The case against China keeps sprawling—trade, currency, COVID, now SAARS. Understanding China is such a key in global public opinion, it has become a case against Biden that political grandstanding and demagoguery can use without spinning facts. But being a world where all bad press is censored press instead of good press, China won’t understand the trouble it wove itself into.
As if the list of global grievances wasn’t enough, China joins with North Korea in appearances and rhetoric. A Pacific skirmish involving the Chinese would drag in the Norks. That means that NATO allies and India could deal with the world’s menace, help the UK regain Hong Kong, recognize democracy in Taiwan, and unify the Korean peninsula in one move. While China and North Korea see their agreement as a strength, the West sees an opportunity.
Navies from across the globe are holding a slumber party in the East Pacific, namely the South Sea. British and other Europeans join the US, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and of course China. Everyone says they want things to be calm and normal. But, the elephant in the slumber party living room is Taiwan. China maintains a policy of planning to take control either by hostile takeover or hostile invasion.
North Koreans aren’t happy with Biden. He says he will use the American-despised method called ‘diplomacy’. But, what diplomacy compares to the first president to meet with the Great Successor—twice? Biden and his team of wonderfuls are thrilled to be rid of divisive riff-raff like the first president to achieve diplomacy talks with North Korea head-to-head. Now that things are improving in America, we can get back to hostility as usual with the Korean peninsula.
If the other members of the East Pacific navy slumber party were serious about peace, they would freeze all Chinese assets until China renounced its Taiwan invasion policy and gave half of its navy to Taiwan as evidence. That won’t happen, but it just goes to prove that no one wants peace in the Pacific—they just want a navy slumber party. And, that’s what they’ve got. And, weapons manufacturers are thrilled.
The West and China just won’t back down from each other. China will no longer try to work through former Mayor Han of Kaohsiung to reunite Taiwan against the will of 23 million people. America wants to put new missiles in China’s back yard and every ally has turned down the offer except Taiwan, who hasn’t had the chance. Australia is putting out the word on China, it’s not the best place to study and coercion won’t work. Now, North Korea is selling sand—illegally, of course, since selling anything has been deemed “illegal” by the West.
The sad part about the predictability of this conflict is how many were surprised by it. China never wanted to Westernize, otherwise it wouldn’t have injected so many “Confucian” centers to indoctrinate other countries with their ancient Chinese ideals. All those students and propagandists from China were welcomed to teach Chinese or learn from the West, but when their Confucian-Communist colors shown, it all unraveled in a flash. Both professors and businesses that received Chinese money are sent packing.
But, we were always headed here. When ideological differences spread too broad, irreconcilable differences are destined to break whatever scaffolding temporarily binds us together. To those who saw it, they haven’t been affected by the divide. For the rest, the damage hurts to much not to blame and rage. And, that will only build.
The pneumoniavirus is having a detrimental effect on China. While Xi Jinping kicks China’s economy into full swing, the rest of the world is on full alert. Manufacturing moves home—whether to or from China. Countries seek alternate supply sourcing. Taiwan shines like a star of brilliance, set up as if to shame China by design. China’s big mistake was going along with feeling shamed, as if by design. China could have played its hand with Taiwan the way the UK did with the American Revolution—claiming it lost a few colonies, but that it didn’t matter. By pretending not to care, the world might not care and China would be unstoppable. Instead, China is taking every step possible to create new enemies and make old enemies worry.
In that wake, Taiwan grows in military and respect, even donating medical masks to other countries. The WHO now faces shame and doubt because of an evermore apparent bias toward China. Australia cooperates with the US in efforts to confront China. Critical voices in China are silenced or otherwise go missing. An employee of Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam resigned, then killed himself. Kim Jong-Un makes more threats. East Asia is more volatile than ever. Times like these are what some call an “opportunity”.
The missile issues in North Korea have too much unknown about them to formulate a clear opinion. From reports, Kim has indeed kept his promise, though he has violated seemingly less significant UN sanctions. Japan is on alert. Trump doesn’t seem to care. If we made a stack of American clothes made in China, then stacked what we don’t know about the North Korean missile crisis, the stack of what we don’t know about North Korean missiles would be higher. It’s unsettling, but sometimes we just don’t know.
Carrie Lam’s response to the “five demands” from protestors will not bode well in Hong Kong. She withdrew the controversial bill. The best illustration from Hong Kongers is a bandaid on a scratch after it turned gangrene. “Too little, too late” is what most are saying. Expect riots and burning buildings in the weeks to come.
Some Hong Kongers will indeed be satisfied with her speech, dare we say thrilled, but others will be enraged that she waited until after three months and a leaked recording. That recording included Lam’s claim that she couldn’t resign and that she had two masters, one of them Beijing. This is contrary to the autonomy required by the contract allowing China to claim Hong Kong as its own. If true, that recording could return Hong Kong to Britain merely in court. The stakes are high. Beijing cannot allow the public to believe that the recording demonstrated any truth. And, apparently Lam can’t either.
If that recording was inaccurate as she said, then she wouldn’t be so angry. Not only did she admit that the recording was real, it made her angry. Her objection to it is the recording’s greatest notoriety. But, Confucian Beijing-minded Chinese don’t understand that evidence speaks louder than spin. They only bake the cake they’ll have to lay in.
Withdrawing the bill will be seen by many as an attempt to counter evidence that Beijing interferes regularly, violating the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. But, the evidence remains, and there are greater grievances.
Lam’s speech fails to address the protests’ demand for her resignation, which is the very subject of the leaked recording, which came just before her sudden withdrawal of the bill. The protestors insist on her resignation and will continue to. When she said that she never considered resigning, she further incriminated herself by proving that Hong Kong does not have its required universal suffrage and that she is part of the reason why.
Some will stop protesting, but those who continue will do so with more veracity. Apart from withdrawing the bill, everything in Lam’s video ignores and insults the protest demands, essentially telling the people what they ought to want.
Telling people what they should want is widely accepted in Confucian society. But, it mixes with the West like water with oil. Lam wants to investigate to find out why Hong Kong rejected what are essentially Confucian values. But, there is no disturbance or interference or social trend to investigate. The conflict arose because the Confucian minds controlling Hong Kong, namely Lam and Beijing, are incapable of recognizing that Hong Kong already was Westernized. The question now is whether William Wallace can defeat Mao Tse-Tung.
The “Symphony Asian Mad Scientist Theorem” continues to play out. Trump engaged North Korea in talks that led to a calm without North Korea changing its DNA. Trump eventually reminded North Korea what everyone knew would be necessary to reach an agreement and North Korea stomped off.
Now, Trump comes off a marathon of wider-scope talks with China and continues to talk about talk, while the message is sent more clearly to China every day. China already knows what will be necessary to reach an agreement, its ambitions otherwise are classic Imperial-Confucian wishful thinking.
Over the weekend, the US and China exchanged insults at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore. America isn’t gonna’ tip-toe around China anymore! And, China will risk any and every cost and will defeat everyone who stands in the way! They sure told each other! We can’t say China didn’t warn us, just like China warned the world before the victorious Korean armistice and before China’s great and splendid invasion of Vietnam.
Don’t think for a second that Trump doesn’t care about Japan. If he really didn’t care about Japan—if he truly enjoyed the missiles recently launched by “Rocket Man”—he wouldn’t say so on camera. Remember, everything he says is being closely watched by a large and volatile North Korean neighbor which believes that everyone believes everything published in the press.
No matter how much anyone warns China of the dangerous pinball machine game it’s bouncing around inside of, they won’t change because China only ever and always remains true to its Imperial-Confucian values. Those values can and will never include “capitulating to outside demands”. China just won’t change, you see.