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Iran and China unveil 25 year $400 billion energy/infrastructure deal

crowbrow

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Do you believe China's history over the past 50 years corroborates your claim that "there can be opposing voices and they usually are"?
Well I think there are definitely rational decisions involved considering how China has developed. The country is definitely not the product of a deranged mind so I don't see why they would act in a deranged matter in international affairs since it would be counterproductive for them.

China has a long documented history of being extremely intolerant of internal arguing and disagreement
Yes, I understand this. But the US has a much worse history of being intolerant in international affairs and in meddling in everyones business. And since I'm not a US or Chinese citizen the most damaging and dangerous force has been the US, specially in its meddling in Latin America where I come from.

Of course, any country can change. I'm just pointing out that their recent behavior does not indicate there can be opposing voices within the government.
Likewise, I really can't trust the US holding most power in the world stage. I wouldn't trust China either but different power fronts putting checks and balances on each other might actually work better.

Concerning the USA being "alone"
Yeah there are pressures on the US but as far as military and economic power and presence there's no comparing power until now with China.

if your country has a history of squashing internal dissent and demanding adherence to their rule of law, how will that country keep others in check on the world scene?
I don't know but how can the US, being a country that has a history of meddling in internal affairs in foreign nations, promoted conflicts and wars and jumping over international law be better at providing checks in the world scene?

but the notion that we are simply doing it for fun is ignorant of history.
Of course they don't do it for fun, I never said that. They have their own economic, strategic and political reasons to do it. All the more why we need more powers with opposing reasons and objective to keep others in check.

It's not necessary to do so, because I don't see how the USA is alone in the first place.
Alone as a superpower militarily and economically. The US is by far the biggest military and economic power in the world so I see them as practiacally alone at the head. We need comparable superpowers or coalitions to put checks and balances to their power.

Does China's involvement in Korea and Vietnam Wars not count? Do their border conflicts (Sino-Indian, Sino-Soviet, Sino-Vietnamese) not count? Does China's continued subjugations of Tibet and their encroachment into free territories (Taiwan, S. China sea, ongoing support of N. Korea) not count? I am not really trying to play the comparison game (you are), but if that's the game you're playing we should at least be fair about it.
Of course, China is no saint. But the US has been much more bold and damaging in that way in the past two decades.

The USA has been sending aid -- not just investment, but goodwill aid -- to Africa for decades longer than the Chinese
Well it clearly hasn't worked so maybe the competition from the Chinese will finally prove productive.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Well I think there are definitely rational decisions involved considering how China has developed. The country is definitely not the product of a deranged mind so I don't see why they would act in a deranged matter in international affairs since it would be counterproductive for them.
I never said "deranged", so this is kind of a non-response. The question is whether a one-party country like China is going to be balanced toward others and keep other countries balanced in a peaceful way.

Yes, I understand this. But the US has a much worse history of being intolerant in international affairs and in meddling in everyones business.
Compared to who, Europe? Excuse me while I wipe away my tears of laughter.

Our crimes are not excusable, but all of human history is garbage, with glimmers of divinity here and there. The problem with jumping to comparisons of "but the USA is worse" is that the comparisons apply both ways. USA is the most benevolent world power in the history of the human race, comparatively.

And since I'm not a US or Chinese citizen the most damaging and dangerous force has been the US, specially in its meddling in Latin America where I come from.
I am sorry for that, even though it's not really something in my power to undo. I'm not trying to make excuses for how the USA has exerted its power.

Likewise, I really can't trust the US holding most power in the world stage. I wouldn't trust China either but different power fronts putting checks and balances on each other might actually work better.

Yeah there are pressures on the US but as far as military and economic power and presence there's no comparing power until now with China.
I disagree, I think all the regions I listed exert some influence on the USA. It's not like China is needed to step up or else the USA will keep rampaging across an otherwise-peaceful globe. I apologize for the exaggerated strawman, but I get the impression that's your ultimate conclusion here: USA bad, so China resisting them is good. Am I mischaracterizing your standpoint?

I don't know but how can the US, being a country that has a history of meddling in internal affairs in foreign nations, promoted conflicts and wars and jumping over international law be better at providing checks in the world scene?

