China's historical grand strategy: defensive or offensive?


Crang

Senior Member
Registered Member
Here is a simple idea. There are no evil nations and there are no good nations. All nations will maximize its interests if their circumstances allow it. All nations will be maximally aggressive if their circumstances allow expansion. All nations will be maximally defensive if their circumstances show huge risk of reduction.

US can be maximally aggressive in its foreign policy cause it has no internal problems, huge wealth, no internal regions to pacify, no near neighbors that are not US client states. it has a strong central government ruled by people from single ethnic/European culture. New immigrants also get assimilated into this culture and do not cause separatism problems which could direct national energy to other areas.

China in the past did not expand beyond "China Proper" for thousands of years because its surrounded by regions that are not that productive, deserts, mountains. It is surrounded by regions that are very remote and hard to go to, thus much harder to control from the center, finally just controlling the core areas of China was already bigger than Europe and probably too much to control, thus existing government could not handle bigger land and population.

But most dynasties had phases when they had less problems and could expand much more from their core. Thus, Tang dynasty had huge land in the west for some time but song did not. ming dynasty also could not expand much. But Qing dynasty achieved strong internal cohesion and ability to expand. Which it did.

So, how aggressive will modern China be? As much its power, national cohesion and outside environment allow it.

Right now China's main focus is economic and technological parity with the west. They have rightfully identified that this world is dominated by a group of europeans and european settled countries who have colonized the world for 200 years and have been the dominant force even after decolonization.

So, their main focus is to bridge that gap and become equal to the so called europeans/whites. They must achieve equal GDP per capita, which means around 45K. They must achieve technological parity.

Another goal for China is to end internal threats. Thus, end separatism, end ethnic diversity to create a single Chinese cultural identity shared by all.

Only after achieving these two goals can they really focus on foreign policy goals. Their biggest foreign policy goal is to make China secure by ending the power of other powerful nations and groups. The biggest such group is white-europeans/euro settlers and their alliance.

Thus, their biggest goal next which will make them secure is to end the dominance of the europeans/euro settled countries. Which means kicking them out of East Asia first. China needs to achieve absolute military dominance in its backyard so that Europeans do not dare to fight China in its own backyard thus threatening China's economic and territorial well-being.

Forcing the white/european settled countries to focus on their own backyard instead of interfering in China's backyard can be one strategy as well. Which means China will have to take their influence and military to the backyard of US and Europe. They must forge strong relationship that live in those areas but under the thumb of europeans and Euro-settled countries. Thus, Mexico, Brazil could become strong allies in the distant future. Muslim countries in the Middle East and Russia are big threats near Europe as well and they will become natural allies of China as well.

Finally, once they achieve that goal of forcing those europeans to focus on their own backyard, then their next goal will be achieve complete dominance of its own baclyard. Thus, no more Japan or Korea being client states of US. They must be client state of China. They must consider China to be the source of culture and soft power. Thus, China must do a regime change in those countries, and if that is not enough. Then do a complete take over. South East Asia should be next target for Chinese dominance.

China must also focus on South Asia and Russia and end the threat of those countries too. Which means breaking India and Russia into small pieces if possible. If not possible, then do a regime change to bring governments that are friendly to China. If not then they can offer them to ally with China. Or they can force them to focus on their internal problems, thus fomenting rivalry with say Pakistan or even internal separatism.

Finally, in order to make China completely secure, they must break the European-euro-settled alliance. Make those countries start fighting each other. Even break countries into pieces. Such as breaking US and europe.

As you can see, there are many many huge tasks that China must do to secure itself. Whether China can do them depends on ability of the Chinese state, Chinese people, the inability of other states, internal problems of others states as well.

Its a constant struggle called geopolitics. How many of these goals will China be able to achieve? We don't know. But we can make guesses based on how the world is right now.

One thing I am certain, China will most certainly achieve the first goal which is China becoming as Rich as Europe and Japan. Which means China will also achieve the biggest GDP, 3-4 times bigger than US, biggest military budget, best technological military. What happens after that? I don't know. But my gut feeling says, the next few centuries will be dominated by China gaining power influence and slowly eroding and degrading the west.

China will do to the west, what they did to China. A century of Humiliation.

