Why did not Communist China annex Mainland Southeast Asia?

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,830
Sydney
#31
.
china to annex others ...... Why !
the classic form of great power is to have a core territory surrounded by vassal states
that is and was the case for China historical tributary states
 
Dec 2009
6,648
#33
The territories that China has historically conquered were areas where the locals were less culturally advanced, and had lower level of populations,. Those areas could be settled with Chinese to control, or the locals could be influenced to adopt a "Chinese" identity an language, as happened in much of southern China.

Areas, like Korea, where the people of a similar level of advancement, and had relatively high levels of populations levels. That means more troops would be required to control them, and with the level of advancement, and numbers, the locals would be unlikely adopt the Chinese language in place of t heir own, and abandon their own identity for that o the Chinese. For example, if China were to invade Korea, the Koreans would not likely stop speaking Korea in favor of Chinese, and stop thinking of themselves as Korean and as Chinese instead, nor could you probably settle enough Chinese in the area to make Chinese the majority.

In Southeast Asia, you have some of the same things.. China did historically try to invade and conquer Vietnam, but ultimately, the Chinese were defeated and failed. Had the Chinese tried to annex Vietnam, it would have to control a large, populous region that would represent an unnecessary drain on Chinese government resources. Besides, the last time the Chinese tried invading Vietnam in 1979, they were not very successful, and the Vietnamese successfully fought them off with only small loss of territory.

And yes, others, like the US, would likely intervene had the Chinese tried to annex Southeast Asia. Chinese conquered Tibet because it had a relatively small population, was backwards, and it was during a time and place that the US and other countries would not likely intervene. The US at the time was more interest in just containing communism, and was not really interested into going to war over a small, remote country like Tibet, not after the Korean War, and the location made it hard for the US and other western powers to support military operations there. Without the support of other countries, like India, or Burma, it wouldn't be feasible, and they were rather neutral, and don't see them giving the US the support to use their countries as base of operations.

Southeast Asia is another story, the US would be able to use their powerful navy to good advantage, and would be able to supply their forces by sea. Earlier, in tghe 50's, the French were still around, and would have fought the Chinese, and the US would have backed them. Instead of fighting the French, locals likely would have joined the French in fighting against the Chinese in a deal where they French would give them independence. Plus the jungle terrain would give the defenders more of an advantage. Countries like Thailand had a long history of independence, and a Chinese attempt to annex the region would have resulted in UN sanctions and even a police action like Korea. Finally, in the 1960's, and later, the US military was much more active than it was in when the Chinese invaded Tibet.
 
May 2014
12,968
SoCal
#34
Occupying Southeast Asia would throw a bit of a wrench into the idea that Communists are anti-imperialist, no? Plus, this would invite comparisons to Japan's previous expansionist spree--and I strongly doubt that China's leadership would have actually wanted that. Finally, the population in these territories was not Han Chinese. They might have been Sinicized, but they certainly weren't Han Chinese and in any case did not exhibit much of a desire to join China.
 
Apr 2013
6,065
China
#35
The territories that China has historically conquered were areas where the locals were less culturally advanced, and had lower level of populations,. Those areas could be settled with Chinese to control, or the locals could be influenced to adopt a "Chinese" identity an language, as happened in much of southern China.

Areas, like Korea, where the people of a similar level of advancement, and had relatively high levels of populations levels. That means more troops would be required to control them, and with the level of advancement, and numbers, the locals would be unlikely adopt the Chinese language in place of t heir own, and abandon their own identity for that o the Chinese. For example, if China were to invade Korea, the Koreans would not likely stop speaking Korea in favor of Chinese, and stop thinking of themselves as Korean and as Chinese instead, nor could you probably settle enough Chinese in the area to make Chinese the majority.

In Southeast Asia, you have some of the same things.. China did historically try to invade and conquer Vietnam, but ultimately, the Chinese were defeated and failed. Had the Chinese tried to annex Vietnam, it would have to control a large, populous region that would represent an unnecessary drain on Chinese government resources. Besides, the last time the Chinese tried invading Vietnam in 1979, they were not very successful, and the Vietnamese successfully fought them off with only small loss of territory.

And yes, others, like the US, would likely intervene had the Chinese tried to annex Southeast Asia. Chinese conquered Tibet because it had a relatively small population, was backwards, and it was during a time and place that the US and other countries would not likely intervene. The US at the time was more interest in just containing communism, and was not really interested into going to war over a small, remote country like Tibet, not after the Korean War, and the location made it hard for the US and other western powers to support military operations there. Without the support of other countries, like India, or Burma, it wouldn't be feasible, and they were rather neutral, and don't see them giving the US the support to use their countries as base of operations.

