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Ben Gee
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I was born in China in 1942, came to Canada in 1956. I earned a B Sc in physics, B Ed in Mathematics, and M A in Developmental Economics. I taught 4 years in public school and 23 years in a junior college. I retired in 2003.
  • China, Friend Or Foe 3 comments
    Jul 18, 2012 3:33 PM

    China can be a great friend or a terrible foe.

    To understand China, one has to know a little history of China, where China came from, why is China the way it is.

    In China's 5000 year history, China had many ups and many downs.

    From mid 1800's to mid 1900's, China faced one of its darkest periods in its history. During this period, China was invaded, robbed, burned, and spitted on by Western powers and Japan.

    In 1949, Mao's Communist Party came to power. He wanted to make China powerful both economically and militarily in a hurry. His economic Great Leap Forward and Cultural revolution were disasters.

    After Mao died and when Deng became the Chinese leader, he changed direction. He knew that communism will neither make China economically powerful nor stable.

    From 1978 to the present, China grew rapidly to become the 2nd largest economy after the USA.

    Back to the title, is China a friend or foe? China has many friends and some foes. For the countries that want China to be a friend, China is happy to accommodate. For those countries that treat China as a foe, China would accommodate them too.

    China is a big country and has many neighbors. There were many disputes among neighbors from the past. China prefer to settle these disputes with talks rather than force.

    To date, China settled all the disputes with its eight northern and western neighbors. China want to settle with the rest of the neighbors using the same way, bilateral talks. Some tried to bring in outside influence.

    In the first 30 years after 1949 when the CPC took control of China, China had a few military encounters with its neighbors. They were all very brief and nothing were settled. In the last 30 years, Asia was relatively trouble free. Chinese leaders since Mao wanted to concentrate on economic developments. Military spending was reduced to a minimum, as little as 1.4% of GDP. THe US spend as much as 4% of its GDP on the military. Even India spend about 3% of its GDP on defence.

    However, in the last two years, since the US started a "back to Asia" movement, troubles started to brew. Is it a coincidence? China certainly did not think so because since then, China upped its military spending by as much as 15% by some estimate and acquired a aircraft carrier too. Is that the beginning of a new arms race in Asia? I certainly hope not.

    The former USSR got into economic trouble by trying to keep up an arms race with the US. We knew what happened to the former USSR. I hope China does not make the same mistake. But will China allow Japan and the Philippines to walk all over China?

    Coincidentally, China's economy started to slow down in the last two years. Will that make Chinese leaders less tolerant?

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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Comments (3)
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  • crademan
    , contributor
    Comments (2750) | Send Message
    Thank you for sharing your insights into the mainland Chinese government's policy of settling disputes with neighboring countries through diplomacy. Do you have a comment on the importance of the role that support from the offshore Chinese diaspora has played in China's development since WWII?
    27 May 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • seekingfoolishness
    , contributor
    Comments (347) | Send Message
    China has fought WARS, not military encounters with practically all its neighbors. It is provoking the same mistrust with its neghbours in the south china sea over the infamous "nine dashed line" A policy with no historical, legal or moral basis. This is why many in the west are beginning to view China (even we friends of China) as aggressive, militaristic and a denier of basic human rights. Sadly the wonderful legacy of Deng Xiao Ping (perhaps one of the finest statesmen the world has ever known) is being shoved aside by the inheritors of the mantle of leadership of the CCP.
    31 May 2015, 06:05 AM Reply Like
  • pat loh
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    as old saying


    the china now is not the same as before


    there is ample reason to worry other nations
    like USA will use a chain to log in the dragon
    this had been us policy since the Korean war


    china had fought two proxy wars with us ---
    Vietnam and Korea
    it was a war between ''americanism :"
    vs "Confusiosism"
    and there very much will be a third
    if ration did not check out


    if us send navel to patrol the Chinese coast
    i am sure china government will build one million
    missiles to defend motherland
    it is too bad there just might trigger a nuclear war
    there are always the dove and the eagle camps
    in all nations
    it is tough to choose between nationalism and
    serenity in time of crisis


    look at the terrorist of Isis - they exist because in history of mankind
    there were ample evidence of these monsters
    they existed in the past , at the present and also in the
    future . we build weapon to kill not to show
    a knife is useful in the kitchen but it can be used to kill
    your spouse


    in history, emotion played a much heavier role
    in human mind - look at the background of
    world war
    27 Jan, 04:50 PM Reply Like
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