“The China Project” – Blog forum on China

The China Project includes posts from various bloggers on China. The only problem is, they all appear to be right-wing bloggers intent on making the US look good and China look like it’s falling apart. Now, I admit I’m hard on the CCP, but not like these guys, who are clearly of the old “Red China” line of thinking. Check out some of the links; it won’t take you long to see what I mean.

One of the participants, for example, tells us why China won’t invade Taiwan anytime soon:

The key factor to consider in this equation is the fortitude of American leadership. President Bush’s commitment to freedom and democracy, and his demonstrated willingness to back up his words with actions makes it unlikely any invasion would occur before 2008.

Can you pass the barf bag, please? And can you spell “propaganda”? Yikes.

UPDATE: Please let me add one more comment. Since posting this I’ve traded eemails with the blogger quoted above at 4th Rail and want to say that he’s intelligent, courteous and sincere. We disagree at the most fundamental level about all things domestic. But it’s quite remarkable, the way the blogosphere can bring people of diametrically opposed viewpoints together to at least listen to one another’s points

The Discussion: 32 Comments

It’s good of you to ignore the rest of the post, where I discussed the US military advantage, particularly with naval and airpower, as well as the economic reasons, and then you take a single line out of context. This quote you mention is contained within a single paragraph discussing the need for political leadership to back up the US military advantage. Typical.

You aren’t the first to accuse me of a shill for Karl Rove, nor will you be the last. I really enjoyed your detailed analysis, you clearly explained how China could successfully execute an invasion of Taiwan. I am convinced!

I guess your insightful post is what passes as thoughtful analysis on your side of the blogosphere.

April 13, 2005 @ 1:53 pm | Comment

Hah! You yourself call Bush’s leadership “the key factor to consider.” Repeat, you say it is the key factor. So what’s wrong with me quoting what you consider to be most important, the key factor? If I’m going to quote you, shouldn’t it be what you yourself say is key? The line certainly jumped out at me, and it says a lot about the writer. Rest assured, I did read the rest of your muy macho post, and quoted what I felt was most telling.

April 13, 2005 @ 2:44 pm | Comment

I read some of the posts at the new China Project. If you will allow me a metaphor to describe the experience, it is like blind people trying to describe the look of a flower.

April 13, 2005 @ 2:52 pm | Comment

Jing, we are together on this one!

April 13, 2005 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

No, you read what you wanted to read. The leadership is the key factor in the military option being exercised and remaining a credible deterent. Whether you like it or not, and obviously you do not, President Bush has proven to be decisive in matters of military and foreign affairs when it counts.

I think you can tell a lot about a person who knocks down other people’s work without grasping basic concepts, and ads nothing to a debate other that trash talking, which is what much of what I have read at your site is. You add nothing to the debate, other than your snide comments. If you think we’re wrong, write your own brilliant analysis and explain where we are wrong, or how China could be successful in an invasion of Taiwan. But your mocking of other’s attempts is childish, to say the least.

April 13, 2005 @ 3:07 pm | Comment

Look, you wrote the words I quoted, and they offer insight into where you are coming from. I never claimed I could write a scenario for the invasion of Taiwan, and some parts of your report are very intelligent and fair. But you did speak volumes when you said bush is the key to success.

As for bush being so decisive in military matters, remember our flip-flop retreat from Fallujah? Remember his outsourcing to the Afghanistan militia the capture of the cream of the Al Qaeda crop at Tora Bora? Remember him staring like a frightened deer reading My Pet Goat after being told the words, “America is under attack”? As for foreign affairs he’s proven a true genius — virtually the entire world loathes us with a passion unprecedented in modern history. And well they should, considering our unbelievably arrogant approach to foreign relations, marked by bullying, bribery, strongarming, insulting (“weasels,” “old Europe,” “freedom fries”) and sneering.

Well, you write for FrontPage and I don’t expect you to see things my way, so let’s just agree to disagree.

