Does 中国 Even Exist?

Interesting look at how China is viewed from the outside, and how it relates to the battle over the South China Sea.
What if it Wasn’t “One China” vs. “Two Chinas”? What If There Was “No China”?
In my opinion the CCP views NQH in the context of a trend, supported by Japanese revisionists, Western strategists, and Indian hawks to question the existence of “ 中国” and legitimize support for separatist movements (of which the "Republic of Goetsu" is probably the least of the PRC's worries).

Of course, the outsider insistence on defining “China”--in a way that would probably have Edward Said nodding his head in rueful recognition--probably colors PRC resistance to Western efforts to question and supersede its sovereignty over another non-Han holdings: the South China Sea. The claim to the SCS, in the CCP's eyes, is not much weaker--or stronger--than the PRC's claims to any of its territories. If one is repudiated, what's the case for asserting legitimate sovereignty over the rest?

It's not just an academic issue with unpleasant implications for current affairs.

Denying the legitimacy of “ 中国” is a convenient bookend to current efforts to characterize the PRC as an enemy of the liberal order i.e. a rogue state. Not only is the government a pariah, the nation it claims to govern doesn't even exist!

It looks like a way to deny PRC sovereignty over its territorial holdings, and open the door for opposition to the PRC as an illegitimate occupier on the grounds of--take your pick-- R2P (neo-liberal flavor), struggles of national determination (liberal flavor), failed commie state that needs a healthy push into its pre-dug grave (knuckledragger).

Revisionism is alive and well as the dominant Japanese political discourse, as is questioning the PRC's legitimacy as a geopolitical stratagem (remember the "struggle of the international liberal order against authoritarian revisionism", anybody?), and encouragement of separatism as a strategic lever for the PRC's many adversaries.

"One China" may not be on its deathbed, but it's not looking that great.

One China? How about "No China"?

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