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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 10, 2020

China received two-and-a-half slaps in the face this week: financial sanctions against a few Chinese and Hong Kong leaders, who don’t have money in the US anyway, and the first formal diplomatic visit from America to Taiwan in over 40 years. To add “insultlett” to insults, the purported reason for the US visit was to discuss health and disease cooperation in the face of the Wuhan-famed pneumoniavirus, with Taiwan being the safest place in the world from the disease.

All of these actions from the US are perfectly understandable.

Countries should visit each other. The US is wrong for not having visited Taiwan over the last two score, just as North and South Korea are wrong for their tensions. The world needs people to talk to each other, whether in government, religion, or otherwise. At least Taiwan and the US seem to be getting along much better than Democrat and Republican voters in America.

Sanctions over Hong Kong’s turn of events are also understandable. Beijing doesn’t have jurisprudence over the world, but certain people in Beijing seem to think so and aren’t afraid to put their opinions in ink and law. No, Americans shouldn’t do business with such folk; no one should, no matter what country they’re from.

As understandable as US actions are, they are nonetheless provocative. We can’t expect Beijing to be happy. America found the perfect storm, and bet the bank that people in the Pentagon know what’s going on. But, something seems different in this week’s volley of cross-Pacific insults: Beijing didn’t pop a hernia like it usually does.

Could the Chinese Communists be learning to not feed taunts from the US? Or, more likely, has Beijing read the clear message of actions and decided to quietly plan retaliatory “messages” of action in ways other than rhetoric? The next few months will tell us.

Great Pacific

China increasingly worried about ‘losing face’ as Japan bankrolls exodus of firms // SCMP

China

China seals off village after bubonic plague death // Independent

South China Sea on knife-edge after Chinese fighters swoop low over disputed islands // Express

Taiwan

US begins highest-level visit in decades // Taipei Times

Foreign students in Taiwan cry out for help over quarantine // Taiwan News

US health secretary to arrive in Taiwan Aug. 9 // Taiwan News

China opposes US military drone sale to Taiwan // Taiwan News

US announces ‘highest level’ visit in decades to Taiwan // Yahoo News

Hong Kong

China urged to avoid retaliation over US sanctions on officials behind Hong Kong security law // SCMP

‘Shameless and despicable’: Hong Kong decries US sanctions on officials over national security law // SCMP

National security law: Hong Kong says it ‘strongly deplored and opposed’ US consulate statement // SCMP

Korean Peninsula

North Korea working on ‘miniaturized’ nuclear devices: UN report // CNN

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 3, 2020

If ever there were a time when two nations didn’t want to get along, it is now. If ever there were a time when a growing group of nations decided that a single other nation never wanted to get along, it is now.

China’s security law affecting Hong Kong, defining what is a crime in every sovereign, non-China territory of the world—in a word “pretentious”. No nation’s government should ever allow a foreign government to define what is a crime within its own borders, especially a single government acting unilaterally and without counsel.

Human Rights involve laws that China directly agreed to in joining the United Nations. Human Rights sanctions over forced sterilization among Uighurs in Xinjiang in no way compare to Beijing dictating it is a crime for someone in New Zealand to voice support for free elections in Hong Kong. The Confucian-Communist Chinese don’t see the difference. They view sterilizing Uighurs as fair and international sanctions for doing so as unfair. It’s not a lie or polite statement—they really see things that way.

So, banning TikTok won’t give the Chinese any second thoughts about their aspirations and actions. Taiwan’s first democratically elected president passed away this week at 97 and the US lauded his achievement. China won’t see any need to change so as to cooperate with our democratic world today; they will only see it as an insult to China’s entitlement to greatness.

The Taiwanese chip maker TSMC provides 20% of the worlds microchips at quality of which China cannot produce any. If China invaded Taiwan and TSMC had to cease operations, China would suppose that the ability to make these chips would instantly transfer to China, where China could pick up the slack, so there would be no threat to the global tech industry.

Now, the US introduces a bill with bipartisan support for military action already approved for the US to defend Taiwan against China specifically. It’s not hard to know how China will respond. With every step, China has the same response: China’s right; the rest of the world is wrong. It’s not hard to know how the rest of the world interprets that kind of response.

