“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, March 01, 2010


China PLA officer urges challenging U.S. dominance
Chris Buckley
Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:11pm EST

BEIJING (Reuters) - China should build the world's strongest military and move swiftly to topple the United States as the global "champion," a senior Chinese PLA officer says in a new book reflecting swelling nationalist ambitions.


The call for China to abandon modesty about its global goals and "sprint to become world number one" comes from a People's Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Colonel, Liu Mingfu, who warns that his nation's ascent will alarm Washington, risking war despite Beijing's hopes for a "peaceful rise."

"China's big goal in the 21st century is to become world number one, the top power," Liu writes in his newly published Chinese-language book, "The China Dream."

"If China in the 21st century cannot become world number one, cannot become the top power, then inevitably it will become a straggler that is cast aside," writes Liu, a professor at the elite National Defense University, which trains rising officers.

His 303-page book stands out for its boldness even in a recent chorus of strident Chinese voices demanding a hard shove back against Washington over trade, Tibet, human rights, and arms sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.

"As long as China seeks to rise to become world number one ... then even if China is even more capitalist than the U.S., the U.S. will still be determined to contain it," writes Liu.

Rivalry between the two powers is a "competition to be the leading country, a conflict over who rises and falls to dominate the world," says Liu. "To save itself, to save the world, China must prepare to become the (world's) helmsman."

"The China Dream" does not represent government policy, which has been far less strident about the nation's goals.

Liu's book testifies to the homegrown pressures on China's Communist Party leadership to show the country's fast economic growth is translating into greater sway against the West, still mired in an economic slowdown.

The next marker of how China's leaders are handling these swelling expectations may come later this week, when the government is likely to announce its defense budget for 2010, after a 14.9 percent rise last year on the one in 2008.

"This book represents my personal views, but I think it also reflects a tide of thought," Liu told Reuters in an interview. "We need a military rise as well as an economic rise."

Another PLA officer has said this year's defense budget should send a defiant signal to Washington after the Obama administration went ahead in January with long-known plans to sell $6.4 billion worth of arms to Taiwan.

"I think one part of 'public opinion' that the leadership pays attention to is elite opinion, and that includes the PLA," said Alan Romberg, an expert on China and Taiwan at the Henry L. Stimson Center, an institute in Washington D.C.

"I think the authorities are seeking to keep control of the reaction, even as they need to take (it) into account," Romberg said in an emailed response to questions.

Liu argues that China should use its growing revenues to become the world's biggest military power, so strong the United States "would not dare and would not be able to intervene in military conflict in the Taiwan Strait."

"If China's goal for military strength is not to pass the United States and Russia, then China is locking itself into being a third-rate military power," he writes. "Turn some money bags into bullet holders."

China's leaders do not want to jeopardize ties with the United States, a key trade partner and still by far the world's biggest economy and military power.

Yet Chinese public ire, echoed on the Internet, means policy-makers have to tread more carefully when handling rival domestic and foreign demands, said Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing.

"Chinese society is changing, and you see that in all the domestic views now on what China should do about the United States," said Jin. "If society demands a stronger stance, ignoring that can bring a certain cost."

Liu's book was officially published in January, but is only now being sold in Beijing bookstores.


In recent months, strains have widened between Beijing and Washington over trade, Internet controls, climate change, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and President Barack Obama's meeting with Tibet's exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, who China reviles.

China has so far responded with angry words and a threat to sanction U.S. companies involved in the Taiwan arms sales. But it has not acted on that threat and has allowed a U.S. aircraft carrier to visit Hong Kong.

Over the weekend, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he wanted trade friction with the United States to ease. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg is due to visit Beijing this week.

Liu and other PLA officers, however, say they see little chance of avoiding deepening rivalry with the United States, whether peaceful or warlike.

"I'm very pessimistic about the future," writes another PLA officer, Colonel Dai Xu, in another recently published book that claims China is largely surrounded by hostile or wary countries beholden to the United States.

"I believe that China cannot escape the calamity of war, and this calamity may come in the not-too-distant future, at most in 10 to 20 years," writes Dai.

"If the United States can light a fire in China's backyard, we can also light a fire in their backyard," warns Dai.

Liu said he hoped China and the United States could manage their rivalry through peaceful competition.

"In his State of the Union speech, Obama said the United States would never accept coming second-place, but if he reads my book he'll know China does not want to always be a runner-up," said Liu in the interview.


