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The Moderator's Rebuttal Remarks

  • Date Submitted: 04/24/2012 12:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.9 
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The moderator's rebuttal remarks
Apr 20th 2012 | Matthew Symonds

  A number of discernible themes are emerging from those of you who have joined the debate—some of which have also been picked up by our two protagonists. Among the commenters arguing against the motion, the point made most often and most vehemently is that Andrew Krepinevich (and anyone who broadly agrees with him) is guilty of hypocrisy and double standards. It is a view also expressed by Shen Dingli in his rebuttal. Essentially, the argument goes like this. Given that it is America that spends about twice as much of its (far greater) national wealth on its military than China does and given that it is America that appears to have a far greater appetite than China for fighting foreign wars, surely it is America that is the threat to stability rather than China.

Mr Shen is a bit more nuanced than some of you, saying that despite its "mixed record" and its unmatched military capabilities it is nonsense to suggest that America is a constant threat to the rest of the world. By extending the same logic to China, he suggests that it is also nonsense to claim that China, whose military build-up is primarily aimed at being able to defend its own territorial sovereignty (ie, Taiwan), is somehow a greater threat to stability. WnZfufaRdz reflects the view of quite a few commenters: "I see no threat from the Chinese. Only when they start talking and acting like the United States will I see them as a threat. Chinese arms spending would and should be expected to grow and modernise as its economy does, perhaps even a bit faster, considering the low technical level it has to rise from. The real country of concern for most people of the world is the US with its doctrine of pre-emptive war, interventions and invasions of other states, genocides of many peoples over the past sixty years etc. The alarmist proposition is an echo of earlier American fantasies and hysterias such as the Missile gap, the Domino...

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