East Asian Regionalism and its Enemies in Three Epochs: Political Economy and Geopolitics, 16th to 21st Centuries

5 04 2009

East Asian Regionalism and its Enemies in Three Epochs: Political Economy and Geopolitics, 16th to 21st Centuries

Mark Selden

Source: Japan Focus

Précis: This paper examines the dominant forces at play in East Asia in an effort to chart regional dynamics within a global non-Eurocentric framework in the course of three epochs.* In the first era, spanning the 16th to the early 19th century a China-centered tributary trade order provided a geopolitical framework within which private trade could also flourish. At its height in the 18th century, as East Asia linked to a wider regional and global economy, core areas achieved high levels of peace, prosperity and stability. The second period is notable for dislocation, war and radical transformation spanning the years 1840-1970. In this era profound transformations were the product of system disintegration, colonial rule, world wars, and anti-colonial wars and revolutions. With the collapse of the regional order, bilateral relations, colonial and postcolonial, predominated. Since the 1970s there have been signs of the emergence of a third epoch notable for progress toward the formation of a new East Asian regional order resting on foundations of dynamic economic growth. From the perspective of East Asian integration, the US-China opening of 1970 marked both the end of a century of war and polarization and the emergence of economic complementarity and geopolitical restructuring that have transformed both East Asia and the world economy. In assessing the resurgence of East Asia and the emerging character of East Asian regionalism, emphasis is placed on relations among China, Japan and Korea as ascending regional-global powers and the position of the United States as a powerful but declining superpower. The analysis considers the interplay of geopolitics and political economy in structuring hierarchies of wealth, power and position both within Asia and in the world order or disorder. Is the emergence East Asian regional order a basis for regional independence or a new framework for US penetration? What insights can the past offer toward the emergence of a viable regional order in East Asia, or, at a minimum, pitfalls to skirt?

I East Asian Regionalism: The 18th Century

Throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century, the dominant view in both East and West privileged a dynamic Western world order over a weak, inward-looking and conservative East Asia that collapsed in the face of Western capitalism and military predominance. The result was a Eurocentric world vision that reified the perspective of the colonial powers and their successors.[1] The essentialist presumption that continues to pervade a substantial literature is that Western superiority is an historical constant, once and forever immutable.

An alternative paradigm that has emerged in recent years recognizes the salience of China not only as the dominant economic and geopolitical center[2] of an East Asian regional order but also as a major actor in the global political economy from at least the 16th to the 18th century and arguably continuing to the arrival of the Western powers in full force in the mid-19th century.[3] Interestingly, the avatars of this China-centered perspective on East Asia and the world economy emerged not primarily from Chinese scholarship but from the writings of Japanese and American researchers.[4] China’s economic strides of recent decades, and, above all, the resurgence of East Asia with China, Japan and Korea as an expansive center of the capitalist world economy in the final decades of the long twentieth century and into the new millennium, lend plausibility to this approach. This has led some to anticipate that China will lead the way in creating a new Asian regional order, or even an Asia-led world system in the new millennium. History does not, of course, repeat itself, yet it may offer insight into possible options. While sympathetic to approaches emphasizing contemporary East Asian dynamism and its continued strength into the 21st century, I propose to rethink both Eurocentric and Sinocentric perspectives on East Asia as a world center prior to its destruction by European colonizers in the nineteenth century, and to consider subsequent regional restructuring and the contemporary implications of alternative perspectives that break with Eurocentrism with particular reference to China-Japan-Korea relations and East Asia’s position in global perspective.

Drawing on the work of Takeshi Hamashita, R. Bin Wong, Kenneth Pomeranz, Kaoru Sugihara, Anthony Reid and Andre Gunder Frank, among others, it can be said that between the sixteenth and eighteenth century, at the dawn of European capitalism, East Asia was the center of a vibrant economic and geopolitical zone with its own distinctive characteristics. Two elements of the East Asian order together defined its distinctive regional and global features.

Canton and international trade in the 18th century

First, among the most important linkages that shaped the political economy and geopolitics of the East Asian world was the China-centered tributary trade order, pivoting on transactions negotiated through formal state ties as well as providing a venue for informal trade conducted at the periphery of tributary missions. The system was also driven by a wide range of legal and illegal trade, much of it linking port cities that were beyond the reach of the Chinese imperial state. While Korea, Vietnam, the Ryūkyūs and a number of kingdoms of Central and Southeast Asia actively engaged in tributary trade with China, Japan sent no tributary missions in the course of the 17th-19th centuries. China-Japan direct trade nevertheless continued through Nagasaki as well as indirectly through the Ryūkyūs and Hokkaidō, in addition to coastal trade that the Chinese state defined as piracy. In short, despite the imposition of inter-state trade restrictions by both the Qing and Tokugawa governments, through both tributary and informal networks, dynamic East Asian trade continued, underlying the region’s economic dynamism.[5]

Second, East Asian linkages with the world economy from the sixteenth century forward, mediated by silver exchange, transformed East-West trade relations as well as the domestic Chinese and regional economies. Silver flows, to pay for tea, silk, ceramics and opium among other products, were critical in binding Europe and the Americas with East Asia, particularly China, with Manila as the key port of transit. Indeed, the large-scale flow of silver from the Americas to China beginning in the sixteenth century and peaking in the mid-seventeenth century linked the major world regions and transformed both intra-Asian trade and China’s domestic economy. The silver-lined story that Hamashita, Pomeranz and Reid detail began not with the multiple disasters associated with the drainage of silver to pay for opium, or with the debacle in the Opium War that led to China’s and Asia’s forced opening on terms dictated by the Western powers, and the associated loss of Chinese sovereignty associated with the Treaty Ports and extraterritoriality. It began rather with the preceding epoch of Chinese global trading predominance and flourishing intra-Asian commerce. Reid writes of Chinese-Southeast Asian trade in global perspective in the years 1450-1680: “The pattern of exchange in this age of commerce was for Southeast Asia to import cloth from India, silver from the Americas and Japan and copper cash, silk, ceramics and other manufactures from China, in exchange for its exports of pepper, spices, aromatic woods, resins, lacquer, tortoiseshell, pearls, deerskin, and the sugar exported by Vietnam and Cambodia.”[6] The end result was massive silver flows into China from other parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas in exchange for silk, tea, porcelain and other manufactures. China’s domestic economy was also transformed as silver became the medium for taxation in the Ming’s single whip reform, deeply affecting the agrarian economy as well as urban exchange.

Chinese junk, 17th century

Silver provides a thread to link Europe, the Americas and Asia as well as a means to deconstruct Eurocentric history and to chart profound changes internal to Chinese economy and society. Tracing the world-wide flow of silver from the sixteenth century problematizes the unilinear notion of world history as determined by the discovery of the “New World,” followed by the flow of silver to Europe, and thence from Europe to Asia. As Hamashita shows, the articulation of Asian silver markets with Euro-American silver dynamics shaped world financial flows and facilitated the expansion of trade that took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[7]

Long before the discovery of New World silver as well as after it, Asia was the center of large-scale regional silver circulation and the flow of silver would be determined in large part by the manufacturing dominance that China enjoyed in its relations with Europe and North America through the early eighteenth century. Silver became an important medium for trade in Korea, Japan and Vietnam somewhat later than in China. Recognition of these facts puts paid to perspectives that privilege Western merchants and traders as the driving force in world trade in general and silver circulation in particular.

Silver provides one significant thread that ties China, Asia and the world economy over five centuries. Maritime perspectives on China and the world economy contrast to the long dominant statecentric, specifically land centered and inward looking, China scholarship. We seek to examine the interplay of statist tribute and private commerce both in the seaborne sphere with silver as a primary medium of trade and finance from the sixteenth century, and landed trade, including barter trade, that linked China to Inner Asia and extended across the silk road to Europe.

Beyond the tributary system and the importance of silver is a spatial vision centered less on national economies and state policies, and more on open ports and their hinterlands. It is an approach that requires new spatial understanding of the relationship between land and sea, between coastal and inland regions, and among port cities and their hinterlands.

Here we cannot limit discussion of intra-Asian trade to the formal parameters of the tributary order. Consider, for example, the fact that, while the Ryūkyūs actively participated in tributary relations with China, in order to obtain pepper and other products that were mandated by the Chinese tributary relationship, Ryūkyūan merchants traded far and wide throughout Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Pacific Islands from at least the fifteenth century. Likewise, Nola Cooke and Tana Li highlight the autonomous trade patterns that gave rise to the “water frontier” linking southern coastal China and Indochina in the 18th century, thereby contributing to the transformation of the domestic economies of the Mekong region. Fuller understanding of non-tributary linkages among China, Vietnam, Korea, the Ryūkyūs, Inner Asia and insular Southeast Asia is likely to reveal extensive trade networks independent, or at the margins, of official tributary missions, and strengthening regional economic linkages. Such an approach could shed new light not only on the tributary trade system but also on current scholarship highlighting global city networks largely autonomous from central state controls that would emerge with new vigor in the course of the long twentieth century and particularly with respect to China since the 1980s.[8]

Ryūkyūan tributary vessel

At its height in the eighteenth century, large regions of East Asia, with China at its center, experienced a long epoch of peace and prosperity on the foundation of a tributary-trade order at a time when Europe was more or less continuously engulfed by war and turmoil.[9] If tributary and private trade lubricated the regional order, so too did common elements of statecraft in the neo-Confucian orders in Japan, Korea, the Ryūkyūs, and Vietnam. In contrast to European colonialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, this Sinocentric order placed fewer demands for assimilation on China’s neighbors when contrasted with European conquerors, was less exploitative in economic terms, and, at its height, secured general peace throughout large areas of East and Southeast Asia for protracted periods.

Indeed, a distinctive feature of this regional order is the fact that China, subsidized peace and stability through the tributary trade order. This meant sanctioning the regimes of favored local rulers as well as assuring a sustained transfer of resources to them via direct subsidies and guaranteed access to lucrative trade with Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryūkyūs among others. Even Japan, which sent no tributary missions to China during the Tokugawa period (1600-1868), bought into the system through behind-the-scenes domination of Ryūkyū tribute missions to secure lucrative trade with China while subordinating the Ryūkyū kingdom to Japan in its own version of a tributary order. Likewise, Vietnam implemented a sub-tributary order with Laos.

In these and other ways, viewed in longue durée perspective, a distinctive regional political economy emerged in a prosperous East Asia that was linked to other parts of Asia, Europe and North America in the world economy of the 16th to 18th centuries. This is particularly significant in light of the tendency in the reappraisals of imperialism beginning with S. B. Saul, J. Gallagher, R. Robinson, and D. C. M. Platt, to slight Asian dynamism, indeed to treat Asia in a negative or exclusively reactive fashion, and of the general Orientalist dismissal of the East within an East-West binary.[10]

Our discussion has focused on tribute, trade, and other economic and financial mechanisms during the long 18th century. We can here only briefly enumerate certain other distinctive features of the regional order at its height prior to the onslaught of European imperialism.

• While Mark Elvin saw China caught in a high-level equilibrium trap, Sugihara Kaoru and Kenneth Pomeranz demonstrate that income and consumption levels in core areas of China and Japan were comparable to or higher than those prevailing in Western Europe and North America in the 18th century.[11] Building on the insights of Akira Hayami and Jan de Vries for Japan and the Netherlands on the “industrious revolution,” they contrast China’s and Japan’s distinctive technological and institutional path, predicated on labor intensive development, with the capital intensive approach that emerged in 18th century England to power that nation’s advance in the age of empire.

• The Chinese empire, under Manchu rule, may be viewed as the hegemonic power in East Asia during the long 18th century in the triple sense of being the most powerful state presiding over a protracted peace and legitimating selective regimes in wide areas of the region, the leading manufacturing exporter and magnet for the world’s silver, and radiating cultural-political norms as exemplified by the predominance of Neo-Confucian thought and modes of statecraft in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Ryūkyūs and beyond.

II The Demise of the East Asian Regional Order: China’s Disintegration, Competitive Colonialisms, Japan’s Asia, Anti-colonial and Revolutionary Movements, America’s Asia, and Bipolarity in Postwar Asia, 1840-1970

The disintegration of the Qing in the early 19th century set the stage for the onslaught of the Western imperialist powers in China and East Asia, bringing to an end the regional order and the protracted peace that had extended across East and Inner Asia to parts of Southeast and Central Asia.

The First Opium War of 1840

As the Chinese state crumbled internally and was battered by foreign invaders, tens of millions of Chinese migrants spread across Asia and the world from the second half of the nineteenth century. The migration of Chinese to Manchuria, Southeast Asia, the Americas and elsewhere coincided with the disintegration of the Qing empire and creation of Western and Japanese colonial empires. Beginning with silver remittances to the coastal communities of South China by overseas workers and merchants, migration created foundations for Chinese banking networks at home and abroad. We note the progression from the earlier flow of goods to the flow of silver to the movements of people and the return flow of goods and silver to China. If the largest number of migrants were Chinese, significant numbers of Japanese and Koreans also migrated to other parts of Asia, as well as to Hawaii and the Americas. Each group created new networks and flows of labor, remittances and capital. Despite such foundations for regional development, geopolitics trumped political economy. While the Japanese economy soared, much of Asia was subordinated to the colonial powers giving rise to new bilateral ties but undercutting multilateral relationships.

From the latter half of the nineteenth century, with China in disintegration facing invasion and rebellion, and then carved up by the Western powers and Japan, with much of Southeast Asia colonized by the British, Dutch, French and Americans, and with Korea, Taiwan and the Ryūkyūs incorporated within the Japanese empire by the first decade of the twentieth century, the protracted peace of the 18th century grounded in the former tributary-trade order and private trade gave way to a century-long inter-colonial conflict and bilateral metropolitan-periphery relations which precluded the re-emergence of a coherent regional economy.

In the final decades of the 19th century and the early 20th century, Japan and the United States expanded into the Asia-Pacific, inaugurating a process that would lead to the eventual clash of empires. In the early decades of the 20th century, Japan emerged as the dominant power in East Asia and the challenger to the European-centered colonial order that had transformed the region in the 19th century. With the seizure of the Ryūkyūs, the integration of Hokkaidō, the colonization of Taiwan and Korea, the victory in the Russo-Japanese War and the establishment of the puppet state of Manchukuo between 1872 and 1932, and eventually over the next decade the conquest of large swatches of China and Asia, Japan became the only nation of Asia, Africa or Latin America to join the club of the colonial powers. It is fruitful to compare Japan’s approach to regional integration with that of the 18th century tributary-trade order.

