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Old December 8th, 2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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Why was China historically so militarily weak?


Why was China historically so militarily weak?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #2

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Is there a specific period you're referring to? Historically, China was not militarily weak, though. Following the An Lu Shan rebellion of the Tang dynasty, China tried to prevent military leaders from having too much power to avoid a takeover of the country such as that one, but they still had significant military power.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 04:15 PM   #3

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It wasn't. The Qin and Han states were among the largest in the world. The Chinese pioneered national military mobilization (levee en masse), large-scale military engineering, and bureaucratization of the state (including the military). Even the most advanced states in Europe at the time (which were few to begin with, since most of Europe was still organized as tribes) were relatively primitive patrimonial states, not bureaucratic ones. Their ability to mobilize resources was greatly limited compared to the centralized Chinese empires.

I think the Chinese have a better military record than places like Britain, for example. Despite having the tremendous benefit (from a military standpoint) of being an island, and not part of the largest continuous landmass on earth like China, Britain was still successfully invaded multiple times throughout history (by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans). Britain, for almost the past 2000 years, has been ruled by people of foreign origin. In fact, the majority of people on the British Isles today associate with the culture and language of the foreigners (Anglo-Saxons). The Chinese, however, continue to associate with their own culture and speak their own language, which shows the fortitude and strength of Chinese civilization.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red321red321 View Post
Why was China historically so militarily weak?
I wouldn't say it wasn't weak per se. Those countries which were really weak mostly have disappeared from the map.

It was average. I can't think of any country which has been so often overrun by so few people. Was there ever a time that the nomadic conquerors weren't outnumbered by 50, 100 or even 150 to 1?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #5

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In concurrence with others, 'it' wasn't; at least not 100% of the time. Individual dynasties at particular junctures were military weak, such as the late Qing. As a general rule of thumb, most major dynasties started off quite strong militarily and steadily declined as time went on. It's particularly difficult to apply the term 'China' to this inquiry, because, for example, there were often times when multiple Chinese dynasties existed and simultaneously some were militarily strong and some were militarily weak. You'd also have to indicate in what capacity it was weak or strong; in what time period, compared to who; its neighbours or powers on other continents, in land, naval, technological or logistical terms etc etc?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #6

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If China had been military weak in the history,how she becomes the biggest country in Asia whose landmass covers huge area in East and Mid Asia,and those lands are not sparsely populated like Siberia.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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If China had been military weak in the history,how she becomes the biggest country in Asia whose landmass covers huge area in East and Mid Asia,and those lands are not sparsely populated like Siberia.
Because these lands were conquered by non-Chinese peoples who conquered China first?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Aetius View Post
Because these lands were conquered by non-Chinese peoples who conquered China first?
but how they became Chinese lands?conquered by the conquered?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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I assume he means China was militarily weak in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Think this is mostly due to northwestern Europe and some other countries being way ahead of everyone else in technology and so on.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #10

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No country has been all time militarily strong,Mongolia used to be militarily the most powerful country in the world who occupied most of the known world at a time.but by no means it can be called militarily strong now or most of its history.
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