Friday, September 8, 2017

News commentary: US accepts offer of RSAF helicopters for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief

My main reaction when SG offered help to the US, and the US accepted that help was... the US would accept help from a little red dot? That's... humility? Self-assuredness? Confidence?

Then a question: Would a rising Great Power with aspirations to Super Power status act in the same way?

Here's a question to consider: If there were a disaster in China, and SG offered helicopters or other assets to provide humanitarian and disaster relief, do you think the Chinese Govt would accept help from the Little Red Dot?

IMHO, I believe China would not. Firstly for National Pride and Face. Secondly, for national security. The CCP would not want foreign govts to know how weak, or incompetent, or inexperienced they are. They would not want their inadequacies to be showcased to the world.

Thirdly and finally, as a closed society or a relatively secretive (or insecure) one when it comes to their military capability, they might well view any such offers of help with great suspicion.

Why am I dragging in China to this issue? Well, China wants to be seen as a superpower. The US is a superpower, but is not too proud to accept help wherever it may come from. I think that is an openness that one gets from the US way of doing things. China wants to be seen as a leader, but it is insecure about its role and would see any help as undermining their carefully curated image of a strong independent power.

In any case, the hypothetical situation (SG offering to help) is unlikely as we do not have any military assets based in China for training purposes. Why not? Well, when you train, you train with the best, or at least those who are better than you. That's how you improve. And as many of our assets (if not all) are purchased from the US, there is advantage in being based there, near the manufacturer.
 Is this an unfair comment on China? 

Well, has China acted thin-skinned and closed minded? Have they blocked out the world in order to more carefully craft their image and "face" within China/with their citizens. Have they created the "Great Firewall of China" and then replicated state-controlled versions of Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and in fact the internet? Are they the paragon of openness and transparency?

 If Singapore were to offer help, would China accept? If China accepts help from SG, how would that paragon of journalistic integrity, The Global Times, report it? Ignore this inconvenient fact? How would the jingoistic Chinese Media report this... embarrassment?

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