Symphony Finished

It has been an amazing twelve years. The first political columns started in summer 2010. In 2011, I predicted that Taiwan would be recognized—a prediction which has not yet failed, but continues to push forward. Since 2014, the Times has published articles consistently, for a few years in order to keep up with work at then China Daily Mail, now China News Stories.

Through the years, weekly columns tracked the very much foreseeable rise in conflict in the Eastern Pacific, with that foreseeable apex involving Taiwan as part of a Chinese conflict. That prediction has sadly remained accurate.

At the Times, I also predicted Trump’s election in 2016 and his re-election in 2020—but not the dubious election rigging in precincts necessary to argue Trump’s loss, evidence for which the Times obtained before it was fully wiped from the anti-Trump social media platforms on which it was released. That said, I also sustain that Joseph Robinette Biden is the rightful president because Congress has the final say in US elections.  · · · →


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 31, 2022

Taiwan’s vice president went on tour. After meeting with the new president of Honduras, Vice President William Lai stopped in San Francisco. While in the States, he held virtual meetings with House Speaker Pelosi and others. Taiwan’s envoy to North America was a big success.

Meanwhile back in Asia, China sent its own envoy of 39 warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace. That was probably just in case the people in North America doubted anything Lai said about China being dangerous. China wants everyone to know the truth, after all. But, the warplanes didn’t go over well in Taipei.

Taipei and Shanghai have had a sister city “bromance” going on—or “sismance” if we want to be genderly correct. But, the annual, multi-million dollar event is up for cancellation with China’s military incursions. Feuding DPP and KMT parties reached a near-impossible consensus about that. The two parties never get along. But, somehow China seems to be the great unifier between polarized political parties, whether in the United States or in Taiwan.

We can probably expect more unity like that in the future. It may not be the unity China is pushing for, but it will be unity nonetheless.


China ‘flexes muscles’ at US, Japan // Taipei Times


Taipei may halt Shanghai forum over China threat // Taipei Times

Honduras thanks Taiwan as Lai visits // Taipei Times

Taiwan-Europe amity group launched // Taipei Times

Chinese ambassador warns of ‘military conflict’ with US over Taiwan // Yahoo News

William Lai talks with US senator before returning // Taipei Times

UK, US voice support for Taiwan at the WHO // Taipei Times

Lai, Pelosi talk security issues, China // Taipei Times



Encore of Revival: America, January 31, 2022

Eyes are seriously shifting toward Ukraine and Taiwan, the poster boys of Europe and Asia. Maybe that’s why Biden’s Transportation department is proposing “Big Brother” speed cameras across the country on a hated level only rivaled by the UK. Unpopular policing only expands; it never shrinks. This crosses the line of “diktat”, socially scorned laws whether unpopular or foreign. While the US and UK decry Russia and China for diktat against the poster boys of Europe and Asia, they continue their own diktat at home.

Trump floated an idea that made sense, while the news commentary sees it as living in another world. For the January 6 Insurrection, responsibility should fall on either Trump or rioters—or any police who let rioters in. Trump suggested they be pardoned, which makes sense since the media and left want to roast him for starting it all. The free-speech touting media wants to go after both the rioters said to be under Trump’s mind control and Trump who couldn’t control anyone’s mind, but they don’t want even discussion on reports of police who didn’t hold the line.

Free speech itself has come under attack by an evermore obvious machine. Spotify will now identify “misinformation” in podcasts, but not censor. It’s admirable that Spotify allows dissent for healthy discussion. However, if information can be proven to be false, then some kind of legal action should be warranted. Web users are already bombarded with messages on COVID—any social media post, photo, or video that could be remotely construed to talk about vaccines or a pandemic get a notice linking to the absolute source of unchallenged truth from the relevant website of the all-accepted and ever-trusted government.

Curbs against false information are good. But, who decides whether something is “misinformation”? It seems we have a culture that accepts misinformation as a scientifically and objectively determined fact. If we had Facebook in the fifteenth century, Columbus would have been flagged as giving misinformation because science agreed the earth was flat.

