As Philippa Georgiou said to Leland in the season 2 finale of Start Trek: Discovery, “We were just talking about you. Everybody hates you. Congratulations.” It goes without mention which country that statement is most relevant for, today.
The Czech mayor of Prague rebuked China publicly and officially, using profanities. France and Germany did as much, in their less-these-days European forms of “diplomacy”. Israel gave the green light on travel to Taiwan, not China—making an even stronger distinction difficult for Beijing to erase. Turkey and Pakistan seek closer trade with Taiwan, not China. Real estate in Hong Kong is crumbling in reaction to a certain law that wasn’t made in Hong Kong, but was made in Mainland China.
A Chinese jet reportedly crashed in Guangxi, according to a viral video. Some speculated that the jet was struck by what some think could have been an anti-aircraft defense missile from Taiwan. There was no evidence to this. Taiwan denies this. And, China won’t even confirm that a jet crashed. Why?
Could it have been malfunction? Could it have been a US submarine—or a flying saucer—sending a message to Beijing that Chinese reverse-engineered jets are no match against the jets of the West they reverse-engineered? Either way, China has yet another reason to back off, but don’t expect it.
Taiwan redesigned its passport to make its proper title “Republic of China” look much smaller, minimizing the word “China” while celebrating the word “Taiwan”. This runs contrary to a trend of companies taking strange strides to reflect affiliation with China. Consider LinkedIn changing the display of “Hong Kong” to “Hong Kong SAR”, effective October 12, even though it seems strange English wording on a social media site. With airlines and companies like LinkedIn towing the line for Beijing Mandarin-speakers’ preference of how the English world should talk, Taiwan making the word “China” smaller on new passports could be considered provocative. It could even be a threat to China’s national security—something that proves very easily threatened.
Then, there’s India.
The China-India border is starting to look like a siege; the castle wall being the Himalayas. Tanks on each side are in shooting range of the other. Talks are scheduled. And, India said it hoped diplomacy was the best answer while at the same time banning another Chinese social app.
It seems these days that diplomacy is just another hoop to jump through—as necessary as it is useless—on our way to war with a country whose leaders think alienation is the best way to make friends. Short of a miracle, diplomatic or otherwise, war with China seems inevitable.