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On one's due

I don't see what respect is due to a country whose cruel treatment of those it claims to help has spread financial hardship and damage to their lands (赞比亚 is the most recent one I've read about), not to mention the other neighbors whose sea craft have encountered its own (how many countries is that at this point?).

I don't see what respect is due to a country whose leadership allows the sort of callous treatment of animal populations that are driven to endangered levels (the pangolin) and extinction (the river dolphin), who's willing to sacrifice an already precarious habitat (coral reef) to its military ambitions (how's the concrete on those artificial islands again?). I will, however, admit to curiosity about the bear bile treatment for COVID-19, even as I see the animal itself following the pangolin.

I don't see what respect is due to a country whose criminal treatment of its own citizens continues (another social media platform contains an expansive list of people who could use some un-disappearing) - if its own people aren't safe, what recourse is available to its guests? (尼日利亚 and 肯尼亚 are on the list here.)

The love and unity it seeks are on its own terms. It's a country where even foreign-based sports, games, and other entertainments are subject to censorship. The people from without who share that country's blood and heritage get censure and suspicion. Its very language reflects disrespect for its neighbors (still there, 微软 - and imagine my surprise when I see 赞比亚, 尼日利亚, and 肯尼亚 make this list too).

It's a country that's seeing the results of the 畏 it's caused, of the now-open hostility that has risen within it over time. For all the resources it's amassed, it's still acting like a middle-schooler with a centuries-long tally of the chips on its shoulder.

And there's that feeling of deja vu again.

(Just playing with stock photos.)

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