Misinformation flagging is good for mass social platforms, but only if it is vetted through a transparent process open to any and all scrutiny and dissent from the public. Flag notices should then point to the online forums that led to the decision.

The political mice have invaded the cereal cupboard and think they own the house. But, they’re just one chewed mess away from triggering the expected response from any society irked by diktat, whether foreign or domestic.


Trump rally Texas: Former president teases presidential run, dangles January 6 pardons // CNN

News Media, Journalism & Free speech

Spotify’s Daniel Ek Panics Over Rock Star Defections: ‘Personally, there are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly’ // Showbiz411

Rights, Liberties, Police & Privacy

The speed camera nightmare that’s coming to America // Daily Mail

NATO Focus

Biden Will Send U.S. Troops To Eastern Europe Soon—But ‘Not A Lot’ // Forbes

A Ukrainian mother vows to take up gun if Russia invades // France 24

Exclusive-Russia moves blood supplies near Ukraine, adding to U.S. concern, officials say // Yahoo News

UK to offer major NATO deployment amid Ukraine crisis // Aljazeera

PM considers major military offer to NATO // GOV.UK


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 24, 2022

China has been busy online. Western allies warn about increasing cyber attacks from China; it’s become the common thing to expect and discuss. Cyber attacks aren’t China’s only online hobby. Social media “influencers” are reportedly set to spread the good gospel of China’s greatness all through the Olympics. We’ll see how long their social media followings last.

While China engages in paid diplomacy and bolsters Western demand for cybersecurity, Taiwan has another new friend. Slovenia will open a diplomatic office in Taiwan. And, Taiwan will send an envoy to the inauguration of Honduras’s president, none other than Taiwan’s former favorite, pro-independence Mayor William Lai. That means more officials from Taiwan will attend the Honduras event than American officials will attend China’s Olympic Games.

But, that’s okay for China. After all, there are all those “influencers” getting paid to pay China compliments on their soon to fall social medial accounts.


Former Trump administration officials hold call to strategize against former boss’ efforts in 2022 and 2024 // CNN

Supreme Court rejects Trump request to block release of records to January 6 committee // CNBC

Obama Biden Harris

Fox News Poll January 2022: Biden at 47 Percent Approval // Mediaite

Markets, Economy & GDP

Biden backs Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s likely monetary policy tightening as inflation rages // CNBC


Soft-handed safety
Virus measures tightened // Taipei Times

NATO Focus

‘Lethal’ U.S. Military Aid Begins Arriving In Ukraine // Bloomberg Quint

German navy chief resigns after suggesting Putin ‘deserved respect’ // CNN

Putin would burst Xi’s Olympic dream with a war in Ukraine // Straits Times

U.S. tells diplomats’ families to leave Ukraine, weighs troop options // Yahoo News

Baltic states tout US-approved weapon shipments to Ukraine // Defense News

Greece receives six French fighter jets as part of €11.5bn military overhaul // Guardian


Encore of Revival: America, January 24, 2022

COVID seems to be taking backseat headlines for Russia, which has become a big topic in Europe. A German vice-admiral resigned with Germany’s Defense Minister over some seemingly spineless friendliness toward Russia. He speculated about the buildup at Ukraine, that Putin probably just wanted respect and that Russia was a necessary Western ally against China. With Russia, Iran, and China beginning joint naval exercises in India’s backyard pool this week, the vice-admiral’s comments were obviously absurd. Germany’s PR fumble is a big deal.

A hand full of European nations want to move NATO military assets into the Ukraine. Because of technical complications, Germany must also sign off on the transfer, but has been hesitant from any military backing of Ukraine so far. With this seemingly wimpy statement from the German vice-admiral, Germany can’t keep riding the fence.

On smaller headlines like COVID, Taiwan had a whopping 82 new domestic COVID cases on Saturday. Urgent health measures go into effect, which are soft-handed and calm-minded compared to the bipolar reactionism throughout America, where COVID problems are much worse. American companies even hold optimistic speculation for Taiwan. Maybe some will figure out that the calm way is the higher way. Until then, it isn’t exactly a bad thing that something finally booted COVID from American top headlines.


