China, hyenas flocking to this carrion
Mikiji Nishio (Critic)
Xi Jinping, the “Saint” of Asia
From the perspective of Europe, both Russia and China are major powers in the East, with a history of tyrannical dictatorships. The images of Ivan the Terrible and Stalin are projected onto Vladimir Putin, and the Chinese emperors of the past, not only Mao Tse-tung and Chiang Kai-shek, but also Kim Il-sung and, in terms of charisma alone, Li Teng-hui, provide a certain template as archetypes. In contrast, Western national leaders are different in character. It was Yoshikazu Kitamura, a scholar of Chinese literature, who interestingly organized the former Asian-type leaders as “saints” and the latter as “corporations” (“The Sociology of Saints,” Kyoto Gembunsha, 1995). I thought it was interesting. The word “saint” in “saint” does not have a moral or religious meaning.
Western leaders, even dictators, such as Napoleon and Hitler, do not follow the non-legalistic lineage of Asian-style emperors. There is a difference in the degree of desire for slavish dependence, an implicit assumption in the ancient layers of the people’s mind that national unity is inevitable without the emperor. Western-style dictatorships do not last forever. Asian dictatorships form traditions, and the same patterns are repeated. It will not become democracy by any means.
After the National People’s Congress, China is likely to continue to expand its international financial sector (Kyodo).
As for Japan, although it has always been a rule-of-law country, I don’t think it falls into either of the two categories. This is because the emperor does not fit into either category. This is why Japanese politics has always been misunderstood in some way. It is also the reason why charismatic political leaders have not emerged in Japan. The West and other Asian countries often measure Japan’s political power by their own historical references, distorting it and making a fuss about it. It is totally annoying.
Now the U.S. is trying to welcome Japan back as a successful example of transplanting American-style democracy to Asia. But things are a little different. A subtle error in democracy can become a big problem.
China and South Korea, on the other hand, are stuck in a pre-modern mindset that lacks empiricism and uses history to realize its own political desires, and will not step out of it. No discussion or debate can take place. I wonder if the U.S. understands how this happened.
But now a new and troubling situation has emerged. China, which the U.S. had hoped would change its system and move closer to becoming a democracy by increasing its technology and production capacity, has begun to take the opposite path. Xi Jinping is starting to look like a Stalinist dictator, the “saint” of Asia. Perhaps that is what the Chinese people want and expect.
Chinese universities have begun to reaffirm their Marxist educational philosophy. Dictatorial methods are being strengthened in the name of fighting corruption, with arrests at the top level one after another. The government is secretive, refusing to release even the most accurate economic data. There is a double crime: the personal crime of a senior party official who absconded with a sum of money the size of Japan’s national budget, and the double crime of using that money in a power struggle for power under the guise of punishment for that crime. There is not a shred of rule of law in this. The reason why the country is becoming uninhabitable due to the pollution of water, air, and soil, and the rapid spread of desertification, is also due to the lack of minimum restraint in obeying environmental protection laws. This is the reason why the land is becoming uninhabitable due to air and soil pollution and rapid desertification. The destruction of humanity, as seen in organ transplant operations, is as bad as the Nazis. The endless atrocities in Tibet, Uighur and Inner Mongolia, and the territorial aggression in the South China Sea and East China Sea in broad daylight. Moreover, the reality of the suppression of speech, in which the people are alienated from all information about these events, is a sign that the Stalin-type state has already reappeared.
What happened to the joyous cry of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, and where has it gone in Asia?
Scheming to fulfill one’s own desires with other countries’ money
From Europe’s point of view, both Russia and China are located in the east, but it is Russia that has been threatened, while China has been a pathetic and powerless country for a long time, and even though it is now gaining strength, it is a politically irrelevant country that does not directly harm Europe. In fact, it has always been so, even before the Great War. Think back to the pre-war period when Britain and the United States were complaining about Japan’s continental policy. The British, for example, without knowing anything about the actual situation in Manchuria, demanded in the name of the League of Nations that the security of Manchuria be handled by military police instead of regular troops. The continent was in the midst of a civil war between warlords. The continent was in the midst of a civil war between warlords, and the Kempeitai alone could not protect the public order, which was in disarray. The Japanese government was too stunned to speak. It was quite natural for them to feel that they should not deal with the League of Nations.
