China received two-and-a-half slaps in the face this week: financial sanctions against a few Chinese and Hong Kong leaders, who don’t have money in the US anyway, and the first formal diplomatic visit from America to Taiwan in over 40 years. To add “insultlett” to insults, the purported reason for the US visit was to discuss health and disease cooperation in the face of the Wuhan-famed pneumoniavirus, with Taiwan being the safest place in the world from the disease.
All of these actions from the US are perfectly understandable.
Countries should visit each other. The US is wrong for not having visited Taiwan over the last two score, just as North and South Korea are wrong for their tensions. The world needs people to talk to each other, whether in government, religion, or otherwise. At least Taiwan and the US seem to be getting along much better than Democrat and Republican voters in America.
Sanctions over Hong Kong’s turn of events are also understandable. Beijing doesn’t have jurisprudence over the world, but certain people in Beijing seem to think so and aren’t afraid to put their opinions in ink and law. No, Americans shouldn’t do business with such folk; no one should, no matter what country they’re from.
As understandable as US actions are, they are nonetheless provocative. We can’t expect Beijing to be happy. America found the perfect storm, and bet the bank that people in the Pentagon know what’s going on. But, something seems different in this week’s volley of cross-Pacific insults: Beijing didn’t pop a hernia like it usually does.
Could the Chinese Communists be learning to not feed taunts from the US? Or, more likely, has Beijing read the clear message of actions and decided to quietly plan retaliatory “messages” of action in ways other than rhetoric? The next few months will tell us.
If ever there were a time when two nations didn’t want to get along, it is now. If ever there were a time when a growing group of nations decided that a single other nation never wanted to get along, it is now.
China’s security law affecting Hong Kong, defining what is a crime in every sovereign, non-China territory of the world—in a word “pretentious”. No nation’s government should ever allow a foreign government to define what is a crime within its own borders, especially a single government acting unilaterally and without counsel.
Human Rights involve laws that China directly agreed to in joining the United Nations. Human Rights sanctions over forced sterilization among Uighurs in Xinjiang in no way compare to Beijing dictating it is a crime for someone in New Zealand to voice support for free elections in Hong Kong. The Confucian-Communist Chinese don’t see the difference. They view sterilizing Uighurs as fair and international sanctions for doing so as unfair. It’s not a lie or polite statement—they really see things that way.
So, banning TikTok won’t give the Chinese any second thoughts about their aspirations and actions. Taiwan’s first democratically elected president passed away this week at 97 and the US lauded his achievement. China won’t see any need to change so as to cooperate with our democratic world today; they will only see it as an insult to China’s entitlement to greatness.
The Taiwanese chip maker TSMC provides 20% of the worlds microchips at quality of which China cannot produce any. If China invaded Taiwan and TSMC had to cease operations, China would suppose that the ability to make these chips would instantly transfer to China, where China could pick up the slack, so there would be no threat to the global tech industry.
Now, the US introduces a bill with bipartisan support for military action already approved for the US to defend Taiwan against China specifically. It’s not hard to know how China will respond. With every step, China has the same response: China’s right; the rest of the world is wrong. It’s not hard to know how the rest of the world interprets that kind of response.
Bail on Hong Kong, jump to Taiwan. That’s the move from everyone.
Britain doesn’t bail on Hong Kong, but creates a path for Hong Kongers to bail on Hong Kong. Britain isn’t just walking away. By allowing British Overseas Passport holders to easily enter Britain, British Parliament responds as if 3 million British citizens and their families are suddenly in China—basically treating Hong Kong as if it is truly, fully Chinese. Britain ended its extradition with Hong Kong, making it the same as with China. Britain extended an arms embargo to Hong Kong already in place against China.
This is the part that confuses the Chinese. They want the world to recognize that Hong Kong is China, but when countries treat Hong Kong the same way as they treat China, China objects. Consider the mindset that demands: Everyone treat Hong Kong like China, but you interfere if you treat Hong Kong like China. The Chinese don’t understand how the world is responding. They never thought the world would respond this way. They think the world is simply being mean and cruel.
Staying consistent is not a part of the Chinese Communist worldview. Consulates do passport services and diplomatic visits, not much beyond that. That’s why countries allow them. America says China went way beyond that, claiming evidence of the consulate running a spy ring. Truth or lie, the Chinese thought they could do anything inside their consulate as if they were in Beijing, otherwise they wouldn’t need to burn documents before leaving. They don’t see America following consistent rules by demanding the consulate close; they only see America as starting a fight.
Western nations at least pretend to operate with universal standards and kept promises. They are far from perfect, but at least they pretend to and their voters expect them to. China doesn’t even pretend to operate with universal standards and kept promises. Chinese Communists simply do whatever they decide for each, individual situation, then justify it as either “their right to do what they want” or as “an internal matter” or as “what is best”. If China makes a promise, then decides to break it without any notice, then the people they promised object, China calls that objection “interference”. Following precedent or promises has no place in Chinese understanding of lawfulness.
