The world will need some time to get used to increased expressions of Chinese freedom of speech: If anything, this marks the end of coherent, centralised propaganda that some may be used to and discounts the fact that China is after smart power today, combining hard and soft power to build comprehensive national leverage. China was always about 1.3 billion narratives and now the multipolarity within are increasingly seeing the light of day.
“There appears to be a discord between this peaceful rise language and the comments from senior PLA officers,” said Li of the U.S. Naval War College. “There is no doubt about that.”
Will it result in unilateral action by these ‘hawkish’ military leaders? Unlikely. The compact between the role chairman of the Central Military Commission and the PLA, set in stone since the Deng days, is too strong to break.
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Special Report: China’s military hawks take the offensive
By David Lague
Source – Reuters Hong Kong, published January 17, 2013
(Reuters) – It was supposed to be a relaxed evening for a group of senior international military chiefs. Gathered at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, they had changed out of uniform for dinner and discussion.
China’s Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquan took the podium in a room overlooking the Yarra River last October 29 and began diplomatically enough. But as he neared the end of his speech, he went on the offensive.
“Some people” had ignored the outcome of World War Two and were challenging the post-war order, he told counterparts from 15 other nations. It was a pointed reference to Japan’s claim over islands in the East China Sea that Beijing insists are Chinese. Read the rest of this entry »