China, or more exactly the CCP wants to throw its weight around. It can cow its neighbors into submission, establish dominance by putting up bases, provoke the US and play on national pride. Call it the equivalent of a bobcat pissing on a tree, Pooh Bear-style. Sorry, Xi-style. If really pushed, it can always withdraw and conjure up some extra nationalistic wounded pride.

What is China's objective in militarizing the South China Sea?

I noticed that any question that makes the United States appear unfavorably gets downvoted to hell, and there's sometimes a lack of professionalism that's disturbing among some of the members here. Is this going to be addressed or is this the level of decency and objectivity we're supposed to expect here?


This question had to be deleted, because some people seem to want to do propaganda for the U.S. for some reason. It's not a hypothetical, because I am not asking what China would do, but can do in response to a deliberate attack meant to wage war. The question was clear and precise, and yet people will do anything in order to close questions unfavorable to the United States.

Why are the United States government as well as many others supporting Taiwanese sovereignty despite its own anti secession laws?

If you ask a certain question that meets all the criteria, then at the end some people will say "there's an agenda" and close the question when the person isn't even pro-China, but not do the same when the person ask an anti-China or anti-Russia question. I am not even imagining things, it's just shows how biased people are here.


3 Answers 3


You should stop assuming that the downvotes came to views on the United States and how you feel it would make them look. It should also be noted that you should be careful about making assumptions in other areas.

What can China do to deescalate a conflict if the United States tried to bait China into going into a costly war against it?

Why are you making an assumption/leap that the US wants to bait China into a war? Why would they want to start one with a Nuclear power?

It was said that the window where the U.S. would comfortably win against China in an armed conflict is 2025, and that the U.S. would come ahead in the conflict, because it will suffer much less serious losses than China.

Are you suggesting that there is a winner in an armed conflict between two nuclear powers? I would argue otherwise as I see it as who loses less and I assume others agree with me.

So the United States might see it fit to find a reason to attack China during that timeframe. If the U.S. would try to escalate a conflict to wage an armed war against China, by doing a false flag attack on its own ship (Gulf of Tonkin incident) or by claiming China attacked one of its vessels or after China attacked one of its ship during some incident, what could China do to deescalate the conflict and avoid a costly war that would harm its goal into becoming the world's most powerful country through economic means? Is it possible that a war would be unavoidable if the United States just decided to wage a war against China even if China did everything in its power to avoid a war?

What reason would the US have to start a conflict with China? You seem to be making a lot of assumptions/leaps with your question but are not providing any evidence or reasons why they would want this sort of conflict. Sure you point out that their power is growing but that alone isn't enough reasons to start a war where millions if not billions could die in the conflict.

As a side note you have enough experience on the Stack Exchange network and should know that you should not be deleting and reasking a question because of its reception.

First time you asked.


Second time you asked about 40 minutes later.


  • rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1140.html Did you read the report? It says a war is possible, and won't necessarily involve nuclear weapons, and the U.S. would most likely benefit from it, and the window is closing for the U.S.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 19:50
  • politics.stackexchange.com/questions/73823/… this question was somehow downvoted saying the U.S. can't do that without any research to back it up, most likely it was downvoted by some pro-U.S. posters. I noticed a lot of questions or answers defending certain countries get downvoted to oblivion.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 19:54
  • 1
    @Sayaman A site visitor shouldn't have to visit various links in order to understand your question. Information like that should be summarized and added to your question for proper clarity. If a visitor decides to they can visit that link to get more detailed information. The problem I have with that question is you made several claims that sounded like the US was going to start a war with China but provided zero reasons for why that would be true. If you could provide some basic reasoning behind your thoughts it would have been a better question.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 19:54
  • It's not even one of the requirements to explain the reasoning of why a hypothetical could be possible, and I wasn't making a claim, I was telling what could possibly happen and since the U.S. already waged war based on a false flag operation (Gulf of Tonkin), there's no reason for me to explain in a 5 page report since it's not even relevant to the question.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 19:57
  • @Sayaman For your second comment why would they seize the assets of a foreign countries central bank? How could that do anything but destroy the trust that anyone in the world has for them? Not to mention why would a country with the power and size of China have many central bank assets that are in a position to be seized? To me it just doesn't make sense how it would be possible at all for it to happen.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 19:58
  • It's not a reason to downvote the question.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 19:58
  • 2
    @Sayaman As a default rule, "hypothetical" questions are all off-topic, bad questions on the SE network. Politics being the oddball that she is sometimes permits them, but still then as a rule of thumb if answers can't be provided from verifiable factual sources (a default requirement of the SE network), then the question is not appropriate. As such justifying your hypothetical tends to be extremely important. Without justifications it's just arbitrary opinion-based theory-crafting at best, and at worst partisan shilling and agenda or conspiracy pushing. Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 1:06

Your comment(s) here and the original question emphasized (in bold in the Q)

by doing a false flag attack on its own ship (Gulf of Tonkin incident)

And then you say

It's not a reason to downvote the question.