I don't think China really gives a damn what goes on outside of East Asia insofar as other regions do not threaten it. All it wants is a peaceful backyard. You can actually say it is like USA before World War II, only concerned with maintaining stability in the region. This whole breaking up Europe and USA is a very Eurocentric concept that most Chinese can't fathom.

Deng Xiaoping, speaking at the UN, said that if China became aggressive and interventionist, people should call out China. I think China has no interest in being like the colonialistic West. It's not going to actively humiliate others, unless others humiliate their own selves. I mean tamsen is from Sweden? That's why this colonizing thing seems so European.
 

tamsen_ikard

Junior Member
Registered Member
I think you are diverging from the core discussion: it was @solarz who said that Song wasn't trying to annex Northern Han and Liao land, because all three were Chinese. Now, if I follow you explanation and apply @solarz logic, then Germany also wasn't trying to annex Polish land in WW2, because both countries are European.

Anyway, the point of this thread is to examine to what degree can China's historical grand strategy be explained through Confucian pacifism and to what degree through structural realism.

@tamsen_ikard thanks for sharing your thoughts. This is very much a realist position, presented as one of two hypotheses of China's grand strategy in my first post.

What is structural realism:
"Offensive” structural realism holds that the anarchic international structure offers many incentives for states to pursue expansionist, offensive strategies. The best way for a state to be secure in an anarchic world is to maximize relative power. Because every state has some offensive capability and cannot be certain about the intentions of others, in an anarchic system with no recourse for help, states inevitably fear the prospect of getting harmed by others. The danger of being the weaker side in international politics is well captured in the Melian dialogue described by Thucydides over two thousand years ago: “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” States must provide for their own security if they expect to survive. In a self-help world, power is the best guarantor of security, and the essential currency for states to obtain what they want. Strong states generally have higher chances of survival and of prevailing over other states. As John Mearsheimer points out, in an anarchic world marked by uncertainty and fear, “states quickly understand that the best way to ensure their survival is to be the most powerful state in the system.” States strive to maximize their share of relative power over others, because the more power a state has, the more secure it will be. Hence, states constantly look for opportunities to alter the existing balance of power in their favor.

The logic of anarchy dictates that states harbor revisionist intentions toward each other, making war possible. This does not mean that they act on those intentions anytime or anywhere. States are not reckless expanders. Instead, they rationally calculate the costs and benefits of each opportunity to expand. Although certain states may appear to pursue a status quo policy during a particular time frame, this is either because they do not have the capability to alter the existing balance of power or because they are facing a stronger adversary—they may be biding a more propitious time. Once states have the material wherewithal, they will strive to tilt the existing balance of power in their favor.



You are exactly correct, my position is similar to realism. But according to realism, all states must behave the same way because that is the most rational choice in every situation. They cannot pick and choose "Confucian pacifism" while other countries behave in a realist fashion. Because if they did, they would not be rational and most likely get destroyed. The fact that China exists a powerful singular country of 1.4 billion people with 90% belonging to a single Han ethnic group should tell you how much realist China has been.

China has subjugated, assimilated and destroyed all threats present in their neighborhood. That's why they are so big. If you think in a historical perspective, China is the most successful nation ever, since they got so big and achieved so much internal assimilation. Han Chinese is not a singular race, its a salad bowl of various ethnic groups that the central Han ethnic group subjugated and then inter married and some even converted into the Han cultural sphere naturally. Over the centuries they became indistinguishable from the rest.

I would suggest that you look at the language group of China's ethnic minorities and also China's neighbors. Language family often tell you the story of past migrations, assimilations. Most of China's ethnic minorities in Southern China belong to Tai-kadai (thai, Zhuang) language family and Austro-Asiatic language family (Vietnamese, Cambodian). The original homeland of these people were central China and southern China. But now where are they?

They are nowhere near Central China and in Southern China they are only majority in hilly areas where the Han majority did not want to live because of how tough that land is. They also live outside China in South East Asia from Vietnam to Thailand. Han Chinese were powerful and successful that they forced these people to migrate, subjugated some and assimilated with them, and some were forced to live in the hilly areas. That is the power and success of the Han Chinese ethnic group.

But I think they are not done expanding. I envision a future where all of east and south east asia will be subjugated and dominated by China and slowly even those smaller ethnic groups like Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese will be calling themselves Han. But that might take another thousand years.
 

