Video: Robert Kaplan on China’s Navy

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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7 Responses to Video: Robert Kaplan on China’s Navy

  1. PD Scott says:

    From the Chinese perspective, they may well be intending to secure their trade routes and energy supplies, but the United States no doubt sees the Chinese navy as a threat to Taiwan. Perhaps some future American President, desperate to avoid a great power/superpower war and devoted to Realpolitik, will “sell” Taiwan for a forgiveness of American debts…

    As for India, I wonder how much it will be able to use the historical fact of China’s not being a very good neighbor against it. Certainly Vietnam, for instance, has no good reason to love China.

    I sometimes wonder if the Chinese, in making deals with various thuggish governments, aren’t making the same kind of foreign policy mistakes the US tended to make during the Cold War in re: governments that were (at least nominally) anti-communist. One wouldn’t think the Chinese would need lessons in People’s War, but they could (twenty-thirty years down the road) be seen as enablers/partners of the oppressors.

    Lastly, did I read that right on the titles? “Navel War College”?

    You need a strong belly for that kind of fight…

  2. Myname says:

    The notion that China prefers nasty despot as allies is a Western myth. China doesn’t care at all. To paraphrase the FFs:

    China goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the prosperity and progress of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of Communism.

    My policy has been, and will continue to be, while I have the honor to remain in the administration of the government, to be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth. To share in the broils of none. To fulfil our own engagements. To supply the wants, and be carriers for them all: Being thoroughly convinced that it is our policy and interest to do so.
    The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible… Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalships, interest, humor, or caprice?… It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.

    Non-interventionism at it’s finest.

  3. Pingback: China Military Watch: Week 1 « Defending Japan

  4. PD Scott says:

    I’m sorry if I made it seem as if I thought the Chinese prefer to work with despots; my point is that by not caring who they deal with they will be seen as an enabler and ally by people suffering under despots with whom the Chinese are friendly.

    And I could be wrong. Happens quite frequently, unfortunately.

  5. Pingback: China Military Watch: Week 1 | Japan Security Watch

  6. DanD says:

    Why would the Chinese bargain for Taiwan in exchange for debt forgiveness. The Chinese view Taiwan as something that was stolen from them. It would be like if China co-opted Hawaii, and then offered to trade it back to us for something they need.

  7. Michael says:

    I’ve heard the development of China’s interior described as one of China’s great strategic challenges. If so, those pipelines Kaplan mentioned would make that development much easier.