to Washington's undisguised restrictions on China-US technological and educational exchanges and playing up the US appeal for more countries' participation.

    The report is ridiculous and contradicts itself. It analyzes the foreign exchanges of the National University of Defense Technology's teachers and researchers, saying that Wang Zhenguo, head of the department of postgraduate studies, has co-authored 18 papers with foreign scientists. But can Wang hide his identity? As for the fact Wang co-authored papers with foreign scientists, there is no reason to claim they have a higher scientific level than Wang and that China gained an advantage.

    Many US and Australian think tanks and recent media actions have reversed Chinese people's understanding of their so-called academic freedom and objective news reporting. Their degree of politicization and ideology has surprised Chinese people. These think tanks and media are loyal fighters who practice US national strategy or help Australia to support US strategy.

    China's rise has brought some Australian political, academic and media elites a sense of crisis and has made them lose their reason. They believe that China's progress in industry and technology is abnormal, and that China can't make it without stealing. But if Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Japan - regions and countries that share a similar culture with the Chinese mainland - can achieve technological progress, why can't the Chinese mainland make it without stealing?

    Openness is a characteristic of the 21st century. The fundamental reason for China's huge progress is the Chinese people's diligence and the accumulated strength of China.

    Although a developing China still falls behind the West, the gap is narrowing. Some Western elites hope that the West absolutely dominates the world and that other countries should be colonies and surround the West like satellite states. These elites should go back to the 19th century.

    China's investment in basic education and scientific research is growing rapidly. Just look at young Chinese students' achievements at the International Mathematical Olympiad, the number of Chinese undergraduates and postgraduates, and the number of China's theses and patents every year, people will understand how much technological progress China has accumulated.

    Pride and prejudice are confusing some Western elites' minds. They are trying to prove a ridiculous assumption that China's development can be contained and Western people would sacrifice their own interests and face all kinds of uncertainties to achieve the purpose. China's population is more than that of all the Western countries, and China owns one of the most complete industrial sectors in the world. The huge market in China is coveted by many Western enterprises.

    The report author obviously doesn't understand the technological development of China's military industry. Many traditional military industry technological research institutes also engage in technological research for civil use. But the report ignored this.

    As one of the US allies in the Asia Pacific, Australia has received more attention from Washington as the US intensifies its strategy toward China. Some Australian elites are actively facilitating the US' strategy.

    That is why Canberra, which has no conflicts with Beijing, has come to the forefront of resisting China's alleged infiltration.
     
    #8 Hendrik_2000, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  9. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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  10. Anlsvrthng
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    Anlsvrthng Junior Member
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    The US has complete and unlimited power around the world to close/open shipping lanes.

    Now the USA is scared, because China have / will have full control above one of the most important areas, the South Chinese Sea.

    And if that is controller, then Taiwan / Japan has to change strategic posing as well.
     
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