Gabriel Schoenfeld – 10.3.2007 – 11:52AM
“Are We Ready for China?”
That is the title of Aaron Friedberg’s characteristically provocative essay in the October COMMENTARY.
Friedberg, who teaches politics at Princeton and was from 2003 to 2005 a key foreign-policy adviser to Dick Cheney, is currently at work on a book—certain to be highly controversial and the subject of intense interest in both Washington and Beijing—about the U.S.-China rivalry.
“Though our leaders are loath to admit it,” writes Friedberg, the United States is almost two decades into what is likely to prove a protracted geopolitical rivalry with the People’s Republic of China. The PRC is fast acquiring military capabilities that will allow it to contest America’s long-standing preponderance in the Western Pacific.
In Asia and beyond, Beijing is working assiduously to enhance its own influence while at the same time seeking quietly to weaken that of the United States. Meanwhile, China continues to run huge trade surpluses with the United States, accumulating vast dollar holdings and advancing rapidly up the technological ladder into ever more sophisticated industries.
As Friedberg notes, the implications of China’s rise for America’s position in the world are profound, and are extending from one realm into the next.
In the past year, in one of many developments in the military arena where it is spending far more money than it publicly acknowledges, China tested an anti-satellite weapon, blowing up one of its own satellites in space, and revealing a growing potential to blind the United States in a future conflict.
…There is yet another arena where China is forging ahead. It is far less significant to U.S. policymakers, but fascinating for what it reveals about the potential of a country with population in excess of a billion to take extraordinary strides in a realm in which it has been historically backward.
Up until its collapse, the USSR was virtually the sole superpower in chess, the ultimate game of strategy and war. But with the Soviet Union’s disintegration, many of the USSR’s best players now live in Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, China has been rising out of almost nowhere.
In late August, a Chinese team trounced Russia handily in an annual competition held this year in Nizniy Novgorod. It then defeated the British national team in Liverpool. As the American grandmaster Andy Soltis notes, the Chinese accomplished these feats “without having a single player among the world’s 20 highest-rated grandmasters.” They simply have an enormous base of young talent from which to draw.
why is this so scary?
I don’t care about Chinese Chess. It’s not the same. They use tricks to win games.
Read this, written by unknown people:
‘Scholastic chess involvement has been steadily growing in the U.S. in recent years, as is evidenced by the increasing membership numbers of school-aged children in the United States Chess Federation. The number of student participants in national scholastic chess tournaments has been steadily climbing, as is best evidenced by the huge growth of the major national championship, the National Scholastic Chess Championships. Of course, with the exception of the few students competing at the top level, most participants are there to make friends, learn new skills, and simply have a good time. With events held in various locations across the U.S., such events provide students with travel opportunities that are rarely afforded to so many students of such varied ages.’
Is it true?
This is certainly true in my area — Northern Virginia. We have four good organizations running chess tournaments for kids within and hour drive or so: The U.S. Chess Center in D.C., the Spotsylvania Chess Club and the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association in Virginia, and the Maryland Chess Association.
I don’t think the U.S. will ever be a chess powerhouse, at least while communist countries are willing to pump resources into their programs, as the Soviet Union did and as red China is doing. This is not a credit to the communist system, but an example of their propaganda and an example that there are few other opportunities for their best and brightest, who do as they are told.
In the West, the “best and brightest” children have other opportunities that are far more lucrative than chess is, and many weekend tournaments exist, plus the Internet, to feed their chess addictions.
It has to be noted that the Russians playing in that match are not the best Russians around.
The Chinese team didn’t have anybody in the top 20. But that Russian team only have Jakovenko in the top 20.
However, the Russians playing there are perhaps the best among the YOUNG Russian players (except for Grischuk), and the Chinese are also young.
The match was not between the best active players in both countries, but between the best young players from both countries.
So the Chinese might actually be not better than the Russians if we take Kramnik etc into account. But for the next generation of top players, the Chinese might prove a serious challenge. The last match was between the best of the next generation top players from both countries.
And the same applies for the Chinese female players. The scary part is not only that they are currently strong, but that they keep coming up with very strong new young players.
Does anyone know?
How are these chess player being developed?
How are the programs being supported?
What can US learn from China or Russia?
Well one thing is for sure. The chinese chess players are not attacking the leadership of the chinese chess organization every day in outrageous ways. The USCF is STUPID to allow the kind of postings that occur on the USCF Forums. They are more than destructive.
d”They use tricks to win games.”
Is that so? Can you tell me what these tricks are and where I can learn them? I want to win games with tricks too!
I wonder why american public envy chinese advancement.
Is this a sign of frustration ?