99 Chinese Balloons
Is Taiwan a porcupine or a possum? Plus two can't-miss recommendations: the liberal world order and an Afghan war autopsy
The Chinese balloon incident is garbage wrapped in nonsense. If you wanted (more) evidence that we have one serious political party and one unserious political party, here you go:
Yes, yes. This ballon threatened the lives of millions of American families and Biden and Harris must both resign today because Kevin McCarthy should be president and this is a serious and well-considered statement by a Republican elected by the Great and Good People of South Carolina to federal office.
Thing is: The Republican party already controls one half of our legislature and is (at least) an even-money proposition to have unified control of the government 24 months from now—and China is a significant threat to global stability.
So we ought to get our heads around the problem best we can, right now.
And this problem has nothing to do with balloons.
The China problem is Taiwan, obviously. The conquest of Taiwan has been a Chinese national objective more or less since the KMT lost their civil war in 1949. This is not a policy that will ever be abandoned under the PRC’s regime. It can only be managed and/or deterred.
Xi Jinping has amassed more power within the CCP than any ruler since Mao and appears to be moving from the consolidation phase of his career to legacy building. Bringing Taiwan under PRC control would put Xi on China’s Commie Mt. Rushmore.
None of this is new. America and our Pacific allies have been dancing around the Taiwan question since the 1970s.
What’s new is that the war in Ukraine has given us some real-world data points on how wars of conquest and “reunification” can proceed in the modern environment.