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The China hawks got it mostly right

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Fairfax, Virginia – More than a year after protests for democracy in Hong Kong dominated the news, some major questions about China have been answered, and pretty decisively at that. The main takeaway is that “the China hawks” were right — with one important caveat.

China is an aggressive, expansionist power with anti-democratic values, and it is not turning toward liberal ideals. Nor does being “nice” to China yield dividends in terms of encouraging good behavior. As long ago as 2015, writers such as Christopher Balding were far better guides to reality, and far better predictors, than were the China accommodationists.

A few examples suffice to drive this point home. China has put more than 1 million Uighurs in what are effectively concentration camps, and it is trying to eliminate Uighur cultural influence throughout Xinjiang province. A true surveillance state has been constructed. Overall, the outcome is worse than the predictions of almost all the China hawks.

Yet that is only the beginning. China has broken the Hong Kong agreement and taken away basic liberties in the territory. It has amplified its saber-rattling over Taiwan, repeatedly provoked Japan over the Senkaku Islands, continued to interfere in........

© The Japan Times

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