10 Facts that Prove that China Is a Big Bully


China is a global superpower—an economic and political giant that is fast becoming the world’s most powerful nation. As of today, this country has the second-largest economy in the world, surpassing the EU. Experts predict that China will overtake the US economy by 2016. As such, it’s not surprising to know that many countries are starting to fear China.

Chinese government officials are well aware of the power and influence their country holds. They know that many nations are afraid of them. As a result, they have become abusive. China is using its resources, power, and influence to bully countries, organizations, and even individuals.

In this list, we’re going to discover some facts that prove that China is “The Big Red Bully” that needs to be disciplined, if not completely stopped, before it’s too late.

10. China Bullying Vietnam Over the Paracel Islands


In 2012, numerous protests were held in Hanoi City over China’s bullying of Vietnam. For many years now, China and Vietnam have been in conflict with each other over Paracel Islands, an archipelago located in the South China Sea. It is believed that this group of islands has vast reserves of oil and other natural resources hidden under it.

Tensions started when China announced its plan of developing the Paracel Islands into a luxurious tourist destination — a plan which the Vietnamese government greatly opposed. The conflict worsened when Vietnamese fishermen were imprisoned by Chinese authorities after they were caught fishing in the waters near the Paracel Islands. The conflict didn’t end there. In 2012, Beijing declared Sansha City, which is located on the Paracel islands, its newest town. This action greatly angered the Vietnamese people, resulting into numerous protests at the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi.

So, who really owns the Paracel Islands? Historically speaking, Vietnam was the first to lay an unofficial claim on the Paracel Islands. In 1974, it was invaded by China. Since then, it has retained de facto control over the said archipelago.

9. China Bullying the Philippines Over the Spratlys Islands


Another archipelago in the South China Sea that is claimed by China is the Spratlys Islands but, geographically and politically speaking, the Philippines is the rightful owner of this disputed territory. Just like Paracel Islands, this archipelago is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas. Just last year, hundreds of Filipinos protested in the nation’s capital over China’s bullying. The protests were attended by people from various walks of life. There were church officials, politicians, and even military officers. They protested what they called as China’s “gunboat diplomacy” over the Spratlys Islands. China is intimidating the Philippines with its superior naval forces.

Of the numerous islands in the Spratlys, only the Pagasa Island is inhabited by the Filipinos. It’s very small. It has a small town hall, an airstrip, a military base and a population of 60. Though there is tension between mainland China and mainland Philippines, the Chinese and Filipino residents of the Spratlys Islands are living peacefully.

8. China Bullying Taiwan Over Its Independence


This might come as a surprise to you, but Taiwan is technically not a country. Why? Because of China’s bullying. In 1949, Chinese Nationalists sought refuge in Taiwan after the Communists won and took complete control over mainland China. This event led to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China—the China that we all know today. On the other hand, the Chinese Nationalists who retreated in Taiwan continued to operate its own independent government.

Mainland China (the People’s Republic of China) claims that Taiwan is one of its provinces and wants to be reunited with it. However, Taiwan does not one to be reunited with PRC and wants to be recognized as an independent state. Taiwan has all the requirements needed for a place or territory to become a country except for international recognition. Because of China’s influence and power, many countries are hesitant to recognize Taiwan. Currently, only 20 countries recognize the independence and sovereignty of Taiwan, and that does not include the United States. In addition, Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, despite the fact that from 1945 to 1971 the UN recognized this country as the only China.

7. China Bullying Japan Over the Senkaku Islands


Just last year, tension between China and Japan ignited when the Chinese government declared an “air-defense identification zone” over a region in the East China Sea where the disputed Senkaku Islands are located. Under this “air-defense identification zone” policy, all aircrafts are required to identify themselves or inform the Chinese of their flight plans. Failure to do so might lead the Chinese military forces to take necessary defensive measures, which basically means blowing them up. However, Japan is strongly against this policy since it claims sovereignty over the Senkaku archipelago, and as such, has control over the waters surrounding it and the airspace above it.

