China's historical grand strategy: defensive or offensive?


solarz

Brigadier
You can beat around the bush as much as you want, but the evidence presented is unequivocal: Ming annexed Annam, thereby violating the mandate of their original wargoal. The evidence also makes it clear that the Annamese did not welcome their occupier and repeatedly rebelled against them. Therefore, the war between Ming and Annam was a war of aggression. This is a factual, not an ethical judgment.

Nobody's beating around the bush. You are the one insisting that only your interpretation is valid.

By doing this, you just showed your true colors. You are not actually interested in a discussion, you are just looking to push your views on everyone else.

Too bad nobody gives a damn about what you think.
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
You can beat around the bush as much as you want, but the evidence presented is unequivocal: Ming annexed Annam, thereby violating the mandate of their original wargoal. The evidence also makes it clear that the Annamese did not welcome their occupier and repeatedly rebelled against them. Therefore, the war between Ming and Annam was a war of aggression. This is a factual, not an ethical judgment.
Ok sure. What's wrong with war of aggression? Everyone do it, it's the popular thing to do apparently.
 

Max Demian

Junior Member
Registered Member
@PiSigma Those were different times. We cannot judge them through the lens of modern ethics and morality.

Having said that, it is important to have an objective account of history. Just like America, China has its own lie of historical exceptionalism which portrays China as a peaceful and harmonious society throughout the 5000 years of its resplendent history. A civilization which has not behaved aggressively nor has been expansionist, winning over foreign people and their land through culture (wen) rather than war (wu). Yet, a closer analysis has shown the Confucian anti-militarism to be a myth: restraint on the use of force was primarily the reflection of China's relative weakness. Once China saw itself powerful, it readily went on the offensive. The Ming’s Great Wall was not built in the early days of the dynasty when their relative power was at its peak. Knowing themselves strong, they saw no need for a wall and launched a series of offensive military campaigns against the Mongols. It was only after these campaigns failed and Ming relative power started declining, that the decision to build the Great Wall was made.
 
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Gatekeeper

Brigadier
Registered Member
Those were different times. We cannot judge them through the lens of modern ethics and morality.

This quote alone showed up the thinking of someone that's lacking in critical thinking.

I remember in my younger days when I pointed out to one of the English university classmate regarding Hong Kong.

He was insisting Hong Kong was obtained under British rule legally. And when I explained how the British obtained Hong Kong through selling of drugs in the form of opinium. Britain knows it's an addictive substance, and still went on to push the drug with the intention to bring the country on it's knees. Therefore extracted Hong Kong and other concessions from China in the process.

His reply:

We can't judge other people from different times through our own moral and ethical standards.

Sound familiar?
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
I have perfect word for that Hypocrite or double standard It never amaze me that they can criticize China but when it was pointed to them that China is the victim The excuse they give is always like you said !
And Like you said knowing little history is dangerous. This guy pick and choose selected history to support his prejudice

Ming was never aggressive During Ming time she send Admiral Cheng Ho to SEA with overwhelming naval power of 300 ships and 30000 Sailor and soldier Now did they colonize SEA? No There are already thousand of Chinese settler in SEA at that time but they live peacefully with the native

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Zheng He was placed as the admiral in control of the huge fleet and armed forces that undertook the expeditions.
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was appointed as second in command. Preparations were thorough and wide-ranging, including the use of so many linguists that a foreign language institute was established at Nanjing.
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Zheng He's first voyage departed 11 July 1405, from
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:203
and consisted of a fleet of 317
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ships holding almost 28,000 crewmen.
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Zheng He's fleets visited
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,
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,
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,
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, India, the
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, and
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,
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dispensing and receiving goods along the way.
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Zheng He presented gifts of gold, silver,
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, and silk, and in return, China received such novelties as ostriches, zebras, camels, and
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from the
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.
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:206
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The giraffe that he brought back from
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was considered to be a
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and taken as proof of the
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upon the administration.
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The Daxuexi Alley Mosque in Xi'an has a stele dating to January 1523, inscribed with Zheng He's the fourth maritime voyage to Tianfang, Arabian Peninsula.
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In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, Tun Dr Mahathir said he defended China in many countries, including Japan where he was attending a forum.

"They asked me, how do you feel about China? I told them Malaysia has been maintaining ties with China. We have bilateral trade and we have been friendly to China," he said.

Dr Mahathir added that when the Portuguese came to Malaysia from some 12,800km away, Malaysia became a colony of Portugal. China has had relations with Malaysia for a long time but never colonised the country.


"There are many Chinese in our country but China has never colonised us. Who should we be fearful of? China or Europe?" said Dr Mahathir.


"Many Chinese nationals know me. They see me as China's good friend. Just because the Malaysian government asked to
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then I am seen as unfriendly?"
 
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Max Demian

Junior Member
Registered Member
@Gatekeeper Why don't you stick to the topic of the thread? If you want to discuss the Opium Wars, I am sure there is already a thread made for that. The point of this thread is not to make excuses for imperialism, be it Western, Arabic, Japanese or Chinese. The point is to discuss whether or not Confucian anti-militarism or structural realism best describes China's grand strategy in the last 2000 years.

The Ming invasion of Annam happened 600 years ago. Should we denounce Aristotle and his teachings because he was in favor of slavery and dismissive of women almost 2400 years ago? Have you heard of presentism?

In literary and historical analysis, presentism is the
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introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of
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, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter.
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The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common
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when writing about the past.
 

solarz

Brigadier
@PiSigma Those were different times. We cannot judge them through the lens of modern ethics and morality.