Of course they don't do it for fun, I never said that. They have their own economic, strategic and political reasons to do it. All the more why we need more powers with opposing reasons and objective to keep others in check.

Alone as a superpower militarily and economically. The US is by far the biggest military and economic power in the world so I see them as practiacally alone at the head. We need comparable superpowers or coalitions to put checks and balances to their power.

Of course, China is no saint. But the US has been much more bold and damaging in that way in the past two decades.

Well it clearly hasn't worked so maybe the competition from the Chinese will finally prove productive.
I agree we need multiple powers to keep one another in check (adversarial system), but do we lack that now? What positive impact is China going to bring to the scene? I think the competition from the Chinese will actually be their undoing. The USA can afford to be isolationist. China and Europe cannot. This goes back to my concern over the specific ways that China is likely to "keep things in balance" as they encroach. If you have concern about the USA's methods of meddling with foreign countries and killing foreigners and invading their lands (valid concerns, all of them), then it makes sense to apply concern to how China will extend themselves.

How do you think that will play out, given your desired scenario that China should expand more and keep the USA in check? How does that play out in 20 years, in 50 years? Does China's history in the last 50 years indicate an expansion that will be more peaceful than the USA's expansion? I think that's a valid question. Will China start fewer wars and kill fewer people? Will China meddle in fewer governments? I don't have an answer (because how could we know the future), but I'm curious about your opinion on that.
 
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crowbrow

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I never said "deranged", so this is kind of a non-response. The question is whether a one-party country like China is going to be balanced toward others and keep other countries balanced in a peaceful way.
This is directly related to the deranged part though. I think so they will rationally want to keep everything peacefully balanced because that's what a rational approach and not a deranged one would do.

Compared to who, Europe? Excuse me while I wipe away my tears of laughter.
Compare to China which is who we are talking about, not Europe.

USA is the most benevolent world power in the history of the human race, comparatively.
But that doesn't mean an even better version can come and I suspect it will have to be a multi-front approach more than an unilateral one.

I disagree, I think all the regions I listed exert some influence on the USA. It's not like China is needed to step up or else the USA will keep rampaging across an otherwise-peaceful globe. I apologize for the exaggerated strawman, but I get the impression that's your ultimate conclusion here: USA bad, so China resisting them is good. Am I mischaracterizing your standpoint?
Well this is not only China here, actually China and Iran are making a deal that will help them develop some more influence in world stages. That's what I think is good, not that China or Iran are particularly good or bad but that the more world powers are playing the game the more restrictive the moves to other world powers would be, this also includes Russia and others. I would say the same if China and Iran had the majority of power and the US and Israel manage to make a deal. In the end the opposing forces keeps things in check by pure tension.

Does China's history in the last 50 years indicate an expansion that will be more peaceful than the USA's expansion?
I think it's difficult to be as damaging as the US was back then now. There's definitely more checks and balances now put in place and the US won't magically disappear so they can also put checks and balances to China in the meantime.

Also, I don't think the US can afford being isolationist so easily. The US is still the country with more expanded presence in the world by far. So reducing this presence and becoming more isolated I think will be humongous task for them.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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This is directly related to the deranged part though. I think so they will rationally want to keep everything peacefully balanced because that's what a rational approach and not a deranged one would do.
You're ascribing a motive to China that you could not possibly know, and assuming an outcome based on that motive. Sorry, but I don't jump to those conclusions. It makes more sense to simply base predictions on China's historical behavior, and their behavior over the past century has been pretty... violent, too. If you want to make comparisons to the USA, why aren't you giving consideration to China's own violence? How about this alternative: neither the USA nor China should be pushing into the world scene, but should instead focus on their own borders and less on the exploitive opportunities around the world.

Compare to China which is who we are talking about, not Europe.

But that doesn't mean an even better version can come and I suspect it will have to be a multi-front approach more than an unilateral one.

Well this is not only China here, actually China and Iran are making a deal that will help them develop some more influence in world stages. That's what I think is good, not that China or Iran are particularly good or bad but that the more world powers are playing the game the more restrictive the moves to other world powers would be, this also includes Russia and others. I would say the same if China and Iran had the majority of power and the US and Israel manage to make a deal. In the end the opposing forces keeps things in check by pure tension.