Max Demian

Junior Member
Registered Member
Sorry the analogy fails. Liao was in constant tension over Chineseness, whereas Poland has never seen itself in Germanic terms. Stop trying to analogize Europe and China. They are different civilizations. Confucian pacifism does not exist on the same dimension as structural realism and should be left to different arenas. Have you read the Analects of Confucius?
Actually, I don't want to analogize Europe and China. Continuing further discussion will derail the thread and also I don't know enough about China to argue about the differences and similarities. I haven't read the Analects yet, but it's on my todo list. I have vacation coming up soon, so I will pick it up.

What is Confucian Pacifism, according to the book:
Confucian pacifism depicts Chinese use of force as reluctant, reactive, and defensive. The antimilitarist ideas of China’s Confucian culture proscribed the use of violence in statecraft and prescribed peaceful, noncoercive means in resolving disputes. Having an antimilitarist strategic culture, China has rarely taken the initiative in using force—its actual use of force was for self-defense, a response to the aggression of others. Confucianism denigrates the efficacy of violence in statecraft and preaches peace and harmony in state-to-state relations: war is aberrant; brute force begets chaos. The use of force was unnecessary, futile, and counterproductive. The key to national security is good domestic governance built on moral education as well as cultivation of benevolence and virtue among the country’s leaders. Following Confucian precepts, a wealthy and powerful China has historically been a benign hegemon, not an expansionist power bent on dominating others. Looking ahead, because of this cultural heritage, a strong China will not behave aggressively toward others, nor will it be an expansionist power—even though its capabilities to do so have increased.
 

Crang

Senior Member
Registered Member
Another goal for China is to end internal threats. Thus, end separatism, end ethnic diversity to create a single Chinese cultural identity shared by all.

End separatism yes, but not end ethnic diversity. Hui Muslims are left alone as I saw in my travels. Eating at the Uyghur bazaars in Urumqi, and talking to Uyghurs, they didn't seem to think their ethnic identity was being threatened (not sure about militant Uyghurs though). I think if China tried to end ethnic diversity.... that would be wrong. I think China is still upholding its end of ethnic diversity pretty well.

Maybe because you're from Sweden, you're projecting an Eurocentric viewpoint? One way to remain concrete is to ask scholars if China has any designs on taking over Korea and Japan, and the answer would be no. So China shouldn't be expanding past East Asia if it doesn't even want Korea or Japan. US military bases are another question.
 

Crang

Senior Member
Registered Member
Actually, I don't want to analogize Europe and China. Continuing further discussion will derail the thread and also I don't know enough about China to argue about the differences and similarities. I haven't read the Analects yet, but it's on my todo list. I have vacation coming up soon, so I will pick it up.

What is Confucian Pacifism, according to the book:
Confucian pacifism depicts Chinese use of force as reluctant, reactive, and defensive. The antimilitarist ideas of China’s Confucian culture proscribed the use of violence in statecraft and prescribed peaceful, noncoercive means in resolving disputes. Having an antimilitarist strategic culture, China has rarely taken the initiative in using force—its actual use of force was for self-defense, a response to the aggression of others. Confucianism denigrates the efficacy of violence in statecraft and preaches peace and harmony in state-to-state relations: war is aberrant; brute force begets chaos. The use of force was unnecessary, futile, and counterproductive. The key to national security is good domestic governance built on moral education as well as cultivation of benevolence and virtue among the country’s leaders. Following Confucian precepts, a wealthy and powerful China has historically been a benign hegemon, not an expansionist power bent on dominating others. Looking ahead, because of this cultural heritage, a strong China will not behave aggressively toward others, nor will it be an expansionist power—even though its capabilities to do so have increased.

I think the Confucian pacifism you describe is too romanticized a view of Confucius, and maybe Mohist pacifism is a better term. Confucius was to some extent more of a realist than a few of his peer Chinese philosophers. (By that I mean Confucius believed in uniting all under a singular celestial or royal state)
 

Crang

Senior Member
Registered Member
I think the Confucian pacifism you describe is too romanticized a view of Confucius, and maybe Mohist pacifism is a better term. Confucius was to some extent more of a realist than a few of his peer Chinese philosophers. (By that I mean Confucius believed in uniting all under a singular celestial or royal state)

Some scholars argue Confucius advocated necessary use of force to maintain world peace... hence Confucian pacifism is a strange sounding term.
 

tamsen_ikard

Junior Member
Registered Member
End separatism yes, but not end ethnic diversity. Hui Muslims are left alone as I saw in my travels. Eating at the Uyghur bazaars in Urumqi, and talking to Uyghurs, they didn't seem to think their ethnic identity was being threatened (not sure about militant Uyghurs though). I think if China tried to end ethnic diversity.... that would be wrong. I think China is still upholding its end of ethnic diversity pretty well.

