China, Japan, United States discussed on Jim Bohannon


At Jimbo talks. We're talking in this portion of the program with Scott that space. Am I pronouncing that last name right, SpaceX? Perfect, just like civic. Okay, very good. And he's written a book called China hand, it is, it is a novel, but inspired by actual events, published by post hill press, and you did at least for a while. You were a teacher in a top university in Beijing, is that right? Yes, I started by time in China, studying Chinese and teaching at a university, and I worked in business in China for many years, about 20 years. But you're no longer there, I would gather. In fact, I understand you're calling in tonight from Japan and we'll talk a bit about more about that. I'm calling it from Tokyo. I left a little post COVID. I left late in late 2020, not China. Because I could imagine that the leadership of the Chinese government might not be thrilled by the book China hand. Well, there are several reasons I am using a pseudonym and I wouldn't say the book, the book is not, I wouldn't say anti China at all, but of course anytime you're writing a book about the defection of the top Chinese military officer, you could imagine they might not like it. So I'm not expecting the book to be sold in Beijing anytime soon. Not anytime soon, I would daresay. All right, before we get into the book and what it might say about China because after all novels can be fact based or not, but of course they don't have to be there. Their works of fiction. But I'm curious how the Japanese media are carrying the story of the House speaker Nancy Pelosi who visit to Taiwan. Well, I wouldn't say I try to read the media from all over the world, but especially the U.S. and Japan and China. I wouldn't say that the Japanese coverage is all too different from the coverage in the U.S. and what I mean by that is I think you see two sides to the story. On the one hand, as you hear from some of the press in the U.S., Japan, historically, has been a very pacifist, very concerned about confrontation. They don't certainly don't want conflict with China. They've had a very small self defense force ever since World War II. And I think the default post World War II for Japan has been to avoid confrontation. On the other end, so you hear that in part of the media like the U.S. trying to stir up stir up trouble that's going to potentially draw Japan to a larger conflict. On the other hand, you increasingly have a point of view in Japan that as China has gotten wealthier, stronger. They've started to throw their weight around a lot and Japan is threatened and Japan like any normal country needs to have a normal normal sized military needs to be able to defend itself. And can't allow China to be bullying whether it's Taiwan or Japan as well because Japan is very aware that they have some territorial disputes with China as well. And China threatens to take whether it's this intact islands or occasionally they even mentioned Okinawa. So yeah, I think you do here two sides, but increasingly the Japanese sort of stand with the U.S. when it comes to standing up to perceived Chinese aggression. Now, technologically, it would take Japan maybe a couple of months to build a nuclear weapon. I mean, it's not like this is any major challenge to them that the Genie is out of the bottle and the Chinese and the Japanese rather are as the technologically developed as any society on the planet. I don't know the extent of which again you've kept track of that, but of course following World War II a pacifism was in fact written into the Japanese constitution. We're not going to let the spirit of bushido and the harsh militarism take control again in this country. I can easily see that changing. Especially if they were to take the view that they can't really depend on the United States necessarily. I think that's exactly right. And I can't predict how it's going to play out, but there's definitely been discussion about developing nuclear weapons. As you said, my understanding if they could develop them very, very quickly, they have civilian nuclear power and they have the stockpiles of uranium and so on that could be used for the weapons. So it's just a matter of them making the decision to do so and I can't predict whether it will happen, but clearly perceived Chinese bullying China is a major nuclear power pushes them towards problem nuclear weapons potentially. I could certainly see that happening as well. What did you teach in China? I just thought I had just graduated from college. And I just taught English. It was a very, it was one of the top universities, but I was teaching, I'll say American society and politics and other topics basically in English. It was English based reading of different news and things like that. And in terms of the average Chinese student, how did they take to an American professor? I'm just curious. Well, you know, China is a country like any other. And you have all types. And I really tried to capture this in my book. And what I would say is when I was there, we got to keep in mind that I taught about 2025 years ago and China at that point was much poorer than it is today. Per CAPiTA income was under a thousand U.S. dollars per year. The country was still about 70% rural. So literally, probably 50, 60% of my students were basically fresh off of a farm. They were a bit intimidated, I think, by seeing foreigners, sometimes for the first time, they were generally fairly shy, frankly, many were pretty malnourished. And so there was definitely a lot of curiosity from the average student, but also a little bit of fear. I should also say that at the particular school where I taught, which is kind of the basis for the school in the book. It was a school for future diplomats and frankly spies. There was definitely kind of a lot of indoctrination that went on a lot of so called patriotic education. And that also made its way in. But I would say back then, you definitely had a lot of curiosity and mixed views. I would say though today, after really 25, 30 years of very strong patriotic education, they are definitely much more nationalist nationalistic than they used to be. And I think that's one of the reasons there is real danger when you see Pelosi visiting Taiwan or some of these perceived provocations by the U.S., the average Chinese would probably choose to go to war. They're very militaristic and nationalistic at this point. You brought up Japan a few minutes ago and I do see parallels to Japan prior to World War II. So I'm not predicting a war, but I do think the U.S. needs to be very careful because the level of nationalism has written a lot and Chinese definitely believe that Taiwan is an integral part of China and they would go to war over that. And we just need to be aware that that is something we're playing with. And they need to be aware that knuckles dragging misfits shouldn't be allowed to represent a country in terms of shooting down a high elected official from another country. If they had even understand what the hell is an elected official. All right, stay with us more to come here with our guests, Scott, space, and his new book China hand. All routines, the die hard, like those multiple cups of coffee and sugary energy drinks to stay alert. You could discover a

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