India has an aircraft carrier. It just finished its maiden voyage in China’s backyard. Those shipping lanes—one third of ocean-faring trade traffic—which China wants to claim by planting islands next to—most of them pass India. If any of them have traffic trouble, India will have reason to sail to the South Sea and clear up the cause of traffic congestion—or what some might call trade blocking.
India isn’t the only nation with a navy on the rise. Britain has its new aircraft carrier in the area. Germany wants to join the party. South Korea will join a scheduled US Navy exercise. And, the Japanese want to hire the British carrier builders to make their helicopter carriers F-35-ready. India’s carrier was built by a collection of 500 companies. If anything went nuts in the Taiwan Strait or the South Sea or the Sea of Japan, moving over to the Indian Ocean wouldn’t be a wonderful option since India already has its patrol.
Navies are snowballing in the East. If there’s money to be made in a Pacific scuffle, the convenient logistics of already having so many at the party could push the timing. Those islands-nations are in tumultuous waters.
Biden doesn’t only continue the stance on China from the previous administration, he seems to be clamping down.
The US sails through the Taiwan Strait, again.
China strong arms Guyana out of an office for Taiwan; the US defends Taiwan.
An Australian reporter was detained by China back in August; we’re just now finding out why—and the abbreviated reasons don’t add up in the minds of her family.
The UK government argues that there is a “very credible case” China is committing the non-killing parts in an act of genocide against the Uighurs of Xinjiang. The British blame Xi Jinping specifically. Responses from China’s government and state-run media are viewed by the British as evidence that the top of China’s government knows what is going on. British Parliament has support from across the political spectrum to take action, even with new legislation empowering the British High Court. The US responds by turning up pressure on China over the Uighurs and on Hong Kong and even Tibet. US Congress, much like the UK, has bipartisan support to stand against China—and the State Department isn’t quiet about it.
Things appear to be entering the later stages of a long campaign to sway public opinion to support Western military action against China. That is necessary, whether justified or unjustified, because Western governments know that they can’t take action without popular support of their people. Such support for action against China is one of the few remaining popular opinions that unite Americans, which puts China at even greater risk should the White House fall out of favor with the people.
It’s official. China has broken the treaty that allows Hong Kong to be Chinese. The last time Britain accused China of breaking treaty, the Royal Navy opened fire on the Taiwan city of Tainan in 1858. The time before that was just a few decades earlier, when Britain obtained Hong Kong Island in a surrender from the Chinese after the Opium Wars.
Those wars began because China believed it was fair for silver to flow out of Britain, but only tea leaves to flow out of China. China would not accept British inventions and technology in trade, only silver for leaves. Opium was another leaf, one some in China were willing to return silver to Britain in exchange for.
For China, friendship has always been a one-way street. The Opium Wars did not begin with British military intervention. They started with an unbalanced sense of justice from China and subversion in response from Britain. While the British military did not start the wars, it ended them.
Now, China has passed a law in Beijing that affects the streets of Hong Kong. That violates the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the basis for Hong Kong’s return to China. It seems 150 years have not changed anyone’s disposition. China wants laws written in one city, then obeyed in another. China wants to make promises, then ignore them. Britain will not respond with military, but with subversion. In the end, America’s military may play a role, but Hong Kong will likely return to the British for one, single reason. History repeats for those who refuse to learn from it.
China is under global attack from all sides. It’s not just the government, but a sizeable portion of the Chinese people who cooperate with that government. We don’t know how many in China are part of the problem or the solution. Reports from China remain silenced and Chinese culture is beaten down and overtly compliant even to tyranny. While Chinese students at Western universities volunteer themselves as mouthpieces for Chinese Communist propaganda, they join the party deemed guilty by the jury of the world.
African governments are in panic about Chinese government gentrification of their own nations. China is seen as the villain who covered up information vital to the EU. Great Britain is fed up with China, claiming the Chinese don’t just lack or hide information, but lie about it. Trump has been warning the world about China since before he was president—arguably that got him elected.
Then again, there’s Taiwan again. Former US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has a petition for Taiwan to be admitted to the WHO. Even in a recent scuffle over some infected Navy sailors who walked around in Taiwanese public, there still are no new person-to-person virus cases in Taiwan 14 days later. The staggering success is largely accredited to Taiwan’s miraculously brilliant and swift handling of the situation. It’s all based on a germ-phobic population, slow and steady sectional school closing protocols, but it started with immediate and utter lockdown against the since-become world villain: China.
Taiwan has foresight. Maybe that’s why China wants Taiwan out of the WHO. And now, the truth isn’t hiding anymore.
China has been had. It has been had by Western freedom. It has been had by its own culture’s psychopathology. It has been had by the concept of a promise—something the Chinese can’t understand, let alone keep. It has been had by Marxist propaganda. And, it is still being had by its obsession with power.
