For my International Relations of East Asia midterm, each team was given a topic to debate on. I had to defend that China's rapid expansion should not be seen as a threat. Though initially I believed the total opposite, researching on the issue made me believe my own argument. Check out what I said in my debate and if you'd like to add anything, I'd love to hear about it. This particular argument is how China is Defensive, not Expansionist.
-China was not always a powerful country. After the First Opium War, China could not win against any of the industrialized powers, leaving them feeling taken advantage of due to their weakness. China is thereby defensive for the motivation to get rich and wanting to seek just enough defensive power to survive. -Due to the power transition thesis: when you have a rising power such as China, you often see conflict. Because the United States have always been #1 in power, China’s expansion in such a short amount of time is seen as a threat.-With power comes an outdoing of sorts: security dilemma: 2 countries have no interest in conquering one another. Being that China is not advanced, China became defensive when the United States sold technologically advanced weapons to Taiwan, therefore supporting Taiwan’s independence from China, a property that is rightfully theirs.
-China’s fundamental defense posture has been designed to deal with ‘local wars’ along its borders, especially its maritime area. To attain capabilities beyond that will require long-term military modernization that will not be completed for some years to come. China’s neighbors have not interpreted its current military buildup as having a necessarily aggressive design toward the region.-China military exercises in the Taiwan straits in 1995 and early 1996 demonstrated its determination to prevent Taiwan from breaking away. Taiwan is a rightful property of China.
Korean War Involvement:
-The US supplied military arms and training to the KMT to help defeat the CCP. Americans aided two million dollars to Nationalists between 1945-1948. -“China intervened in the Korean War in October 1950 as UN troops reached the Sino-Korean border and pushed them back to the thirty-eighth parallel. The conflict led Washington in defense of Taiwan.- After 2 years of negotiations a truce was finally signed on July 27, 1953. Since then the Chinese have withdrawn their forces in 1958, but the United States has continued to maintain nearly twenty-five thousand or more troops on the peninsula to this day.
-China has not mentioned plans of expanding. Their limited changes to the status quo include: the reintegration of Taiwan with the mainland, modification over disputed borders, and claims to portions of the South China Sea. Additionally, the United States and China have different spheres of influence that do not overlap, making China see no need in going to war.-China is defense oriented: they have the world’s largest standing army, but all their weapons, force, and military will not be used unless provoked. The reason why China sought in possessing nuclear bombs was for the purpose of deterring a nuclear attack. China would never use nuclear weapons first. -Additionally, their defense in divided in primary functions. First, is to deter a superpower attack seen with China’s involvement in the Korean War. Second is to defend China’s land from territories that are rightfully theirs such as the Sino-Indian border war and Sino-Soviet border dispute. Third is to continue China’s regional stability of power such as the 1979 Sino-Vietnam border war. China’s goal is to agree upon peaceful means before any force is involved.