Clash of Dreams: Becoming a ‘Normal Country’ in East Asia
Image Credit: REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Clash of Dreams: Becoming a ‘Normal Country’ in East Asia

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East Asian countries are each striving to become a “normal country.” In other words, they are unsatisfied with their current status and positions. The meaning of “normal country” may hold different answers for each of them: reunification, democratization, abolishing constitutional limitations, or national rejuvenation and restoration.

However, the varying contents of these countries’ dreams could lead to a clash of dreams. In particular, a real danger of a clash of dreams may include one party blaming the other for being an obstacle in the path to its search for greatness or past glory. Many problems in East Asia are represented by territorial disputes, such as those between China and Japan and between South Korea and Japan. Tensions can also be generated by words and actions over historical symbols, such as the recent controversy over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. The fundamental source of these conflicts, however, is a clash of national dreams and identities.

Becoming a Normal Country

The discourse on becoming a normal country has been pondered for quite some time in East Asia. On the Korean peninsular and in Taiwan and Japan, there has been much discussion about becoming a normal country by heads of state, the media, and the general public. For the two Koreas, “normal” spells reunification. The Taiwanese are debating whether to seek independence to become a “normal country” or to reintegrate with the mainland in some way in the future and restore a “Great China” status.

As for Japan, being a “normal country” refers to abolishing the still-valid constitutional limits on military development and playing a more “symmetric” role in world economic and political spheres. For many Japanese, this concept also means that Japan would no longer live in the shadow of history and it would have a normal, not apologetic, relationship with its Asian neighbors. However, many Japanese fail to realize that this process of normalization presupposes a reconciliation of Japan’s self-image with the images its neighbors hold of Japan’s past.

In contrast, the Chinese leadership has never openly spoken about whether China is a normal country. Is it, in fact? What does it mean, anyway, to be a “normal country” for China? There are no commonly accepted standards to judge one country as normal or abnormal. Many may say that China can become a normal country only after it has changed from a communist dictatorship to a multiparty democracy in which officials are chosen in regular elections. In terms of democratization, there is no doubt that China still has a long way to go, but Beijing would never agree to use democratization as a standard of being a normal country.

Based on the speeches and actions of the Chinese leadership, however, it is clear Beijing is also not satisfied with its current situation, and is searching for a new identity or status. China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, has repeatedly emphasized that China’s main future objective is to realize national “rejuvenation,” or fuxing (复兴). Xi calls this the “Chinese Dream.” Therefore, only after the realization of this dream can the leadership and the Chinese people consider China a normal country.

In fact, the concept of rejuvenation is also popular in Japan. Japan’s third-largest political party is the Japan Restoration Party. The characters for restoration here is ishin (維新). Both restoration and rejuvenation refer to a return to greatness or a past glory. Even though the English translations of these words differ slightly, the meanings in Chinese are almost the same.  Thus, we can see that China and Japan actually share similar motivation and objectives.

That said, their understandings of the particulars of these objectives are quite different. For China, the most important part of rejuvenation is for the country to grow stronger and richer, returning to its central position in the world and freeing itself from foreign bullying or interference. As for the Japan Restoration Party, the meanings of “restoration” include rewriting the Constitution to replace the current war-renouncing Constitution that was drafted by the United States after World War II, strengthening maritime defense capabilities, and abolishing the effective cap on defense expenditures at 1 percent of gross domestic product. Even though the Japan Restoration Party is still a minority party in Japan, and it has already been tied with new Japanese nationalism, some of its policy claims are also popular among some Japanese. What Shinzo Abe has attempted to do during his first year also follows the same direction.

Who you want to be determines what you will do, so the divergent contents of dreams and national agendas can certainly instigate conflict. For example, some Japanese say that the criteria for becoming a normal country include freeing itself from the historical shadow and becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council. These individuals may assume that China wants to block this normalization process. At the same time, some Chinese may believe China’s rejuvenation should include receiving historical justice, and may view Japan as the hindrance.

