China faces a three-pronged attack in the realm of public opinion. The Olympics converge with COVID; the third is three levelings up in Chinese military aggression.
COVID is seen in the public eye as having mainly originated from China. Even with conspiracy theories surrounding Faucci and Gates, no explanation lets China off the hook. That actually works to argue against the conspiracy theories—if they were true, they would seem to give China an alibi, but they don’t. Every noteworthy theory on the COVID origin points to China.
Now, COVID is crashing the Olympics in Japan.
This makes an additional bad connotation against China and the Olympics. So, with China wanting to host the 2022 Olympics, boycotts against China can be expected even from the Japanese. Then, other countries will feel comfortable joining the anti-China Olympic boycott. Such boycotts from across the globe will achieve two things: fueling popular hatred against China and inflaming China’s emotional-shame reaction. The Chinese government will dig in its heels and the world will want the Chinese dead where they stand.
But, adding to both sentiments are China’s military saber rattling. Surprise military drills within 300 miles of Taiwan, a step up in Chinese vessels observing a US-Australia navy drill, threats to nuke Japan if Japan honors a treaty to defend Taiwan from invasion—these also enrage the non-Chinese public against China. China has the control to stop global anti-China sentiment: stop giving excuses. But, that is a course of action that emotionally-driven shame doesn’t understand. And, no one expects this response better than the masterminds of the West.
China was fooled again. They thought Biden would be the same pushover he was as vice president. Oops.
Human Rights groups are amassing. Now the Beijing 2022 Olympics are a candidate for boycott. As if that’s not enough, the USS Nimitz can’t stop making headlines as it is supposed to return home in a month. It’s currently in China’s back yard pool, so to speak. The Chinese aren’t happy. But, when are they ever?
Even with Presiden Biden, Trump restrictions on China are still going into effect. China responds by banning imports on Taiwanese pineapple. But, the pineapple ban came too late. Just think how much better the world would be if China had banned those evil pineapple in a more timely fashion.
But, since the evil Taiwanese pineapple ban came too late, China had to take more drastic action. They arrested 47 people in Hong Kong who like democracy. It is rumored that they might like democracy almost as much as they like pineapple. While this can’t be confirmed, it could be that liking pineapple proved how dangerous those democracy-lovers really were. But, that is pure conjecture.
In case banning evil Taiwanese pineapple wasn’t enough to guarantee domestic safety, China also requires that clergy worship Chairman Mao. The Holy See isn’t sanguine, neither are those evil Taiwanese pineapple farmers.
There are those who know Asia and those who don’t. There are those who know political gaming and those who don’t. Last week, Symphony said that China wouldn’t compromise in a “Sino-Vatico” deal. This week, a retired bishop in Hong Kong said basically the same thing: That if the pope vetoes Beijing too often, Beijing will tell the world the pope is unreasonable.
The pope is no fool. The Vatican knows to listen to a Hong Kong bishop concerning China. The deal is hotly debated in the Church and by no means unanimously supported as motherhood or apple pie. If the Vatican goes through with this controversial deal with China, then it indicates that the Vatican is counting on a popularity war against China, in which China loses respect, both among Catholics in China and everyone in every economy everywhere else in the world, except of course among Russians who always like a good fight.
If war breaks out between the West and China, and if China loses to a fierce West, China ought hold the Vatican partially responsible for playing the complex popularity mind game which is this deal. This agreement was always a cloaked plan to harm China. It seems that the retired bishop in Hong Kong hasn’t figured that out.
The Vatican would have us believe that they haven’t figured out China when they actually have things figured out all to well. That’s what makes the Vatican arguably the greatest danger to China. No wonder China is so concerned, but still not concerned enough.
Equally concerning, Taiwan is seriously talking about moving their Legislative Yuan and their Executive Yuan offices with it. The new location would be Taichung, the center of Taiwan. That would put the central government seat in two locations and the frequent target of democratic demonstrations between the ideologically conflicted north and south. While this is purported to help connect the central government more closely to local governments—and to provide large, open plazas so that demonstrations don’t interrupt local commerce—and to provide for an “earthquake” not disrupting the entire central government, that word “earthquake” carries symbolic meaning without mention. A change of cartography will also date any invasion rehearsals.
More than implicating an airborne “earthquake” from, say, China, promoting democracy demonstrations along with a united island of 23 million are the greater, yet more subtle, messages that may insult some offices on the other side of that Taiwan strait. Few in the West will understand how Taiwan’s central government creating a “second seat” could spark the war that the Vatican is already piping the popularity to fuel.