I think it's difficult to be as damaging as the US was back then now. There's definitely more checks and balances now put in place and the US won't magically disappear so they can also put checks and balances to China in the meantime.

Also, I don't think the US can afford being isolationist so easily. The US is still the country with more expanded presence in the world by far. So reducing this presence and becoming more isolated I think will be humongous task for them.
The USA is #1 oil and gas exporter. We'll do fine.

I don't accept your answer for how China will avoid being "as damaging as the USA". They were pretty damaging to the last few generations of their own citizens.

If you accept that the USA should put checks on China, then I don't think we really disagree all that much, ultimately. I don't necessarily think every move the USA is making in opposition to China is a wise one, but I do think we should resist China's encroachment. You and I might disagree on which way the needle should move in terms of the worldwide balance of power, but I think we can at least agree to a middle ground that there should be balance. Fair enough?
 

Foxbat

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crowbrow crowbrow

I'm still waiting on you to list the 3 wars in the last 20 years?

I get behind you not fully trusting the US. Especially seeing as you're from Latin America. But you really have to look at the bigger picture from a global view.

Over the last century, the US has largely the world's only superpower, seeing as Russia was bluffing for years before finally crumbling. As such, the US has been pretty dammed good from a moral standpoint.

1st. The major wars that the US has been in weren't all started by the US as you are so inclined to believe.
1. WWII wasn't started by the US.
2. The Korean War wasn't started by the US.
3. Vietnam wasn't started by the US, although blaming the US for it is perfectly reasonable, because the US should not have gotten involved, and made it far worse than it needed to be.
4. Iraq #1 wasn't started by the US. Iraq knew what would happen when they invaded Kuwait.
5. Afghanistan wasn't started by the US. The US gave countries harboring terrorists a chance to cooperate. They choose to harbor Bin Laden anyway.
6. Iraq#2 The US certainly started this one. No doubt about that. I guess Bush wanted to make Daddy proud.

There are several conflicts not mentioned here, but those are the "wars". At least the major ones.

But looking at how the world has done overall during that time. The US hasnt been that bad. The US could've easily taken over Japan after WW2, but chose to lead it down a better path instead. Despite Cuba and the Bay of Pigs, the US didn't try to absorb Cuba. In the end, it left it to fend for itself, and it's been left behind in time ever since. The US trampled all over both Iraq, and Afghanistan, yet has never indicated that it would absorb those countries.

The US has however picked up a few small remote islands in the Pacific, but there are several other countries that have done that as well. Meanwhile, in the same period of time China has attempted to invade Japan, and did invade and absorb Tibet. China is now currently invading other countries rightful territory by building islands in the South China Sea.

So if you look back over the last century alone, China has been far more of an expansionist country than the US. That's despite the US being largely the world's dominant superpower, while China wasn't anything close.

I fail to see how you believe the world will be a better place overall with China calling the shots. Granted they won't be calling them all, but they'll be calling some. This is hypothetical really anyway, as China won't be challenging the US for superpower dominance anytime soon anyway.
 

MrTickles

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So if you look back over the last century alone, China has been far more of an expansionist country than the US. That's despite the US being largely the world's dominant superpower, while China wasn't anything close.

I fail to see how you believe the world will be a better place overall with China calling the shots. Granted they won't be calling them all, but they'll be calling some. This is hypothetical really anyway, as China won't be challenging the US for superpower dominance anytime soon anyway.
China has been a great power for millennia, a global superpower before the US existed. Zheng Hes treasure fleets sailed all the way to South Africa in the 1400's. The 2,000km long grand canal was built centuries before. China is already challenging and surpassing the US in multiple areas.



In last two years it produced more wealth than the US, India and Eurozone combined.

The U.S. Has Been At War abroad for 222 Out of 239 Years of its existence. This is even more than France and Britain. The US is at war abroad RIGHT NOW.

Despite existing for 3,000 years longer, China has had entire centuries of peace and has been at war abroad for less than half of its existence. China is at peace RIGHT NOW.
 
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Foxbat

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China has been a great power for millennia, a global superpower before the US existed. Zheng Hes treasure fleets sailed all the way to South Africa in the 1400's. The 2,000km long grand canal was built centuries before. China is already challenging and surpassing the US in multiple areas.



In last two years it produced more wealth than the US, India and Eurozone combined.