Clash of Histories

The concept of rejuvenation or restoration is deeply entrenched in the understanding of history and national identity. It may be sheer coincidence that on the same day of December 26, 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Mao Zedong’s mausoleum for the 120th anniversary of Chairman Mao’s birth. The Chinese government and media criticized Abe’s visit as paying respect to ghosts. However, some inside China believed Xi’s visit showed respect to another ghost. Debates in Chinese social media have heatedly discussed whether Mao was a founding father or an evil dictator.

Whether or not it was a coincidence that these top leaders’ visits occurred on the same day, their behavior indicates that both countries lack a proper understanding and reflection about history. At the same time, both countries lack a domestic consensus regarding their national experience. Even today, citizens of China and Japan still debate their own history and the rights and wrongs of historical figures. Many Chinese and Koreans believe Abe’s visit to Yasukuni was unacceptable because the shrine housed the spirits of the 14 “Class A” war criminals from World War II. On the other hand, many Japanese consider these individuals their ancestors and want them to be understood as such. Many Japanese also believe that Japan’s intention for the war was to liberate the Asian peoples, including Chinese and Koreans, from Western colonization. In China, on the other hand, many still regard Chairman Mao Zedong as a savior of the people despite his mistakes, like the launches of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

When a group of people have such hugely varied perceptions of history, it indicates that the group is still searching for its identity. Even though China and Japan are now the world’s second and third largest economies, neither has yet to fully complete its nation building. They still have major internal disagreements regarding the evaluation of their past and objectives of their future. We can see the same situation in the two Koreas, Taiwan, and even Hong Kong. The uncertainty in national dreams and national identities is a fundamental reason for the uncertainty in security of East Asia.

There is reason to be concerned about the current situation in East Asia. Identity-based conflict is much more complicated than interest-based conflict. Different identities often generate divergent perceptions. In fact, East Asian countries often base their evaluations of their neighbors on misperceptions. For example, both China and Japan consider themselves peace-loving and the other aggressive. The same event can have different interpretations depending on which side you are on. In such a situation, all parties must act with caution to avoid any conflict escalation due to misperception and misunderstanding.

Looking forward, the search for identity is a long process. It cannot be completed simply through a top-down process. Domestic consensus can only be built through internal dialogues with participation from all different levels of citizens. More importantly, countries in this region need to conduct multi-level dialogues with each other. After fully understanding each other’s dreams and intentions, countries might realize that another country can be a partner and supporter in the process of becoming a normal country, rather than an opponent and obstacle. Over the past decades, East Asian business circles have worked closely together with a high level of integration in terms of economic cooperation between and among these states. This experience could help politicians, the military and other social groups in these countries realize that the other side is a potential partner or at least a state to coexist peacefully with.

Zheng Wang is an Associate Professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He is also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Comments
41
Alex Chabi
February 6, 2014 at 08:02

is “normal country” a developmental category? what a pointless article

BJ
February 7, 2014 at 02:46

Actually what is pointless is Tibet and Xinxiang association with China.A “normal China” would not have these 2 provinces which normally should not be there with China at the first place. China should readily accede to give up its claims on them.
What a great article, it actually confirmed China is a dictatorship. A “Normal China” would be the the one where corrupt CCP is thrown out of power completely and put into dark rooms for rest of their lives to punish for their anti-people governance.