China and Japan both claim ownership of the Senkaku Islands (the Chinese call it the Diaoyu Islands), but who really owns this set of five uninhabited islets? Historically, Japan is the rightful owner of the Senkaku Islands. This country claims to have discovered this small archipelago and has added it to its national territory in 1895 when it defeated China. The Chinese government completely disagrees with this and says that Japan has stolen the Senkaku Islands from them. For many years, China has been silent about this issue. Only in recent years did it start to have interest in this disputed territory.

So, why is China becoming more aggressive in its claim of Senkaku Islands today? Just like the Paracel and Spratlys Islands, the Senkaku Islands is believed to contain vast reserves of oil and natural gas under it. Apparently, China wants to exploit these natural resources for its own economic advantage.

6. China Bullying India Over Its Own Territory


China and India have been in conflict with each other for many years now over territorial borders. There are some parts of northern India that China claims to be under its national territory, such as the Arunachal Pradesh, which China insists to be a part of South Tibet. However, India is the rightful owner of this disputed region according to various agreements like the “Guiding Principles” agreed upon by these two countries in 2005 and the 1899 Arrangement, which clearly defines the borders that separate India from China. However, China doesn’t completely agree with this and continues to bully India.

One example of Chinese bullying over the Indian government happened in 2011. During this year, the Dalai Lama was invited to a ceremony held in Kolkata. China didn’t want the Indian government to interact with the Dalai Lama, and as such, asked the local government officials not to attend the said ceremony. However, many of the officials defied this request and went to the ceremony.

This was not the first time that China tried to intrude with the affairs of the Indian government. Before the Kolkata incident, China wanted the Indian national government to call off a Buddhist festival held in New Delhi, which the Dalai Lama was invited to. The Indian government rejected China’s request and went on with the festival. These events greatly upset China, leading the country to tell India that their defiant actions would make their territorial dispute much worse.

5. China Bullying Central Asia over Ties to the United States


In 2005, General Richard Myers, a top US military official, accused China of bullying smaller nations in Central Asia, specifically Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.  It’s important to note, though, that these two countries that China was accused of oppressing are actually its own allies. According to General Myers, China was bullying these two nations because of their agreements with the United States. During the war in Afghanistan, the US Army established bases in these two nations.

Since the war was already over, China insisted that there’s no need for the American troops to stay in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In order, for the U.S. military troops to be forced to leave the two countries, China has ordered Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to support them in pressuring the American government to give them a specific timetable of their withdrawal. Gen. Myers implied in his statement that if these two countries didn’t agree with China’s request, they would have suffered grave political and economic consequences.  Aside from China, Gen. Myers also accused Russia of bullying Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

4. China Bullying ASEAN Nations Over the South China Sea


We’ve previously talked about how China is bullying Vietnam and the Philippines over Paracel Islands and Spratlys Islands respectively. However, China’s oppression over territorial disputes in the South China Sea doesn’t end with these two countries. The Chinese government is also in conflict with Malaysia and Brunei — countries that are members of the ASEAN.

The source of conflict is China’s strong assertion of being the sovereign authority over the South China Sea. In other words, China is claiming the entire South China Sea as part of its national territory. If China does take complete control over the South China Sea, then ships and even fishermen from the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia would have to ask permission from China before they can enter these disputed waters.

These four nations regard China’s claim to be in complete violation of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. This law states that a specific country owns the waters that are within its 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone. If the UNCLOS were to be strictly followed, then China’s claim of absolute sovereignty over the South China Sea is completely unlawful and absurd.

However, China’s actions clearly show that it is in complete defiance of the UNCLOS. They continue to assert their claim over the South China Sea, by intimidating the ASEAN countries with its powerful naval forces.

3. China Bullying International Brands


So far, we’ve discussed how the Chinese government is bullying its neighboring countries. This time we’re going to talk about how some Chinese businessmen are bullying international companies.

