China Telling the US “We Aren’t Cowards”

July 24, 2016

          The words were renounced back to Obama, “The Chinese people do not make trouble, but are not cowards when trouble is made for them.”


           It is a tempestuous world we live in. Chinese nationalism will not abide by the US’ and Japan’s South China Sea arbitration tribunal decision against China. What’s comical is that every single claim was unilaterally awarded to the Philippines; and of course the Philippines were ecstatic.


            The historical message from China is clear: China is China and they believe they’ve defeated the Japanese fascists. It was China that beat the US on Korean battleground. The message that they want to get across to the US-led NATO is that the Chinese people are not to be bullied and that China’s sovereignty and dignity are not to be violated.


            Perhaps Obama is too young to understand Chinese nationalism. In the Korean War it was the US that told China it would not cross the 38th parallel. They crossed it. Then the US said that China would not cross the 40th parallel. They crossed it. Even though the US was there to protect Japan, China was convinced that they were the target.


            Today, China believes the US is stirring up trouble between them and the Philippines. China is cognizant that the Philippines are commonly referred to as the ‘Sick Man of Asia’. The Philippine economy is based on corruption, graft, bribery, embezzlement, patronage, and backdoor deals fuelling a large shadow economy that believes itself to be colonized by a superpower.


            It was Xi Jinping that raised the corruption threshold to the point where any corruption will be served with a death sentence. This is how important their investment in the Economic Silk Road Belt initiative is. The US simply seeks out certain types of Asian countries plagued with economic instability and corruption to do their bidding for their rebalancing position in the Asia Pacific region.


            China emphasized the farce and lack of any legal fairness that violated China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights in the South China Sea. What’s odd is Japan’s behavior. Their economy faltered a bit and has them scrambling for economic stimulus. However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an error and lost face. He met with former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to teach Japan a lesson about monetary policy.


            Bernanke knew that Japan was short on ammunition and therefore decided to tell the world that Japan is not short on ammunition for the purpose of easing fear. Abe needs a stimulated economy and the reason why is because he’s spending over $40 billion on American fighter jets and not Mitsubishi fighter jets. In fact he wants to increase his military spending to over $100 billion to counter China, and that’s why Mr. Bernanke came to the rescue citing ‘helicopter money’.


            Helicopter money is a radical form of monetary easing whereby a central bank directly finances government spending. Japan’s previous use of this strategy led to high inflation that took decades to recover from. First off, why was Ben Bernanke invited? I doubt it very much that Abe wanted to talk to him. If there was something to talk about then Abe may have suggested that Ben should provide AH-64 Apache helicopters to counteract China’s land reclamation; that would’ve been more constructive to say the least.


            The Chinese military command were confounded and probably told themselves that Japan can not come up with any economic decisions without the US knocking on their door. But that’s the way Japan’s cultural norms are rectified in the geopolitical context. They need approval rather than standing up on their own.


            China referred to an old proverb when referring to Shinzo Abe, “Let those who tied the bell on to the tiger be the ones to untie it.” The bell was tied to Japan and they simply can’t just untie it because they lack the confidence to do so. Vice Foreign Minister of China Liu Zhenmin stepped up his A-game, “China will now decide whether to declare an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea in accordance with the extent of a threat.”


            Russia’s, China’s, and many other nations’ investments in the Asia Pacific region are monumental. A rising power will not fold over when nationalism has made claims indicating they’re not willing to budge. Mr. Obama, your move.



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