Wag the dog
A few days before US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, China came up with all sorts of threats. Even Xi Jin Ping warned US President Biden not to play with fire because those who do will be burned.
Other Chinese rhetoric included: The People’s Liberation Army will not sit idly by, they will militarily respond to such insult to Chinese sovereignty; Even shooting down the plane carrying Pelosi and her entourage was an option: and that PLA soldiers will fight to the death to take over Taiwan, as they started their war games with live fire near Taiwan’s shores.
In the midst of such, Pelosi went on with the visit. Nothing substantial happened. It turned out all those threats were collectively just a big fart.
“Wag the Dog” came to mind. It was an old movie starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman. The story was about a US president being investigated for something embarrassing. Was that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky?
What the PR handlers of that fictitious president did was to create a war in a remote country in Eastern Europe where the US would be involved. That would divert the attention of the Americans to that war. From there originated the journalist lexicon Wag the Dog.
The Chinese threats to Pelosi’s visit was a Wag the Dog technique. Xi Jin Ping is due to pass through an upcoming judgment day by his political peers in China. They will decide whether or not to vote him again to office. Thus, he had to project himself as a strong and good leader who could stand up to America. He would like also to hide economic fiascos like the recent bank bankruptcies that made the savings of millions of ordinary Chinese vanish; and the bankruptcies of gigantic real estate companies, among others.
Why should we be concerned with all of these?
Taiwan used to be the maker of fake throw away car spare parts. Now their products are very good. They are number one in the manufacture of the best microchips or semi-conductors. China also followed the same route. They are makers of the worst machineries and their spare parts. Now they are starting to upgrade. Already, the nuts and bolts being used by Detroit’s car companies are made in China.
That was also the strategy of Japan. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Japanese products were called JJ (Japanese Junk). Now their products are some of the best in the whole world.
How about us? We have long been manufacturing lousy products. When are we going to level up? **