Friday, December 2, 2016

Xi to the 硬派: You make us look ridiculous

HK customs consulting with their Chinese masters and struggling to come up with a good reason for detaining our Terrex vehicles. That is what happens when ideology clashed with the pragmatic good: the ideologue and prejudiced party look ridiculous. Well since China is so big and strong they are more likely to be seen as a bully than stupid. Power gives you the wherewithal to get away with stupid policies which is what is going to come out of Trump's America.

Bullying is hard power and it only works with the morally weak and compromised, and only up to a point. To advance your agenda you need soft power and the Chinese has been inflicting self damage from being pushy over the South China Sea. Unfortunately this is damage Xi Jiping's party has to accept from the ideological 硬派 in a complex game of competing and collaborating priorities. The media cannot successfully dissect the interconnections and so fail to explain to readers the true picture. In fact it regularly reduce what is highly complex into a sports metaphor of winning and losing in serial games. Might as well get the sports editor to stand in for the foreign editor eh? Well to be fair I am not making this clear enough either but that is the privilege of blogging for myself.

Eventually the Chinese will come up with some face saving way resolve this which we would quietly accept. Again the 硬派 would have relearned the lesson they keep failing that we cannot be bullied. At the end of the day keeping our armored vehicles for a while only serve to tell the world how the second biggest bully tried and failed to scare one of the smallest states in the world. Any other middling nations thinking they can pull a fast one of us would surely give up the idea.

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