April 13, 2005 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

I’ve picked up a few other handy dandy catchphrases from being a continuous reader of the Free Republic. Hitlery, Hildebeast, Klintoon, Jimah Carter(Arch-traitor and worst president ever), Eurocrats, Euroweanies, DUmmies, Dhimmies, democRATS, Free Traitors, and many more. Someday, I will comprise a list of political pejoratives. It’s a shame that the ones from the left are rather old and tame, not nearly as creative as the ones I’ve seen hurled by the right.

April 13, 2005 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

That’s the site where the commenters chanted with joy when John Edwards announced his wife had breast cancer. Charming.

And yes, there are a-hole commenters as liberal sites as well, but they pale in comparison to the freerepublic attack dogs.

April 13, 2005 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

Thanks, Richard. Reading Bill’s “thoughtful” propaganda that Furious George has been decisive almost made me snort my morning milk tea all over my keyboard.

Nothing like reading Little Green Raelian “certainty on issues” first thing in the morning. “We’re willing to debate on these issues, but YOUR SIDE must cede our unsubstantiated postulates about Furious George’s superiority and US military strength and our unique moral relativism that says, “everything ‘Murka good, rest of the world bad””.

And dear Simon wonders why the left and right blogosphere don’t debate issues more.

April 13, 2005 @ 6:11 pm | Comment

Tom, thanks for getting me to laugh on the eve of my operation!!

April 13, 2005 @ 6:13 pm | Comment

Plus they take criticism of Dear Leader soooo well, don’t they? Bill’s reaction to Richard’s critique was very telling…

April 13, 2005 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

Perhaps you should be careful making blanket assertions. Labeling the entire grouping of posts as “right-wing bloggers intent on making the US look good and China look like it’s falling apart” is unwise, particularly when you admit yourself there was portions “very intelligent and fair”. Your words, not mine.

I don’t “write for FrontPage”, they pick up my blog posts and reproduce it in their war blog. Others do this and I do not complain, and I don’t get a dime for it (really). I’ve never emailed or spoken to anyone over there, and frankly I have no idea how they even found my not so noticable blog.

Talk about touting the party line (Tora Bora, My Pet Goat, and such). Pot, kettle.

I’ll agree to disagree, no problems there. I’ll not debate the other items mentioned, it really isn’t worth it, we will not see eye to eye. Fair enough?

April 13, 2005 @ 6:27 pm | Comment

Fair enough. By the way, it’s you who advertise your association with FrontPage in your “about” section:

Bill is the founder of Easongate.com and War, Truth and Videotape, writes the Monday Winds of War Briefing for the Winds of Change, and is featured at Right Wing News and FrontPage Magazine’s War Blog.

I would assume if you’re not proud of it you wouldn’t draw your readers’ attention to it….?

April 13, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

I have only a few things to say about The Fourth Rail website – some of what ios written is thought-provoking and intelligent, but much of it is ridiculous. The first time I visited the site, I almost fell of my seat laughing.

The whole suggestion that America’s present leadership is committed “to freedom and democracy” for starters is so ludicrous that one can be forgiven for laughing. You only have to examine rubbish like Major General Tommy Franks’ new book, American Soldier, to realise just how short-sighted and poor the quality is of America’s present leadership. Even a casual examination of Franks’ sketch for a “decisive victory” in Iraq shows that it did not even remotely approximate a strategy. It is devoid of any political context. Narrowly focused on the upcoming fight, it paid no attention to the aftermath. Defining the problem as Iraq and Iraq alone, it ignored other power relationships and made no provision for how war might alter those relationships, whether for good or ill. It was completely a-historical and made no reference to culture, religion or ethnic identity. It had no moral dimension. It failed even to provide a statement of purpose. But according to Franks, it was an exquisitely designed example of what he termed “basic grand strategy.”

