The world is entering a realization phase: China doesn’t care what the world thinks or how the world responds. Beijing has become that annoying kid at school who has no friends, and his solution is to be more annoying. The sad part is how the West allowed us to get here. Coupon-clipping consumers buying cheap products are just as much to blame as governments who believed giving money to the Confucian Communists who control China wouldn’t feed their narcissist outlook.
But, China has been warned. And, we each hold the greater responsibility for our choices and actions.
While China makes its choices, Taiwan deals with its own demons of the past. China is not the only society in the Far East self-chained by Confucianism. Taiwan’s Confucian culture empowered them to adopt xenophobic laws, keeping foreigners limited and weak and unable to contribute to the Taiwan economy. Confucianism also indoctrinates students to hate questions in the classroom and at home, while touting parroted answers as “wisdom”. That runs contrary to innovation and the inquiring mind needed to invent new technology. As a result, Taiwan is much weaker than it could have been without Confucianism, making it appetizingly vulnerable to predatorial China. Taiwan now faces a choice of whether to correct its self-imposed, Confucian-born limits of the past.
In some sense, the China-Taiwan conflict is an internal matter, but not purely. China plans to retake Taiwan with Western money and American dollars, after all. The world cannot sit by and watch two self-crippled societies cannibalize each other. The world won’t sit by and watch, not any longer. And, that is something the Confucian Communists of China don’t understand because, at this point anyway, they are not so capable.
There are no new developments with China, only old squabbles. China is shouting louder and louder, and Western media publish more in-depth stories outlining the many countries China has squabbles with. China is losing over the TikTok ordeal, as well as companies that helped build artificial islands which were not supposed to be military bases anyway, but somehow became military bases anyway. Sanctions fly from the US, as well as diplomats to Taiwan.
At the UN, Russia said a few words leaning in China’s direction, but that’s quite a tall order to expect Russia to devote resources helping China win every territorial squabble with India, Taiwan, the US, and Japan. Russia will more likely condemn the West with soft tones, then offer China moral support after its inevitable humiliation.
Humiliation is a funny thing. That seems to be China’s perspective all around. China feels humiliated and thinks humiliating others will solve its humiliation problems at home. China wants to own Taiwan because China feels humiliation for various and sundry reasons often created in attempt to escape humiliation. China may even think a Taiwan “D-Day”, or “T-Day” would lead to victory—forgetting that Normandy was about free allies reclaiming lost land from expansionists. China has no alliance, China would be the expansionists, and the free people would be defending their homes. Humiliation blinds us and drives us to do crazy things. Russia knows this and plays for any opportunity—not to help China, but to manipulate China through the paradigm of humiliation China just can’t let go of.
The 2019-nCoV Wuhan virus isn’t doing any good for Xi Jinping’s public trust. Dissidents inside China are silenced and their social media accounts scrubbed. Joshua Wong issues a call to arms from Hong Kong. Taiwan closes its border and plans to evacuate its citizens from the quarantined cruise ship, Diamond Princess. Yet, the Philippines blocks entry to Taiwanese airline passengers while in-flight because World Health Organization information reports Taiwan as part of China. And, Xi tells Trump that everything will be okay after April’s hot weather kills the virus.
It looks like the world wants a fight. Why did evacuation plans for this cruise ship take so long? Why doesn’t China close its border to Hong Kong as an act of good faith to at least pretend to want to earn public trust? China locked down Wuhan and Huanggang, why not Shenzhen?
The WHO praised China’s efforts, claiming they bought the world time. That doesn’t stack—information control started the problem, China’s clampdown on information only grows, the Philippines close their border to a country run by a completely different administration on account of the WHO reporting in denial. Is the WHO controlled by China, does the WHO just want to start a war, or could it be that the WHO wants to start a war because it doesn’t like being controlled by China?
Fear of the virus may be overrated. Initial figures suggested that the seasonal flu may be more deadly. But, panic is panic. And, with Chinese cities going on lockdown, countries closing borders, and hundreds of people getting sick on a cruise ship after it was quarantined, nerves are on edge. Chinese State control of information has been exposed for the hoax it is; no Chinese people will trust China’s government again. Even those who support the Communist Party can’t expect the public to believe them anymore, no matter what they say. In the middle of the breakdown of Chinese trust and control, Xi’s solution is to fly bombers around Taiwan.
Nothing re-elects a president like a war someone else started and nothing fires a president like an outbreak or a failed economy. If Xi invades Taiwan, Trump’s re-election will be even more certain and Xi’s own party could be doomed along with him. Nothing would weaken China’s People’s Liberation Army at home like the decision to boost its political image by invading one of the best responding WHO-non-members in the world, Taiwan. Xi is so addicted to failing, self-destructive decisions, invading Taiwan might be the ultimate fatal flaw of failure that he just can’t refuse. While this viral outbreak isn’t quite enough to push Xi to the point of desperation for distraction, it’s another bail of hay on the camel’s back.
