23 January 2013

Shun the Tiger and the Wolf: Dragon

The SMH reported a speech by a senior-ish PLA officer.
Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, of the National Defence University, blamed America’s "orchestration" and Japan’s "militarism" for rising tensions over disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

"America is the global tiger and Japan is Asia’s wolf and both are now madly biting China," Colonel Liu said. ‘‘Of all the animals, Chinese people hate the wolf the most."


Colonel Liu is one of a group of outspoken hawkish PLA officers who do not claim to speak on behalf of the leadership but are given licence to speak stridently on some issues at certain times.


Colonel Liu directly warned Australia not to follow the US or Japan into any military conflict with China. He said Australia should play the role of a "kind-hearted lamb" and China would discourage it from being led astray.

‘‘Australia should never play the jackal for the tiger or dance with the wolf,’’ he said.
"Lamb" was an unfortunate - yet I suspect apt - choice of animal for Australia!

Note Machiavelli: Your friends will ask for your alliance, your enemies for your neutrality.
A consultant to the US Pentagon and author of The Rise of China Versus The Logic of Containment, Edward Luttwak, said China was ‘‘grossly overestimating’’ its military capability and underestimating the regional response.


‘‘Militant nationalism is the only possible substitute for ex-communists who seek to retain power,’’ Mr Luttwak said.

11 January 2013

Howard most profligate Australian PM

Australia's most needlessly wasteful spending took place under the John Howard-led Coalition government rather than under the Whitlam, Rudd or Gillard Labor governments, an international study has found.
And that was during a boom, not when it was needed during a bust as we have now. It would be nice for the country if his successors had a bit more financial room to move, and weren't under pressure to balance the budget, and weren't criticised as "poor financial managers".

Hat-tip:  SMH