It has been an amazing twelve years. The first political columns started in summer 2010. In 2011, I predicted that Taiwan would be recognized—a prediction which has not yet failed, but continues to push forward. Since 2014, the Times has published articles consistently, for a few years in order to keep up with work at then China Daily Mail, now China News Stories.
Through the years, weekly columns tracked the very much foreseeable rise in conflict in the Eastern Pacific, with that foreseeable apex involving Taiwan as part of a Chinese conflict. That prediction has sadly remained accurate.
At the Times, I also predicted Trump’s election in 2016 and his re-election in 2020—but not the dubious election rigging in precincts necessary to argue Trump’s loss, evidence for which the Times obtained before it was fully wiped from the anti-Trump social media platforms on which it was released. That said, I also sustain that Joseph Robinette Biden is the rightful president because Congress has the final say in US elections. · · · →
Taiwan’s vice president went on tour. After meeting with the new president of Honduras, Vice President William Lai stopped in San Francisco. While in the States, he held virtual meetings with House Speaker Pelosi and others. Taiwan’s envoy to North America was a big success.
Meanwhile back in Asia, China sent its own envoy of 39 warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace. That was probably just in case the people in North America doubted anything Lai said about China being dangerous. China wants everyone to know the truth, after all. But, the warplanes didn’t go over well in Taipei.
Taipei and Shanghai have had a sister city “bromance” going on—or “sismance” if we want to be genderly correct. But, the annual, multi-million dollar event is up for cancellation with China’s military incursions. Feuding DPP and KMT parties reached a near-impossible consensus about that. The two parties never get along. But, somehow China seems to be the great unifier between polarized political parties, whether in the United States or in Taiwan.
We can probably expect more unity like that in the future. It may not be the unity China is pushing for, but it will be unity nonetheless.
Eyes are seriously shifting toward Ukraine and Taiwan, the poster boys of Europe and Asia. Maybe that’s why Biden’s Transportation department is proposing “Big Brother” speed cameras across the country on a hated level only rivaled by the UK. Unpopular policing only expands; it never shrinks. This crosses the line of “diktat”, socially scorned laws whether unpopular or foreign. While the US and UK decry Russia and China for diktat against the poster boys of Europe and Asia, they continue their own diktat at home.
Trump floated an idea that made sense, while the news commentary sees it as living in another world. For the January 6 Insurrection, responsibility should fall on either Trump or rioters—or any police who let rioters in. Trump suggested they be pardoned, which makes sense since the media and left want to roast him for starting it all. The free-speech touting media wants to go after both the rioters said to be under Trump’s mind control and Trump who couldn’t control anyone’s mind, but they don’t want even discussion on reports of police who didn’t hold the line.
Free speech itself has come under attack by an evermore obvious machine. Spotify will now identify “misinformation” in podcasts, but not censor. It’s admirable that Spotify allows dissent for healthy discussion. However, if information can be proven to be false, then some kind of legal action should be warranted. Web users are already bombarded with messages on COVID—any social media post, photo, or video that could be remotely construed to talk about vaccines or a pandemic get a notice linking to the absolute source of unchallenged truth from the relevant website of the all-accepted and ever-trusted government.
Curbs against false information are good. But, who decides whether something is “misinformation”? It seems we have a culture that accepts misinformation as a scientifically and objectively determined fact. If we had Facebook in the fifteenth century, Columbus would have been flagged as giving misinformation because science agreed the earth was flat.
Misinformation flagging is good for mass social platforms, but only if it is vetted through a transparent process open to any and all scrutiny and dissent from the public. Flag notices should then point to the online forums that led to the decision.
The political mice have invaded the cereal cupboard and think they own the house. But, they’re just one chewed mess away from triggering the expected response from any society irked by diktat, whether foreign or domestic.
China has been busy online. Western allies warn about increasing cyber attacks from China; it’s become the common thing to expect and discuss. Cyber attacks aren’t China’s only online hobby. Social media “influencers” are reportedly set to spread the good gospel of China’s greatness all through the Olympics. We’ll see how long their social media followings last.
While China engages in paid diplomacy and bolsters Western demand for cybersecurity, Taiwan has another new friend. Slovenia will open a diplomatic office in Taiwan. And, Taiwan will send an envoy to the inauguration of Honduras’s president, none other than Taiwan’s former favorite, pro-independence Mayor William Lai. That means more officials from Taiwan will attend the Honduras event than American officials will attend China’s Olympic Games.
But, that’s okay for China. After all, there are all those “influencers” getting paid to pay China compliments on their soon to fall social medial accounts.
COVID seems to be taking backseat headlines for Russia, which has become a big topic in Europe. A German vice-admiral resigned with Germany’s Defense Minister over some seemingly spineless friendliness toward Russia. He speculated about the buildup at Ukraine, that Putin probably just wanted respect and that Russia was a necessary Western ally against China. With Russia, Iran, and China beginning joint naval exercises in India’s backyard pool this week, the vice-admiral’s comments were obviously absurd. Germany’s PR fumble is a big deal.
A hand full of European nations want to move NATO military assets into the Ukraine. Because of technical complications, Germany must also sign off on the transfer, but has been hesitant from any military backing of Ukraine so far. With this seemingly wimpy statement from the German vice-admiral, Germany can’t keep riding the fence.
On smaller headlines like COVID, Taiwan had a whopping 82 new domestic COVID cases on Saturday. Urgent health measures go into effect, which are soft-handed and calm-minded compared to the bipolar reactionism throughout America, where COVID problems are much worse. American companies even hold optimistic speculation for Taiwan. Maybe some will figure out that the calm way is the higher way. Until then, it isn’t exactly a bad thing that something finally booted COVID from American top headlines.
China is illegal. The US Department of State even says so. France even reports as such. This won’t exactly improve friendly relations across the Pacific. It’s actually a much larger step to an all out conflict.
Just over a year ago, November 2020, Western allies declared that China’s 1984 treaty with Britain, the basis for Hong Kong returning to China, was “permanently shredded”. The West has already declared that Hong Kong is no longer Chinese, effectively viewing China as an illegal occupying force which only needs a policing action to enforce and return Hong Kong to an already-decided British control. That’s what the West is thinking.
That decision came because certain lawmakers in Hong Kong were ousted because of a law originating not inside Hong Kong, but Beijing, violating what Britain meant by “a high degree of autonomy”. That law from Beijing was about “national security”. Now, Hong Kong’s government is expanding its definition of “national security”. Things are going less the way the West wants, giving more excuses for Western governments to rally Western taxpayers to support action against China.
Then, there is the snowless Olympics in Beijing. Not only are the Games boycotted by the West, they seem to be boycotted by the weather as well. Hatred for China only grows. As the Times said previously, awarding the 2022 Games to China was a setup.
China is in a global PR war with the West—and China is losing. The West knew this because China’s old “trump” card of media censorship won’t work on Western newspapers. And, Western governments know that China was so accustomed to turning off the camera that China never learned to simply smile for the camera. China just keeps on frowning.
Then, a Taiwanese F-16 went missing. It’s whereabouts and incident remain unknown. This could be—and certainly should be—a warning. Is this the 21st Century Reichstag or Lusitania? Did China sink the jet or could it be sabotage? If it was neither and truly was flight error, any ill will from Taiwan or the US could paint it to blame China. If China is smart, China will be afraid. After all, the West is much better at camera stunts than the Chinese. And, we live in a world controlled by what plays on camera, not what’s on a blank screen.