The goading of China continues day after day. Pelosi was just the most recent deliberate provocationAug 16, 2022
The path to war in Asia – crossing the Rubicon.
The conditions for a war in Asia are ripening by the day, but be under no illusion, this situation is not organically happening. These conditions have been engineered for quite some considerable time. The unrelenting rhetoric, near constant media coverage and propaganda we are being subjected to daily is not in any way simply a result of ‘happenings’ or in response to ’emergent events’. On the contrary, this march to war has been a long and carefully orchestrated, craftfully engineered objective by the architects of this strategy.
The fragility of the geopolitical situation grows more uncertain with each passing week. As we entered 2022 the geopolitical situation took a dire turn with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, at the same time, the pressure continued to be directed to China over Taiwan, the South China Sea, Xinjiang and the Uyghurs and Hong Kong. The focus has been gradually shifting away from the war in Ukraine and building back towards China and Taiwan, ‘pivoting the emphasis’ back to Asia. This is not by chance, nor responsive to the growing need to divert attention from the war in Ukraine. It was always going to go this anti- China direction. This shift is part of a long, well-planned strategy of confrontation and conflict with China, with Taiwan as the catalyst.
See the following article – https://johnmenadue.com/taiwan-tension-is-latest-stage-of-a-precision-engineered-plan/
The below article further spells out why Ukraine is but a stepping stone to this objective. https://johnmenadue.com/ukraine-and-implications-for-taiwan/
These pressure valves around China have been pressed and adjusted as and when needed over the past few years. They are adjusted as and when it suits to maintain the strategy of ‘continuity of pressure’ on China. See here for analysis: https://johnmenadue.com/strategists-admit-west-is-goading-china-into-war/
The greatest challenge to comprehending and understanding that a strategy to goad China into a war does exist is contained in the sheer volume of information with happenings, events, incidents, pronouncements and actions on a now daily basis. The challenge is at what point in time one chooses to anchor the beginning of this strategy. One could start in 2001 with China’s ascension to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), or in 1997 with the return of Hong Kong to China , or delve further back in time to 1989 – Tiananmen Square, or 1986 – the China Spring.
However, filtering them is a gargantuan task.There’s simply too many instances which would essentially drown out the critical events. Therefore, the trimmed timeline below is designed to filter the information and identify the key events that demonstrate a discernible beginning for current events and strategy. One needs to start with a more recent date as being a catalyst for a visible commencement of the end game.
But a brief point for consideration before looking at the timeline. After China’s ascension to the WTO there was evidently a honeymoon period between the U.S. and China. This was a period whereby the U.S. perceived that liberal democracy would take hold in China and result in political, social and economic change and bring about transformational reform in the country. That patently didn’t happen. But it took a few years of natural process for the U.S. to realise the ‘wait and see’ approach was simply not going to work.
This propels us to 2008 and then President Obama’s announcement of the U.S. ‘Pivot to Asia’ to strengthen the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific region and counter China’s growing influence. But as with all such policies there is a lead- in period, they take time to formulate and implement. Consequently, I have chosen 2017 as the visible start date for conciseness. 2017 was significant for the establishment of the Quadrilateral defence alliance between the U.S., Japan, India and Australia.
- The reinvention of the previously dormant ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (2007) into the QUAD ‘Defense Alliance’ in September 2017
- 2018 the US-China trade War and the Tech War launched
- 2018 the Uyghur / Xinjiang media campaign commences in earnest
- 2018 France announces and implements Indo-Pacific Strategy
- 2018 Release of the U.K. Indo-Pacific Strategy
- April 2019 China appears on NATO’s agenda for the first time.
- June 2019 Hong Kong Protests encouraged by the US.
- NATO’s ‘Pivot to China – ’In December 2019 NATO members adopted an interim classified report which governed and resulted in the ‘London Declaration, issued by NATO Heads of State and Government’
- January 2020 the Covid Pandemic starts – Trump starts referring to the virus as the ‘China Virus’
- 2020 Sanctions pressure increases on China over Xinjiang and Hong Kong
- 2020 Germany Announces Indo-Pacific Strategy
- Early 2021 West collectively begin compiling preemptive sanction packages against Russia and China
- February 2021 definition of NATO Article 5 – Mutual Defence Pact – redefined to extend geographical scope to Indo-Pacific and introduce technical scope – Cyber-attacks
- April 2021 E.U. Announces Indo-Pacific Strategy
- June 2021 G7 Summit calls for ‘commonality of purpose’ against China and unified stance
- June 2021 NATO Summit, alteration and adaption of redefined Article 5 of NATO – Mutual Defence Pact adopted at the NATO Summit on the back of the G7 summit
- The surprise announcement of the AUKUS pact in September 2021, clearly agreed and established prior to the NATO summit in June.
- September 2021 E.U. ratifies Indo-Pacific Strategy
- October 2021 Japan relaunches their ‘modified’ flat top helicopter carrier warships as aircraft carriers
- April 2021 to December 2021 the buildup of 60,000 Ukrainian forces in the Donbass.
- October 2021 to December 2021 E.U. and individual nation states – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia, increase engagement with Taiwan
- December 2021 Russia puts their security concerns and suggested remedial actions to NATO, U.S. and E.U. They were universally blanked and ignored.
- January 19th 2022 Ukraine Democracy Defence Lend -Lease Act S.3522 is introduced by Sen. John Cornyn. (Yes, prior to any Russian military action).
- February 2022 Russia launches ‘Special Military Operation’ into Ukraine.
