Reading the media reports on the election, I was struck by yet another occurrence of the otherworldly claim that President Ma had "reduced tensions" between China and Taiwan. For tension headaches, take one Ma, call again in four years.
As I linked below, Beijing is giving its domestic audience reassurance that it is tough by warning the US on F-16 sales to Taiwan, sales that I suspect are becoming more likely as Beijing's intransigence across so many areas grows (note to Andrew Jacobs of the NYTimes: the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) DOES NOT require the US to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan, or to do anything at all. It's specifically written that way.).
Why is it almost plausible to unknowing audiences abroad to claim that Ma has reduced tensions? Because, as I have argued many times, one of China's goals is to transfer those tensions to the US-Taiwan relationship, in order to separate Washington from Taipei. I have often pointed out that "reduced tensions" in the Taiwan-China relationship simply mean that China is free to ramp up tensions elsewhere in Asia. But it should also be noted that China has also "reduced tensions" by transfering some of them to the Taiwan-US relationship -- carefully refraining from punishing Taiwan for any of its interactions with the US, but always punishing the US. Hence, the "reduced tensions" are not reduced at all, they are merely redistributed.
Never mind, of course, that China is still ramping up the military threat against Taiwan.
- Taiwanese Americans speak out on 2-28.
- More easing of stock market regs
- China warns the US on F-16 sales. Largely for domestic audiences, but this won't prevent Beijing's symps in the US from whining about how the big bad US is the problem.
- Weirdly, there are actually people who fantasize that China's rising naval prowess might be a good thing. You know the ex-Kremlinites must be kicking themselves that they never introduced capitalism in Russia.
- Imagine it: Chinese gymnast found to be underage at Olympics. ROFL.
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