According to Chinese and US claims, China has a high-orbit, hypersonic missile that can hit a target within 24 miles. And, that’s why China is the new boss of the world and everyone else should hate America. The end.
But, that’s not the end in the mind of Taiwan or the US Pentagon. This week, Taiwan asked the Pentagon to speed up its delivery of 22 F-16s. They were expected around 2029, but Taiwan claims China could invade by 2025. China may not agree to wait until 2025, especially since the new Communist hypersonic missile has been tested and even written about in the Global Times. All we need is a Global Times article to announce that China is strong enough to invade Taiwan at anytime, then the People’s Liberation Army would be fully prepared to show Confucian Communist love to the whole world.
The US faces economic challenges. We’re about to be done with pandemic inflation—that is inflation wrought to tamp down economic fallout from the pandemic, but arguably a pandemic of inflation in itself. We can’t keep interest rates this low and we can’t keep printing money. Britain has also about had it. The West is due for a change of pace. Enter Taiwan.
China’s incursion of Taiwan’s airspace made Matt Drudge’s top three headlines this weekend. With 93 Chinese military jet incursions in three days, Taiwan says its preparing for war because it must. And, Taiwan rallies allies like Australia with the fact that Taiwan houses one of the largest IC conductor suppliers in the world.
But, consider more than just the Chinese aggression. Consider the Western economic situation.
Chinese aggression and the freedom of Taiwanese sells well to the general public. But, compassion alone does not shape global politics. China is chasing a dream of respect—which isn’t as motivating as Western economies needing a turbocharger. China isn’t just making a miscalculation on its military capacity by winning respect as the world’s bully. China is making the grave error of provoking when the allies of its sworn enemy are hungry. All eyes in the West are about to shift toward a war with China every bit as swift and embarrassing as the Opium Wars.
While China takes center stage, the Supreme Court gears up to review Roe v. Wade and gun owner rights.
Everyone gets more serious about Taiwan. The US wants a special free trade agreement. China wants reunification, again. While China stockpiles nukes, the US shakes the finger, then China shakes its fist.
But, Chinese on the inside are tired of it. CCP has burned-out much of its talent and it looks like the Chinese solution is to burn-out more. It’s a very common indication of a very bad leadership—that the solution to a problem is more of the cause.
Taiwan makes a swift recovery from its own COVID lockdown, though Taiwan still has a long way to go. Charging significantly higher fees for the vaccination to resident foreigners, including Americans, isn’t exactly the best way to court support from America. Then again, too often the proposed solution to a problem is more of the cause. Taiwan has developed a fear of foreign invasion—a fear reinforced by recent Chinese rhetoric—yet Taiwanese xenophobia fails to distinguish between foreign friend and foreign foe. That’s the greatest cause of Taiwan’s security threats.
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.
China and Taiwan are in a military face-off for a singular reason: xenophobia. Taiwan had everything it needed to counter China without help from the US, but it snubbed foreigners and still continues to do so today. Were it not for the US, neither China nor Taiwan would have limped so far along. China’s “miracle” economy was made of money from the US. Taiwan’s weapons use technology developed primarily by the US.
As much as both China and Taiwan have benefited from the US, these two countries have some of the most strict laws against naturalizing foreigners. That doesn’t include a serious lack of protection against intrusion of immigrants’ rights. When Americans—or any other Westerner—or any other foreigner for that matter—finds work in Taiwan or China, companies impose extra rules to take away what few legal rights they have as foreign employees; then government does nothing, it just sits there and watches. In Taiwan, this largely happens with employment. In China, it happens with entire companies.
Even if foreign workers can find a way to survive the onslaught of attacks against their rights, the most they could expect in the end is an elevated residence status—if they are rich. If they aren’t wealthy, no chance. Without citizenship, foreigners in Taiwan have few rights—they aren’t even allowed a phone and landlords can reject them merely on the basis of being a foreigner.
China aside, if Taiwan allowed, then protected a path to citizenship for Westerners working in Taiwan, those naturalized citizens would have had more rights to work and contribute to Taiwan’s culture, language, economy, and technology. If that had happened, it very well could be the US seeking to buy weapons from Taiwan, and China might be more inclined to behave.
The same could be said of China, which has made itself so desperately dependent on US money by keeping foreigners within their own borders at an arm’s length.
This conflict between Taiwan and China was caused by xenophobia from both sides. By not demanding equal respect toward Americans in their borders, but engaging in trade and weapons sales anyway, the US allowed two kittens to grow into a bobcat and a tiger. And, now the whole world faces a huge cat fight—whenever China decides to take advantage of the election ambiguity in the US and bust a foolish move against Taiwan.
The flashpoint of Taiwan has become a pregnant possibility. Reportedly, a US military jet flew across Taiwan, and no one is fully certain over who claimed what and why. Taiwan’s government said something after the US government said something about the mission. Then the US government said that they weren’t saying what the mission was. So, the Taiwan government said that they weren’t saying what the US government wasn’t saying about what the US government said about why what happened happened. And, we’re not even sure what happened because the identifier tags could have been spoofed.
In the end, China fell for the bait as if on cue. The Chinese State-run Global Times then published a story sometimes written in the first-person stating that the US isn’t allowed to fly military operations over Taiwan and that China would send its military planes over Taiwan if the US did. The story went on to speculate that Taiwan didn’t have the unction—more or less—to fire the first shot at a Chinese plane in Taiwan sovereign airspace. That proves what China is really thinking about: pushing and pushing, trying to call Taiwan’s bluff, wondering who will fire the first shot—because China is hoping someone will fire the first shot.
After all the information China gave away about its intentions—after what seemed like a fluke between Washington and Taipei—don’t think for a second that said fluke was not a well-calculated fluke. The bigger takeaway is that China keeps falling for the bait while Washington learns to anticipate China enough to lead the Chinese Communist military right into its own defeat—and China shows the learning curve of a cat chasing a laser dot.