As we went over the other day, China has been absolutely freaking out over Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan, rattling their sabers and foaming at the mouth like nobody’s business.
At the time of my last posting, it was unclear whether or not Pelosi would actually go to Taiwan, but now it is apparently confirmed that she will:
China is promising a “strong and resolute” military response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected arrival in Taiwan on Tuesday.
Driving the news: According to National Security Council spokes[man] John Kirby, Beijing’s “provocations” are likely to include missiles fired into the Taiwan Strait and a large-scale breach of Taiwan’s air defense zone. China has already announced new military exercises in the South China Sea.
What they’re saying: Kirby argued that such reactions would be totally disproportionate, because there is precedent for Pelosi’s visit — then-Speaker Newt Gingrich traveled to Taiwan in 1997, and lower-level lawmakers have visited as recently as this year — and U.S. policy on Taiwan is unchanged.
The other side: China’s government sees things very differently.
For one thing, Gingrich had three days of meetings in Beijing before stopping in Taipei, notes Ryan Hass, a Brookings fellow and former NSC director for China and Taiwan.
Think of this from China’s perspective: they consider Taiwan a part of China. Pelosi is going to Taiwan without China’s permission. Imagine if Xi Jinping flew to the island of Puerto Rico and met with the Puerto Rican governor without first clearing it with the US government, in essence recognizing Puerto Rico as an independent nation.
So when the Chinese see Pelosi flying to Taiwan without getting permission from China, that is a direct slap in the face to the Chinese. It is insanely disrespectful from China’s perspective, and in typical US government fashion, they are being passive aggressive as shit about it and gaslighting the hell out of the whole world: “Why are you getting so upset, China?”
“This is not a big deal at all.”
But it is a big deal. If the roles were reversed, our government would be shrieking and crying to high heaven. We are the cry-bullies of the world, playing the victim card as we terrorize and suffocate everyone else.
China’s relative strength has increased dramatically since , as has the degree of deference it demands — particularly over Taiwan, which it claims is an integral part of its territory.
Then there’s Pelosi herself.
“The Chinese have very strong feelings about the speaker,” Hass tells Axios. Her public protest in Beijing over the Tiananmen Square massacre was more or less her “first foray on the national stage,” he notes.
She’s taken high-profile stands for decades on Tibet and other human rights issues that infuriate Beijing.
Pure antagonism. Pelosi doesn’t care a lick about human rights. All she cares about is drinking vodka and insider trading.
This was tweeted as a joke but there’s like a 60% chance it’s true.
Now, [Pelosi is] third in line to the presidency and expected to make the trip despite weeks of warnings of “serious consequences.” She hasn’t confirmed the visit, but several media outlets have. She’ll meet Taiwan’s president on Wednesday morning, per the FT.
The trip would come at the peak of China’s annual military training cycle, a day after a public holiday celebrating the People’s Liberation Army, and as high-level Communist officials gather for an annual retreat, Hass notes.
More importantly, it comes ahead of the Party Congress at which President Xi Jinping is expected to seek a third term, making this an inopportune time for him to show any weakness over Taiwan.
“President Xi has spent the last 10 years investing in building a political brand of being strong, resolute, and standing firm in the face of American pressure,” Hass says.
At this critical juncture, “all the political incentives will point him towards erring on the side of muscularity in response,” Hass adds.
Wow, it’s almost as if this is an extremely deliberate provocation on America’s part.
The big picture: A showdown over Taiwan was always possible even without Pelosi’s trip.
When Xi — who has vowed repeatedly to capture Taiwan, by force if necessary — warned President Biden not to “play with fire” over Taiwan last Thursday, he was repeating language he used in their virtual summit last year.
And guess what: the US is going out of its way to “play with fire”.
As if it weren’t clear already: our government is comprised of the Biggest Fucking Assholes on earth. They are quite literally the very worst people in the whole entire world. There is absolutely no one worse than them.
And while Biden said publicly that the U.S. military felt Pelosi’s trip was “not a good idea right now,” he’s also riled Beijing by saying repeatedly that the U.S. will defend Taiwan against an invasion.
Look at the White House trying to act like this is just Pelosi going rogue. As if anyone believes that.
This is why the US government is the absolute worst: they act like big tough guys all the time, but they refuse to take ownership of their provocations.
What to watch: China is unlikely to take any action that endangers Pelosi or presents a real risk of war.
The longer-term question is whether the U.S. and China will be able to reset on Taiwan and find a stable status quo. If not, the possibility of a much larger confrontation over the island will loom larger, and potentially closer.
So an old, drunken, 82-year-old hag who only clings to power so she can use her position to insider trade is deliberately provoking the Chinese during an extremely tense time for Xi Jinping, whose grip on power is very tenuous and is facing nationwide protests and mortgage boycotts that threaten the stability of the whole Chinese political system.
Why is Pelosi even doing this?
Because America’s government is full of most entitled assholes on the face of the planet. They do things just to prove that they can and that no one can tell them what to do. They are constantly trying to assert themselves as the alphas of the world.
It is world hegemony for its own sake. When you have X amount of power, you will under no circumstances accept any amount of power less than X unless it’s pried from your cold, dead hands.