Maybe because you're from Sweden, you're projecting an Eurocentric viewpoint? One way to remain concrete is to ask scholars if China has any designs on taking over Korea and Japan, and the answer would be no. So China shouldn't be expanding past East Asia if it doesn't even want Korea or Japan. US military bases are another question.


I think you guys are operating in a much short-term and near-sighted level of thinking than I am. What you said is exactly correct. Current China is not trying to take over Korea and Japan. But that is because this is the current China. The people that are in current China are people who have lived in a country that was backward and poor. They look at themselves and look at the europeans/Americans and they think I am so much worse than them. I must be atleast equal to them in wealth and technology. Their only goal is to get rich.

But every few years, a new generation is born. They will grow up in a different world with different world view. Their thinking will not be like the thinking of people who were born in 90s or 50s. Many news articles say that Chinese born after 90s are much more confident about their culture and about their country's standing. Why is that? because this is what what they grew up watching.

Same thing with other countries. Most older people in the world consider China to be inferior and about to collapse. Why is that? because this is what they saw growing up. This is their world view. They cannot accept an upstart poor country like China so quickly becoming rich and supplanting them. but the newer generation are different. The kids that are 5 years old now do not know a poor China. They know a China with biggest high speed rail network and Tiktok. Their view of China and respect of China will be much more different.

I am sure Americans who lived 100 years ago did not believe America is the best nation on Earth. They thought Europeans were superior to them. Because that's what they grew up in. They were much less aggressive and less confident about their nation too.


Power is the only factor of desire. If you have more power, you will have more desire. If you have power, things that felt normal in the past will become huge humiliations that must be dealt with force.

If China was weak, divided and poor do you think China will even care if Taiwan declares independence? Ofcourse not. It can't even worry about it. A weak and powerless China even allowed foreigners to colonize their cities and entire land. Manchuria was a Russian colony much before it became a Japanese colony.

Where do you think current American arrogance come from? it comes from power. If they had less power, if they got more slaps and more failures, they would have less arrogance in interfering in other countries.


So, in the grand scheme of things. China will go through many generations and how those generations will behave will be different from how they behave now. If China becomes powerful and sees opportunity to expand its power, the unthinkable will become inevitable. China operating in US backyard and forming alliance with Mexico feels unthinkable now because China is so weak. In the future, US operating and dominating in East Asia will become unthinkable and people will think that was certainly a fantasy.

If in the future, China becomes to powerful that no country can challenge it in East Asia. Will it be happy with a Japan that hates China and blindly worships US? Ofcourse not. It will make sure that Japan is completely dominated by China. That they are either Chinese client states, or they speak Chinese only and fully become Chinese. There is no other way to be secure.

The generations that grow up in that kind of powerful and rich China will have no problem thinking of Taking over Japan. They will think this is God given right to do. They will think this is absolutely needed to secure China's national security.

You are what you grow up in.
 
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Max Demian

Junior Member
Registered Member
I think the Confucian pacifism you describe is too romanticized a view of Confucius, and maybe Mohist pacifism is a better term. Confucius was to some extent more of a realist than a few of his peer Chinese philosophers. (By that I mean Confucius believed in uniting all under a singular celestial or royal state)
The author goes into a lot more detail on this, and does mention Mozi in passing.

