Troubling Taiwan: Trade and Diplomacy or Gangsterism
Trade and Diplomacy or Gangsterism
[Image: a frame from Richard Medhurst’s discussion of the Pelosi provocation.]
Publication date: 2022-08-02
Update 2022-08-04: New sources one by Pepe Escobar and the other by b. from MoonOfAlabama and a third by Alexander Mercouris are added.
Update 2022-08-07: Added an article by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR as an additional source.
Troubles in Taipei
The trip to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, in an official capacity as a government delegation by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has generated a vehement response by the People's Republic of China's diplomatic community. The reasons for the PRC's response are clear: the USA has consistently declared its adherence to the "One China" policy established by the Nixon administration, and at the same time has been systematically subverting it. China is fully aware of the ongoing process. Its bureaucracy has read the "Great Power Competition" and "Full Spectrum Dominance" papers published by the Pentagon. China is under no illusions. The situation was sufficiently dire for VIPS to issue one of their rare memorandums to the USA President.
Taiwan becoming a recognized independent nation, rather than a territory of China, is the first step towards it becoming a member of a military alliance which already rings China's coast from South Korea to Japan and Guam. The difference is the distance. The main island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is 180 Km from China's mainland. There are also islands of greater Taiwan even closer. Thus, the positioning of missile systems by a hostile power there would be intolerable for the Chinese.
To illustrate the idiocy of the Speaker's visit, just under half of Taiwan's exports are to China. China could easily deny this trade and thus crash the Taiwanese economy without firing a shot. As an initial retaliatory action China has begun some trade blockades with Taiwan, and indefinitely delayed the construction of a lithium battery facility that would have supplied Tesla and Ford.
One of Taiwan's main industries is "chips" (semi-conductors). China has recently shown the capability to produce the latest 7nm fabrication technology and are reported to be building hundreds of factories to produce these. Ergo, in a few years, maybe two, China will be independent of any other country for these essential components of consumer goods, manufacturing and military technology. She could then deny this income stream to Taiwan. Meanwhile, amongst her early trade sanctions against Taiwan the export of sable (clean sand) has been banned. This is essential to semi-conductor production and construction (concrete).
The PRC does not wish to take this route, but it has lost face and responses were to be expected. The peoples of "the west" tend to have a very short view of history. China's is far longer. Her strategy to "retake" Taiwan has been a decades long approach of cultural, economic and political embrace under the "one nation, two systems" type method which China has used for the provinces of Hong Kong and Macau. She may be now accelerating that strategy.
For a very brief history of the islands of Taiwan see an article by this newsletter from almost a year ago, on the then 76th anniversary of the nuclear weapons test visited upon Hiroshima.
There are a plethora of reasons to explain this latest provocation by an element of the USA's government towards the PRC. A simple analysis is the advantage given to the weapons manufacturers by escalating tensions. Another is that a considerable element of Pelosi's district is of Chinese origin who support Taiwanese independence. A more overarching analysis was published by Professor Robinson recently, which considers psychology as a reason for the provocations which have caused the current war in Ukraine, and equally applies to this latest provocation of China over Taiwan. The summary is brutish hubris, to stand alone as the hegemon.
One may ask to what level of stupidity we will allow our "leaders" to lead us towards war, death and poverty? The answer to this question is being provided by leaders who actually care about the quality of life of their citizens. Their response is "we want no part of this". The problem for "the west" is that their method is forming collections of nations, stronger in unity than individuality, who are beginning to trade amongst themselves outside of the old common currency of the USA dollar.
A recent example highlights the differences between the USA and China. Bolivia has the largest known reserves of lithium which is an essential element for modern batteries. To secure access to these resources, the USA ran a military coup against then President Evo Morales using the Organisation of American States (OAS), a body established by the USA, to declare the 2019 election as illegitimate. The "papers of record" all made the same declaration of election interference. A billionaire with a vested interest in batteries declared "We will coup whoever we want".
Actually, it was a completely normal election. The problem was the outcome. In the end the "papers of record" have to admit that they lied, or that the OAS had misrepresented the situation and all they did was report on what the OAS said, but without investigating the claims. At the delayed, next Bolivian election the imposed bible carrying right-wing government was thrown out.
China's approach to securing access to the lithium was to offer investment into mining and processing for the essential ore. The deal would involve Bolivia requiring that companies be formed in Bolivia and pay taxes, and that they hire Bolivian labour. China would have required that their construction and engineering firms be given license to construct and oversee the operations, and that China would have a guaranteed portion of the trade in lithium. This is investment, trade and diplomacy.
The USA has completely lost its way in this regard. Its “leadership” have become accustomed to having the clout to dictate terms. This era has ended, though they seem not to be aware of this change, or as Robinson reports do not possess the psychological maturity to deal with it.
Following the capture of at least USD 130 billion of foreign reserves from the Russian Central Bank by western banking institutions, non-western nations have naturally become suspicious of these banks. To hammer another nail into the coffin of distrust the UK's High Court has recently decided that a man who never stood for election as the President of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, has sole discretion over the USD 1 billion of Venezuelan gold held in the Bank of England. Election interference claims also were used to initiate the proclamation of Mr. Guaido as the “interim president”. As he had never stood for election of the role, the claims are irrelevant.
The non-aligned world are waking up to these gangster tactics, and seeking other alternatives via organisations like BRICS+, the SCO, the EAEU and others.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Pelosi is stirring up trouble in Taiwan reminding all who are the real racketeers.
Pelosi full of praise, support for Taiwan during visit that infuriated China, Yimou Lee and Sarah Wu, Reuters, 2022-08-03
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: Military Clash With China Over Pelosi Visit?, VIPS, Antiwar, 2022-07-30
Taiwan's Kinmen Islands, Only a Few Miles From Mainland China, Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 2015-10-08
China’s Top Chipmaker Achieves Breakthrough Despite US Curbs, Debby Wu and Jenny Leonard, Bloomberg, 2022-07-21
Status anxiety and the war in Ukraine, Paul Robinson, Canadian Dimension, 2022-07-21
London's High Court rules against Venezuela's Maduro in $1 billion gold battle, Marc Jones, Reuters, 2022-07-29
‘We Will Coup Whoever We Want’: Elon Musk and the Overthrow of Democracy in Bolivia, Vijay Prashad and Alejandro Bejarano, Counter Punch, 2020-07-29
How a Missile in Kabul Connects to a Speaker in Taipei, Pepe Escobar, Unz Review, 2022-08-03
How Pelosi's Visit Hurts Taiwan, b., MoonOfAlabama, 2022-08-04
Why the Gulf states’ SCO membership is a big deal, M. K. BHADRAKUMAR, his website, 2022-08-07
Roundtable #8: Mercouris, New Atlas, Smith, Gonzalo Lira interviews Alexander Mercouris, Brian Berletic and Yves Smith, Gonzalo Lira II youtube channel, 2022-08-02
LIVE: US Assassinates Al Qaeda Head Ayman al Zawahiri, Richard Medhurst, youtube and elsewhere, 2022-08-02
RM starts with the al Zawahiri assassination and moved to the Taiwan issue at 00:58:04
China Says US 'Responsible' for Taiwan Crisis After Pelosi Visit; Chinese Military 'Rehearses', Alexander Mercouris, his youtube channel, 2022-08-04
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