Iran, Russia and China hold joint navy drill in Indian Ocean // Yahoo News

Iran, Russia and China begin joint naval drill in Indian Ocean // Times of Israel

Biden speaks to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida about Ukraine, North Korea // CNBC

Security, China dominate Biden’s talks with Japan’s Kishida // Aljazeera


And in Taiwan
PRC targets Taiwan with new disinformation ploy // Taipei Times

Australia, UK to ‘fight back’ against hostile states in cyber – minister // Yahoo News

EU letter slams China over Lithuania // Taipei Times

China hires western TikTokers to polish its image during 2022 Winter Olympics // Guardian

China is still ‘three or four generations’ away from developing latest semiconductor tech, IDC says // CNBC


US seeks speedier F-16 delivery: sources // Taipei Times

William Lai to attend Honduras event // Taipei Times

US companies expect growth in Taiwan
AmCham survey shows optimism // Taipei Times

Slovenia to establish office in Taiwan // Taipei Times

Bill to lower the voting age to 18 passes review // Taipei Times


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 17, 2022

China is illegal. The US Department of State even says so. France even reports as such. This won’t exactly improve friendly relations across the Pacific. It’s actually a much larger step to an all out conflict.

Just over a year ago, November 2020, Western allies declared that China’s 1984 treaty with Britain, the basis for Hong Kong returning to China, was “permanently shredded”. The West has already declared that Hong Kong is no longer Chinese, effectively viewing China as an illegal occupying force which only needs a policing action to enforce and return Hong Kong to an already-decided British control. That’s what the West is thinking.

That decision came because certain lawmakers in Hong Kong were ousted because of a law originating not inside Hong Kong, but Beijing, violating what Britain meant by “a high degree of autonomy”. That law from Beijing was about “national security”. Now, Hong Kong’s government is expanding its definition of “national security”. Things are going less the way the West wants, giving more excuses for Western governments to rally Western taxpayers to support action against China.

Then, there is the snowless Olympics in Beijing. Not only are the Games boycotted by the West, they seem to be boycotted by the weather as well. Hatred for China only grows. As the Times said previously, awarding the 2022 Games to China was a setup.

China is in a global PR war with the West—and China is losing. The West knew this because China’s old “trump” card of media censorship won’t work on Western newspapers. And, Western governments know that China was so accustomed to turning off the camera that China never learned to simply smile for the camera. China just keeps on frowning.

Then, a Taiwanese F-16 went missing. It’s whereabouts and incident remain unknown. This could be—and certainly should be—a warning. Is this the 21st Century Reichstag or Lusitania? Did China sink the jet or could it be sabotage? If it was neither and truly was flight error, any ill will from Taiwan or the US could paint it to blame China. If China is smart, China will be afraid. After all, the West is much better at camera stunts than the Chinese. And, we live in a world controlled by what plays on camera, not what’s on a blank screen.


Study on the People’s Republic of China’s South China Sea Maritime Claims // US Department of State

China’s maritime claims unlawful: US report // Taipei Times

US State Department Study Dismisses China’s ‘Unlawful Maritime Claims’ in South China Sea // The Diplomat

US lays out case against ‘unlawful’ China maritime claims // France 24


Why DID the Winter Olympics go to Beijing? // Daily Mail


China might raise pressure next year: British historian // Taipei Times

Taiwan seeks to be top destination for Mandarin learners from US: official // Taipei Times

F-16 goes missing off western coast // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

Western allies say China broke Hong Kong deal by ousting lawmakers // Yahoo News

Evening Update: As Hong Kong eyes expansion of national-security law, role of foreign judges faces fresh scrutiny // The Globe and Mail (CA)


Encore of Revival: America, January 17, 2022

Dr. Meryl J. Nass is a doctor, reportedly suspended by Maine because she lied to get hydroxychloroquine. Under Trump, doctors could use the drug to treat COVID. But, the FDA changed that. Faucci said hydroxychloroquine is ineffective against COVID, but a review from India last summer says otherwise in the Journal of The Association of Physicians of India. Nass is also accused of using Ivermectin, used for animal parasites, and of spreading disinformation. She is ordered to take a neuropsychological evaluation. However, in light of the proof from India’s research several months before Nass was suspended, no one suspended Faucci for disinformation nor ordered him to take a neuropsychological evaluation.