Russo-Japanese War May 1904 (Print by Kyōkatsu. Museum of Fine Arts. Visualizing Cultures)

As Japan extended its reach, Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria and China all experienced invasion and occupation or colonization, though Japan never succeeded in completing the conquest of China. We will consider Japan’s Asia from three perspectives: first, economic development and social change; second, war, nationalism, and anti-colonialism; and third, regional dynamics and regional ties to the world economy.

Japanese infantry in Manchukuo, 1933

Like the Western colonial powers, Japan actively mined the colonies for natural resources and human resources to spur Japan’s industrialization. At the same time, far more than either the Chinese tributary-trade order or the Western colonial order elsewhere in Asia, Japan fostered colonial agricultural and industrial development, notably in Korea, Taiwan and Manchukuo. Between the 1920s and 1945, Japan presided over large-scale migration — to Japan (from Korea, Taiwan and mainland China) and from Japan and its colonies to the farthest reaches of its empire, but above all to Manchukuo in the years 1931-45.[12]

As Angus Maddison has shown, per capita GDP gains in Taiwan and Korea in the years 1913-1938 were 2.2 and 2.3 percent respectively, compared with 2.3 percent for Japan. These figures are substantially higher than those for all other colonies in East and Southeast Asia, and probably in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.[13] Strikingly, by 1938, per capita GDP in Korea and Taiwan were 53 and 60 percent respectively of that of the metropolitan country, Japan. By comparison, the range was 10-25 percent for British, French, Dutch and US colonies in Asia (Booth Table 2). In short, the developmental impact on Japan’s colonies, and the degree of economic integration with the metropolis, were far greater than in the case of European or American colonies.

Trade between Japan and its colonies and dependencies expanded rapidly. The trade of Manchukuo, Korea and Taiwan were all dramatically redirected (in many instances away from China and toward Japan) between the late nineteenth century and the late 1930s. As Samuel Ho noted, Taiwan’s exports to Japan increased from 20 percent of total expots at the time of colonization in 1895 to 88% by the late 1930s, with rice and sugar the dominant products.[14] Comparable trade dependence on the metropolis in the late 1930s was similarly notable in the case of Korea.[15] Economic bonds among the colonies, by contrast, remained weak, in part as a result of a lack of complementarities, but above all by imperial design. Like that of the European colonial powers, Japan’s spokes and wheel trade pattern in Asia precluded the development of trade complementarities or other forms of economic integration among the colonies and dependencies.

In contrast to the Qing empire, imperial Japan directly assimilated colonized and conquered peoples, above all the Koreans, Taiwanese, the peoples of Manchuria (including Chinese, Mongols, Hui (Muslims) and Manchus), and Ryūkyūans.[16] The colonized were educated in the language of the conqueror and subjected to intense assimilation as Japanese (or Manchukuo) citizens and subjects, particularly in rapidly growing urban centers. In all these respects, Japan broke sharply with patterns of the tributary-trade order in East Asia and also differentiated the Japanese from European and American colonization in the degree of assimilation.

In the 1930s, Japan extended its territorial reach but at the price of sapping the nation’s resources, deepening its isolation from European and American power, and strengthening the bonds between China and other powers. Landmark events were Japan’s 1932 incorporation of Manchukuo, its 1937 invasion of China south of the Great Wall, the abortive attack on Russian forces at Nomonhan in 1939, and the widening US-Japan conflict. By 1940, a US oil and scrap iron embargo would lead inexorably to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in a desperate attempt to supplant the European and American colonial powers throughout East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific. At its height in the early 1940s, Japan’s vast Asian empire and its pursuit of a pan-Asian order led to an extreme example of regional autarky, Japan’s earlier strong economic and cultural ties to Europe and the Americas having been severed as a result of inter-imperialist rivalry. If Meiji Japan had placed its hopes for modernization and prosperity on economic, political and cultural ties with, and emulation of, the Western powers, Japan now found itself isolated from core regions of the world economy while fighting wars against powerful adversaries on multiple fronts.[17]

Battle of Nomonhan

Perhaps most striking, in contrast to the protracted peace of eighteenth century East Asia under the earlier tributary order, is the permanent turmoil that extended across the Asia-Pacific region throughout the century of imperialism and continuing in the wake of World War II. This was notably true during the half century of Japan’s ascendancy, but we emphasize the fact that it continued in the postwar decades.[18] However important a watershed World War II was from many perspectives, far from bringing peace to East Asia, the end of the war paved the way for a new wave of wars and revolutions that coincided with the US advance into Asia and its attempts to establish a permanent presence.

We note three important legacies of the colonial era for Asian peoples: first, massive dislocation, destruction and loss of life that were the product of colonial and world wars; second, the stimulus to nationalist and anti-colonial revolutions, initially of Japan’s victory over the Western powers from the Russo-Japanese War to the conquests of 1942 and subsequently Japan’s own defeat, that would propel nationalist independence movements and the formation of new nations in the wake of the Pacific War; third, the stimulus to economic development and industrialization in Japan’s colonies and dependencies, notably Korea, Taiwan and Manchukuo, which would establish foundations for postwar economic growth in these areas.

In both the lofty rhetoric of empire and the brutality of the conquest and subjugation of Asian peoples, notably in its war with China but also in battles with its rival nations, Japan shared much in common with the Western colonial powers. Features that differentiated the Japanese from Euro-American empires include geography and race. European and American colonialists traveled to the ends of the earth to conquer racially and culturally distinct peoples. In seeking to subjugate China, Korea, Taiwan, Manchukuo and Vietnam, and subsequently much of Southeast Asia by contrast, Japan fought people who were not only for the most part racially indistinguishable and were near neighbors, but also, in the cases of China and Korea in particular, they were people the Japanese had long admired for their accomplishments in statecraft and culture that had profoundly shaped Japan’s historical development over the preceding millennium.

A comparison may clarify several points concerning the nature and consequences of the war that Japan fought against China and then extended to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Priya Satia observes that “British imaginings about Arabia were circulated in the main by a community of intelligence agents who ventured to the land of the Bible hoping to find spiritual redemption under cover of patriotic duty.” This set the stage for analysis of a landmark event in the history of the bombing of civilians, the 1920s British bombing of Iraq. The British bombing of Iraq, and above all European conduct of World Wars I and II in Europe, cautions against assumptions that Japan was uniquely brutal in its treatment of Chinese in the Sino-Japanese war. It is a reminder that the bombing of civilians began with British and German attacks in the Middle East and Africa long before World War II.[19] “Flying in the face of what James Scott has told us about how modern states see,” Satia observes of the British, “this regime fetishized local knowledge not as an antidote to but as the foundation of its violent effort to render nomad terrain legible.” Satia concludes, in a comment equally applicable to Japan in China, that “imperialism is a political relationship more than a perspective; intimacy does not make it go away.” The deep admiration on the part of many Japanese for Tang poetry and Chinese thought generally no more protected Chinese from Japanese brutality than British awe concerning the Holy Land protected Arab civilians from bombing.[20] For Japan, neither racial similarity nor cultural bonds mitigated the onslaught against the Chinese population in a “war without mercy” which was certainly no less brutal than the U.S.-Japan war which John Dower memorialized with this phrase, a war fought across racial and cultural divides.[21] Indeed, the China war exacted the heaviest toll in lives of all colonial wars—10 to 30 million Chinese deaths being the best estimates available in the absence of official or authoritative statistics.

Refugees flee Japanese bombing of Chongqing, the Nationalist capital

Historians of all persuasions have taken World War II as the major watershed of twentieth century Asian and global geopolitics, as indeed it was in so many ways. It marked the defeat and dismantling of the Japanese empire and the rise of the US as the dominant superpower and major force in the Asia Pacific and globally. It also touched off or energized waves of nationalist-inspired revolutionary and independence movements that transformed the political landscape of Asia. If the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean revolutions were landmark events in postwar East Asia, independence movements in the Philippines, Malaysia, the Dutch East Indies, Burma, India and elsewhere brought profound change to other parts of Asia, signaling the end of the classical colonial empires.

From the perspective of Asian regionalism, however, it is important to note that continuities spanned the 1945 divide. Far from inaugurating an era of peace, the end of WW II brought a new wave of wars in which East and Southeast Asia was the primary zone of world conflict throughout the following quarter century. US occupation of Japan and Korea on the one hand, and the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese revolutionary wars on the other, produced independent nations whose subsequent wars took an immense toll in Asian lives.

The Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese wars and revolutions—playing out within the purview of US-Soviet conflict and giving rise to divided nations—were the decisive events establishing Asia’s division in the wake of World War II. New nations, or nation fragments, established primary relationships with one of the superpowers, the US or the Soviet Union, forging relationships that were paramount in defining each nation’s international relations in the immediate postwar decades. In short, as in the century of colonialism, in post-colonial Asia bilateral ties to one of the great powers were decisive and multilateral intra-Asian linkages largely absent. In this postwar disorder, as was the case over the preceding century, there was scant room for horizontal linkages among Asian nations or Asian societies.

III Economic Resurgence, Complementarity and the Sprouts of Regionalism in East Asia

World attention has focused on China’s rapid and sustained economic growth in the wake of earlier surges by Japan and Korea. Yet contemporary East Asian development is best understood not as a series of discrete national phenomena but in terms of regional and global dynamics that include economic development but equally require attention to geopolitics and cultural interchange. This is not because national policies are no longer important in an epoch of globalization; they remain vitally important. It is rather, we will show, the growing interpenetration of Asian economies, polities and cultures in the new millennium and the expansive role of the region in global perspective.

China’s unity and strength were central to the 18th century political economy and geopolitics of the tributary-trade system, which underlay an epoch of protracted peace in East Asia and flourishing East-West trade. We have contrasted this with China’s disintegration, the relative decline of Asia in global perspective, the multiple colonialisms that produced a century of war and a wheel and spokes version of political and economic ties between Asian colonies and the metropolitan countries, in Europe, North America and Japan, as well as the subsequent primacy of ties to the US or the Soviet Union in postwar Asia.

To locate Japan’s postwar resurgence, followed by the rise of the Newly Industrializing Economies (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea) and China’s sustained double-digit growth in GDP and trade in recent decades, it is critical to grasp the interpenetration of trade and investment among the East Asian nations of China, Japan and Korea, and the extension of this pattern of intertwined economies to Southeast Asia. To be sure, institutional ties among Asian nations, long divided by ‘Cold War’ divisions deepened by hot wars in China, Korea and Indochina, are far weaker than those of the European Union. There is no East Asian Union, no common currency, parliament or high court. Nor do we find a military equivalent of the NATO alliance. Above all, the United States remains the dominant military power in the region, a major presence bolstered by an extensive network of military bases and alliances with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, among others. Yet US dominance is also being tested as a result of the combination of a relative decline in power, ideology and credibility specific to the failures of the Bush administration, but above all a product of the longterm decline culminating in the meltdown of the US economy that began with industrial erosion in the 1970s. If the emblematic expression of this decline is the economic and financial crisis that began in 2007—not in East Asia as it did in 1997 but in the United States—and has subsequently touched off the most serious world recession of the postwar era. We return below to the present conjuncture. To gauge the character and assess the prospects of East Asian regional development, however, requires assessment of the geopolitics and political economy of the last four decades in the region and globally.

The 1970 Divide and the Resurgence of East Asia

1970 set the stage for new East Asian regional possibilities and a global reconfiguration of power: in the wake of the China-Soviet rift of the 1960s, the US-China entente and economic relationship opened the way for ending the bifurcation that had characterized not only postwar Asia but East-West global relations. The end of China’s isolation in 1970, its assumption of a UN Security Council seat, above all its re-emergence with access to US markets, and its eventual position at the center of East-West trade and investment, opened the way to the reknitting of economic and political bonds across Asia and strengthening Asian linkages with the global economy. Among the critical developments of subsequent decades were China’s full engagement in, indeed, its emergence as the workplace and motor driving the Asian and world economies, the deepening and/or opening of Japan-China and South Korea-China relations, and the expansive trade and investment role of overseas Chinese in linking China with Asian and other economies. With the reunification of Vietnam (1975), of Germany (1989) and subsequently of China with Hong Kong (1997) and Macau (1999), only a divided Korea and the China-Taiwan division remained of the major national ruptures that were the legacy of World War II and subsequent conflicts. Moreover, even the latter two divisions have eroded since the 1990s. These profound changes illustrate the interface of geopolitics and political economy both in global (particularly US-China) interface and regional (China-Japan-Korea as well as mainland China-Taiwan) terms.

Among the remarkable changes made possible by the post-1970 US-China opening has been the emergence and deepening of China-ROK relations: from anti-Communist Mecca, a South Korea that fought China in the Korean War and then in Vietnam, would emerge as one of China’s most important trade and investment partners beginning in the 1980s and snowballing thereafter. Within a few decades, China, South Korea, and Japan would become one another’s leading trade and investment partners, surpassing in significant ways even their bonds with the United States. In 2007 they were the world’s 2nd, 4th and 14th largest economies by IMF reckoning.[22]

Another important regional development has been the trade, investment and technological partnership that links Taiwan and mainland China. In less than two decades, the core of Taiwan’s high tech production migrated across the Straits. Approximately one million Taiwanese workers, engineers and managers and family members presently work and live on the mainland, most of them in Guangdong, Fujian, and especially the Shanghai-Suzhou corridor, the center of Taiwan enterprise. Taiwanese capital and technology are central to China’s industrialization and export drive.[23] In turn, Taiwan’s economic future rests firmly on the performance of mainland industry, its exports and the expansion of its domestic market. The deep political gulf between the two claimants to the Chinese mantle, exacerbated under the leadership of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, did not substantially slow their economic integration. Nevertheless, the 2008 electoral victory of the Guomindang’s Ma Ying-jeou as president strengthened cross-straits ties as indicated by the initiation of regularly scheduled flights as well as direct shipping and postal links between Taiwan and mainland China, the signing of oil development agreements, and China’s offer of a $19 billion loan package to Taiwan enterprises in China—all factors suggestive of further possibilities for economic, social and political integration.[24]

The role of diasporic Chinese capital, technology and labor, including a major role for returnees from North American and European graduate schools, has been large, multi-directional, and embracing the full range of activities spanning investment, technological transfer, networking, and labor migration back and forth across the Pacific and throughout Asia. The US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore are among the inter-linked sites for movement back and forth from and to Chinese cities.

