China’s getting more flack from more sides—Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines. Vietnamese are furious with H&M for depicting maps with Vietnam-claimed islands as part of China, even though H&M did that because the Chinese told them to. The noose of perceived nuisance tightens.
China won’t back off on military drills and presence. The greatest beneficiaries are Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. They have every reason to hope China continues military drills. A Chinese aircraft recently radioed reference to airspace as “Chinese”, which Taiwan also claims. Weapons dealers are probably clanging champagne glasses over that.
Military activity in the Southeast Asia is on the uptick. No one plans to back down. The question is over which side is reacting how the other side expected. The accurate expector will likely win the next scuffle.
The Supreme Court is proving its worth. The bench ruled in favor of itself many times this past week, even through silence. Justice Breyer doesn’t sound like he wants to resign. He doesn’t want the Court packed either. That throws a wrench in the gears of any attempt to subject the Court to politics. Courts are supposed to be independent of party politics so that routine wheeling and dealing does not disrupt society’s need for stable justice.
That need hasn’t been so strong for a long time. Congress and the White House are putting Washington theatrics on full display. Biden’s infrastructure plan is headed to the Senate where it’s sure to get a hair cut big enough to make it lose a few pounds.
But, the big question on the table is: Why—with all the Democrats rearranging the furniture—does Biden keep Trump’s same policies toward China? Something’s up.
China looks worse and worse in the public eye. H&M closures have drawn more Western attention. Chinese ads showing a purportedly happy Xinjiang backfired among Facebook staff. The Philippines are evermore concerned about a swelling number of Chinese militia boats parked in their backyard.
But, things aren’t looking so wonderful for Taiwan either. Pineapples sold to Singapore weren’t properly handled, so the cores rotted. That’s Taiwan’s culture—to not care, thinking problems won’t get bigger. A truck slid down a small cliff on the east side of Taiwan, colliding with a train, killing at least 50 people. The transportation bureau never put guard rails on a dirt road on a cliff above a train track. That’s Taiwan’s culture—to not care, thinking problems won’t get bigger.
Now, Taiwan is working with European partners to develop its own submarines, not only America. That report combats the notion that Taiwan hasn’t been wonderfully annexed by China only on account of the United States. But, are the Taiwanese all that different from China? Lack of care with pineapple exports and railroad safety might say otherwise. The Taiwanese an important choice to make—whether they want to be different from China or not. That is a decision only the Taiwanese people can make. And, they haven’t made that choice yet, even after seventy years of exile.
China’s adversaries face a tightly closing decision. America needs to decide whether it can keep playing the role of the world-cop with only its B-game, or if it is ready to bust out its A-game not seen since FDR. More than ever, warnings of “rising China” smatter the presses. Will this result in Americans getting serious about the need to be serious—because they read about it? Or, is this intended to prepare the American public for some event that thrusts the West into an embarrassing scuffle with China?—embarrassing for China now, embarrassing for the West six years later.
Taiwan has its own choices. Many things inside Taiwan still reflect the thinking of Mainland China. While Taiwan’s government claims to seek democracy and a society where all people are respected with equal rights, their Confucian culture still succumbs to autocratic domineering, whether in the workplace, the classroom, or from government. If in their hearts, the Taiwanese want to retain the old ways of the Chinese, there is no American military big enough to help them against any adversary, even the smallest adversary. But, the factor of Taiwanese culture doesn’t seem to make its way into the military reports.
Huawei plans to charge royalties for some of its 5G tech, but they may lose respect when they refuse rent payment for anchoring 200 military-manned vessels the Philippines’ backyard pool. International royalties are based on international agreement, which China denies. It brings back memories of the old phrase, “Who is ‘we’, you gotta’ mouse in your pocket?”
Taiwan, on the other hand has a vice on the semiconductor industry. And, having its evil pineapple banned from China, Japanese have discovered just how especially delicious Taiwanese pineapple are. And, they are quite amazing. Their cores are even sweet. Many other pineapple need the cores cut out because the acid is too strong. In Japan, when you order dinner, you just might get a sweet Taiwanese pineapple free of charge. Perhaps China could also charge royalties on Taiwan pineapple sales, considering that their ban helped with the boom in sales.
More pressure on China over the games and Hong Kong. According to the Chinese, treaties with China don’t obligate China. That’s how the West views it anyway. This is the war-causing confusion between the West and the Chinese…
China believes democracy and religion will destroy the Chinese. Their solution is to remove religion, free speech, and non-Chinese governments. China claims to respect these three, but thinks that they are exploited to China’s misfortune. So, China makes new laws, hoping to protect itself, then tells the West to back off.
But, the West is concerned about trusting promises. People won’t build skyscrapers on land they believe will collapse after ten years. Nor will countries and companies invest in another country if they believe the government might take over the company or arrest the officers. So, the West is concerned about “rule of law”, that laws are made, then don’t suddenly change in a way that breaks trust. As much as some old laws can be inconvenient for a government, losing trust from the world is proving much more inconvenient, as we are seeing with calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
This is where the contradiction comes into play. China believed that Huawei could ignore Western law while their CFO travels to Western countries. When the Huawei CFO was arrested in Canada, China was genuinely surprised. To the Chinese, “rule of law” is a mythical concept, like using English to tell a dolphin what it’s like to walk on land. So, the Chinese were surprised.
With everything happening, China is utterly and genuinely surprised. This is not what Beijing expected.