This tendency to stress a minimal level of violence is said to stem from China’s historical legacy and Confucian culture. Confucius considered the cultivation of virtue and caring for people as far more important than military force. Aside from Confucianism, aversion to the use of force is evident in virtually all strains of Chinese philosophy, including Laozi (Daoist), Mozi (Mohist), and even Sunzi (Sun Tzu). Laozi rejects force as an effective means of statecraft, emphasizing “using softness to overcome hardness” (yi rou ke gang). Mozi condemns offensive warfare in his concept of “against attacking” (fei gong) and argues for “universal love” (jian ai) as the solution to conflict. When Sunzi does discuss force, “he does so almost always to stress the need to conserve it.” Sunzi uses the word li (force) only nine times throughout The Art of War, while Clausewitz uses Gewalt eight times in the two paragraphs defining war alone. Confucianism is evidently not the only school advocating nonviolent means to security, but it is undoubtedly the dominant school of thought throughout Imperial China. The minimal-violence axiom of the various ancient Chinese philosophies was absorbed into Confucianism. Any deviations from the Confucian canon risked being rejected by the mainstream. Proponents of China’s nonbelligerent, antimilitarist culture invariably traced its origins to Confucianism. Few would dispute that Imperial China had a Confucian culture and that this culture disparages the use of force.

Although most proponents of this view do not usually use constructivist vocabulary, underlying the Confucian argument is the notion that culture has a significant impact on state behavior—in other words, because Chinese culture is pacifist and antimilitarist, so is its behavior. Following this logic, the literature in this vein claims that China has historically not been an expansionist country bent on dominating others. Simply stated, China has had no intentions of expanding abroad. This non-expansionist aspect of Chinese security policy still obtained when China grew in power and possessed more resources for expansion. Nonetheless, the fact that Chinese territory has actually expanded in history does not present an anomaly for Confucian pacifism. When expansion did occur, contends the literature, it was not accomplished by outright military conquest but, rather, by cultural attraction and the voluntary submission of the people in China’s peripheries. The resulting Sinocentric order might be hegemonic, but it was a benign one. John K.Fairbank wrote about the “pacifist bias” of Confucianism: “Warfare was diseseemed in [Confucianism].The resort to warfare (wu) was an admission of bankruptcy in the pursuit of wen [civility or culture]. Consequently, it should be a last resort.Herein lies the pacifist bias of the Chinese tradition. Expansion through wen was natural and proper; whereas expansion by wu, brute force and conquest, was never to be condoned.”


There is also a brief mention of Legalism as the realist tradition of ancient Chinese statecraft and the main competitor to Confucianism. Sadly, he doesn't spend more than a paragraph on it. Although, I've read other authors saying that even though Confucianism won in the 100 school of thought "battle", Legalism never disappeared and continued to influence imperial China's administrative practice.
 

Crang

Senior Member
Registered Member
I think you guys are operating in a much short-term and near-sighted level of thinking than I am. What you said is exactly correct. Current China is not trying to take over Korea and Japan. But that is because this is the current China. The people that are in current China are people who have lived in a country that was backward and poor. They look at themselves and look at the europeans/Americans and they think I am so much worse than them. I must be atleast equal to them in wealth and technology. Their only goal is to get rich.

But every few years, a new generation is born. They will grow up in a different world with different world view. Their thinking will not be like the thinking of people who were born in 90s or 50s. Many news articles say that Chinese born after 90s are much more confident about their culture and about their country's standing. Why is that? because this is what what they grew up watching.

Same thing with other countries. Most older people in the world consider China to be inferior and about to collapse. Why is that? because this is what they saw growing up. This is their world view. They cannot accept an upstart poor country like China so quickly becoming rich and supplanting them. but the newer generation are different. The kids that are 5 years old now do not know a poor China. They know a China with biggest high speed rail network and Tiktok. Their view of China and respect of China will be much more different.

I am sure Americans who lived 100 years ago did not believe America is the best nation on Earth. They thought Europeans were superior to them. Because that's what they grew up in. They were much less aggressive and less confident about their nation too.


Power is the only factor of desire. If you have more power, you will have more desire. If you have power, things that felt normal in the past will become huge humiliations that must be dealt with force.

If China was weak, divided and poor do you think China will even care if Taiwan declares independence? Ofcourse not. It can't even worry about it. A weak and powerless China even allowed foreigners to colonize their cities and entire land. Manchuria was a Russian colony much before it became a Japanese colony.

Where do you think current American arrogance come from? it comes from power. If they had less power, if they got more slaps and more failures, they would have less arrogance in interfering in other countries.


So, in the grand scheme of things. China will go through many generations and how those generations will behave will be different from how they behave now. If China becomes powerful and sees opportunity to expand its power, the unthinkable will become inevitable. China operating in US backyard and forming alliance with Mexico feels unthinkable now because China is so weak. In the future, US operating and dominating in East Asia will become unthinkable and people will think that was certainly a fantasy.