Comparable, but much slower, strides have brought together the two Koreas, a process made more difficult by the fact that the US, which never signed a peace Treaty to end the Korean War, long sought to isolate North Korea, and by the North Korean nuclear program. With the Kim Dae Jong—Kim Jong-il summit of 2000 as the key point of inflection, the bitter hostility between the two Koreas yielded to efforts toward rapprochement and economic integration.[25] However, the 2008 election of Lee Myung-bak as president of South Korea, and the stroke suffered by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il have slowed rapprochement to a halt, indicative of the fragility of the relationship and the deep divisions in Korean politics. Lee’s election has not, however, slowed the deepening economic and cultural ties between South Korea, Japan and China.

As multilateral intra-Asian trade and investment deepened from the 1970s, so too did the region’s ties to Europe and the US. Trade between the East Asian trade surplus nations and the US, the world’s leading deficit nation, presently comprises one of the signature patterns of the contemporary world economic order. The enormous surpluses generated by China, Japan and South Korea account for the largest part of the massive US trade deficit, and in turn, these nations have made it possible for the US to continue to live beyond its means as dollar surpluses (more than $2 trillion for China as of December 2008, and even larger sums for Japan) were recycled back to the US, primarily in the form of Treasury bonds but also as direct and indirect investment. As of November 2008, according to the US Treasury Department, China with 682 billion dollars and Japan with 577 billion dollars in US treasuries ranked first and second in the world, accounting for 40 percent of the world total of $3.1 trillion.[26] Chinese and Japanese purchases of treasury bonds over the last five years helped to hold down US interest rates and the yuan-dollar and yen-dollar ratio, boosting the trade and growth of all three economies, and financing the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars at the same time that US manufacturing jobs continued their inexorable move to China.[27]

US-China Trade Statistics 1989-2006

In short, even as the Asian regional economy took shape and intra-Asian trade and investment soared, the East Asian economic powerhouses, China, Japan and South Korea, played central roles in the Asia-Pacific and world economies. Specifically, US and other manufacturing jobs migrated to China and the US economy, ever more dependent on the financial and service sectors, became the world’s leading deficit nation, its prosperity resting on credit provided by East Asian and oil-producing economies whose own prospects rested heavily on access to US markets and who in turn provided the surplus dollars that allowed continued US profligacy that could only end in financial implosion of global consequences.

China’s reentry in the world economy and the formation of a dynamic interconnected East Asian economic zone from the 1970s coincided with and was made possible by two major developments of global significance. The primary global war zone, whose greatest intensity had been in East Asia since the 1940s—the Pacific War followed by Chinese, Korean, and Indochinese revolutionary wars as well as independence struggles in the Philippines, Malaysia, and the Dutch East Indies among others—subsequently shifted to the Middle East and Central Asia.[28] If intra-Asian politics remains contentious, the growth and deepening of the Asian regional economy since the 1970s has taken place in the midst of a general peace, widening cultural and economic exchange, and easing of tensions throughout East Asia.[29] Second, China’s full entry into the world economy took place at precisely the moment when the postwar global economic expansion came to an end, the B-phase in the Kondratieff cycle began, and the US sought ways to prevent economic collapse through the expansion of a world economy that included China even as its industrial strength and economic growth rates plummeted and its economy became ever more dependent on finance and services.[30]

A number of comparisons to the colonial era in general, and Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in the years 1930-1945 in particular, are instructive. First, the rapidly growing multidirectional flow of trade and investment involving China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in recent decades may be contrasted with the predominantly bilateral economic relationships linking European, American and Japanese colonies with the metropolis as well as framing the dependent relationships with the metropolis of the prewar and early postwar periods. In the years 1988-2004, as world trade expanded at an annual rate of 9.5%, intra-East Asian trade grew at 14% per year, compared with 9% for that of the European Union. East Asia’s share of world exports increased by 6% in the course of those years, while that of the European Union decreased by 3%.[31]

Second, in contrast to the autarky of East Asia between 1942 and 1945, since the 1970s the region has been fully enmeshed in global trade, financial and investment networks. So, too, of course, have many other regions. What then “explains” the resurgence of East Asia in these decades at a time when others who shared a post-colonial history and incorporation in world trade networks have languished, disintegrated or experienced more measured growth? Among the historical and contemporary factors facilitating rapid economic development, industrialization, substantial growth in per capita income and the formation of a vibrant multi-directional East Asian regional economy, the following seem particularly important:

•The legacy of Asian economic and political strengths examined earlier in the epoch of Chinese preeminence, protracted peace, and the regional tributary-trade order of the 18th century, legacies that would become clear with the resurgence of Chinese strength at the center of an emergent East Asia.

•The role of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean diasporas in re-linking Asian and Western economies through trade, technology and investment networks that extend across the region and link East Asia globally.

•Early postwar developmental and social change strategies throughout East Asia predicated on state-led accumulation and investment, social change strategies that pivoted on land reform, and measures that blocked takeover by international capital while creating firm foundations for the domestic economy.

•The reknitting of the region bridging the divide that we have traced to the era of colonialism and regional disintegration and which continued in the era of US-Soviet conflict that defined global geopolitics and political economy in the immediate postwar decades.

If intra-Asian factors are of primary importance, the resurgence of East Asia as a region has been shaped by global factors, notably the role of the United States in the Asia Pacific. During the immediate postwar decades the US played a key role not only in shaping such global institutions as the World Bank, IMF and United Nations, but also in structuring a bifurcated Asia Pacific, in plunging the region into protracted wars, and in assuring the primacy of bilateral over multilateral relations. Since 1970, it has facilitated the resurgence not only of the national economies of East Asia but also made it easier to transcend at least some of the divisions inherent in earlier East-West conflicts.

In light of a two centuries-long pattern characterized by the primacy of unequal bilateral relationships and a virtual absence of multilateral bonds, a number of recent multilateral initiatives merit attention in terms of changing regional geopolitics in East Asia. For only the second or third time since the eighteenth century, and the first in half a century, China has taken the lead in an important regional and even global geopolitical initiative:[32] as host, and arguably the leading force in the six-party talks that may eventually lead to a breakthrough that results in North Korean denuclearization and opens the way toward ending the half century Korean War between North Korea and the United States and between North and South Korea. Although the Bush administration failed to complete an agreement on North Korean nuclear weapons, under pressure from China, Russia and South Korea, both the US and North Korea took important steps, including nuclear dismantlement and ending North Korea’s classification as an outlaw state (by US edict), thus enabling that regime to modestly expand its trade, to regain eligibility for international aid and to envisage the possibility of normalization of relations with the United States. The intertwined issues of the unresolved Korean War and the division of Korea remain critical to regional and even global accommodation. This is but the most intractable of concerns that can only be resolved in multilateral terms, requiring a striking departure from US unilateral attempts to impose its will on others through military action. The persistence of a divided China and a divided Korea have not prevented important strides toward the formation of a cohesive economic region, laying the basis for further political accommodation and, eventually, addressing the environmental and political economy issues of poverty and inequality that have accompanied galloping growth. (We return to these issues below.)

As it gained strength in recent decades, China has spearheaded other initiatives directed toward regional solutions: these include efforts to bring about an ASEAN + 3 arrangement involving China, Japan and Korea to unify East and Southeast Asia; agreement on an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area to take effect by 2010. It should be noted, however, that in contrast to China’s centrality in the tributary-trade order of the 18th century, Southeast Asian nations, through ASEAN, have played a leading proactive role in the emerging regionalism in the new millennium, as in the planning for a free trade area. These agreements have been predicated on a willingness by the parties to set aside for future resolution such contentious territorial issues as Chinese border disputes with India, Russia, Japan, and Vietnam among others, including disputes over potentially oil rich islands, the Spratlys and Paracels, that involve claims by many Southeast Asian nations. Particularly notable for its potential regional and global significance, is the China-Japan provisional accord on territorial issues involving the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands and Okinotorishima, making possible an agreement for joint oil exploration in the disputed area, although conflicts continue.[33]

Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands

As China’s star has burned brightly in regional and global affairs, Japan, the world’s second economic power, and the motor that drove region-wide economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s, has virtually disappeared from much analysis of Asian regionalism and global geopolitics. This is a product of three main factors. First is the surge in China’s economic and financial strength over the last two decades while Japan’s economy has never recovered momentum since the bubble burst of 1990 resulting in a decade of stagnation and the collapse of stock market and real estate values. Second is Japan’s reluctance to exercise leadership of an emerging Asia, in no small part because of fears that regardless of its efforts, the region will be dominated by a resurgent China. Finally, perhaps most important and directly related to the second point, Japan remains firmly in the American embrace, viewing its future in terms of the US-Japan alliance and maintaining an ambivalent view at best toward Asia. Japanese leaders continue to prioritize their subordinate relationship within, and dependence on, the US-Japan relationship, what Gavan McCormack controversially calls the Client State bond.[34] This includes the primacy of the US-Japan economic and security relationships above all others, the US nuclear umbrella, the stationing (at Japanese expense) of US forces on the Japanese mainland and Okinawa, and ample Japanese financial and logistical support for successive US wars, recently buttressed by the dispatch of Japanese naval, air and army forces to Iraq and the Persian Gulf. In short, despite the growing strength of intra-regional financial and economic ties and the overall decline of American power in Asia and globally, despite Japan’s growing cultural influence throughout Asia, and with the world’s second most powerful naval force and advanced air power as well as the second largest economy, Japan continues to prioritize its relationship with the United States and has been slow to exercise leadership in a resurgent East Asia.[35]

The question is whether there are politically acceptable geopolitical alternatives to the status quo for Japan’s leaders at a time of political crisis other than the course favored by some neonationalists, a course that would involve the renunciation of the Peace Constitution’s Article 9 and an expansive Japanese military role throughout the Asia Pacific.

In recent years East Asia has taken steps toward interregional cooperation in numerous areas including economic and financial security, nuclear nonproliferation, resource management, fishing, counterterrorism, drug, smuggling, piracy, human trafficking and organized crime control, disaster relief, environmental degradation and container security. The 1997 Asian financial and currency crisis provided impetus for regional responses, the most important of which was the currency swaps initiated with the Chiang Mai initiative of May 2005 to help shore up nations facing currency and financial crises (efforts to do so at the time of the 1997 Asian financial crisis were blocked by the United States), an initiative reinforced in 2008.[36]

The first summit of the three East Asian nations, held in Fukuoka, Japan on December 13, 2008 in an effort to frame a common policy in response to the world recession is illustrative of the possibilities for East Asian regional responses to the contemporary financial and economic crisis. The brief meeting, however, also suggests the obstacles to framing common policies at a time when world recession presents severe challenges that may derail even—or particularly—their high-flying economies with its heavy reliance on export markets and foreign investment.[37]

Intra-Asian conflicts, including historical memory conflicts centered around a Japan whose government and neonationalist elements continue to prevent it from laying to rest the divisive memories associated with the Asia-Pacific War and colonial rule, could undermine or slow these promising regional beginnings, as indeed they did in China-Japan relations in the reign of Prime Minister Koizumi, 2001-2006. However, the most important challenge centers on resolving issues pertaining to the United States and its role in East Asian or in Asia Pacific geopolitical outcomes, issues exacerbated by the economic meltdown that has confronted all nations and regions since 2008.

A critical question remains concerning the role of the US in East Asia and the Asia Pacific. David Shambaugh has noted the preponderance of the “US-led security architecture across Asia. This system includes five bilateral alliances in EA; non-allied security partnerships in SEA, SA and Oceania; a buildup of US forces in the Pacific; new US-India and US-Pakistan military relations; and the US military presence and defense arrangements in SW and CA.”[38] That formulation can be supplemented by recognizing the importance of the multiple US military bases throughout the region and beyond, the US militarization of space where again it has a virtual monopoly, the fact that as of 2006 65% of US sea-launched ballistic missiles were deployed in the Pacific maritime region, and the expansive conception of the US-Japan Security Treaty which has led Japan to extend its military reach to the Indian Ocean and to explore security arrangements with India and Australia which can only be directed against China.[39] In early 2009, moreover, both China and Japan have responded to Somalian piracy with the dispatch of ships to patrol off the coast of Africa, and South Korea is considering similar actions, involving a major expansion of the military posture of each of these nations.

Helicopter escorts Chinese ship off Somalia, January 2009

Signs abound of the weakening of American power in East Asia and globally. While the collapse of the Soviet Union left the US without serious geopolitical constraints, the rationale for permanent stationing of US forces—in Japan/Okinawa, in South Korea, in Taiwan, and in Guam, for example—was simultaneously weakened in the eyes of almost everyone except Pentagon planners. The US, moreover, lost international credibility as a result of failed protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the heavy pressures it imposed on other nations to pay for those wars and support them militarily. To be sure, no nation or group of nations has attained the military power to directly challenge US might or to effectively challenge the international primacy of the US. Yet US ability to effectively dominate geopolitics has been undermined by successive stalemated wars and the immense costs that will be required if the US is to overcome the present economic and financial crisis. The Obama decision to dispatch 30,000 additional troops to fight a failed war in Afghanistan, with larger troop deployments scheduled to follow, makes clear that the problem transcends the Bush legacy. Occurring, moreover, at precisely the moment when the nations of East and Southeast Asia have taken strides toward regional accommodation and addressing of the spectrum of problems that confront the region, the Obama administration’s expansion of the Afghanistan-Pakistan War, could have the effect of strengthening proponents of East Asian regionalism.

Paradoxically, Mark Beeson observes, “the legacy of the Bush administration may be that U.S. foreign policy effectively undermined the multilateral transnational basics of American power by encouraging the creation of regionally based groupings with which to represent and protect local interests.”[40] East Asia confronts multiple problems at a time when the meltdown of the world economy has discredited the core principles of neoliberal economics on which Washington banked its claims to world leadership over the preceding three decades. To be sure, the weaknesses of other emerging regional formations including ASEAN + 3 and the Shanghai Group (China, Russia and four Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with India, Iran, Pakistan, and Mongolia as observers), are palpable. New regional bonds, moreover, will face more demanding tests as the world economy enters its most difficult period since the depression/World War of the 1930s-40s, a period in which Asia’s high-flying export-oriented economies too confront economic and financial reverses after several decades of sustained expansion. The prospects for the Asia Pacific surely include a substantial American role in both geopolitical and economic perspective. Yet the ability of the US to dominate the geopolitics and political economy of East Asia and the Pacific has been fundamentally and perhaps irrevocably weakened.

It is too soon to tell whether East Asian nations will devise regional solutions to deal effectively with the most serious economic recession of the postwar era whose consequences are already so clearly visible in the sharp downturn of exports and GDP in early 2009, still less whether the US, casting aside neoliberal premises in favor of a new Keynesian gospel, will succeed in overcoming the challenges of the recession.[41] Still less, whether structural problems inherent in Asia’s, and above all China’s developmental surge will be able to address effectively the massive environmental and social challenges inherent in the race for growth. What is certain is that the verities of the postwar world will now give way to a new order or disorder in which East Asia is likely to play an increasingly significant role and US primacy to be called into question.

