Over at the Unz Review
Peter Lee (who calls
himself a "China-watching pessimist of the Caucasian persuasion") has an interesting column:
What if It Wasn’t “One China” vs. “Two Chinas”? What If There Was “No China”?
What does this map have to do with Brexit?The answer may surprise you!But first, the wait is over, people. My Brexit hot take is up at Asia Times: The Brexit Upside for ChinaThe PRC was not happy with Brexit, despite the Atlanticist fetish with spinning any difficulties with the neo-liberal project as a foul victory for Putin & the Chicoms.In parsing the PRC discomfort with the possibility of the United Kingdom fragmenting into Britain + Wales, independent Scotland, and a merger of Northern Ireland with Ireland, and perhaps the EU losing a clutch of key states and regressing into a lesser union, I draw parallels and contrasts in my Asia Times piece between the shaky state of play in western Europe and the PRC’s own problems with its internal multi-national order in a manner I predict readers will find entertaining and informative.The PRC has a bias toward stability and against direct democracy. There’s more. It also has a major vested interest in the legitimacy and viability of multi-national institutions. In case you haven’t noticed, the PRC is the biggest multi-national enterprise on the planet, avowedly run on multi-national principles with the full panoply of nationalities and autonomous zones.
The subtitle is "Brexit, 中国 Denialism, and the End of 'China'", and he explains why he calls it "中国 Denialism" instead of "China Denialism" since Westerners think about this territorial question differently—to the extent that they think about it at all, that is.
John Derbyshire, who does think about China, wrote in these pages more than fifteen years ago
that Chinese nationalism is connected to emotions that are
pre-modern, primitive; uninformed by anything from the Enlightenment, or even from the Reformation or the Renaissance for that matter, and unconnected to—in fact, rabidly hostile to—any concept of liberty, self-determination or government by consent.I have sat with Irishmen for long evenings, discussing their history and their nationhood as topics on which different points of view might be exchanged, different opinions passionately, yet reasonably, held. No such discussion is possible with these younger Mainland Chinese. When you raise their “national question”, they just lose their temper and ask how you dare be so impudent as to offer an opinion on something that only concerns Chinese people. If you ask them whether they would prefer a free, democratic China without the “three T`s” (Tibet, Turkestan and Taiwan) or the present corrupt despotism with them, they unhesitatingly go for the latter.
That's why the real problem with any kind of "Chexit" is that the government in Beijing—I almost wrote Peking—has the Red Army, the nuclear bomb, and fervent belief that that ruling all these areas is their right, and has been since 221 BC.