Great Pacific

Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui foresaw Hong Kong’s troubles // Taiwan News

“But China’s ambition is not only for Taiwan. It’s all of Asia—and the whole world.”
China Set Its Sights on Taiwan After Hong Kong Crackdown // Bloomberg

China

Hardline only grows…
Pompeo on US crackdown of Chinese government // YouTube @ Fox News

China’s response…
Official: Pompeo’s words cannot alter general course of Sino-U.S. ties // CGTN (China Govt)

Flashback: “The only way to truly change Communist China is to act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave.”
Pompeo: We must distrust and verify. // YouTube @ Just The News

TikTok: Pompeo says Trump to crack down on Chinese software in coming days // BBC News

Chinese virologist claims coronavirus came from PLA lab // Taiwan News

UK and China relationship ‘seriously poisoned’, says Beijing’s ambassador // BBC News

Videos show Chongqing hit by biggest flood of year // Taiwan News

China’s Claims to the South China Sea Are Unlawful. Now What? // NY Times

Stanford researcher and others allegedly concealed Chinese military ties // paloaltoonline.comPpalo Alto Online

China is rewriting the facts about Covid-19 to suit its own narrative // Guardian

Is TikTok Spying On You For China? // Forbes

States are warning people about suspicious packages of seeds that appear to be from China // CNN

Taiwan

US congressman introduces Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act // Taiwan News

White House, Cornell University praise Lee Teng-hui // Taipei Times

TSMC walks tightrope between US and China as Intel falls behind // CNN

New Zealand should open up for Taiwanese travelers // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

Hong Kong ‘issues arrest warrants’ for exiled democracy activists // Aljazeera

Benny Tai: Hong Kong university fires professor who led protests // BBC News

Hong Kong mulling postponing LegCo’s September election // Taipei Times

Japan

Korean Peninsula

A North Korean coronavirus outbreak might be the biggest threat Kim Jong Un has ever faced // CNN

Kim Jong Un says there will be ‘no more war on this earth’ thanks to North Korea’s nuclear weapons // CNN

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 27, 2020

Bail on Hong Kong, jump to Taiwan. That’s the move from everyone.

Britain doesn’t bail on Hong Kong, but creates a path for Hong Kongers to bail on Hong Kong. Britain isn’t just walking away. By allowing British Overseas Passport holders to easily enter Britain, British Parliament responds as if 3 million British citizens and their families are suddenly in China—basically treating Hong Kong as if it is truly, fully Chinese. Britain ended its extradition with Hong Kong, making it the same as with China. Britain extended an arms embargo to Hong Kong already in place against China.

This is the part that confuses the Chinese. They want the world to recognize that Hong Kong is China, but when countries treat Hong Kong the same way as they treat China, China objects. Consider the mindset that demands: Everyone treat Hong Kong like China, but you interfere if you treat Hong Kong like China. The Chinese don’t understand how the world is responding. They never thought the world would respond this way. They think the world is simply being mean and cruel.

Staying consistent is not a part of the Chinese Communist worldview. Consulates do passport services and diplomatic visits, not much beyond that. That’s why countries allow them. America says China went way beyond that, claiming evidence of the consulate running a spy ring. Truth or lie, the Chinese thought they could do anything inside their consulate as if they were in Beijing, otherwise they wouldn’t need to burn documents before leaving. They don’t see America following consistent rules by demanding the consulate close; they only see America as starting a fight.

Western nations at least pretend to operate with universal standards and kept promises. They are far from perfect, but at least they pretend to and their voters expect them to. China doesn’t even pretend to operate with universal standards and kept promises. Chinese Communists simply do whatever they decide for each, individual situation, then justify it as either “their right to do what they want” or as “an internal matter” or as “what is best”. If China makes a promise, then decides to break it without any notice, then the people they promised object, China calls that objection “interference”. Following precedent or promises has no place in Chinese understanding of lawfulness.

Now, ask yourself about a government that insists that it is fair to change the rules throughout the game and without notice. What will mid-level leaders within that government do themselves and expect from their leaders above them and from their subordinates below them? Will their military be able to function with a culture where it is right to change rules at any time? Will ship captains prefer battles for the glory over winning the war? Will the West think such a military is a formidable threat or that such a military is inconsistent and easily defeated?

Taiwan certainly sees the Chinese military as a threat, but the Taiwanese apparently believe China’s military can be affronted. Taiwan boosts its own military budget while the US only increases ties. Banks are also looking to Taiwan as the Asian alternative to Hong Kong, which banks are losing interest in since it now appears to be truly, fully Chinese. With so many people running to Taiwan—and taking their money with them—Taiwan won’t lack the budget for defense.

So, ask yourself, with the shift moving to Taiwan, what will the rule-changing Chinese do? And, will China’s rule-changing embolden the West to think that China’s military won’t be very organized?