Southeast Asia is another story, the US would be able to use their powerful navy to good advantage, and would be able to supply their forces by sea. Earlier, in tghe 50's, the French were still around, and would have fought the Chinese, and the US would have backed them. Instead of fighting the French, locals likely would have joined the French in fighting against the Chinese in a deal where they French would give them independence. Plus the jungle terrain would give the defenders more of an advantage. Countries like Thailand had a long history of independence, and a Chinese attempt to annex the region would have resulted in UN sanctions and even a police action like Korea. Finally, in the 1960's, and later, the US military was much more active than it was in when the Chinese invaded Tibet.
This, oversimplifying of history is not history.

the mentioned contents should be divided into two topics: why ancient china did not annex korea, vietnam etc? why modern PRC did not annex southeast asia (as asked by OP)

if one read carefully the ancient history since ~200 BC, one would realized it was not because korea was at similar level of development (not during this time). the korean identity not formed yet even back then.
one would also realize the early rulers who try to impose an independent vietnam identity were actually chinese, who try to build their own kingdom without listen to other higher rulers. it is about why and how a localized people split out from a large sphere. not trying invade but failed.

the ancient china, had its own logistics that annexing other is not preferred.

the modern law system add many new aspect to recent histories. china is not a war player if to be compared with US.
the tibet invasion is a fake story. i believe people are aware of a tibetan poster in the forum
the US military is a myth. from known record, since the founding of PRC, US has not in any single war defeat China, even when people consider chinese military to be weak and tiny several decades ago.
 
Feb 2011
5,835
#36
The US considered Tibet a part of China until the Red Flag flew over China. Then the US switched its stance.

China conquered Tibet because Tibet was a part of the Qing dynasty in which they were successor to. It wanted Tibet for the same reason the Union couldn't allow the existence of the Confederacy. Southeast Asia wasn't a part of the Qing dynasty, China doesn't want Southeast Asia for the same reason USA don't want South America. People need to use some common sense and start thinking maybe other countries think in more or less the same line as their own country in terms of territorial ambitions: They want those territories in which they truly believe rightfully belongs to them, and no more. Seriously, if you ask an everyday Chinese down the street (or even the most corrupt official) about the reasons he wouldn't want his country to swallow Southeast Asia, you really think "USA" or "hard to conquer" would be the first thing on his mind? The first thing on his mind is "what type of weird question is that?", "are you joking?", "why would I want that?". Maybe other nationalities aren't so different from you, if that's so hard to comprehend then you need to travel more, maybe make a few friends outside of your comfort zone.
 
Last edited:
Likes: spirocate
Dec 2009
6,648
#37
This, oversimplifying of history is not history.

the mentioned contents should be divided into two topics: why ancient china did not annex korea, vietnam etc? why modern PRC did not annex southeast asia (as asked by OP)
Ancient China did try to conquer Vietnam, they just failed. The Vietnamese keep cked out the Chinese.

if one read carefully the ancient history since ~200 BC, one would realized it was not because korea was at similar level of development (not during this time). the korean identity not formed yet even back then.
one would also realize the early rulers who try to impose an independent vietnam identity were actually chinese, who try to build their own kingdom without listen to other higher rulers. it is about why and how a localized people split out from a large sphere. not trying invade but failed.
I am trying to explain why the Ming and Qing dynasty did not try to conquer Korea, when it most definitely conquered Tibet, inner Mongolia, and lots of other places. By the time of the Song, Ming dynast, Koreans had a comparable level of civilization. I am not saying they were quite as advanced, but the Chinese regarded the Koreans as proteges to be taken under their wing and nutured.

the ancient china, had its own logistics that annexing other is not preferred.
Medieval Tang dynasty was quite aggressive in its conquest, as we're the Ming and Qing dynasty. Most of wstern China was obtained and maintained by military conquest, was Inner Mongolia, and the Tawain. China tried and failed to conquer Vietnam a couple of times. China has had its history of mitary conquest.

the modern law system add many new aspect to recent histories. china is not a war player if to be compared with US.
the tibet invasion is a fake story. i believe people are aware of a tibetan poster in the forum
Tibetans did not beg to be made part of China, and China did take Tibet by military force. Save your Chinese propoganda to someone who believes your lies.