The U.S. Has Been At War abroad for 222 Out of 239 Years of its existence. This is even more than France and Britain. The US is at war abroad RIGHT NOW.

Despite existing for 3,000 years longer, China has had entire centuries of peace and has been at war abroad for less than half of its existence. China is at peace RIGHT NOW.
How do I respond to such cherry picked and misrepresented data for your argument?

China still hasn't passed the US as far as overall GDP. To make matters worse, China itself is expecting something like a 6%-7% loss to it's economy this year.

China is largely a paper tiger. Communism by nature tends to paint a far better picture than it really is. China is no different. China had hoped to dethrone the Dollar with the Yuan, but due to China being so secretive, and a currency manipulater, that is now a pipe dream. It's whole monetary system is built on a deck of cards. There's literally millions of shabbily built houses in China, that will never be lived in. Whole Ghost cities are built to help prop up it's economy. There is zero reason to envy China's economy.

Despite Xi trying to compete militarily with the US, China simply can't afford to match what the US spends on it's military dollar for dollar. All China's equipment is a cheap knockoff compared to US equipment because... That's exactly what it is. Despite several purges, Xi still can't get the corruption out of his military. Not that it matters when comparing them to the US, because China's army has near zero fighting experience. The US... Not so much.

So no, your point was null and void from the moment you typed it out. Nobody cares what China did 3,000 yrs ago, or how powerful it was. Egypt was a superpower back then too. Doesn't mean squat now does it? I went back about a hundred years because it's recent history, and was relevant to the point. Despite your best effort though, my point still stands. In recent history, the US has largely been the lone superpower on the planet, and despite having the strongest military, and greatest influence... China has still invaded and absorbed more countries than the US over that time. Despite China being a reletively weak military over the last hundred years until very recently... It has still managed to somehow find smaller, weaker, and more peaceful countries to beat up on and invade.

It's really telling that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and basically the whole western half of mainland China itself wants nothing to do with Beijing.
 

crowbrow

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You're ascribing a motive to China that you could not possibly know, and assuming an outcome based on that motive.
Well the motive I would ascribe them is that they want to keep gaining power and improving their society which is a pretty basic motive for any nation such as China. And I think creating chaos or going fully against another superpower that will end up in a sort of attrition war is counterproductive to this so I assume they will seek as much peaceful resolutions as possible but still putting pressure on their rivals.

How about this alternative: neither the USA nor China should be pushing into the world scene, but should instead focus on their own borders and less on the exploitive opportunities around the world.
Well, that would be ideal but we don't live in an ideal world. Right now both countries are already pushing the world scene with the US having military presence practically everywhere in comparison to almost all other nations. So either both countries do it as goodwill (which is fantasy, Trump even threatened to step back from nuke proliferation deals already) or both will have to start pressuring each other into more restrained roles. How do I know it is pure fantasy that a goodwill solution will suddenly come up? Well the other day Bernie Sanders mentioned his plan of financing alternative energy sources, one of the points was to cut dependence on foreign oil and gas and save money on military presence abroad that is used to keep those resources protected for US consumption and control. Well, even people who normally here claim that they are against US foreign influence and that they think they should focus more in internal protection and policies jumped quickly and fiercely against this idea. I assume that even the US population is weary of any change that signifies a loss of power on the world stage for their own country based on this and the fact that the foreign policies for both main parties in the US differ just slightly and behave practically the same when in power. There's simply no real interest of most US politicians or citizens to reduce the US influence and power on the world stage, even when they tell you up front they have an interest when real proposals are given they react harshly against them thinking this will give power to US enemies. So I think a goodwill solution is practically unattainable, the only thing that could work, IMO, is another big superpower with similar objectives putting pressure on the US and viceversa.

The USA is #1 oil and gas exporter. We'll do fine.
Well but the behavior of US politicians and electorate doesn't really point towards looking for self-sufficiency anytime soon or even at all.

China will avoid being "as damaging as the USA".
I don't think China will have a choice, it's a different world now and there are more checks and balances put in place if they want more protagonism in the world stage. We can see that even with the situation in Hong Kong, the China of old would have crushed that uprising in heartbeat without much regard to loss of life or human rights. Right now they have to put much more restraint and they even stepped back on the extradition bill. Chinese officials are not stupid, they know a bad image in such an interconnected world takes power away from them these days.

