This is a linchpin week. Britain’s new aircraft carrier stands by with courses ready for the South Sea. America has an inauguration scheduled amid more foreseeable chaos, likely greater than Hong Kong. Bad news on China only gets worse—while the Huawei CFO pleas for a life less difficult than her millions of dollars can buy her, she is contrasted to China’s treatment of two arrested Canadians. That doesn’t make China look charitable in the eyes of the five countries that declared the Hong Kong treaty broken late last year.
Diplomats from Taiwan and the US had a diplomat-to-diplomat talk in Switzerland. That’s new. China’s furious. That isn’t new.
A destabilizing United States coupled with swelling Western spite for China make the perfect bait and trap for China to think it should enter a war it couldn’t possibly know it couldn’t possibly win, but should have and would have if someone had only listened.
Let’s look past the fact that Chinese state media doesn’t know what it means to be “cowardly”. Pompeo rejecting Chinese Communist preferences on US policy with Taiwan is not “cowardly”, at worst it would be “foolish” or “over-confidence”; but “cowardly” would mean letting someone else tell the US what to do. Likewise, China is not “cowardly” either; it is “foolish” and “over-confident”. But, the Chinese don’t know the difference, just how they don’t know this decision on Taiwan is meant to provoke China to commit strategic folly. Let’s look past all that.
What is Trump doing? Biden’s strings held by China were well known before they were secluded by the socialist-minded media in the US. By lacing up ties with Taiwan, Trump forces any future White House attempts to let China dictate policy to be seen for what they are. No president or secretary of state would be politically allowed to back down on Taiwan relations without being exposed as a Chinese manchurian candidate.
In the past, socialist media in the US—which is nearly all media in the US—acted as mouthpieces for Communist Russian propaganda. Now, they act as Communist Chinese tools to install a president owned by China—Biden—all the while publishing bad news about China. From the US perspective, there is a pregnant need to protect the US government from saboteurs—shoes which fit Biden and the primary failure Harris perfectly. Trump taking action that would force Chinese-owned saboteurs to tip their hands only makes sense. But, that still doesn’t explain what is going on.
We must not assume that America is in a peaceful transition from one undisputedly elected president to the next. But, of course China hoped for that. The bipartisan-orchestrated chaos in Washington and state capitals comes as a surprise to the Chinese. If they knew what was coming, they wouldn’t have wasted their time snuggling up to Biden last month. So, because they think this capital chaos was a surprise to them, it was therefore not part of a rouse to make them think America is weak. But, that still doesn’t explain what is going on.
Follow the money. Who makes money off China thinking America is vulnerable? Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. They don’t need to be part of any conspiracy; only a few stakeholders do—perhaps not even shareholders, perhaps only suppliers of suppliers. However things play out in the dual-fated cities of Washington and Taipei, it will happen that American weapons contractors make the most profit. We are looking at a short and costly skirmish where neither those weapons contractors’ customers are defeated, nor are their profitable enemies. The South Sea is the perfect place. And, China is the perfect dupe to take the bait.
The Chinese make one huge gamble based on two doubtful conclusions. They think Biden will be inaugurated in January. They think they have deterred the US military in the Pacific. Both notions have been carefully feigned and crafted by the US. The pieces are in place and China moves its queen to attack the baiting pawn. The US wants China to initiate its own military embarrassment.
Over the years, America has stirred unneeded trouble throughout the world. America will pay the consequences for that, but not according to any itinerary set by China. Something similar could be said for Taiwan concerning its own internal systems of justice, both for the Taiwanese and for resident foreigners. Taiwan will pay the consequences, but not according to any itinerary set by China. We all answer to God, and God the Judge will not share space on His bench. If China—or anyone else—wants to take God’s bench, God may send in His bailiff.
China wants the results of innovation—which come from free thinking—which comes from free speech. But, free speech and rights respected are the two things China will not accept. So, China indirectly rejects the good results which only follow good choices. Trying to live without the very shame the continue to create—trying to defeat the countries with military technology they could only steal from those countries—trying to absorb economies with innovation that only thrived without their tyranny—China only knows how to miscalculate. The embarrassment China is about to bring upon itself is nothing any good person would wish for. That the Chinese wish for it says more on this matter than anything else.
