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Matt Jackson GP 101 Commentary on China China for most of its 3500 years of history China led the world in agriculture crafts and science It fell behind in the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution gave the West clear superiority in military and economic affairs In the first half of the 20th century China continued to suffer from major famines civil unrest military defeat and foreign occupation After World War II the Communists under Mao Tse Tung established a dictatorship that while ensuring autonomy of China imposed strict controls over all aspects of like and cost the lives of tens of millions of people After 1978 his successor Deng Xiaoping decentralized economic decision making output quadrupled in the next 20 years Political controls remain tight at the same time economic controls have been weakening Present issues in China are incorporating Honk Kong into the Chinese system closing down inefficient state-owned enterprises modernizing its military fighting corruption and providing support to tens of millions of displaced workers Today China remains the major issue in US security policy in Asia The currently dominant security policy holds that China has essentially replaced the former Soviet Union as the chief strategic threat to the United States in the region and the US should essentially retain its containment strategy with China as the new target The basis of this new strategy includes a strengthening of cold war-era bilateral military alliances in with the development of a Theater-based Missile Defense system that would cover South Korea Japan and Taiwan Revelations in early-to-mid 1999 indicating a pattern of Chinese nuclear weapons and missile technology espionage dating back from the 1970s to the mid-1990s has raised fears of China as an enemy to the highest level in 20 years Chinas defense budget has grown more than 50 over the course of the 1990s and is said to have increased 15 in 1999 Chinas occupation of 11 islands and reefs
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