Humanitarian war in Ancient China


The idea of military intervention to protect populations from tyranny has a long history. This history is not limited to the West; such ideas can be found in Ancient China as well. In the fourth century BC, a Confucian scholar named Mencius argued that rulers were established by heaven for the benefit of the people and were accountable for their actions. A benevolent ruler was therefore justified in waging ‘punitive war’ against the tyrannical ruler of another state to punish him and bring comfort to his people. Recognition of this history provides new opportunities for engagement with China today.

Dr Luke Glanville
Not disagreeing with the conclusion but It may be just as correct to observe that Nations are more likely to persecute their own citizens as to wage war on any pretext with other or adjacent groups. In fact such war with others reinforces authority at home and the concept of a benevolent ruler is by definition impossible - how does such ruler obtain and stay in power and who fights their war ?
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