From the delta variant, the threats facing Taiwan, and the China-Afghanistan border, the moves from China continue to have their ripple effects beyond Asia.
While the flurry of news from China has been largely overshadowed by the spotlight of the Tokyo Olympics, Gordon Chang had plenty to update The Cats Roundtable with this Sunday.
While Beijing has maintained a tight-lip about the new delta variant taking hold in the communist nation, Chang explained it was “going through another wave.”
“I don’t think they ever had it really under control—that was what they told the world,” Chang said, noting the shutting down of crucial ports in the south of China pointed to the scope of the infection.
And as the security situation in Afghanistan reaches fever pitch as the Taliban exploits the withdrawal of US troops, Chang said supposed overtures between Beijing and the Taliban were driven by fear of the two countries that shared a 47-mile long border.
“Beijing right now sees both opportunities, but I think more sees danger in what is happening in Afghanistan,” Chang said.
As a long-time advocate for the freedom of the citizens of Hong Kong, Chang protested the upcoming trial of entrepreneur Jimmy Lai under Hong Kong’s new national security law that went into effect in 2020.
“He’s probably going to spend the rest of his life in jail,” Chang said. “Unless the United States does something to free him, which we should absolutely do.”
Chang also told The Cats Roundtable he was seriously concerned about the risk China continued to pose to Taiwan. He emphasized how important Taiwan was to the United States, particularly because of the country’s manufacturing of semiconductors.
“We designed them, but we can’t make them,” Chang said about Taiwan’s semi-conductor exports, adding Beijing’s own ambitions for chips posed a serious threat to security in the region.
“I actually think, probably, there’s a real risk of invasion,” he said, adding there were “symptoms of severe stress” within the Chinese Communist Party.
Those symptoms include what Chang described as a “disgraceful” meeting between the Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, and Chinese officials.
“It really shows, as much as the United States wants to talk to China, China is in no mood to talk to the US,” Chang said. “That’s a sign of problems in Beijing, but it’s also signs that we should stop our efforts to pursue the Chinese because they’re just not in the mood or they’re not capable of having meaningful discussions with us.”