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War: China vs. U. S. A. and Japan


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#1 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13576

Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

For those of you who haven’t kept up, south-southeast of Japan’s mainland are the Senkuku Islands, controlled by Japan in the East China Sea.

The United States administered them as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1945 until 1972, when the islands reverted to Japanese control under the Okinawa Reversion Treaty between the United States and Japan.

 

China claimed discovery and claim over them from the 14th century, but due too their poor book-keeping their claims aren’t verifiable  especially since there are old Chinese maps that specifically refer to them by their Japanese name and list them as being Japanese territory.  When China was questioned multiple times about who owned the islands in 1971 they refused to reply and said they would talk about it later.

 

Oil and other natural resources were discovered under the islands and suddenly China decided to claim the islands.  Unfortunately international law makes it very clear that there is no dispute.  Japan has owned the islands since January 14, 1895, after acquiring them by due international-law process (occupation of terra nullius), and the U.S. government has made it clear that the Senkaku Islands have been under the administration of the Government of Japan since their reversion to Japan as part of the Okinawa reversion in 1972 and that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands.

 

A few months ago Japan bought back back islands from their private owners, who were Japanese as well.  Suddenly China remembered the islands and their resources and got angry.

 

That is the backdrop prior to what I want to actually post.

More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senkaku_Islands

Q&A on the Senkaku Islands

 

 

Since then China has been belligerently poking its nose where it does not belong, sending airplanes to the islands to provoke the military in Japan (who typically scramble fighter jets as a fair warning not to violate Japanese airspace), hitting the navy in Japan with radar that can be used to lock weapons, and recently deploying DF-16 missiles whose main purpose is to defeat U.S.-made Patriot missile batteries near those islands.  This as well as heightening their military exercises.

  1. Do you think war will break out?
  2. Who do you think would win?
  3. America is required to join the fight and would, but the islands are covered by international law, so this would be seen by the world as an attack specifically by China to steal something that does not belong to it.  Do you think other countries would join the fight?
    1. Which side would they chose?
      1. Could North Korea’s alliance with China be used to gain an excuse to attack America or its ally Japan (in the case of an existing war in which North Korea proclaims it wishes to support its ally, China)?

I have my answers but I don’t want to tint anything.

What are your thoughts first?

 

 

L. Spiro


Edited by L. Spiro, 01 March 2013 - 08:48 PM.

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#2 belfegor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2611

Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:34 PM

And this is how the end of world starts. sad.png



#3 ranakor   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:44 PM

My thoughts are there are 0 chances this would escalate to an international war, there is money to be made, but it's fairly insignificant in face of the cost (even the strict economical cost) of a war between 2 major power, both of them using and not wanting cut of from international trade and being at peace with well, pretty much the whole world.

 

It would make 0 sense for either party for it to escalate, at worse it may cause a larger political incident with one side backing down and saying sorry.



#4 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7261

Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:58 PM

Reading the wiki page on the dispute I would say that China might well have a point (and given many counter points to it are referencing things AFTER they ceded the islands to Japan isn't, imo, a strong defence of Japanese post WW2 claims) however it basically breaks down to a lot of 'he said, she said' which is annoying. While the claims regarding the islands from China might well have come AFTER the potential for oil/gas was found it could be argued that due to the US not handing them back until a few years after they had no chance to claim them (and indeed the protest being made after the handback would imply they expected to get the islands).

As to if they would go into a shooting war... unlikely. If a war did start I suspect it would be down to them being put in a position where they could claim they were just defending themselves ('our aircraft was slightly off course, it was shot down without warning').

It is not economically sensible for them to start a shooting war; more importantly if they DID then as a very large holder of US debt I'm not sure the US could afford to enter it. Between debt and being tired of war in general I suspect they are going to have a hard time selling a war over a few unimportant Japanese islands to US citizens in general.

If the US did get involved then the UK might get pulled a long for the ride, however if we are smart then we'd do so only if the US and Japan backed our claims to the Falkland Islands in a public way to get Argentina to STFU about it again.
(While it might seem odd that I'm saying the Chinese might have a case where as the Falklands are 'ours' the respective histories of the two areas are significantly different enough so as not to arrive at the same conclusion.)

