We should keep a sharp (but non-intrusive) eye on events in Central Asia (China to Russia) over the coming years, as important relationships in that area are now greatly changed, predicting even greater changes ahead.
Russia has not been strong and stable enough since its war with Hitler to impose the former Stalinist “iron-hand” on the many independence-minded former Soviet states along their long border with China. Many new ideas from the West have complicated Moscow’s policy-making and internal relations.
China is having serious problems with its western provinces, problems some top Chinese Communists equate with open rebellion.
During WWII and the years following, China was wracked by civil war between Mao’s Communists and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists. The Russians had armed and built Chiang Kai-shek a military organization. But during the 10-year-long “Long March” the Communists had organized “People’s Village Teams” every step of the way. Gradually it became apparent that the communists were winning in the organizing of millions of Chinese.
But during the long Chinese civil war, parts of China were neglected by both sides. Western China had large tracts occupied by Muslims from Muslim nations to the west of China, who had come east to farm abandoned farm lands, whose Chinese owners had fled because of the war.
Many Chinese in those Western Chinese lands sympathized with the poor Muslim refugees because they hated the Han Chinese who had been sent out by Peking to run Western China. The Chinese of western China were not of Han racial descent and were treated as foreigners by the Han officials sent out from Peking. The Han officials tried to turn over the money dedicated to education to schools whose students were mostly Han. It was the same with other government and corporate businesses. Even long after the Long March was over, Peking and the Han Chinese distrusted the non-Han Chinese, especially in western China.
Recently the young North Korean leader Kim Jong Um announced that his recent ballistic missile launch was not aimed at the U.S., nor at any other country. It was an anti-ship missile, he said. Military and intelligence officials immediately began to speculate: “What kind of ship?”
Such a large missile could only have been intended to be launched at a very large ship such as an aircraft carrier. . . a U.S. aircraft carrier?
If the North Korean dictator used his new missile to hit and sink a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the U.S. would be expected to retaliate on a similar if not much greater scale. That could start a real, large-scale war. If so would China just stand by and watch? Not likely.
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