Now, body temperature is not an effective way to screen for COVID, which means all the wasted money on thermometers was wasted. Did the money wasters have to take a neuropsychological evaluation for that?

Accusations against Trump mount, but it’s all subjunctive—may be, could be, might, and that razzmatazz. Before he won 2016, his defeat was a certainty. Now, it’s a maybe. With India having smarter scientists than apparently run our medical boards, we can’t blame Americans for hustling to vote “Trump”. And, the Capitol insurrection only seems more justified to people who want access to the politicized drug that India has proven effective. Instead, the doctor who agrees with science is suspended by the zip code of insanity. And, the beast is seen for what it is.

We don’t know how much longer it will take before Christians stop obsessing over Sunday morning and human heroes. We don’t know how much longer Christians will look to masks and guns. Jesus said that faith could move mountains, but too few Christians are looking up. If things continue on their present course, we will get to a place where prayer is the only option left. Perhaps driving the nation to prayer was God’s plan all along, but only because it wasn’t ours.


Analysis: Kevin McCarthy is desperately trying to memory hole January 6 // CNN

Trump officials interfered with the 2020 census beyond cutting it short, email shows // NPR

Trump’s potential liability for Capitol riot faces major test in court // CNN


Trump slams ‘dull’ DeSantis ahead of potential 2024 matchup // Axios

Washington as Usual

Prices, Rates, Oil & Food

Apparently this is popular
How to compost at home, according to expert composters // CNN

Markets, Economy & GDP

Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham sees an epic market bubble and expects a historic crash. Here are his 12 most dire warnings. // Markets Insider

Science, Weather & Health

How the Tonga volcano generated a shock wave around the world // MSN News


California schools under intense strain, fighting to stay open during Omicron surge // Yahoo News

Body temperature may not be an effective gauge of covid-19 // MSN News

Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective says Fauci // BBC News

Timeline: Tracking Trump alongside scientific developments on hydroxychloroquine // ABC News America

Remember Donald Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine? Study in India backs it as Covid-19 cure // India Today

A shift away from daily COVID case counts has begun //

Doctor loses license for COVID falsehoods, board says // Miami Herald


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 10, 2022

Lithuania has become the “Taiwan of Europe”. Since WWII, Americans never again struggled with the concept that a problem abroad is a problem at home. This is how we Americans can vote to interfere around the world that we know so little about. We think every squeal from another continent indicates a personal assault on our freedom to watch Netflix.

Europe wasn’t quite there, but not anymore. While Europe watches Lithuania sustain hostile diplomacy from China, Europe is getting the same idea as America. France—oh, the French!—just came to Lithuania’s defense. It’s hard to disagree when the French take sides. They say they aren’t sure why China is angry at Lithuania—okay. But, they make a very good point. China should not have a special group of 17 states it communicates with concerning Europe; it should have all 27. Lithuania was a great opportunity for France to say so. Bravo for French math!

So, now Lithuania is to the EU what Taiwan is to the US; to China, both are bad press.

A recent election in Taiwan’s central city of Taichung gave one more legislative seat to the progressive DPP party—this is the party that doesn’t bow to China’s passive aggression, nor to China’s aggressive aggression.

Yes, that party just got stronger. China won’t be happy. But, what’s new. Just look at Lithuania and do the math.


China lashes out at U.S. over support for Lithuania over Taiwan // NPR

Lithuania: The European state that dared to defy China then wobbled // BBC News

France eyes quick anti-China action to bail out Lithuania in trade war // Politico (EU)

China targets Lithuania over Taiwan, hits global supply chains // Hindustan Times


DPP’s Lin wins Taichung vote by 52.3 percent // Taipei Times


Encore of Revival: America, January 10, 2022

At 65, actor Bob Saget is dead. He was known for is role the sitcom Full House and will be dearly missed.