The US ruling class is just trying to big dick everyone. Think about it: we have no actual national interests in Ukraine, yet we are funneling billions to the Ukrainians and acting like the Russians have declared war on us instead of Ukraine–why? Because no other country must be allowed to strengthen itself and acquire more territory. (And because the Bidens use Ukraine as their personal money laundering business.)
We’re the only ones who are allowed to invade other countries!
Why is America so committed to antagonizing China over Taiwan? Because we’re America and nobody tells us what to do! We’ll sell weapons to the Taiwanese if we want to, damnit!
That’s basically it. The whole Taiwanese independence thing is a matter between China and Taiwan, not us. Yet we inject ourselves into the matter and act like Taiwan is the 52nd US State (after Ukraine, which is apparently the 51st) for no other reason than that we are the busybodies of the world–the nosy, Karen neighbors incapable of minding our own business.
Now, it is unlikely that China actually launches the much-anticipated invasion of Taiwan this week.
There are videos going around of China moving military equipment and vehicles toward the southern coast near Taiwan, and we did see a lot of that in Russia in the lead up to their invasion of Ukraine.
But the problem is, though Taiwan is close to China (about 100 miles) it’s monsoon season in the South China Sea right now, so the weather conditions are not currently ideal for a large-scale invasion of Taiwan. From what I’ve read [this paper published by the US Naval War College in 2001], if there is to be an invasion, it will be in October, when the seas calm and monsoon season ends.
The Chinese would also have to contend with two monsoon seasons, from August to September and from November to April; it would be restricted to two “windows” of attack, from May to July and the month of October. Still, such impediments did not thwart U.S. amphibious forces at Inchon during the Korean War; nor did coral reefs and an extremely low tide prevent the seizure of Tarawa in World War II.
It’s unlikely to happen now.
However, this article in Axios from July 29 notes that previous conventional wisdom in the Pentagon operated under the assumption that China would launch its long-awaited invasion of Taiwan sometime between 2025-2030.
Now that is no longer the case. The timeline has moved up. It is now believed that the invasion of Taiwan will happen at some time in the next 18 months. This is a significant development and should not be ignored.
Relatedly, the China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) posted this military hype-up video on Monday as a digital show of strength:
They are sending a loud and clear message that they’re ready to roll.
Since the Chinese Communists took power in 1949, there has only been one President to visit the island of Taiwan: Dwight Eisenhower in 1960. This was when the US officially had no diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and not a decade removed from the US being at war with the Chinese in the Korean War. We were clear-cut enemies with China back then. And China was still a largely agricultural, undeveloped backwater, decades away from legitimately competing with America on the world stage (although they did essentially kick our asses in Korea).
Since Nixon’s “opening” of China in 1971, however, there has been no visit to Taiwan by a US President. Newt Gingrich’s visit to Taiwan in 1997 was the only instance of an extremely high-ranking US official setting foot on the island and treating Taiwan like an independent country.
So this Pelosi visit to Taiwan is a big deal. And China is far more wealthy and powerful today than it was in 1997. In the past, China had to bite its tongue and hold its fire when the US would make overtures to Taiwan. This time around, China actually has the ability to have a say in the matter.
I don’t think we should underestimate this. China is in turmoil right now, Xi’s grip on power is as tenuous as it has ever been. If we keep poking the bear, we should not be surprised if we get mauled.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. And I’m thinking the same thing myself.
However, as much as it would warm my heart to see the Chinese… let’s just say, make good on their threats here, it’s also true that the propaganda and mythmaking machine that is the media/Hollywood would go into hyperdrive turning her into the biggest martyr since JFK. She would literally become a saint. There would be airports and parks and boulevards and high schools named after her from sea to shining sea. They would construct a giant, stone monument to her in DC that takes up 5 city blocks.
And then, to top it all off, they’d demand all of us peasants go fight a land war in Asia against a nation with nukes a population of 1.4 billion to Avenge Nancy Pelosi, the drunken, old insider trading hag.
Trust me, you do NOT want to see Nancy Pelosi assassinated by China.
It’s better if this whole thing goes off without a hitch.
And China knows this.
If you’re China, you know what a disaster it is for America to be run by geriatric scumbags like Pelosi, who will think nothing of selling out the American middle class to… China… just to make a buck.
But as we went over above, China is on high alert here. And we are deliberately provoking them–for no apparent reason other than simply for our dickhead government to be able to show them Who’s Boss:
Update: This article in the Washington Examiner by John Schindler does a good job of putting perspective on the China-Taiwan situation. It puts it into terms that we in America can understand.
Suppose that in the spring of 1865, instead of surrendering at Appomattox, Gen. Robert E. Lee, with Jefferson Davis, led the defeated Confederate Army to exile in Cuba. From that island, 90 miles off Florida, protected by our then-rivals France and Britain, the Confederate government in exile claimed to be the real United States government. This went on for decades. From Cuba, the exiled CSA insisted to the world that it was the real America, and eventually, it’s 1938 and, for Washington, our terrible Civil War still has not ended. How can it have ended when the losers sit right off our shores, taunting us? Many Americans want to crush that arrogant rebel regime, no matter the consequences, to restore the country. To repair what is currently shattered.
Americans are uncomfortable reading that since the Chinese Communists are the bad guys while the democratic Taiwanese are the good guys. But that analogy is roughly how the Taiwan situation looks to many in mainland China, and we’re not talking them out of it.