the US military is a myth. from known record, since the founding of PRC, US has not in any single war defeat China, even when people consider chinese military to be weak and tiny several decades ago.
The US fought the Chinese to a draw in Korea, and was able to re-establish the pre-war borders. The US participated in the conquest of Beijing, and the US defeated the Japanese, something the Chinese were unable to do. I guess Chinese government has rewritten all your history books, but the Japanese had decisively defeated the Chinese, and the only reason they didn't conquer all of China was because China was a big country. The Chinese were in no danger of driving out the Japanese, and Japan would still be occupying China and Manchuria today if the US hadn't defeated Japan and forced them to leave. The Chinese did do well in the Korean War, but the US and allies were able to force the Chinese and North Koreans back to the 45th parallel, so I call it a draw.


As to who would win had China invade Southeast Asia, I don't know, probably a draw, and the original borders re-established, as in Korea. For the last couple of centuries the Chinese military has been a paper tiger, getting crushed by first the British twice, then the Japanese twice. But the PRC has a good military and navy now, and certainly wouldn't want to find out how good. But that hasn't always been the case. The Chinese struggled against the Japanese in the Imjin war, and were eventually conquered and completely defeated by the Manchu, and the Chinese were conquered in their traditional Chinese homelands by the Jurchen, and later completely conquered by the Mongols. In the last 400 years of Chinese history, they were ruled by non Chinese for 300 years. So stop boasting.

But the claim that the Chinese do not engage in conquest and imperial expansion is just so much BS. Tawain did not become Chinese because the natives there petitioned the Chinese to come invade them, and replace their language and culture, not did the Tibetans beg the Chinese to invade them, or the people of Inner Mongolia.. Chinese were no worse than anybody else, but it unhistorical to claim that they only peacefully took over lands.
 
Dec 2009
6,648
#38
The US considered Tibet a part of China until the Red Flag flew over China. Then the US switched its stance.
Not true. Tibet was an independent country, one which the Chinese Republic had never controlled. America was part of the British Empire, but simply because Britain owned it at one time does not mean or give Britai ln the right to make it part of the British Empire again.

Had KMT China invaded Tibet and taken it over, the US would have opposed that as well. Now, had Tibet never gained its independence, that would be another thing. The US did not force it allies or other countries to give up their colonies, but neither did it help those countries to retake their colonies either after they had gained independence either.

Tibet was part of the Qing dynssty because Qing China conquered it, same as the British did India. If there was a resurgent British empire, by your logic the British should have the right to take back India because they owned it at one time.

China conquered Tibet because Tibet was a part of the Qing dynasty in which they were successor to. It wanted Tibet for the same reason the Union couldn't allow the existence of the Confederacy.
Not true. China took Tibet by force, and it was no more part of China than India was part of Britain. The people of Tibet do not speak Chinese, and had their own independent country long before the Chinese siezed their lands. Simply because the Chinese ruled Tinet for centuries doesn't give Chin the right to take it over now. Britain ruled India for as long as the Qing ruled Tibet, does that mean the British have the right to rule India still?

The states of the Confedercy had voluntarily joined the Union, and ma y of them were on lands bought and paid for by the Union, and were only allowed to settle the land because they were citizens of the Union in the first place. Further, in a marriage, even though you voluntarily enter into it, you can't just leave whenever you feel like, and unilaterally terminate the marriage, both sides have to be part of it, and the union was a marriage between states. Finally, the Confederacy attacked the Union first, and stole property that belonged to the Union. All of this totally different of what China did I Tibet.


Southeast Asia wasn't a part of the Qing dynasty, China doesn't want Southeast Asia for the same reason USA don't want South America. People need to use some common sense and start thinking maybe other countries think in more or less the same line as their own country in terms of territorial ambitions: They want those territories in which they truly believe rightfully belongs to them, and no more.
Chinese did try invading Vietnam in 1979, and they did take a little land. The only reason they didn't size more was because of the defense of the Vietnamese, not because of the goodness of the Chinese heart. If what you say is true, the Chinese should return the land they took from Vietnam, but they haven't.


Seriously, if you ask an everyday Chinese down the street (or even the most corrupt official) about the reasons he wouldn't want his country to swallow Southeast Asia, you really think "USA" or "hard to conquer" would be the first thing on his mind?
China isn't a democracy, so the opinion of the man on the street does t matter. It is what the leaders think. The man on the street was not protesting that China should invade and take back Tibet either.