People disagreeing with the factual premises of the Q is a common reason for DVs, in my experience.

Maybe that's how the Chinese press describes the incident nowadays (i.e. US attacking itself), but that's hardly how this is viewed by almost everyone else.

It involved both a proven confrontation on August 2, 1964, carried out by North Vietnamese forces in response to covert operations in the coastal region of the gulf, and a second, claimed confrontation on August 4, 1964, between ships of North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Originally American claims blamed North Vietnam for both attacks. Later investigation revealed that the second attack never happened; the American claim that it had was based mostly on erroneously interpreted communications intercepts.

And much later in the article:

In 1995, retired Vietnamese Defense Minister, Võ Nguyên Giáp, meeting with former Secretary McNamara, denied that Vietnamese gunboats had attacked American destroyers on August 4, while admitting to the attack on August 2.

Wiki def of false flag (also note the term doesn't appear in the former article):

an act committed with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on another party

The US may have embellished the extent of the NV boat attacks, but that's not quite the same as outright invention, which is why you'd get people to disagree with your "false flag" characterization.

Regarding your comparison with other posts, yeah, you're undoubtedly going to attract DVs more quickly here by bashing the US than by bashing the PRC, but that's due to some obvious factors like the language of the site, the Great Firewall etc. (I don't know if politics.SE is accessible or not in the PRC by the way.) As I'm writing this, there are 6,500 questions and 79 watchers on the US tag. For the China tag, the stats are 416 questions and 27 watchers.

And regarding the RAND report

Did you read the report? It says a war is possible, and won't necessarily involve nuclear weapons, and the U.S. would most likely benefit from it

I don't see where it says the latter. I think you may be misinterpreting the predictions that Chinese losses would exceed the US ones as a "benefit".

Note that in contrast to the US plausibly wanting to give themselves a reason to strike North Vietnam as to reduce the insurgency support for the South, there's nothing comparable here in re China until it actually launches some similar operation, e.g. somehow manages to stir up an insurgency in Taiwan or elsewhere in the Pacific, or outright invades something.

It's true that the report says that in the future the ratio of Chinese:US losses in a war is likely to be less imbalanced... but you'd have to apply Putin's logic to conclude that the US should therefore go to war with China sooner rather than later. (And unlike Russia conquering parts of Ukraine, it's not clear to me what parts of China the US wants to conquer, so the incentives are much less, even if we apply Putin's logic in re inevitable wars. Just exchanging some [mostly naval] blows as the US did with Iran a few times isn't changing much.)

Had you not deleted the Q after two downvotes, you might have gotten such a "frame challenge" answer.



If you flipped over the roles of China and USA in your question, it would still be a poor question, it's not that much about who is being criticized.

Let's review why I was critical. To me your question boiled down to:

"If the US carries out (#1) a false flag (#2) attack on Taiwan to involve China in a war, how could China (#3) deescalate? (#4)."

  • #1. This is a hypothetical situation. We're not supposed to do those here and you sure have the seniority to know that.

  • #2. False flag, in most cases, sounds like a conspiracy theory. How many false flags has Russia supposedly been expected to carry out by now? Not that they don't do other things, but I am tired of hearing the term bandied around. Ditto Ukraine bombing itself and other nonsense.

  • #3 What would China do? Another... hypothetical.

  • #4 China is a nuclear state. They don't have to deescalate, their options are wide. So, what could China do? Plenty.

Why do people claim to be objective or professional when they're not?

I do not claim to be acting in a professional capacity when posting here.

First, Call it the equivalent of a bobcat pissing on a tree, Pooh Bear-style. Sorry, Xi-style. was meant to be a humorous jibe at a dictator's expense.

I admit, I tend to dislike dictators. Especially ones with territorial ambitions.

I've edited it out, and it doesn't substantially alter my answer. Why am I critical of China here?

Looking at wikipedia, look at the green dashes. Does that look like a reasonable territorial demand to you? USA or no USA?

enter image description here


Many of my posts tend to be, but given a higher quality of posts questioning the US/Western narrative, I tend to be fairly supportive of them. One of the attractions of this site is to hear inputs from other viewpoints, rather than just what we are getting from our media.

Yours, at least in this instance, was not one of those higher quality posts.

p.s. the US and China transitioning to a different power relation is a serious matter. It is not impossible the US would gamble on "a shoot while we are ahead" approach, which would be a dreadful mistake. Certainly, before Xi took over, I had more hopes that we would avoid a Cold War and could transition to a peaceful China (even if still internally repressive) taking its place in the sun.

So, a better question asking about this type of topic, but avoiding speculation traps? No problem, even if it asks pointed questions about the US.


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