  1. It ought to be illegal for anyone of the rank of Colonel (in Any country) to make public statements about Anything. It always ends up the same: "We gotta go to war, before they go to war on us."

    They got their nutcakes just like we do.

  2. "Global Champion" is translated "World Policeman". China is welcome to it.

  3. China does have a need to fill..

    It needs to protect the trade routes,shipping lanes of their ships...

    It needs to protect the thousands of factories now being built in africa and south america...

    China needs to protect it'sself from japan, india and russia (to name a few)

    Go forth and spend!

    But as it's takes the lead on so many fronts, it also has to start paying for what it currently STEALS

  4. Pilot gas mask center opens in Or Yehuda
    28/02/2010 22:49

    “I’m not afraid of an attack, but it’s important to be prepared in any case.”

    The IDF Home Front Command, together with the Israel Postal Company (IPC), opened a gas mask distribution center, where residents of the city can pick up their upgraded biological and chemical warfare protection kits.

    The distribution center in Or Yehuda is the test case upon which country-wide distribution will be modeled. The pilot project is scheduled to last 10 days and will operate out of eight points across the city. To enable the entire population to be refitted quickly and efficiently, the distribution points at IPC branches will be open for extended hours.

    “There is a lot of logistics involved in an operation like this. It is up to us to make sure the entire population is provided with gas masks. That means we have to make sure everybody knows about the distribution and either comes to the centers or orders a delivery to their houses and make sure that every person has the right mask that suits them,” said Mazaki. “We work closely with the army and if any problems come up we refer the citizens to them.”

    A new service that is available from the post office is to have the mask and the kit delivered to an individual’s home. For a fee of NIS 25, a carrier will deliver any number of kits to a given address and even pick the old kits up if necessary.

  5. We all fear the Canadians now.

    Last night was some bad mojo.

  6. there is nothing to fear but yourselves!

  7. Yeah, well, if that were the case...

  8. it is the case dear trish - there are big problems that need addressing (health care and financial regulation primarily) and the dysfunctional US political system appears to be incapable of dealing with them.

  9. CANADA - The Benchmark for all things Medical, Political, and Ice.

  10. Canada has fared pretty well through these troubled economic times. No banks failed, unemployment has remained steady, the housing market has remained stable, and today they just announced 5% annualized GDP growth. Even with a minority government things get done. How's it lookin' down there??

  11. Canada and Canadians would not exist if it weren't for the mothership USA.

  12. Being the US's largest trading partner Canada certainly is reliant upon the US but even with the mess down there Canada has done ok.

  13. Exports grew by 3.7%, up from 2.9% growth in the third quarter, led by automotive products. Imports were up 2.2%, after an 8% increase in the previous quarter.

    The Bank of Canada has left its key lending rate at a record low 0.25% in an effort to encourage economic growth. The central bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold at its Tuesday monetary policy meeting, after pledging not to raise borrowing costs until the second half of 2010 -- unless inflation became a concern as the economy recovered.

    "This report shouts strength, and increases the odds the Bank of Canada will begin to hike interest rates in July and stay on that path in the following decisions," said Douglas Porter. deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

    Picks Up Speed

  14. Australia is in pretty good shape as well or so I've read.

  15. Yep, the GFC didn't have as big of an impact here as other countries around the world.

    Watched an interview just the other day and this guy was speculating that the budget was in surplus when the GFC hit which helped.

  16. Several Latin American leaders attended the inauguration in the capital Montevideo, as did the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

    Mr Mujica, aged 74, is a senator from the governing Broad Front coalition.

    In the 1960s and 1970s, Mr Mujica was a member of the left-wing rebel Tupamaros movement.

    Uruguay's President

  17. But one man, from one of Karadzic's former strongholds, thinks the trial is important, not to convict the wartime leader but to expose what really happened.

    "To kill 7,000 people, you need a lot of time and a lot of soldiers," he said.


    Karadzic plans to represent himself throughout the proceedings but his legal adviser, Peter Robinson, says that might change if he refuses to cross examine witnesses.

    Serb Cause

  18. Who is the most hated man in the US Senate?

    Harry Reid?

    How about Jim Bunning?

    Jim Bunning Holds Up Emergancy Benefits Bill


  19. Rufus, first of all a) I'm not your sweetheart b) I don't even know who Lee Marvin is and c) I'm not getting in your business, I was just stating an opinion.

    I like brunettes who drive fast cars, too.

    And now we have to change rooms because the nice lady next door told us we were too loud.

