About China

With a few days to gain some perspective and observe the reactions, I will "go there" about the phone call from Taiwan's President to Trump.
I realized that everyone's reaction to it was first and foremost motivated by fear. Fear of China that is.
It is kind of like that "problem Uncle" at Thanksgiving who gets smashed and then you never know which uncomfortable behaviour he is going to engage in next but there is always something.
My own first reaction was the same - "Oh, shit, what will China do." And it is the same with other things about China - when I see 1 Million protesters on the streets of Seoul protesting against their President, I am not concerned that there will be some massive world altering blow up. If that happened in Shanghai, I'd be booking next available SpaceX ticket to get off this planet 'cause that wasn't gonna be pretty. I get nervous when 2 legislators in Hong Kong "behave badly" in a way that would not be news anywhere else but with China watching, who knows.
We have all accepted a state where China dictates how things will be. China is big, and it is scary because anything to do with it has global consequences by definition. It is also completely unique where any rules that we are familiar with do not necessarily apply.
The broader question is why have we acquiesced to that and is there any other way to interact with China? Have we simply accepted reality or is there an alternative. And there is also the question of is China a "good actor" on the world stage.
After all, China unilaterally says that nobody has any right to say anything about what happens inside China; it censors its press beyond what Russia does; it builds air strips on rocks in South China Sea for the sole purpose of claiming all of South China Sea for itself against the interests of Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and all others. It emits more CO2 into the atmosphere every day than the US and Europe combine;, it imposes tariffs arbitrarily on imported goods; has state controlled entities dominating its economy and yes, uses exchange rates to make it exports more competitive. And in UN Security Council it yesterday vetoed a resolution on Aleppo siding with Russia.
On the policy front, "pivot to Asia" was essentially meaningless, nothing significant or lasting can be shown to has emerged from it.
I don't care how many years it has been since a US President spoke to the President of Taiwan, I really don't. I want to know why we accept China's game of looking at that as "OMG, what will China think" when we do not think the same way about Taiwan buying $2 BN worth of F-16 from the US. One is more "destabilizing" than the other. Which one is it?


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