Anymore, it’s not only bad news about China, but continued action in both military and trade. The pressure Washington puts on Beijing keeps finding new ways to keep turning up. Sanctions continue to increase. Military attention rises. And, Japan puts pressure on Biden to decry the “aggressive China”, calling Taiwan the next, likely target.
Just the same, Taiwan continues as the poster boy, especially with the pandemic China takes the blame for. Just when the Chinese government thinks they get a break, the opposition simply moved and grew. Western powers have effectively sneaked up on the Chinese, whose policies isolate them from the experience necessary to understand Western thinking. Western news audiences are being conditioned to support military action against China, no matter which party advocates it. As news watchers, we must see this trend as it has snowballed over the last decade. The Western world is moving toward war against China as Russia remains safely out of the spotlight.
Readers still can’t get a break from bad news of China. More Chinese companies are added to the notorious “entities list”. The WHO sends a team to China, which isn’t exactly wonderful press. China is the biggest military threat. The US Navy along with the Coast Guard must reshape its strategy to protect against the Chinese. Trump even blames the Chinese for a recent cyber attack.
As China continues in headlines as the villain, Taiwan is evermore adorable. The Taiwanese plan to become their own military supplier and submarine maker, not as much dependent on the US. They hope to get so many awesome weapons of their own, other nations will want to buy weapons from the Taiwanese, who can defend themselves against the great China, after all. As if that’s not enough to irritate Beijing, Washington will start calling Taiwan’s not-embassy by “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei Economic and Cultural”.
But, how serious is Taiwan about its own defense? While Washington cozies up to Taiwan with somewhat more, semi-respectful names, America’s envoy to Taiwan is still called “American Institute in Taiwan”. And, as much as Taiwan claims to want technology and good relations with other nations, xenophobic immigration laws are still on the books. Immigrants to Taiwan vs immigrants from Taiwan have a much more difficult path and the ratios are insultingly low. Very few Westerners can contribute to Taiwan’s economy, technology, and goal of English as a second official language with these unchanged restrictions in Taiwan’s immigration policies. Nearly all changes in Taiwan and in Washington go little beyond symbolic.
Washington is mostly talk. Taiwan is too ambivalent to love actually. And, Beijing is easily insulted. The trends aren’t subtle anymore. They used to be five years ago, but they’re just not subtle anymore—quite the opposite.
Hit pieces against China are coming out as if from an avalanche. More dangerous, they are coupled with Western plans of military expansion in China’s back yard. From Xinjiang teens to disappearing journalists to Australian wine to spies in America to colleges—to a global virus pandemic—Western readers have no rest from bad news of China.
The equation has been there and in play. America’s election appears stolen to 75% of Republican voters and 30% of Democrats. Elections require agreement on results in order to function. Lack of agreement on a trustworthy election is unusual as it is staggering. That’s a mandate for Trump to take drastic action, deny Biden’s inauguration, and take measures to remain in office that can’t avoid national inflammation.
As inevitable American conflict in January comes into closer view coupled with such bad press on China, the US strategy in the West Pacific is more and more difficult to deny. China was always the perfect distraction from the mess at home. The problem is that the American populous no longer responds as usual. A national attack may not have the uniting effect it once did—at least not uniting enough to keep any president in office in the face of an election so disputed.
Taiwan continues the role as the “China virus” poster boy. The Taiwanese handle things so well, don’t they. Strict rules on breaking quarantine—punishing a foreigner with thousands in fines for walking in the hallway outside his room for eight seconds—but Taiwanese officials forgot to lock the quarantine door because the world is supposed to believe Taiwan is so careful, right?
At some point, it should become obvious that we are playing a game of charades with who is good and bad—or at least on who is how good and how bad. As China’s role is to be the common enemy for divided Americans and a divided West to unite against, China’s big mistake—over decades and to this day—was to play that role all too gladly. A shoe was made and China chose to fit it.