Un pensierino di Robert Kaplan sul ruolo della Cina come attore di cambiamento dell’attuale ordine internazionale:
Arguably the greatest book on political realism in the 20th century was University of Chicago Professor Hans J. Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, published in 1948. In that seminal work, Morgenthau defines the status quo as “the maintenance of the distribution of power that exists at a particular moment in history.” In other words, things shall stay as they are. But it is not quite that clear. For as Morgenthau also explains, “the concept of the ‘status quo’ derives from status quo ante bellum,” which, in turn, implies a return to the distribution of power before a war. The war’s aggressor shall give up his conquered territory, and everything will return to how it was.
The status quo also connotes the victors’ peace: a peace that may be unfair, or even oppressive, but at the same time stands for stability. For a change in the distribution of power, while at times just in a moral sense, simply introduces a measure of instability into the geopolitical equation. And because stability has a moral value all its own, the status quo is sanctified in the international system.
Let us apply this to Asia. […]
While Beijing sees Japan’s actions as aggressive, it is primarily China that is altering the status quo. No doubt Japan was once the region’s most ambitious and belligerent power, and no doubt China cannot assume good intentions, but Japan’s current military normalization has little in common with its 1930s militarization, and Tokyo is for the moment mostly reacting to Beijing. […]
While Japan reacts to a changing of the status quo, China is aware of its own role as an agent of change. Beijing knows that it is an emerging power. It knows that emerging powers disrupt the international system. But it needs to buy time, since it isn’t ready to confront directly and unapologetically the American-led status quo in the Pacific. China’s lack of readiness is heightened by the precarious consolidation of political power and economic reforms that the Xi Jinping administration has undertaken out of necessity. China thus seeks a “new kind of major country relationship,” a phrase Chinese and American diplomats have taken to repeating, whereby the two countries will find some way of accommodating each other to China’s military emergence without causing the disruption and conflict that history books suggest is inevitable. The problem with this rhetoric is that, as the Napoleonic Wars and World War I showed, the awareness that a collapsing status quo often precedes a bellum is not the same thing as collective action on all sides to reform the old status quo. Knowing theoretically what causes wars — though good in and of itself and a prerequisite for prudent statecraft — is not the same as sacrificing some portion of one’s own interests to try to prevent them.
The United States must try both to accommodate rising Chinese power and to fortify U.S. allies in response to it. But it acts from a position of military security that Japan — not to mention China’s smaller neighbors — cannot assume. Regardless of whether Japan overcorrects, the status quo in the Pacific is changing. And the stability of the region can no longer be taken for granted.
Su questo tema vi segnalo anche l’ultimo saggio di Mearsheimer, pubblicato su The National Interest: “Say Goodbye to Taiwan“. Secondo il docente americano la futura ascesa cinese avrà ripercussioni negative su Taiwan la quale verrà inevitabilmente riassorbita da Pechino:
[…] THERE IS one set of circumstances under which Taiwan can avoid this scenario. Specifically, all Taiwanese should hope there is a drastic slowdown in Chinese economic growth in the years ahead and that Beijing also has serious political problems on the home front that work to keep it focused inward. If that happens, China will not be in a position to pursue regional hegemony and the United States will be able to protect Taiwan from China, as it does now. In essence, the best way for Taiwan to maintain de facto independence is for China to be economically and militarily weak. Unfortunately for Taiwan, it has no way of influencing events so that this outcome actually becomes reality.
When China started its impressive growth in the 1980s, most Americans and Asians thought this was wonderful news, because all of the ensuing trade and other forms of economic intercourse would make everyone richer and happier. China, according to the reigning wisdom, would become a responsible stakeholder in the international community, and its neighbors would have little to worry about. Many Taiwanese shared this optimistic outlook, and some still do.
They are wrong. By trading with China and helping it grow into an economic powerhouse, Taiwan has helped create a burgeoning Goliath with revisionist goals that include ending Taiwan’s independence and making it an integral part of China. In sum, a powerful China isn’t just a problem for Taiwan. It is a nightmare.