31 December 2016   Leave a comment

China is ramping up its rhetoric concerning the US relationship with Taiwan.  US President-elect Trump’s comments about the “one China” policy is, for the Chinese government, a red line.  The US is obligated to defend Taiwan if attacked, but the nature of that defense has traditionally been defined as providing weapons and not waging war.  But the Chinese do not believe that they need to wage a military war against Taiwan.  According to a report from Reuters:

“A retired senior officer who maintains contacts with the PLA told Reuters that China probably wouldn’t need to fire any missiles to bring Taiwan to its knees. China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, and Taiwan runs a huge trade surplus with China, worth $27 billion in 2015.

“‘We can just cut them off economically. No more direct flights, no more trade. Nothing. Taiwan would not last long,'” the officer said. “‘There would be no need for war.'”

Given the economic dependence of Taiwan on the Chinese economy, it does seem to be the case that, if push came to shove, the Chinese hold stronger levers than the US.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the US presidential election was how social media was used to disseminate information, some of which was accurate and some of which was untrue.  The pervasiveness of social media makes it difficult to interpret information–the course are not always clear and there seems to be an unfortunate willingness on the part of some to be untruthful. This apparent disregard for truth has also infected our source of information and the search engines we rely upon for information now offer up distorted results.  A well-informed electorate is necessary for democracy; a misinformed electorate will produce nothing but chaos and tyranny.

 

It is the last day of a wretched year.  Good-bye to 2016!!! But let’s leave on a good note.  Taj Mahal will always make the day brighter.

 

Take a Giant Step

Though you failed at love and lost
And sorrow’s turned your heart to frost
I will mend your heart again

Remember the feeling as a child
When you woke up and morning smiled
It’s time, it’s time, it’s time you felt like that again

There is just no percentage in remembering the past
It’s time you learned to live again and love at last

Come with me leave your yesterday, your yesterday behind
And take a giant step outside your mind

You stare at me with disbelief
You say for you there’s no relief
But girl, I swear, it won’t do you no harm

Don’t sit there, in your lonely room
Just looking back inside that gloom
Mama, that’s not where you belong

Come with me, I’ll take you where the taste of life is green
And everyday, everyday, hold on woman, just got to be seen

Come with me, leave your yesterday, your yesterday behind
And take a giant step outside your mind

Though you’ve played the love and lost
And sorrows have turned your heart to frost
I will mend your heart again

Remember the feeling as a child
When you woke up and morning smiled
It’s time, it’s time, it’s time you felt like that again

There is just no percentage in remembering the past
It’s time you learned to live again and love at last

Come with me, leave your yesterday, your yesterday behind
And take a giant step outside your mind

Posted December 31, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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