The United States of America: I love to hate it. No, seriously, I’m not a fan. But as much as I can’t stand a lot of the things it does, the old world order in which the US is on top is sooo preferable to a new world order ruled by China.
Back in 2005 I joined in the general Chinese outrage at the Japanese history schoolbooks that whitewashed Japanese war crimes and atrocities against China and the rest of Asia. When protests on the Mainland turned violent and ugly, I remember condemning protesters for burning the Japanese cars of their neighbours even as I sympathised with their anger. I didn’t – and still don’t – condone the destruction of other people’s property, especially when the owner doesn’t deserve it.
Seven years later anti-Japanese demonstrations are once again flaring up around the PRC in apparent protest of Japan’s claim to a handful of islands. As many point out, the PRC government could shut this thing down if it so wished; it’s proven time and again that shutting down whole provinces (see, e.g., Xinjiang) and literally killing dissent is no problemo. You’d better believe that the Communist Party is more than happy to redirect public malcontent from the domestic politics to a foreign body that is only too easy to blame and hate.
I’m still upset over the recent National Education kerfuffle in Hong Kong. But I’m hardly the only one who’s sick and tired of the PRC’s posturing and big words and threats of economic and military action against any that dare stand in its way. The PRC is a giant, ugly bully with no morals, no understanding of mutual respect and compromise, and boy can it hold a grudge! I’d hate to get on its bad side, but at the same time would rather die than stand by it.
To whom the islands legally belong is still a mystery to me. All I know is that China is acting like a big bully about it, as it does about anything that upsets its precious ‘face’ or economy, and someone needs to bully it right the hell back. The only country that can really do that is the US. Which is why, in an unrelated turn of events, I’m glad the US is officially complaining to the WTO about Chinese dumping. Someone needs to show China that it can’t get away with pissing on the rest of the world.