Now, ask yourself about a government that insists that it is fair to change the rules throughout the game and without notice. What will mid-level leaders within that government do themselves and expect from their leaders above them and from their subordinates below them? Will their military be able to function with a culture where it is right to change rules at any time? Will ship captains prefer battles for the glory over winning the war? Will the West think such a military is a formidable threat or that such a military is inconsistent and easily defeated?
Taiwan certainly sees the Chinese military as a threat, but the Taiwanese apparently believe China’s military can be affronted. Taiwan boosts its own military budget while the US only increases ties. Banks are also looking to Taiwan as the Asian alternative to Hong Kong, which banks are losing interest in since it now appears to be truly, fully Chinese. With so many people running to Taiwan—and taking their money with them—Taiwan won’t lack the budget for defense.
So, ask yourself, with the shift moving to Taiwan, what will the rule-changing Chinese do? And, will China’s rule-changing embolden the West to think that China’s military won’t be very organized?
Hong Kong is seriously considering shutting itself down. Many may argue that Hong Kong is certainly shutting down, but a basic understanding of humanity says that people are resilient. China claims that doing whatever China wants inside Hong Kong is good, right, and fair, regardless of the promise not to do so until 2047. Democracies and countries with free speech have always risen up with with unstoppable strength to resist powers claiming their right to control them from outside, as China is doing.
France insulted King Henry V of England, according to legend with three tennis balls instead of promised tribute. Henry invaded and conquered. At that time, the French were spoiled and foolish; their military was no match for England because it was not disciplined.
Scotland revolted against King Edward I and won independence. At that time, the Scottish were selfless and willing to burn their own corn fields and even die; Scotland fought from desperation to not be oppressed while England’s disposition of entitlement was no match.
China claims that Hong Kongers are spoiled like the French were under Henry V. Hong Kongers claim they are desperate to escape oppression like the Scottish under Robert the Bruce. Who is right? The next few years will answer that question. But, it could go either way. Nothing is decided.
At this time, however, China is doing certain things, then Hong Kong is responding a certain way while other countries in the world respond in their ways. China believes everyone else is wrong.
China and the US have shown their intentions to the world. The new “National Security Law”, passed and interpreted solely by the Chinese Communist Party, applies to the entire world. China made it illegal for Americans to support calls for change in Hong Kong. Germans wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh shirt could be guilty of a Chinese crime against China’s national security. This is no joke.
The US went hard line after China over Uyghurs in Xinjiang this week. 78 members of Congress petitioned President Trump from both parties to declare China’s work with the Uyghurs “genocide”. That is not merely rhetoric nor an attempt to insult, but a step to unlock later military permissions. The US is preparing for invasion, either to land US troops or to support some other military that does, such as India. This is no joke.
China clarified its understanding on two fronts.
Firstly, about Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China responded to America’s visa sanction and frozen asset action against Chinese officials with a tit-for-tat policy. By not responding with military preparation, or at least genocide declaration, China misinterpreted what the US is ultimately preparing.
Secondly, Chinese state media have commented how the new “National Security Law” for Hong Kong would apply if China could assert jurisdiction elsewhere. This means that, just as the US is laying in the groundwork for an invasion of China, China is laying in the groundwork for what would follow an invasion anywhere else. In all likelihood, the US’ response concerning Uyghurs in Xinjiang—paving a way for invasion—showed understanding of China’s plans for invasion, less likely not, but surely the sabers have been unsheathed and are no longer just rattling.
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.
Happy Independence! Americans celebrated their declaration almost 250 years ago on Saturday. The country has coexisted with unseen freedoms in many ways and unheard deafness to its own oppression in others. It serves as a reminder that we live in a Republic only as long as we keep it. It’s not the job of presidents nor judges nor legislators to preserve our freedoms for us.
Chief Justice Roberts made a decision that baffled some, but not those who remember his deciding vote on Obamacare. Arguably, having voted to keep Obamacare on the books was the bail of hay that broke the camel’s back and elected Trump. Now, this election mover has stirred the electorate once again toward a choice that will move us closer to the inevitable reversal of Roe v. Wade.
As we approach “election solstice”, the Left puts out every argument it can drum up to oppose Trump. It seems overdone for a group that claims to believe they will win November. And, they ignore deeper matters that move Trump votes.
Much more is at stake other than abortion. China is taking over with a force to eclipse Japan’s expansion in the 1940s. No one was willing to not capitulate to China except Trump. If he were not re-elected, we might have no discussion on civil rights because the Chinese would be killing everyone in America who is not Han.
But then, America’s military is spread too thin and neither Republican nor Democratic president has worked to reduce our expanding global presence, none except Trump. There’s also the matter of manufacturing and closing the border to China over a virus when Democrats wanted to keep it open.
