As you are all no doubt aware, there is a heated debate between the moderators on the subject of amending the rules and allowing Geopolitical Debate as a central part of the forums activities. I am personally in favour and believe that on this important issue, that the members should be able to express their opinions as well. This is an opinion thread not a discussion thread, so the rule is simply to post your view and not respond, reply or quote the opinion of any other member. If you like what someone else has written please simply "like" it. If the response warrants it, an opinion poll with various options may be added after a few days I start the thread with my own position SampanViking Super Moderator Why the rules need to change to allow Geopolitical content as an integral part of the forums discussions. If the second decade of the 21st Century is anything, it is a time of rapid and fundamental transition, in which the rising power blocks of the South and East are catching up and overtaking the established powers of West. At the foremost of these rising nations is of course China. Ten years ago, when SDF started in its current form, the world was a different place and the security environment for China was far more passive. China as a power was still largely staying at home, people came to China to buy things and China had until recently been self sufficient in many of its natural resources. During this time also, China was in the midst of a major process of military modernisation and its military very rarely strayed very far; if at all, from home. Ten years later, the picture is very different, China is still the workshop of the world, but now it also exports Capital along with finished consumer goods. The Banks are floated on International Bourses and trade globally. China owns substantial assets abroad and has through them acquired significant interests worldwide. Chinese State policy is also more International and it increasingly promotes its interests through International bodies such as the SCO and BRICS. Its interests are therefore more closely aligned with other emerging nations and what effects these nations now more closely affects China too. In addition, the phase of mass modernisation of China’s military has now peaked and China has modern forces that are able to go out and protect/enforce China’s interests more widely in the world. It is also true that the relatively benign security environment of ten years ago has been replaced by a far more confrontational one today. Is this relevant to the forum? I strongly believe it is, this is Sino-Defence not Chinese Military Maintenance and it is essential to understand the Security Environment and Policy that shapes the continued development and deployment of the PLA. This will cover the areas of policy, objective, capability and strategy This of course brings my argument to key factor relevant to the forum and this is the narrative. You will not be able to put the pieces for China and its strategic partners together, if you do not know or understand the narrative that they present to explain it. Obtaining this narrative is easier said than done, as the most obvious manifestation of this new more confrontational period of transition, is the loss of objectivity from conventional/traditional media sources. Most of us live in that which we collectively refer to as the West. We are therefore cocooned by a powerful narrative that serves and promotes the interests of our nations. This narrative is the condition normal, that nations that support it are the “International Community” the bodies and organisations through which it exercises its power are “Global Institutions” and the values it promotes are described as “Universal”. This of course is the problem with the current forum rules, if we are not allowed to examine the Geopolitical aspects and study the opposing narrative, we only hear the narrative of one side and it is a narrative increasingly in conflict with the narrative of the nation(s) in who we are here to indulge and develop our own personal interest. This to me is a form of unnecessary censorship and one that will only devalue the relevance and expertise of the forum as it will have handicapped itself from being able to acquire clear and concise understanding of the strategies of the rising powers. Moreover, this is more than theory, it is a matter of pride to me, that we as a forum have been able to apply our collective investigative abilities to a live situation in the Ukraine. In this instance we not only were able to find and study the narrative of the Russian side in the conflict, we found that there narrative was more accurate and better described and predicted the actual course of the conflict. It was for me an important validation of process and judgement that will be invaluable in the course of other, future conflicts, especially one that includes the military forces of the PRC. Finally of course, there has been a lot of talk about “allowing Political Discussion”. This is very misleading as the word politics evokes, cheesy smiles, party lines, ideology, morality, personality, causes and rights, tax rates, welfare and spending priorities etc, Nobody I know here is interested in discussing such things and they are the antithesis of the areas being proposed.