Conclusion

This essay has highlighted important steps that East Asia has taken to overcome the fragmentation associated with several centuries of colonial rule and the postwar US-Soviet division to reassert its position as a major world region. The combination of deepening intraregional economic bonds in the world’s most dynamic economic zone, together with region-wide efforts that have begun to confront acute environmental, territorial and security issues, suggests possible futures compatible with substantially reduced US- and US-Japan-dominated dynamics and momentum toward expanded regional coordination.

The growing economic strength of the region is a foundation for recent steps toward autonomy and multilateral coordination. If the US continues to hold important cards, its weaknesses, and the importance of East Asia for the US and global economy are readily apparent.

At the same time, intra-Asian conflicts are evident not only in responding to US demands and unilateral actions, with respect to wars and the war on terror, but also in myriad conflicts inherent in or exacerbated by China’s rise as a regional power, unresolved legacies of divided nations (Korea and China/Taiwan) and other territorial conflicts rooted in WW II, and historical memory issues that pit Japan against her neighbors over unresolved issues that are the legacy of the epoch of colonialism and war. Equally important, questions of the sustainability of economic growth patterns that exact a horrendous toll on the environment, and conflicts among neighboring nations over water, energy, and emissions, could, in combination with global economic and financial problems and the rampant social inequality that is particularly notable in China, sidetrack the high growth economies of the region.[42]

We have briefly surveyed three historical models for organizing East Asia: a Pax Sinica (16th to 19th century), the divisions and conflicts of an era of China’s disintegration, colonialism, war and revolution (1840-1970) dominated respectively by Japan and the US, and the resurgence of Asia and the sprouts of a dynamic regionalism since the 1970s.

Does the Pax Sinica offer insights into the possibilities for regional harmony or hegemony in a period of peace in East Asia in the new millennium? It was, of course, a hierarchical model predicated on a China-centered order and prioritizing the bonds of Asian states with China. At its height in the 18th century, East Asia enjoyed an era of protracted peace and relative prosperity fueled in part by exchange through tributary-trade bonds and a favorable position in world trade networks, as well as a hegemonic politics predicated on a relatively nonintrusive approach to the peoples on China’s East Asian peripheries. Both the subsequent Japan- and US-centered models, for all their dynamism, proved incapable of ending endemic war or creating effective regional bonds, each prioritizing bilateral relations with the dominant power and prioritizing its own military primacy and security during epochs of permanent warfare. If the emergence of wide-ranging and deep mutual economic relations across East Asia, including but not limited to the greater China constellation comprised of both China and the diaspora, provides foundations for a new regional order, China will surely be central to it. In contrast to the 18th century, however, China, after decades of high-speed growth, remains far behind such major competitors as Japan and the US in its level of development as measured by per capita income, including calculations in terms of purchasing power parity. Equally important, with its own deep developmental problems, above all the enormous toll on land, water and air associated with Chinese developmentalism, and internal divisions of region, ethnicity and class, and with challenges to the regime compounded by the economic downturn of the coming years,[43] China’s continued dramatic rise is far from assured. Above all, with Japan and the US as major powers in the region, China is unlikely to play a hegemonic role comparable to that of the earlier epoch or, for that matter, of subsequent eras of Japanese and US primacy, in coming decades. In contrast to realist international relations analysts such as John Mearsheimer, who project the emergence of a hegemonic China in East Asia based on assumptions about China’s economic growth, a more likely prospect is a regional order in which the pace of development slows and no single nation reigns supreme.[44] Meanwhile, immediate challenges both to national development trajectories and to regional accord will come from economic recession, geopolitical conflicts of which a divided Korea remains the most dangerous, American challenges to Asian regionalism, and historical memory issues that continue to divide China, Japan and Korea.

Our discussion has centered on Asian regionalism in three epochs. The present conjuncture, however, suggests one other important theme that differentiates the present era from that of both the Pax Sinica of the 18th century and the Pax Nipponica of the first half of the twentieth century. In both of the earlier epochs, East Asia was embedded in the global economy, yet the geopolitical reach of its dominant powers remained centered in East Asia. In the new millennium, both China and Japan are carefully weighing the global reach of their economies, as exemplified by China’s engagement in Africa, the extension of Chinese and Japanese naval power to the Middle East and the African coast, the global search by both nations for critical energy resources, and their heavy stakes in the US and European economies. But China and Japan are also, in their own ways, eying wider global geopolitical roles. The possibility of regional and global realignment looms, particularly in an epoch of economic malaise that cannot but affect all nations.[45]

Mark Selden is Senior Research Associate in the East Asia Program, Cornell University, and a coordinator of The Asia-Pacific Journal. His recent books include War and State Terrorism. The United States, Japan, and the Asia-Pacific in the Long Twentieth Century (with Alvin So) and China, East Asia and the Global Economy. Regional and historical perspectives (with Takeshi Hamashita and Linda Grove).

Recommended Citation: Mark Selden, “East Asian Regionalism and its Enemies in Three Epochs: Political Economy and Geopolitics, 16th to 21st Centuries” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 9-4-09, February 25, 2009.

See other articles by Mark Selden:

Japan, the United States and Yasukuni Nationalism: War, Historical Memory and the Future of the Asia Pacific

Japanese and American War Atrocities, Historical Memory and Reconciliation: World War II to Today

A Forgotten Holocaust: US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities and the American Way of War from World War II to Iraq

Ching Kwan Lee and Mark Selden, China’s Durable Inequality: Legacies of Revolution and Pitfalls of Reform

Notes


* I am indebted to Mark Beeson, Peter Katzenstein, two anonymous reviewers, and especially Uradyn Bulag for criticisms of earlier drafts of this paper.

[1] The quintessential works in this literature are David Landes, The Unbound Prometheus. Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969) (2nd edition, 2003); W. W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth. A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1962).

[2] China was arguably the geopolitical center of East Asia in the 18th century, but it is important to note that at that time, as during the Mongol dynasty earlier, China was ruled by a steppe people, the Manchus, thereby lending a distinctive character to the Qing empire and its dealings with peoples on its borders, notably the Mongols, Tibetans and Uyghurs of Central Asia but also the peoples of Southeast Asia as well.

[3] For an overview of work by the postwar generation of Japanese scholars and translations of major articles, see Linda Grove and Christian Daniel, eds. State and Society in China: Japanese Perspectives on Ming-Qing Social and Economic History (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1984). This literature, together with a Eurocentric modernization literature, provided the prelude to the revisionist thrust by Takeshi Hamashita and others whose work is examined here.

[4] Takeshi Hamashita, edited by Mark Selden and Linda Grove, China, East Asia and the Global Economy: Regional and historical perspectives (London: Routledge, 2008); Giovanni Arrighi, Takeshi Hamashita and Mark Selden, eds., The Resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 year perspectives, London: Routledge, 2003; R. Bin Wong, China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997; Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000; Andre Gunder Frank, ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998; Gary Hamilton, Commerce and Capitalism in Chinese Societies, London: Routledge, 2006; Hidetaka Yoshimatsu, The Political Economy of Regionalism in East Asia. Integrative Explanations for Dynamics and Challenges, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008; Mark Beeson, Regionalism and Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security and Economic Development, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007; Timothy Brook, The Confusions of Pleasure; Commerce and Culture in Ming China, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998; Francesca Bray, The Rice Economies: Technology and Development in Asian Societies, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985; Nola Cooke and Li Tana, eds., Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750-1880, Lanham MD, Rowman and Littlefield, 2004; Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680 (2 vols), New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988 and 1993. The issues have been sharply debated by historians and economists in symposia in The Journal of Asian Studies, American Historical Review, and Modern China among others. They have also been examined by a range of Japanese scholars. See especially Sugihara Kaoru’s edited collection on the links between Japanese development, intra-Asian trade, and the Asian economies, Japan, China and the Growth of the Asian International Economy, 1850-1949, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. For an important recent Chinese interpretation, see Wang Hui, The Politics of Imagining Asia: Empires, Nations, Regional and Global Orders, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 8,1, 2007, pp. 1-34.

[5] An important issue that we do not address here is the fact that the Qing empire that carried China to a peak of peace and relative prosperity in the 18th century was the product of Manchu leadership, thus raising important questions about the multiethnic character of the Chinese state and nation, and its relations with Central Asia and the steppe regions generally, as well as with East and Southeast Asia.

[6] Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680 vol.2, p. 33.

[7] Chapter 4: “Silver in Regional Economies and the World Economy: East Asia in the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries.” Translation by J.P. McDermott. China, East Asia and the Global Economy. Cf. Andre Gunder Frank, ReORIENT, especially pp. 131-64; Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence, espec. pp. 159-62, 267-74.

[8] See for example Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001 2nd.ed); Saskia Sassen, Cities in a World Economy, 3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge, 2006.

[9] China achieved the peak of territorial expansion during the 18th century, extending the reach of empire north and west into Inner Asia including incorporation of Tibet, Mongolia and Xinjiang, and China’s informal reach extended into Southeast Asia as well. Most of China south of the Great Wall, and particularly coastal China, by contrast, enjoyed protracted peace.

[10] Alain Gresh, “From Thermopylae to the Twin Towers: The West’s Selective Reading of History,” Le Monde Diplomatique, January 2009.

[11] Kaoru Sugihara, “The East Asian path of economic development: a long-term perspective” and Kenneth Pomeranz, “Women’s work, family, and economic development in Europe and East Asia: long-term trajectories and contemporary comparisons,” in Arrighi, Hamashita and Selden, eds., The Resurgence of East Asia, pp. 78-172. See also Giovanni Arrighi, Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century, London: Verso, 2007; Mark Elvin, “The Historian as Haruspex,” New Left Review 52, July/August 2008, pp. 83-109; Akira Hayami, “A Great Transformation: Social and Economic Change in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Japan,” Bonner Zeischrift für Japanologie, 8, 1986, pp. 3-13.

[12] Anne Booth,” Did It Really Help to be a Japanese Colony? East Asian Economic Performance in Historical Perspective,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

[13] Angus Maddison, Maddison, The World Economy: Historical Statistics, Paris: OECD Development Centre, 2003, cited in Booth, Table 3.

[14] Samuel Ho, “Colonialism and Development: Korea, Taiwan, and Kwantung” in Ramon H. Myers and Mark R. Peattie, Eds., The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984, p.382.

[15] Booth, “Did It Really Help to be a Japanese Colony,” Table 11. Booth shows that the pattern of metropolitan domination of the trade of the colonies was not universal. While the model well fit the Philippines (United States), in the late 1930s, trade dependence on the metropolis was less than twenty percent in the case Malaya (Britain) and Indonesia (Holland).

[16] Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai, Taiwan in Japan’s Empire Building. An institutional approach to colonial engineering, London, Routledge, 2009.

[17] Sven Saaler and J. Victor Koschmann, eds., Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History. Colonialism, regionalism and borders, London, Routledge, 2008).

[18] Mark Selden, “Japanese and American War Atrocities, Historical Memory and Reconciliation: World War II to Today,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

[19] Yuki Tanaka and Marilyn Young, eds., Bombing Civilians: A Twentieth-century History, New York: The New Press, 2009.

[20] Priya Satia, “The Defense of Inhumanity: Air Control and the British Idea of Arabia,” American Historical Review Vol 111, No. 1, 2006, pp. 16-51. The author finds it superfluous to remind readers that the same applies to the American war in Iraq eight decades later.

[21] John W. Dower, War Without Mercy. Race and Power in the Pacific War, New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.

[22] In purchasing power parity terms, in 2007, China ranked 1st, Japan 2nd, South Korea 3rd and Taiwan 7th. Wikipedia Figures for nominal GDP in 2007 in Wikipedia For per capita GDP (PPP) figures see here. For per capita GDP (nominal) figures see here.

[23] Yu Zhou, The Inside Story of China’s High-Tech Industry. Making Silicon Valley in Beijing, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

[24] Yu-huay Sun and Eugene Tang, Taiwan, China Start Direct Links as Relations Improve, Bloomberg December 15, 2008.

[25] To be sure, progress toward rapprochement has slowed under South Korean Pres. Lee Myung-bak.

[27] Mark Landler, “Dollar Shift: Chinese Pockets Filled as Americans’ Emptied,” The New York Times, December 25, 2008; R. Taggart Murphy, Asia and the Meltdown of American Finance; Kosuke Takahashi and R. Taggart Murphy, The US and the Temptation of Dollar Seignorage;James Fallows, “Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money,” Atlantic Monthly, December 2008.

[28] The shift to Central Asia and the Middle East certainly seems correct pertaining to American wars, but other military conflicts of course continued in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

[29] This is not to suggest that rapid economic growth can only occur in a peaceful milieu. Japan’s post-WWII recovery and economic growth was in part a product of an industrialization fostered by the US as a means to support the Korean and Vietnam wars. Japan’s gain was bought at the price of devastation of Korea and Indochina.

[30] For recent discussion of the Kondratieff moment see Immanuel Wallerstein interviewed by Jae-Jung Shih, Capitalism’s Demise? and, especially Robert Brenner interviewed by Jeong Seong-jin, Overproduction not Financial Collapse is the Heart of the Crisis: the US, East Asia, and the World

[31] Douglas H. Brooks and Changchun Hua, “Asian Trade and Global Linkages,” ADB Institute Working Paper No. 122, December, 2008, “Intra-regional Trade of Major Regions (1988-2007), Fig. 6, p. 10.

[32] Other instances that merit comparative analysis are the Geneva Conference on Indochina of 1955 and the Afro-Asian Conference at Bandung in the same year, proclaiming the importance of newly emerging nations in a post-colonial world.

[33] See, for example, Suisheng Zhao, “China’s Global Search for Energy Security: cooperation and competition in the Asia-Pacific,” Journal of Contemporary China, issue 55, 2008, pp. 207-27; Michael Richardson, A Southward Thrust for China’s Energy Diplomacy in the South China Sea and David Rosenberg, Managing the Resources of the China Seas: China’s Bilateral Fisheries Agreements with Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, Japan Focus

[34] Client State: Japan in America’s Embrace, London: Routledge, 2007.

[35] The combination of Japan’s military power and the aspirations of neonationalist politicians suggests other possible outcomes. The MSDF presence in the Indian Ocean since 2003 tasked with refueling US and allied ships in the Afghan War, now showing signs of becoming a permanent presence, means that Japan’s navy has taken up positions critical to guaranteeing its oil supplies from the Middle East. Similarly, plans are under review for an active military role in response to Somali hijacking of Japanese ships. See Michael Penn, Political Winds Drive Japan to the Gate of Tears off Somalia. Japan Focus.

