03 September 2009

Why we shouldn't worry about China as a global power...

>Once again, there are riots in Xinjiang, as this time to denounce "deteriorating law and order." Apparently someone or some group of people has been randomly attacking people by stabbing them with hypodermic needles. While the needle part is weird, the unrest is not. Riots happen all the time in China, and the numbers are growing. Remember:

Riots in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Guizhou.

Until China can get its domestic population less angry and more involved in the system, or at least pacified into submission, it will not be able to be the great threat to the international system many try to make it out to be. And with the transnational advocacy groups at work in (at least) Xinjiang and Xizang (East Turkestan and Tibet to the inhabitants), I see little ability to stop the unrest there.

Which brings us to the other China related news. Australia and the US have asked China to take part in war games. While (for the above reasons) I don't think we have to worry about China surpassing the US as the global power, it is still good to see the US (and Australia!) engage in this kind of cooperation and tension reduction. Even a minor power that feels isolated can cause trouble, even if not the world-shaking kind. This is the kind of gesture that costs little and rewards much, I think.

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