Here we come face to face with the essential dilemma with which the United States has wrestled ever since the Soviets had the temerity to deprive them of a stabilising adversary – a dilemma that the events of 9/11 only served to exacerbate. The political elite that ought to bear the chief responsibility for formulating grand strategy instead nurses ideological fantasies of remaking the world in America’s image, as the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy of 2002 so vividly attests. Meanwhile, the military elite that could possibly puncture those fantasies and help restore a modicum of realism to US policy instead obsesses over operations. Reluctant to engage in any sort of political–military dialogue that might compromise their autonomy, the generals allow fundamental questions about the relationship between power and purpose to go unanswered and even unrecognised.

Into this void between the illusions of the political class and the fears of the generals disappears the possibility of establishing some equilibrium between ends and means.

Instead, the United States careens ever closer to bankruptcy, exhaustion and imperial overstretch. The US today has vast ambitions for how the world should operate, too vast to be practical. It wields great power, though not nearly so much as many imagine. But there exists nothing even approaching a meaningful strategy to meld the two together.

America’s present leaders know and understand precious little about China as well, and any reluctance that China feels about a possible invasion of Taiwan is most certainly not related in any way to the “strengths” of America’s present political and military leadership.

Mark Anthony Jones

April 13, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

The article Bill links to is contradictory. It states that “the invasion” will happen before the 2008 Olympics. Then it links to an article stating that the CCP will use the 2008 Olympics to drive nationalism higher before an invasion. Before, after? A minor thing after all.

As for taking out the first wave of the invasion… not possible. The US doesn’t have the forces close enough. So it’d have to be removing the CCP from Taiwan once it was dug in.

As for selling Taiwan arms, the KMT are opposed to the current US arms package deal that the Busheviks are touting. Why? Because the price is too high for arms that wouldn’t help. Basically the Busheviks are pushing a Taiwanese bribe to their military contractors as the price for maintaining the Bushevik line on maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Straits.

Otherwise it’s quite clear the Busheviks want one China and that China has its capital in Beijing. The Busheviks have sold far too many US financial securities to pay off their free spending ways to oppose their bankers militarily. (And this is why the InstaParrots of the world are morons to disdain “soft power”.)

April 13, 2005 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

China’s other riots (updated)

Yesterday’s Daily Linklets mentioned a 30,000 person riot near Dongyang with a report by The Guardian. Today the SCMP has a full report on the village of Huaxi where the riots took place. The villagers are proudly displaying their spoils of war: I’ve r…

April 13, 2005 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

Mark Anthony Jones,

I am pleased to have made you laugh, and you have returned the favor.


I am rebutting that article I link to. I clearly state in the post that the first wave may get through, it would be the PLA logistical resupply that would be threatened. Also, while I did not mention it, I doubt China could get enough heavy forces on the ground with its limited lift capacity before the US Navy arrives to break the logistical chain, therefore dislodging the landing wouldn’t be an issue.

In response to Richard’s question about FrontPage, here was my reply to him in email:

“I never said I was proud or ashamed of being reproduced at FrontPageMag.
If the Washington Monthly or TAPPED decided to reproduce my writings, I
would cite them as well.”

I wish Richard the best of luck on his surgery and thank him for having a thoughtful and civil exchange in our email conversation, as well as his kind words in the update to his post.

April 13, 2005 @ 10:53 pm | Comment

I posted a comment over on Bill’s website, and I’ll copy and paste it here too. While I agree will a lot of things that Mark says, I would say that I find his comments in this post to be pure ideology, mainly based on wishful thinking. Essentially, he wants USA to fail, and thereby finds evidence to support his desires. I say this to show that I’m perfectly capable of disagreeing with everyone. 🙂

Here’s my posting at the China Project:
Firstly, I should state my “credentials” … I’ve posted quite often at the Peking Duck website, and anyone who has followed that website will know me as a continual voice from the right-wing, often disagreeing with the majority left-wing views expressed by the author and visitors of that blog. I’m not an American, nor a Chinese, and nor am I an American basher, and (for the record) I was quite delighted when Bush won the last election in the States.