America is on edge and no one seems able to figure out why. Experts say that Trump was divisive, but the nation was already divided. Biden hosting a speech in the Capitol—with partisan attendance—will not help unify a divided America. Unity is no more Biden’s goal than it was Trump’s. Everyone pushes forward with what they view is best for the country. And, “what is best” is something over which the country itself disagrees.

With the pandemic’s quarantine rules, homeschooling rises. This runs contrary to the political ideals of those pushing quarantine rules for the pandemic. Democrats want everyone to stay at home, but children to attend school. More importantly, Democrats believe that school curriculum shouldn’t be decided democratically.

Let’s look past the obvious contradictions in our political ideologies. And, let’s not start on ideologies that are “Pro-Life” while being in favor of the death penalty, or “Pro-Choice” opposing school of choice. Just look at the stark contrast in the mindset of Americans.

The Pilgrims founded the North based on the idea that parents know that everyone can learn and read and write. Families controlled what their children were taught. That built a powerful nation and a free-thinking, slave-free North. Relegating control to supposed “experts” can be debated as good or bad, but it is certainly a digression from the good path that brought us here.

Some want our path to continue; others want our path to change. That difference is why people voted for Trump or Biden. Trump had time and we saw many things happen. Now, history will put the popularity of the Biden ideal to the test.


Watch President Biden’s entire January 6th speech // YouTube @ CNN

We Are In a New Civil War … About What Exactly? // Politico

Is the US really heading for a second civil war? // Guardian

Violence, Radicalism & Terrorism

Judge Timothy Walmsley held a minute of silence before sentencing Ahmaud Arbery’s killers // CNN

Education & Placement

Homeschooling Rising, Public Schooling Down during COVID-19, BU-Aided Research Finds // Boston University

Homeschooling meets a need // Boston Globe

Homeschooling numbers in Illinois way up // Axios

“I don’t [understand] that parents should decide what’s being taught.”
Meghan McCain Just Gave DRAMATIC Warning to All Democrat Parents // YouTube @ The Next News Network


Florida’s COVID cases and hospitalizations are surging, but the state has the second-lowest death rate in the nation. What’s going on? // MSN News

Some Angelenos say it’s time to learn to live with COVID // Yahoo News

Music & Entertainment

Comedian Bob Saget Dead at 65, Found in Orlando Hotel Room // TMZ


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 3, 2022

Taiwan is on the rise. With chip shortages, stock is booming. You know how graphics cards are astronomically high? A lot of that money is going into Taiwan.

Meanwhile, China found an excuse to order a real estate developer to demolish 39 freshly, new-built “luxury apartments”—something about the building permit being illegal and violated zoning. Even it the trumped up charges were true, a settlement could have save the company loads of cash and profited China’s government in tax revenue. Instead, the company lost big time and de-listed in Hong Kong.

And, that’s why China is the better choice to issue diktat over Taiwan. Though, some 72% of Taiwanese don’t think so. Taiwan’s president is boosting military strength. Taiwanese veteran generals retire to the US start cooperation for veterans. Taiwan as the favored spot came after Nicaragua put in its lot with China and severed relations with Taiwan. That was last month. Marco Rubio thinks it is because Nicaragua’s government is glad China turns a blind eye to human rights violations.


China harvests masses of data on Western targets, documents show // MSN News

China unveils plan to ‘take over’ Latin America // WA Examiner

Evergrande shares in trading halt after China orders demolition of newly built luxury apartments // ABC News Australia


China’s Special-Ops Forces Are Taiwan’s Real Problem, Not Warships // Business Insider

Retired officers to depart for US to set up mission // Taipei Times

Ex-general quits KMT, throws support behind DPP’s Lin in Taichung vote // Taipei Times

Taiwan braces for more Chinese flybys next year // Taipei Times

Poll says 72.5% of Taiwanese willing to fight against forced unification by China // Taipei Times

