Readers still can’t get a break from bad news of China. More Chinese companies are added to the notorious “entities list”. The WHO sends a team to China, which isn’t exactly wonderful press. China is the biggest military threat. The US Navy along with the Coast Guard must reshape its strategy to protect against the Chinese. Trump even blames the Chinese for a recent cyber attack.
As China continues in headlines as the villain, Taiwan is evermore adorable. The Taiwanese plan to become their own military supplier and submarine maker, not as much dependent on the US. They hope to get so many awesome weapons of their own, other nations will want to buy weapons from the Taiwanese, who can defend themselves against the great China, after all. As if that’s not enough to irritate Beijing, Washington will start calling Taiwan’s not-embassy by “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei Economic and Cultural”.
But, how serious is Taiwan about its own defense? While Washington cozies up to Taiwan with somewhat more, semi-respectful names, America’s envoy to Taiwan is still called “American Institute in Taiwan”. And, as much as Taiwan claims to want technology and good relations with other nations, xenophobic immigration laws are still on the books. Immigrants to Taiwan vs immigrants from Taiwan have a much more difficult path and the ratios are insultingly low. Very few Westerners can contribute to Taiwan’s economy, technology, and goal of English as a second official language with these unchanged restrictions in Taiwan’s immigration policies. Nearly all changes in Taiwan and in Washington go little beyond symbolic.
Washington is mostly talk. Taiwan is too ambivalent to love actually. And, Beijing is easily insulted. The trends aren’t subtle anymore. They used to be five years ago, but they’re just not subtle anymore—quite the opposite.