But I agree, that however wrongly the view might be, China may have regarded Tibet as part of China in a way that it never did Southeast Asia. But that is because unlike Tibet. China was ultimately unsuccessful in its conquest of Vietnam. Maybe things might have been different had China succeeded in their conquest of Vietnam, but they didn't. So main reason is because Sothers Asia was never really part of China. And to promote communism, the Chinese did so through support of existing native Communist groups, which would be the only reason to invade. Although with the Cold War over, I don't think the PRC leaders are concerned with promoting Communist world wide these days. But invading to overthrow Capitalist governments and install Communist ones could have been a motivation in the 50' and 60's, if the opportunity came up.

The first thing on his mind is "what type of weird question is that?", "are you joking?", "why would I want that?". Maybe other nationalities aren't so different from you, if that's so hard to comprehend then you need to travel more, maybe make a few friends outside of your comfort zone.
During the Cold War in the 50's and 60's, promoting Communism was something that was important. Invading Southeast Asia to overthrow Capitalist governments and set up Communist ones would have been seen as a form of liberation, not much different than liberating countries from Japanese or European colonial rule. Communism did not manage to spread to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, but Thailand remains staunchly non Communist. Perhaps China might have been tempted to invade. Although the Chinese would not be annexing the area, so that is somewhat different than the OP of the piece.
 
Feb 2011
5,835
#39
Not true. Tibet was an independent country, one which the Chinese Republic had never controlled. America was part of the British Empire, but simply because Britain owned it at one time does not mean or give Britai ln the right to make it part of the British Empire again.

Had KMT China invaded Tibet and taken it over, the US would have opposed that as well. Now, had Tibet never gained its independence, that would be another thing. The US did not force it allies or other countries to give up their colonies, but neither did it help those countries to retake their colonies either after they had gained independence either.

Tibet was part of the Qing dynssty because Qing China conquered it, same as the British did India. If there was a resurgent British empire, by your logic the British should have the right to take back India because they owned it at one time.
This was what I said: The US considered Tibet a part of China until the Red Flag flew over China. Then the US switched its stance.

How is that "not true?":

^Are you saying the above video isn't made by the American government? Tibet being an independent country pre-Qing does not make the above video go away. Whatever the British empire did won't make the above video go away, nothing you said would make that video go away. It's a fact that America saw Tibet as part of China until the Red Flag flew over China.

Difference between British India and Tibet: Britain formerly relinquished India, hence Britain gave up its sovereignty to the territory. China did not
Difference between American colonies and Tibet: Britain formerly relinquished the American colonies, hence Britain gave up its sovereignty to the territory. China did not.

Difference between Western Imperialism and Tibet: The Qing was invited into Tibet by Tibetans, colonizers invite themselves against the wishes of the locals. The colonists of the Americas invited themselves, and exiled the Indians into Reservations, and then built a huge statue of the leaders who exiled them IN said reservation:


Maybe the Chinese should learn from the United States and build a huge Mao head in place of the Potala Palace? Maybe China should take a page from the first Native American schools set up by the United States. Maybe instead of forcing Tibetan students to learn Tibetan as they are doing now, they should learn from those American Indian boarding schools and take away the right of Tibetan students to speak Tibetan, like how those American boarding schools denied Native American children from speaking their native language? Mongolia is a better analogy to British India. China formerly relinquished Outer Mongolia, that's why they don't claim it anymore (except the ROC in Taiwan who haven't relinquished their claim). China never relinquished their sovereignty to Tibet.

Bart Dale said:
Not true. China took Tibet by force, and it was no more part of China than India was part of Britain. The people of Tibet do not speak Chinese, and had their own independent country long before the Chinese siezed their lands. Simply because the Chinese ruled Tinet for centuries doesn't give Chin the right to take it over now. Britain ruled India for as long as the Qing ruled Tibet, does that mean the British have the right to rule India still?
Then perhaps you should move back to Europe. China took Tibet by force from the Mongolians with the permission and HELP of the Tibetans. United States took North American land by force from the Native Americans, who actively resisted the encroachment

Chinese expedition to Tibet (1720) - Wikipedia

Native Americans didn't speak English, had their own government, had their own lifestyle. Why don't you give your land property to a Native American?

Native American population pre-colonization (North America): 2-18 million
Native American population in United States in ~1800: 600,000
Native American population in United States in ~1900: 250,000

Tibetan population in ~1950: 1 million
Tibetan population now: 6 million in TAR, 10 million in all of China

Now let's look at what British Prime Minister Churchhill viewed the locals who are supposed to be under his protection:

I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
-Churchill addressing the Peel Commission (1937) on why Britain is justified in deciding the fate of Palestine

I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes
-Churchill on how Britain should deal with the Iraqi revolution against British rule in 1920

I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.
-Entry dated to September 1942 on a conversation held with Churchill in Leo Amery : Diaries.

