The Three Dragons
As the fighting outside China proper has stopped and the UN cease fire holds, the rest of the world has change their attention to more domestic matters, - like rebuilding the economy here in the United States for example – while the existence of three Chinas (or four if you include Taiwan) has become a de facto reality. To many this turn of events was inconceivable six months ago. Others including my fellow State Department veterans and geopolitical futurists like George Friedman, saw this coming for decades.
For those that have lived in Asia, or even on its periphery, including Russia, Iran, Australia, and even the west coast of the United States, it has been common knowledge that China was the economic center of mass for trade in the region since the Japanese banking collapse in the 1990s. China reentered world trade in the 1980s and became the leader of the “Asian Tiger” economies with Hong Kong as its principal trade center once it was transferred to the Peoples Republic of China or PRC in 1997. New found economic wealth however did little to correct governance issues that lead to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 against the ruling Chinese communist party. That single party rule with its absolute control gave the outward appearance of solid stability and dynamic action to the democracies looking in. The reality was proven later to be a system so ridged that when it failed it came down like a house of cards.
Some critics will take issue with the format of this book. A History they say is as defined by “Webster” as a “chronological record of events, including an impartial explanation of their causes”. This author simply wants to remind the reader that war documentaries are political history, and thus Human History, meaning humans, which includes human biases. If you want the “sanitized” state department report as I delivered it shortly before my resignation this past August, it’s now available on the U.S. Department of State website under Office of the Coordinator for the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, under REPORTS: SINO PACFIC WAR. All the statistical details are there, economic, social, technological, and even known body counts are grimily and “impartially” listed and summarized.
Although I was a senior member of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, and was present in Taipei for most of the four week long war, I am no “Jack Ryan.” This is not a personal memoir, but rather a group of stories from individuals I had to interview as part of my job. Since the “State Department Purges of 2017”, there was very few of us to go around so I had to wear many hats so to speak to get the job done.
Finally if journalism is truly, as they say, “the first draft of history” then with so many conflicting ‘facts’ and points of view currently awaiting the sifter of truth to strain out the lies, we maybe awaiting the final draft for many years (or decades) to come.
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