Just as much, there are those who do and do not understand North Korea. Every time the West is shown media coverage of North Korea, journalistic commentary doesn’t know what to say. Look at them, they all clap in unison. Doesn’t it look strange? They can’t be happy; after all they never stop smiling. It’s all fake. And, look at all of the crying at the Kim Jong Il funeral. That’s either fake or it’s radical support.
The press, wholly unqualified to explain events in Far East Asia, can’t help but flaunt their own ignorance.
North Koreans are part of a tightly-controlled, cult-like, nannied-and-mommied play script. They are neither happy nor sad. They are caught in a culture of mass group think. They cry at a Kim funeral because that’s what you do, much like taking your shoes off at the door. They cheer in choreographed unison at a sports arena because that’s what you do at sports arenas and, more importantly, all cheering is choreographed anyway, right?
They aren’t cheering from any obligation. They’re like a bunch of Sunday Morning micro-church minions parroting their microcosm lingo because that’s the only thing they have ever learned to do. A similar comparison would be to tone-lexical native language speakers—such as Cantonese and Mandarin—trying to use the free-form tone flow of Romance sentences, or asking someone who only reads sheet music to improvise for the first time ever. Singing spontaneously from the heart just isn’t something they have ever known. And, all the Western press can do is gawk, but not understand.
It just shows how far we still have to go to get to know each other.
It was a week of protests in both Hong Kong and South Korea. Neither side of any controversy rose above the fray. For the powers that be, it was PR gone bad. For the masses, it was spitting in the wind. When the governed don’t want the ambitions of the controlling few, the solution is not Delphi method, but re-evaluation at the fundamental level. When the disgruntled masses reject the powers that be, peaceful boycott can make more lasting changes than any message sent by heated protest.
No one forced students to attend Baptist University in Hong Kong. If 90% of the student body objects to the mandatory Mandarin classes then 90% of the student body would do better to simply find another school. If the leadership at the university believes Mandarin classes can help students, then one would think the students would volunteer for them. A better way would be to make the classes both optional and tuition free for students and alumni of up to four years. If leadership is correct that the most widely-spoken language in the world, right in Hong Kong’s back yard, would be useful for Hong Kongers—and classes with university credit were free for students and alumni—the university would see an influx of enrollment.
No one is forcing South Koreans to attend the Olympic Games. If South Koreans don’t want the Kim Dynasty to participate in the games, they can save themselves the expense and either save the time of going or replace that time with a public stand-in, carrying educational signs during the Olympics, whether on-sight or off. If the democratic South Korean government wants to promote a unified stance with North Korean athletes, they can use the abundance of Internet technology to poll the public on what would make the people happy to that end. Since South Korea’s new president is so popular, he should not have lacked feedback when asking his many supporters what they want to do.
Taiwan made it’s own—and likely most aggressive—move. By entering the world of AI development, Taiwan is entering the ring with other big players, such as China. Few will see it as the bold move that it is. The miracle of Taiwan’s AI venture was that the move did not insight protests.
The only positive communication seemed to be between China and Japan. They are communicating about communicating. That’s always a good thing.
The talks between South and North Korea are not at all what they are cracked up to be. While the world would love to believe that this is some grand exercise in “can’t we all just get along” diplomacy that always-only ever failed under Obama in any and every hemisphere, North-South talks are not what they seem. They are a distraction, a false pretense, an ostensible cover story, a smoke screen for something much, much deeper.
In all likelihood, the talks will include a very subtle Asian-style, excessively subtle (since it’s among Koreans) offer. Even bachelor’s degree students of business management study the science of talking to an employee in such a way that he doesn’t figure out he’s being fired until he gets home and takes his first bide of dinner. Leonardo explained the idea well in his movie Inception.
The meeting, capitalizing on participation in the Olympic games so strategically timed and placed, is more akin to the close of the series The Sopranos. A lieutenant of a rival family meets with the head of another family to plot the “offing” of his own boss in order to stop an ugly war that no one wanted, which started when that new boss came to power. The rival family “does in” their own boss at the gas station, the main character makes his hospitality rounds, and the story ends.
That’s what this seems like. The Trump administration is allowing it, taking partial credit in a preemptive expectation of due accolades, also reminding the Asian world that communication is a good thing. Symphony said the same two days before Trump sent his January 4 Tweet to the same effect: without pressure from the US there would be no talks.
If Kim Jong Un eventually disappears in the months ahead, remember that it all came from this meeting, purportedly about the Olympics. There wouldn’t be any moves in northern Korea without already having “certain assurances”.
But, don’t let that distract you. Taiwan is definitely playing its role in provocative and irksome “spitting matches” with China. As with the min-boss in The Godfather Part III, Taiwan wouldn’t do that without “backing”.