Can the United States Invasion of Iraq in 2003 Be A Good Model for China’s Possible Invasion of Taiwan?

I’m no strategic kind of person since I’m rather a straightforward chap. Nonetheless, I do have my own opinions in the matter of whatever could be happening in the next decades or so. I don’t think I’m prophetic, but I guess if you keep guessing, something ought to turn out just like the way you’ve had imagined. Thus, if the experts are correct on how China would want to invade Taiwan soon, then I think China will do it in a similar fashion to how the United States had done Iraq in 2003. A complete overwhelming show of force.

By showing an overwhelmed show of force in Iraq, the United States has made China eagerly to update and upgrade its military structure, tech strategy, and weapon knowhows. China would not want to be the next Iraq. So, it is logical for China to think like the United States if China has to invade Taiwan. I think China will try to overwhelm Taiwan in an invasion of Taiwan to the point that, perhaps, could shame the one that the United States had done in Iraq in 2003. Why? By overwhelming an enemy force rather easily, China sends a message to unfriendly countries that it’s not to be trifled with.

I think the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the fall of Saddam Hussein had pushed China to be even more cautious and paranoid of the United States. This event may have had pushed China into going all out in upgrading its military and related capabilities. Furthermore, China is now eager to advance in other tech industry sectors such as quantum computer/satellite and space techs. This way, China could use these advances during peacetime for economic purposes — but the dual usage of these capabilities will be a tremendous, helpful kind of force in wartime for China.

An Honest Opinion: Can the West Decouple from China?

I have a feeling that even though the West is trying to decouple from China, with job loss increases during an ongoing pandemic, I don’t see how a country like the United States can bring jobs home since unemployment is going to be high still. By this, I feel that with more people are relying on the government to create jobs and whatnot, bring jobs home mean companies in the United States have to hire more and spend more to produce anything. Meanwhile, China is once again increasing the output of their manufacturing, albeit that wages are increasing in China, the living costs in China are still way cheaper than the West, and so I think their wages won’t be rising to a point that foreign companies want to shift their manufacturing bases away from China faster. After all, producing in China does save on the costs of shipping and exporting.

Producing at home means that local companies have to be able to produce things cheaper than their foreign imports. Usually, import stuff should be more expensive than locally made since there are import costs and shipping costs that would add on to the top of the costs of the goods that are being made elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s also depending on how productive a local manufacturing base is and other variables such as how cheap are the local wages and whatnot. Furthermore, we also have to worry about how is the local economy is doing. To add salt to the already infected wound, the COVID 19 pandemic is still an ongoing thing. So, I don’t see how decoupling from China is easy at all.

When we are trying to decouple from China, we should be prepared for China’s backlash such as how China would ramp up their distaste for foreign products even though most of these products are being produced in China. For an instance, China could ramp up the investigation into foreign companies that are actively opened for business in China, and by doing this China could persuade its people to trust less on foreign imports. By doing this China could also support their local economy through local made, and so in the long run China would be less exposed to foreign imports. I also see that China is producing much more stuff for foreign countries than foreign countries produce stuff for them — in a way why would China import more stuff when they could make everything at home?

As the United States tries to ramp up the pace of decoupling with China, China could see itself ramp up the pace of relying less on foreign imports. Meanwhile, China could also make it a lot harder for foreign companies to operate in China. At home, Western companies are facing the uglier local economy, and so these companies may not be able to produce higher revenues from local markets. Now, through geopolitical conflicts between China and the United States, it would make a lot harder for Western companies to make profits in China. Of course, Asia is a big place, and so Western companies should be able to ramp up their marketing elsewhere! The question is can other places replace the loss of the Chinese market?

Can Historical Memories Shape A Future?

Can historical memories shape a future? In my opinion, historical memories could play a great role in shaping the direction of a future even though on the surface we may not see such things happen. For an example, the horrific revenge of the Soviet Union against Germany as Soviet Union troops entered Germany when the Nazi continuedly retreated as the WWII winded down. This pushed Germany to fight the Soviet Union harder and preferred to surrender to the allies.

