A democratic Pacific alliance is on the rise. Many nations in the Far East may host US troops, but a bond is forming between them that runs deeper than any US influence. At the center: Taiwan; across the battlefield: China, the great enemy of the Pacific peoples. That’s how this rising alliance sees it.
Taiwan has breakthroughs in micro-tech. The Philippines steps up rhetoric against China—which may not mean anything as words are mere words, but it is a very different direction than bowing down. Japan and Southern Korea tell China to knock it off. And, the British set sail for the Far East with the brand new, shiny HMS Queen Elizabeth and her entourage. This new Pacific family has friends on both sides of the Atlantic.
The world is starting to realize that China is just going to ignore everybody. Talking won’t work. Action won’t work unless China loses, then China still won’t listen.
This isn’t new. China has never listened. The only reason China respected international laws in decades past—including its own treaties—was because China was forced to. But, China never wanted to. And, China never will.
The EU is in blaming mode. The Philippines are on high alert. Australia is on high alert and warns Taiwan. Taiwan has always been on high alert because Taiwan may be the only country that never misunderstood China—neither its psychology nor its intentions.
But, it looks like this scuffle isn’t building up in Myanmar or Japan or even Taiwan. The flashpoint is staged at the Philippines. Anything else could serve as the fuse. But this time around, the Philippines hold the payload. Here we go.
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.
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.
The new global trend is hit pieces against China; even a Taiwanese rapper is on the bandwagon. China’s solution to lack of technology is to take over countries that have enough freedom to create technology, then deprive those countries of their freedom in order to get their technology. It’s clear China thinks innovation is a commodity rather than an indication of an already liberated people.
Taiwan doesn’t need liberated by China; it already has been liberated from China. While the Chinese think that intimidation has driven the Taiwanese into fear, it hasn’t. As Taiwanese carry on with life as usual, the word on the street has nothing to do with fear of invasion; the Taiwanese are simply waiting for the Chinese to ask to get their ass handed to them.
The Philippine government wants to drill for oil in the South Sea. China was supposed to do that in cooperation, an old promise that still hasn’t materialized. From Xinjiang, we learn that children of detained Uyghurs are being orphaned, and China is now sending them to Confucian brainwashing school. Perhaps that was China’s goal in detaining their parents; it certainly worked out that way.
The US is pursuing charges against Chinese espionage in America. China threatens to detain Americans in retaliation. But, that misses the whole point. If China knows about American spies in China, then China should have already taken action anyway. It makes a country look weak to not stop crime except in retaliation. Does China want to send the message that American spies can spy unchecked in China as long as America’s government doesn’t prosecute Chinese spies caught in America? The world wonders what China wants. Maybe China wants the world.
But, the world doesn’t want China’s low-tech industry, repulsive actions, controlling conduct, retaliatory justice, Confucian indoctrination, nor forced language. Nations and peoples of the world will use their ability to invent to overcome China’s low-tech weapons and easily-offended, easily-intimidated culture. Of course, the Chinese don’t know when they are out-teched, out-matched, out-willed, undesired, and surrounded. They already are, but they don’t know. The only ones who know are everyone else.
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.