I hope it would be bitter and bloody!
-Churchill, upon hearing news of conflict between the Muslim League and Indian Congress, July 1940

If food is scarce, why isn't Gandhi dead yet?
-Churchill's witty retort to British Secretary of State for India Leo Amery's telegram for food stock to relieve the famine of Bengal in 1943 (4 million peopled starved to death.)

And here's the kicker:
Relief would do no good, Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply
-Leo Amery records Churchill's stance on why famine relief was refused to India, 1944, when British mouths were filling up on imported Indian grain

Bart Dale said:
The states of the Confedercy had voluntarily joined the Union, and ma y of them were on lands bought and paid for by the Union, and were only allowed to settle the land because they were citizens of the Union in the first place. Further, in a marriage, even though you voluntarily enter into it, you can't just leave whenever you feel like, and unilaterally terminate the marriage, both sides have to be part of it, and the union was a marriage between states. Finally, the Confederacy attacked the Union first, and stole property that belonged to the Union. All of this totally different of what China did I Tibet.
"Confederacy voluntarily joined the Union": "Mexican American War" shows a large chunk of Confederacy land did not voluntarily join the Union:


That's a large chunk of Confederate territory which was taken from Mexico, wasn't it? Those were taken by force, not voluntary. Perhaps should be given back to Mexico. In fact, in the war for Texas Independence, the immigrants CHOSE to go into Mexican land, they CHOSE to accept Mexican law such as no slaves, and THEN they declared independence and attained it by force. Maybe all of Texas should be given back to Mexico.

"Confederacy attacked the Union first": You should read up on the Sino-Tibetan war if you think Tibet was a peaceful shangri-la after declaring independence, they attacked ROC after declaring independence: Qinghai–Tibet War - Wikipedia

Bart Dale said:
Chinese did try invading Vietnam in 1979, and they did take a little land. The only reason they didn't size more was because of the defense of the Vietnamese, not because of the goodness of the Chinese heart. If what you say is true, the Chinese should return the land they took from Vietnam, but they haven't.
Show source on just what land China took from Vietnam from the Sino-Vietnamese war. Show source on which stated pre-war objectives China had that included "conquering Vietnam"

Bart Dale said:
China isn't a democracy, so the opinion of the man on the street does t matter. It is what the leaders think. The man on the street was not protesting that China should invade and take back Tibet either.
Which leader announced that Southeast Asia belonged to China? Show source and quote.

Bart Dale said:
But I agree, that however wrongly the view might be, China may have regarded Tibet as part of China in a way that it never did Southeast Asia. But that is because unlike Tibet. China was ultimately unsuccessful in its conquest of Vietnam. Maybe things might have been different had China succeeded in their conquest of Vietnam, but they didn't. So main reason is because Sothers Asia was never really part of China. And to promote communism, the Chinese did so through support of existing native Communist groups, which would be the only reason to invade. Although with the Cold War over, I don't think the PRC leaders are concerned with promoting Communist world wide these days. But invading to overthrow Capitalist governments and install Communist ones could have been a motivation in the 50' and 60's, if the opportunity came up.
China gave objectives in the Sino-Vietnam war. Which of those objectives included "conquering Vietnam"? Show your source.
 
Last edited:
Likes: spirocate
Oct 2015
615
India
#40
Now let's look at what British Prime Minister Churchhill viewed the locals who are supposed to be under his protection:

I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
-Churchill addressing the Peel Commission (1937) on why Britain is justified in deciding the fate of Palestine

I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes
-Churchill on how Britain should deal with the Iraqi revolution against British rule in 1920

I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.
-Entry dated to September 1942 on a conversation held with Churchill in Leo Amery : Diaries.

I hope it would be bitter and bloody!
-Churchill, upon hearing news of conflict between the Muslim League and Indian Congress, July 1940

If food is scarce, why isn't Gandhi dead yet?
-Churchill's witty retort to British Secretary of State for India Leo Amery's telegram for food stock to relieve the famine of Bengal in 1943 (4 million peopled starved to death.)

And here's the kicker:
Relief would do no good, Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply
-Leo Amery records Churchill's stance on why famine relief was refused to India, 1944, when British mouths were filling up on imported Indian grain
360 Degree View of Churchill