Category Archives: Hu Jintao

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The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 22, 2013, No Comments

In his second inaugural address in January 1997, President Bill Clinton stated, "America stands alone as the world's indispensable nation."[1]  Since then, that phrase has been used on a regular basis.  America, as an indispensable nation, underscores its dominance in resolving conflicts of all portions since the end of World War II.    It has been a major enabler of global economic stability and prosperity of Western Europe and Japan, and, most important of all, it contained the former Soviet Union–playing a crucial role in bringing about its eventual implosion.  (more…)
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The Universal Potency of America’s Democratic Culture

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 9, 2012, No Comments

America's most potent weapon is not its military, but its democratic culture.  If anyone has any doubts about that reality, he/she should read the most recent essay penned by President Hu Jintao of China. "China's President Pushes Back Against Western Culture" http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/world/asia/chinas-president-pushes-back-against-western-culture.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print (more…)
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Reshaping America’s Military to Fight Wars in a Transforming World

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 5, 2012, No Comments

The continuing economic crisis has created new pressures and demands for reduced expenditures inside the United States.  The chief question is how to lower defense spending without damaging America's capacity to project power globally and being able to fight more than one war in different regions of the world.  The fact that no such situation would present itself in the near future is irrelevant; the requirements of contingency planning make it vital that top U.S. civilian and military leaders remain prepared for emergencies.  An added variable is the presidential campaign that is currently being waged inside the United States.  This is also a time when a sitting president becomes a target of challengers to his job for not paying adequate attention to America's military strength.  These realities also necessitate a declaration of a "new" strategy. (more…)
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China’s Aircraft Carrier: A Symbol of Its Global Rise

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 11, 2011, No Comments

As much as the world's attention is focused on the loss of the United States' AAA rating and the related long-term consequences for its global dominance, the PRC seems to be taking full advantage of the politics of symbolism related to its military modernization.  Its decision to show off its first aircraft carrier is one such overwhelming example.  It was purchased in 1998 for $20 million from the Ukraine by a Chinese company to be used as a floating casino.  It was then retrofitted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy (PLAN) to be used for scientific research and training.  As such, it is quite primitive in its technological capabilities, compared to the 11 awesome aircraft carriers owned by the US Navy.  It is also an open fact that it would take several years for the PRC to develop technological capabilities and human training to operate an aircraft carrier.  However, the fact that China has an aircraft carrier speaks volumes about the seriousness its leadership attac
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Mil-to-Mil Contacts Are Only a Tool for Smooth U.S.-China Relations, Nothing More

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 17, 2011, No Comments

The news that China and the U.S. have reestablished their military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts is indeed a positive development. However, the differences between these two major actors promise to keep the element of competition both alive and steady. Thus, while not denying the benefits of sustaining such contacts, one has to keep in mind that they are no guarantee for smooth ties. (more…)
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China’s 2010 White Paper: A View from Washington

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 29, 2011, No Comments

China has always followed the U.S. military's strategic as well as operational innovations.  That is an important basis for its emergence as a rival of the American armed forces in the distant future.  That very fact also bothers the U.S. military.  Reading China's latest White Paper ("China's National Defense in 2010"), once again, convinces one about the commitment and resolve of its leaders to close the power gap between China and the U.S. military.  Exactly when that gap will be closed is matter of guesswork: the optimists (from the PRC's point of view) give it another twenty or so years, while the pessimists assign a longer period of catching up. (more…)
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Risen China Learns to Become a “Conventional” Power

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 19, 2011, No Comments

When the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission gives a good grade to China for doing well in its exercise of "soft power," that is a big plus, because that organization is known for its hawkish.  It also indicates that the Chinese leaders are developing their unique style of handling global affairs – a style that ensures that their country's "rise" remains as conventional as possible.  However, since the PRC was a revolutionary power to start with, even when it started to act as a "conventional power" in the realm of global trade, there remained a lot of suspicion as to how conventional China would behave once it reached the pinnacle of its military power. (more…)
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Why China Should Fear the Arab Awakening

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 23, 2011, No Comments

The Arab awakening is about the yearning of people to be free, to be able to enjoy a decent standard of living, and, above all, to be governed effectively by responsive leaders.  Of these, the Chinese people are deprived of two requirements.  Even regarding a decent standard of living, the evidence in China is mixed, at best.  If there is one lesson that the autocratic leader of the PRC should learn from the Arab awakening is to be highly proactive in fulfilling these requirements before they are expressed through another bloody uprising in Tiananmen Square.  But dictatorships are never known to be proactive or adaptable.  That is why their fall is so chaotic and bloody. (more…)
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The Lame Duck Factor of Hu Jintao

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 26, 2011, No Comments

The lame duck factor is a fact of American political grammar. It describes the third year of the second term of a sitting president. From then on, all important policy decisions or policy changes must wait until the election of his successor. Is a similar phenomenon also emerging for China, which is not a democracy? Even for a non-democratic system, China has institutionalized the process of orderly succession of its president and prime minister. President Hu has a little more than a year left before he must step down. How does that fact weigh among U.S. China-watchers who are advising President Barack Obama about dealing with China? Are U.S.-China relations going to be less or more confrontational or conciliatory when his successor comes to power? (more…)
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The PLA Versus The PRC’s Civilian Leadership: Who’s In Charge?

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 13, 2011, No Comments

  One unexpected development from the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' highly publicized trip to China is that there are rumors and speculation that President Hu Jintao does not really have a firm grip on his country's foreign policy; that the PLA is getting ahead of the PRC's civilian leadership in conveying its displeasure of kowtowing to the United States; and that the PLA might be setting a precedent in creating fresh parameters for China's foreign policy.  (more…)