Monday, November 19, 2012

From Zhuhai, with love

A promotional video shows carnage at Hualien AFB
A promotional video at last week’s air show in China showed Taiwanese F-16 being blown to bits by Chinese weapons systems 

Here’s a lesson on how not to win an opponent’s hearts and minds, courtesy of the Chinese. While showcasing a ground strike package during the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Guangdong (better known as the Zhuhai Air Show) last week, the Chinese sought to win over foreign clients with a promotional video showing aircraft being blown to bits at an airbase in a country with which Beijing hopes to “reunify.”

The F-16, before the attack
For a country that prides itself on cultivating skilled diplomats for 5,000 years, China has an uncanny ability to shoot itself in the foot, which makes one wonder whether its dreaded “united front” tactics should not instead be called “disunited.” There’s probably no better example of this than Beijing’s approach to Taiwan, the country of 23 million “brothers” and “sisters” it regards as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the Motherland, by force if necessary

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

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