The Japanese government had no understanding of the affairs of distant Asia, and even though it was a colonial empire that had siphoned off a lot of profits, it quickly fled when it was in danger. That’s what Europe and America did. It was always Japan who bore the political burden. Now the same thing is happening again.
The fact that Japan and the U.S. did not participate in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with the U.K. leading the way and representatives from France, Germany, Italy, and other European countries announcing their intention to join, has spread to 57 countries around the world, and seems to have had no small impact on the world and on Japan. China’s fragmentation of the Group of Seven (G7) has ostensibly worked, and there are those who complain that the decline in U.S. power and Japan’s automatic “obedience” to the U.S. is shameful.
However, the Chinese government’s intentions are now completely transparent. In the past, the industry used to boost China’s GDP was real estate. Now that real estate has become a bubble, the challenge is to create some kind of new high value-added industry for the next era, but unfortunately, that is not in sight. The Chinese market is the world’s largest in terms of automobile sales. The Chinese market is the world’s largest in terms of car sales, but as the average income level of the population has risen, Chinese cars have become harder to sell. Prices are low, but breakdowns are common, and the gap in technology between China and the developed world is not only unbridgeable, but has become even more pronounced.
When China entered the era of reform and liberation about 30 years ago, it moved into roads, railroads, and real estate, probably because it saw that it could expand its GDP in a single breath by transferring and copying technology from developed countries and using its signature manpower tactics, without needing to develop any particular proprietary technology. In fact, it has succeeded in doing so, and now boasts the second largest GDP in the world, but what will happen next? China may have missed a major opportunity during the past 30 years of rising national power. Developing countries always have technological innovations that herald the next era. China has not done so. There is a limit to the amount of transfer and imitation. It is said that the development of robot technology is essential to prepare for the coming decline in the labor force, but China’s level is far too low.
It is only natural, then, that the country’s political and economic strategic plan should be to invest in infrastructure outside of itself and in the region surrounding it. Roads, railroads, ports, and building construction will be expanded outward. Expand overseas the measures that have worked so far. There is no other way to survive. China is overproducing steel, cement, building materials, petroleum products, etc., and the streets are full of unemployed people, and it is well known to everyone that the economy cannot run on domestic production alone any more. I was told that a ton of crude steel costs the same as an egg.
In addition, the plan has been hiding a long-standing desire to make the renminbi an international currency and to shake up the dollar reserve currency system. It is also a stepping stone to a blatant expansion of China’s military presence in the South China Sea, the Middle East, and Central Asia. All of this should be obvious to the rest of the world.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (far right) shakes hands with representatives of various countries who attended the ceremony to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). At the back right is Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei at the Great Hall of the People in Xicheng District, Beijing, China, October 2014.
In addition, although other countries may or may not be aware of it, it is often said in Japan that China is actually short of funds. The country’s foreign exchange reserves reached nearly $4 trillion in 2014, but are believed to be rapidly declining since then. China’s Discipline Commission estimates that more than $1 trillion has been taken out of the country by corrupt officials, and some reports claim that $3.78 trillion has disappeared. It’s not just the money being taken out, of course. The U.S. is probably aware of all the money transfers. Japan’s foreign exchange reserves are one-third of China’s, but on the side of money, its net foreign assets are positive, while China’s are zero. Recently, it is known that the Chinese government has been borrowing heavily from overseas. It appears that it is about to hit bottom. The reason why they are lowering their voice and asking Japan to join is clear. It seems that the AIIB has asked the Japanese to join by offering them the position of vice president.
