Whether it’s true or not, China appears to the International community as an aggressor. For half a century, Beijing supported the Kim Dynasty of North Korea. Now, that decision is “blowing up” in Beijing’s face, so to speak. Countries are asking, “Why would Communist China support a North Korea that would do this if China truly wants peace?” Is Beijing apologetic? Of course not.
In the context of regional issues, and especially the recent earthquake and other environmental problems, the best optics for China would be to demonstrate wise priorities at home, tone down their activity in the South China sea, make concessions to India, and back off in other regions. But they don’t. Why?
Though pride is always a factor, it’s hard to say what motivates Beijing. But the Communists seem to be overreaching and this is possibly from complex psychology wars waged by the US over the last several years.
The US “upgrades” Taiwan’s Air Force, rather than doubling its size at a lower cost.
The US spends 8-digit figures on a new office in Taipei, but manages to, “coincidentally”, have union problems with the construction… Since when did Obama ever have union problems? But it’s a great excuse to send more military to Taiwan, as if the US doesn’t already have enough excuses.
The US has been shuffling it’s military throughout the region without significant changes, but keeps claiming that “China” is a significant factor.
The US places a new military base in the northern tip of Australia to “watch” China, but only puts 250 soldiers there, announcing an increase to 2,500 personnel over the next ten years. If I were Beijing, I’d be insulted. Knowing the petty pride of all East Asia, it’s possible that the US intended to offend China, forcing Beijing into irrationality.
China recently increased the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan, and now is deploying anti-aircraft carrier DF-21D missiles (see Taipei Times article) to deter US involvement “in case” there is conflict with Taiwan—conflict that could only be brought about by Beijing strategy.
The US hasn’t been the best of friends to Taiwan, especially with the inefficient use of Air Force defense spending.
Ma’s diplomacy seems to have been wasted, both on China and the US. Now, Taiwan is realizing that, whichever political party is in power… Taiwan is on her own.
Things were ostensibly well between Taiwan’s President Ma and China. That’s why Taiwan reelected him. As a Harvard grad, Ma is flouent in both English and international affairs. He doesn’t misspeak. And his rhetoric has been changing.
Before, it was “commerce with China”. Now, he’s considering, “how our military force can effectively intimidate the potential threat… [rather than] whether other countries will be there as our military aid.” That’s a message to both superpowers on the western and eastern sides of Taiwan. “Intimidate”—!? That’s not the same diplomatic Ma who was elected six years ago. It sounds more like Ronald Reagan.
China has been provoked with some of the most subtle psychology the West has ever displayed. DC seems to know Beijing better than Beijing knows itself. What DC doesn’t seem to know is how Taiwan will react. As Tolkien said, “…but his cunning overreached his aim, his words touched too deep, and awoke a fire more fierce than he designed.”
The US has overstretched herself, like butter spread too thin on a slice of bread. A global military, funded nationally, isn’t sustainable, not even with debt owed to China. As the US loses its power, China and India will pick up the slack, but so will Taipei, Japan, and Seoul.
China is moving too fast, too aggressively, but it doesn’t realize this because of the cultural differences between East and West. Beijing BS walks, to some extent, in China. But money talks to both the East and the West. More missiles in the Taiwan Straight, in light of China’s bastard child of North Korea gone awry, will arouse the West, including the Harvard grad leading Taiwan.
Expect a power grab from Taiwan, that DC does not expect, that makes China stand up straighter and makes the US smile with a little more humility.