I've worked in China in the semiconductor business, stayed there and absorbed some of the things the west does not even know. I recommend reading "Poorly Made in China (2011)" by Paul Midler. It is surprisingly good - factual, objective look of deep issues with China's way of doing things. I resonate with the book with my personal experience.
Diplomacy is about being able to negotiate well, build trust and foster long term relationships, acknowledge mutual interests, differences and work towards solutions to problems. China has lost the brand image, probably forever. Despite a few positive experiences on the individual level, I hate working with Chinese businesses and would never want to go there. Fuck the Chinese government and its tentacles (Chinese corporations). The Chinese leadership does not understand that leadership is about inspiring others, taking care of the weak, keeping your promises and being able to independently think, innovate and set an example for other nations to follow. The way it is going, I can guarantee with certainty that they can have all the financial leverage, moral leverage is what you need in the long term; they can never become a superpower.
I do not understand what you mean by this, and what long term is to you. I want to be convinced, but I fail to see this as true.
What would be a superpower in your eyes, and which of the past examples of morally problematic powers (USSR, British/Spanish/Portuguese/French empires,for example) do you consider not to meet the definition, or not to have been "long term"?
They have over a billion people have have made significant investments over decades to indoctrinate nationalistic fervour. They have zero need to attract anyone. By statistics alone they have more “bright, creative” people than US+UK+EU combined, and far greater willingness to employ those people for national goals. The same people we have working on adtech and similar nonsense.
They do not need anyone to migrate, which is entirely different.
America has been a superpower based on capitalism for under a hundred years. That isn't long enough to see if it's a better way of building power than other philosophies just yet.
This seems to me like a bag of words, not a real concept that means something. It's like saying America is "a superpower based on Christianity," or "a superpower based on immigration," or "a superpower built on the back of slavery," or "a superpower based on the proposition that all men are created equal." Capitalism isn't even a philosophy, it's a side effect of freedom.
Is it? In the country where capitalism came from "in 1831 a mere 4,500 men, out of a population of more than 2.6 million people, were entitled to vote in parliamentary elections" http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/stru...
I split it like this: do you have people at the borders to keep people out, or keep people in. If you have to use force to keep your own citizens and regions in, well good luck to you.
On the other hand, if you have to refuse people and regions to join you, you're in a very good position.
That's why you can only keep using force and supression for so long, and history has shown that we evolve to more fair, moral systems.
PS, why US is not on your problematic powers list for what's done/doing in the Middle East?
> I do not understand what you mean by this, and what long term is to you. I want to be convinced, but I fail to see this as true.
I too am curious what it means. The only thing comes to mind is a variation of the just world fallacy.
Which nation is demonstrating this leadership then? In the current world, no one.
I believe firmly on the other hand: hard power is what makes a superpower, superpower. US is the superpower not for the moral sugar coating, which itself is an afterthought and curated national mythology by the said scholars, but for the dollar's reserve status and the military that enforces such status.
China probably couldn't be the superpower like US in 90s, a role model that everyone aspires to be. However in a world everyone is equally self-centric and nationalism-driven, it surely can be a superpower.
China has long been a world super power for thousands of years, and probably only lost that title after European renaissance. Read some history dude.
> I had a daily driver in Chengdu for over 1 month who spoke no English, zero, none at all - not even "yes" or "no". We communicated via Google translate (on VPN).
> I recommend reading "Poorly Made in China (2011)" by Paul Midler. It is surprisingly good - factual, objective look of deep issues with China's way of doing things. I resonate with the book with my personal experience.
> Diplomacy is about being able to negotiate well, build trust and foster long term relationships, acknowledge mutual interests and work towards solutions to problems. China has lost the brand image, probably forever.
I don't understand your sentiments here. You started your story by telling everyone you don't speak Chinese and can't communicate with local Chinese people and then later you said China lost the brand image, how can you come to that conclusion if you don't even speak Chinese understand the culture? Without understanding each other, how do you "negotiate well, build trust"? If all you know about China is based on the readings on NYT on China and a 2009 book about Chinese products (which btw, was originally published ten years ago in 2009, not 2011 as you mentioned) and your experience in semiconductor sector, then your view about China is very biased(due to NYT's long standing anti-China editorial board) limited, narrow minded and a decade outdated.
Lastly, your repeatedly usage of F-bomb doesn't make your arguments stronger, but make your seem like you have poor vocabulary.
There was an OpEd written by Ronny K. W. Tong, a former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, posted on SCMP, a major local Hong Kong newspaper published in English. I agree with it.
Of all the five demands:
1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill.