Tsai promotes 23, calls for boost to combat readiness // Taipei Times

Taipei thanks US for defense move // Taipei Times

Chip stocks fire TAIEX to historic high // Taipei Times

Military Faceoff

Navy’s Costly Carrier Finally Has Its Bomb-Lifting Elevators // Bloomberg


Encore of Revival: America, January 3, 2022

For years, the Left tried to treat its opinions and political stances as some kind of consensus—Earth was warming, no one disagrees, and if you disagree then you are the only person in the universe. The same was true of masks, vaccines, and Mchigan Governor Whitmer’s mail-in ballots that anyone could dupe. Anyone who disagrees with the Left is idiosyncratic. That was their story. But, it’s not holding water like it did even a few months ago.

If quarantine, lockdown, mask, and vax is the consensus, why are the Dutch demonstrating? Then, we have the Biden-bus issue. He was so much better than Trump, until Trump was gone, now he’s just, plain terrible. Even since last week, when the Times pointed this out, challenging Biden went all a buzz on the Left. They change their minds faster than a teenager. But, the adults anticipate which antics are next.

As the myth of consensus passes, the warring electorate is re-shifting its own loyalties. On both sides of the political divide, people are choosing between two, newly-seen core values: those who want to author their own morals to raise up institutional messiahs and those who are learning that we are facing the final showdown of humanity vs global domination. Those in the second group are also divided between fighting with human tools and responding miraculously with peace of mind from the only world king, Jesus Christ. Those who respond to evil with human tools are on the right side, but they’ll have to learn the hard way. It’s a good thing the Believers are there to defend them.


The left is already looking to 2024. Some want to see a Biden primary challenge. // Politico


34 percent of Americans say violence against government justified // NY Post


Thousands gather to oppose Dutch virus measures despite ban // AP

Fake Vaccine Card Sales a Booming Business as Omicron Surges // TMZ

US Coronavirus: Americans may be faced with a different reality in January as Covid-19 sweeps through the nation, experts warn // CNN

Major staffing shortages at NYPD, FDNY due to COVID surge //

Southeast U.S. poised for a firestorm of omicron cases, with few safeguards in place // MSN News

NATO Focus

Biden and Putin exchange warnings during phone call amid rising Ukraine tensions // Guardian


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 27, 2021

Japan is on the scene in the Pacific. While Japanese athletes will attend the Olympics, Japanese officials will not. China doesn’t want Japan to “politicize” the games. But, consider 2008, the one-hour opening ceremony about nothing but China’s history, with President Xi marching in to a one-world dream at the end. For Beijing, hosting the Olympics is nothing but an opportunity to exhibit a grandiosity complex on a global scale.

By choosing China again, the Olympic committee handed the microphone to the fool. Japanese will go to the Olympics, except that they won’t; that’s the perfect East Asian insult. Japan is being an excellent member of the crowd, cheering on the fool.

But, the Olympics aren’t Japan’s only action. Manufacturing very-much-needed chips with Taiwan, as well as US battle plans for a Taiwan incident are right at the top. Make no mistake: this week, Japan sounded the alarm on China and the Chinese are terrified.

Trade & Tech

TSMC, UMC May Set Up Semiconductor Chip Manufacturing Plant As India, Taiwan Look To Firm Up Free-Trade Pact // Swarajya


Biden Faces a Policy Dilemma With China’s Biggest Chipmaker // Bloomberg


Military Faceoff

World’s Biggest Naval Power: Can China Develop Six Aircraft Carriers By 2035 & Challenge Its Arch-Rival – USA? // EurAsian Times

Taiwan is Preparing to Sink Chinese Carriers // National Interest

Why China could win the new global arms race // BBC News

British aircraft carrier to sail for secret mission // UK Defense Journal


Encore of Revival: America, December 27, 2021

The press is attacking Biden over COVID more than they did Trump. It’s so funny, how much they lauded the savior who honored mask and social distancing rules, but now they toss him under the bus. Even funnier is how CDC big wigs survived two attacked presidencies while they were the supposed professionals actually making the decisions.

