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China Rising
South East Asian Campaign
Pacific Campaign



The Early 21st Century

No one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century that the world was XXXXXXXXXX.  With infinite complacency ??? went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable.  The United States was withdrawing it's military resources due to it's economic woes, and the distraction of the war on terror. In general the west was XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and more than happy to make money by trading with China.

Many believed that China was becoming a XXXX, a responsible international player, that would use 'soft power' rather than force.

And early in the twenty first century came the great disillusionment. 

Causes of the War

The causes of war are complex and there are many theories to explain it.  Most theories emphasis issues related to resources and security. Psychological factors are clearly important. In the case of China, the requirements for resources was astronomical, and increasing at a time when the resources themselves were becoming more scarce. To maintain XXXXXXXXXXX. Thus the war can be seen as a growth of economic competition in a competitive international system.

The second major factor was the XXXXXXX, and filling the power vacuum left. Indeed some argued at the time it was only 'natural' for China to expand into SE Asia, 

The third factor is Taiwan and the Chinese sense of an historical injustice done to them,

Alternatives to War

There were 3 alternative scenario's that  scholars in international relations and strategic affairs:

  1. China withdraws from the world. For much of her history China has been a self contained empire, behind natural barriers, and separated from most of the world. This is almost the usual behavoir,  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
  2. China collapses.
  3. China becomes a responsible superpower.
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The causes of war   Most theories emphasis issues related to resources and security,  Psychological factors are clearly important.

One school of thought argues that war can be seen as a growth of economic competition in a competitive international system. In this view wars begin as a pursuit of markets for natural resources and for wealth.  The wiki answers website says quite unequivocally,  countries go to war to maintain their standard of living. The highest ranking and most decorated United States Marine, Major General Smedley Butler  said:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism." -

Even Marxist theories follow this line. Modern wars are caused by competition for resources and markets between great (imperialist) powers. These wars are a natural progression of the free market and class system, and will only disappear once a world revolution has occurred.  Rationalist theory points to Issue indivisibility,  which occurs when the two parties cannot avoid war by bargaining because the thing over which they are fighting cannot be shared between them, only owned entirely by one side or the other.  Religious issues, such as control over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, are more likely to be indivisible than economic issues. So called realists in international relations argue that the motivation of states is the quest for security.  Other factors are difference in moral and religious beliefs, economical and trade disagreements, declaring independence, and  belief in previous injustice.

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