[36] Mark Beeson, East Asian Regionalism and the Asia-Pacific: After American Hegemony, Japan Focus.

[37] Xetrade, “Japan, South Korea, China: trilateral ties, tensions; Brad Setser, This Doesn’t Look Good: Taiwan, Korea and China Exports Tank, Japan Focus.

[38] David Shambaugh, “China Engages Asia: Reshaping the Regional Order,” International Security 29.3 (2004), pp. 64-99.

[39] Peter J. Katzenstein, “Japan in the American Imperium: Rethinking Security,”; Richard Tanter, The Maritime Self-Defence Force Mission in the Indian Ocean: Afghanistan, NATO and Japan’s Political Impasse; Mel Gurtov, Reconciling Japan and China; Gavan McCormack, “Conservatism” and “Nationalism”: The Japan Puzzle.

[40] Beeson, East Asian Regionalism and the Asia-Pacific: After American Hegemony.

[41] Brad Setser documents the sharp downturn of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese exports in December 2008. This Doesn’t Look Good: Taiwan, Korea and China Exports Tank

In that same month, Japans GDP fell 9.6% year on year and in January the bankruptcy rate rose by 16% tp 1.360, the highest level in six years. Mure Dickie, Japanese economy faces big squeeze,” Financial Times, February 9, 2009.

[42] Ching Kwan Lee and Mark Selden, “Inequality and Its Enemies in Revolutionary and Reform China,” Economic and Political Weekly, January 13, 2009, pp. 27-36.

[43] On the environmental obstacles to China’s continued rise see Paul Harris, Confronting Environmental Change in East and Southeast Asia: Eco-politics, Foreign Policy, and Sustainable Development (UN University Press, 2005).

[44] John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: Norton, 2001), p. 402. This is Mearsheimer’s assumption about a China which succeeds in extending its developmental drive to become a wealthy nation. See Mark Beeson’s astute discussion of hegemony in postwar East Asia, “Hegemonic transition in East Asia? The dynamics of Chinese and American power,” Review of International Studies (2009), 35, pp. 95–112.

[45] Uradyn Bulag drew attention to the potentially expansive global roles of both China and Japan.

Advertisements




86 pc naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa

24 02 2009

Source: PTI

New Delhi : Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa together account for about 86 per cent of incidents of naxal violence and casualties, both civilian and security personnel, in the country.

In the 1,591 incidents in the country in 2008, the number being slightly higher than those in the previous year, 231 security personnel and 490 civilians were killed, Home Ministry sources said.

Chhattisgarh accounted for the highest number of 620 incidents, followed by Jharkhand (484), Bihar (164) and Orissa (103), they said.

In Chhattisgarh, 85 security personnel and 157 civilians lost their lives in naxal violence in 2008, while in Jharkhand the corresponding figures were 38 policemen and 169 civilians.

Bihar accounted for the deaths of 21 security men and 52 civilians and for Orissa the respective figures were 73 security personnel and 28 civilians.

In fact, this year’s figures available till first week of this month show that 53 incidents of naxal violence have already taken place in Chhattisgarh, followed by 48 in Jharkhand, 17 in Bihar and 10 in Orissa. Maharashtra has accounted for 15 incidents, including the most daring one in Gadchiroli early this month in which 15 policemen were killed.

Besides the four worst-affected States, naxal violence has been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the sources said.

The total casualties of security forces in 2008 was 231, which was five less than the toll in 2007. Likewise, 490 civilians were killed in naxal attacks in 2008, compared to 460 the previous year.

While 199 naxalites were killed in police operations last year, the figure for 2007 was 141, they said.

Referring to the spurt in naxal violence in Gadchiroli district, a senior official said that the maoists operating in Chhattisgarh were reported to be moving to new areas.

“CPI (Maoists) cadres move from one state to another. Such movement of Maoist cadres usually takes place in the adjoining areas of the states affected by naxal problem,” the official said.

He said such movements underline the need for joint operations — a suggestion mooted at a recent meeting of Chief Ministers of affected States chaired by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

The naxal Wing in the Home Ministry is monitoring on a regular basis the training being imparted to state police and para-military forces in counter-insurgency and jungle warfare. The Centre has sanctioned 10 Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) as a specialised anti-maoist force.





analysis: Swat under siege —Abbas Rashid

24 01 2009

Source: Dailytimes

Both India and Pakistan do not seem optimally positioned in terms of internal dynamics to deal with the pressing issues they face. The dissensions within will allow the militants to secure even greater space

One indicator of the state of Swat is the fate of its schools. According to one estimate, over the last fortnight, around twenty schools have been burnt down — more than one a day on average. The total number of schools in Swat that have been destroyed has now exceeded 150. Most are girls’ schools. In fact, few schools in the area are actually functioning because of understandable concerns on the part of parents and teachers for the safety of the children.

There are doubts expressed sometimes as to who is responsible for this. Obviously, it is not possible to rule out the involvement of more than one element. But the Taliban have often enough made clear their aversion to girls’ education and the experience of their rule in Afghanistan provides ample testimony as to their determination in this regard.

But what are we doing about the havoc being wreaked in Swat?

Earlier this week members of parliament passed a resolution expressing solidarity with the people of the valley, pledging to “stand up for the protection of their rights in the face of the onslaught by non-state actors”.

We are not quite sure just how this will happen. On Thursday, President Asif Zardari met security chiefs and politicians to discuss the violence in Swat and elsewhere in the northwest, and said the government was following a “three D” policy of dialogue, development and deterrence.

The problem, however, is that dialogue and short-lived peace deals have been tried before, only to have the Taliban return to the area stronger than before. Development interventions are not possible unless preceded by peace and a modicum of stability. And so far, the fairly substantial presence of military and paramilitary forces in the area has somehow not deterred the Taliban from terrorising the people of Swat and FATA, forcing large numbers to leave their homes and flee the area. The majority of the police force is no longer performing its duties and even the security advisor suggested as much when he declared Thursday that the police would have to work at restoring their credibility.

But Swat is now in the grip of a broader Taliban-led insurgency challenging the writ of the state in FATA and increasingly in the settled areas of the NWFP. And a successful counter-insurgency strategy operation cannot be carried out by a demoralised police force. While the military and paramilitary forces have carried out successful operations in the area, there is a general sense that the initiative still rests very much with the Taliban who seem to be running short neither of arms, men or money in what is nothing less than an unrelenting drive to take effective control over large areas of Pakistan and force millions of its citizens to do their bidding.

An ISPR spokesman Wednesday blamed the situation in the area partly on the two months of truce agreed by the new provincial government with the militants, giving them a chance to regroup and tighten their grip. That may be so. Earlier, this was a strategy followed by the military under President Pervez Musharraf as well.

Now, again, the federal government has sought the services of JUIF chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to negotiate with the Taliban. It is unlikely that the latter will agree to anything less than exercising effective control in large parts of the NWFP and imposing their own version of sharia that, among other things, rules out education for women and polio shots for children.

Clearly, a negotiated peace is the best option but it should not be a synonym for the surrender of the writ of the state. In the alternative, force has to be judiciously but effectively used to restore confidence in a terrorised populace. And while the Maulana may be the right person to negotiate with the Taliban, he might need reminding that his party lost in the last elections, held less than an year ago, and the ANP and the PPP won convincingly in the area: it says something about the preferences and aspirations of the people as opposed to those of the militants and terrorists.

Meanwhile, there is a level of uncertainly created by the fallout from the bomb blasts that killed so many innocent people in Mumbai last November. As the threats from India mounted, Pakistan made it clear that it would move troops fighting the insurgency to its eastern border and some were reportedly redeployed.

A major redeployment would obviously provide the Taliban with the opportunity to consolidate their gains and advance further. But, the pressure from India now seems to be receding and with the new US administration headed by Barack Obama, it is likely that there will be an attempt to put a regional initiative in place with regard to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Richard Holbrooke has been reported as Obama’s choice for the position of US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan But an important part of his mandate could be Pakistan-India relations as well. President Obama spoke during his campaign about the need to resolve the Kashmir issue and the recent remarks made by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband are indicative of the thinking in western capitals that a ‘regional’ solution may not be entirely possible without some kind of a settlement on Kashmir.

Pakistan, for its part, has made it clear that it will go along with any settlement acceptable to the Kashmiris, while India remains deeply suspicious of any third party involvement as indicated yet again by its sharp reaction to the Miliband’s remarks. However, India needs to resolve the Kashmir issue not for Pakistan but for itself just as Pakistan has to meet the challenge posed by the Taliban in FATA and the NWFP not in support of the US war on terror, but for its own integrity and survival as a nation-state.

For now, however, both India and Pakistan do not seem optimally positioned in terms of internal dynamics to deal with the pressing issues they face. The dissensions within will allow the militants to secure even greater space. To deal effectively with the growing menace of militancy and terrorism, both countries need to allow for a regional approach to the issue.

Abbas Rashid lives in Lahore and can be contacted at abbasrh@gmail.com





moghulistan

4 01 2009

Pakistan-Bangladesh plan a Mughalistan to split India

Mughalistan (or Mughalstan) is the name of an independent homeland proposed for the Muslims of India. This Mughal-Muslim state in the Indian subcontinent will include all of North India and Eastern India, and will be formed by merging Pakistan and Bangladesh through a large corridor of land running across the Indo-Gangetic plain, the heartland of India. This Mughalistan corridor will comprise Muslim-majority areas of Northern India and eastern India that will be partitioned for the second time in history.

The comprehensive plan for a second partition of India was first developed by the Mughalstan Research Institute (MRI) of Jahangir Nagar University (Bangladesh) under the patronage of the two intelligence agencies, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bangladesh’s Director General of Forces Intelligence, DGFI. The “Mughalistan Reaserch Institute of Bangladesh” has released a map where a Muslim corridor named “Mughalistan” connects Pakistan and Bangladesh via India.
The Pakistani Punjabi-dominated ISI’s influence on MRI is evident even in the Punjabi-centric pronunciation of the word ‘Mughalstan’ (without the “i”), instead of the typical Urdu pronunciation (Mughalistan). Islamic Jihadis in India have been well-armed and well-funded by the neighbouring Islamic regimes, as part of Operation Topac – the late Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq’s grandiose plot to balkanize India.

Not surprisingly, Osama Bin Laden has thrown his support behind the concept and creation of this Greater Pakistan to “liberate” the Muslims of India from the Hindus. The Mumbai underworld (led by Karachi-based don Dawood Ibrahim who executed the gruesome 1993 Mumbai bombings), Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen have declared their unified support for creating this undivided Islamic nation in the Indian subcontinent. The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Indian Mujahideen are working in tandem with the aforementioned organizations to waged Jihad against the Hindus of India.

It is important to note that in its “holy war” against India, the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba has openly declared Hindus to be the “enemies of Islam” who should all be converted or killed. The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba group has repeatedly claimed through its journals and websites that its main aim is to destroy the Indian republic and to annihilate Hinduism. Jaish-e-Mohammed has vowed to “liberate” not just Kashmir, but also to hoist the Islamic flag atop the historic Red Fort after capturing New Delhi and the rest of India.

SIMI has championed the “liberation of India through Islam” and aim to restore the supremacy of Islam through the resurrection of the Khilafat (Islamic Caliphate), emphasis on the Muslim Ummah (Islamic) and the waging of Jihad on the Indian state, secularism, democracy and nationalism – the basic keystones of the Indian Constitution – as these concepts are antithetical to Islam. The Indian Mujahideen have sent several emails claiming responsibility for several bombings in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad (in Uttar Pradesh), Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi in 2007 and 2008. The emails refer to notorious Islamic conquerors of India (Mohammed bin Qasim, Mohammad Ghauri and Mahmud Ghaznawi) as their role-models, refer to Hindu blood as “blood to be the cheapest of all mankind” and taunt Hindus that their “[Hindu] history is full of subjugation, humiliation, and insult [at the hands of Islamic conquerors]”.

The Indian Mujahideen’s emails warn the Hindus to “Accept Islam and save yourselves” and or else face a horrible fate: – “Hindus! O disbelieving faithless Indians! Haven’t you still realized that the falsehood of your 33 crore dirty mud idols and the blasphemy of your deaf, dumb, mute and naked idols of ram, krishna and hanuman are not at all going to save your necks, Insha-Allah, from being slaughtered by our [Muslim] hands?”

Background

Pakistan’s emergence in 1947 was as a “mutilated, truncated, moth-eaten Pakistan, in M.A. Jinnah’s own words, because the Muslim League’s original plan did not envisage the partition of Punjab and Bengal. Today, Mughalistan is Jinnah’s dream come true.

The Partition of India provided temporary respite to the Indians and merely postponed the inevitable outcome. By 1971, all across Sindh, Western Punjab, Gandhara (Kandahar) and Eastern Bengal, the native populations of the Indian Religionists (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains) have been wiped out almost entirely by conversion, massacre and mass exodus. Extrapolating this scenario, we find ominous results. This Islamic beach-head, which squeezes India from both sides (Pakistan and Bangladesh), gradually links up with a Fifth Column within India and gains fresh territorial and demographic victories within the last two decades (Kashmir valley, several districts of West Bengal and Assam, Malappuram district in Kerala and the Hyderabad-Deccan region). The Islamic Anschluss creeps steadily and bloodily, until the Western beach-head (Pakistan) is linked up demographically with the Eastern beach-head (Bangladesh) through the formation of a Islam-dominated belt called “Mughalstan”, that will then run through Jammu, Mewat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

Jammu & Kashmir

It is an open secret that wherever the Muslims are in a majority, the rights and freedom of the non-Muslims are severely curtailed. Take for example Kashmir. It’s the only state in India which is a Muslim majority and let us see what happened there. Hundreds of temples were razed, Hindus were forced to flee, their women were raped, children were killed and houses forcibly occupied. The entire Kashmiri Hindu population (known as Kashmiri Pandits) having been driven away, killed or converted between 1990 and 2000 in a silent, mass genocide. The Muslims in Kashmir have been enjoying a special status under Constitution’s Article 370, hardly any central law is enforced there, the number of income-tax payers is among the lowest and unlike other poor states, J&K gets 90 per cent central financial assistance as grants and only 10 per cent as loans. Still there are complaints that a ‘Hindu central government discriminates’. The other minority, Buddhists mostly located in Ladakh, too, are harshly treated and discriminated against by the mainly Sunni Muslim governance in Srinagar. The Buddhist Association, Leh, has been submitting memorandums to the central government about how Buddhist youths are denied jobs and a fair chance to join the Kashmir Administrative service and professional colleges in spite of clearing the entrance exams. The number of Buddhist minorities is fast decreasing causing concern amongst their leaders. Even their dead are not allowed to be buried in Muslim-majority Kargil area and monasteries have been denied to be built. Leh district continues to see rampant conversions of Buddhist women to Islam.

