Chinese “Unicorns”?

I’ve heard of a Qilun/Kirin, but…Yeah, the only thing you’re missing are rainbows, and pink dolphins swimming.

I like what the blog’s author (Stan)’s views in response to The Top Ten Unicorns of China Policy”. It’s well-balanced. Here is a sample of the first two points he attacks:

1. The self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the argument that has the most purchase over the United States’ China policy. Treat China like an enemy, the belief goes, and it will become an enemy. Conversely, treat China like a friend, and it will become a friend.But three decades of U.S.-China relations should at least cast doubt on this belief.

Blumenthal seems to think that the U.S. is “neglecting” a future military threat from China, emphasizing proposed American defense budget cuts. While I agree with his general point here that treating China like either a friend or an enemy will not necessarily make that happen, I don’t think that huge military expenditures are therefore warranted.

Look, the U.S. already spends a ginormous amount on its military. Surely it can hack away at that monstrous budget without adverse consequences. China has a long way to go before it can pose a direct military threat to the U.S., and even then, only from a regional perspective.

2. Abandoning Taiwan will remove the biggest obstacle to Sino-American relations.

This one seems particularly weak to me. Blumenthal argues that the U.S. has already, for all practical purposes, severed ties with Taiwan: “There is essentially nothing on the U.S.-Taiwan policy agenda.” And yet, he says, China has been aggressive regionally, and the U.S. has not seen better China relations as a result.

I’m confused by this. With the exception of periodic arguments about arms sales (we had one recently), China and the U.S. haven’t been arguing about Taiwan very much. Isn’t that a victory in and of itself? Sure, the U.S. and China are not best friends as a result; there are other bilateral issues out there that haven’t been resolved (e.g. currency, trade, IP).

Does Blumenthal really think that if the U.S. sold more arms to Taiwan and if Obama visited there a couple of times, China would be more timid when it came to Taiwan and Japan? I think the opposite might be true.

Blumenthal thinks we should sell weapons to Taiwan, because he thinks China’s bullying them. I think we should just sell to Taiwan, because the Taiwanese are naive enough to buy them.


13=阝12=口 J=丁 (阿)
L=氵 Z=工 (江)
–1312JLZ (阿江)
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