Monday, May 2, 2016

The future of Asia security

I have been regularly coming across big ideas and concepts in geopolitics recently, especially the Thucydides trap. To be practical it is critically important to make it simple. China's is just keeping up its habit of using words you cannot take offence with but giving it its own meaning. In this headline, "suits Asia" is euphemism for "suits China".

In diplomacy words carry a lot of weight until action enters the picture. Then words take the meaning of action simply because action speaks louder than words.

So China has been acting but Japan and South East Asia have not matched Chinese actions. We are only watching the opening gambit. What's next? Let's get real and stop wondering if the Chinese and the US wouldn't shoot at each other. It is much easier to understand why wouldn't they? If it had been just a matter of dollars and cents for everyone, that would be easy, which is also LKY theory why they will not battle each other. Now the issue is about national face, and this damn pride is more important than life. In other words they will fire their weapons to protect national pride.

Better to think in terms of how to deescalate from this prideful stupidity then try to prevent the inevitable only because it is taking a while to happen. China will find it is a big mistake to engage the Americans at sea when they are hardly a comparable force. National ego requires that they become the most powerful nation in 2049, so they work back from there with all the necessary achievement milestones between now and then. To me that is a dumb way to go. Safer and surer to read every moment well and keep progressing hiding your strength. Instead the Chinese are showing off before they are ready. Now there is another scenario to consider because of a political Black Swan in America.

Well the appearance of Donald Trump could bring back an isolationist America. There would be no US navy to face off the Chinese. East and South East Asia will become vassals of the Chinese Renaissance empire. Which scenario would eventuate depends how quickly things are happening as they move in parallel. The best is for the Chinese and Americans to understand each other better and trust each other at a deeper level. This is really hard because both civilizations are so different. In fact closing the white and black racial gap is much easier than the America and China gap. We have become wishful because it is so desirable but quite unrealistic. However if we can keep the status quo long enough for future Chinese leaders who will be going to school in America like Xi's daughter today then when they become leaders themselves, we have reasons to hold out for better outcomes.

Update: May 2 2:15pm

I first read this yesterday from Reuters. This is hardly friendly or aboveboard action. This is the sort of activities history tells us happen before there is war. Not that it must end up in war but they are the leading indicators suggesting telling you don't be surprised.

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