In pre-WWII terms, last week, North Korea tried a “Hitler” in Southern seas and got sent home running. This week, the US did a sail by and China pulled a “France”. It’s clear who’s boss of the Pacific.
At least that’s what the Pentagon will think.
China’s response, though proof that it lacks strength, neither proves weakness nor will. Chinese are calculating and polite. Chinese conflicts do not escalate slowly; the pressure builds slowly, then the conflict erupts faster than American’s can blink.
But there is more going on with indirect communication, and Beijing is learning, for better or worse. In all likelihood, Beijing expected the US to react like most Chinese do to new power’s assertion. Specifically, they expected either silence or some kind of neighboring buildup. Remember, China is the land of the Great Wall. They built the islands with a fleet, they probably expected the US to confront them either with a fleet or not at all. · · · →
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China didn’t make any friends this week. Beijing spies on every street corner with a service literally named “Skynet”.
The Pentagon wants a strong Taiwan. The US Navy plans to challenge China’s man-made military airport-seaport islands. Most people don’t know exactly where the islands are since they aren’t listed on many maps. But if you happen to have a recent Chinese passport, the islands would fall within the nine-dash line, along with Taiwan, parts of the Philippines, and a number of other territories we thought belonged to other countries.
Local Pacific politics are another big question mark this week. Malaysia’s PM is having “royal” trouble, literally. Taiwan’s failing KMT-Nationalist party seems to be cannibalizing their own Presidential front-runner. Who knows what will happen or even if it will matter.
Old guard and Establishment parties are facing the masses en masse. It’s not just happening in the Pacific, but also in the Americas and Europe. · · · →