While our nation is in no position to decide an election on the social issues when basic needs are at stake, we are thankfully forced to address our neglected past. Intolerance over the atrocities of racism won’t shift the election because those lines have already been drawn. By not being distracted with yet another failed political solution to racial healing, we the People will actually have to deal with the wounds of racism ourselves. Maybe something will finally get done.
At what point is it okay to bully the bad guy? At what point does bullying the bad guy make the bully the bigger bad guy? This is a line China is fast approaching and the US is fast leaving.
The thinking goes, “If you just did the good things I demand, then the great harm I did you in response wouldn’t have happened.” Of this, both China and America are guilty. That’s why they are headed toward a conflict.
China pushes more and more toward this in the Far East while America brings home troops from previous venture wars in the Middle East. China is stepping-up bully responses while America backs off from them. But, both harbor that same “I’m allowed to do anything because I’m right” attitude. Both China and America need to repent. Perhaps God allowing this war will get some people there, or perhaps not. That choice is up to the individual.
Regardless of choice and attitude, we know things are only escalating. China passes a law grossly violating the 1984 treaty with Great Britain. That, technically, un-returns Hong Kong to China, though the wise, shrewd Crown hasn’t said so yet. America has recognized this first, giving third-party credibility. If China’s plan were to endear the world and win hearts with a show of its kindness, it’s failed. It’s hard to show a kindness one does have because it’s hard to have kindness one resents in favor of winning at any cost.
China seems desperate for war. America has typically been the infamous provocateur. That’s how China paints things. That’s how Japan and Germany saw things. But, China has taken up a new role.
Buzzing jets into Taiwanese airspace is just one concern. China also sends fishing boats to ram Taiwan’s Coast Guard and sand ships just to annoy. These won’t convince the Taiwanese that China’s rule would be preferable to status quo. Taiwanese respond by demanding more money for military and more weapons purchases from America.
Hong Kong looks grim as Beijing closes its stranglehold. There’s no question anymore whether China held up its end of the bargain on its treaty that allowed Hong Kong to return. The question is whether anyone in the West cares. Hong Kongers have done all they can.
Meanwhile, Trump hasn’t forgotten. In America’s election, China “trumps” many topics, as it were—including the economy, the virus, Biden’s past, and even war. The only reason China hasn’t stepped up its aggression is unawareness: China doesn’t know how American elections work because China doesn’t understand the concept of democracy, as Hong Kong’s deterioration shows. To those who know, Trump faces a statistically likely victory. Holding out for November might prove too late.
The West and China just won’t back down from each other. China will no longer try to work through former Mayor Han of Kaohsiung to reunite Taiwan against the will of 23 million people. America wants to put new missiles in China’s back yard and every ally has turned down the offer except Taiwan, who hasn’t had the chance. Australia is putting out the word on China, it’s not the best place to study and coercion won’t work. Now, North Korea is selling sand—illegally, of course, since selling anything has been deemed “illegal” by the West.
The sad part about the predictability of this conflict is how many were surprised by it. China never wanted to Westernize, otherwise it wouldn’t have injected so many “Confucian” centers to indoctrinate other countries with their ancient Chinese ideals. All those students and propagandists from China were welcomed to teach Chinese or learn from the West, but when their Confucian-Communist colors shown, it all unraveled in a flash. Both professors and businesses that received Chinese money are sent packing.
But, we were always headed here. When ideological differences spread too broad, irreconcilable differences are destined to break whatever scaffolding temporarily binds us together. To those who saw it, they haven’t been affected by the divide. For the rest, the damage hurts to much not to blame and rage. And, that will only build.
If The Chinese think poll numbers looking low or that the unrest in America means the Xi doctrine has a widening path on the road ahead, they should think again. But, being Confucian Communist, that’s hard.
Trump actually may be ahead of where he was when he ran against Hillary. And, if the one president who could stand up to China were really on the outs, the last thing America’s government would want is for the news media to report on it. It’s a rouse. America and Trump are far better positioned to take on China than anti-society new media would have us think.
Mayor Han of Kaohsiung in Taiwan just faced a recall election and he got spanked. In a vote of 939k to 25k, the China hopeful from the grand old KMT-Nationalist Party faced a humiliation that the rest of the party might never overcome. The Kaohsiung city council speaker reportedly jumped to his death. Mayor Han had challenged Taiwan’s president in the general election and lost, now his own constituency dumped him. It wasn’t just a reprisal on him or his party; it was a reprisal against China. He ran on a platform of reuniting with China. These days, China is unpopular because of decisions within China’s power to change.
Hong Kong is another hot spot for bad press. While Hong Kong could never stop China alone, Hong Kongers have been a platform on which China showed the world how China does things. And, the world isn’t having it.