Having said that, it is important to have an objective account of history. Just like America, China has its own lie of historical exceptionalism which portrays China as a peaceful and harmonious society throughout the 5000 years of its resplendent history. A civilization which has not behaved aggressively nor has been expansionist, winning over foreign people and their land through culture (wen) rather than war (wu). Yet, a closer analysis has shown the Confucian anti-militarism to be a myth: restraint on the use of force was primarily the reflection of China's relative weakness. Once China saw itself powerful, it readily went on the offensive. The Ming’s Great Wall was not built in the early days of the dynasty when their relative power was at its peak. Knowing themselves strong, they saw no need for a wall and launched a series of offensive military campaigns against the Mongols. It was only after these campaigns failed and Ming relative power started declining, that the decision to build the Great Wall was made.

LOL

Again your show your ignorance.

Yes, China has been expansionist at times. You don't get to become a huge empire without being expansionist.

Yet, you are so ignorant that you chose to use the two least expansionist dynasties as examples of Chinese "aggression"!

LMAO!

Han Wudi razing the Greco-Bactrian city of Dayuan to the ground over some horses is aggressive.

Sui and Tang dynasties attacking and destroying Goguryeo is aggressive.

Yuan dynasty trying to invade Japan and Vietnam is aggressive. Qing dynasty genociding the Dzungars was aggressive.

But the Ming and Song dynasties? Literally the two least expansionist dynasties in Chinese history?

LOL!

Nice try attempting to move the goal post. You were trying to argue that Ming and Song were unconfucian (without even understanding what Confucian means, mind you), but now that we utterly destroyed your argument, you are trying to claim China has a lie of historical exceptionalism?

Every child in China knows about the Han and Tang dynasties, literally the two most expansionist Chinese dynasties! The only lie that exists is in your own twisted mind.
 

Max Demian

Junior Member
Registered Member
Ming was never aggressive
Ming invaded and annexed Annam. By any definition that constituted aggression.

Ming pursued an offensive strategy against the Mongols who refused to kowtow to the Ming emperor. Ming reached the peak of their power during the reign of the Yongle emperor. The size of the Ming army was estimated to have been anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 million soldiers. The Ming were by far the most powerful state in the world at the time. As structural realism would predict, in the the period 1368–1449 Ming initiated 29 conflicts, while the Mongols initiated only 10 in the same period. The Veritable Records of the Ming (Ming Shi Lu) noted that the purpose of the military expedition of 1372 was to “annihilate” the Mongols and “clear the desert forever".

Ming sent their uber powerful fleets of 250 ships and almost 30,000 men to project power across South East Asia and the Indian Ocean and through "shock and awe" forced foreign state into submission, thereby expanding the Confucian tributary system. Zheng He even captured the king of Sri Lanka and had him delivered to China. According to the words of Zheng He himself:

"When we reached the foreign countries, we captured barbarian kings who were disrespectful and resisted Chinese civilization. We exterminated bandit soldiers who looted and plundered recklessly. Because of this, the sea lanes became clear and peaceful, and foreign peoples could pursue their occupations in safety."
 
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PiSigma

"the engineer"
@PiSigma Those were different times. We cannot judge them through the lens of modern ethics and morality.

Having said that, it is important to have an objective account of history. Just like America, China has its own lie of historical exceptionalism which portrays China as a peaceful and harmonious society throughout the 5000 years of its resplendent history. A civilization which has not behaved aggressively nor has been expansionist, winning over foreign people and their land through culture (wen) rather than war (wu). Yet, a closer analysis has shown the Confucian anti-militarism to be a myth: restraint on the use of force was primarily the reflection of China's relative weakness. Once China saw itself powerful, it readily went on the offensive. The Ming’s Great Wall was not built in the early days of the dynasty when their relative power was at its peak. Knowing themselves strong, they saw no need for a wall and launched a series of offensive military campaigns against the Mongols. It was only after these campaigns failed and Ming relative power started declining, that the decision to build the Great Wall was made.
What's the cutoff time for "different times"? No one agreed to this cutoff if there is one. Last I checked, it was okay to incorporate territory by conquering it still, there are places called Canada and USA for example.

Apparently you don't know much about ming history. Ming started on repairing the wall almost as soon as they reached it, there were campaigns by yongle to outside of the wall when they were strong but always fell back to it after.

Chinese dynasties never thought themselves pacifist, but they werent as aggressive as other powers in trying to conquer anything they can get their hands on.
 

PiSigma

"the engineer"
Ming invaded and annexed Annam. By any definition that constituted aggression.

Ming pursued an offensive strategy against the Mongols who refused to kowtow to the Ming emperor. Ming reached the peak of their power during the reign of the Yongle emperor. The size of the Ming army was estimated to have been anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 million soldiers. The Ming were by far the most powerful state in the world at the time. As structural realism would predict, in the the period 1368–1449 Ming initiated 29 conflicts, while the Mongols initiated only 10 in the same period. The Veritable Records of the Ming (Ming Shi Lu) noted that the purpose of the military expedition of 1372 was to “annihilate” the Mongols and “clear the desert forever".

Ming sent their uber powerful fleets of 250 ships and almost 30,000 men to project power across South East Asia and the Indian Ocean and through "shock and awe" forced foreign state into submission, thereby expanding the Confucian tributary system. Zheng He even captured the king of Sri Lanka and had him delivered to China. According to the words of Zheng He himself:

"When we reached the foreign countries, we captured barbarian kings who were disrespectful and resisted Chinese civilization. We exterminated bandit soldiers who looted and plundered recklessly. Because of this, the sea lanes became clear and peaceful, and foreign peoples could pursue their occupations in safety."
You should read the whole thing on Sri Lanka, Zheng he was attacked first by them in an ambushed. But due to military fubar on the Sri Lankan side, Zheng he won and captured their king.

This is a classic "freedom of navigation" move lol.

And you still haven't answered my question of "so what ming conquered annam?" There doesn't seem to be any consequences, so who cares.
 

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