A syndrome is defined as a characteristic combination of opinions, emotions, or behaviour. If more severe, then it describes a mental illness: a group of symptoms which consistently occur together, or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms. Washington appears to have all the hallmarks of a China Syndrome, especially on the Republican side. There is another side to syndromes in popular culture, too, which is when a nuclear reactor core goes out of control and melts down ‘all the way to China’. Washington at present also appears to be going through a meltdown, but it is a sort of ‘reverse China Syndrome’, in that the actions of China and Russia are causing a meltdown in Washington. And the recent trip of Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan has just stopped the cooling pump to the reactor…
Although we are not talking about a nuclear disaster here (fingers crossed there are no military provocations) the analogy is for the possibility of an economic-security meltdown for the US and other parts of the world if provocations by Washington and London in the Taiwan Straits continue, as they currently are. And then, we hear the Ukrainians are shelling the nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia, where one of the shells just penetrated the roof of a storage facility on one of the fuel rod storage areas, speaking of nuclear meltdowns. But the latter is off topic here. That said, there is a video that explains why we should not be worried about a real nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Coming back to China, though, the West is facing a real economic meltdown, from which China is seeking to isolate itself, as are Russia, Iran and really, most of the rest of the world. As with Russia and Ukraine, the Chinese see the provocative actions of Pelosi and other folks from Washington. They also see what happened to Russia when pushed too far, and the Chinese are seeking to forestall an economic ‘nuclear event’.
Pelosi’s visit, as we will see, was indeed a provocation. The Chinese know the American weaknesses, though, and are in the process now of sealing off the last American and allied military platform near the shores of China – Taiwan. The chart for her landing in Taiwan, setting the purpose and tone of her visit, is below (bigger):
The central feature of the chart is the hard yod with the Moon at the apex and at several midpoints, the most notable one being Moon=Mars/Saturn: “Weakness of will, a mood or fit of depression, lack of courage. – Illness, separation or death of members of the female sex.” There was wild speculation in social media about the Chinese potentially shooting down her plane prior to her landing. The Chinese don’t work that way, the reasons for saying so covered a little later.
The base of the yod is a Mars/Uranus/North Node conjunction square to Saturn. That yod is also known as a ‘Finger of the World’ combination, or aspect pattern. Dane Rudhyar describes this combination as a call to action in the world, the direction of the action being described by the apex planet – the Moon in this case. The Moon is in the 6th house (military affairs and services) in Libra (litigation, diplomacy and contracts). Pelosi’s trip encompassed a two-fold effort – contracts with United States companies, especially in the field of semiconductor chip production, and in seeking to reaffirm American security concerns regarding the island, the latter being of a military nature. The latter point will be addressed shortly.
The base square of the hard yod describes the obvious – the very tense and volatile state of affairs between China and the US regarding the island and the potential for catastrophic escalation of tensions. The latter has happened, but is rather economic than military. The square lies across the 11th and 1st houses – alliances and national interests, respectively.
The preceding is the key to understanding Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. We will leave other aspects and midpoints for the moment and have a look at just what the American interests are there, then. This was covered somewhat in the Leo letter for this year, but bears repeating here:
Taiwan and the long game: There is a long article, well worth the read, which goes into the history of the US/UK belligerency with China over Taiwan. And for the record, Taiwan is a part of mainland China, not a separate, independent nation. It is a separatist region. The US still recognizes the One-China Policy, though it is covertly seeking to split off Taiwan from the mainland and claim Taiwan is the rightful government of China. Taiwan is seen as a potential military base by American, Japanese and British interests, as a launching pad for direct intervention against China. This was outlined in State Department memoranda, starting with one sent by the Joint Chiefs to the Secretary of Defense in 1948 in November of that year. China was still in a civil war at the time and the PRC was proclaimed nearly a year later in October. From the November memorandum:
“The Joint Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that, under the assumption [the Communists take hold of the island] the strategic implications to the security of the United States would be seriously unfavorable…if we have been unable to prevent China itself from becoming largely Communist-controlled…[then] the strategically valuable areas of that country, including air base sites, harbors and coastal railroad terminals, would have little utility to the United States in the event of war. This would enhance, from the strategic viewpoint, the potential value to the United States of Formosa [Taiwan] as a wartime base capable of use for staging of troops, strategic air operations and control of adjacent shipping routes.”