If a shooting war DID begin... that's a hard one... Chinese military tech isn't up to the US/UK/EU standard as yet but its getting there. They have a large standing army and are unlikely to have the same population problems that the other powers might well have. They area also not broke. I suspect it would end in a draw; China are unlikely to be defeated that's for sure but I don't think the USA can 'win' in any meaningful way.

Local faction wise I doubt anyone else would get involved; NK might use it as an excuse to make a play for SK I guess but that would be a whole other mess.

However my original point stands; it makes no sense for China to enter into a shooting war when its economic power is that much more dangerous.

#5 BladeOfWraith   Members   -  Reputation: 245

Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:02 PM

Do you think war will break out?

No, not over this.

Who do you think would win?

The likely result would be a brief period of traditional combat. Not long in: "Let's just use a tactical nuke in this strategic location..." followed by a chain of escalating nuclear strikes in which there was no "winner". 

Could North Korea’s alliance with China be used to gain an excuse to attack America or its ally Japan?

Are you asking if North Korea would start a war on behalf of China? Why would North Korea want to start a war where they gain nothing and they cannot hope to win?

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#6 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 519

Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:20 PM

While Most of your responses focus on a plausible military conflict and whom it may involve, do not over look the US's weaken economic state, which continues to get worse under the current administartion and the bafoon in charge.  The U.S. owes China to much money, and would rely on continued load, ( like the rest of the world), in order to fund a military conflict.  So a military conflict with U.S involvement is highly unlikely.  How does this differ from above comments ?

  China is well aware of the US's state of affairs, Historically, China and Japan have been at odds for centuries, so if Japan continues to resist, China continues to push, US continues to fall deeper into debt.  China may esculate militarily with Japan and they will be on their own as the US and the westeren alliances will be to weak financially to get involved.

  Unless the US can reverse its current direction of self loathing and destruction, the weakest around the globe shall fall prey to those who want to rule the world.  Like it or not, the US has been the only country willing to step in in protection of the weaker.  China at 1 time was that weaker in WWII against Japan.  Who will come to the aid of the US in the future ? 


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#7 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4334

Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:21 PM

I have my answers but I don’t want to tint anything.

 

L. Spiro

I think you already "tinted" a lot with your description of what is happening imo.


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#8 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7261

Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:21 PM

Are you asking if North Korea would start a war on behalf of China? Why would North Korea want to start a war where they gain nothing and they cannot hope to win?

If anything the more likely conflict in that area is going to be when China finally has enough of NK pulling all kinds of shit and does something about it.

The China-NK relationship has become more and more strained as late; after the last weapons test it was clear that China are starting to get a little annoyed at them...

#9 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

1. A shooting war would be a disaster for China, the party I consider more likely to initiate one (though I think this is still very unlikely). Even if they won, they would have a string of islands that aren't that valuable while simultaneously justifying the worst fears about China in the international community. There might be a great deal of economic or political maneuvering over it, which could still be considered "war", but not a military conflict in the sense most people would think of it.

 

2. Impossible to say, particularly because "victory" doesn't have a lot of context. Who would force the other side to unconditional surrender? No one. Who would ultimately claim to the islands? Depends on how much the conflict escalated, who else got involved, etc. Same kind of considerations go for long term consequences for all parties involved.

 

3. Maybe. I would imagine most other countries would just be jockeying for favor with the side they think would win. As for US involvement, that doesn't necessarily include deployment of soldiers or war materiel. US logistical support and ability to establish superiority in specific ocean regions would have a huge impact on any fighting.

 

1 Jr.: See above

 

1 Jr. Jr.: I have a hard time believing it. NK already doesn't need an excuse to do much of anything, they just do stuff and negative consequences don't make much official bother. And any hostile action against anyone would only serve to make them even less popular with other nations than they are now. An aggressive NK would probably not be able to continue their military development with impunity if the world observes them actually deploying it.