China is considered as the world’s biggest producer of counterfeit products. From 2008 – 2010, the UN conducted a study which showed that within this time period 70% of the counterfeit products confiscated from around the world originated from China. In the US, the figure is a lot higher. During the same period of time, US Customs estimates that around 87% of the counterfeit goods confiscated in America came from China.

This kind of subtle Chinese bullying is a big problem for many international brands. It is estimated that around 25 billion dollars worth of profits are lost each year due to counterfeiting. The Chinese government regularly conducts raids, but counterfeiting has become so big there that the government is having an extremely difficult time eradicating it. Furthermore, China is hesitant to completely stop this booming industry since it greatly helps their economy. Thanks to counterfeiting, millions of Chinese people have jobs, plus many corrupt government officials accept bribes from businessmen in exchange for tolerance, and even protection.

2. China Bullying the Nobel Prize Committee


China’s bullying of the Nobel Prize happened in 2010 when it pressured a number of countries to boycott the awards ceremony. For this particular year, Liu Xiaobo was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He is a human rights activist who has fought for the abolition of the one-party rule in China and advocated democratic reforms. He is the first Chinese person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to receive the award because he was imprisoned by the Chinese government, and none of his family members were allowed to travel to Oslo to represent him.

All in all, 16 countries obeyed China’s call to boycott the awards ceremony. Why did they succumb to China’s bullying? Apparently, they were afraid of this Asian superpower, and didn’t want to mar their economic and political ties with it.

1. China Bullying the Dalai Lama


Earlier, we talked about how China is bullying India not only because of a territorial dispute, but also because of its association with the Dalai Lama. Now, we’re going to discuss how the Chinese government is bullying the peaceful spiritual leader of Tibet and persecuting the countries supporting him.

The Dalai Lama escaped Tibet in 1959, and sought refuge in India, when an uprising against the Chinese invaders failed. Since then, China has been bullying him, blackmailing anyone who associates or supports him. China has labeled the Dalai Lama as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and has accused him of igniting rebellion among his fellow Tibetans. The Dalai Lama has cleared this accusation, saying that he only advocates for greater autonomy in Tibet, not for full separation. China has already strengthened its efforts of silencing the Dalai Lama’s voice, making sure that his people do not have access to any information regarding him.

The Chinese government has been firm with its oppression of the Dalai Lama. Any country that supports, accepts, or even receives him in their territories are bullied. One perfect example of this is India. Another country which has been pressured by China not to associate with the Dalai Lama was South Africa. In 2009, Beijing blackmailed South Africa, threatening that granting the Dalai Lama a visa to their nation would negatively affect the country’s economic ties with China. The South African government, not wanting to mar its relationship with China, succumbed and denied the Dalai Lama access to their nation.

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  1. Last but not least, China bullies its own people, Christians, Falong gong, Tibetans, Uighurs, etc…

  2. Deepseanagician on

    I really love all your facts and information. This doesnt mean all Chinese are the same..but I’ve seen a lot of Chinese people who were greedy, cheating and they bullies a lot of other countries. I’m Asian, who is Vietnamese 1-4 of Russian. I’m living in Australia and seriously,I’m working with a lot of Chinese people, some are nice but some are such cowards. I’m not pointing this to anyone so please respect my opinion. My friend is Chinese but she doesn’t like being Chinese or even think of coming back to China. She told me she would never ever come back to China, never. A lot of Chinese people I’ve seen don’t want to come back to China. In my university, there are a lot of Chinese people who always bullies others and showing off tha they countries are big and rich. I came to China once, I came to a very famous restaurant and some of the Chinese people asked if I am Chinese, innocently I answered that I’m Vietnamese, they adittude changed toward me and some of them even glares at me madly. I live in Vietnam til’ i turned 11, in those years I saw im front of my school gate the children were eating some Chinese unhealthy food and got pretty sick afterward. Some parts of China don’t even like the local Chinese. Back to the unhealthy things, I saw in Vietnam news that an old Vietnamese woman who lived near me called Phuong bought something printed in Chinese which she dont really know much, after investigated that thing, she found a lot of disgusting plankton or bugs moving around, the same thing happened to a family. Chinese likes creating stuff which isn’t very good for other countries and I swear almost everything I see is Made In China. China bullies other countries and like a kid, the govements want s other countries lands or territories. Spill oils to other people countries and sea, what!!! In Beingjing nearly everybody is rich like cause theyre in the cities which the goverment but other parts are crawling for food and I HATE THAT SOME CHINESE ADULTS VIOLENT € ABUSE CHILDREN. Even in Aussie, I still see my neighbour acting violence infront of their kids, I shared my opinion to them but what I got was :- MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS- The next shop near my street, the Chinese guy who were the owner sells me a lot of things which best before were months ago. A Cambodian kids came conplained about it and the Chinese owner kick them out of the shop which led to violent. The Cambodian kids called their dad, a musclar guy came and the Chinese owner fought him and called his German Sherper(?) came and bite them. The police came but the important thing was that shop is full of important thing for the streets people. No one goes there now.

