And so the plot thickens. Hands down, China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea. It is gobbling-up maritime features left and right. Littoral states, friendly or not to them, are no longer turning a blind eye. Things are getting out of hand. And with the (1) intentional ramming and sinking of boats; (2) water cannon forays; (3) burning and looting of Chinese factories in Vietnam; (4) killing of Chinese nationals also in Vietnam; (5) USA’s Asian Pivot; (6) incarceration of eleven Chinese poachers in Half Moon Bay by Philippine Maritime Forces; (7) brazen installation of an oil rig in the Paracels; (8) construction of an unsinkable aircraft carrier / airstrip in the Mabini reef; (9) continued air and sea stand-off in the Senkaku/Diayou island chain; (10) harassment of Philippine troops stationed at the Ayungin shoal; (11) abduction of two Chinese nationals in Sabah, Malaysia, allegedly by the Abu Sayaff; (12) and China’s bellicose statements in its state-run media, a global war is not far off.
But what is China’s intention, really?
There are a lot of theories churned out by people from the highest rungs of government and academia, to the man on the street. Some say that China has depleted its inland natural reserves, that’s why they are claiming resource rich maritime features in the South China Sea. Others say that China no longer subscribes to the “peaceful rise” that it once so religiously catered to, and that they are now after the domination of “all under heaven.” Additionally, some say that China is attempting to alter the geopolitical status quo by showing its neighbors that the Uncle Sam is no longer dominant but them. Referred to as the Theucides principle, it describes the relationship of an old super power and a new upcoming force. Finally, some say that China is masking its domestic problems by making enemies outside. In doing so, it polarizes the country. Thus, its citizens, even the dissidents, in the name of Nationalism, unify against a common enemy,
Probably, all of them are right.
However, with China’s latest policy to “Crack Down on Instant Messaging Service,” it is apparent that the “polarizing” theory has some truth to it. According to the Time article:
“Earlier this year, the ruling Communist Party announced the creation
of an Internet security group led by President Xi Jinping. Observers say
authorities are wary of millions of Chinese with Internet access getting
ideas that might threaten the Communist Party system.
“Noting that such services had become popular online communication
channels, Xinhua said: ‘Some people have used them to distribute
illegal and harmful information, seriously undermining public interests
and order in cyberspace.’
“’We will firmly fight against infiltration from hostile forces at home and
abroad,’ Xinhua quoted a statement from the Cabinet’s Internet
Information Office as saying.”
The question really here is, what is China so afraid of? Is it afraid that the TRUTH about their RIDICULOUS assertions in the South China Sea would de-brain-wash its citizens? Is China’s Communist Party holding off its inevitable collapse? Why is it so nervous about the freedom of information? Is it afraid of the “de-polarizing” effect that it might induce?