The Kashmir Valley today has a 98 per cent Muslim population. Poonch district, which is contiguous with Pakistan, has a Muslim majority. Jammu district has seen regular attacks on Hindu civilians and temples. The Hindu-population of the adjacent district of Doda is being squeezed out by Islamic violence. As a result, Doda is now a Muslim-majority district, where the population ratio between the Muslims and the Hindus in Doda district is now 55:45. Doda town has a 90 per cent Muslim population. Out of the seven subdivisions, Banihal, Kishtwar and Balesa are Muslim dominated areas. Bhaderwah, Thathri and Ramban have a Hindu majority. In Ladakh, Kargil district has a Muslim majority.

Northern India

In the backward Mewat region of Haryana (and Rajasthan), Muslims form 66% of the local population. In 2005, the Congress (I) state government in Haryana quietly created a Muslim-majority district called Mewat, by vivisecting Gurgaon district. This move strengthened the clout of Islamic groups in the region. After all, it was in Haryana’s Mewat region in 1992, that Muslim mobs in Nuh town had hacked Hindus, destroyed Hindu temples and brazenly slaughtered cows openly on streets after seizing them from Gau Shalas (cow shelters). Today, the mass conversion of Hindu villagers to Islam, purchasing tens of thousands of Hindu girls for use as sex-slaves, cow-slaughter and social boycott of Hindus is common in Muslim families in Mewat. The average Muslim birth rates of 12-15 children per household in Mewat is increasing even more by cases like the Mohammed Ishaq family where the patriarch has sired 23 kids from his wife, Bismillah.

The 2008 bomb blasts targeting Hindu temples and civilians in Jaipur underscore the rising tension in Rajasthan.

Muslim-majority cities like Old Delhi and Malerkotla (in Indian Punjab) provide not only shelter to Jihadi terrorists, but also geographic continuity to Muslim-dominated districts of western Uttar Pradesh (UP), especially Agra, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Meerut, Bijnor as well as Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Bareilly, Saharanpur and Moradabad. Muslim attacks on Hindu religious processions, religious riots and bomb blasts are common place in UP as was seen in Mau, Ayodhya, Lucknow and Kanpur. The UP state population of Muslims has risen to 18% today.

Next door, Bihar has a 17% Muslim population and religious tensions are simmering.

Along the Indo-Nepal border of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, around 1900 Islamic seminaries have come up on both sides of the Indo-Nepal border in recent times. “There has been an exponential increase of Madrassas on both sides of Indo-Nepal border in the recent past of which around 1100 are in India while the rest are in Nepal,” revealed Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Tilak Kak. These large number of Madrassas, which serve as have come up in a disproportionate way and are not proportional to the Muslim population in the area. India’s Task Force on Border Management, in its report of October 2000, wrote about the ominous developments along the India-Nepal border: “On the Indo-Nepal border, Madrassas and mosques have sprung up on both sides in the Terai region, accompanied by four-fold increase in the population of the minority community in the region. There are 343 mosques, 300 Madrassas and 17 mosques-cum- Madrassas within 10 kilometres of the border on the Indian side. On the Nepal side, there are 282 mosques, 181 Madrassas and eight mosques-cum- Madrassas. These mosques and Madrassas receive huge funds from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Managers of various Madrassas and Ulema maintain close links with the embassy officials of those countries located at Kathmandu. Financial assistance is also channelized through the Islamic Development Bank (Jeddah), Habib Bank of Pakistan and also through some Indian Muslims living in Gulf countries. Pakistan’s Habib Bank, after becoming a partner in Nepal’s Himalayan Bank, has expanded its network in the border areas including Biratnagar and Krishna Nagar. It is suspected that foreign currency is converted into Indian currency in Nepal and then brought to India clandestinely. Madrasas and mosques on the Indo-Nepal border are frequently visited by prominent Muslim leaders, Tablighi Jamaats (proselytizing groups) and pro-Pak Nepali leaders. Officials of Pak Embassy have come to notice visiting Terai area of Nepal to strengthen Islamic institutions and to disburse funds to them. Pro-Pak elements in Nepal also help in demographic subversion of the Terai belt.”

West Bengal and Assam: The Weakest Links in the ChainAccording to the 2001 census, the Muslim population is 28% of the total West Bengal population. In Assam, the Muslim population comprises atleast 31% of the total state population.

Arun Shourie wrote this in the Indian Express in 2004:

“Muslims in India accounted for 9.9 per cent (of India’s population) in 1951, 10.8 per cent in 1971 and 11.3 per cent in 1981, and presumably about 12.1 per cent in 1991. The present population ratio of Muslims is calculated to be 28 per cent in Assam and 25 per cent in West Bengal. In 1991 the Muslim population in the border districts of West Bengal accounted for 56 per cent in South and North Parganas, 48 per cent in Nadia, 52 per cent in Murshidabad, 54 per cent in Malda and about 60 per cent in Islampur sub-division of West Dinajpur. A study of the border belt of West Bengal yields some telling statistics: 20-40 per cent villages in the border districts are said to be predominantly Muslim. There are indications that the concentration of the minority community, including the Bangladesh immigrants, in the villages has resulted in the majority community moving to urban centres. Several towns in the border districts are now predominantly inhabited by the majority community but surrounded by villages mostly dominated by the minority community. Lin Piao’s theory of occupying the villages before overwhelming the cities comes to mind, though the context is different. However, the basic factor of security threat in both the cases is the same.

Figures have been given showing the concentration of Muslim population in the districts of West Bengal bordering Bangladesh starting from 24 Parganas and going up to Islampur of West Dinajpur district and their population being well over 50 per cent of the population. The Kishanganj district (of Bihar) which was part of Purnea district earlier, which is contiguous to the West Bengal area, also has a majority of Muslim population. The total population of the districts of South and North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda and West Dinajpur adds up to 27,337,362. If we add the population of Kishanganj district of Bihar of 986,672, the total comes to 28,324,034. (All figures are based on the 1991 Census.) This mass of land with a population of nearly 2.8 crores has a Muslim majority. The total population of West Bengal in 1991 was 67.9 million and of these, 28.32 million are concentrated in the border districts, with about 16-17 million population of minority community being concentrated in this area. This crucial tract of land in West Bengal and Bihar, lying along the Ganges/Hughly and west Bangladesh with a population of over 28 million, with Muslims constituting a majority, should give cause for anxiety for any thinking Indian.’’
And what if, from these figures, I had advanced two warnings. First,
‘‘There is a distinct danger of another Muslim country, speaking predominantly Bengali, emerging in the eastern part of India in the future, at a time when India might find itself weakened politically and militarily.’’

And second that the danger is as grave even if that third Islamic State does not get carved out in the sub-continent into a full-fledged country? What if I had put that danger as follows?
‘‘Let us look at the map of Eastern India — starting from the North 24 Parganas district, proceeding through Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda and West Dinajpur before entering the narrow neck of land lying through Raiganj and Dalkola of Islampur sub-division before passing through the Kishanganj district of East Bihar to enter Siliguri. Proceed further and take a look at the north Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar before entering Assam, and its districts of Dhubri, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Barpeta. A more sensitive region in Asia is difficult to locate…’’

To quote Sandhya Jain’s article “India’s Cancer Wards” in “The Pioneer”:

‘Mr. R.K. Ohri, ex-IGP, Arunachal Pradesh, cautioned that an Islamic Caliphate is rising on India’s flanks, from Bangladesh to West Asia, and that the shadow of the Mughalistan corridor is now visibly manifesting in various districts along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangladesh border. The demand for a ‘Muslim Banghboomi’ has already been raised, warns ex-MP B.L. Sharma (Prem). Traveling in West Bengal to check out certain atrocities against Hindus some years ago, his convoy was attacked by Bangladeshis. When demographer J.K. Bajaj and his colleagues prepared a mathematical model of the demographic challenge facing India, they found it exactly matched the map prepared by Bangladesh’s Mughalstan Research Institute. Experts feel the latter has been prepared by the ISI because the ‘Mughalstan’ spelling indicates a Punjabi mind!

Bangladesh’s reputed human rights activist Salam Azad laments that Bangladesh is the best place in the world for the return of the Taliban. Madrasas, he said, are teaching that “Muslims are the best in the world; non-Muslims will be converted, beaten, killed, married, raped, because non-Muslim women are regarded as maal-i-ganimat (free war booty)… Minorities will be oppressed, indigenous people will be attacked, in my country there is oppression everywhere and this is being done by the so-called educated people of the madrasas.”

West Bengal BJP leader Tathagatha Roy said the extent of atrocities against Hindus in Bangladesh can be seen from the fact that in several districts there was not a single woman between the ages of seven to seventy years who had not been raped in that country. He apologized for the indifference of the BJP Government which did not grant refugee status to Hindus fleeing oppression in Bangladesh. North Eastern Students Organisation chairman Samujjal Bhattacharya said all 49 tribal belts and blocks in Assam have been occupied by Bangladeshis. The shadows have spread to Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya

Today, Hindus residing within a 50-km radius of the border are feeling the heat. They are being harassed on Indian soil and forced to move as the infiltrators establish themselves along this corridor, thus de facto extending the Bangladesh border into India.’

The West Bengal administration, which had taken a serious view of the problem in the initial stages of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government, now seems to have accepted it as a fait accompli. The chief minister had adopted some steps to contain the menace when the BJP strongman L.K.Advani was the union home minister from 1998-2004. But his initiative has slackened after the installation of the UPA government at the Centre since 2004.

In case the ramifications of the unfolding scenario are not yet clear to Indians, the bomb-blasts and religious riots are a roaring continuation of the 1400-year Jihad against India – an ongoing war that will culminate in the Islamisation of what’s left of Hindustan. Already the demographic battle is underway and the Mughalistan scenario looks feasible. The book “Religious Demography of India” published by A P Joshi, M.D. Srinivas and J K Bajaj of the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), Chennai, reveals that in 2001, Muslims comprise over 30% of the total population in the Indian-subcontinent (comprising India, Pakistan and Bangladesh). The total Muslim population zoomed from 12.5% (1991) to 30.3% (2001), in just 10 years (from ex-IAS officer V.Sundaram’s article in “News Today”: Deathly Demographic warnings for India).

According to the 2001 census report, Indian population is 1,027,015,247.3. Of this, 1.5 crore people are Bangladeshi infiltrators who are living in India. The Intelligence Bureau has reportedly estimated, after an extensive survey, that the present number is about 16 million. The August 2000 report of the Task Force on Border Management placed the figure at 15 million, with 300,000 Bangladeshis entering India illegally every month. It is estimated that about 13 lakh Bangladeshis live in Delhi alone. It has been reported that one crore Bangladeshis are missing from Bangladesh [August 4, 1991, Morning Sun] and it implies that those people have infiltrated into India. These infiltrators mainly settle in the north-east India and in West Bengal. This is shown by the fact that there has been irregular increase in the Muslim population in these states and many of the districts have become Muslim majority. The proportion of Muslims in Assam had increased from 24.68 per cent in 1951 to 30.91 per cent in 2001.Whereas in the same time period the proportion of Muslims in India increased from 9.91 per cent to 13.42 per cent. In West Bengal, the Muslim population in west Dinajpur, Maldah, Birbhum and Murshidabad 36.75 per cent, 47.49 per cent, 33.06 per cent and 61.39 per cent respectively, according to 1991 census.

This has not only caused the burden on the Indian economy, but also threatens the identity of the indigenous people of the north-east of India. In Tripura, another north-eastern state of India, the local population has been turned into a minority community over a short period of time by the sheer numbers of cross-border migrants from Bangladesh. In 1947, 56 per cent of Tripura’s population consisted of tribal (or indigenous) population. Today this stands at a 25% of the total. In many districts these infiltrators are the one who decides the outcome of elections. Outcomes of the 32 per cent of Vidhan Sabha seats in Assam and 18 per cent of seats in West Bengal are decided by them. This is due to the fact that political parties are helping them to get ration cards and voters ID and hence using them to win elections.

According to the report, at present there are 80 lakh Bangladeshi infiltrators in Bengal, 55 lakh in Assom, 4 lakh in Tripura and 5 lakh in Bihar (Katihar, Purnia and Kishenganj districts) and Jharkhand(Sahebganj district). As far as West Bengal is concerned, the concentration of infiltrators is quite marked in the border districts like North and South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda and North and South 24 Parganas. The affected areas in Assom are Dhubri, Goalpara, Karimganj and Hailakandi, while a similar scenario is noticeable in Kailashar, Sabrum, Udaipur and Belonia areas in Tripura. Pakistan’s ISI is believed to have a hand behind this large-scale infiltration which has been playing havoc with the economy of Bengal and Assam. Home ministry sources say Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami(HUJI), the dreaded militant outfit active in Bangladesh, has succeeded in sending a large number of militants along with the infiltrators to West Bengal.

The Home ministry had laid stress on an early completion of barbed-wire fencing along the borders with Bangladesh. Of the 2216 km-long border the fencing could be completed only along 1167 km till 2007. The continuous infiltration has brought about serious demographic changes to Bengal’s border areas and made the border-map, drawn after the 1974 Indira-Mujib agreement, somewhat irrelevant. The Centre has consequently sought a detailed report from the state government on changes in the population pattern in 66 blocks of nine border districts.

DGFI & ISI Plan To Capture West Bengal and Assam Through Vote Machinery

To facilitate Mughalistan and the concomitant partition of India and Bengal, the DGFI-ISI have jointly planned to change the demography of West Bengal and Assam on a priority basis.
As many as 53 out of 294 Assembly constituencies in West Bengal have a high concentration of voters who happen to be illegal Muslim from Bangladesh. Similarly, the fate of 40 Assembly seats in Assam depends on the votes cast by illegal Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators. All this has been revealed by a recent report of the union home ministry on infiltration from India’s neighbour. The report has been prepared on the basis of facts and figures provided by the Task Force on Border Management and Assam’s former governor S.K. Sinha.

