Mission Accomplished

While we in the moribund West gabble self-congratulatory nonsense about the “right” and “wrong” sides of history, China — which doesn’t bother with such rubbish — is rapidly reconfiguring itself. It has always been aware of the risks that Western infection brings, and so it is clamping down on foreign influences, and on the free expression of ideas (such freedom of expression being itself a Western notion, of course, and a relatively recent one at that). Foreign journalists and NGOs are leaving the country, and homegrown muckrakers are being rounded up, pour encourager les autres.

Meanwhile, China’s regional expansion made another great leap forward this week, with word that their Navy will begin land-reclamation work at Scarborough Shoal, just west of Luzon.

What has made this great expansion possible? The great wealth that China has accumulated through, among other things, its openness to global trade and influences — and in particular, the 3.6 trillion-dollar trade surplus it has racked up against a decadent and profligate United States since the year 2000. That kind of money will buy a lot of nice new things, including a robust and rambunctious military, and a fat class of loyal political dependents.

Now China, having banked a substantial fraction of the wealth of the West, has the luxury of letting itself “be itself” once again, in far more comfortable circumstances. We will point, and sputter, but little more than that, I think. Really, it’s about all we can manage these days, anyway.

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  1. Kevin Kim says

    A shame, too, about the point-and-sputter. We could easily afford to go more hawkish re: China’s imperialism in SE Asian waters (and elsewhere) without being too worried about the risk of war. I say this because I’m pretty sure that, were the US and China ever to go to war, the first thing the US would do would be to declare unilaterally that any debt to China would be null and void—it’d be war, after all, and anything goes.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink
  2. djf says

    The Left in the West, in North America as well as Western Europe, is also beginning to shut down freedom of expression, although, unlike China, without the goal of increasing the civilization’s power against foreign adversaries. Quite the contrary.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  3. Whitewall says

    Sounds like a good time to stir up some internal strife among the various forces within China. There are many Chinas within China. This can be put to good use. A standing army the size of China’s is not for offensive purposes as much as it is for domestic purposes. Keep them busy.

    Meantime, here at home, and in much of the West, there is a common enemy that has never been identified, called out and fought like the threat they are…the Left.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink
  4. Joe says

    Somewhat timely you write about China, I’m about to go on my second trip to China. My first was a short trip to test the water, and this time I’m spending a month there, travelling from top to bottom. Inside China you definitely get the feeling they are on the rise, but not the same as other former third world countries. China is on the rise to becoming the next great super power. I come from Melbourne, Australia, which was just voted the most liveable city in the world for the 5th time in a row. Yet, catching the subway in Melbourne is like travelling on a train in some upmarket area of India, the trains are decades old, don’t run to schedule, break down a fair amount and before they out police on virtually every station you’d be as likely to be robbed. Compare this to China, modern trains, mag lev, even bullet trains, that run perfectly to schedule, very safe, almost no police to be seen, complete with all the latest digital displays inside in Chinese and English. I think the Chinese are watching the West’s obsession with guilt politics with a keen eye, knowing every year we obsess over the feelings of minorities they get a little stronger and dominate their region a little bit more. It’s not a perfect utopia, but they are on the rise, and the west is in decline.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  5. Interesting times.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  6. Epicaric says

    Well, we can all breathe more easily now that we have reconstituted our military presence in the Philippines at the behest of that critical ally, and thus equally safeguarding critical US national interests: Our supply of wicker garden furniture shall not be threatened!
    In other news, Pier One stock up 2 and 1/4.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  7. JK says

    Sounds like a good time to stir up some internal strife among the various forces within China.

    Patience there Whitewall, or, in nautical terms, ‘steady as she goes’ (at least until next January).

    Yeah I know Friend Whitewall, you’ve seen this ‘over there’ but, for the benefit of our fellow Wakaians who may not be familiar with, what I am mindful of …


    Posted April 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
  8. Speaking of HRC, JK, where are we with that FBI investigation thingee? I haven’t heard squat about it lately (or did I miss something while watching the NBA playoffs?).

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  9. Whitewall says

    That Judicial Watch link sounds like an intro to global organized crime.

    Henry, FBI being quiet might be a positive thing.

    JK, that “get inside” and stir things up used to be a habit of mine back in the day. Twenty five years in the real estate business never erased old attitudes from before that.

    Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  10. JK says

    Eh Henry, how longs it been since you enjoyed your breakfast?



    Yeah Whitewall, ordinarily I’d be agreeing that it’s a good time to stir, but just now ain’t exactly what I’d deem “ordinary.”

    Posted April 29, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  11. “Eh Henry, how longs [sic] it been since you enjoyed your breakfast?”


    It’s been about 12 hours. I have my breakfast for lunch and my lunch for dinner. I usually skip breakfast time, however.

    So anyway, if HRC is going to get indicted, what the heck is taking so long?

    Posted April 30, 2016 at 2:26 am | Permalink