Can Historical Memories Shape A Future?

Can historical memories shape a future? In my opinion, historical memories could play a great role in shaping the direction of a future even though on the surface we may not see such things happen. For an example, the horrific revenge of the Soviet Union against Germany as Soviet Union troops entered Germany when the Nazi continuedly retreated as the WWII winded down. This pushed Germany to fight the Soviet Union harder and preferred to surrender to the allies.

The Soviet Union’s behavior right after WWII is a great example of why the Soviet Union lost the cold war according to Dr. Citino. If I remembered correctly he said something as such in the YouTube video above. I guess if he is right on this perspective of history, we have a lesson to learn here!

I guess the lesson of history in the context of this blog post is that a careless single victory in the present doesn’t mean much if it could cause long term pain in the future! For an example, we have multiple nuclear powers in the world as we speak, but if any one of them uses nuclear weapons carelessly, this could lead to a future that would not be very favorable for such a power.

I wonder, could Japan be closer to the United States and prevent China historic rise if the United States had won WWII against Japan without nuking Japan? In the video right after the break, Parag Khanna suggests that Japan’s heavied investments into China had contributed today stronger China!

Perhaps, I’m reading into things that simply aren’t there, but I have a feeling that Japan does want China to be quite strong to hedge against the United States. Perhaps, they fear the will of using nuclear weapons by the United States. I don’t see any reason for the United States to ever nuke Japan again. but I feel that Japan may have a long memory of it being nuked by the United States. Sure, it’s outrageous to think that Japan is unfaithful to the United States since it’s still a very close ally to the United States. Nonetheless, I’m sure there must be a thinking out there like this, and so we can’t just totally ignore the possibility!

In summary, I think a victor should not be as ruthless as Genghis Khan or the Soviet Union, because such a ruthless victor would not be able to win the respect of the surrendered power! On the surface, the surrendered power may acquiesce to the demands of the victor, but inside the surrendered power could have a feeling of long term ill will. I think today nuclear powers should not use their nuclear weapons carelessly no matter how precise and strategic their nuclear weapons could become because I think such powerful weapons could create unending hatred of one people or power to another!

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I Think China Wants The United States To Impose %25 Tariff on Chinese Goods in March!

I don’t like to get political and hopefully what I’m writing isn’t too political. I’m thinking that even if president Trump is really wanting to have a trade deal with China to avert the upcoming tariff deadline in March on the Chinese goods, China might not want to see a trade deal gets done even the United States concedes something great.

How come? Well, let pretend to put yourself in a Chinese shoe and think about this for a second. So, if you’re Chinese and you know that the Americans will up the tariff on your $200 billion goods in March from 10% to 25% if the trade deal between China and the United States won’t happen, and so the big question is should you concede to the United States in a big way in order for a trade deal to be happening and the tariff to go away? Well, I think if you’re smart you probably would want the United States to impose the 25% tariff on your $200 billion of goods.

I think China knows that the United States economy is not on a solid foundation otherwise the United States won’t have a government shutdown and such. Furthermore, inflation would go through the roof since the interest rates cannot be raised appropriately. To keep the interest rates low the United States has to continue to print more money. Normal people in the United States will continue to see rising inflation which would cost them dearly in acquiring daily things in local grocery stores and so on. A hamburger meal usually costs like $3 but now is like $7 to $8. So, if you’re the Chinese you would think that higher tariff on the $200 billion Chinese goods must be a great thing for China!

Meanwhile, China is weaning off the reliance on American consumers because of the hostility between the United States and China! This could push China to be more aggressive in finding new markets throughout the world such as in Africa, India, Asia, Europe, South America to replace the North American consumer base. Some other regions might see this as a good opportunity to negotiate with China to get a great deal so they could enter China’s huge growing middle-class consumer base. China may pretend to resist this but could end up agreeing to concede something to these players so they could diversify away from the American consumer base.

I think the long term picture is what China is sought after because China wants to better itself in the overall big picture. This means China doesn’t care if the United States is upping the tariff to 25% or even to 75% or to 100%. When the United States is upping the tariff on Chinese goods, the Americans have to pay more for daily things in their lives. This would put even more stress on the Americans and make the Americans go into debts even more. More Americans in debts could mean a weaker market overall for the United States in the long run. This means more Americans will have to be more prudent on what they will spend so they could have money to pay off their debts. This means the American market will soon see a big cut back from spending by the American consumers. Either this or the Americans who are already in too many debts won’t have money to spend anyway!