As such the Bangladeshi Muslims can control the West Bengal Assembly, and dictate terms to the state government of West Bengal in all respects. The picture of plight of majority Hindu electorates worsened in the State, as Muslim electorates have a clear majority in three districts viz. Malda, Murshidabad & North Dinajpur and 63 (sixty three) blocks in West Bengal. Again, an analysis upon the projection into the 2001 Census hints at abnormal Muslim growth everywhere in West Bengal, where the Muslim population is 28% of the total state population.
There are at least 5 powerful Muslim ministers in the West Bengal state cabinet: Abdur Rezzak Mollah (Minister of Land & Land Reforms), Anisur Rahaman (Minister of Animal Resources Development), Mortaja Hossain (Minister of Agriculture, Marketing & Relief, Minster of State), Anarul Haque (Minister of State for Public Health, Engineering) and Abdus Sattar (Minister of State for Minority Development & Madrasa Education).

In West Bengal, there are 45 Muslim Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) out of 294 seats. There are 5 Muslim Members of Parliament from West Bengal out of 42 seats: Mohammed Salim (Calcutta North East), Abu Ayes Mondal (Katwa), Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury (Malda), Abdul Mannan Hossain (Murshidabad) and Hannan Mollah (Uluberia), all of whom strength the control of Islam in various government institutions and the police hierarchy.
As the UPA Central Government and the CPI(M) State Government have paid no attention for the threat of Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators in West Bengal, the Bangladeshi Muslims have captured land, money and unequalled power of voting throughout the border districts in Bengal in many places.

With the passive support of both the UPA Central Government and the CPI(M) State Government and with the active support of all the political parties in West Bengal (except for the BJP) for winning the Muslim votebank’s support, the DGFI & ISI has actively put down roots in the soil of West Bengal for their purposes. Not only are they successful in the ongoing demographic change of West Bengal by means of mobilizing the election machinery of Bengal, they have also opened their fronts everywhere in smuggling, trafficking, drug peddling, illegal cow smuggling, trans-border gang robbery and of course terrorism, with the active grassroots support to the Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami-Bangladesh (HUJI-B), Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Now in its most advantageous position, the DGFI & ISI’s joint collaboration is now promoting activities of Mughalistan in Kolkata, Howrah & other districts. The Dhaka-based Mughalistan Research Institute has identified various areas marked as “Mini Pakistan” in W.Bengal & Eastern India. This Mughalistan, as we know, comprises the entity of Greater Pakistan, right from Afghanistan to Myanmar including Bangladesh, whole of W. Bengal, Assam & many other portions of India. This Pan-Islamic movement gets petro-dollars from the Arab World and fake Indian Currency from Pakistan and Bangladesh for the maximum manifestation of their plans. The Muslim infiltration from Bangladesh gives oxygen to the Pan-Islamic movement in India. Now they have direct access into the West Bengal State Assembly and into the Ministry of Bengal within Writers Building, Kolkata. But sadly, West Bengal’s vote politics undermine the situation by turning a blind eye to this colossal tragedy, unabashedly providing voters’ ID cards to the Muslim infiltrators and setting a dangerous peril for Bengali Hindus and India.
The North-Eastern region is connected to rest of India by a small strip called “The Siliguri Corridor” or “Chicken’s Neck”. The Islamists have planned to isolate the North-East of India from the rest of India, in order to facilitate the creation of Mughalistan. This Operation is named as “Operation Pin code”. For this they have planned to infiltrate 3000 Jihadis into North Eastern region. According to the Task Force, there are 905 Mosques and 439 Madrasas along Indo-Bangladesh border on the Indian side.

Some excerpts from the report, “Demography survey on eastern border” by Bhavna Vij-Aurora in “The Telegraph” are startling. “There have been reports that more Madarsas and mosques are sprouting along the borders, which in itself is an indication of increased Muslim population in the area,” disclosed an intelligence official. The last such study was done by the Intelligence Bureau and the home ministry in 1992, and their report kept a secret in view of the sensitive findings. It was ultimately leaked and the estimated number of illegal migrants from Bangladesh was anywhere between 1.5 crore and 2 crore. It’s time for a fresh survey, according to sources. There have been renewed intelligence reports that militants are using madarsas and mosques as safe havens, and also for storing arms and ammunition. According to reports, the largest number of madarsas and mosques has come up in bordering areas with Nepal, lower Assam and Bengal. This complements another secret survey that has revealed that nearly 40 per cent villages in the border districts of Bengal are predominantly Muslim. There are reports that concentration of the minority community, including the Bangladeshi immigrants in the villages, has resulted in the majority community moving to urban areas. Along with madarsas and mosques, a large number of Muslim NGOs have sprung up in the area bordering Nepal. Most of these madarsas are used for anti-India activities by Pakistan-backed terrorists. The NGOs ostensibly work for the social and educational uplift of the Muslim community and receive substantial and completely unregulated funding from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya and other Islamic countries,” an intelligence report said.”

When India was partitioned in 1947 on religious grounds and Muslims got West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), they had a vulture´s eye on the entire north-east. Muslims were not satisfied with both the Pakistans. They wanted the whole of the north-east region (undivided Assam) integrated with East Pakistan. Manul Haq Chowdhury, Jinnah´s private secretary, who remained in Assam and later became a minister in Assam assembly, wrote to Jinnah in 1947: “Quaid-e-Azam, wait for the next thirty years, I shall present Assam to Pakistan on a platter.” Since then, a sinister game plan to ‘grow more Muslims in the north-east’ has been going on surreptitiously.

Today, out of the total 24 districts of Assam, six districts, namely, Nagaon, Goalpara, Dhubri, Karimganj, Barpeta and Hailakanndi have 60 per cent Muslim population while other six, namely, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Kamrup, Nalbari, Darang and Cachar districts have above 40 per cent of them. Out of the 126 assembly seats, the election of 54 MLAs depends on the Muslim vote bank. There are 28 Muslim MLAs and four ministers, namely, (i) Rocky Bul Hussain (Nagaon), Minister of State for Home Affairs; (ii) Ismail Hussain (Dhubri), Minister for Flood; (iii) Dr Nazurul Islam (Doboka), Minister for Food and Civil Supply, and (iv) Misabul Hussain Laskar (Borkhola, Cachar), Minister for Cooperatives.

There are two Lok Sabha MPs in Assam, namely, Anwar Hussain from Dhubri and A.F. Gulam Osmani from Barpeta and one Rajya Sabha MP, Smt. Anwara Timur (Nagaon). The Muslim community of Assam has provided one former Muslim Chief Minister—Smt. Anwara Timur (Nagaon) and one former President of India—Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (Lakhtokia, Guwahati). Earlier, in the Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) Ministry, headed by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, there were two Muslim ministers, namely, Maidul Islam Bora from Kamalpur, Kamrup district and Sukur Ali from Barpeta. Several high-ranking officers including deputy commissioners are from this community. Obviously, the Muslim community, including the Indian Muslims and the Bangladeshi Muslims, have become a dominant group in Assam and it is they who decide who would be the Chief Minister of Assam and what would be the major policies of Assam pertaining to detection and deportation of illegal Muslim migrants and care of Muslim welfare.

Tarun Gogoi, the Congress(I) Chief Minister of Assam, is giving all protection to these Muslims due to political compulsions. The Assamese community has been overpowered by Muslims. These Bangladeshi Muslims are sneaking into upper Assam too, creating serious problems for the Assamese. The demography of Assam has drastically changed and the very existence of the indigenous people is threatened. The manifold growth in Muslim population has overburdened Assam and the Assamese people are feeling harassed and tortured. The livelihoods of the local people are getting snatched away by these illegal Muslim migrants. The Janjati (indigenous tribal) communities in Assam are not organized. Therefore, their land and forests are very often forcefully occupied by these Muslims. The Nelli massacre in 1983 was the worst clash between the local people and Bangladeshi Muslims in which several Lalung Janjati people were reportedly killed and many Lalung villages were burnt.

These Bangladeshis have illegally sneaked into Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura too. They are marrying the local girls of influential people and are thus getting protection from their in-laws’ families. After marriage with a Janjati girl, they convert her to Islam. They purchase land in the Janjati belts in the name of their Janjati wives by producing Janjati certificates in her name. Now, the new generation of Muslims, i.e. the Janjati Muslims, is growing. They give Muslim names to their children but the clan remains that of local wives, like Saidullah Ningrum, Azad Lingdoh (Khasi Muslims), Nizamuddin Semia, Akram Semia (Naga Muslims), Shahabuddin Chowdhury, Akbar Laskar (Assamese Muslims) and others. In Assam, Muslims are using Assamese surnames like Hazarika, Barbhuian, Bargohain, Bhuiyan, Bora, Gohain and others. There are Meitei Muslims too in Manipur.

In Nagaland, the Muslim menace is more serious. Dimapur has become the den of these Bangladeshi Muslims. They constitute the leading labour force in the agriculture sector owned by the Naga community. The majority of rickshaw-pullers, auto-drivers and other manual labourers is now of Bangladeshi Muslims. This has given rise to robbery, theft, illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs and liquor, smuggling of pornographic films and vulgar literature and an unprecedented rise in crime, flesh trade and prostitution. This influx has narrowed the jobs of lay workers too.

The Nagaland state capital, Kohima, has become the second biggest haven for the illegal migrant Muslims who occupy most of the shops in the main market, P.R. Hills and other localities. They marry Angami girls and become sons-in-law of the Naga people.

Similarly, all the district areas such as Mokokchung, Wokha, Zunheboto, Phek, Mon and Tuensang are infested with them. They are sneaking into the interiors of Nagaland. In places like Jalukie in Zeliang area, Naginimora, Tizit and other central places of Nagaland, the pain of the presence of migrant Muslims is felt by the local Naga populace. Some ten years before, the students´ bodies had agitated against these foreigner Muslims. But the agitation was silently withdrawn reportedly due to threats from Bangladesh that the Government of Bangladesh would demolish all the camps of Naga undergrounds established in the territory of that country if the Bangladeshi Muslims were harassed in Nagaland. On seeing this unprecedented growth of Muslim population in Nagaland, S.C. Jamir, the then Chief Minister, once stated, “Muslims are breeding like mosquitoes in Nagaland.”

As a result of such illegal migration of Bangladeshi Muslims and their nuptial ties with the local Naga girls, a new community called Semiya or Sumias has already emerged in the state. Their number is estimated to be several thousand. The concentration of the Semiyas is the highest in Dimapur and Kohima districts respectively. There are fears among many that the voters’ list might have been doctored to accommodate the Semiyas as well other immigrants. The result of such immigration is gradually being felt in the state.
According to a Dimapur-based newspaper, on any Muslim religious day at least half of the shops in Kohima and some 75 per cent in Dimapur remain closed. It is also a fact that control over business establishments is fast receding from the hands of the locals. A recent survey conducted by the state directorate of Agriculture showed that 71.73 per cent of the total business establishments are being controlled and run by non-locals. Out of the 23,777 numbers of shops in the state, the local people own only 6,722 shops. Since the illegal migrants provide cheap labour, they are aggravating the unemployment problem. Besides, they pose a threat to the internal security as well. Reliable sources indicate that they are also involved in various unwanted activities like drug peddling and flesh trade.

The Big Picture

The following map shows the concentration of Muslims and Hindus in the Indian subcontinent today. The highlighted areas show riot-prone regions of India where aggressive Muslim populations range from atleast 20% to 100% of the population.

Lest one mistakenly thinks that Mughalistan is the culmination of the Islamisation of India and that somehow the rest of India will be spared its fate, it must be stressed that this second partition of India is only the beginning. In Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh, northern districts of Karnataka and certain areas of Maharashtra, the growth of Muslims is very high. Likewise, in Kerala, the Muslims now constitute 25% of the state’s population. Malappuram district was carved out to create a Muslim majority district by the Communist government headed by E.M.S Namboothiripad. Today, the entire Malappuram district enforces the weekly holiday on Friday (not Sunday) for schools and businesses, while Hindus in neighbouring Kozhikode (Calicut) and Kannur are intimidated through high-profile massacres like in Marad. The planning and execution is well underway to ensure a continuing Anschluss where several Muslim majority pockets such as Moplahstan (in Kerala) and Osmanistan (in the Deccan) will gradually spread in size and link up with Mughalistan to form a Greater Mughalistan.
This Greater Mughalistan is of strategic significance as it will provide a contiguous, strategic corridor linking the Ummah into a pan-Islamic Caliphate. The ISI-DGFI-Indian Jihadi triumvirate has fondly nicknamed this pan-Islamic Caliphate as Islamistan (meaning “Land of Islam”), a synonym for `Islamic World’ or `Dar-ul-Islam’. This geographical Islamic crescent will link the Islamic Middle-East to Islamic South-East Asia, with the new Islamic World stretching all the way from Morocco and Bosnia in the West to Malaysia and Indonesia in the East.

There are Muslims in India today who dream of “Mughalistan” and are working relentlessly towards a further partition of India by creating “Mughalistan” in the UP-Bihar-Bengal-Assam corridor. It remains the focus of mainstream groups like the Tablighi Jamaat (who have methodically radicalised the ordinary Muslims) as well as underground terror groups like the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen, who have blown up several Indian cities killing thousands of people. Until Mughalstan is achieved, Indians will continue to see serial bomb-blasts, attacks on Hindu festivals and temples, killings of Hindu activists, conversions of Hindu women and socio-economically backward sections, and brazen cow-slaughter that will continue endlessly until the Hindu mind becomes too numb and shell-shocked to look at the bigger picture, or comprehend the future – that Mughalistan is inevitable (“Mughalstan Paindabad”).
Lessons of history have been quickly forgotten. Indians have become twisted “politically correct” escapists who prefer to turn a blind eye to reality. Now it is not about just Kashmir any more, it is all of India that Pakistan wants. And the creation of Mughalistan is not a question of “If”, but “When”. Unless we stand up and stop it.
All Indians, secularists and nationalists alike, must act quickly. We should ponder upon the future of India that we will bequeath to our children in the near future, if the plan of Mughalistan is allowed to proceed unhindered. Indians have to start taking responsibility for their future generations. We must do everything in our might, to ensure that the tide of Islamic expansionism is restricted and reversed, beginning right now.
The common man should take all possible measures politically, socially and economically to single-mindedly achieve this goal.




‘Chinese success in Olympics will be our success’

17 08 2008

Source Rediff.com

August 07, 2008
On Monday, August 4, when 16 border police guards of China’s ministry of public security were killed and many others injured when two unidentified terrorists attacked their barracks near Kashgar in the Xinjiang province of China, B Raman got a telephone call in Chennai from a Chinese think-tank advising China’s Olympics [Images] committee. Raman, India’s foremost expert on terrorism, visited Chengdu and Shanghai recently to advise the Chinese on the threat to the Olympics.