That is the basic purpose for US involvement in Taiwan since the end of WWII. It has evolved since then, with Taiwan being one of the world’s main supplier of the world’s more advanced semiconductor chips, over which the US wants to remain in primary control. China is making great breakthroughs in that area, which has the US especially concerned. Pelosi’s trip was in part to secure Taiwan’s chip factories, even perhaps to move them to the US. Taiwanese should beware…
With this in mind, when the US talks about ‘freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait’ this is the American interest – to have the freedom to interdict shipping they don’t like, because the Russians also ship through the strait, and then to prevent China from being able to interdict shipping there, even though the Taiwan Strait is essentially part of the mainland’s littoral waters.
Perception is everything when it comes to politics and geopolitics. To the American establishment, and given the tensions with China, the purpose of the visit was to shore up support for Taiwan and to assert American influence and power in the region. To the Chinese, Pelosi’s visit was a clear provocation and Pelosi’s visit amounted to poking the Dragon in the eye. The Chinese vowed a response, but it is not the sort of response the American side had projected onto the Chinese. Instead, they employed the philosophy from The Art of War.
China didn’t react the way so many people were expecting – even hoping – they would. They didn’t shoot down Pelosi’s plane, force her to land in the mainland or usher her away. Instead, they let her land, thus displaying a more learned Eastern approach to such matters:
“In short, resisting a more powerful opponent will result in your defeat, whilst adjusting to and evading your opponent’s attack will cause him to lose his balance, his power will be reduced, and you will defeat him. This can apply whatever the relative values of power, thus making it possible for weaker opponents to beat significantly stronger ones. This is the theory of ju yoku go o seisu.”
Basically, the Chinese didn’t follow the Hollywood script, which would have been a military response to Pelosi’s visit. And that in itself caught the hawks in Washington off-guard. Russia had taken the same approach to Western provocations since Putin came to power, until February of this year. And once again, the West was caught off-guard. Now all the weaknesses of the Western powers stand revealed, to anyone who is paying attention.
There is a main weakness for the Americans regarding China, and that lies in the inability of American financial interests to intervene directly in internal Chinese financial affairs. There has been talk in the past few years of the US or Chine employing the ‘nuclear option’ regarding economies, an in China refusing to honor American treasuries, which amount to upwards of a trillion dollars, or for Americans to simply write them off. Neither action is really do-able.
China watched what happened to Japan with the Plaza Accords, through which the US caused Japan to ‘bend the knee’ to American financial interests. But Japan is an occupied country. There is a long two-part Twitter thread that explains it, worth reading through. China, on the other hand, is sovereign, and that is what has the Americans going ballistic. They cannot control China, which is the real threat China represents to ‘American interests’. It is not a military threat. It is a financial threat to American financial/economic dominance via the dollar.
Coming back to the chart, then, the leader of the expedition, Pelosi, is represented by the Sun, which is in Leo in the 4th house of the landing chart. There are several things to parse here, which will be important going forward. Again from the Leo letter:
What’s in a name? Well, in this case, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Pelosi means ‘hairy’ in Italian, as in more than one hairy thing or being…‘peloso’, the singular case colloquially, means slick, artful, two-faced and insincere. The latter case is rare to hear in slang, but the meaning is along the lines of ‘making a big, hairy mess of things’. Nancy Pelosi is the most-recognized and least-liked Congressional leader. In terms of Leo and leadership, she has Leo rising, along with Aries sun and Moon in Scorpio, the hair being a sure indicator of her rising sign, as well as her penchant for overdramatizing situations.
She certainly did make a mess of things with her visit, it certainly was dramatic, and there were many unspoken facets to that visit. Of course all the rhetoric while she was there was about how the US fully supports freedom and democracy, if one believes it. The latter was emphasized by Pelosi herself in a tweet on her landing in Taiwan: “Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific.” Never mind that Taiwan was ruled by a dictatorship for years – with American blessings, we might add – and still leans strongly to the reactionary side of politics in a large sector of the populace.