- March 2nd Former US Secretary of State Pompeo arrives in Taiwan and refers to the island as an ‘independent state’.
- March 2022 the NATO Cyber Defence Group (CDG) votes to extend membership to 5 non-NATO members
- South Korea
- The further extension of invitations to 3 additional ‘non-NATO members’ to the Madrid Summit in June, all Asia Pacific nations:
- New Zealand
- April 2022 US House Majority Speaker Nancy Pelosi cancels planned trip to Taiwan because of having contracted Covid19.
- May 2022 South Korea officially accepted into NATO’s Cyber Defence Group – CDG.
- June 2022 Japan announces they will station an active serving Defence Attaché in Taiwan, indicating a significant and seismic shift by Japan since WWII
- June 2022 Senators Lindsay Graham (D-N.J.) and Bob Menendez (R-S.C.) introduce the bipartisan Taiwan Policy Act. The legislation represents the most comprehensive restructuring of US policy towards Taiwan. It includes the provision of US$4.5 billion in security assistance over the next four years.
- June 2022 The Monterey Dialogue – strategic national security discussions between the U.S. and Taiwan are moved forward by 5 months to take place one week before the NATO Summit. (Note; this is the first time since their inception after the 3rd Taiwan Straits crisis that they have been moved).
- 29th – 30th of June NATO Summit Madrid Spain. NATO members agree and adopt a new strategic concept
- June 30th Japanese PM calls for significant upgrade of his countries ties with NATO.
- July 2022 NATO announces expansion of cooperation with Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
- July 6th Japan proposes sending warships through the Taiwan straits.
- July 7th FBI and Mi5 leaders deliver joint statement on Chinese threat.
- July 12th Australia urges US to expand Asia military presence to avoid ‘catastrophe’
- July 2022 US House passes the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) bolting an additional US$ 37 billion onto the budget to exceed US$ 800 billion
- July 15th 2022 China demands an end to US and Taiwan military collusion
- July 16th US State department approves US$108 million military technical assistance to Taiwan.
- July 19th EU Parliament VP, highest EU MEP to visit Taiwan, announces Europe must stand firm on the side of Taiwan as part of a “family of democracies”
- July 19th Mark Esper, former US Defence Secretary, leading an Atlantic Council delegation pronounces (personal view!) alongside Taiwanese President that it is time to abandon the “Strategic Ambiguity Policy”
- July 21st CIA chief warns “Beijing looks determined to use force to take the island”
- July 27th Statement from White House: The Biden administration has grown increasingly anxious this summer about China’s statements and actions regarding Taiwan
- August 1st “In the event of a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan, the EU, together with the U.S. and allies, will take similar or tougher measures than they are currently taking against the Russian Federation,” EU Ambassador to China Jorge Toledo
- August 2nd Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan, setting of a chain reaction of condemnation from Beijing and the lowest point in Sino-US relations since before Nixon’s February 1972 visit to China establishing formal relations with the PRC.
- China launches military and naval exercises around Taiwan
Boiling the Frogs
Just as diplomatic recognition of China was the purpose and the outcome of Nixon’s 1972 China visit, a new process of recognition denial is currently also underway. What the US is doing, aided and abetted by the EU, and NATO, is an erosion of the status quo. There is a de facto reversal of the diplomatic recognition of China’s sovereignty over Taiwan agreed under the ‘Three Communiques’ of 1972, 1979 and 1982, with a disingenuous shift to diplomatic recognition of the ‘Democratic Taiwanese government’ over China’s sovereign claim.
We can expect these ‘stealth recognitions’ to increase and intensify in the coming weeks and months. But it actually has little to do with Taiwanese sovereignty as it does with provoking and cajoling China into reacting. The objective is to lure China into a conflict whereby blame can squarely be apportioned to China as the aggressor. The consent of the ‘international community’, as defined by a clique of western countries, is being manufactured to this effect and has been for so some time.
As one can deduct from the timeline above there has been a graduated and incremental increase in actions from the US and the west over Taiwan over a long period. However, one third of this timeline detail has taken place in the past six weeks. Pause and consider that. The actions of the Western powers, led by the US, towards China, are designed to provoke Beijing over its own clearly identified red line. A red line Beijing thought would keep matters in check has essentially become the stick to beat and cajole China into taking the bait.
The frogs have been slowly boiled over the past few years. The temperature has been turned up a few necessary degrees since late 2021.It is now, with the events of the past six weeks being turned to boiling point. The White House claims that it is trying to delay the Taiwan Relations Act passage. Given the current situation this is both a disingenuous claim and a highly provocative move. The timing of the Act on the back of Pelosi’s trip is patently designed to inflame and heighten tensions. China is being goaded tim and time again.
The Thucydides Trap is being sprung on Beijing and although Beijing seems to understand this, there is little opportunity to avoid the trap. It would appear that the march to war is nearing its climax. Though, the US thought China’s reaction would be what the US desired and anticipated, it hasn’t yet gone that way. Beijing has been shrewd enough to avoid firing the first shot. Although the Chinese military exercises have wrapped up, military activities have increased around the Straits and will continue to increase.
The US, EU and NATO stealth strategy of erosion of the status quo coupled to provocation may well not, just yet, yield the sought-after catalyst of necessary military confrontation to unleash the already prepared economic sanctions that will accompany confrontation. The game is still playing out, the catalyst could come in a different form with China’s hybrid strategy towards Taiwan leaving plenty of non-violent actions. However, what is clear, cold war, hot war, or combination thereof, the US China policy has crossed the Rubicon, a new status quo is emerging regarding Taiwan.