  20. Here's Lee Marvin, Melody. You've seen him in old movies like "The Dirty Dozen". NOT my cuppa tea.

  21. ...from whit's previous link: "extrajudicial execution"...

    That does roll off the tongue nicely.

    Meanwhile, the Israeli spy, son of a Hamas founder, has been disowned by his father. Ya think?

  22. Quirk said...
    Who is the most hated man in the US Senate?

    Harry Reid?

    How about Jim Bunning?

    Jim Bunning Holds Up Emergancy Benefits Bill

    Give me a fucking break...

    a YEAR AND A HALF of Unemployment Benefits?

    Give me a break...

    Get off your asses and get on with your life...


    Start a business cleaning gutters...

    Sell hotdogs....

    Scrub toilets....

    Start over at the bottom...

    EARN some new success...

    and before you start giving me shit...

    I have... done all of the above WITHOUT taking Unemployement Benefit....

    I have lost many jobs, I have lost everything....

    It's America folks...

    Get off your ass and up up your pants....

  23. You informed me that I shouldn't find attractive the woman I find attractive. THAT'S getting in my business. Fine, whoever that guy was you were touting in the last thread.

  24. WIO, that's the smartest thing you've said that has made sense to me, in a long time.

    Welcome...pull up a chair. So-co and lime?


  25. Palestinian Authority: Keep Hebron cave off Jew's heritage list

    In protest of Israel daring to add two major historic Jewish Sites the PA moves it's weekly cabinet meeting from Ramallah to Hebron.

    The Palestinian Authority on Monday called on the international community to stop Israel from placing the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem on its list of national heritage sties. The Palestinian Authority declared that Jews have no heritage rights to the sites.

    In a statement that it released after its meeting, the PA said that this decision was against international law.

    "These sites are an inseparable part of Palestinian land which has been occupied since 1967. The PA has turned to all the international bodies to demand that it oppose Israel's decision and cause its abolishment," said the PA.

    The PA also recently sued in international court to have Israel turn over the Dead Sea Scrolls to it as it was an important part of Palestinian history...

    The PA also spoke of its opposition to Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, including its construction of Jewish homes and demolition of Palestinian homes there as well as the steps it took Sunday to quell rock throwing Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount that were trying to crush the skulls of Israelis and international tourists..

    It also turned to the European Union to ask that it help stop Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.

    On Monday the EU said that Israel was harming the peace process, the EU continued that Jews have no rights to purchase lands in lands of Arab origin

    A spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the EU policy chief said in a statement that she regarded the addition of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb "as detrimental to the attempts to re-launch peace negotiations. The EU calls on Israel to refrain from provocative acts." Also stating it was understandable that Israel simply being was intolerable and that they understood suicide bombers would seek to kill such a bacteria as Israel.

    Since the sites were placed on the list on February 21, Palestinians have clashed with the IDF in Hebron. Clashes were more intense for the first five days, and since then have dwindled down to small incidents of rock throwing.

    According to AP, a group of settler youths, some as young as 4 years old, threw rocks and cursed at Palestinians. It is widely known that 4 year old Jewish settler youths are much like that fabled Palestinian King David, and have quite the killer throwing arm.

  26. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that placing West Bank sites on the heritage list could lead to a religious war. After all Jews have no right to live in the middle east.

    But Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told AP, "We are not going to be drawn into a cycle of violence. We are fully determined, and we count on our people understanding fully well that the best response to this ... is to stay focused" on state-building and killing jewish women...

    The cave where the biblical forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, both of whom pray in separate sections of the complex. Arabs of course, drove the Jewish population out in the 1917 riots that left almost all the Jews of Hebron either decapitated, raped or driven off...

    Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, said he hoped the present tension over Rachel's Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs was just a "rough moment, a hiccup" that could be overcome on the way to renewing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.Kerry, at a Jerusalem press conference on Monday, said that access to the sites -- which he said were important to Jewish and Moslem understanding of their "history, culture and religions" -- was shared.

    Saying that he thought what Netanyahu did was "understandable" within the context of trying to "preserve and renew" the Jewish components of the sites, Kerry added that "the timing and manner of the announcement needs to be taken into account in the future context of trying to move people to dialogue."

    Kerry said that the move "certainly lends itself to misinterpretation without adequate explanation, and I think there is an explanation, and I think you have to be carful with these things. My caution as we go forward is we have to be thoughtful about everything we say and do so we keep a dialogue on track."