The 4th house of this chart brings up a main point of interest regarding Pelosi’s visit. The United States sees Taiwan as a military base, from the previous quote to the Joint Chiefs. In effect, Taiwan is seen as a Western outpost, the closest one to the Chinese mainland now that Hog Kong has been returned to control by the mainland. Taiwan is an imperial outpost, which Washington especially sees slipping away. Taiwan is also the main production center for the world’s most advanced computer chips. If it returns to mainland control, the US loses its influence there and the Chinese would have more or less total control over Taiwan’s output. This is what has Washington so up in arms over the island. Not only would Washington lose its military base, but also a very important high-tech node for electronics manufacture.
What is little known and not talked about in the mainstream news is that companies on the mainland own the chip manufactories in Taiwan already (vid, with subtitles). Though the machines for those chips are in Taiwan, the Taiwanese do not have the capacity to manufacture them. The Chinese do. The Taiwanese, like the US, lack the STEM graduates needed to engineer those types of machines. The Taiwanese simply man the machines. But the output thus far has been controlled by Washington.
Pelosi’s trip was done on the hop to shore up that investment and ‘American infrastructure’ (4th house), as well as an attempt to bolster Taiwanese patriotism, backed by the US, of course. America sees Taiwan as American real estate. The 4th house also governs legacies from foreign lands. It would be a blow to the US if it were to lose control over Taiwan. It would also be an embarrassment. Well, the embarrassment has already started.
Five giant Chinese corporations – Sinopec, Shanghai Petrochemical, China Life (insurance), Chalco (aluminum) and PetroChina – have all de-listed from the NYSE, with another 273 soon to follow. On the surface such a move may not seem like much, but it is an embarrassment to the US, because the in the past if one made it onto the NYSE, one had come of age. Now the Chinese are saying they are giants in their own right and do not need New York to be successful. They have a growing list of clients elsewhere. Worse than that, though, is that the financial records of those companies now are no longer open to scrutiny by Western financial interests.
One indication of Pelosi’s trip being about wooing investors to Taiwan and keeping them in the Western fold was that her son, Paul Jr., was with her on that trip – except he has no diplomatic credentials. Further from the Leo letter:
“So, why did she go to Taiwan? And why did she take her son, Paul Jr. with her, the latter on the board of five companies currently under probes by federal investigators? Paul, Jr. has no diplomatic credentials, but he does have a big interest in lithium and lithium batteries. He also went to Ukraine with her, which led to a lot of speculation.”
The ‘pelosi-ness’ of the trip begins to make itself clear: It’s all about the Benjamins. The loss of Taiwan would mean two things – the loss of large amounts of cash, and the loss of large funding for the military-industrial-congressional complex, because Taiwan would no longer be allowed to purchase American weaponry. It would mean the loss of a base where the Western powers could launch aircraft and missiles close to the shores of China. Perhaps a clearer picture emerges as to why the Chinese are so sensitive about Taiwan and why Washington is so keen to keep control of it.
“Then from another memorandum in January of 1949 from the Secretary of State to Truman, should it become necessary to defend ‘American interests’ in Taiwan:
“Meanwhile, the United States should…put itself in a position to intervene with force if necessary. Such intervention should be publicly based not on obvious American strategic interests but on principles which are likely to have support in the international community, mainly the principle of self-determination of the Formosan people. This involves the fostering of a Formosan autonomy movement…”
And there you have it: With the bolded bits we have the basis for what the US has done in many countries, fostering autonomy movements and ‘freedom fighters’ in countries over which it seeks to have control. Sure, just like America ‘stands with Ukraine’, Hong Kong, Iran and so forth.”
