The PLA Needs Democracy to Fight

China’s failures to reform the army may lie deep in the ancient military mindset that doesn’t fit modern requirements. Can the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fight? And in case, how would they fight? They had the human waves in Korea, and they advised the Vietnamese on guerrilla warfare, but how would they perform in a […]

China’s Path Not Taken: Lost Global Leadership Opportunities

At the dawn of the 21st century, China encountered a series of decisive junctures that could have reshaped not just its destiny but that of the entire world. There was a striking series of missed opportunities and ‘what-ifs’ that could have turned the global events in a different direction. Perhaps the most significant was China’s […]

Basic Hurdles for a Chinese World Order

The perception abroad, and not only in Western countries, is that often China is a threat. Yet, many have a hard time pinpointing why it is so and, thus, what kind of threat China is. China has no vaunted goal of Hitlerian global conquest, nor does it have the old Soviet ambitions for universal communist […]

You say Taiwan; I say Korea

In theory, it is a peninsula, but actually, for all practical purposes, it is an island. South Korea is separated from the rest of the Asian continent by its intractable half-brother to the North, making any land contact with its neighbors impossible. The gap between the reality (being an island) and the theoretical aspiration (being […]

American Zhongguo

Different cultures see and represent reality differently. The West was keen on strict realism: reproduction of the naked anatomy of a body and of realistic visual perspective. China was more interested in representing the emptiness and symbolism of the mind. Different forms of representation entail different approaches to dealing with reality. Cultures of strategies, and […]