The Soviet Union’s behavior right after WWII is a great example of why the Soviet Union lost the cold war according to Dr. Citino. If I remembered correctly he said something as such in the YouTube video above. I guess if he is right on this perspective of history, we have a lesson to learn here!

I guess the lesson of history in the context of this blog post is that a careless single victory in the present doesn’t mean much if it could cause long term pain in the future! For an example, we have multiple nuclear powers in the world as we speak, but if any one of them uses nuclear weapons carelessly, this could lead to a future that would not be very favorable for such a power.

I wonder, could Japan be closer to the United States and prevent China historic rise if the United States had won WWII against Japan without nuking Japan? In the video right after the break, Parag Khanna suggests that Japan’s heavied investments into China had contributed today stronger China!

Perhaps, I’m reading into things that simply aren’t there, but I have a feeling that Japan does want China to be quite strong to hedge against the United States. Perhaps, they fear the will of using nuclear weapons by the United States. I don’t see any reason for the United States to ever nuke Japan again. but I feel that Japan may have a long memory of it being nuked by the United States. Sure, it’s outrageous to think that Japan is unfaithful to the United States since it’s still a very close ally to the United States. Nonetheless, I’m sure there must be a thinking out there like this, and so we can’t just totally ignore the possibility!

In summary, I think a victor should not be as ruthless as Genghis Khan or the Soviet Union, because such a ruthless victor would not be able to win the respect of the surrendered power! On the surface, the surrendered power may acquiesce to the demands of the victor, but inside the surrendered power could have a feeling of long term ill will. I think today nuclear powers should not use their nuclear weapons carelessly no matter how precise and strategic their nuclear weapons could become because I think such powerful weapons could create unending hatred of one people or power to another!

I Think China Wants The United States To Impose %25 Tariff on Chinese Goods in March!

I don’t like to get political and hopefully what I’m writing isn’t too political. I’m thinking that even if president Trump is really wanting to have a trade deal with China to avert the upcoming tariff deadline in March on the Chinese goods, China might not want to see a trade deal gets done even the United States concedes something great.

How come? Well, let pretend to put yourself in a Chinese shoe and think about this for a second. So, if you’re Chinese and you know that the Americans will up the tariff on your $200 billion goods in March from 10% to 25% if the trade deal between China and the United States won’t happen, and so the big question is should you concede to the United States in a big way in order for a trade deal to be happening and the tariff to go away? Well, I think if you’re smart you probably would want the United States to impose the 25% tariff on your $200 billion of goods.

I think China knows that the United States economy is not on a solid foundation otherwise the United States won’t have a government shutdown and such. Furthermore, inflation would go through the roof since the interest rates cannot be raised appropriately. To keep the interest rates low the United States has to continue to print more money. Normal people in the United States will continue to see rising inflation which would cost them dearly in acquiring daily things in local grocery stores and so on. A hamburger meal usually costs like $3 but now is like $7 to $8. So, if you’re the Chinese you would think that higher tariff on the $200 billion Chinese goods must be a great thing for China!

Meanwhile, China is weaning off the reliance on American consumers because of the hostility between the United States and China! This could push China to be more aggressive in finding new markets throughout the world such as in Africa, India, Asia, Europe, South America to replace the North American consumer base. Some other regions might see this as a good opportunity to negotiate with China to get a great deal so they could enter China’s huge growing middle-class consumer base. China may pretend to resist this but could end up agreeing to concede something to these players so they could diversify away from the American consumer base.

I think the long term picture is what China is sought after because China wants to better itself in the overall big picture. This means China doesn’t care if the United States is upping the tariff to 25% or even to 75% or to 100%. When the United States is upping the tariff on Chinese goods, the Americans have to pay more for daily things in their lives. This would put even more stress on the Americans and make the Americans go into debts even more. More Americans in debts could mean a weaker market overall for the United States in the long run. This means more Americans will have to be more prudent on what they will spend so they could have money to pay off their debts. This means the American market will soon see a big cut back from spending by the American consumers. Either this or the Americans who are already in too many debts won’t have money to spend anyway!