The AIIB is a conspiracy in which China is trying to fulfill its own desires by relying on the money of other countries. If Japan and the U.S. join the AIIB, they will naturally be the ones to pay huge sums of money, and in the case of Japan, they may have to contribute ridiculous amounts of money. The reason why German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Japan to join the program is probably because she wants to reduce the burden of her own country’s contribution. The Abe administration was wise to be the first to announce its non-participation and should not meet the extended deadline of the end of June.
It is clear that China is desperate for survival. That’s understandable, as it is for any country. The established world financial institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are dominated by the will of the US, which is no fun for China, which is gaining power. There is room for sympathy in this regard. This is one of the voices in support of China. To this extent, of course, it is understandable.
But the biggest problem is the fact that China is a fascist imperialist state that emerged late. It is not that the Berlin Wall did not fall in Asia, but that it is now coming down. The emergence of the mysterious monster of modern China, where a communist dictatorship simultaneously wears the mask of a financial capitalist state, and where state corporations under the control of information arrogate the freedom of the market, is the Asian version of the Berlin Wall.
The urgent task for Asia is to somehow dismantle this monstrosity, i.e., to remove the wall, or to put it simply, to eliminate the Chinese Communist Party regime, to give freedom to the 1.3 billion Chinese people, to truly marketize the Chinese economy (introduce a floating exchange rate system), to develop the People’s Bank of China into a modern financial institution independent of the government, etc. It is also important to develop the People’s Bank of China into a modern financial institution independent of the government. The cause of all the remaining misery in Asia is the failure to do so. Abductions, territorial disputes, South Korea’s threats against Japan, and other issues that plague Japan also ultimately lie here. At the upcoming summit in Berlin, I hope that Prime Minister Abe will stress that the elimination of the Communist Party of China is a long-held desire of the Chinese people as well as the Japanese people, and that he will give a shout-out to the G7 leaders who are in a daze, and to those who are lazy and think only of making money when it comes to Asia. I hope you will join us.
I listened to NHK’s Sunday Debate from 9:00 a.m. on April 12, and out of the five panelists, Mr. Eisuke Sakakibara, Mr. Masahiro Kawai, Mr. Toshio Watanabe, Mr. Zhu Jianrong, and Mr. Kiyoyuki Seguchi, only Mr. Watanabe criticized China’s arrogance in trying to solve its own contradictions internationally, and pointed out that the motive for the AIIB lies in the country’s national partiality structure. Mr. Watanabe was the only one who pointed out that the AIIB was motivated by the country’s national pariah structure. The rest of us are just trying to be gentle and understanding towards China. And because they talk about it from the standpoint of Japan’s national interest, they inevitably mislead the Japanese nation and people. NHK should also be censured for its imprudence in choosing a Chinese national like Zhu Jianrong, who was imprisoned for political reasons and is still believed to be under the watchful eye of the Chinese government, as a panelist.
The people of neighboring Japan are gradually becoming fearful and wary of Xi Jinping’s charismatic display of the Asian version of a dictatorial “saint” and his attempt to emulate Stalin and Mao. Only the TV talkers are insensitive. The fact that Western countries, led by the United Kingdom, seem to be trying to help this country without knowing the reality of the monstrous country – the fact that they can read Chinese characters seems to be a rather decisive difference – has created a new image of the Japanese people towards China. There seems to be a new and uneasy confusion in the Japanese public’s image of China.
Europe Wants to Curb a Too Strong Dollar
On the one hand, the Europeans feel threatened by Russia, but not by China, and on the other hand, they have a consistent policy of trying to control the overly strong dollar. The formation of the EU was originally motivated by a sense of crisis over the Japan-U.S. economic alliance, which at one time accounted for 40% of the world’s GDP. The Gulf War was also in part a challenge to the euro against the dollar. After the turmoil in Greece, it became clear that the euro could not compete with the dollar as a reserve currency, and there was no other way to rely on it, so they decided to use the yuan. Strengthening the ruble would be bad for Europe, but the renminbi is not a threat. In addition, seeing that Japan was free to invest in Asia with the power of a general trading company, which is Japan’s forte, and that European countries were completely lagging behind because the style of former colonial rulers was no longer acceptable, China’s offer was also a boon.
