By Amarynth for the Saker Blog

Taiwan. In this article, Taiwan crossing the Red Line when the leader of the Taiwan region, Tsai Ing-wen, admitted to the presence of US military trainers on the island for the first time, was discussed. This was an open secret but the admission in public made it necessary for China to respond.  Now it is clear what form the response is taking.  At the time, all the media in English called for ‘punishment’.  There is always the option of kinetic action but China considers Taiwan as Chinese (despite the civil war) and the leadership really does not want to act kinetically against what they consider fellow Chinese. Soon we saw the words, Taiwan Separatists, appearing in the Chinese media. The reunification groups in Taiwan are becoming visible and reunification is presented as a fait accompli.

Here comes the ‘punishment’ but first the ‘accusation’.

China is accusing the Taiwan separatists of crimes against the peace:

  • inciting cross-Straits confrontation,
  • maliciously attacking and slandering the mainland and colluding with foreign forces to split the country.
  • undermining cross-Straits relations, peace, and stability in the Taiwan Straits, and therefore the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation.

This is the punishment

  • The separatists have been placed on a blacklist and circulating in Chinese social media, the words ‘dead or alive’ are used.
  • They and their families are banned from entering the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
  • Organizations related to them are restricted from cooperating with organizations and individuals on the mainland, and enterprises related to them and their financial backers are not allowed to make profits on the mainland.
  • The mainland will pursue criminal responsibility for the separatists in accordance with the law, and they will be held accountable for life.

In other words, they are being treated as traitors to their nation and their state and the peace, and there is no place to hide.

While there is no date for reunification yet, the laws governing such a reunification are being drawn up. The expectation is that the hot public opinion war between the reunificationists, separatists, and mainlanders will continue for a while yet. We can be thankful that it is a public opinion war and for now the probability of kinetic action between China and Taiwan is low. The western forces (US, NATO, European Union, etc.) are the dark horse in this configuration. We don’t know what to expect from a stated policy of strategic ambiguity, but which is openly hostile, running regime change operations, and stationing soldiers as trainers in what is China’s province.  Washington is expected to continue making noise and petty moves until they understand that reunification is not a choice, but a firm given.

The Chinese perspective on this:


[Sidebar] While we are discussing paradigm collapse themes in general in our world, the issue around Taiwan is considered internally as a guide or a measure of the current collapse of the paradigm of a single hegemonic world, into a multipolar world. This is their yardstick and their measure.  In other words, it is a sign of the times.

The RCEP has now been ratified. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement will take effect at the start of January. This is the largest trade agreement in all of the world and in all of history. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea have signed and ratified the RCEP agreement. (This is the agreement where India was part of the group and then would not sign and stomped off).

Yes, you are right to sit up and take notice. Both Australia and Japan are in the lineup. What do we make of that?  Australia is most probably figuring out where their food comes from and this is the first trade agreement where Japan is involved with both China and South Korea.

RCEP is huge. It groups the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

In the past few weeks, we had the twin spectacles of the G20 meeting and COP26 with the two most imminent leaders in our world not only not attending, but giving short shrift to the messaging in general, both leaders making simple statements that they will do what they will do generally but will fulfill agreements that they made.

[Sidebar] Again we can link this to a paradigm collapse theme in general where the disintegrating late-Washington world order attempts to implement political technology projects, doomed to fail, for people with no critical thinking.

And just days after COP26, China took the lead again by launching a new sophisticated Earth-science satellite. They have about 30 similar but less sophisticated measuring systems in orbit, but this one is dedicated to the UN 2030 Agenda, of course, to meet and fulfill agreements made with a factual presentation of actual data. What becomes clear is that the cheaters and self-worshipping big hot air statement makers from COP26 cannot hide their own actions any longer. (You can run but you can’t hide). If there are agreements to be made, China will measure the data and do the count.

Developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the satellite will carry out precision analysis of energy consumption, habitat patterns, and coastal areas in the vicinity of human populations, and provide data for sustainable development indicators.  This launch is the 395th flight of the Long March rocket series, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.

A few data points gleaned from the Here Comes China Newsletter from Godfree Roberts (link at the end).

Governance:  President Xi proposed a ten-year education plan for SCO members, four of which are Central Asian nations: 30,000 government scholarships to study in China, plus 10,000 places for Confucius Institute teachers and students. Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a fluent Mandarin speaker, studied in China. Ex-deputy PM Dariga Nazarbayev argued that closer ties to China is the destiny of Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Japarov‘s parents lived in China for decades. Read full article →

The US is attempting to disrupt China’s Belt & Road Initiative across many parts of the world, so the BRI is setting up shop in Cuba, says Tom Fowdy, “China’s willingness to deepen ties with Cuba is illustrative of a broader strategic shift. In the past few years, Beijing may have been too wary of getting close to Havana for fear of upsetting the US or diluting its unilateral sanctions, but as the new reality of US-China competition has crystalized, and as Washington has sought to exploit the role of Taiwan, Cuba naturally becomes a means to push back”. Read full article →

The UN passed a Chinese draft resolution calling for peaceful cooperation on international security, the first arms control resolution proposed by Beijing in its 30 years as a member state. “Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security”, was approved with 75 votes in favour and 55 against. Beijing’s resolution was fuelled by a desire to enhance international security by preventing harmful military cooperation between countries, citing the trilateral Aukus deal in particular. Read full article →

Covid Policy in China.  China moved fast and closed down a Disney theme park in about 2 hours and tested everyone.  They also closed down schools for Covid testing. They believe that a Zero Covid policy is less costly than living with it and reintroducing restrictions each time outbreaks occur, China’s top expert, Zhong Nanshan, says. “The country had no option but to aim for zero infections because the coronavirus was replicating quickly and the global death rate of about 2% was unacceptable. Some countries have decided to open up entirely despite still having a few infections. That led to a large number of infections in the past two months and they decided to reimpose restrictions. This flip-flopping is more costly and the psychological impact on citizens is greater.”

The Sixth Plenum

Best described as the beginning of a new epoch, the Sixth Plenum of the 19th Party Congress has started. This is a big deal with a “resolution on history” on the cards. Only three of these have been adopted. The first was in 1945 and served to firmly cement Mao’s era of revolution. The second was adopted in 1981 and served a similar function for Deng with his reform and opening-up policy. It is expected that Xi Jinping will be established as a long-term party leader and charting what is termed a new era.  These resolutions are not only statements of the past, but serve strongly to confirm a new direction. The era of the Deng Xiaoping-inspired “opening and reform era” is now closing and Xi Jinping’s New Era will be entered as the era of Common Prosperity. While we usually talk about Mao and Deng and now Xi Jingping, the acknowledged representatives of the Chinese System and CCP are Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao.

We will hear more from this Plenum.  It is clear, that at least in China, they consider this to be of considerable importance.

Something that people should bear in mind when looking at Chinese governance:  These are not entry-level people.  By the time that they become household names, they have solid education and successful previous governance experience.  China is a merit-based country in its governance.

Please go and enjoy episode six of Nathan Rich’s excellent Epic China series, dealing specifically with the opium war.  Note that 1839 was the last year in history that China was completely free of official foreign interventionism.

In 1839, The Qing Dynasty sought to reason with Britain (“The Lion”), to stop its illegal cartel opium smuggling operations.

Here is the playlist of previous episodes.

Many of the data points here are courtesy of Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here:

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