Establishment and media types having a fit over this:
We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2016
Let’s listen to what the voice of the defeated Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party has to say about it. Naturally, they’re worried:
Only a day before a small Chinese boat sidled up to a United States Navy research vessel in waters off the Philippines and audaciously seized an underwater drone from American sailors, the commander of United States military operations in the region told an audience in Australia that America had a winning military formula.
“Capability times resolve times signaling equals deterrence,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. told a blue-chip crowd of diplomats and analysts at the prestigious Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, the leading city in America’s closest ally in the region.
In the eyes of America’s friends in Asia, the brazen maneuver to launch an operation against an American Navy vessel in international waters in the South China Sea about 50 miles from the Philippines, another close American ally, has raised questions about one of the admiral’s crucial words. It was also seen by some as a taunt to President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has challenged the One China policy on Taiwan and has vowed to deal forcefully with Beijing in trade and other issues.
“The weak link is the resolve, and the Chinese are testing that, as well as baiting Trump,” said Euan Graham, the director of international security at the Lowy Institute. “Capability, yes. Signaling, yes, with sending F-22 fighter jets to Australia. But the very muted response means the equation falls down on resolve.”
Baiting Trump is probably not a great idea for the Chinese. Their country is essentially one vast paper tiger, which gets by on bullying and bluffing but has very little wherewithal to back it up. The country is wracked with industrial pollution, stores its superfluous males in an army it can’t use for much of anything and, because of its one-child policy, has a sexual imbalance that will cause its population to plunge in a generation or so.
Essentially, Trump has taunted them — go ahead, keep the damn drone, take it apart, try to reverse-engineer the technology and imitate it if you can. It’s a huge insult to the Chinese, who are fundamentally incapable of a single original thought in either technology or the arts, and it will be heard exactly as such.
No conventional diplomat would think to do such a thing, of course. But hasn’t every Real American just about had it with the Obama administration’s passive, pansy response to every international provocation?
Across Asia, diplomats and analysts said they were perplexed at the inability of the Obama administration to devise a strong response to China’s challenge. It did not even dispatch an American destroyer to the spot near Subic Bay, a former American Navy base that is still frequented by American ships, some noted.
After discussions at the National Security Council on how to deal with the issue, the Obama administration sent a démarche to China demanding the return of the drone. On Saturday, China said it would comply with the request but did not indicate when or how the equipment would be sent back.
So take our drone and shove it — because it’s the last one you’ll be taking.