#10 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13576

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:45 PM

Are you asking if North Korea would start a war on behalf of China? Why would North Korea want to start a war where they gain nothing and they cannot hope to win?

No, I am suggesting the possibility of a war already being there and North Korea saying, “Hey China friend, we will back you in this war (so that we can attack America and Japan).”
 
 

While Most of your responses focus on a plausible military conflict and whom it may involve, do not over look the US's weaken economic state

I didn’t, which forms the basis of my hypotheses in case of war.
Firstly America can’t afford it, but there is no question as to their obligation to support Japan in this matter should it result in war.
They lose financially if they fight China. They lose relationships with Japan if they don’t back them militarily (as well as losing strategic military locations).

Solution: Enter the war, feign a loss.
America definitely will enter a war if there is one. But the way they aren’t fortifying their defenses right now while they know fully well that China is fortifying their attack in preparation of war [Beijing War Prep] likely doesn’t indicate that they see peace coming, but that they have calculated that the only way to win is to keep relations with Japan and enter the war but not to spend any money on it what-so-ever (beyond the bare minimum), put up the minimum resistance necessary to tell Japan they tried, and ultimately lose on purpose.

That is my main answer.
 
 

The China-NK relationship has become more and more strained as late; after the last weapons test it was clear that China are starting to get a little annoyed at them...

I wanted to start another topic or at least about that here too.
The other war-like issue for Japan is North Korea itself period.

They have ignored all warnings from all nations regarding nuclear tests and have stated clearly their desire to continue ignoring them and to eventually attack America.  And now they are run by a hothead naïve little kid who is desperate to cast a bigger shadow than his father.

  1. Do you think North Korea will start a war?
  2. North Korea can’t hit many major cities in America and certainly not accurately.  Will they try to start the war by attacking America’s ally?
    1. Which city would they hit?  Tokyo?  Seoul?
  3. Once North Korea is wiped off the map, how well do you think the North, being almost entirely military and brainwashed citizens, will integrate with the South back into “Korea”?

 

L. Spiro


Edited by L. Spiro, 01 March 2013 - 08:51 PM.

It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
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#11 BladeOfWraith   Members   -  Reputation: 245

Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:55 PM

Are you asking if North Korea would start a war on behalf of China? Why would North Korea want to start a war where they gain nothing and they cannot hope to win?

No, I am suggesting the possibility of a war already being there and North Korea saying, “Hey China friend, we will back you in this war (so that we can attack America and Japan).”
 

L. Spiro

I would imagine they would side with China, yes. But I still don't see much in it for them. What does NK gain from attacking America or Japan? If they were to use the opportunity for anything, I would think they would use it to invade South Korea.


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#12 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3619

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:01 PM

I don't think a war's super likely, neither side has a ton to gain compared to the obvious cost of a military conflict. China's still not strong enough where it counts to really challenge the US and Japan militarily.  The only thing to watch for is nationalistic public pressure.

 

I think China has a better claim than you think, L. Spiro, especially considering the turmoil in China in the late 19th and early 20th century and Imperial Japan's lack of scruples.


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#13 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2068

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:33 PM

I think the situation with China is likely to involve a lot of strong words, posturing, and throwing of weight around. I think I heard that China is also claiming islands near the Philippines which the US also has interests in. So I'm thinking with these islands, China's influence with N. Korea (assuming they still have any), and any other bargain chips China has that I'm not thinking of at the moment what we're going to see is a series of significant moves that will probably all be done without any shooting.



#14 kryotech   Members   -  Reputation: 881

Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:15 AM

Are you asking if North Korea would start a war on behalf of China? Why would North Korea want to start a war where they gain nothing and they cannot hope to win?

No, I am suggesting the possibility of a war already being there and North Korea saying, “Hey China friend, we will back you in this war (so that we can attack America and Japan).”
 
 

>While Most of your responses focus on a plausible military conflict and whom it may involve, do not over look the US's weaken economic state

I didn’t, which forms the basis of my hypotheses in case of war.
Firstly America can’t afford it, but there is no question as to their obligation to support Japan in this matter should it result in war.
They lose financially if they fight China. They lose relationships with Japan if they don’t back them militarily (as well as losing strategic military locations).

