China as a country has always been good Greenfield for strategic thinkers and has produced great thinkers like Confucius, Sun Tzu etc. Chinese society has survived several odds in its long history and has contributed immensely to the world (paper, gunpowder, silk , sil road etc). The leaders of china never react in haste and when they react it carries lot of hidden meanings. There are three incidents which happened in the last few weeks which are worth a close look.
|The first being harassment of the USNS impeccable ship near Hainan Island ,which is supposed to be a Survey ship collective marine data(?). The ship was surrounded by Chinese fish-vessels and a PLA navy vessel(People Liberation Army) there were some bold/aggressive manoeuvres like throwing wooden logs in front of the US ship, bringing the Chinese vessels too closely etc. USNS impeccable is not the only ship which suffered this fate but there were other survey ships like USNS victorious which was a victim of Chinese aggression.|
The second incident is the warning from Chinese Premier Wen Jiobao expressing concerns over the credit worthiness of US government as Chinese have invested heftily on the US Treasury bonds. Traditionally Governments all over the world have a habit of buying Tbonds as a safety net to preserve their foreign exchange reserves. China has accumulated over a Trillion dollars of US Bonds which accounts for more than 70% of its foreign reserve and more than 50% of US Debt in bonds.
The third incident is the blocking of an 2.5 Billion acquisition of leading juice maker Huiyuan by coca cola. Though this would have recurpussions in Chinese acquisition in US and all over the world , the closely guarded Govt of China (Republic or whatever) seems not to be bothered, in spite of china’s reliance on US for its exports.
If we connect the dots, Chinese are clearly questioning the authority of American Might on the lines of Military , Economy and Fundamentals upon which american society is built.
>When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear
>Encourage your enemy to expend his energy in futile quests while you conserve your strength. When he is exhausted and confused, you attack with energy and purpose.
>Loot a burning house
>Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west
>Startle the snake by hitting the grass around it
The above are the selected few from the 36 stratagems, an age old wisdom practised in China and probably Obama should have a look at these instead of his usual rhetoric about how great mankind is , why should we all love each other etc. Anyhow apart from the usual news of failing banks, falling interest rates, vanished property markets etc, china is determined to add some spice to the ongoing drama. Time has to tell how much more spice china would be willing to add and how much obama would be willing to take. May be he should pickup some lessons from Dalai lama…..