I think the above statement by the author is exactly true. Anybody who will become a top leader in China will be a master in the art for being a good emperor. What a good emperor must master is how to become a benevolent leader.
Mao Zedong was a benevolent leader.
As a result of his benevolence, Mao killed 60 million of his own people.
How many of Mao’s people would have been killed if MacArthur had his way and nuked much of North Korea and China?
I think there were those in China/North Korea and the USA who had guessed on the number killed, and I am not so sure those in China were too worried about the millions of Chinese that would die. And, I am not so sure the outcome may have been much the same, i.e. a defeat for the United States.
The United States has no concept of what a benevolent leader is capable of doing, for the good of his people, and the millions who would have died at the hands of the Americans may have put a strain in the moral fiber of the US, and from that the US may not been able to recover from.
It’s not so much a “Reemergence of a tyrant”, in a world that has China as its greatest economic leader, that a world needs to worry about. It’s a world with a benevolent leader, such as the leader of North Korea, at the helm of a China that has its people behind him, that a world needs to worry about.
As for Democracy, it is just one of the structural mechanisms that need to change in China. Maybe Democracy could help in the relationship between a strong benevolent leader and his/her people, to give time where action in another World War is a possibility.
Another structure that needs and is changing is the relationship between the leadership, the military, and China’s people.
I believe that the Chinese military‘s historical use has been to control the county internally. More so than to externally express power. In other words, it’s the people of China that expresses that power, and its the function of the Chinese military to control the people.
Unlike the West, China’s military is used to stop wars by turning on its people, not by turning on an outside force. The Chinese military has proven itself to be bad at outside expeditions, and the people of China very good at outside expeditions.
Not bad in the sense that the Chinese military can’t fight effectively, I am sure they can. But bad in the sense of winning peace.
The US military sucks at peace also, but, then again, even after losing to Vietnam we are very good trading partners with Vietnam. There is talk in China about going to war with Vietnam, no such noise is going on in the US.
How is that for “sucking” at securing a peace? Probably something someone from the West, such as myself, can even begin to understand.
While there is a saying in the West that the surest way toward peace is to prepare for war–the surest way to war is to prepare for peace, I don’t think this standard works for China (if we can even assume it works in the West).
The problem with China, as it is still structured today, by preparing for war I believe they are most likely going to war.
As they are positioned, as the second greatest economic power in the world, this build-up to war could prove most dangerous, unless some kind of restructuring takes place between its leadership, military, and its people.
In today’s modern world, this restructuring could and should start with Democracy.