For the most part, on the surface Pelosi’s trip and the Chinese reaction was all theater. However, there are similarities between this trip and the Munich Security Conference a month before the Russian SMO was started. Kamala Harris was sent to that conference with a message. The Russians took note and knew what it meant. Pelosi has been sent to Taiwan in kind. The end result of this visit is that China will prepare for the invasion of Taiwan if need be, perhaps in the near future. The Chinese don’t normally work that way, though.
In fact, the military drills they are doing now gave away their strategy. They don’t have to invade. All they need do is to blockade Taiwan. Taiwan would succumb, probably in a matter of months. There wouldn’t be anything the West could do except stomp their feet and shout loudly. They will not put their troops in harm’s way. Taiwan relies solely on imports to survive. It cannot support itself through a long blockade. All this hyperbole and military posturing by Beijing was more likely intended to send a message rather than to look tough.
Taiwan is not a ‘partner’ to the US. It is a tool, a chess piece. This is an old playbook, but the wider world has woken up to it. The US did those very tactics in Tibet (and here), Xinjiang and Hong Kong, all of which failed. The failed color revolution in Hong Kong was the latest example. They tried with Tibet first, starting the ‘50s, then Tiananmen, then Xinjiang, then Hong Kong and now Taiwan. But as a result of Pelosi’s visit on the 2nd August, Americans especially are crowing that China blinked and lost face as a result of her trip. It would be a mistaken assumption.
Just what have we seen regarding Chinese reactions since Pelosi’s visit? There have already been repercussions from Pelosi’s visit and it will not go well for the US in the long term. China is already placing sanctions on Taiwan, including sand (actually, an essential strategic mineral and increasingly in short supply) and foodstuffs. A giant Chinese supplier of electric-vehicle batteries has just put a hold on building a huge plant for manufacture of batteries in North America and is building it in Hungary instead, again as a result of Pelosi’s visit. That plant would have created 10,000 jobs for North Americans. It is interesting, too, because Hungary just secured gas deals with Russia into the future, defying EU (and thus Washington’s) demands to cut Russia out of Europe’s energy market.
China has suspended cooperation and communication with the US on a number of issues as a result of Pelosi’s visit. This, along with the preceding actions by China are just the start, and will cause a spike in supply-side inflation in Taiwan, as well as the US, not to mention creating greater tensions and insecurity in the region and the US. And neighboring nations were not exactly happy with Pelosi’s little visit, either. She was snubbed in South Korea. We hear she was miffed.
China is now flying drones over Taiwan. There was a recent humorous video (since confirmed) of Taiwanese soldiers throwing rocks at one of the Chinse drones, trying to bring it down. This was at one of the Taiwan offshore islands. The Americans, never able to let things be, have sent two further delegations to Taiwan, ‘amid deepening ties’. The Chinese have again responded with military drills around Taiwan. There has been talk in the past of war over Taiwan, but there are serious reasons to doubt it.
Like Russia is doing now in response to Western sanctions and pressure on Ukraine to ‘fight to the last Ukrainian’, China has its methods, too, of slowly increasing pressure on Taiwan. Pelosi’s trip was a ‘crossing the Rubicon’ moment. There is no turning back from here. This is supported in the landing chart by the square of Ceres in the 4th house to the Horizon axis. The Chinse now see a clear path toward reunification, as well as the fact the Western powers will only double down from here.
What we can probably expect to see over time is for the mainland to increase sanctions on Taiwan, to increase their military drills around the island, combined with wooing Taiwan elites with business deals – once the crisis is resolved – and stationing more and more troops on the mainland shores opposite Taiwan. The Chinese will further strengthen ties with neighboring states, will pour big money into developing their chip industry, and they will wait. Time is on their side. The Americans and the Taiwanese elites, on the other hand, will be growing increasingly nervous and desperate. The pro-Western movements in Taiwan will begin to meet opposition.
To conclude, China made similar bellicose threats against Hong Kong as it did to Pelosi’s trip, too, during the latest protests there, and were seen to have backed down. Where is Hong Kong now, though? – firmly back under China’s wing, and without intervening militarily. Pelosi’s visit was very ill-thought, but politicians are often known to do such foolish things. The countdown for Taiwan’s reunification has begun.
Featured pic from Avvenire