    Im sorry this may sounds racist to all the Chinese people, I absolutely loves some Chinese people but hating the goverment and cowards. Please respect the artical and my opinion. Thank you- From Pollie :3

  3. I think the people who call the USA a big bully doesn’t hnderstand the fundamental differences between USA and China. USA is a superpower and China is not (it really isn’t) because China lacks “soft power”. What is soft power? The USA is big on promoting freedom and acceptance, and they use diplomatic means to resolve foreign conflicts usually. They’re also known for offering aids when another country is in need. Yes, the US government has done questionable things, but calling them a bully on the same term as China is not quite right. This article is not about the US. The author never said “China is a big bully and the US is a nice guy”. And anyway, I agree with this article wholeheartedly. I don’t hate Chinese people and I understand the differences between government and average citizens. However, I’m a Vietnamese person and I can’t seem to have a soft spot for China after what they’ve done to us and other countries. They signed an agreement several decades ago recognizing that the islands are ours (I think it was the Geneva Conventions but I’m not too sure). At that time, we also had the US supporting us financially and militiarily. After the war, however, the US withdrew and we were left on our own. That’s when China swept in and reclaimed the islands. As far as I understand, we and the Philippines felt violated and tried to take them to international court but they refused. They attacked our fishermen (held them hostage even) and violated international agreements. This article is anti-China, yes, but I can’t see how they AREN’T a bully. They’re using the fact that they are bigger to bully weaker countries, and the world is reluctant to react simply because they’re too powerful economically. I’m glad this article is posted because we need to draw attention to this problem so something can be done.

  4. Interesting list! I think that anything that inspires people to spirited and lively debate is a good thing. For those criticizing it and saying that it devalues the site, well it got you talking, didn’t it? What’s wrong with that? I actually applaud the site admin for being willing to post a list that would provoke debate.

  5. I don’t typically comment, but Taiwan actually does not want to be independent and wants to eventually reunite with china, sticking with the status quo for a while
    In fact, the governing political coalition, with 69 out of 113 seats, is in favor of gradual reunion and the status quo, the pro independence faction has onlt 43 seats

    • Nope, we don’t.

      The older generation who fled from the communists to Taiwan may want reunification under an unrealistic ideology that the authoritative communist government would be eventually brought down and the country Republic of China with a democratic government be restored in the mainland. They have a strong emotional tie to the mainland which is understandable since it’s their home land. But this is plainly unrealistic.

      As for the current generation, I venture to say, most of us would like to be recognized internationally as our own country (which in fact we are) whether under the name of Republic of China or Republic of Taiwan. Nevertheless, we are forced to maintain the “ambiguous” status quo because China is constantly threatening to use military force against us.

      • Another Taiwanese on

        after the established by Japan in 1895~1945, Taiwan is part of Japan at that time and are more advanced than Republic of China (the one lose the war with communist china, aka, people’s republic of china, now China) in every area, people quality, health, literacy, education, economic, agriculture or in culture !!

