China: War or Peace?

Before we impart on building a framework for peace, we must first understand the circumstances that make such a framework necessary.

During World War Two, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and other powers assisted the Chinese people and the legitimate Kuomintang Chinese government confront and then defeat the Imperial Japanese. This legitimate Chinese government is now ensconced on the island of Taiwan. This is the Republic of Taiwan.

When the Imperial Japanese were defeated, Mao Zedong led the Imperial Communist forces to victory over the forces of the Republic of China which were now exhausted by 15 years of constant warfare with Imperial Japan.

That the Imperial Communist Chinese government persuaded its people to fight a war against the United States just a few years later — a nation who had assisted the Chinese people in every way, losing thousands of lives and shedding the blood of its young men to help make China free — is prima facie evidence of the duplicity and ulterior motives that lie at the heart of the Imperial Communist Chinese government.

President Nixon and Chairman Mao began a rapprochement in 1973 that began a long period of a steadily improving relationship between the United States and China, and leaders and the people of the United States began to feel that maybe China wasn’t so bad after all.

Then in the first breath of the “Freedom Spring” which later blossomed and traveled across the world, in over 300 of China’s cites, 100 million students, housewives, factory workers, academics, technicians and local government officials demonstrated for freedom, reforms and an end to corruption within the Imperial Communist Chinese government.

As these demonstrations were winding down in late May of 1989, 100,000 students and demonstrators occupied Tiananmen Square. On the night of June 3rd and 4th, 1989, the Imperial Communist Chinese government sent in troops, tanks and armored vehicles to clear the square.

The students resisted and the troops opened fire while tanks and armored vehicles crushed innocent boys and girls beneath their treads. 7,000 innocent Chinese students died and many thousands more were injured. Hospital floors ran red with the blood of the innocent, mercilessly gunned down and run over by the apparatus of the Imperial Communist Chinese government.

Maybe China couldn’t be trusted after all.

In the United States, the myth of a peaceful Chinese government was destroyed and the reality of the Imperial Communist Chinese government was revealed for what it truly was — a monstrous, evil government that crushes the hopes and dreams of political freedom, liberty, a free press of its own people, the people it claims to protect, but whose actions expose that claim as a lie.

In the western world we have a proverb, “actions speak louder than words.” The actions of the Imperial Communist Chinese government do not only speak louder than its words, their actions contradict them.

Now we fast forward to today. Since the dismaying days of 1989, the United States has reached out to China, providing technological support, favorable nation trade status, helping it to join the World Trade Organization, helping it and hoping it will join the ranks of law-abiding nations worldwide.

This was truly a new rapprochement and Chinese students in droves attended American colleges and universities; trade flourished between the nations and American athletic teams toured and traveled throughout China while Chinese performers and artists toured the USA.

In 2008, China hosted the Summer Olympics which many say was the most spectacular Olympics of all. This was a great accomplishment and an impressive display of the potential a peaceful China can have toward contributing to the world in terms of its culture, history, entrepreneurship and engineering.

But how has China responded?

China has retained its tariffs sealing its’ domestic markets against American goods while Chinese goods flood the American market. American companies seeking to expand into the Chinese market must hand over their proprietary secrets in order to operate in China, China steals intellectual property of hundreds of copyright and patent holders around the world and it indiscriminately attacks the electrical and Internet networks of other nations and the United States through cyber warfare.

In the South China Sea, China invades the islands of other nations and builds islands in the open sea where no island existed before within the territories of other nations, damaging the marine environment, discouraging shipping and fishing, killing sailors and soldiers of other nations, using its naval forces to ram into the ships of other nations, invading other nations’ territorial waters to conduct oil exploration or fishing and ignoring all norms of international law, morality or decency.

President Obama was promised by Xi Jinping that China would never militarize the islands it had constructed in the South China Sea. But that is precisely what China has done. As a result, we now know that Xi Jinping cannot be trusted and his words are meaningless dribble. The Native Americans had a phrase they used to describe a person who has the same duplicitous character as Xi Jinping. They said that such a man spoke “with a forked tongue.”

China has dishonored its commitment to the United Kingdom by interfering with the political process and squelching the free press in Hong Kong when it assured London it never would. Throughout China, it has jailed dissidents, raided peaceful churches and imprisoned those who dare to express independent thought outside the script of Imperial Communist policy.

China threatens its neighbors with armed invasion even though these nations seek only freedom and liberty independent of China. The Republic of China on Taiwan seeks only to live in peace; but China promises only war. These are not the actions of a benevolent China, they are analogous to those of Adolph Hitler prior to World War Two.

At the beginning of World War Two, Adolph Hitler changed the laws to make himself President-for-Life. Xi Jinping has done the same, changing the Chinese Constitution to make himself President-for-Life. Hitler began accruing all national power to himself, Xi Jinping is doing the same. If we recognize Hitler as a dictator, how then do we describe Xi Jinping? As Hitler gained in power he crushed freedom, jailed those who opposed his policies, confiscated the wealth and lands of dissidents and conducted “medical experiments” on people without benefit of anesthesia. Similar events are occurring in China today.

Through its actions, the Imperial Communist Chinese government displays the behavior of a spoiled child. It cannot be trusted.

As a result of this aggressive behavior and the constant threats of force, the nations in the western Pacific region are rapidly building up their militaries to counter the growing threat from China and asking for assistance and aid from the United States.

It is the belief of the United States that all nations can live in harmony with each other when each nation respects international law.

