January 3, 2014

Why China Can't Rise Quietly

James Holmes, The Diplomat

The Associated Press

There’s a hidden dialogue between Clausewitz and Sun Tzu that may help clarify the lordly attitude China takes in quarrels with Asian neighbors that defy its will. It’s all about the narrative spun for target audiences, the Chinese populace most of all. Think about it. Negotiating with ‘furriners’ entails more tedium than glory. Diplomacy is dull and drawn-out and produces gradual, amorphous results. It fires few passions among those who matter. Combat is brief and exciting and, when done right, yields immediate, concrete results. It’s a focal point for national pride. China thus appears conflicted. It wants to achieve its goals short of war while reaping the propaganda harvest it would get from war.

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TAGGED: China

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