This is kinda of BS, even though HK government has completed gave in on this. The bill is effectively dead. But just think about it, this is about a case where a murder suspect who committed murder and was supposed to be face justice. HK law is probably too lenient on capital punishment than in mainland, which the suspect is mostly like to be served with death penalty. I can understand the fear HKers towards a in-transparent justice system with potential political descendants abuse.
2. A commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality
This is also BS. My first hand experience with HK Police has been very positive and professional. Any riots with colour revolution approach and significant violence against law enforcement, major damages to public infrastructure like subway stations, government buildings, and not a single protester was killed but hundreds of HK police officers were injured some were badly injured, a few were blind due to protester shooting high powered laser beams into the eyes of officers in short distance and doxxing against thousands of HK police officers and their spouses/children, this is practically unheard of anywhere in the history. The restraint there is unmatched.
Can you imagine if this happened in the U.S.? Any protester & violent rioters dare to post threat to law enforcement/police officers, they will be shoot or tased or choked dead. Pretty sure you will get near zero chance to win in arguing police brutality with the judge either. Ok, maybe U.S. is not a good example to compare to because gun ownership makes it unique. But what about the HK Police during British ruling? I haven't seen any comparison report before 1997 vs. after 1997. I will challenge the protester to do some homework on that topic and leave it at that.
3 Retracting the classification of protesters as “rioters”
BS x 3. See #2. Protest became violent, lots of HK Police officers were hurt and injured, even officers' spouses and children became doxxing victims. If this is not riots what is?
4. Amnesty for arrested protesters
BS x 4. You know what's screw-up after all these arrests? The foreign judges free them! Yes, you heard that right. Hong Kong inherits the legal justice system from the British ruling, like any other western countries, the judges are appointed for life. And you know what, most of the top judges are foreigners who are also citizens from the Commonwealth, by definition, that means these judges also pledge the allegiances to other countries in additional to Hong Kong. How could the judge be unbiased if they have dual/triple citizenship? What if their allegiances to other Commonwealth countries has a conflict of interests to their jobs as Hong Kong judges? This is also unheard of in any countries with a fair record of justice systems. Obviously, those foreign judges doesn't like to be criticized. They want to keep it that way.. If I were a Hong Konger, I certainly won't like to be judged by a foreign judge especially the judge pledge the allegiance to a hostile nation (UK) with a strong political biased than my own country (China).
5. Dual universal suffrage, meaning for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive
This wasn't part of the 1997 deal between UK + China. Hong Kong had never had universal suffrage under British ruling. So what makes the protesters think they will have a leverage on negotiating that? If the government doesn't agree to it, they burn down the whole city, block the subway and airport and make every Hong Konger suffer? I am being cynical here, under the current situation neither Beijing nor Hong Kong government would consider that.
I've read many OpEds and discussions, the consensus of mainland media focus on the living standard of average Hong Kongers were the major cause of social unrest. I agree with that.
The five demands have no bearing on changing the lives of lower class Hong Kongers and on the future hope of young Hong Kongers. Instead, they should be asking for changes in legislation on public housing (one of most expensive places to live on earth), on economic stimulus in creating jobs for youngsters, narrowing a huge income gap between the ultra wealthy and the poor lower class (a city with slightly less population with 20 billionaires with net worth over $2B, totally $170B, or 55% of the GDP controlled by 20 people/families, how did Hong Kong end up like that?). The social economical divide is astonishing.
Although democracy is arguably an ultimate destination for citizens to ask for, democracy doesn't necessary solve Hong Kong's social + economical problems that I outlined. Additionally, democracy doesn't necessarily bring prosperity, there are authoritarian states that people have a much better living standards, namely Saudi., UAE, Qatar and a bunch of middle eastern countries, and then there is Singapore.
The 5 demands of Hong Kong Rioters totally miss the point of urgent issues and introduce violence and break law & order is the wrong way for all of Hong Kong people. Let alone vast majority of the Hong Kong people did not fully agree with the protesters to begin with.
That's my opinion on the 5 demands.
Uhh have you seen the videos protesters are posting on Reddit? HK police ganging up on someone and kicking them while they're down, shooting someone in the torso point blank, going in plainclothes among protesters and throwing Molotov cocktails. I hope you get paid a bonus when they order you to drive the tank.
In many cultures it is disrespectful to make such comments, because they convey a thinly veiled demand to get the thing, otherwise the other person loses face for not being generous.
Can you imagine thinking that Americans would feel disrespected because a visiting foreigner made a cultural faux pas?
Oh my god, they didn’t stand up for the anthem!!! They asked my salary!!!
It happens a lot here in fact.
The situation described is two people who are acquaintances from different places trying to have an interested conversation, not just random people bumping into each other.
In general, gifts are complex. In some cultures you must refuse it some specific number of times, not to look greedy. But then you have to accept it, because getting help/gift is a bit submissive and results in gratefulness, and however little, the feeling of owing them back, which can create social ties.