Solution: Enter the war, feign a loss.
America definitely will enter a war if there is one. But the way they aren’t fortifying their defenses right now while they know fully well that China is fortifying their attack in preparation of war [Beijing War Prep] likely doesn’t indicate that they see peace coming, but that they have calculated that the only way to win is to keep relations with Japan and enter the war but not to spend any money on it what-so-ever (beyond the bare minimum), put up the minimum resistance necessary to tell Japan they tried, and ultimately lose on purpose.

That is my main answer.
 
 

The China-NK relationship has become more and more strained as late; after the last weapons test it was clear that China are starting to get a little annoyed at them...

I wanted to start another topic or at least about that here too.
The other war-like issue for Japan is North Korea itself period.

They have ignored all warnings from all nations regarding nuclear tests and have stated clearly their desire to continue ignoring them and to eventually attack America.  And now they are run by a hothead naïve little kid who is desperate to cast a bigger shadow than his father.

  1. Do you think North Korea will start a war?
  2. North Korea can’t hit many major cities in America and certainly not accurately.  Will they try to start the war by attacking America’s ally?
    1. Which city would they hit?  Tokyo?  Seoul?
  3. Once North Korea is wiped off the map, how well do you think the North, being almost entirely military and brainwashed citizens, will integrate with the South back into “Korea”?

 

L. Spiro

 

 

I actually wrote a paper on the tensions in South/East Asia. War is not as unlikely as people think it is. A sustained conflict could happen. China has been building up military forces for years. In particular, they have been looking for technology that could challenge American superiority, such as catamarans that can swarm American aircraft carriers. Chinese planners must see some sort of need for this technology in the future, probably for attacking Japan, or India. Moreover, since the Chinese are building up, neighboring countries like Japan, India, and South Korea perceive a threat from China and start building up their own stockpiles. The result is an arms race similar to what we saw before World War 1. With tensions this high in a region and so much military hardware circulating throughout the area, it only takes one mistake to trigger open conflict. China knows that attacking now, without a good excuse, would be stupid. When the Chinese have a good excuse, they can attack. Now we do believe that our financial relations will be the reason that the Chinese will not attack an allied country like Japan, but circumstances can change, and in the past, wars have started even if their are financial reasons not to. As I said earlier, it doesn't take much more than one mistake...


Kryotech

#15 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3339

Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:16 AM

You may also wish to consider that China possessing ownership of a large amount of the US debt is not conducive to China opening up an open war. There is enough historical evidence to show that financial penalties applied to losing countries as well sanctions as well other financial measures would provide the US a way to throw their entire debt into such a thing as wartime reparations resulting in an insta-fix to the US economy.



#16 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1852

Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:12 AM

This island thing is just a political play for the nationalistic part of the population in Japan and China, the govs in both nations are thinking more long term and would not go to war and waste huge amount of economical resources for something like a few small islands. All conflicts about underground gas and oil will be taken care by international court as that is cheaper and safer. Also never forget that USA and China both have the nuclear bomb which makes big operations near impossible.

 

Beside that China is having several border issues with Asian nations such as Vietnam, India, Philippine etc. China do not need a war right now due to some small islands. Officials play an act for the gallery in the media and say something different when the cameras are shut down.

 

Now at days all wars are about economic and China and USA, in fact the whole world and China's economy is linked strongly together and therefore war as we knew it from the history books are long gone and not worth it anymore.

 

To the OP, enjoy the great city you live in and forget about any war or saber rattling from the officials. They are all tied on their hands due the the international economic system in these modern days(and the nuclear bomb that prevent huge wars of course...).
   