Meanwhile, China could just sit pretty and wait out to see another financial crisis that will hit North America. So, in a Chinese shoe, do you think you want to have a trade deal done with the United States? Meanwhile, president Trump may not even want a trade deal done with China since president Trump thinks that he will get more votes for the next presidential race if he goes anti-China even more. In summary, I don’t think by the end of February we will see a trade deal between China and the United States. So, if you’re on the side of wanting to see a trade deal done, you should hope that I’m wrong. So, if you’re on the side of not wanting to see a trade deal done between China and the United States, you would probably want that I’m right. In my opinion, a trade war between China and the United States is not a good thing for the long term economic health of the United States.

Ten Advantages of Cao Cao Over Yuan Shao — Still Wise Today!

In a time of war and competition, do strategies from fictional and non-fictional historic works amount to anything in reality?  I like to think some strategies and tactics in such works do encourage self-reflection and humbleness for the creative mind and out of the box thinking do shine some light on whatever matters that are at hand.  I have always loved Romance of Three Kingdoms story because this work does carry some really cool fictional and non-fictional strategies and tactics.

If you don’t know about Romance of the Three Kingdoms, then you wouldn’t know why it’s a great piece of work!  Basically, this piece of work is rather ancient as it was penned by ancient Chinese authors.  Ancient Chinese authors exaggerated a lot of things in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but these authors had also included a lot of known real historical facts.

I like how the intricate plots and interactions among the characters within Romance of the Three Kingdoms play out.  Especially, the coolness level rises to the max when the advisers among different factions try to best each other by using amazing tactics and strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles.  Liu Bei’s smartest adviser Zhuge Liang is especially cool as this guy is being portraited as one of the smartest if not the smartest advisers on earth at the time, in ancient China.  His reputation proceeded him because he could predict ancient weather patterns and devise winning strategies, both in the battles and out of the battles, for his lord.

Cao Cao got some smart advisers too!  In this blog post, I like to focus on one of Cao Cao’s smart advisers who is known as Gou Jia.  According to Wikipedia, Gou Jia flattered Cao Cao with Cao Cao’s ten advantages over Yuan Shao and Cao Cao was so flattered that he hired Gou Jia to be a Libationer.  To tell the truth, I don’t know what is a Libationer in ancient China, but for sure Cao Cao’s many victories were won through Gou Jia’s well-thought strategies and tactics.

In this blog post, I like to think that Gou Jia’s Cao Cao ten advantages over Yuan Shao are still relevant today.  Let me list these ten advantages.  Actually, let me quote Wikipedia’s Gou Jia article:

“Everyone has heard of the rivalry between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. Liu Bang won by strategy; Xiang Yu was very powerful but he still lost to Liu Bang. Based on my observations, Yuan Shao has ten disadvantages while you have ten advantages. (Yuan Shao) may have many troops but they are useless.

