Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Unpeaceful rise | Inquirer Opinion

See - Unpeaceful rise | Inquirer Opinion

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It is possible that China’s aggressive land reclamation strategy was prompted by the Philippine case at the UN, at least in part, but the true cause of rising tensions is Beijing’s increasingly aggressive expansionism under new leader Xi Jinping. There was a time when, in the months leading up to Xi’s designation as the new head of the Chinese Communist Party and the next president of China, the expansionist rhetoric was seen in the region as mere domestic posturing and that, after Xi had consolidated power, Beijing would revert to its old, effective policy of a “peaceful rise.” That policy placed a premium on earning the goodwill of China’s neighbors, by assuring them that Beijing’s inevitable rise to superpower status was a welcome, not an intimidating, development.

Now it seems that China has abandoned that policy. By most accounts, internal domestic pressure is likely the determining factor; a roaring capitalist economy run by a communist government has turned to nationalism, one fed by the waters of China’s so-called century of humiliation, as organizing principle of both party and state. This is not to say that the search for new sources of oil and gas and minerals to feed the Chinese economy’s ravenous appetite is not part of the equation. But under Xi, nationalism has been used to justify China’s incursions in both cyberspace and the South China Sea.

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Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/84997/unpeaceful-rise#ixzz3aXtVRnIe
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