Alex Chabi
February 7, 2014 at 18:25

bravo, your view on “normal” really does the category justice because it is just as idiosyncratic as the term suggests. your comment is as good as the article hahaha.

everyone knows china is autocratic, they don’t pretend otherwise. were you somehow not aware?

russia is also autocratic but it pretends to be a democracy, why aren’t you on their case?

the ccp is 80 million people. they should all be put in dark rooms?

america and australia did not initially belong to white people and were wrought through genocide, should all white people leave america and australia?

the ccp is corrupt, but there are plenty of countries that are more corrupt, so excuse me when i say i think you seem a bit biased in your vitriol…

Wildcat27
February 6, 2014 at 02:10

In looking at the role of history the author fails to note the role of propaganda in Asia. In Japan there is a push to whitewash the sins of the past by conservatives who are tired of being made to feel guilty for actions they personally did not take. In China the push is to emphasise the past wrongs done to China to explain why China is less powerful in the world and to justify the CCP rule by heightening the feeling of threat. While the historical revisionism can be frustrating for Western observers more interested in truth and not looking to justify sweeping biases and hate, the real problem is the aims of contemporary governments. These identities from history are not being created spontaneously by the people, but are the result of government pushes to justify certain actions, often with a more domestic scope then international, but with very grave potential consequences nevertheless.

Liang1a
February 5, 2014 at 12:40

Nobody is stopping Japan from trading and doing business anywhere in the world. Japan is a member of the UN and participates fully in all UN activities. Therefore, Japan is a normal country in every sense of the word. Japan also has one of the most powerful navy in the world. Many argue that Japan has the second most powerful navy after the US in the world. Certainly, these people argue that the Japanese navy will wipe out Chinese navy without any problem. So Japan has obviously become a very powerful military country. Therefore, Japan is already a normal country in every sense of the word politically, economically and militarily. The problem now is that Japan is not happy being the second most powerful naval power in the world. It wants to be the most powerful naval power in the world. And this runs counter to the American scheme of things.

Japan also wants to rewrite history whitewashing its bloody past. Therefore, rewriting history is “normalization” for Japan. This means Japan’s wish for being a “normal” country is actually not righteous. It does not want to be a “normal” country but the biggest and most powerful military power in the world and free to rewrite history and to attack its former victims again. In other words, “normality” for Japan is to be a big powerful bully and be able to attack anybody for whatever reason. And China must not allow this to happen. And the US will be foolish to allow Japan to become a nuclear power like a “normal” country. Indeed, Japan’s hubris and the dreams of conquest its leaders still harbor are not “normal”.

Billy Andersson
February 5, 2014 at 13:21

“It(Japan) does not want to be a “normal” country but the biggest and most powerful military power in the world and free to rewrite history and to attack its former victims again. In other words, “normality” for Japan is to be a big powerful bully and be able to attack anybody for whatever reason. And China must not allow this to happen. ”

No I did not just read you saying that China is going to stop another country in the region from being a bully and intentions of becoming the most powerful military with the freedom to rewrite history”.
Wow! China a.k.a CCP the bully of south China sea, masters of censorship and rewriting historical events, second biggest military spender in the world, they must according to you stop Japan? 可笑..

Liang1a
February 6, 2014 at 06:08

Billy Andersson @ Liang1a:
February 5, 2014 at 13:21

No I did not just read you saying that China is going to stop another country in the region from being a bully and intentions of becoming the most powerful military with the freedom to rewrite history”.
Wow! China a.k.a CCP the bully of south China sea, masters of censorship and rewriting historical events, second biggest military spender in the world, they must according to you stop Japan? 可笑..

Liang’s response:
Yes, China must stop Japan, a murderous nation, from committing mass murders again. If you think this is laughable then ask S. Korea what it thinks about China stopping Japan from inflicting atrocities in Korea. While you Westerners laugh the Koreans aren’t laughing. And this is why the Koreans will ultimately prefer China to America.

CodyL
February 5, 2014 at 21:54

When Chinese population can freely search about about Tiananmen Square Massacre and the Cultural Revolution, then they can start telling the Japanese to stop ignoring there history. The communist party of China has killed a lot more Chinese people than the Japanese Imperial Army ever did, and this fact is conveniently whitewashed by the Chinese population as a whole. Every time you point a finger at the Japanese screaming about their history, there is 4 more point back at you.