British officials are turning their eyes toward Hong Kong. This is a move of revival in the English-speaking world. The English have a conscience. It is more than political smoke-blowing. Britain fully intends to protect the people of Hong Kong. And, they can do it because China has already reneged on a treaty registered with the United Nations.
China has difficulty understanding the concept of a promise. Living fully and wholly by the psychopathology of Gorgias—that all statements are lies and only rhetoric matters—the Chinese truly believe that their promise to not interfere with Hong Kong until 2047 is irrelevant trivia. They truly believe that if the world distrusts China for breaking treaty, it would be the world just looking for ways to be mean to poor, suffering, victimized China. They truly believe that any “distrust” from the West, citing broken promises, would be pure propaganda from any and all, everywhere on Earth.
The British dealt with China for centuries. They must have at least suspected that China would break treaty. In fair honesty, by allowing a fifty year window, they showed high hopes that China would at least be capable of pretending to have a conscience for half a century. If China could lie to the world for fifty years and conceal its spite for any race lacking Han blood—if China could at least pretend to be nice for fifty years—then perhaps Hong Kong would be safe long after 2047. Britain gave China the benefit of the doubt.
But, China didn’t make it fifty years, not even half that.
Call it temptation. Call it the “Tienanmen fix”. China can’t not oppress and boss and dominate. From Beijing, Hong Kong calls, begging, “Oppress me! Oppress me!”
From Xi Jinping’s perspective is one of power. He believes that the Russian Communist downfall of 1989 happened because the Communists didn’t oppress enough. It never occurs to him that people do not overthrow governments that they trust—but to a psychopath, all statements are lies and all protests are propaganda. People would only hate an oppressive government, so they think, because someone told them to.
Hong Kong knows differently. Though they do not have complete self-rule, they do have free speech, free markets, free press, and free religion. To them, China stinks, and not only from the pollution of mismanagement.
Still, China wants to force its embrace upon the free people of Hong Kong. The legal justice system has a term for criminals who force their love on unwilling victims. In that scenario, everyone knows who everyone is.
Like an alcoholic claiming that alcohol is the medicine, China sees voluntary support as a threat—as a lack of power—and that power is the cure for power resisted. China has been had by everyone, its own vices above all else.
Chinese President Xi has been hailed with a personality cult akin to support for Chairman Mao, at least in some circles. As if the Xi personality cult wasn’t enough, China also saw a bloodless victory in the Philippines. In an effort to seek their own so-called “independence”, Philippinos’ new choice of a president has thrown-off many ties with the US in exchange for more dependency on China. China still patrols disputed Philippine islands, but fishing boats don’t get harassed any more. It probably makes sense in the Philippines every bit as much as it made sense to France and Italy 80 years ago.
The Pacific resembles pre-WWII Europe with more and more likenesses every week. NPR reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will stop swearing as much. That headline probably made sense to NPR, given the situation. As for swearing and the Pacific, Hong Kong, with no military, is putting up the greatest fight against China. Lawmakers “swore” during their swearing-in, contrary to some stipulations that no Hong Kong lawmaker can object to Chinese rule.
The Philippino “switch” was always going to happen. Their desire for “independence from other countries” will eventually drive them to fly China’s flag above their own, just how China’s desire for respect provoked Beijing to provoke the West, just how “America and her interests” drove the US to fly its flag at military posts in countries across the globe thereby frustrating Beijing and Milan.
With Taiwanese public continuing strong objection to Chinese patrol expansionism (75:18%), with Hong Kong (under China) wanting out from China, with the Philippines shifting sides, and with Cambodia cozying up to Beijing, we could see more jersey swapping in the coming months. Japan and South Korea are standing against North Korea on nukes—by cooperating with the US. That coalition could very easily extend to Taiwan, as far as N Korea nukes are concerned. The islanders of Taiwan oppose nuclear “anything”, just like post-Fukushima Japan.
Taiwan also has a close cooperation with the US military, the kind of cooperation the Philippines just renounced. The Pentagon has yet to give an elaborate position on the Philippines’ wave-making. In war, if the Philippines violates any alliance agreements, the Pentagon could declare the Philippines as “rogue” and get the excuse they need to use force. Who knows what would happen then.
China’s “no-objection” policy for HK lawmakers has given Great Britain whatever excuse the Crown needs to anchor the Royal Navy in Hong Kong, much like Queen Victoria did against China via Taiwan. When Southeast Asian Islands start spitting at each other, Hong Kong could could get snatched-up in a Pacific-West coalition. Having no military could be the only reason Hong Kong can court sympathy from the West. Guarded by mountains between the New Territories and Shenzen, Hong Kong would be strategic. The West would then see Hong Kong as the “trump card” while China would come back with the Philippines as the “wild joker”.
The Philippines and Hong Kong don’t seem to have figured out that every island is just another pawn. The Pacific Daily Times Symphony Editorials take no sides, except the side of foresight: It was all predictable.