  1. Yuan Shao is overly concerned with formalities, while you behave naturally. You win him in principle.[Sanguozhi zhu 4]
  2. Yuan Shao attempts to achieve supremacy from an opposing position, while you use the Han Empire’s authority to command respect. You win him in righteousness.[Sanguozhi zhu 5]
  3. The Han dynasty declined due to a lack of discipline and law enforcement. Yuan Shao condones his followers and their ill discipline, so he fails in administration. You uphold discipline sternly and firmly among your followers. You win him in management.[Sanguozhi zhu 6]
  4. Yuan Shao appears to be welcoming and accepting but he is actually jealous and suspicious. He never fully trusts his followers and places faith only in his family members and close relatives. You appear simple on the outside but you are actually very discerning on the inside. You fully trust those you have placed your faith in, and you promote meritocracy. You win him in tolerance.[Sanguozhi zhu 7]
  5. Yuan Shao likes to listen to many ideas but is indecisive and he hesitates before he makes any move. You are decisive and you adapt to changes well. You win him in strategy.[Sanguozhi zhu 8]
  6. Yuan Shao uses his fame to attract people to serve him and boost his name. His followers are mostly people who are able to disguise their flaws through persuasion and glib talk. You are sincere towards your followers and do not recruit them for the purpose of increasing your fame. Many loyal and truly capable people are willing to serve under you. You win him in virtue.[Sanguozhi zhu 9]
  7. When Yuan Shao sees others suffering from hunger and cold, he will express his concern towards them. However, he will not do so if their sufferings are not obvious. This is a form of unwise care and concern. You sometimes neglect less important things but when you handle big situations, you are connected to the masses within the Four Seas and the rewards you give out are far greater than Yuan Shao’s fame. Even though this may not be obvious, your care and concern towards others are complete. You win him in benevolence.[Sanguozhi zhu 10]
  8. Yuan Shao’s followers are often bickering and politicking and they give libelous and troublesome advice. You govern your followers with the right principles, so corruption does not occur under your leadership. You win him in wisdom.[Sanguozhi zhu 11]
  9. Yuan Shao cannot distinguish between right and wrong. You respect someone when you think he has done right and you punish someone when you feel he has done wrong. You win him in culture.[Sanguozhi zhu 12]
  10. Yuan Shao likes to display bravado and is not aware of the crucial elements in war. You overcome an enemy superior in numbers with a smaller force, just like a god of war. The soldiers look up to you, your enemies fear you. You win him in military skill.”[Sanguozhi zhu 13]

Do you think in today world, these advantages that Gou Jia mentioned to Cao Cao are still wise words?  Personally, I do think these words are still wise.  I like the advice #3 (management capability matters), #4 (to employ someone is to believe and trust that someone otherwise it would be counterproductive), #5 (don’t be indecisive), #6 (use capable people in important roles and positions), #7 (be very practical and honest when interact with a faction, whoever and whatever), and the advice #8 (destroy corruptions).  To conclude I say these wise words are still relevant today; these words could still be employed by wise leaders of today world!

Why China Doesn’t Care About Bad Economy Leads To Color Revolution!

Some China watchers suggest that when China’s economy is going south to the sour, Chinese government would flame the nationalism to shift the blame outward.  Personally, I think it’s wrong to think like that!  I think China is a one-party system government with a lot of policies that are in place to prevent color revolution or any sort of revolution from happening, and so China doesn’t need to point outward to shift the blame of bad economy at home.

Furthermore, China had been there when the former revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, founder of today’s China and the Chinese Communist Party, prescribed the wrong policy “Great Leap Forward” in which famine raped the country to the point of almost no return.  Yet Chinese didn’t demand the Communist party to step down.  Of course, there was the Tiananmen Square revolution, but that didn’t really destroy the Communist Party even though at the time China was still super poor.

Today, China is prosperous and strong, and so I doubt there would be a revolution even if the Chinese economy takes a huge hit to the chin.  I think the Chinese government knows this, and so they probably would not take any action to flame the nationalism unnecessarily as such a flame would be easy to stoke but very hard to put down.

Nonetheless, I think the Chinese government may want to economically restrain potential rivals and enemies from conducting businesses inside China, thus the bad foreigner’s case could come up from time to time to create difficulties for the non-Chinese companies.  I think that is as much as the Chinese government may want to stoke the flame of nationalism.

So, when the outsiders think of utilizing strategies that depend on the outlook of how China would behave nationalistic when the economy goes south could produce little to no effect.  Perhaps, this may irritate the Chinese government enough in which the Chinese government may put up countermeasures that may have undesirable effects in diplomatic and economic relations.  For an example, China may want to make it a lot harder for non-governmental organizations that support or belong to a foreign entity from operating within China.