I have already mentioned that it is Europe’s political desire to have China’s power on its side to divide China and Russia and to deter Russia’s power as much as possible. It has been an immutable law since ancient times that ties with distant countries should restrain closer ones, and the Abe administration’s plan to get closer to Russia – now suspended due to the conflict in Ukraine – is not only because of the Northern Territories. This is not only because of the Northern Territories, but also because it wants to keep China in check. The key to Japanese diplomacy is to make the US understand this point. Russia is now in economic trouble. Isn’t this a chance to solve a long-standing problem? Since Russia is beginning to lend its support to North Korea, there is a possibility of a breakthrough on the abduction issue as well. Success or failure will depend on how to persuade the United States, which is hostile to Russia.
Their participation in the AIIB is easy to understand in this light. I think this is the reason why there is not as much resistance as in Japan and the U.S. However, this raises strong doubts about what Europeans think about the issue of dissolving communism and the issue of responsibility for the history of the “Berlin Wall” that still exists in Asia. In particular, the fact that the United Kingdom took the initiative to join the EU was a shock to the Japanese, especially to the conservative Japanese. Since the Meiji era (1868-1912), Britain has been the representative of European civilization. Even now, it was thought that this tone had not changed. However, I think that for the first time there are people who feel that something is wrong.
In my opinion, the real reason is that Britain has become a weak country that has lost its productive power, with nothing but international information power and financial industry. Britain is trapped. This is symbolized by Scotland’s attempt to escape. If the referendum had passed, the country’s name would have been changed to England, it would have lost its current position in the United Nations, and it would have fallen into a second-class country.
Britain and the U.S. have not always been brothers in interests, and until 1939 the Japanese government considered the U.K. and U.S. to be comparable. However, Britain, exhausted by World War I, had no choice but to use the U.S. as a shield against anything and everything, and it is well known that Britain did everything in its power to lure the U.S. into World War II. This nation of intrigue is up to something again.
In the world of international finance, it is well known that “tax havens” or “off-shores” exist as a kind of “racket” for massive tax evasion. The U.S. has tried to eliminate them, but ostensibly, some states have laws that favor corporations and allow tax breaks for certain people. The US is still critical of the unfair darkness, but the UK is not. It has been trying to defend to the death a massive state-sponsored underground money-hiding structure. This is where the City, the heart of Britain’s financial power, comes into play.
Whenever I read testimonies such as “half of the world’s money stock goes offshore” or “about 30 percent of total foreign direct investment goes through tax havens,” I am simply amazed. In recent years, names of places like the Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and the Cayman Islands have been appearing in the newspapers. The so-called global financial hub is the City of London. According to 2008 data, the City accounted for half of all international stock transactions, 70% of Eurobond transactions, and 55% of international initial public offerings.
I have often heard news that the tax havens that flourished under the Cold War regime have become increasingly difficult to operate, partly due to international opposition, and that the Swiss financial industry, on which the wealthy rely, has come under criticism and has been partially compromised. It is said that the City is also gradually losing its function as an offshore financial center. However, the City is such a large entity for the UK that it is said to be “another state within a state”. As an autonomous region, the City has been granted a privileged position since the Middle Ages and has been a sanctuary for the UK’s finances that no one can touch. It was a sanctuary for British finances that no one could touch. The fact that it was on the verge of being compromised was a matter of national survival. It is not difficult to understand that British politics is desperate to do something about this.
However, it should come as no surprise that the British financial industry has turned its attention to collaborating with China. Citi’s aim is to revive its waning position by becoming a center for yuan trading, a challenge to the dollar reserve currency system. But this would be a challenge to the dollar reserve currency regime, and it may not necessarily trigger an overturning of the Bretton Woods system. It is only natural that the United States was shocked. Moreover, it was the Conservative government led by Prime Minister David Cameron.