Events in China are playing out according to the “Pacific Daily Times Symphony Asian Mad Scientist Theorem“. The experimental phase in North Korea is finished and methods are being applied throughout China on a much grander scale. This week, we see reports of expensive ghost cities, comparable to Pyongyang. The debt to build those ghost cities could be enough to break China’s economy into the deprived status of northern Korea. Now, swelling human rights concern could court the West to support China’s unfriendly neighbors to intervene in China as the “grand liberators”.
If things continue on track with the theorem, China would end up in an armistice against its own provinces—a standoff between Beijing and fragments of the soon-to-be-formerly united China.
Trump continues to prove that he knows what he’s doing with Kim Jong-Un. The DPRK’s Great Successor will likely wise up, still venting steam once in a while. He seems to be one of the smartest heads of state in his region—seeking more cooperation with economic policies that work, not less. But even if not, Korea will not be a border for China to ignore. Beijing and its surrounding provinces would be the likely hold-out against a liberated Northwest, Tibet, Southern Canton, and it will need to keep a 24/7 guard in the Northeast. Break-aways could form their own federation, or not. Either way, as history repeats, we look to be headed for a Cold War -style standoff between fractured Chinese regions.
The US Marines are test driving “lightning carriers”—small aircraft carriers with a potently packed punch of F-35s. Their range radius is smaller, but so is their targetable shadow. In a Pacific conflict, a smattering of lightning carriers might prove more formidable than a single, central Nimitz class group. Federated, autonomous, small attack groups tend to be wise in warfare, as the French Revolution proved on land. We’ll see at sea.
These smaller carriers are said to focus on smaller tasks, putting Nimitz class carriers—now being called “super carriers”—in the spotlight against China and Russia. And, we know that the Chinese think the spotlight is an indication of “importance”. While Russia knows better, the Chinese probably don’t. Just because headlines read that a Nimitz class focuses on China doesn’t mean US strategy would fail if China’s new “anti-carrier” missiles sunk a Nimitz. Sinking a Nimitz class carrier would only enrage the American public into a war that they couldn’t lose. That’s how history has always played out, anyway. But, the mistakes from history don’t seem to have much impact on Chinese President Xi, who is determined to revive Maoism at any cost. If Maoism is revived, it’s results will follow. That won’t end the standoff with Taiwan; it will add more uncontrolled lands to the standoff it was never strong enough to resolve.
The US government shutdown is stalling Beijing’s action against Taiwan. With the US slightly less-able to respond and prepare, Beijing has an opportunity to bide time and grow its military. No doubt, Beijing will see advantage and seize opportunity.
At the same time, the US has zero intent of appeasing Beijing’s hopes for Taiwan. Whatever signals the US sends elsewhere and otherwise, the US government shows no respect for China and China shows a slow learning curve on understanding just how little respect it has thus.
The evermore desperate fight inside Taiwan continues. Taiwanese rally around their defiant president. Taiwan’s government is reaching for any friends it can find anywhere in the world, while policing dissidents and sources of pro-Chinese opinion within its borders. No doubt, Taiwan is headed for what Winston Churchill said of Great Britain, “this was their finest hour.” Though history has not written the end of that hour, the time is fast approaching.
The North Korean situation makes much more sense when seen from the perspective of a film director performing a social experiment. Film makers, directors, actors, screen writers—they love to do good “real life” research. If one was making a movie simulating culture in a story such as Orwell’s 1984, North Korea would be a perfect laboratory.
Looking at North Korea through this lens, some predictions could be made. What outside forces and events would be necessary to watch a “hermit kingdom” implode?
Another perspective could be from, say, China’s view. China rightly fears that it is surrounded by US allies—Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan… India is a “frenemy” of the US, but more of an “enemi-friend” from China’s view. Then, there is Korea. If the North were provoked to invade the South, that would be “plus one” ally for China and “minus one” ally for the United States, at least on China’s border. “Gain more land to win the war” is an old school strategy from Westpoint, a strategy that Grant had to put aside at Gettysburg.
So, the jockeying in the West Pacific could be more predictable by thinking of international policy for North Korea as Film Maker vs Westpoint China. One set of policies wants the North to be easily provoked into decimating the South to win a land war in Asia. The other set of policies initiates “outside force” to carefully study an implosion of the North—and that includes allowing the North to be provoked, but on a controlled terms.
This week, North Korea made even more threats. So, the theorem of Film Maker vs Westpoint China can be put to the test in weeks to come, watching international policies provoke the North to attack and pressure the North to implode. While that transpires, international support from common folk to see North Korea’s dynasty come to an end only grows, and the international press certainly doesn’t do anything to shift sentiment the other direction.