I feel the same. This is especially apparent with how they handle their territorial disputes in South East Asia.
Hard to become a superpower when you are antagonizing your neighbors.
I think the historical super-powers would disagree. Rome conquered all its neighbours. Britain had mostly terrible relations with France from the 11th to the end of the 19th century (and, at least according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_great_powers, both can be reasonably viewed as superpowers in the 19th century).
And I'm fairly sure that the USA's relations with Latin America could readily be described as "antagonizing your neighbors" ...
This is not entirely true; Rome sent in the legions only when it had to. It “conquered” most of Britain via soft power, coopting local elites, introducing hypocausts, aqueducts and so on. Where it had to use hard power, it failed hence Hadrian’s Wall.
The main point I take from history is that the past does not necessarily determine the future. There's no such thing as fate. The Nazis could have won if they didn't make certain strategic errors. If Rome didn't make certain strategic errors, it would still be an empire today. China itself is older than Rome and there's really no guarantees that they don't win this whole cold war or whatever it is that's brewing.
I just don't see the same type of century old analogies panning out in today's world. A superpower cannot antagonize, bully, invade and destroy neighbors like they used to in 13th century.
Your point of the Nazi party sounds plausible - if Nazi party had slowly built up their power, I think they'd had a hard time spreading on a global scale.
But the cold war still happened and it lasted a long time and there were many proxy wars fought in the process.
If world economy tanked for some reason and we found ourselves in another great depression, then all bets are off, though. Desperate people will do desperate things. They are more easily manipulated.
Any number of things could shift and the world is not as well put together as we would like to believe. It's a lot of duct tape and glue holding the whole thing together.
Rome never forced Latin language on their members the way Mandarin was. Count the extant variants of Chinese and how they declined. In fact Greek was held in high esteem in the Roman empire.
Er, is this true? I'd have thought quite the opposite: hard to become a superpower _without_ antagonizing neighbors.
Canada has almost always been a virtual non-entity due to things like their incredible population sparsity and longitudinal cultural/economic integration with regions of the US. They are a counterexample, but the pattern very much points in my direction IMO.
On top of that, we're talking about _becoming_ a superpower, not being one. Once you're already a superpower, your neighbors often become varying degrees of vassal, which is why Mexico and Canada are among our closest allies. You're hardly a superpower if you haven't neutralized your neighbors (diplomatically or otherwise). Look at the blood feuds over tiny bits of land in the rest of the world, and consider how cool Mexico seemingly is with their land's massive, unprovoked conquest. They accepted it (and their good relationship with us) because they didn't have a better choice.
How many superpowers can you think of that didn't antagonize their neighbors, especially on their way to becoming one? Rome? Persia? Britain? Russia?
Then again, the US has antagonized many countries simply by electing Donald Trump.
 In the inter-war period, the US military used a series of color classification schemes to sketch out what the US response to wars with various countries would look like. Red was Britain. And in event of war with the UK, the US plan was to invade Canada, irrespective of Canada declaring neutrality (which was Canada's plan in such a scenario).
Not to mention there's lots of dislike towards Trump's tendency to rip up treaties just because Obama signed them--Vietnam wasn't happy about Trump dropping TPP, Europe was not a fan of him leaving the Paris climate treaty or the Iran nuclear treaty, etc.
UK is an island and a seabased power whose primary interest in Europe was to prevent the creation of a dominant European power which could overpower it. Therefore it created a number of alliances and rivalries to serve this purpose. On other continents, however, it were more aggressive to secure trade and colonies.
The USSR as a landbased Empire that had a flat border to the west, was fairly hostile to its western neighbors in Eastern Europe and even to China to the East. Although a Russian would argue that they created buffer states in response to the memory of being invaded twice by Napoleon and Hitler.
The USA is a sea based empire with a continent behind it. Therefore it originally was very hostile against its neighbors, be they Native American or European colonies. After securing the continent by reaching the Pacific, it ensured the dominance of the Caribbean through the Monroe Doctrine (similar to China's position vis-a-vis the South China Sea) today. And then afterwards played Balance of Power against any major power from emerging on Eurasia.
China has a number of formidable foes on its immediate periphery. It is almost impossible to dominate them all militarily, especially with the US against it. Therefore it will attempt to establish economic dominance over Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The Belt and Road initiative alleviates it from a over reliance on Sea based imports of oil (especially through the Strait of Malacca which the US navy could easily blockade).
Nearly the entire history of the Ancient Near East was superpowers antagonizing their neighbors. Throughout human history, superpowers NOT antagonizing their neighbors is almost unheard of. The easiest way to become a superpower, historically, was to antagonize your neighbors.