Unrepented as usual
February 6, 2014 at 04:01

Japanese are unrepented war criminals, they never admit wrong, and they never take responsibilities, they always point the finger to somebody else, they blame the comfort women for being a female, they blame their Fukushima nuclear disaster on mother earth, they blame American died of cancer caused by the hot particles leaked from Fukushima power plants for being at the downstream of Fukushima nuclear power plants. Now they even find new excuse to explain away their war crimes by using China civil war as a strawman. The Japanese should know China’s civil war is the result of Japanese aggression.

With such psychopathic and double think mentality, Japan is never going be a normal nation.

Liang1a
February 6, 2014 at 06:19

CodyL @ Liang1a:
February 5, 2014 at 21:54
When Chinese population can freely search about about Tiananmen Square Massacre and the Cultural Revolution, then they can start telling the Japanese to stop ignoring there history. The communist party of China has killed a lot more Chinese people than the Japanese Imperial Army ever did, and this fact is conveniently whitewashed by the Chinese population as a whole. Every time you point a finger at the Japanese screaming about their history, there is 4 more point back at you.

Liang’s response to Codyl:
The US government killed more Americans during the Civil War than Japan had killed during the WW2.

US soldiers died in Civil War: more than 800,000.
US soldiers died in Pacific WW2: just over 100,000.

So, I guess it’s not a problem for Japanese to kill Americans since the US had killed more of its own soldiers. Yes, many of your own fingers are pointing back at you, Codyl.

sfphoto
February 6, 2014 at 17:00

@CodyL:

The Chinese Civil War, Taiping Rebellion, Mao’s Revolution, Anti-Rightist Movement, Cultural Revolution, etc. are internal politics of a Sovereign country, China. The American Civil War which is the bloodiest conflict costing more American lives than all the Wars fought by the U.S. Military is also internal politics of the U.S.A. The French Revolution where the revolutionaries guillotined the aristocrats is also internal politics of the French Republic. All these political events resulted in the tragic loss of many lives but those Wars and Revolutions are a NECESSARY EVIL to achieve the POLITICAL ENDS.

Lastly, the Great Leap Forward which resulted in the GREAT FAMINE causing tens of millions of UNNATURAL DEATHS is a POLICY FAILURE of Marxism-Leninism. The Irish Potato Famine which caused one out of eight persons in Ireland to die was also a POLICY FAILURE of the British Crown. Today, millions of people die of disease, hunger, disasters, infanticide and accidents in the developing world. Please don’t confuse FAMINES caused by POLICY FAILURE with waging Imperialist Wars of Aggression.

Unrepented as usual
February 7, 2014 at 00:19

Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg Trails established that war making itself is the supreme international crime, aggressive war must be condemned as crime, and humanity must bring a just judgement against those who have thought it would be safe to wage aggressive and ruthless war.

CodyL, what you have said is trying to overturn what Robert Jackson on behalf of humanity has established just judgement against those ruthless war criminals of the WWII in Nuremberg Trails, you are denying WWII is a just war against ruthless evil war criminals.

Liang1a
February 7, 2014 at 07:55

sfphoto @ Codyl:
February 6, 2014 at 17:00

@CodyL:
The Chinese Civil War, Taiping Rebellion, Mao’s Revolution, Anti-Rightist Movement, Cultural Revolution, etc. are internal politics of a Sovereign country, China. The American Civil War which is the bloodiest conflict costing more American lives than all the Wars fought by the U.S. Military is also internal politics of the U.S.A. The French Revolution where the revolutionaries guillotined the aristocrats is also internal politics of the French Republic. All these political events resulted in the tragic loss of many lives but those Wars and Revolutions are a NECESSARY EVIL to achieve the POLITICAL ENDS.

Lastly, the Great Leap Forward which resulted in the GREAT FAMINE causing tens of millions of UNNATURAL DEATHS is a POLICY FAILURE of Marxism-Leninism. The Irish Potato Famine which caused one out of eight persons in Ireland to die was also a POLICY FAILURE of the British Crown. Today, millions of people die of disease, hunger, disasters, infanticide and accidents in the developing world. Please don’t confuse FAMINES caused by POLICY FAILURE with waging Imperialist Wars of Aggression.