    Regarding that dialogue, Kerry, after meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday in Amman, said he was "convinced that there is a willingness in both governments to try to move forward in respect to dialogue."

    Kerry said that he was hopeful that over the next weeks and months "the process can reach a critical point where it is possible for our administration in Washington and the government here to announce something positive." He gave no details or timetable.

  27. Canada, and Australia have done very well. They are, undoubtably, two of the most financially responsible nations on earth.

    On the other hand, let's don't lose sight of the fact that the U.S. has the highest GDP/per capita of any major country, and the highest mean family take-home.

  28. If hyperbole and chutzpah had a child, it would be the opening paragraph of Gore's op-ed in Sunday's New York Times. Gore surfaced from the global warming witness-protection program to opine that despite admissions of error and evidence of fraud by various agencies, we still face "an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it."


    He speaks of "recent attacks on the science of global warming." These presumably include the unearthing of e-mails between researchers associated with Britain's Climatic Research Unit that revealed an effort to discredit skeptics and deny them peer-review, the destruction and manipulation of data, and the use of "tricks" to "hide the decline" in global temperatures.

    CRU director Phil Jones has admitted that temperatures in the Middle Ages may have been even higher than they are today. Jones also confessed that there's been no statistically significant warming in the past 15 years.

    Al Gore

  29. CANADA - The Benchmark for all things Medical, Political, and Ice.

    Mon Mar 01, 03:48:00 PM EST


  30. WiO said:

    "I have lost many jobs, I have lost everything....

    We've had much practice at losing everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!

  31. Um, and by "LOL" I mean no disrespect whatsoever to dear friends and valuable allies.

  32. EnCana spokesman Alan Boras said Monday the deal gives EnCana the opportunity to accelerate development faster than it would have otherwise.

    Korean news reports Sunday said the state-owned Korean company envisions spending $1.1 billion over five years in those lands, though the actual deal signed with EnCana covers a smaller investment over a shorter time frame.

    Korea is a voracious consumer of natural gas.

    Developing in Canada

  33. No, China Won't Rule The 21st Century


    ARTICLE: Poll shows concern about American influence waning as China's grows, By John Pomfret and Jon Cohen, Washington Post, February 25, 2010

    Exhibit A on the current idiotic hyperbole that magnifies all our faults and minimizes all of China's while extrapolating that country's current extensive-growth rates into what necessarily becomes their intensive-growth future: in our current bout of self-doubt, we are ready to cede the entire century to the Chinese.

    Please. Grow a pair.

  34. Despite Mr. Ford’s relative newness to the state — he moved here in 2006 and became an official resident only last year — dozens of influential Democratic party donors urged him to run, saying that they were underwhelmed with Ms. Gillibrand, a former upstate congresswoman who was appointed to the Senate by Gov. David A. Paterson last year after a raucous search to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Mr. Ford’s pollster, Douglas Schoen, was convinced that Mr. Ford had a strong chance of defeating Ms. Gillibrand, whose approval rating did not impress him, according to people who have spoken with him.

    But the drumbeat of detractors grew louder after Democrats lost a longheld Senate seat in Massachusetts, and the party’s fortunes in New York State became clouded by the scandal engulfing Mr. Paterson, who is accused of intervening in a domestic-violence case involving a staff member.

    Not Running

  35. ISM - Manufacturing Expands

    Clinton signed "Workfare." The Libs screamed, but the program worked.

    Bunning blocks Unemployment benefits. What's the difference? The Huge difference is that under Workfare, we continued to help; BUT, the recipient had to look for, and Accept some sort of job.

    HERE is what we Really need to do. Tie "Extended" Unemployment Benefits to SERIOUS Retraining. Note: I Capitalized "SERIOUS."

    The Dems want another Billion for schools. Okay, But Target the Money.

    Target the money toward training for the High Tech Jobs of the Future. Computerized Machine Tools. Robotics - Repair, and Maintenance. Encoding of Medical Records, and Billing. Medical Technologies.

    I've heard a half dozen CEOs of Major Companies state that they, individually, need tens of thousands of workers, but that the employees they need aren't out there.

    We've got to break the cycle.

  36. Trish, I love Kentucky everyone is really nice. Although, we pick a dry town, we were lucky we stopped at the liquor store yesterday on the way in.

  37. "...everyone is really nice."

    I'm tellin' ya, Melody, nobody but nobody can out-nice the south.

  38. Although questions remain when it comes to rufus.

  39. Gloom & Doom ...

    Even if that is what is coming ...

