China continues its expansionist hegemony as witnessed in its aggressive, forward moving posture to embrace significant naval ports (in Pakistan), natural resources in South America (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador), not to mention the dominance of China in Australian iron ore mines or oil off the coast of Florida.
Will this regime go to war to preserve such gains? How influential are Communist’s awash with money in regions not aligned democratically?
China is not monolithic. It does have serious domestic handicaps as witnessed in last summer’s Urumqui uprising in northwest China. The social impact of embracing both Democracy and Capitalism cannot be displaced. Absent the rule of law, such an impact is bound to violent as particular regions gain political, economic advantage over others. Gone are the days of Confucian monolithic conformity.
If China is faced with an adamant determined West or natural disaster, it will display its domestic fragmentation. The mandarins in Beijing have no hold on those with long memories in the interior.
The only way forward for this regime is for its leaders to remain in positions of domestic influence therefore mitigating domestic unrest. We’ve seen this recently throughout Shanghai concerning a recent spat of public knifings. If domestic policy officials develop and hold a Machiavellian approach, the Chinese people themselves may avert disaster by reforming the mandarins in Beijing.