Liang’s comment:
Very well said, sfphoto! It is obviously nothing but propaganda to confuse deaths caused by natural disasters and political struggles with external aggression. No matter how much a man might be abused by his parents it does not justify anybody else harming him. Therefore, it is heinous for the Japanese to insinuate that since Chinese people had died in the hands of their government therefore it is perfectly all right for Japnese soldiers to kill Chinese. It is this kind of unrepentent mindset that makes it impossible for China to talk peace with japan. The Japnese think they can defeat China at anytime and therefore that make them superior and make all their atrocities not atrocities. It is because of this that it is ultimately good for China to fight Japan again and defeat it convincingly. Then Japan will respect China and be willing to live peacefully with it.

Kanes
February 5, 2014 at 11:03

Japan is the only country nuke bombed. It cannot be a normal country.

George
February 5, 2014 at 10:27

Can they work together to achieve their dreams of becoming normal countries..or wharever? That would be nightmare scenario number 1 for Washington.

Broken Asian Prosperous Dream
February 7, 2014 at 00:07

No, they couldn’t work together to become normal countries and achieve the dream of building a prosperous Asia with lasting peace.
The ex-Japanes PM from Democratic Party,鳩山尤紀夫 was among the very few far sighted politicians left who has the ideology of making the Asian Dream comes true.But unfortunately he was foiled and literally ousted by uncle Sam who worried about loosing his leverage on Asian Matters, partly to blame was his too early announcement of his plan to have the American bases removed from Japanese soil and his over explicit “Leave Europe , return to Asia” plan which got the American panic and hence triggered his ouster.

Humanity dream = USA becomes a normal country
February 5, 2014 at 08:56

The author imposes USA’s point of view on China that China is not a normal country, based on its cold war style moral high ground, just like it fabricated all kinds of accusations against China such as currency manipulator, cyber spying, military assertiveness, etc.

Actually humanity hopes USA should try to be a normal country, so that the world can live in peace and work together toward prosperity for every soul on this planet, instead of constantly living in fear of USA’s bombing and killing by labelling them not a normal country.

Normal countries are now living in a rapidly changing world…Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become the trend of our times. But unnormal countries are physically living in the 21st century, but with a mindset belonging to the past, stalled in the old days of colonialism, and constrained by zero-sum Cold War mentality. We, the humanity, hopes the USA and its allies can live with rest of us like a normal country.

The Asians have been working together to create the Asian economic miracle, until the world sole hegemony cannot tolerate Asian’s achievement and view such achievement is a threat to its hegemony, decided to put the end of Asian’s working together with “pivoting to Asia” and turned Asia in the current pigsty state.

Wildcat27
February 6, 2014 at 01:59

Funny how the biggest conflicts in the world are between Asian countries with the smaller ones seeking US support against the growing juggernaut China. Also, the period of US hegemony is one of unparalleled peace and prosperity.

American Exceptionalist
February 6, 2014 at 03:29

USA has been bombing, killing and agent orange all over the world since WWII in the name of “for the good of the victims,” if American can call those slaughtering as “humanitarian undertaking” indeed the American can claim USA’s atrocity as unparalleled peace and prosperity; I guess no one should be surprised0 how American Exceptionalist would define normal.

Liang1a
February 7, 2014 at 08:06

Wildcat27
February 6, 2014 at 01:59
Funny how the biggest conflicts in the world are between Asian countries with the smaller ones seeking US support against the growing juggernaut China. Also, the period of US hegemony is one of unparalleled peace and prosperity.

Liang’s comment:
Asia had experienced more conflicts in the last 70 years due to the aggressions of the US first in Korea and then in Vietnam. The only reason why there were no wars since 1975 in East Asia was because the US needed China to counterbalance the USSR and then China acquired nuclear arms and became too strong for the US to attack. However, the US continued to foment unrest in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myammar, Philippines, etc. Peace will come to Asia only when China has become as powerful as it can be and impose peace with overwhelming military force based on justice.

