Tuesday 9 August 2022

Row, row, row your boat … towards the new normal

(mine, dashed off, and with errors, like not crossing a “T”)
Seals are ones I carved a 傅 and a 赛
The Chinese have a saying (don’t they always?): 

Loosely translated: “when rowing a boat upstream, if you stop moving forward you fall back”. 逆水行舟,不進則退nì shuǐ xíng zhōu , bù jìn zé tuì.

I’ve always rather liked it. But consider: there's a third alternative. You can row just fast enough to stay in the same place. Like Michael Phelps’ swim spa. And that’s the status quo

The status quo is often very good place to be. It’s been the case for Taiwan my whole life: all three parties agreeing to disagree in a policy of “strategic ambiguity”. [It’s also the best for the Israel/Palestine, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue…]

And now Pelosi has stumbled in and rocked the boat, changed the status quo, thrown an oar out the boat, disturbed the rowers, and our little boat of status quo is falling back downstream.

China is now encircling Taiwan at will. It has exclusion zones surrounding it, and is freely sailing its warships right up to the coast. That’s a new normal. And it’s not good for Taiwan. 

Three articles today and one from yesterday in the Post are some decent coverage. There’s a view from China, by Xie Maosong. For it matters not one tittle and not one jot what I think about this. Or what Tim Plate thinks, or what other expats think, or what the Hong Kong people think, or even what the Taiwan people think (which happens to be over 80% against “reunification”). What matters is what China thinks. 

Tom Plate makes an interesting point which I should’ve known but didn’t. That Pelosi’s San Francisco electorate is heavily Taiwanese. I’ll take Tom’s word for that. But Pelosi is 82 for goodness sake! What’s she doing being driven by electoral politics?  [ADDED: my mate at the coffee shop, a San Fran resident, Chinese-American, says that used to be the case, but now the Chinese community there (~16% of the SF population) is more 50/50 mainland and Taiwanese]. The articles: