It seemed that Beijing had made a conscious decision to abandon Deng Xiaoping’s prudential counsel not to alarm others as China built its economic and military power: “Hide your capabilities, bide your time,” Deng had advised. This was China’s “peaceful rise.”
More recently, those in the Chinese military, political, and intellectual establishment, whom Henry Kissinger has called “the triumphalists,” succeeded in advancing a disturbing new strategy for China: flaunt your capabilities, alarm your neighbors, intimidate the small countries, provoke the large powers, and alert the world to the rising China threat.
In response, countries throughout the region have begun to build up their own militaries, especially their naval forces. But they know that China’s foreign minister was right when he brusquely reminded his Asian counterparts that “you are small and China is big.” They cannot resist or challenge China one-on-one, so they are enhancing their multilateral cooperation through joint planning and exercises.
In trying to project future problems with China, one must first identify a change in pattern or change in state. A change in state would be like water freezing into ice. In this case the change of state is China’s “peaceful rise strategy” changing into the “big bad China strategy”.
The next problem is the change in state of demographics. Demographics in America, China and Russia have shifted from a crisis awareness state (and fear) to a non-crisis awareness state. Things have been going well for so long that people have forgotten what a real crisis is like. That means they will behavior in a manner that makes a real crisis more likely.
From an earlier blog (Democracy’s positive feedback and moral hazard):
[Positive Feedback] + [Moral Hazard] = [Crash: Internal]
This is referring to a crash based on internal reasons. Below the crash is based on external reasons.
[Change of State: Strategy] + [Change of State: Demographics] = [Crash: External]
The demographics change in state will automatically lead to an internal crash
[Positive Feedback] + [Moral Hazard] = [Change of State: Demographics] = [Crash: Internal]
[Change of State: Strategy] + [Crash: Internal] = [Crash: External]
What the above equation means is that when you see an internal crash (internal economic problems) plus you see a competitor change its world outlook, then you must be prepared for another crash based on external factors – war.