Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The top 100 British albums.

Parameters has a good book review section. This issue reviews The New Chinese Empire: And What it Means for the United States. By Ross Terrill. New York: Basic Books, 2003. 432 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Richard Halloran.

Here are some excerpts:

This is an altogether splendid book, lucid in writing, erudite without condescension, courageous in spirit. The author boldly predicts the end of the Communist Party’s rule of China at a date uncertain but to be followed by a time of turbulence. The book should be read by military officers, political leaders, diplomats, business executives, and anyone else who plans to deal seriously with China over the next decade or longer.
The author acknowledges, “I do not know how and when Communist rule will end in China,” but he gives seven possible scenarios for what will happen to “the Red Dynasty” over the next two decades.

Some possible future scenarios for China:
One: “China lives with the contradiction between politics and economics,” the CCP remaining authoritarian as it tells the Chinese people to “get rich” by adopting a form of capitalism.
Two: “China reaches the brink of regional fragmentation, as the prosperous south, together with restive Tibet and Xinjiang, seek more freedom.”
Three: The CCP will be “subtly transformed, somewhat like South Korea and Taiwan in the 1980s, into a looser authoritarianism seemingly headed for rough-and-ready democracy.”
Four: “Economic growth continues, but at a lower level. The erosion of faith in communism, long in process, becomes total. . . . Quick crumbling of Communist rule occurs, similar to that in Moscow in 1991. . . . In a puff of smoke, the Red Dynasty has gone.”
Five: A violent quarrel breaks out between the hard left and the reformers within the CCP. “The dispute is protracted and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) steps in to settle it.”
Six: The PLA intervenes and “hustles the leaders of both sides off the stage, declares military rule, and fascism arrives.” This suggests, once again, that the political spectrum is circular, with the hard left and the hard right not far apart.
Seven: The PLA intervenes but permits “an evolution toward a new political system. . . . A crunch occurs; there is a watershed beyond which the Leninist system does not exist. . . . A reasonable chance exists that after some time China will establish a democratic federation.”

Read the rest.

Ralph Peters makes a good argument for maneuver and killing terrorists.

I will be traveling to America soon and I might be playing the game of spotting the Air Marshal too.
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