    Toughen up!

    Continual pessimism drove one over the edge, or at least the top.

    Either way, the glass is much more than half full, here in the US. Even here in the real estate repossession capital of the United States.

  40. I'm telling you, Trish, I think the same and it's not because of the tourism, either. I think they are just generally nice people. And if they can put up with me that's one step in their direction that says a lot.

    My cousin told she hates the south so much she won't even fly over it. But I love her anyway.

  41. "I think they are just generally nice people."

    Me, too.

    Make most everyone else look just damned crabby.

  42. I'm a transplant, Trish. Originally from the "Show Me" State.

  43. To the Mississippians I'm a Northerner.

  44. Yeah, like the lady next door that told us we were too loud. Come to find out she didn't check in until 2:30 and that's when we stopped back for 20 minutes and then left. So I don't know what she was talking about.

  45. Melody said:
    "I think they are just generally nice people"

    Generally, when Canadians go south to the US that is what they find, about all Americans, to the surprise of many a Canadian.

    I wonder what the Iraqis, or Afghanis, think...

    ...probably similar feelings as many Europeans have. I guess ya just gotta go to America to experience the nice.

  46. Oh, that's right, rufus. I forgot.

    My dad hails from Ozark and I've spent many a summer there.

  47. Well Ash, I guess you never visited Champion Pa, because I never have been to a place where people were so rude and unfriendly, in my life.

  48. It's a seeming paradox, Ash.

    What Jim Henley noted as the general rule that we are unselfconsciously an out-going and thoroughly kind people - who simply reserve the right to go come on over there and mess you up every once in awhile.

  49. ...something near trish's heart...

    Venezuela Plotted to Kill Uribe

    Would trish's conscience be too taxed if that Dubai team were available to solve the problem? At some point Hugo will have to be dealt with. The question, then, becomes, how much damage, death and misery will he be able to do in the meantime?

  50. "Would trish's conscience be too taxed..."

    Allen, go find somebody else to bother.

    And you're barking up the wrong tree.

  51. trish,

    Not very sportsmanlike, trish, although it might be the wiser course to ignore inconvenient facts.

    You were addressed because of your alleged competence in things Columbian. And by that I mean more than the weather.

  52. "...inconvenient facts."

    Which ones?

  53. "Give me a fucking break..."

    It's obvious that you missed the point of my post. It was, as indicated, about Jim Bunning's standing among his colleagues in the Senate.

    The guy is your complete asshole. Even when you agree with him, he is painful to watch. If you have watched any of his speeches (rants?) you realize that in at least half of them he appears high on drugs. He is not running for re-election because his own party pulled support. The guy is an embarrassment.

    I posted the column I did because it was the most fair to Bunning's side of the issue.

    What wasn't included was the fact that Bunning was upset that the vote was delayed and it caused him the miss the basketball game between Kentucky and S. Carolina.

    What wasn't emphasized is that Bunning was upset because Reid had previously pulled the extended unemployment benefits from the jobs bill passed earlier in the week thus leaving a late vote that caused Bunning to miss his ball game. If I read some of the columns right, it appears Bunning would have voted for the unemployment benefits if they were included in Reid's bill.

    Also not emphasized was the fact that not passing the bill meant thousands of layoffs in transportation, the loss of satellite TV coverage for part of Bunning's constituents in KY, and the loss of Cobra coverage for many laid-off workers.

    If it wasn't Bunning, one could respect the integrity of a guy standing up and saying if we can't pay for this bill we can't pass it. In fact, despite the fact he appears to have done it merely because Harry had pissed him off, I applaud his vote. Time to stop writing bills without paying for them.

    However, lest you think of Bunning as some hero, he has pointed out that his choice is to pay for the extended unemployment benefits out of recovered TARP funds.


  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. "Get off your asses and get on with your life..."

    With regard to your comments on the Bunning post, I can only reply that your suggestions would probably be a little easier to implement given an unemployment rate of 4% rather than 10% (15% here in MI). Or if the "actual" unemployment rate weren't in excess of 17% (more than 20% here).

    A good portion of the nation has had jobs like you suggest at one time or another in their lives. Nothing new there. However, when there are millions out of work, I suspect those jobs cleaning out leaves are a little harder to come by. Likewise, every Home Depot I go to already has someone there selling hot dogs.

    Eight million jobs lost. That's a lot of hot dogs.

    Just my opinion.

    Of course, you do admittedly have Melody supporting your position.

    But then, she always was a hardass.