China is over the line. There is no way that a nation which knows its own military limits would act as China is acting. Chinese militarized ships anchoring near the Philippines provide just one example. If China had the power to invade, they would have already. Not having that power, the Chinese keep quietly pressing their luck, creeping sneakily as they have only ever been able to. This time, however, they sneaked too far.
China wants a fight more than anyone. News is the same week by week: More people hate China. China keeps pushing others around. Risk of military conflict escalates in the Western Pacific. So, the Chinese don’t think they need to change one, single thing.
By not labeling China a “currency manipulator”, the US is extending an olive branch to Beijing. But, things aren’t as they seem. On every level, China is reaching—almost grasping—to save face.
This new artificial moon is honest and runs deep in Chinese culture. As part of being the center of the universe, Chinese culture arguably orbits the moon. The Lunar New Year is celebrated far more, in Chinese culture, than the Western calendar New Year. While the Western press tells of the man-made moon from China as a kind of narcissism, it’s genuine and normal interest. The threat is US strategy.
While the US throws olive branch after olive branch, the forest yields other fruit than olives. China is losing money fast. Trump tariffs are gobbling up China’s reserves behind the reserves. No matter how friendly China tries to play at this point, the US will continue to deliver one provocation after another until China retaliates with basic human instinct. It won’t matter how many “encounter codes” China and the US agree to. The US has decided that China is an enemy and has determined to convince the world as much.
This is not the first military provocation campaign from the US. But, if China wins, it would be a first naval victory for China. Calculate the odds.