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#17 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4765

Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

Claims back to 15th century / US administration after WW2

Israel has taught us that it does not matter who owns what. If you and your ancestors have been living in the "wrong place" for the last thousand years, and some fucker comes along and says "Bad luck for you, these lands are now owned by someone else", you can get all angry and you can go Hamas, but they're still going to take away everything you rightfully owned for centuries, everything you worked for. And the international community will watch and be silent. A piece of paper will be written with some twisted words that say "new people own this land now", and so everything is legal. 20 years later, nobody will remember. All tha will be remembered is that you are the bad terrorist guy.

It's not like it was any different for the pre-19th-century inhabitants of the USA who were driven off their lands and murdered in millions. Nobody gives a crap about them, they're gone. And it's all legal.

That's just how things go. You object to someone taking way your lands, you throw a rock at them, and they mow your people down in dozens with machine guns, and all that happens is that Amnesty International says "well folks, that wasn't very nice of you". Life goes on, but without you.

Will there be war?

No, but quite possibly China will just take over those isles one day. Our People Needs Room -- Adolf Schicklgruber, 1939. The same is dramatically true for China, too. They have everything (in particular people), except room. It will become unavoidable that they acquire new lands.

Firstly America can’t afford [...]they lose financially if they fight China.

That's almost correct, but you got it on the wrong angle. It's not about the USA losing some money in an economically unattractive war. Fact is that China can anihilate the USA from one day to another if they throw their US bonds on the market and sell their dollar certificates. Will they lose a few billions? Yes, but who cares, China has enough money. They need not fire one nuclear missle to completely destroy the USA in one strike.

And that is why the USA will just keep it shut in case China decides to take over those islands. Maybe the foreign minister will make a statement about how shocked he is, then China will make a few strong words and play their muscles, and everyone will back off.

Let's not mention that the "not quite up to par" Chinese military is frightening at best. The sheer number of people and births they have would make China an easy winner in a non-nuclear-non-financial shootout as well. Yes, Wikipedia suggests something different, but if you look at those numbers for a seconds, you can only agree how ridiculous they are (the USA have 14 times as many people reaching military age per year, got to be kidding?).

North Korea

Now there's that, you can never predict what a total nutter will do. Kim might still just attack Japan (or even the USA) under this pretext -- although I doubt it. Not even Kim is that insane, and he must be able to figure that the expected losses are much greater than any possible gains for him.

#18 kryotech   Members   -  Reputation: 881

Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:11 PM

Claims back to 15th century / US administration after WW2

Israel has taught us that it does not matter who owns what. If you and your ancestors have been living in the "wrong place" for the last thousand years, and some fucker comes along and says "Bad luck for you, these lands are now owned by someone else", you can get all angry and you can go Hamas, but they're still going to take away everything you rightfully owned for centuries, everything you worked for. And the international community will watch and be silent. A piece of paper will be written with some twisted words that say "new people own this land now", and so everything is legal. 20 years later, nobody will remember. All tha will be remembered is that you are the bad terrorist guy.

It's not like it was any different for the pre-19th-century inhabitants of the USA who were driven off their lands and murdered in millions. Nobody gives a crap about them, they're gone. And it's all legal.

That's just how things go. You object to someone taking way your lands, you throw a rock at them, and they mow your people down in dozens with machine guns, and all that happens is that Amnesty International says "well folks, that wasn't very nice of you". Life goes on, but without you.

>Will there be war?

No, but quite possibly China will just take over those isles one day. Our People Needs Room -- Adolf Schicklgruber, 1939. The same is dramatically true for China, too. They have everything (in particular people), except room. It will become unavoidable that they acquire new lands.

Firstly America can’t afford [...]they lose financially if they fight China.

That's almost correct, but you got it on the wrong angle. It's not about the USA losing some money in an economically unattractive war. Fact is that China can anihilate the USA from one day to another if they throw their US bonds on the market and sell their dollar certificates. Will they lose a few billions? Yes, but who cares, China has enough money. They need not fire one nuclear missle to completely destroy the USA in one strike.

And that is why the USA will just keep it shut in case China decides to take over those islands. Maybe the foreign minister will make a statement about how shocked he is, then China will make a few strong words and play their muscles, and everyone will back off.