You are what you grow up in.

Yes but even among young people in China, they have no interest in expanding. Seriously. Go talk to them. There is seriously no discourse on expanding China's territory. Even among old people, they wanted to learn the technology of the West and not its social values. It's like how they admire Kpop and BTS and Japan's 高素质 or politeness culture, without wanting them to be transplanted into China. If you spend time on Chinese forums, there's a lot of critique of Korean materialist culture and Japanese fake or tatemae culture. I mean, sure there are Chinese like Liu Xiaobo (yes that guy) who wanted China to worship the West, but Western worshippers are actually a minority in China, and those people are a little otaku in my experience.
 

Crang

Senior Member
Registered Member
The author goes into a lot more detail on this, and does mention Mozi in passing.

This tendency to stress a minimal level of violence is said to stem from China’s historical legacy and Confucian culture. Confucius considered the cultivation of virtue and caring for people as far more important than military force. Aside from Confucianism, aversion to the use of force is evident in virtually all strains of Chinese philosophy, including Laozi (Daoist), Mozi (Mohist), and even Sunzi (Sun Tzu). Laozi rejects force as an effective means of statecraft, emphasizing “using softness to overcome hardness” (yi rou ke gang). Mozi condemns offensive warfare in his concept of “against attacking” (fei gong) and argues for “universal love” (jian ai) as the solution to conflict. When Sunzi does discuss force, “he does so almost always to stress the need to conserve it.” Sunzi uses the word li (force) only nine times throughout The Art of War, while Clausewitz uses Gewalt eight times in the two paragraphs defining war alone. Confucianism is evidently not the only school advocatingnonviolent means to security, but it is undoubtedly the dominant school of thought throughout Imperial China. The minimal-violence axiom of the various ancient Chinese philosophies was absorbed into Confucianism. Any deviations from the Confucian canon risked being rejected by the mainstream. Proponents of China’s nonbelligerent, antimilitarist culture invariably traced its origins to Confucianism. Few would dispute that Imperial China had a Confucian culture and that this culture disparages the use of force.

Although most proponents of this view do not usually use constructivist vocabulary, underlying the Confucian argument is the notion that culture has a significant impact on state behavior—in other words, because Chinese culture is pacifist and antimilitarist, so is its behavior. Following this logic, the literature in this vein claims that China has historically not been an expansionist country bent on dominating others. Simply stated, China has had no intentions of expanding abroad. This non-expansionist aspect of Chinese security policy still obtained when China grew in power and possessed more resources for expansion. Nonetheless, the fact that Chinese territory has actually expanded in history does not present an anomaly for Confucian paciism. When expansion did occur, contends the literature, it was not accomplished by outright military conquest but, rather, by cultural attraction and the voluntary submission of the people in China’s peripheries. The resulting Sinocentric order might be hegemonic, but it was a benign one. John K.Fairbank wrote about the “pacifist bias” of Confucianism: “Warfare was diseseemed in [Confucianism].The resort to warfare (wu) was an admission of bankruiptcy in the pursuit of wen [civility or culture]. Consequently, it should be a last resort.Herein lies the pacifist bias of the Chinese tradition. Expanson through wen was natural and proper; whereas expansion by wu, brute force and conquest, was never to be condoned.”


There is also a brief mention of Legalism as the realist tradition of ancient Chinese statecraft and the main competitor to Confucianism. Sadly, he doesn't spend more than a paragraph on it. Although, I've read other authors saying that even though Confucianism won in the 100 school of thought "battle", Legalism never disappeared and continued to influence imperial China's administrative practice.

The history is very complicated. China expanded into Vietnam seeking its agriculturally rich lands, and believed Vietnamese would benefit from Chinese civilization. Instead Vietnamese resisted and till this day resent China's so called civilizing project. You can argue whether the conquest of Vietnam was wu or wen - you can make arguments for either side. The idea was that Vietnam was still within the Chinese civilization state (unlike say northern Mongolia or Korea), and hence natural for China to want Vietnam say in 1000 AD. However Vietnamese resented it, hence modern day Chinese respect Vietnam's desire to be left alone. Hence Vietnam, unlike Taiwan, is not sought by anyone in mainland China, since Taiwan was the one that accepted status as Chinese territory, not Vietnam.
 

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