Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Kind of Game Is China Playing?

I check the stats of my BaconLOG periodically and was surprised to see an inordinate number of people reading the post, Kissinger on Go and Chinese Strategic Thinking, from January 27, 2011. There also seemed to be much interest from China. Then there appeared an article in the Globe and Mail on June 10, 2011, Weiqi: The game that holds China's key to world domination, by Michael Posner. (
Mr Posner writes in the article, "It is no coincidence that China has taken its place on the global stage without a single bullet being fired (except on its own people). Its big-picture approach, as outlined by Henry Kissinger in his new book, On China, has a great deal in common with weiqi, the world's oldest and most sophisticated board game. Even the most complex board game could never replicate the intricacies of geopolitics, but understanding one can provide key insights into the other."
Then I understood the interest was because of the book. When I think of Henry Kissinger, I think of the book by Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, in which Mr Hitchens brought charges against Henry Kissinger as a war criminal. There is even a documentary film, made in 2002, of the same name. I lived through the Nixon/Henry the K era and cannot understand why anyone listens to the man. To put it in terms of the youngsters today, Kissinger is SO yesterday!
The next day, June 11, 2001, Keith Johnson wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal, What Kind of Game Is China Playing?
Both articles say China is playing Go, as it's called in the west.
Just today, former Phillippine President Fidel V. Ramos has come out with an interesting article, Deadly Chess Game: Positional Warfare (, in which he writes, "To many Filipinos and senior citizens around the world who are chess aficionados like me, China’s creeping intrusion into the South China Sea is like playing deadly positional warfare in chess that is eventually won by pushing opponents into a condition of “zugzwang” (inability to defend to the point of surrender because of loss of space and movement)."
What kind of game is China playing,Chess or Go? Inquiring minds want to know.

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