I say all this so that you will appreciate that ideologically I am pretty close with most of the people who have posted here, and that when I offer criticism, I am not doing so because of a fundamentally different perspective.

Right … which leads me to my point. I feel that most of these postings demonstrate a gross lack of knowledge about China and Chinese psychology, and it reminds me of a lot of the discussions I see on left-wing blogs. That is: a lot of people who agree with each other sit around in a circle and pat each-other on the back about how right they all are. So consider this: assuming Mecca had been lost, would a patriotic Muslim consider not fighting for it, even if his enemies were stronger, and the cost to himself would be great? If the opponents of Muslim states attempted to calculate the probability of them going to war on the basis of GDP and trade figures, would they not be hopelessly mistaken?

Consider the latest news coming out of China: the wave of anti-Japanese protests. These protests are not based on rational considerations. The day is coming when the Chinese government may find itself under such pressure from public opinion (which is a real force in China, for all the efforts of the propagandists) that it is left with a stark choice: confront Taiwan, or lose power over its own people. So I say this: if push comes to shove, China WILL fight over Taiwan … and most Chinese believe that if it really does come down to it, Americans won’t have the stomach for such a fight. Now, let us take your views expressed here, and assume they are the kind of views shaping American foreign policy: the Chinese wouldn’t really go for Taiwan in a serious way – it’s bluster and bluff and against their self interest. That’s how wars start: each side fundementally misunderstands the other’s “trip-wires”, and suddenly you’re in shooting match when all you thought you were doing was getting the other guy to back down from his bluff.

Now let me address another point so confidently made here: the Chinese military is far inferior to the US military, and could not hope to win such a confrontation. Yes, you’re right. No questions there. But you’re thinking about this in the wrong terms. This isn’t battle of Midway … it’s the Cuban Missile Crisis … and USA gets the play the part of the Russians. Did USA intend to back down if the Soviets called their bluff with the naval blockade? No, I don’t believe they did. Would WWIII have commenced if the Russians didn’t back do

That was it. Now if I haven’t succeeded in offending pretty much everyone with at least one of my comments, I guess I wasn’t trying hard enough. LOL.

April 13, 2005 @ 11:47 pm | Comment

Damn, I seem to have run into a word-count issue, and the last of my posting didn’t appear.

The final points were: The USA didn’t intend to backdown, and nor would China. That if China got itself into a full-scale shooting war, the fact that her conventional army couldn’t confront USA’s with any hope of victory, pretty much compells them to use non-conventional means. That if you abandon the idea that the Chinese are just bluffing, and consider the idea that they really would be prepared to use nuclear weapons to prevent an American intervention, are you still prepared to send in the carrier fleets, at a cost of 10s of millions of American lives?
I concluded by saying that in my opinion most wars end up getting started for emotional reasons, and that in this case the large majority of Chinese people have it in their hearts that “Taiwan is ours” and “Taiwan can never be let go”. It’s a Mecca question.

April 13, 2005 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

No. 9,

Nice comments. I really like your Mecca analogy. Taiwan is very much a pure emotional issue for China. While it does not make any sense for the PRC to attack Taiwan in any sort of cost-benefit analysis, such analysis can be thrown out the window when it comes to such an emotional issue.

April 14, 2005 @ 1:15 am | Comment

Just want to add that one of the top reasons the PRC entered into the Korean War was because the US sent the 7th fleet into the Taiwan Strait to deny the communists a complete victory in the Chinese civil war. This was a time when the balance of conventional forces (in terms of technology and equipment) was even more in favor of the US than it is now and China did not possess any nuclear weapons at the time.

April 14, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Bill, how many days sailing will it take for one carrier group to get within striking distance of Taiwan? From Okinawa or Guam?

How many days sailing is it from the Indian Ocean to Taiwan?

And you believe the US can maintain a military blockade of Taiwan to cut off the Chinese troops?