        1946: USA accepts millions refugees and soldiers from China to Taiwan and USA President installs The Republic of China to govern Taiwan and to fight China and communism.

        after the Nationalist (KMT) ruled Taiwan and Japan government official get backed to Japan, Taiwanese withstand the pool and ugly chinese to rule here. we understand that Japan is better than china. the KMT took our lands, money, foods to china, and even our lives away !! the chinese pig is still always a chinese pig! “The Japanese dog go, then chinese pig come !” — Taiwanese “????”, dog == friend, pig == only know how to spend money !!

  6. Tickled_Penguin on

    I appreciate the fact that you allow great freedom for your contributors, and I think the actual basis for the article is credible.

    It’s just as a piece of informative writing, it is poorly supported and seems a little blinkered by the ‘Anti-China’ agenda. It’s great to have articles supporting both sides, but it has to be of top quality and actually substantially supported.

    I wouldn’t want your site to be considered less of due to poor writing!

    • Poorly supported? You’ve got to be kidding me. I live in one of the country mentioned above and trust me, it’s not poorly supported. It’s all over the news if people would just care and do some research on their own. Really it’s not hard.

  7. Tickled_Penguin on

    I don’t usually comment on lists, I’m just a casual silent observer.

    But, I feel obliged to point out that this list is so painfully bias, one dimensional and ignorant that I genuinely reckon it is the worst list on the website.

    China is having hugely positive effects on the global economy and is just a powerful nation, much like the US and EU (trade bloc). To accuse of them of being ‘bullies’ in such a negative, unsupported fashion is ridiculous.

    Let’s make a list how the USA and EU are bullying the globe, it’s not just China!

    • Shell Harris on

      As the owner of the site, i rarely choose what topics the writers would like to submit. If an idea sounds intriguing I will approve it and let the writer submit the entry. If no one asks to write a list about the USA being a bully I can’t publish one. If anyone wants to write a list, feel free to submit it with sources, as this author has done. As I have written a hundred times, this site has no agenda. It is a place for writers to be published and have their work read by the public, whether that is a list of hats or reasons why China is a bully.

      Anyone who can write professionally can submit their ideas.

      I have to smile though, because when we published this list praising China, it was also reviled by many commenters. As I have said many times, we can’t win. https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-reasons-america-should-be-more-like-china.php

    • I have to ask you, are you from Southeast Asia or anywhere near the borders of China? You know, as someone actually from here, I can tell you that China is indeed a big bully to us, not only to my own country, but also to our neighbors. Yes, China is indeed a powerful nation but that does mean that it has to bully other countries. And yes, “bully” is indeed an appropriate term and it serves them right. My people and the surrounding nations feel the same way about China. You yourself said that China is a powerful country. But most of its surrounding countries are not as powerful as compared to China. What is the definition of a bully? An aggressive person (or country in this case) who intimidates or mistreats weaker people (or countries), according to Encarta. China is being aggressive and absurd by claiming that islands near us but are far from its mainland are theirs and by claiming that the whole South China Sea is theirs! And then they threaten us if we don’t comply! That is being a bully! It is no wonder why we, as China’s neighbors, feel a certain level of hatred against China.

  8. you ignorant tool.
    Who is China? everyone? an ideology? a struggling economy?
    This is just ill-thought-out wank.

    • How is that ignorant? They’ve listed some actual facts in here. I’ve backpacked to some of these countries and I know their pain. I’ve spent 2 years in the Philippines, 3 in Vietnam. It’s all over the news. China, the country/government, is destroying other people’s land in the name of capitalism.
      Seriously, know your facts. It’s all the fucking news just Google it. I hate how some ignorant fuck such as yourself comment on stuff like these, defending them on issues that are actually true while the natives are suffering. Fuck. I don’t hate the whole chinese population but I know and am personally involved in what they are doing to the rest of Asian countries.

  9. Before anything is done about the big red bully, the two big red, white and blue bullies and the red, black and gold bully should be humanities first priority. And the rightful owners of Arunachal Pradesh are the native tribes, not Hindustan or China.