Leadership: Chinese Muscle

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August 23, 2011: China has long believed that wars and battles can be won without fighting. China is following this ancient advice as it pursues several goals. Take, for example, pro-reform Chinese (seen as dangerous radicals by the communist dictatorship). Actually, this can include anyone the government simply thinks is in favor of reforming the Chinese Communist Party out of power.

Inside China, the numerous police agencies are sent after these people, who are arrested and imprisoned or executed. For those who manage to get out of the country, China threatens nations that offer sanctuary. Because of China’s growing economic power, most of the world’s nations are no longer safe for fleeing Chinese reformers. The United States is one of the few nations that can be relied on to protect these Chinese refugees. But China is not powerless in the United States, as the lobbying system, where pressure can be put on senior politicians via the promise of political favors (campaign contributions, jobs for constituents) is now widely used by the Chinese. While there are limits to what lobbyists can do for a foreign power, it’s often sufficient to deal with very important (to the Chinese) issues. This would include blocking the U.S. from selling modern weapons to Taiwan, but not getting pro-democracy reformers sent home for punishment.

But for most other Western nations, the Chinese economic, lobbying and diplomatic efforts are sufficient to get lots of dirty work done. There are still some Chinese reformers hiding out in Western nations, but no one is selling Taiwan any weapons, or providing asylum for someone China is really intent on getting, or at least shutting down.

China is not able to completely silence expatriate reformers with these methods, but the reformers have a much harder time being heard, or getting foreign nations to even apply pressure on China to halt its brutish police state methods. China knows how to play this game because, according to many historians, China invented the rules.

 

 


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