China’s Nine-Dashed Line: A Test For America’s Asia “Pivot”
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  • Brendan Doran

    “…a general settlement of all these questions along lines broadly acceptable to all parties must be America’s goal. We won’t reach it anytime soon, but it’s the only way to stop the endless round of crises and threats.”

    Or perhaps and in my opinion probably the result of our playing The Great Game with so many unstable players is: War. That’s where military alliances often lead.

    See The Carter Doctrine, the upholding of which will forever be blamed on the Bushes.

  • “In reality, what the US most wants is peace and the right of free navigation. As in many heated disputes around the world, the US doesn’t really care where the squabbling neighbors draw their boundary — we want them to stop quarreling and to agree. That’s incompatible with China riding roughshod over its neighbors, but it is also incompatible with endless crises any one of which could boil over into something larger.”

    Which point, as I see it, can hardly be overemphasized in these hamfisted, swagger-and-brutality-is-the-answer times we live in. (In other words, exactly the sort of times that require – paradoxically enough – the kind of practised delicacy of understanding, insight and mediation which for some reason tends to be in short supply on either Today’s market-fundamentalist Right or its multicultural-fundamentalist Left. Yet note how this same wise “Today” was able to generate such UNPRECEDENTED growth, prosperity and confidence [“Lifted whole CIVILIZATIONS out of poverty we did”] during the now-mythical Age of Greenspan . . .)

    No, it’s going to no simple or easy business to become once again the indispensable nation. But we’ve done it before. And with the right moral and cultural leadership (one that KNOWS on both sides how to keep the “fundamentalists” and other professional anti-patriots at bay)- plus the right allies and colleagues (I could’ve sworn I heard somebody say Anglosphere)- I see no inherent reason why we can’t do it again.

    “Whole civilizations out of poverty.” And what’s the good of that, I wonder, if we only succeed in plunging them deeper into recession, war, bullying or tyranny? Or worse yet, all four together? Oh, but I’m sure “civilization” will come forth from all these crises, not unscathed, but bigger, meaner – perhaps even more barbarous? – than ever before.

    What was it Heine advised future generations to come into the world with? Thick skins?

  • Kyle

    I think that America does care in the sense of it is wrong for China, an authoritarian dictatorship, to just claim that certain areas of the ocean belong to it.

  • Brendan Doran

    I have a solution.

    We grab them and plant Old Glory.

    Then build a Naval Base on Artificial moorings.

    That’s my Jacksonian solution.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    The only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them, and fight if necessary.

  • @ “This newfound strut in the steps of China’s smaller neighbor is a problem for American strategy . . .”

    To say nothing of the newfound strut in the steps of China’s leaders. I first noticed it at the Copenhagen summit on climate in 08.

  • Brendan Doran

    On the matter of all this fighting we’ve signed up for and our relations with client states I recommend Edward Luttwak’s Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire. Briefly we should be a powerful strategic reserve, the clients handle low and intermediate threats themselves, or at least locally tied forces handle the initial fighting. If it’s all on the Imperial or Hegemonic power it becomes strained and then exhausted along with its’ economic base.

    If you think it wise to risk war with China over *nothing* that is…

  • Jeff John

    That line is actually a dried noodle string which may have slipped from Mao’s chopsticks sometime in 1949….Mao was a sloppy noodle slurper it seems.

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