More on China, With a Big Uh-Oh

Spy satellite placed but not mentioned — surprise.

Short, relevent quote, so that this still makes sense when the full article disappears:

“The Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel 5, spacecraft also conducted intelligence-gathering work for China’s military.

����”Included on the top of the Long March 2F rocket, which boosted Shenzhou into orbit Tuesday, was a new Chinese military intelligence-gathering satellite. The satellite was placed in orbit successfully shortly after the Shenzhou began its 14-orbit mission. No mention of the satellite launch was made in the state-run Chinese press.”

And this one — studying war while encouraging peace. Not good.

China isn’t looking to go to Mars, I don’t think. China is doing what China has been looking to do for a long time — achieve dominance in the world playing field.

(Thanks to the person who sent me these links.)

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

11 comments… add one
  • Anon & Ibid, Inc. Oct 17, 2003 @ 20:45

    Therein lies the crux of the problem. There are significant historical parallels which argue that China’s objective is Empire — just as there are historical parallels which argue that they will adopt a live-and-let live philosophy. Realpolitik is no clue; I doubt anyone disagrees that Taiwan would again be a province of China if not for the support of the US and Japan (among others). There are a lot of people who believe that China will eventually present us with the choice: give us Taiwan back, or we’ll nuke Los Angeles. People comment on the liberalization of China’s economy, but the liberalization is only relative, and the Chinese economy is more closely aligned with what we would consider fascism than with either capitalism or the classical communist economic model.

    (And I’m one of the people who believe that the US has not dealt more forthrightly with the threat posed by North Korea because we don’t want to get too frisky around the nuclear power on the western border…)

    IF this is just China showing that they can play with the Big Boys, I don’t have much trouble with what’s happening. If it’s China realizing that the only outlet for their population which doesn’t risk mutual nuclear annihilation is upward, then I’m — cautiously — for it. And willing to tolerate a new player in the spysat game.

    But if they are using those benign objectives to mask an attempt to gain the high ground in a thrust which is detrimental to the security of the US…

    Even if I give that a low probability, the consequences are so serious that I cannot but be dismayed by the prospect. And I don’t give it a low probability…

  • Kevin Oct 25, 2003 @ 7:49

    Thank you for the link and discussion. It was the bald assertion of threat that goaded me into posting an entry (unwise of me, alas, I now judge). This gives one plenty to think about.
    And a rap in the knuckles for me about the "appeal to complexity". What I was thinking when I wrote that sentence was rather different but what I ended up with fits the fallacy to a "T".
    Cheers

  • Holly Lisle Oct 20, 2003 @ 6:58

    The nice thing about the internet is that it hangs onto things. Here’s an article published in 1999 by a Duke professor that demonstrates, in light of subsequent events, profound ignorance of his subject matter.

    And here’s a link to the Cox Report mentioned in the professor’s article. You’ll find the report’s information on China’s 16-Character Policy here, about halfway down the page.

    Finally, here’s a Google search on “16-Character Policy” China to aid in any further research you might wish to do. In drawing your own conclusions, bear in mind that early (pre-2000) articles positing heavy Chinese espionage and the buying of American technology have now been proven correct.

  • Holly Lisle Oct 20, 2003 @ 5:37

    Incidentally, the following comment — Maybe your are right but I do not think anyone outside of the upper echelons of the Chinese governement can know what they are intending. — is a fallacious argument, Appeal to Complexity. By researching the issue, I’ve learned quite a lot about it, and I’m only an interested American bystander. I’m willing to bet that there are scads of non-Chinese-government-official folks all over the world who know a hell of a lot more than I do. If you’re using "Appeal to Complexity" as your argument, generally it means you need to do some more research.

  • Holly Lisle Oct 20, 2003 @ 4:57

    China has only been Communist for the last 50ish years. So we can only look back on those years as evidence of its intentions — prior regimes can’t be included as examples because they’re from the form of goverment and the philosophy that lost. The form of government that won is expansionist. Brutal toward its own people. And anti-capitalist/anti-democracy.

    The fact that the Chinese government is run by people capable of making and then keeping extreme long-range plans, and not being swayed by temporary bumps (hundred-year plans, three-hundred year plans, five-hundred year plans), adds an extra level of worry to watching China developing space tech.

