What’s behind Beijing’s Drive to Control the South China Sea?

Focus on China’s idea of its rightful place in the world – which, most Chinese would say, they were robbed of first by European and then by an American imperialism. “In 10 years, our GDP will be bigger than the US, in 20 years our military spending will be equal to the US,” claims Shen Dingli, one of China’s most prominent international relations scholars, “Thirty to 40 years from now, our armed forces will be better than the US. Why would the US defend those rocks? When you have power, the world has to accept. The US is a superpower today, and it can do whatever it wants. When China is a superpower, the world will also have to accept.” The rest follows from this. As it happens, the perceived future determines the lived present. Supposedly simple logic wrapped in a carefully crafted story.
Written by Howard W French, Read by Andrew McGregor and Produced by Stuart Silver

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads | 21st September 2015

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