China’s air defense zone: The shape of things to come? | The Great Debate

China defended its new defense zone by asserting that its actions are consistent with international law. Beijing’s arguments are unconvincing, however, because they don’t address the reasons why this particular air defense zone is so troubling.

In contrast with the usual defense zone — which helps build stability by reducing the chances of accidents based on mistaken identity — the unilateral and assertive nature of the new Chinese effort increases the risk of conflict.

So shouldn’t we welcome China’s decision? No. Because China has not demonstrated that its goal is benign.

By failing to provide reassurance, China has given other nations justification to draw less benign conclusions. They could view this as the latest chapter in Beijing’s attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo in connection with its local territorial disputes. In doing so, China has prompted its neighbors to respond in ways that heighten the risk of conflict, such as instructing civilian aircraft not to comply.

China’s air defense zone: The shape of things to come? | The Great Debate

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China is a modern Nazi state: Fascist economy, authoritarian governance (some call Xi a dictator), nationalism and little respect for the rights of individuals. If this kind of state moves from a peaceful state to a more aggressive one after a long period of time, then that is ominous. It won’t be too long before things get much worse.

In searching for historical parallels, the current Chinese regime most resembles the Nazis and the Japanese militaristic regime of the 1930s-40s. All three regimes became intensely nationalistic.

Second, strong dictatorship characterises all three regimes. Even non-violent protest leads to jail. The Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is only one well-known case among thousands.

Like the Nazi and the Japanese regimes in the 1930s, the Chinese today have become territorially expansionist. Like the Nazis and the Japanese militarists in World War II, the Chinese today perceive “appeasement” as weakness on the part of their opponents and push their claims with even more inflexibility.

The lessons of World War II teach us that appeasement of such regimes does not lead to peace.

China’s Expansionism Echoes History: Appeasement does not lead to peace

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