George
February 5, 2014 at 06:28

American treaty “obligations”to its allies will ensure there will not be normal countries…especially large asian ones.

DivideConquest
February 5, 2014 at 03:45

Japan is not a normal country. It is under conquest and rules of the cowboys.

applesauce
February 5, 2014 at 07:20

and no one claims, japan as it is now, is a normal country… what is your point?

DivideConquest
February 5, 2014 at 03:44

The US wants East Asia to be divided and it would be great for the Americans when the Asian countries are in quarrels all the time.

avatar
February 4, 2014 at 23:12

China was never the central country in the world. It was a regional center. Until recently there were never nations which were centers of the entire world. For someone of my cultural background Rome and ancient Greece were at various times the center of my world, China doesn’t even merit a footnote. I don’t care what was happening there thousands of years ago. It’s not even interesting nor is China today very interesting. Tibet much more so. I consider Tibetan culture superior to the Han Chinese.

Oro Invictus
February 5, 2014 at 04:29

I readily agree with the first sentiment that none of the various nation-states which have inhabited China have ever been geopolitically central (or dominant, for that matter), however, claiming any one culture is simply “superior” to another is plain bigotry.

If one studies the anthropological history of mankind, they will find that, while not all societies have been as “great” (as societies are the aggregate of circumstance, dogma, and culture), all cultures are fundamentally the same. Indeed, show me any one cultural (key word) institution you believe is functionally unique and I will show you analogous one(s) in virtually any cultural group you can name.

Mind you, this is not to imply various cultures have no differences or that said cultures cannot be considered interesting in their own right. While the paintings of cultures are all drawn from the same paints in approximately equal measure, their orientation on the ideological canvas is such that no two are aesthetically alike; each holds its own beauty, just as do the individuals who painted them despite their common form.

Perhaps if more people realized this, the dreams of nations would produce less discord in the presence of one another.

Little Helmsman
February 5, 2014 at 06:54

Why do you quote “superior” and attribute it to avatar’s comment? Re-read his comment he never claim any country superior to another. Your simply reading things he did not actually said! False attribution.

applesauce
February 5, 2014 at 07:29

when they say “world” they mean the “known world” and as such, china, at many points in the past was indeed the center of the(its) known world, just as the americans, romans, greeks, persians, mongols all were, at various points in time. in modern times, given its land, population and resources, its is not unusual for china to be one of the centers of the world(some say this has already happened), along side other large states such as the US, Russia, EU and india too if they get their acts together. and many times the chinese have refer to a muti-pole world as a desirable outcome.

and to the op, stating one culture is simply superior than another is indeed out right bigotry and overshadows and legitimate points you may have had. furthermore just because you say its not interesting doesnt mean its not important. the exchange of goods and ideas between east and west was very important in the past and indeed today as well.

Oro Invictus
February 5, 2014 at 09:42

@Little Helmsman

Uh… Check the last sentence of his post.

“I consider Tibetan culture superior to the Han Chinese”.

Liang1a
February 5, 2014 at 13:08

@Oro:
Oro, I applaud your attempt at being politically correct. But you are also not being honest and logical. Certainly there is a degree of advancement of culture from the lowest to the highest. There are a set of criteria by which one can judge whether a culture is superior to other culture. Music can be superior by listening to what it represents. The lowest form of misic is just rhythm. Higher forms of music will portray human emotions and “paint” a story in sounds. Similarly with arts with lowest form of art representing physical images while the higher forms of art representing emotions in abstract forms. And, of course, science and technologies can be easily graded on superiority. Laws, customs and all things pertaining to human relations can be graded according to achieving justice and achieving harmony. According to this means of judging things, human cultures are still at a very primitive level. And only by recognizing what are the criteria of superiority can humans strive to achieve the best. Otherwise, all human activities will be just a random walk going nowhere and ultimately result in catastrophic destruction.

