China has been told, then told again. This week, China was told again again again. The EU gave a blistering rebuke to China’s unsolicited three cents about what other governments call their offices. Specifically, Taiwan is labeling it’s representative office in Lithuania as “Taiwan”. China recalled and expelled diplomats with Lithuania in wake of the matter.
Moves like this show the disturbing psychology guiding the Chinese. Reducing communication does not improve China’s position; it diminishes China’s position. So, why would China do that for anything other than histrionic reasons? The recall of its office in Lithuania resembles Napoleon storming out of his own cabinet meeting just before he fell from power. Moreover, analysis such as this does not cause the Chinese mind to reconsider; the Chinese see the warnings as conjured propaganda without substance.
As if the EU’s response over Lithuania wasn’t enough, US Secretary of State Blinken told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang where the bear crapped in the buckwheat. China’s been aggressive; that’s bad. Single-sided—AKA “unilateral”—action to alter the status quo with Taiwan—AKA “invasion”—is unacceptable. The US will intervene. This may be news to the ears of those in China’s echo chamber where selective listening is the norm. Yes, China may be unaware that the US plans to respond if China invaded Taiwan, even after all that has happened. China’s frame of mind could come partly from three decades of countries letting China push them around. But all of a sudden, a fresh wind blew through the G-20.
China steps up expansion via Hong Kong elections. Seven editors are banned from Wikipedia on concerns of not acting in good faith and with relation to China. The US sails through the Taiwan Straight again, this time a destroyer. Taiwan wants more backup runways for fighter jets. Escalations only continue and no side shows any sign of backing down.
China’s in trouble—deep trouble. America pauses with the same hush of silence that swept the country from the outskirts of Washington to New Orleans in 1812, gathering around the radio in 1941, or staring at the same TV images on repeat in 2001. While America pauses and reflects, China accuses, taunts, and threatens, as if the world wasn’t already angry enough about the jobs lost to a Communist country that promotes leaders for party loyalty rather than governing competence.
There is no PR campaign, no cooperation, no compensation that can buy back decades of ill will. That ill will against China was only fueled by governments and leaders who allowed themselves to be trodden on, quite an evil thing the West did to set China up for such embarrassment. But, the Communist Chinese do themselves no service by fitting the stereotype handed to them.
While China faces Western scorn, Taiwan shines like Venus at twilight. They have the breakout under control almost as much as they have public panic on mute. The Taiwanese premier jokes about everyone having only one butt hole, then encourages everyone to buy, buy, buy—it helps the economy, after all, and there is plenty of supply. While Taiwan clips right along, clamping down as needed, China’s jealousy only simmers and froths. The Communists across the Straight want the results of capitalism and competence, without any of the actions or guiding virtues.
When scorn and jealousy mix and reach a critical boiling point, like fudge, China will start to harden. If these are the days when China invades Taiwan, a roused and ready America won’t be the only thing stopping them. Taiwanese are already well-stocked at home from a virus that China perceivedly caused. They can stay at home. They have the defenses and pantries to hold out for America, who is alive and well and hungry to kick someone’s butt.