On the eve of the inauguration of the planet’s biggest sporting spectacle, Raman discusses the prospects of the evil of terrorism in Beijing [Images] in an interview with Editor Sheela Bhatt.

Do you think there is a possibility of some kind of terrorism in China during the Olympics?

There is a medium to high probability of acts of violence, including terrorism, by Uighur elements not only in the Xinjiang province, but also against Chinese nationals and interests during the Olympics in the Central Asian Republics, Pakistan and Turkey.

The Uighurs do not have a demonstrated capability for major acts of terrorism in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, where the main Olympic events will be held, but have a high capability in Xinjiang, the CARs and Pakistan. The main threat, if any, will be from the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, which operates from North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

On July 25, 2008, a private security consultancy agency of the US claimed to have intercepted a three-minute Olympics-specific video message by one Sayfallah, who claimed to belong to an organisation called the Turkistan Islamic Party in which he threatened acts of violence directed against the Olympics. He claimed that his organisation was responsible for the explosions in buses in Shanghai in May and in Kunming in Yunnan in July. He warned that his group is planning to attack Chinese cities ‘using previously unused methods’.

He also said: ‘This is our last warning to China and the rest of the world. The viewers and athletes, especially those who are Muslim, who plan to go to the Olympics should change their plans and not go to China. The Turkistan Islamic Party plans military attacks on people, offices, arenas, and other activities that are connected to the Chinese Olympic Games.’

Images: China ready to deliver safe Games

This message, even if its purpose is assumed to be to create fear and nervousness, shows that sections of Uighurs in Xinjiang as well as in Pakistan, the CARs and Turkey have been thinking of some incidents before and during the Olympics to draw attention to their cause. Likely threats from them have already been taken seriously by the Chinese authorities and have been factored into in their security planning.

Chinese concerns have been magnified by the attack on border police guards in Kashgar in Xinjiang province on August 4 in which 16 police guards were killed by two Uighurs of the area. Apart from diversionary attacks on Chinese nationals and interests, the other dangers are hijacking of Chinese planes and kidnapping of Chinese diplomats posted in neighbouring countries.

Is the Chinese government doing enough to understand the issue? Are Chinese leaders taking action?

Yes. The Chinese have done whatever they can to prevent acts of terrorism. They have taken into account various contingencies that could arise such as the hijacking of a plane and trying to crash it into the stadium, attacks on athletes and their places of stay, attacks on soft targets like the public transport system etc.

They have thoroughly studied the various scenarios that could arise and the scenarios that actually arose in the past, such as the kidnapping and murder of some Israeli athletes by the Black September group during the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the explosion in Atlanta in the US in 1996 by an irrational individual during the Atlanta Olympics, and factored the lessons into their security planning.

Which are the groups who have a significant presence In China?

The Chinese apprehensions mainly focus on the IMET and other Uighur groups, the Falun Gong and the supporters of the Dalai Lama [Images]. In my view, the highest threat will be from the Uighurs and the pro-Uighur groups in Pakistan like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Jihad Union, which is another Uzbek group, Al Qaeda [Images], the Taliban [Images] and Pakistani jihadi organisations.

While the anger of the Uighurs is against the Chinese because of their alleged suppression of Uighurs in Xinjiang, the others will be more interested in exploiting the gathering of thousands of athletes and hundreds of thousands of tourists in Beijing to watch the Olympics to attack teams from the US, Israel and Denmark. The anger against Denmark is particularly intense because of the publication of cartoons of the Holy Prophet by some Danish newspapers in 2005.

Are the athletes safe? Which countries have a higher risk?

The Chinese have assured all participating countries that their security will be very tight and that they will be protected. However, terrorism is a very unpredictable threat and hence one has to keep one’s fingers crossed. While some nervousness is natural, one should not allow this to come in the way of one’s participation. The international community should wish the Chinese well and help them in preventing any threat from materialising.

A terrorism-free Beijing Olympics will be an important contribution to the global fight against terrorism.

Don’t miss Rediff.com‘s coverage of the Beijing Olympics!

I am praying with all the intensity I can command that the Olympics should be totally successful and that the Chinese should succeed in preventing any violent incident. The highest risk will be to Denmark, the US and Israel in that order.

Do you think IMET or the Uighur movement is determined to spoil the Olympics?

The Olympics will provide a global audience. The Uighurs are determined not to miss this opportunity to publicise their anger against the Chinese. So too the Falung Gong. Some sections of Tibetan youth too wanted to exploit the occasion, but His Holiness the Dalai Lama has strongly advised them against doing anything which might embarrass or humiliate the Chinese. Unfortunately, neither the Uighurs nor the Falun Gong have a leader with the moral calibre of His Holiness. So, there is no one to advise them to exercise restraint. They can be irrational and unpredictable.

What kind of advice will you give the International Olympic Committee?

I was invited by the Chinese to make a presentation on likely threats to Olympics security at Chengdu in Sichuan in August last year and at Shanghai in May. We had very detailed discussions on various possible scenarios and they have been closely following my articles on the subject.

My advice to them will be: Be well-informed, be alert, be prepared for any contingency and avoid adding to the anger of those against Beijing by using harsh words against them. Be also on the look out for threats from angry individual Muslims not belonging to any organisation, who might get into the teams from the Islamic world participating in the Olympics.

China is the third Asian country to host the Olympics after Japan [Images] (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul), but neither Tokyo nor Seoul had to hold the Olympics under such difficult circumstances as Beijing, when the world is facing such serious threats from terrorism. Greece faced similar difficulties and threats during the Athens Olympics of 2004, which were held three years after 9/11 and after the US-led military operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban had started in Afghanistan and one year after the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. All the NATO countries rallied to the assistance of the Greek authorities to ensure that there was no threat to the Athens Olympics.

The Beijing Olympics, which is the second after 9/11, faces the same level of threats as the one at Athens. The Chinese have received excellent international cooperation, but they do not have the same technological capability against terrorism as the NATO countries. They have spared no pains and no expenditure to ensure the success of the Games.

The entire Chinese people, their professionals, their security forces, their scientists have rallied together to make the Beijing Games an occasion to remember. Only sick minds will wish ill of them at this juncture.

At the end of my visit to Shanghai in May, an important personality had hosted a lunch for me. In my toast, I said: “In India, we all without exception want you to succeed and want the Beijing Olympics to be a memorable success. We want to hold the Olympics in New Delhi [Images] one day. We will learn from you how to organise a spectacular Olympics.” I could see everybody at the lunch was touched.

We are all Chinese today. Chinese success will be our success. Chinese pride will be our pride.





‘Chinese success in Olympics will be our success’

17 08 2008

Source Rediff.com

August 07, 2008
On Monday, August 4, when 16 border police guards of China’s ministry of public security were killed and many others injured when two unidentified terrorists attacked their barracks near Kashgar in the Xinjiang province of China, B Raman got a telephone call in Chennai from a Chinese think-tank advising China’s Olympics [Images] committee. Raman, India’s foremost expert on terrorism, visited Chengdu and Shanghai recently to advise the Chinese on the threat to the Olympics.

On the eve of the inauguration of the planet’s biggest sporting spectacle, Raman discusses the prospects of the evil of terrorism in Beijing [Images] in an interview with Editor Sheela Bhatt.

Do you think there is a possibility of some kind of terrorism in China during the Olympics?

There is a medium to high probability of acts of violence, including terrorism, by Uighur elements not only in the Xinjiang province, but also against Chinese nationals and interests during the Olympics in the Central Asian Republics, Pakistan and Turkey.

The Uighurs do not have a demonstrated capability for major acts of terrorism in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, where the main Olympic events will be held, but have a high capability in Xinjiang, the CARs and Pakistan. The main threat, if any, will be from the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, which operates from North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

On July 25, 2008, a private security consultancy agency of the US claimed to have intercepted a three-minute Olympics-specific video message by one Sayfallah, who claimed to belong to an organisation called the Turkistan Islamic Party in which he threatened acts of violence directed against the Olympics. He claimed that his organisation was responsible for the explosions in buses in Shanghai in May and in Kunming in Yunnan in July. He warned that his group is planning to attack Chinese cities ‘using previously unused methods’.

He also said: ‘This is our last warning to China and the rest of the world. The viewers and athletes, especially those who are Muslim, who plan to go to the Olympics should change their plans and not go to China. The Turkistan Islamic Party plans military attacks on people, offices, arenas, and other activities that are connected to the Chinese Olympic Games.’

Images: China ready to deliver safe Games

This message, even if its purpose is assumed to be to create fear and nervousness, shows that sections of Uighurs in Xinjiang as well as in Pakistan, the CARs and Turkey have been thinking of some incidents before and during the Olympics to draw attention to their cause. Likely threats from them have already been taken seriously by the Chinese authorities and have been factored into in their security planning.

Chinese concerns have been magnified by the attack on border police guards in Kashgar in Xinjiang province on August 4 in which 16 police guards were killed by two Uighurs of the area. Apart from diversionary attacks on Chinese nationals and interests, the other dangers are hijacking of Chinese planes and kidnapping of Chinese diplomats posted in neighbouring countries.

Is the Chinese government doing enough to understand the issue? Are Chinese leaders taking action?

Yes. The Chinese have done whatever they can to prevent acts of terrorism. They have taken into account various contingencies that could arise such as the hijacking of a plane and trying to crash it into the stadium, attacks on athletes and their places of stay, attacks on soft targets like the public transport system etc.

They have thoroughly studied the various scenarios that could arise and the scenarios that actually arose in the past, such as the kidnapping and murder of some Israeli athletes by the Black September group during the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the explosion in Atlanta in the US in 1996 by an irrational individual during the Atlanta Olympics, and factored the lessons into their security planning.

Which are the groups who have a significant presence In China?

The Chinese apprehensions mainly focus on the IMET and other Uighur groups, the Falun Gong and the supporters of the Dalai Lama [Images]. In my view, the highest threat will be from the Uighurs and the pro-Uighur groups in Pakistan like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Jihad Union, which is another Uzbek group, Al Qaeda [Images], the Taliban [Images] and Pakistani jihadi organisations.

While the anger of the Uighurs is against the Chinese because of their alleged suppression of Uighurs in Xinjiang, the others will be more interested in exploiting the gathering of thousands of athletes and hundreds of thousands of tourists in Beijing to watch the Olympics to attack teams from the US, Israel and Denmark. The anger against Denmark is particularly intense because of the publication of cartoons of the Holy Prophet by some Danish newspapers in 2005.

Are the athletes safe? Which countries have a higher risk?

The Chinese have assured all participating countries that their security will be very tight and that they will be protected. However, terrorism is a very unpredictable threat and hence one has to keep one’s fingers crossed. While some nervousness is natural, one should not allow this to come in the way of one’s participation. The international community should wish the Chinese well and help them in preventing any threat from materialising.

A terrorism-free Beijing Olympics will be an important contribution to the global fight against terrorism.

Don’t miss Rediff.com‘s coverage of the Beijing Olympics!

I am praying with all the intensity I can command that the Olympics should be totally successful and that the Chinese should succeed in preventing any violent incident. The highest risk will be to Denmark, the US and Israel in that order.

Do you think IMET or the Uighur movement is determined to spoil the Olympics?

The Olympics will provide a global audience. The Uighurs are determined not to miss this opportunity to publicise their anger against the Chinese. So too the Falung Gong. Some sections of Tibetan youth too wanted to exploit the occasion, but His Holiness the Dalai Lama has strongly advised them against doing anything which might embarrass or humiliate the Chinese. Unfortunately, neither the Uighurs nor the Falun Gong have a leader with the moral calibre of His Holiness. So, there is no one to advise them to exercise restraint. They can be irrational and unpredictable.

What kind of advice will you give the International Olympic Committee?

I was invited by the Chinese to make a presentation on likely threats to Olympics security at Chengdu in Sichuan in August last year and at Shanghai in May. We had very detailed discussions on various possible scenarios and they have been closely following my articles on the subject.

My advice to them will be: Be well-informed, be alert, be prepared for any contingency and avoid adding to the anger of those against Beijing by using harsh words against them. Be also on the look out for threats from angry individual Muslims not belonging to any organisation, who might get into the teams from the Islamic world participating in the Olympics.

China is the third Asian country to host the Olympics after Japan [Images] (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul), but neither Tokyo nor Seoul had to hold the Olympics under such difficult circumstances as Beijing, when the world is facing such serious threats from terrorism. Greece faced similar difficulties and threats during the Athens Olympics of 2004, which were held three years after 9/11 and after the US-led military operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban had started in Afghanistan and one year after the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. All the NATO countries rallied to the assistance of the Greek authorities to ensure that there was no threat to the Athens Olympics.

The Beijing Olympics, which is the second after 9/11, faces the same level of threats as the one at Athens. The Chinese have received excellent international cooperation, but they do not have the same technological capability against terrorism as the NATO countries. They have spared no pains and no expenditure to ensure the success of the Games.

The entire Chinese people, their professionals, their security forces, their scientists have rallied together to make the Beijing Games an occasion to remember. Only sick minds will wish ill of them at this juncture.

At the end of my visit to Shanghai in May, an important personality had hosted a lunch for me. In my toast, I said: “In India, we all without exception want you to succeed and want the Beijing Olympics to be a memorable success. We want to hold the Olympics in New Delhi [Images] one day. We will learn from you how to organise a spectacular Olympics.” I could see everybody at the lunch was touched.

We are all Chinese today. Chinese success will be our success. Chinese pride will be our pride.





Five mobile phones busted a terror network

16 08 2008

Source: rediff.com
August 16, 2008 21:32 IST

What proved to be crucial for the Gujarat police, which on Saturday claimed to have busted a pan-India network behind the serial blasts in Ahmedabad [Images] and other cities in the country, were five mobile phones.

Exclusive: Breakthrough in Ahmedabad blasts case

“We had received leads into the case on the basis of five mobile phones used by the conspirators of the blasts,” Joint Commissioner (Crime Branch) Ashish Bhatia told media persons as police claimed to have solved the July 26 serial blasts by arresting 10 alleged SIMI [Images] activists, including mastermind Mufti Abu Bashir.

ISI’s Indianisation of jihad

Explaining the modus operandi followed by police to crack the case, he said, “During our investigations, we found five mobile phones with SIM cards that enabled only incoming calls were being used prior to the blasts.”

Blasts reveal split within Indian society

Bhatia said police noticed that all incoming calls were made PCOs.

“Interestingly, the phone became inactive in the evening of July 26, the day the blasts took place,” he said.

Why the terrorists used ammonium nitrate

Police claimed that it was this clue that led them to Bashir, who was arrested on Saturday in a joint operation of police teams from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh [Images].