Not enough port capacity from China, even on the civilian side? What are those folks smokin’? Have they checked the top 10 list for shipping ports?

As for believing that the US would choke the Chinese economy by blockading oil routes through the Malacca Straits, it would hamper the Chinese economy but hardly cripple it.

The primary fuel for electricity generation is coal. And pipelines continue to be built overland and discussions are underway for a Chinese Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

April 14, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

The China Project is on blogspot and doesn’t come through here. Anyone have any suggestions for getting around the Nanny?

April 14, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

I should also add that the Naval War College Assessment mentions that the Taipei population and government would feel stronger about independence making it harder for a mainland invasion.

The Taiwanese are fairly united on opposing unification by force in principle, though the prospect of unification via peaceful means is the goal of the parties in Taiwan that won the majority in the recent Legislative Yuan races. And this desire for reunification is much truer in northern Taiwan, like Taipei, than it is southern Taiwan, like Kaohsiung.

But in any case the true loser in a military scenario would be the Taiwanese. Mainland win and the status quo politcially would be drastically changed. US victory and the Taiwanese economy would be crippled by the loss of its manufacturing base on the mainland.

April 14, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

No. 9:

Bravo! You are so right on in so much that you say. My only comment is that we are not talking about a potential war that will start tomorrow. This war will most likely start in a few years, when China’s military capabilities will far exceed their current levels. I don’t think the Chinese would win even then if the US wanted to preserve Taiwan at all costs. However, Taiwan is quite close to China. It will become harder and harder for the US to react in time.

I forsee much closer cooperation between the US and Japan in the coming years….especially in light of the continuing bickering between China and Japan. With every riot, or complaint, or whatever, the Japanese will only become less likely to stay out of any conflict. A China-Taiwan war could easily become a China-(Taiwan/US/Japan) war.

True, a war would ruin Taiwan’s economy. You are forgetting that it would devastate China’s as well (almost as much as Taiwan’s). A sudden loss of finances from Taiwan, the US and Japan, would cripple China economically. And while other countries might not follow suit for the long term, even the loss of their economic support for a few weeks (combined with the three above) would be a nightmare………..perhaps large enough to destabilize (sp) the PRC. So even if China won militarily, in regaining Taiwan, it might lose in the long run.

April 14, 2005 @ 10:08 am | Comment

I would say FSN9 has it right on China, as usual. Now, if only he’d be this smart about US domestic politics and realize that Bush is a total screw-up. (Just kidding Jon, you are entitled to your opinions, even wrong ones.)

April 14, 2005 @ 10:40 am | Comment

As a foreigner who likes America dearly (believe it or not, FSN9 isn’t the only one), I got very depressed yesterday after seeing the beginning of this thread, at the end of which was then Tom Daai Tou Laam’s “Busheviks” comment.

I’m thus very pleased that this story now has a rather happy ending. And I must say that most credits go to Bill Roggio, whose tolerance and willingness to engage happily prevailed. Richard knows all too well what a real propaganda is and that a genuinely-held belief or opinion is never it. What’s more, he was far quick to sue for “let’s agree to disagree” stalemate.

Still, it was to his credit that he left an opening with “some parts of your report are very intelligent and fair”. I was wondering yesterday what would’ve been if he had put that at the beginining of — or at least somewhere in — his original post. Now, thanks to Richard’s gracious update, I don’t have to wonder anymore.

To this end, I think every blogger and commenter could do worse than to read this email to Greg Djerejian and his response to it. That’s what the blogosphere really should be about.

April 14, 2005 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

Dear Bill,

I’m so pleased that I have made you laugh too – that we have this ability to amuse one another!

Dear Filthy Stinking No.9,

In your response to my earlier comments on this thread, which you dismissed as being “pure ideology” in drive, you asserted that I harbour some kind of desire to see the US “fail”, and that I thus look for evidence in order to support my “wishful thinking.”

I am puzzled.