Oro Invictus
February 5, 2014 at 13:36

And how am I being dishonest or illogical?

Those who believe their culture is superior to any other simply lack basic reason, instead persisting in only subjective categorical assignments of perceived value. Cultural valuations such as these are as bigoted a notion that one is inferior or superior as a function of their ethnicity or religious beliefs.

matt
February 5, 2014 at 06:48

EVERY country had that thinking they were the centre of the world. But some held that thought more longer than others.

Liang1a
February 5, 2014 at 12:52

Obviously, Chinese influence did not extend to ancient Rome. At least not directly. However, many Chinese inventions were carried to Europe and enabled its development. While China was not directly involved in the development of Europe, neither was Euopre in any way involved in the development of Asia. And Asian civilization was 90% Chinese civilization which was much superior to the European civilization. European science and technologies were inferior to Chinese science and technologies until the 1600′s when China was conquered by the Manchurians who suppressed all science and technological development.

It is without doubt that Chinese civilization were far superior to the European civilization for most of human history until the 1600′s. Chinese economy was bigger than the rest of the world combined. The Mongols didn’t even want to waste their time attacking Europe because in the 1300′s Europe was so poor it had nothing worth robbing.

Oro Invictus
February 5, 2014 at 13:29

“Obviously, Chinese influence did not extend to ancient Rome. At least not directly. However, many Chinese inventions were carried to Europe and [assisted in] its development.”

This is literally the only part of all that which had any grounding in reality.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/01/why-chinas-global-supremacy-is-not-inevitable/282785/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_by_past_GDP_(PPP)

George
February 5, 2014 at 23:32

Enjoy the superior tibetan culture before it goes extinct..thrown in as a freebie by high minded western nations in exchange for Chinese market access deals.

Western Fallacy
February 6, 2014 at 03:15

If China does not merit a footnote, then why do you bother denying it is the centre of the world non-stop? Is it like a kid get caught of mouthful of cocky and denying he is stealing cocky? Only a tyrant or a hegemon is so hubristic and would claim it is the centre of the world in order to commit crimes against humanity as entitlement. The West in the past and the USA in the present claims they are the centre of the world and they are the final form of civilization shamelessly despite their rise is only a flash comparing to other civilizations, and the major achievement of their rise is bringing this world atrocity on the industrial scale.

sfphoto
February 6, 2014 at 17:13

@Western Fallacy:

USA: We’re Top Gun. We can do anything we want.
CHINA: But we don’t want to be Top Gun. We just to claim out territories.
USA: You’re becoming imperialistic!
CHINA: No, we don’t want to be imperialistic like you; we just want to be a normal country. So get lost.

George
February 4, 2014 at 21:42

No country that host large foreign military presence is normal.

Calvin CHUA
February 4, 2014 at 20:24

SIR, I can visualise you as the lecturer and the two naughty kids China and Japan was sent to you and you lecture them impartially.

The ghosts of this two giant indeed creates a hindrance for each to overcome. Both have mono-racial population, and claimed to be a civilisation upon itself. It is a two very tough kid on the block.

The simple fact – “ancestral” worship remains a big part of both civilisation.

Ignorant impostor
February 5, 2014 at 08:05

The factual errors in the comment are appalling. There are more than 50 ethnic minorities in China and there are 5 major different languages in China, while Japan has only one race and one language, calling China a mono-racial population is blatant ignorant.

China is the oldest continuous civilization on this planet, saying China “claimed to be civilization upon itself” is simply a reflection of the bizarre mentality of diehard orientalism.

ignorater imposter
February 5, 2014 at 13:11

the ccp counts some 50 ethnic groups in china, true enough. there are many japanese passport holders that are not ethnically japanese, i.e. koreans, chinese, mongolians as well immigrants from throughout asia and indeed the world.

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