We’re past the point of common sense and diplomatic shuffles. Nothing China even could do ever would change anyone’s opinion. The world already has its mind made up.
China says every effort will be made for peaceful reunification with Taiwan as long as there remains hope; force is the last resort. But, Taiwan wants peaceful freedom from tyranny; force is the last resort. There is no hope for China to find any reunification with Taiwan of any kind. China has removed any desire for peaceful reunification with it’s pressured propaganda campaigns around the world and in Taiwan, not to mention terrible handling of Hong Kong. Taiwan has prevented any hope of forceful reunification by arming to the teeth in response to China’s backfired PR campaigns.
Taking Taiwan would hurt and cost both lives and resources. And, Russia knows this. With steep cliffs on the east coast, complex deltas plains on the west coast, and a capital city inside a mountain bowl at the north, any beach landing would make Normandy Beach look like a walk in the park. With mountains peaking even higher than Fuji, China faces a jungle battle like halted America in Vietnam, except this battle would only be uphill.
If China prioritized such a venture, using either or both of its two copied aircraft carriers with its copied fighter jets and its copied missiles and copied drones, China’s neighbors would see an opportunity even if the US didn’t respond with any of its forty-four home-made carriers.
India, with one billion people, is no forced-friend of China, especially in recent months. A Taiwan distraction would be the perfect chance to free Tibet. Two thousand years of anti-friendship relations between Vietnam and China would require enormous numbers of soldiers to keep the Vietnamese from taking Nanjing as a pathway to the island of Hainan. Vietnam has a motive anyway, keep China at a safer distance for its history of aggression. With China occupied at the west and east while squandering enormous forces at Taiwan, Japan—a larger economy than India—has its own grudge and would love the chance for target practice near Beijing. None of the other countries small enough to be bought off and bullied would bring much help nor will to China’s aid.
Then, there’s the US after China would be in enough trouble. Russia doesn’t want more trouble, for all Moscow’s effort to seduce Europe by appearing pacifist. If China ever did manage to reach a Pyrrhic victory over Taiwan, China would have no defenses left, Tibet might be gone, then Japan and Vietnam would have taken their own bits out of the map. China would be clean pickings between the US and China’s frenemy Russia.
Russia is no friend of China. Who do you think gave China the idea of this wasted pursuit? All of that assumes things go well with the one billion Chinese who hate their government more than ever before in history.
So, why did Taiwan request a lower-grade missile—because it comes with a vehicle Taiwan already has? It’s not because Taiwan actually needs it. No. Talking about arming again to the teeth already armed to puts a kind of social pressure on Beijing, a sense of urgency. Taiwan sees what China is up against. Taiwan knows that Confucian culture can’t pass up the opportunity to self-destruct in order to save face. Taiwan’s policy is clear: Bring it.
Taiwan has a new Vice President: Former Premier William Lai, known for his pro-independence posture. China won’t be happy, but China is rarely happy these days.
The Chinese made two loud omissions in their rhetoric this week. When talking about reunification with Taiwan, they left out the word “peaceful”. The press noticed. A Taiwan official said it meant the same thing. But, everyone knew better because China also left out regard for Hong Kong’s Basic Law, something else that always got mentioned in the past.
Apparently, Beijing thinks peace and honoring treaties are too petty to be bothered with.
But, certain terms are in need of clarity. Xi Jinping isn’t merely trying to “reunify with Taiwan”; his actions are closest to that of a corporate hostile takeover—not just of Taiwan, but the entire world.
In Australia, Drew Pavlou faces expulsion from Queensland University for organizing student protests in support of Hong Kong opposition to recent law proposals, especially extradition to China and the recent “security” proposal. Follow the money. Australia’s government is looking into China’s influence. Many other governments are too.
According to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, US Congress is required to review whether Hong Kong is autonomous enough to have its visas treated separately from the rest of China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already late in his report. He waited until China held its own congress meetings. What happened at those meetings didn’t help the case for Hong Kong’s autonomy.
It was a week of slap after slap in China’s face. Congress pokes at Human Rights in Xinjiang among other old-news grievances. China “warns” the US—again—about Huawei, apparently unaware that warnings require power or at least clout, of which China retains neither.
As blame circulates against China for a global outbreak, Taiwan courts favor. Airlines have corrected a listing that identifies Taiwan as somehow part of China or something-or-other. You know you’ve lost when airline companies aren’t even afraid of you.
The dirtiest and best-kept secret is about war. China can’t even threaten military action against America because of the elections in America. While American polling likely lies as usual, war is good for any sitting president’s numbers. Threat of war would be good news for America’s incumbent, whomever that incumbent may be.
So, China is left with a choice: Wait until the West is even stronger in China’s back yard and face shame for not acting or else respond to Western provocation to start a war too early and face shame for losing. · · · →