China is back at what it does best.
If it cannot get its way, it either threatens its neighbours like how it did to Japan three years ago and Vietnam most recently, or make a grab for another’s property like how it did to Singapore’s armoured personnel carriers!
To add insult to injury, Beijing even had the temerity to warn Singapore of possible consequences if the city-state does not calibrate its words and actions. Such threats and deeds are characteristically typical of a schoolyard bully. And a bully China is, because as is too often the case she resorts to an unseemly kind of ‘justice’ even for mere slights however, apparent than real they maybe.
Now it is once again Taiwan’s turn to bear the brunt. After the phone call by Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen to US president-elect Donald Trump and visits by US officials like senator Ted Cruz, tensions careened over into a cauldron.
Reports from various news agencies are now saying that China is planning war games close to the self-ruled island and earlier this month it dispatched a flotilla of warships led by the aircraft carrier, Liaoning.
China should know from experience that the United States is bound by law to come to Taiwan’s defence in the event of hostilities even as Washington is acutely aware that there is only one China and that Taiwan is its territory. If recent memory is any clue, China’s provocations were vividly countered when former US president Bill Clinton despatched an aircraft carrier in March 1996 to shield Taiwan from provocative Chinese actions. It was also to underscore American resolve at protecting the so-called its old friend and entrench the democracy that has been in the island since 1949.
And in 2000, Clinton’s successor George W Bush tested Beijing’s resolve when he promptly asked for the return of a US fighter plane that was intercepted and detained on Hainan island.
Despite having an economic edge over Taiwan – the trade surplus between the two nations, is slated heavily in China’s favour – actions aimed at bringing fear and apprehension can only but point to the very kind of tactics bullies use to coerce and subjugate their victims.
China therefore is a bully and there is no about what it does to nations and peoples’, is hardly the kind of actions that inspires confidence.
And the shy Tsai Ing-Wen is not having any of it. Her country is ready to meet China on its terms and as she told Reuters news agency, Taiwan will be ‘calm’ when meeting out China.