If you accept that the USA should put checks on China, then I don't think we really disagree all that much, ultimately. I don't necessarily think every move the USA is making in opposition to China is a wise one, but I do think we should resist China's encroachment. You and I might disagree on which way the needle should move in terms of the worldwide balance of power, but I think we can at least agree to a middle ground that there should be balance. Fair enough?
Yes, that's my whole point about reaching a balanced state in world power by pure opposition. And of course the US has to keep checks on China, if not the whole point would be moot. It is not about substituting US hegemony with China's but to create a world where sides with more equal power positions can negotiate and put checks on each other.
 

crowbrow

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I'm still waiting on you to list the 3 wars in the last 20 years?
Afghanistan, Iraq as well as jumping in a lot middle eastern conflicts supporting rebels or governments. I don't see China doing the same.

As such, the US has been pretty dammed good from a moral standpoint.
I disagree. They have pretty much done what works for them. In the process there has been things with good outcomes as well as many many horrendous shit done.

5. Afghanistan wasn't started by the US. The US gave countries harboring terrorists a chance to cooperate. They choose to harbor Bin Laden anyway.
I disagree here. Any country that puts conditions to other countries to not attack them is basically promoting a war environment. That's like saying Russia is not responsible if they warn the US not to deal with Israel and when the US does and Russia attacks then blame the US for starting a war based on what Russia commanded them to not do. Besides, if the US really wanted to go against nations harboring terrorists they should have invaded Saudi Arabia first and foremost but I guess too many economic interests made Afghanistan an easier target.

So if you look back over the last century alone, China has been far more of an expansionist country than the US. That's despite the US being largely the world's dominant superpower, while China wasn't anything close.
The US has military bases all over the world already, they don't really need to expand more, they even have them really close to China and Russia. Chinese and Russian bases are nowhere near close to the US China is just looking to match that in a way but they are still in less conflicts in the last 20 years than the US which is also obvious since the US has a much bigger military.

I fail to see how you believe the world will be a better place overall with China calling the shots.
I'm not saying China should call the shots, I'm saying there should be more countries involved to preventing countries like the US and China calling the shots so easily and pressure to solve issues through negotiation. And the only way, in my view, is to play in a similar field power-wise so that one side puts checks and balances on the other and viceversa.
 
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Foxbat

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Afghanistan, Iraq as well as jumping in a lot middle eastern conflicts supporting rebels or governments. I don't see China doing the same.


I disagree. They have pretty much done what works for them. In the process there has been things with good outcomes as well as many many horrendous shit done.


I disagree here. Any country that puts conditions to other countries to not attack them is basically promoting a war environment. That's like saying Russia is not responsible if they warn the US not to deal with Israel and when the US does and Russia attacks then blame the US for starting a war based on what Russia commanded them to not do. Besides, if the US really wanted to go against nations harboring terrorists they should have invaded Saudi Arabia first and foremost but I guess too many economic interests made Afghanistan an easier target.


The US has military bases all over the world already, they don't really need to expand more, they even have them really close to China and Russia. Chinese and Russian bases are nowhere near close to the US China is just looking to match that in a way but they are still in less conflicts in the last 20 years than the US which is also obvious since the US has a much bigger military.


I'm not saying China should call the shots, I'm saying there should be more countries involved to preventing countries like the US and China calling the shots so easily and pressure to solve issues through negotiation. And the only way, in my view, is to play in a similar field power-wise so that one side puts checks and balances on the other and viceversa.
The US went to war in Afghanistan because the country was largely being run by the Taliban, who wouldn't give up Bin Laden. The US put conditions on them because AL Queda flew planes into buildings. No matter how hard you try to pin that on the US, the facts say otherwise. The US didn't put conditions on them until after 9/11. Your last point suggesting that it was really about economic reasons shows that you're either biased against the US to the point of ignorance, or just don't really know all that much about the situation.

It is true that the US has military bases all over the world. However many of the countries support those bases being there, because it offers a certain level of security. Those countries can tell the US to leave. That's starkly different than say... China invading and occupying Tibet.

I get the whole checks and balances aspect that you're referring to overall. I just think China is a really poor actor to play that role.