    Finally, the Chinese have a massive population edge, which can go a long way toward countering heavy tech development. If you have enough people, and you’re not particularly concerned about what happens to any one segment of them, you can accomplish things that would be suicidal otherwise.

    This link on expansionist China offers some interesting food for thought.

    And a final note, oft repeated. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

  • Kevin Oct 20, 2003 @ 3:30

    Is there some posting elsewhere on these pages which explains why you are of the opinion that China wants to become a dominant factor in world affairs?

    The history of China goes back a long time and for most of the last 13 centuries they have not tried to expand their sphere of influence but instead have been very insular. Clearly the government of China does not like the idea of democracy; yet also given how the United States has generally treated China since 1949 I would say that they have reason to be worried about the United States rather than the reverse.

    As an Canadian looking at the United States from outside I am preplexed in that a certain segment of the population and a strong faction in the government appear to be paranoid about anyone who could be a rival in any way–economic, political, or military. This stood us all in good stead in the post 1945 period, since Russia has a similar but even stronger element of paranoia in looking at their neighbours, but I am worried that continuing the same attitude by just finding another potential threat is bad for us all.

    The United States has such a powerful military that any external nation would be suicidal to attack it. And they have such a large technological edge over other nations that getting worried because China launched a spy satellite seems a bit extreme.

    I hope this does not offend you. I just do not like the assertion that China is a threat without any supporintg evidence beyond that their government does not like democracy and that they are developing space technology. Maybe your are right but I do not think anyone outside of the upper echelons of the Chinese governement can know what they are intending.

  • Anon & Ibid, Inc. Oct 17, 2003 @ 20:45

    Therein lies the crux of the problem. There are significant historical parallels which argue that China’s objective is Empire — just as there are historical parallels which argue that they will adopt a live-and-let live philosophy. Realpolitik is no clue; I doubt anyone disagrees that Taiwan would again be a province of China if not for the support of the US and Japan (among others). There are a lot of people who believe that China will eventually present us with the choice: give us Taiwan back, or we’ll nuke Los Angeles. People comment on the liberalization of China’s economy, but the liberalization is only relative, and the Chinese economy is more closely aligned with what we would consider fascism than with either capitalism or the classical communist economic model.

    (And I’m one of the people who believe that the US has not dealt more forthrightly with the threat posed by North Korea because we don’t want to get too frisky around the nuclear power on the western border…)

    IF this is just China showing that they can play with the Big Boys, I don’t have much trouble with what’s happening. If it’s China realizing that the only outlet for their population which doesn’t risk mutual nuclear annihilation is upward, then I’m — cautiously — for it. And willing to tolerate a new player in the spysat game.

    But if they are using those benign objectives to mask an attempt to gain the high ground in a thrust which is detrimental to the security of the US…

    Even if I give that a low probability, the consequences are so serious that I cannot but be dismayed by the prospect. And I don’t give it a low probability…

  • Michael Oct 17, 2003 @ 20:04

    So, should we take down our spy satellites? I’m sure the Chinese feel the same way about ours that you do about theirs?

    Can we do anything we want?

    Say what YOU think. Don’t just sit there asking stupid questions (Argument by Question) and trying to back me into a corner. If you have an opinion on this, spit it out. If not, shut up. — Holly

  • Holly Lisle Oct 17, 2003 @ 11:03

    My concern is with the sanctity of MY borders. This action threatens MY nation. I’m not a citizen of the world, nor am I interested in becoming one. And I don’t give a flying fuck about "fair." I have a vested interest in seeing the continuation of the republic that has given me my life and my family; China’s long-term policy is to eliminate democracy and capitalism. You may make of that what you will.

  • Mike Oct 17, 2003 @ 8:56

    Ummm… So is the USA the only nation on earth who is allowed to have spy sattelites?

    Surely any nation with the skills, resources and gumption should be entitled to claim part of the "final frontier".

    China and the USA are ever more economically dependent on each other – and its only reasonable that both nations will use every resource available to them to ensure either that they have an advantage, or that (at the very least) the playing fields are level…

  • Alex Oct 17, 2003 @ 8:39

    Scary. But I can’t say it surprises me.

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