To regard the invasion and occupation of Iraq as an imperialist act, and a murderous one at that, does not reflect any ideology as such. Many other people from around the world think extactly the same, and yet, such people are comprised from many different ethnic, religious, and class backgrounds. They (we) do not all share in some ideology. To see the war and occupation in the way that I do, stems not from any ideology, but rather, from a particular moral stance, or sensibility. In other words, it reflects a moral philosophical position rather than an ideological one.

When you surmise that I want to see the US fail, just exactly what do you mean by that? In what way do I want to see the US fail?

Sure, I want to see the Iraqi people liberate themselves from the US/British/Australian occupation. Definitely. I do not believe that crime should pay! Once again, this reflects a moral sensibility, a philosophical position, moreso than any ideological one.

I certainly would NOT like to see the US fail, in say, for example, a quest to improve the living standards of its own citizens (provided that such a quest, should it be embarked upon, isn’t dependent upon the unjust exploitation of other peoples and their resources!)

I resent this outrageous attempt by many to label everbody who is highly critical of US foreign policy as an “American basher”.

Finally, allow me to comment very breifly on the use of the “left winger” verse “right-winger” (or radical lefty verses conservative) dichotomy, that so often seems to characterise debates on this website. People who are well aware of my past contributions to this website may have noticed that I have never used such terms to describe either myself or others. This is becasue I see such terms as being rather useless, if not outright misleading.

Figures like George Bush for example, are often described as being “conservative” – but the whole idea of invading another country, using “shock and awe” tactics, along with deadly radioactive materials, and in open violation of international laws – this is hardly what I call a “conservative” act. It is downright radical in fact. And dangerously so.

Was the Pope a lefty becasue he opposed globalisation and rampant capitalism, as well as opposing the Iraqi invasion and occupation? Or was he a right-winger for opposing abortion and sex education – for opposing the promotion of condoms in HIV/AIDS ravaged Africa, an in opposing gay marriages?

Clearly, the Pope was a paradoxical figure. His overall legacy, in my opinion, will be a mixed one. He was, in my view, more of a reactionary that a progressive though. But how can he be boxed into being either a lefty or a right-wing “conservative”? Most people in this world are not 100% ideologically and philosophically consistent. I for one certainly try to be though, but I am of course at the mercy of others to judge me on how successful I have been in this regard.

Filthy Stinking No.9 – I pretty much agree with most of what else you had to say on this thread though, so I shall conclude this here.

Good to be able to exchange views with you again!

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

April 16, 2005 @ 3:22 am | Comment

P.S. My hypothesis that America’s present politcal and military leadership is weak, morally bankrupt (and outright criminal) is not based on any ideology, but on an overwhelming amount of empirically verifiable evidence. As such, my views on this matter are scientific, not religious!

If anybody dares to challenge this hypothesis, then they will need to seriously address my evidence, rather than to simply dismiss me with a cheap and meaningless label.

Regards again,
Mark Anthony Jones

April 16, 2005 @ 3:34 am | Comment

Mark … it’s not necessary to “dare” to rebut your argument, because I think your response to my posting has pretty much proved my point. If you can’t see why, then then that just proves my point doubly so.

But as you say, we’re in general agreement about a lot of things.

April 17, 2005 @ 7:37 am | Comment


For some reasons, I’ve always thought you are Chinese. You represent an interesting small minority of non Americans who support Bush. Where are you from and what are your reasons for supporting Bush? Is it the Christian family values you are yearning for or what? I am just curious.

April 17, 2005 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

Dear Filthy Stinking No.9,

I’m glad that we have a lot of common ground – something which we established long ago, last November in fact.

But I’m afraid I just can’t see how my response to your posting here on this thread in any way proves your point that (a) I am ideologically driven, and (b) that I want to see the US “fail” in some way – an assertion which I have addressed quite soundly I think.

Perhaps you would care to explain?

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

April 17, 2005 @ 7:35 pm | Comment

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