It is natural that China, which is confronting the U.S., needs the U.K. as much as possible, but it is incomprehensible that the U.K. would jump on the bandwagon of a corrupt and crumbling monster state. Has the country been driven to such a point that it has fallen? Or is it that we haven’t received any information about China’s imminent economic collapse? Or is it that this is not a matter of the last few years, but a historic effort that will affect the nation for a hundred years? A population of 1.3 billion has been a drooling time for world trade for the past 200 years, but is that still the case?
But still, I would like to say. Britain and the rest of the Western world fought the totalitarianism of the Nazis, and after the war, they had to endure the Stalinism of the Soviet Union to finally obtain “modern freedom. It is impossible not to see what Xi Jinping is up to. What is this indiscriminate choice to go against history, if not a too great loss of the ethical temperament of the Europeans?
Obama’s Failure Causes Difficulties
I once wrote that the U.S. does not behave like a superpower but still thinks it is one, and that its actions and consciousness are out of sync (Shoron Monthly, May 2014 issue). In the case of Ukraine and the upcoming AIIB, the US’s mismanagement has caused difficulties. First, the U.S. strongly supported the anti-Russian demonstrations in Ukraine, which caused unrest and dissatisfaction in Russia and led to strife. The U.S. gave money and technology to China, supported its long-term policy of yuan depreciation, and created a money-rich superpower, but did not give the country a role worthy of its power in the World Bank, IMF, or Asian Development Bank. This is at a time when the need for infrastructure development in Asia is now at a critical juncture. China has seized the moment well. It has succeeded in stirring up widespread dissatisfaction in the rest of the world with America’s high-handedness and lack of resolve.
This is not so much a failure of the US as it is a failure of Obama. It is Obama’s temperamental incompetence that has led to his hesitation in handling the war in Syria and his inability to bring out and control the Islamic State terrorist group, which has displayed poor atrocities. In addition, it has aroused anti-American sentiment in our European allies. The new behavior in London City is also troubling.
While it appears that the oft-repeated phenomenon of the weakening of the U.S. superpower is behind it, from a different perspective, there is an eerie chaos, a dark and growing sense of the spiritual disorder that is now shaking the entire planet. The United States is not the only cause of this. The globalization of the economy, the unrestricted movement of capital, the invisible financial darkness made possible by information technology. The anarchic state of the modern world, with no effective institutions beyond the state, is approaching a state in which nations are at odds with each other and fear each other, just as individuals did in the late Middle Ages. Alliances will be formed, damaged, or renewed, and sooner or later, great power and power will clash.
Originally, the modern era was the British century. Spain opened up and Britain took over, overwhelmed the Netherlands and France, and then handed over to the United States, which is the main story of modern history. The core of that Britain, the royal family, was in league with pirates. In the process of the Tudor dynasty, a poor second-rate nation, defeating Spain and closing in on the Netherlands, the profits from the Caribbean slave trade were decisive in its role in determining the country’s fortunes. The key point was that Queen Elizabeth was deeply involved in the pirate trade from the very beginning. She was always at the forefront of the investment community, waving the flag as the British finances were sustained by raiding and plundering foreign ships returning from South America full of gold and silver.
It is true to say that this was the era, but it cannot be overemphasized that the British navy’s control of the seas, which ruled the earth until World War I, had its origins in the chivalry, wisdom and treachery of pirates.
You never know what a cornered beast will do. I have a feeling that history is now returning to the way it was five hundred years ago. Nation after nation is beginning to fear each other. We should not forget that it was the British who plundered almost every corner of the earth. And espionage and finance are two of China’s specialties.