Trump supporters will easily blame Fauci since he was the man in charge all this time. Trump fans do that, especially since The Apprentice and Trump’s famous line, “You’re fired.” Trump supporters know who and how to fire. At least, they think they do.

Anti-Trumpists, however, now have an inescapable contradiction to face. Biden was the savior because he followed the mask rules, and the media heads even said so—until he wasn’t and they didn’t. Anti-Trump sentiment was based largely on the notion that COVID proved who was right and wrong as a president. That idea can’t hold water anymore, for either purpose or any other purpose.

Whether right or wrong, Trumpists can maintain their story; Anti-Trumpists can’t because to oppose Biden is to support Trump. Trumpists who prophesied Trump’s continued presidency in the name of God already faced that contradiction. Now it’s time for Anti-Trumpists. Sometimes we need our own contradictions to get bad enough before we see the light. But, that’s going for all, regardless of which political candidate they support.


Donald Trump could face charges for trying to obstruct certification of election, legal experts say // Guardian

Michael Flynn sues Capitol attack committee in bid to block subpoena // Guardian


Inside the administration’s failure to avert a covid testing shortfall // MSN News

Tests popular on Christmas as Florida hits new virus record // AP

Opinion: President Biden is failing on covid-19 // WA Post

Flight cancellations drag on as airlines short-staffed // AP

Pope Francis, in Christmas Message, Laments Pandemic of Loneliness // WSJ


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 20, 2021

The US is hitting China hard over treatment of Uyghurs. Nearly all imports from Xinjiang will be banned. At the same time, the US bolsters the call to bolster Taiwan’s military defense. However, Taiwan has the seeds of the same tyranny; it just doesn’t materialize into anything alarming because Taiwan remains small. The most obvious problem is that Taiwan refuses to allow Taiwan citizens to renounce citizenship, but demands Americans renounce their citizenship to become Taiwanese. Taiwanese can become dual-citizen Americans, but Americans can never become dual-citizen Taiwanese. That’s what some people call a “clue”.

Any double standard, no matter how small, will grow exponentially as a nation or organization grows. Taiwan’s double standard must be stopped before bolstering Taiwan’s military. Expunging double standards to escape fake democracy is the most effective way to help Taiwan right now.

China has been lecturing Taiwan about democracy. And, Taiwan has rightly and appropriately responded with harsh words. “It is ridiculous that China, which is not democratic at all, dares to tell Taiwan what democracy means,” said Spokesman Lo, from the Executive branch. That’s true. But, in terms of equal treatment to all people, Taiwan has its own deficiencies—which is fine because we all have deficiencies; but Taiwan’s deficiencies are being utterly ignored. We must ask why.

Is Washington so focused on China’s threat that leaders can’t foresee the next problem they will fear? Are lobbyists blind to the next problem, just as they were blind to the problem of making China so wealthy with exported American jobs over the last three decades? Is it greed? Is it a carefully crafted “next crisis”? Or, is it pure unawareness or apathy? We don’t know, but we need to be asking why America is running to help a country that treats Americans as “lessers”. Failure to do so actually makes China’s nonsense look less legitimate.

Don’t rush to automatically take sides in conflicts that have lasted centuries. The scariest part is that China’s government ignores the problem as much as the Taiwanese and American governments. That is what some call a “larger clue”.

Trade & Tech

U.S. undecided on further restricting China’s SMIC: Reuters, citing sources // CNBC

“Taiwan… and China”
EXPLAINED: Wafers, Chips And How India Is Eyeing A Slice Of The Semiconductor Pie // News 18 (India)

Chinese Chip Industry Has a Plan B, and Now US Sanctions Are Catching Up // Tech Taiwan


US hits China with sanctions and trade curbs over Uighurs // Taipei Times


“It is ridiculous that China, which is not democratic at all, dares to tell Taiwan what democracy means”
Taiwan warns China on intervening in its affairs // Taipei Times

Massive defeat for KMT-Nationalist party
Voters say ‘no’ to all four referendum questions // Taipei Times

Military Faceoff

New Chinese J-15 fighter jet looks ready for faster take-off // SCMP