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Why Confrontations with China Are so Tricky

In the recent years, China has shown itself more and more from a darker side. Their incursions into other sovereign nations territorial waters, predatory trade tactics in Africa, repressions in Hong Kong, Genocide of Uighurs, the list goes on.

Many people in the civilian populations of the Western World want something done about it, but the various governments are dragging their feet. Why are the governments not moved to action? Because it is a lot more of a difficult question than we immediately think. Let us take a closer look as to why.

Money Is King

A lot of the power we hold in the Western World, especially Europe, is purely economic. The European Union is the world’s strongest and most powerful trade network in existence. Because of this, many European countries can afford their generous welfare policies and a high standard of living.

A large chunk of this wealth, however, is very dependent on China. Decade’s worth of outsourced industry lies there, cheap imports and lots of exports happen daily. China always has the option to slow that down to a halt if they so wish, causing a massive economic problem for the West.

While many countries and businesses are pulling out due to the recent trends, the process is far from complete. This leaves us vulnerable if we were to put a foot down. And it would affect all of us.

Shy of Conflict

Many governments in the West are shy of a conflict with China. And for good reason. China is growing increasingly strong to the point where foreign opinions do not matter much in their dealings.

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Words, diplomacy and deals with China are not going to be very effective with their current government. More tangible consequences like economic sanctions might prove dissuasive but seeing as China is able to be fully self-sufficient, they will likely ignore that too. A true conflict that could bring change would require a lot of sacrifices and cooperation which in many cases seems unfeasible for the West to achieve. And even if it happened the chance of success would be as arbitrary as at an online casino.

False Enthusiasm

While we do hear many outcries from the Western public it is difficult to gage how serious and dedicated these outcries are. It is very easy to criticize something you believe is wrong without putting any action behind it.

Words alone do not prompt governments to act. We have seen that a thousand times. Only action and dedication will. But as things stand now, we have not come so far yet in the process. Maybe we never will. After all, people are well aware that an extensive conflict with China could hurt their comfortable lives quite severely for years to come. And whether people in the West are ready to give that up remains very uncertain.

China continues to make moves while the West drags their feet. Eventually we will be forced to act somehow, but will it be too late by then?