In 1995, former Prime Minister Kaifu met with President Jiang Zemin in China. When he said that both Japan and the U.S. were opposed to China’s nuclear tests, Jiang Zemin replied, “The U.S. has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. When I told him that both Japan and the U.S. were opposed to China’s nuclear tests, Jiang Zemin replied that the U.S. was the world’s largest producer of nuclear weapons. It is an interesting metaphor. Kaifu would have been brilliant if he had said, “Then you wouldn’t complain if Japan turned on the lights,” but he didn’t have the guts or the humor. However, he had neither the courage nor the humor to do so. The newspapers of the time reported that he only said something about the long-cherished wish of the only A-bombed nation and said, “By all means, I would like China to show its deep pockets.
I can’t help but understand Jiang Zemin’s spirit. I cannot help but understand Jiang Zemin’s spirit, for it reminds me of the predicament of Japan in the past, when it was besieged and driven into a corner by the West. His zealous and self-reliant attitude seems to be in line with that of Japan from the Washington Conference to the outbreak of war. And I thought at the time that China would one day collide head-on with the U.S. if things continued as they were.
In today’s world, there is no central point, but a number of scattered points of power that sway and clash with each other. No country has a chance of success, and predictions are becoming unpredictable.
Change the AIIB with U.S. and Japanese oversight
The AIIB will probably try to cooperate with the World Bank, the IMF, and the Asian Development Bank at first, and Japan and the U.S. would be better off as watchdogs, as some say, and that may happen by the end of June. That is a policy debate, not an ideological one.
The U.S. will change the AIIB in its preferred direction, whether from the outside or the inside, and if the U.S. does not, Japan will have to take the lead in doing so. The participation or oversight of both countries will surely be a hindrance to China’s imperialistic ambitions, which have obvious intentions. The Republican-dominated U.S. Congress will not allow China to continue to increase its presence in the region without improving its disregard for intellectual property rights, rule of law, and human rights. Even anti-Japan and pro-China leaders such as Kissinger and Brzezinski have recently come out to condemn China.
We don’t know what will happen in the next half century, but in the economic world, the U.S. is expected to be the sole winner for the next 10 years, while China will only continue its downward slide. The Chinese economy is not expected to grow anymore. If China’s economy is not growing, it will not be able to grow even if it spreads its wings globally. First of all, it must go in the direction of raising domestic demand and increasing consumption, but since it is suddenly going to expand overseas, and for China’s own convenience at that, friction with foreign countries will arise, and this will also have a negative impact on the domestic economy. There have already been many reports from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and African countries of friction with local communities that are unpopular with China. The U.S. will surely resume its massive policy of containment of China – something it had already done before the 9/11 attacks. The outcome of the presidential election will of course have a lot to do with this.
However, the U.S. Democratic Party has a history of understanding and tolerating communism. I would like to mention this.
It was General Marshall, who later became Secretary of State, who was responsible for creating the Maoist regime in China. It was General Marshall, who later became Secretary of State, who entrusted the creation of Mao’s regime in China. He had the United States believe that Mao was not a convinced communist but an “agrarian reformer” who would work for the people. As early as the following year, when the U.S. had tacitly accepted the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) by Mao Zedong, the CPC invaded the Korean Peninsula and forced the U.S. to engage in the Korean War. There is no doubt that the U.S. miscalculated the outcome of the Korean War, but there are few people who loudly condemn Marshall for this miscalculation. Why we handed over China to the communists in the early postwar period is a serious question that deserves to be asked today, but it has long since been, and continues to be, kept under wraps in the United States. The tilt toward a liberalism that moodily welcomes multicommunist progressivism has swept not only Japan but also the US. Therefore, even though we know that the AIIB is blatantly false, there is still room for doubt as to whether the policy of containment of modern China will be resolutely enforced.
As mentioned above, there is no clearing of the dark clouds anywhere in the world, and each country seems to be going astray, which also provides a great opportunity for monsters. Japan, even if alone, must lead the U.S. in removing the darkness of a country that does not know the rule of law. This is because it was Japan, not the United States, that had already learned the dangers of communism before the war and had established a national policy to get rid of the naive delusion.