In the western Pacific region, this role has fallen largely to the United States Navy. Other than two wars, in Vietnam and on the Korean peninsula, the U.S. Navy has maintained the peace of the western Pacific and has continued to do so for almost three quarters of a century. Now the Imperial Communist Chinese party threatens that peace.

Lest it be overlooked, the United States has not been perfect — far from it.

From overthrowing legitimately elected governments, to economic coercion, from diplomatic blackmail to outright invasion, the concept of a peaceful world power had disappeared through its actions.

Much of these acts by both powers are inexcusable. But a way — a peaceful way forward must be found.

First let us establish a broad framework before we address the details of a way forward.

All nations seek peace. We share a single planet that is being stripped of its forests and increasing in environmental disaster.

We hope our children have a better future than our own; we seek good friends, good health, honest relationships and good careers. We seek the love of a man or woman and we seek to express our love. We desire drama free lives and the income to enjoy them. We seek the potential to dream dreams and achieve them. Some of us desire to start a business, others find their passion in art or music, some people give all they have to those less fortunate than they, while others seek to live their lives in harmony with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the teeming cities.

As human beings, we share common feelings, we share common aspirations and we seek similar goals. We establish institutions of government among men that we may live the lives we choose, to aspire to our hopes and dreams and to protect us from the dark desires of others.

Yet our Founding Fathers recognized that men of darkness aspire to the highest reaches of political power and sometimes attain them. They knew that the best governments can do wrong, and that all governments will eventually grow insidiously and invasively to control the lives and confiscate the wealth of its citizens. To counter this tendency, they established a Constitution whose structure and framework seemed adequate to stymie these overreaches of government.

All human beings aspire to liberty. If the citizens of Russia, Iran, China, Cuba and North Korea were allowed to speak freely, they would all agree that liberty and the pursuit of happiness are both goals that we all desire.

How then do we frame a world of peace when the governments of the world have such disparate aims?

How do we build a workable framework when we must bridge the gap between an authoritarian state like Russia and a state such as the Vatican?

How do we bridge the gaps when a nation such as Israel is surrounded by enemies?

How do we build the framework of peace when men of dark design gain the weapons of war, the reins of government and indoctrinate the people to their own dark designs?

And how do we build a world of peace when great powers of near equal potentials hold divergent views on how the world works, to the desires people aspire to and that resolution of differences on the battlefield are acceptable means of government policy?

The answers lie in the very questions we have asked.

Nations of near equal capabilities, whose world views are so divergent, must unite on common principles and themes while agreeing to build a framework that assures peace even when the times turn dark and no other option but war stares them in the face. This is the critical moment when each nation involved must take a breath and step back from the brink because the destructiveness of even conventional war in our times is almost incomprehensible.

First, each nation must commit to a policy of not attacking or invading another or using force except upon invasion by another power, to assist treaty partners or friends, in defense of national strategic interests, in defense of territorial integrity and to enforce international law.

When these interests clash or contradict each other, force must not be the first action we take, but the last, when all other possibilities are exhausted.

Instead of force of arms we must take up the implements of compromise and seek common ground. First, we need to ask ourselves a series of questions: 1. Where do we disagree? 2. What alternatives are available? 3. Is arbitration a viable option? 4. What actions would violate international law? And then, 5. on what factors do we agree?

From this beginning, we may be able to reduce the chances of conflict between powers and actors.

Second, we should establish a “hot line” system where each national leader can immediately contact any or all other national leaders who have joined in this commitment.

Third, regular non-specific, and non-summit face-to-face meetings should be held at least quarterly. These meetings should be meetings to only discuss common problems and issues, and to generate a level of trust between leaders, not necessarily to resolve challenges. Let the technicians, ministers and secretaries work out any resolution.

Fourth, we must seek areas where we can agree to work together; to assist shipping in the Indian Ocean against pirates, to help each other inject resources, aid and supplies into areas of natural disaster, to provide food, clothing, water, shelter and health care in areas where these basic fundamentals of living are lacking, to aid and assist each other in the exploration of space, to commit to working together to find a way toward peace in areas where war has torn the region apart.

Fifth, in our discussions with those nations with whom we may disagree on many issues, we must find some program, some step or some course of action, regardless of how trivial it may seem, on which we can agree and jointly implement that program. If we continue to seek such measures and implement them as we are able, we may eventually find ourselves standing on the threshold of a lasting, full-scale peace between us.

Sixth, all nations must recognize that the world is multipolar. Great nations will rise and fall. Some will diminish as others ascend. When we recognize this as the natural evolution of the human race, we can sit back and enjoy the ride rather than escalating to war.

Seventh, in a multipolar world, in which several nations may be peer competitors, we must observe and adhere to strict interpretations of international law in trade, commerce, cyber warfare — which must cease — and intellectual property, which must be protected.

As nations gain in power or lose stature, each nation, whether rising or declining, must commit to adhere to these international principles, commitments and to cooperation. War must be the final solution, not the first.

When nations act dishonorably, when they threaten their neighbors whether Taiwan, Ukraine or Israel, when nations grab lands not their own or build land in the territories of other nations, when they steal intellectual property, when they coerce, cajole and extort other leaders or nations or global actors to their own cause, when they seek to expand their land through force which is imperialism, then we have crushed the seeds of peace.

It is when nations and actors pursue a path of actions just short of war, that their opponents may find no solution other than a kinetic solution. This is poison to the seeds of peace.

The seeds of peace must be nurtured. They must be allowed to take root and grow.

It is only when we seek peace, that peace may be possible, but when we seek war, we make war almost inevitable.

Urban philosopher, author, teacher, American.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store