Meanwhile, China could just sit pretty and wait out to see another financial crisis that will hit North America. So, in a Chinese shoe, do you think you want to have a trade deal done with the United States? Meanwhile, president Trump may not even want a trade deal done with China since president Trump thinks that he will get more votes for the next presidential race if he goes anti-China even more. In summary, I don’t think by the end of February we will see a trade deal between China and the United States. So, if you’re on the side of wanting to see a trade deal done, you should hope that I’m wrong. So, if you’re on the side of not wanting to see a trade deal done between China and the United States, you would probably want that I’m right. In my opinion, a trade war between China and the United States is not a good thing for the long term economic health of the United States.

Ten Advantages of Cao Cao Over Yuan Shao — Still Wise Today!

In a time of war and competition, do strategies from fictional and non-fictional historic works amount to anything in reality?  I like to think some strategies and tactics in such works do encourage self-reflection and humbleness for the creative mind and out of the box thinking do shine some light on whatever matters that are at hand.  I have always loved Romance of Three Kingdoms story because this work does carry some really cool fictional and non-fictional strategies and tactics.

If you don’t know about Romance of the Three Kingdoms, then you wouldn’t know why it’s a great piece of work!  Basically, this piece of work is rather ancient as it was penned by ancient Chinese authors.  Ancient Chinese authors exaggerated a lot of things in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but these authors had also included a lot of known real historical facts.

I like how the intricate plots and interactions among the characters within Romance of the Three Kingdoms play out.  Especially, the coolness level rises to the max when the advisers among different factions try to best each other by using amazing tactics and strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles.  Liu Bei’s smartest adviser Zhuge Liang is especially cool as this guy is being portraited as one of the smartest if not the smartest advisers on earth at the time, in ancient China.  His reputation proceeded him because he could predict ancient weather patterns and devise winning strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles, for his lord.

Cao Cao got some smart advisers too!  In this blog post, I like to focus on one of Cao Cao’s smart advisers who is known as Gou Jia.  According to Wikipedia, Gou Jia flattered Cao Cao with Cao Cao’s ten advantages over Yuan Shao and Cao Cao was so flattered that he hired Gou Jia to be a Libationer.  To tell the truth, I don’t know what is a Libationer in ancient China, but for sure Cao Cao’s many victories were won through Gou Jia’s well-thought strategies and tactics.

In this blog post, I like to think that Gou Jia’s Cao Cao ten advantages over Yuan Shao are still relevant today.  Let me list these ten advantages.  Actually, let me quote Wikipedia’s Gou Jia article:

“Everyone has heard of the rivalry between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. Liu Bang won by strategy; Xiang Yu was very powerful but he still lost to Liu Bang. Based on my observations, Yuan Shao has ten disadvantages while you have ten advantages. (Yuan Shao) may have many troops but they are useless.

