Entering the New Chinese Warlord Era

Chinese warlords have appeared all throughout China’s history, springing up in times of turmoil to gain power, and sometimes establishing their own dynasty. Warlords are normally aggressive and ambitious, they want to gain power and will use any means necessary to get it. This is a list of 10 ruthless Chinese warlords. __ http://eskify.com/10-ruthless-chinese-warlords/

China’s Modern Conundrum
Chokepoints of Supply

The fear of chaos has often been prevalent throughout history in China. For thousands of years, one Chinese dynasty has followed another. But not every dynasty has been able to control all or most of Chinese territory, and between the fall of one dynasty and the rise of another there has periodically been chaos. The Chinese Communist Party is just the latest Chinese dynasty, which itself emerged following a long period of war and chaos. __ Robert D. Kaplan

China is Always Driven by “Fear of Chaos“

China’s dynasties almost always seem to be interrupted by “warlord eras,” with bloody chaotic warfare between competing warlords. China’s most recent warlord era took place between the years 1916 and 1927, China once more divided into warring regions.

The Warlord Era (1916-27) was a period when national authority in China disintegrated and the country broke apart into a jigsaw of regions, each controlled by powerful local leaders. Warlordism was to some extent a culmination of internal divisions that emerged in late Qing China. As Qing authority waned, local leaders moved to increase their own power. __ http://alphahistory.com/chineserevolution/warlord-era/

Global Chinese Expansion Invites a Grander Warlord Era

Chinese expansion is inevitable due to the risk of Chinese supply lines being cut off (see map above). China has only one coastline, which is hemmed in by multiple island chains — many of them occupied by unfriendly or unreliable nations. China has moved to acquire control of foreign territories, seaports, and facilities for food, energy, and raw materials supplies.

The new “One Belt One Road” initiative is an attempt to create multiple supply lines — over land and sea — and multiple bases of support for maintaining those supply lines. The seizing of contested seaspace and building of artificial islands and military bases off the Chinese shoreline is a further attempt to prevent foreign warships from blocking Chinese supply lines, or interfering with any aggressive Chinese moves against its neighbors (including Taiwan).

As the Chinese expand into significant industrial/agricultural/mining/energy holdings in Africa and Latin America; as they move to control important seaports in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Greece, Africa, Latin America and beyond; and as the Chinese diaspora of both loyal and disaffected mainland Chinese continues, new centres of power will emerge.

New centres of Chinese power threaten Xi, who has just spent several years destroying all other centres of Chinese power within the nation’s borders.

How Can Xi Stop New “Warlords” from Emerging?

Difficult to say, since it has been in China’s very nature to unite and divide into perpetuity.

“Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.” This opening adage of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, China’s classic novel of war and strategy, best captures the essential dynamism of Chinese geopolitics. At its heart is the millennia-long struggle by China’s would-be rulers to unite and govern the all-but-ungovernable geographic mass of China. It is a story of centrifugal forces and of insurmountable divisions rooted in geography and history – but also, and perhaps more fundamentally, of centripetal forces toward eventual unity.

___ Zhixing Zhang

It is not in the nature of Chinese strongmen to want to submit to a distant “emperor,” regardless of the ideology under which China pretends to operate at any given time. Xi will attempt to place only loyal strongmen in control of these dozens of new and farflung overseas Chinese power centres, but there is no room for failure. In such constrained circumstances, Murphy’s law ultimately prevails.

China Already Has Serious Problems

There is no need to rehash China’s debt mountain, its ongoing banking train wreck, its multiple economic, financial, and industrial bubbles, its poisoned land/water/air/food/medicine etc. crises, and so on. Other posts here deal with such issues in detail.

For most people to understand the undercurrents of events, they will need to cultivate aspects of their minds which largely sit unused.

It is not enough to read the summaries and “see” the basic outlines. Making sense of what one sees requires a deep substructure of understanding which requires years and decades to acquire.

Few China observers have the ability to look beneath the powerful facade to the underlying corruption and decay. We live in a dumbed down world, suckled on the 15 second attention-span internet and social media. People are no longer capable of reading books — or even extended articles or blog postings. Almost no one can hold all of the many ideas in his mind simultaneously for a long enough period of time to achieve a meaningful synthesis.

And so superficial facades are the only things that most people can see and understand. This is useful for propaganda states such as China and Russia, and for propaganda industries such as the mainstream news and entertainment medias of Europe and the Anglosphere.

But for those who can see, the future is falling apart and falling together at the same time, in virtual full view. It requires the ability to follow several dozen trend lines at the same time, while understanding the fundamentals that are driving those trends. But it can be done by those who cultivate their minds in the right way.

What is True for China is Doubly True for Russia

China and Russia are in a quiet but intense struggle for Eurasian resources and political influence. As Putin ages, several strongmen of Russia have begun to wonder “what comes after Putin?” Few of them have an answer that would satisfy them or any other Russian.

The question is more critical every day because China’s need for Siberian resources grow more critical every day. Soon China will need far more than the Kremlin will want to supply. Then, China will call in its markers.

China Will Reclaim Siberia NYT

And Siberia will provide would-be Chinese warlords with rich training grounds for their rebels and warriors. Interesting times, Mr. Xi.

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2 Responses to Entering the New Chinese Warlord Era

  1. bob sykes says:

    Conquering Russia’s Siberia gets China absolutely nothing they don’t already have, and at a far cheaper cost, and without risk of nuclear war. China resource access problems can be more readily solved by conquering the island chain, at least South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. That is doable with very low risk of nuclear war. There is still the issue of India, but the island chain itself has many resources, which is what drove the Japanese invasions 80 years ago.

    • alfin2101 says:

      There is no mention of conquest — in the conventional sense of the term — in either my piece or in the New York Times piece that is linked.

      There is no need for any conquest. Putin has already sold the future of Siberia to China, under the table where the proletariat cannot see until it is too late. If China tried the bloody conquests you suggest, there would be all kinds of hell to pay. With Russia, the fix is already in. And unlike with Russia’s other business “partners,” the bear had best not fail in its terms with the dragon. Better to give up large parts of Siberia piecemeal — which were once claimed by China anyway — than to turn all its cities into radioactive cinders.

      Russia has more nukes, but far fewer cities of any consequence, and far fewer people to rise from the ashes.

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