Let's not mention that the "not quite up to par" Chinese military is frightening at best. The sheer number of people and births they have would make China an easy winner in a non-nuclear-non-financial shootout as well. Yes, Wikipedia suggests something different, but if you look at those numbers for a seconds, you can only agree how ridiculous they are (the USA have 14 times as many people reaching military age per year, got to be kidding?).

North Korea

Now there's that, you can never predict what a total nutter will do. Kim might still just attack Japan (or even the USA) under this pretext -- although I doubt it. Not even Kim is that insane, and he must be able to figure that the expected losses are much greater than any possible gains for him.

 

 

Look, if China sells those bonds, then China's going right down with the US and the rest of the world economy. There will be turmoil in the world market. It's not as if this is a one way thing. Who will the Chinese sell those cheap manufactured goods to? The people who buy their stuff are being screwed over. The Chinese themselves are not buying their own stuff. And then there's no reason not to attack one another at that point. So no, the Chinese selling the bonds is not a threat, unless they feel suicidal. The Chinese cannot afford the kind of loss that you are talking about, as the loss is not just in debt. Moreover, the Chinese military you are talking about has enough numbers, and I agree that they are more than a match for the Japanese. However, when we add in the combined power of America and allies, then we the balance changes. And in the event that the Chinese attack Japan, we have other nations that don't like China that could potential enter the war (such as Russia and India). The US will not abandon the Japanese if they decide to make a stand for these reasons. And for these reasons, I really don't see the Chinese attacking Japan just for a set of islands. I believe a conflict is more likely in this decade, probably Sino-Indian, possibly against South Korea, or even Japan. 


Kryotech

#19 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13576

Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:40 PM

I actually wrote a paper on the tensions in South/East Asia. War is not as unlikely as people think it is.

I agree that war is quite likely at this point.
Living in Tokyo likely gives me a different perspective than what most have. You can take this issue up with any Japanese and they will give it serious thought. Most reach the conclusion that war is coming.
Even my coworker who doesn’t often talk about anything really got into this discussion.

And that is why the USA will just keep it shut in case China decides to take over those islands.

There is a 100% chance of America joining in a military fight if such happens, as stated by America itself.
 
 

That's almost correct, but you got it on the wrong angle. It's not about the USA losing some money in an economically unattractive war. Fact is that China can anihilate the USA from one day to another if they throw their US bonds on the market and sell their dollar certificates. Will they lose a few billions? Yes, but who cares, China has enough money. They need not fire one nuclear missle to completely destroy the USA in one strike.

This is the opposite of this:

You may also wish to consider that China possessing ownership of a large amount of the US debt is not conducive to China opening up an open war. There is enough historical evidence to show that financial penalties applied to losing countries as well sanctions as well other financial measures would provide the US a way to throw their entire debt into such a thing as wartime reparations resulting in an insta-fix to the US economy.

Given that all economies are ultimately linked, it is not really feasible for such a major world-wide economy such as America’s to simply be destroyed flat-out by a single nation (other than by America itself). That just can’t happen in a short time, though it is possible over a long period, slowly. But over that period America would have enough time to fight back and raise its economy by itself.

To the OP, enjoy the great city you live in and forget about any war or saber rattling from the officials. They are all tied on their hands due the the international economic system in these modern days(and the nuclear bomb that prevent huge wars of course...).

I definitely enjoy it.
And I will continue to do so through earthquakes and nuclear strikes. I am not leaving even if the city itself is destroyed for any reason.
Only one thing would make me leave…


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#20 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30353

Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:58 PM

All our war between the US and China? Come off it, it's not the 80's any more.

The Great Game goes on as always, but the rules have changed. Both China and the US have the power to kill every human on the planet, which completely changes the game. It's no longer sane to consider wars between the big boys, all you can do is bully around the smaller players (for a supposedly peaceful era it is actually amazing the amount of "small" wars that have been fought in the last few years in order to expand spheres of influence), and make damn sure that none of them are able to join the big boys nuclear club.

If there's uninhabited territory contested by two major players, the only way they can grab it is to have a smaller player invade it first, and then take it from that smaller player.




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