In the game of geopolitics, Ukraine is on its way to being an abandoned pawn. The people of Taiwan need to take note, warns Dr. Wilson Chan.
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, under the guise of promoting “democracy” and “human rights”, helps the wicked perpetuate wicked deeds.
Now, its approval rating is hitting an all-time low. It launched an economic war, a propaganda war, and a tech war (initiated by the detention of Huawei executive Sabrina Meng); but these are increasingly seen through by its allies.
What’s next? We see a moral war, a currency war, and a trade war.
First, the moral war: The US is lonely, abandoned by allies
Israel, responding to the October 7 Hamas attack, is using genocide as a tool of war, killing more than 20,000 Palestinians, or more than 1% of the population, in just three months.
Hospitals, schools and refugee camps have been bombed, journalists and French diplomats killed, and unarmed hostages holding up white flags shot dead.
There is overwhelming evidence for this, yet the U.S. Government insists on providing military assistance to Israel, and opposes United Nations’ resolutions calling for a humanitarian ceasefire.
In contrast, the United States was quick to issue condemnations and sanctions regarding the so-called destruction of Xinjiang, despite that being a fabricated story.
This double standard is clear, and it will be hard for the US to convince most developing countries of the rightness of its position.
STANDING FOR JUSTICE
The pioneers of justice in this situation have been the Yemen’s Houthi forces and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia. The first group attacks Israel-bound commercial ships in the Red Sea, and the second bans Israeli ships from docking in Malaysia.
Seventy percent of freight in the area is affected by the situation, so the US has launched a multinational operation to protect Red Sea shipping. However, most allies have been clearly reluctant to contribute, so the US operation has become a bit of a joke.
One of the results is that China, standing on the side of justice, can transport goods via CR Express, the Chinese logistics firm, to reduce the impact of transport disruption, while European allies of the US will face rising costs and will pay the highest prices.
The reluctant allies were pushed to be part of the team, but what happened? First, the US received only a few perfunctory responses, and second, it became clear that the US didn’t dare to directly face war alone! Based on this, can it be said that its military strength and leadership even still exists?
But allies have had trouble with the US before. Remember the 2003 lie about Weapons of Mass Destruction (with “evidence” which turned out to be laundry powder)? This was a pretext to invade Iraq and kill its president. The UK admitted in 2016 that its participation in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 175,000 civilians, was illegal. Allies know they are being used.
Second, we see a currency war harming relations with allies.
US President Joe Biden is (in modern palance) a scammer. Or to use the language of The Analects of Confucius, he is “The man with no creditability”.
After taking office in 2021, Joe Biden’s stated foreign policy was to “repair relations with our alliances”, but the reality was very different. International payment (SWIFT) data in November 2023 shows that the euro has become a big loser, and its proportion of global payment currencies has plummeted from 40% to 20% in three years.
ENERGY PROBLEMS FOR EUROPE
Before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started two years ago, China and Russia had just reached a 30-year natural gas contract, which would be settled in euros to get rid of the long-arm jurisdiction of the dollar.
The currency of U.S. allies seemed to benefit, but the situation soon took a turn for the worse. In October, the former German Chancellor said in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung that Germany and France wanted to seek peace and even agree to not allow Ukraine to join NATO. Unfortunately, the US alone opposed it, and the war eventually broke out.
A proxy war, coupled with allied sanctions and the cutting off of currency payments, put Russia under pressure.
AMERICA’S FRIENDS SUFFER
The loss of energy supply meant that the US, a major oil-producing country, has become one of the few beneficiaries. Europe that gave up cheap energy and goods, and Europe suffered the most. At the same time, it was forced to resist China’s so-called “coercion”, and the supply chain was further damaged so that the allies saw their economies sink under the pressure of inflation. It was inevitable that the Euro currency lost popularity.
Japan’s century-old “Toshiba” and the French technology giant “Alstom” were persecuted by the US Government. Furthermore, allies have been intimidated into seeing China’s 5G infrastructure as “security risks”, which will slow future development.
To summarize with a famous line attributed to Henry Kissinger: “It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”
3. Trade war: Loyal or traitor, US seeking honour as an ally
Under the pretext of supporting “human rights” and “democracy”, the real essence of US activity is taking an “America First” attitude or pushing for the interests of the plutocrats of the Military-Industrial Complex.
A large amount of funds supporting election candidates come from military-industrial companies, and the sale of guns cannot be banned due to special interest groups.
Allies have been forced to support U.S. aims but most of the benefits were ultimately sent to the military-industrial companies of the US too. Allies, betrayed again.
TRADE NOT WAR
For the sake of people’s livelihood, war and confrontation should not be promoted. Promote economy and trade instead. For example, when Hong Kong was severely hit by SARS in 2003, and the economy fell into a downturn, the mainland helped Hong Kong sign the “Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement” and pioneered individual tours to visit Hong Kong and Macau. Thus, Hong Kong restarted momentum.
So far, there have been as many as ten supplementary agreements covering trade in goods, trade in services and investment facilitation, cross-border certification of professionals, and the development of large markets to learn from each other’s strengths and form a super city cluster with bright prospects.
However, the U.S. Government continues to make arbitrary accusations, slanderous statements, and levy arbitrary sanctions on Hong Kong’s integration into the country’s overall development.
MAINLAND CHINA AND TAIWAN
Consider the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. This was a pact launched by Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou in 2010. The huge mainland market helped Taiwan earn a huge trade surplus.
However, when it was upgraded to “trade in services” in 2014, it faced misguided opposition from the “Sunflower Student Movement.” As a result, the new agreement was stillborn, and investment convenience was lost.
In recent years, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party government has superficially implemented but secretly undermined the agreement, unilaterally restricting the import of more than 2,000 products to the mainland. The agreement is about to become ineffective.
The White House’s plan to assist the economy turned out to be a forced ban on chip sales to mainland China. Are American politicians promoting war or promoting the economy? The answer is very clear. Experience is the best teacher. Please put things right for the sake of the welfare of the people.
4. Propaganda War: Deception and false allies will perish
US documentation reveals that Biden administration signed the Strategic Competition Act, which is spending US$1.5 billion on negative media reporting against China in a five-year period.
But the truth can be seen. The liberal democracy of Taiwan has led to endless, specious, and fragmented debates leading to various rationalizations.
Trust in Taiwan’s media was only 28%, one of the lowest scores in the world, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2023.
In both Ukraine, we see heavy involvement with the US National Endowment for Democracy, better known as NED. The same is true for Taiwan.
Ukraine has been turned into the ashes of war, and soon, it is becoming a pawn which has been abandoned. Its citizens are dying and isolated, leaving behind a broken country and a huge national debt.
Biden has been seen patting Zelensky on the shoulder to express his support, and that seems to be happening to some politicians in Taiwan today.
The hypocritical White House government has become the public enemy of all mankind. If it fades or collapses, its allies will surely be scattered. Some European politicians, leaders, chairmen of some committees, etc., have betrayed their people and sought glory, forcing Ukraine to go to war and condoning Israel’s war crimes.
History will judge them.
Chinese sons and daughters of Taiwan. Don’t make the mistake of entrusting your lives to others. Which US ally has come to a good end?
I close with a poem:
The White House: Road to destruction
Howling at a bright moon,
Claiming the highest morality;
The sheepskin makes it look kind
But it is a wolf, ready to bite.
Dr Wilson Chan is an academic and commentator based in Hong Kong.
Artwork at the top by fridayeveryday.