  1. Yuan Shao is overly concerned with formalities, while you behave naturally. You win him in principle.[Sanguozhi zhu 4]
  2. Yuan Shao attempts to achieve supremacy from an opposing position, while you use the Han Empire’s authority to command respect. You win him in righteousness.[Sanguozhi zhu 5]
  3. The Han dynasty declined due to a lack of discipline and law enforcement. Yuan Shao condones his followers and their ill discipline, so he fails in administration. You uphold discipline sternly and firmly among your followers. You win him in management.[Sanguozhi zhu 6]
  4. Yuan Shao appears to be welcoming and accepting but he is actually jealous and suspicious. He never fully trusts his followers and places faith only in his family members and close relatives. You appear simple on the outside but you are actually very discerning on the inside. You fully trust those you have placed your faith in, and you promote meritocracy. You win him in tolerance.[Sanguozhi zhu 7]
  5. Yuan Shao likes to listen to many ideas but is indecisive and he hesitates before he makes any move. You are decisive and you adapt to changes well. You win him in strategy.[Sanguozhi zhu 8]
  6. Yuan Shao uses his fame to attract people to serve him and boost his name. His followers are mostly people who are able to disguise their flaws through persuasion and glib talk. You are sincere towards your followers and do not recruit them for the purpose of increasing your fame. Many loyal and truly capable people are willing to serve under you. You win him in virtue.[Sanguozhi zhu 9]
  7. When Yuan Shao sees others suffering from hunger and cold, he will express his concern towards them. However, he will not do so if their sufferings are not obvious. This is a form of unwise care and concern. You sometimes neglect less important things but when you handle big situations, you are connected to the masses within the Four Seas and the rewards you give out are far greater than Yuan Shao’s fame. Even though this may not be obvious, your care and concern towards others are complete. You win him in benevolence.[Sanguozhi zhu 10]
  8. Yuan Shao’s followers are often bickering and politicking and they give libelous and troublesome advice. You govern your followers with the right principles, so corruption does not occur under your leadership. You win him in wisdom.[Sanguozhi zhu 11]
  9. Yuan Shao cannot distinguish between right and wrong. You respect someone when you think he has done right and you punish someone when you feel he has done wrong. You win him in culture.[Sanguozhi zhu 12]
  10. Yuan Shao likes to display bravado and is not aware of the crucial elements in war. You overcome an enemy superior in numbers with a smaller force, just like a god of war. The soldiers look up to you, your enemies fear you. You win him in military skill.”[Sanguozhi zhu 13]

Do you think in today world, these advantages that Gou Jia mentioned to Cao Cao are still wise words?  Personally, I do think these words are still wise.  I like the advice #3 (management capability matters), #4 (to employ someone is to believe and trust that someone otherwise it would be counterproductive), #5 (don’t be indecisive), #6 (use capable people in important roles and positions), #7 (be very practical and honest when interact with a faction, whoever and whatever), and the advice #8 (destroy corruptions).  To conclude I say these wise words are still relevant today; these words could still be employed by wise leaders of today world!

Why China Doesn’t Care About Bad Economy Leads To Color Revolution!

Some China watchers suggest that when China’s economy is going south to the sour, Chinese government would flame the nationalism to shift the blame outward.  Personally, I think it’s wrong to think like that!  I think China is a one-party system government with a lot of policies that are in place to prevent color revolution or any sort of revolution from happening, and so China doesn’t need to point outward to shift the blame of bad economy at home.

Furthermore, China had been there when the former revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, founder of today’s China and the Chinese Communist Party, prescribed the wrong policy “Great Leap Forward” in which famine raped the country to the point of almost no return.  Yet Chinese didn’t demand the Communist party to step down.  Of course, there was the Tiananmen Square revolution, but that didn’t really destroy the Communist Party even though at the time China was still super poor.

Today, China is prosperous and strong, and so I doubt there would be a revolution even if the Chinese economy takes a huge hit to the chin.  I think the Chinese government knows this, and so they probably would not take any action to flame the nationalism unnecessarily as such a flame would be easy to stoke but very hard to put down.

Nonetheless, I think the Chinese government may want to economically restrain potential rivals and enemies from conducting businesses inside China, thus the bad foreigner’s case could come up from time to time to create difficulties for the non-Chinese companies.  I think that is as much as the Chinese government may want to stoke the flame of nationalism.

So, when the outsiders think of utilizing strategies that depend on the outlook of how China would behave nationalistic when the economy goes south could produce little to no effect.  Perhaps, this may irritate the Chinese government enough in which the Chinese government may put up countermeasures that may have undesirable effects in diplomatic and economic relations.  For an example, China may want to make it a lot harder for non-governmental organizations that support or belong to a foreign entity from operating within China.

Inescapable World – Ticking Time Bomb Of Uncertanties

In chess, there are circumstances that you could force your enemy into a position of no escape, and of course, if the enemy seizes the opportunity first then you would be the one who could not escape the trap.  It could be your king which is the most important piece on the board to be forced into a position of retreating into a trap and cannot escape.  I think it’s the same for bigger picture as in a national circumstance.

When a country got too many friends to please, too many problems to be solved, too many places to keep the peace, then it’s a lot harder for such a country to be able to be nimble and flexible.  Without nimbleness and flexibility, stiffness could creep in and force a country into many weird positions that are unfavorable.  Too many unfavorable positions could push such a country into a subtle death trap which eventually envelopes into the inescapable trap!

Then again we could also argue that when a nation is a hermit, it’s easier for others to gang up on such a nation.  In today world, when there are so many powers that aspire to be more than what they’re yesterday, I think it’s a ticking timebomb of uncertainties.  Like if you do you’re damned and if you don’t you’re damned still.

For an example, let’s say a fictitious country named Carol is making a lot of friends, and she knows that she hates Bob, the hermit, a lot.  Bob though, he would love to inflict real damage on Carol, but he doesn’t have any friend to help him out in doing such a thing against Carol.  Friends of Carol got a friend who is the only reluctant, casual friend of Bob, and they know this friend, for some strange reasons, doesn’t want Carol and Bob to have any confrontation.  Let’s say Bob tried to tickle Carol in the most grotesque way, and Carol went on a rampage against Bob.  Friends of Carol suddenly didn’t want to have anything to do with the whole madness, because Bob got a friend that prevented others from involving with Carol and Bob.  But then this Bob’s mysterious friend suddenly teamed up with Bob to take Carol down.  Now, Carol’s friends got a problem, because they don’t know if they should side with Carol or Bob’s mysterious friend!

Let’s say Carol and Bob both thought that they would be able to outsmart the other, but perhaps one of them didn’t know that a string of scenarios that came before and after their ugly feud could turn one of them into a mouse that got trapped in a rat trap.  The inescapable trap is definitely easier to imagine for today’s geopolitical matter I think!  Why?  Too many countries got their own ambitions to worry about, and so they are making friends and enemies left and right all the time.  Just take a look at Syria and various parts of the Middle East and we could see that sometimes we couldn’t know who is a friend and who is an enemy anymore — of course, it’s also depending on which side you’re on too!

Sometimes though, I think sitting pretty and only making move when it’s prudent and safe would keep a nation safe for a long time to come in a world like ours today!  Why?  The one who sits out the longest would be the victorious one in the end!  I think it’s smart to save up energy and resources — while making gains in both energy and resources when you’re in a favorable position — for the right time!  Of course, if you’re being forced into an unfavorable position, then sitting out may not be possible in the end.  That would be unfortunate for sure.

The United Nations’ Votes Against Jerusalem As Isreal’s Capital Got Nothing To Do With Palestine, It’s All About China!

I’m not trying to be controversial, but it’s my opinion that the United Nations’ Trump condemnation votes in regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Isreal had a deeper intention on a grand geopolitical scale.  What do I mean by this?  I think the countries that voted against the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital for Isreal don’t really care much about the Palestinian claim for the Jerusalem, but these countries fear that if Trump is successful in claiming Jerusalem for Isreal could allow Trump to go on for an even bolder declaration.

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What declaration?  What if Trump gets so much confidence to eventually declare Taiwan as an independent country?  I think this is why the United Nations decided to vote no against Trump because they didn’t want to see Trump crosses China’s Taiwan redline.  Afterall, I don’t think China would leave Taiwan alone without doing something serious if Taiwan gets embolden enough to declare itself as an independent country.  If this to happen, the whole Asia region could get roil up in events that could lead to a much grander geopolitical fallout.

What a grander geopolitical fallout in Asia?  Well, imagine if China decides to invade Taiwan when Taiwan declares a separation from the motherland, the United States has to defend Taiwan.  Although the United States may not aid Taiwan through military immediately, the United States will eventually have to.  As the escalation gets only even more escalated, the genie would be out of the bottle and nobody at such a time would know how to bottle up the genie again.

It’s cliche to say that if China invades Taiwan we will have WWIII.  I think it’s a possibility this could be the case.  Though there are other options available such as the talk will begin to have Taiwan assimilates into China similarly to how Hong Kong and Macau have been.  Nonetheless, you can never rule out president Trump’s unpredictability.  Thus, the United Nations does not want to predict what president Trump will do.  Instead of predicting president Trump’s future movements, my guess is that the United Nations decided to vote against Trump on Jerusalem decision to prevent president Trump from getting too embolden in the near future.