Great Pacific

Global Banks Look to Taiwan Expansion in Shift Away From Hong Kong // Bloomberg

China

Australia rejects Beijing’s claims in South China Sea // Taipei Times

US officials raid Chinese consulate in Houston believed to be spy hub // Fox News

Singaporean man pleads guilty to spying for China in the US // CNN

Major global brands profiting from forced Uighur labor: activists // Business Insider

China ‘set to shut US consulate’ in response to Houston closure, and denies Covid-19 is a factor // SCMP

China orders US consulate in Chengdu to close as tensions rise // Guardian

Chinese consulate in Houston ordered closed by US government // CNN

U.S. orders China to close its consulate in Houston // CBS News

World is legally obliged to pressure China on Uighurs, leading lawyers say // Guardian

Special Report: China expands amphibious forces in challenge to U.S. beyond Asia // Yahoo News

Taiwan

Defense budget tipped to rise NT$10bn // Taipei Times

Premier promises defense after Chinese incursions // Taipei Times

US bill backing Taiwan passes // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

UK unveils new special visa for Hong Kong’s BNO holders // BBC News

UK suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty and extends China arms embargo to the city // CNN

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 20, 2020

Hong Kong is seriously considering shutting itself down. Many may argue that Hong Kong is certainly shutting down, but a basic understanding of humanity says that people are resilient. China claims that doing whatever China wants inside Hong Kong is good, right, and fair, regardless of the promise not to do so until 2047. Democracies and countries with free speech have always risen up with with unstoppable strength to resist powers claiming their right to control them from outside, as China is doing.

France insulted King Henry V of England, according to legend with three tennis balls instead of promised tribute. Henry invaded and conquered. At that time, the French were spoiled and foolish; their military was no match for England because it was not disciplined.

Scotland revolted against King Edward I and won independence. At that time, the Scottish were selfless and willing to burn their own corn fields and even die; Scotland fought from desperation to not be oppressed while England’s disposition of entitlement was no match.

China claims that Hong Kongers are spoiled like the French were under Henry V. Hong Kongers claim they are desperate to escape oppression like the Scottish under Robert the Bruce. Who is right? The next few years will answer that question. But, it could go either way. Nothing is decided.

At this time, however, China is doing certain things, then Hong Kong is responding a certain way while other countries in the world respond in their ways. China believes everyone else is wrong.

Trade & Tech

Taiwan digital minister warns of China’s 5G ‘Trojan horse’ // Nikkei Asian Review

Hong Kong

Students, migrants heading to US worry about impact of Hong Kong Autonomy Act // SCMP

National security law: Beijing vows to retaliate after Donald Trump ends special treatment for Hong Kong and targets officials with sanctions // SCMP

Bankers Shocked by 45% China Tax Rate Mull Leaving Hong Kong // Bloomberg

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 13, 2020

China and the US have shown their intentions to the world. The new “National Security Law”, passed and interpreted solely by the Chinese Communist Party, applies to the entire world. China made it illegal for Americans to support calls for change in Hong Kong. Germans wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh shirt could be guilty of a Chinese crime against China’s national security. This is no joke.

The US went hard line after China over Uyghurs in Xinjiang this week. 78 members of Congress petitioned President Trump from both parties to declare China’s work with the Uyghurs “genocide”. That is not merely rhetoric nor an attempt to insult, but a step to unlock later military permissions. The US is preparing for invasion, either to land US troops or to support some other military that does, such as India. This is no joke.

China clarified its understanding on two fronts.

Firstly, about Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China responded to America’s visa sanction and frozen asset action against Chinese officials with a tit-for-tat policy. By not responding with military preparation, or at least genocide declaration, China misinterpreted what the US is ultimately preparing.

Secondly, Chinese state media have commented how the new “National Security Law” for Hong Kong would apply if China could assert jurisdiction elsewhere. This means that, just as the US is laying in the groundwork for an invasion of China, China is laying in the groundwork for what would follow an invasion anywhere else. In all likelihood, the US’ response concerning Uyghurs in Xinjiang—paving a way for invasion—showed understanding of China’s plans for invasion, less likely not, but surely the sabers have been unsheathed and are no longer just rattling.

Great Pacific

‘High-risk groups’ warned over HK law // Taipei Times

China inches toward ‘liberating’ Taiwan after HK security law: Washington Post // Taiwan News

Hong Kong Security Law Sends Chills Through Taiwan: We Could Be Next // New Delhi TV

China

US punishes senior Chinese officials over Uighur rights // CNA

China, US in new spat over Uighur crackdown // Yahoo News

Bubonic plague: Case found in China’s Inner Mongolia // CNN

Taiwan

Doctor praises, calls Taiwan a ‘country’
Dr. Richard Bartlett | ACWT Interview 7.2.20 // YouTube @ America Can We Talk?

Skeletons in every government closet
Taiwan still replete with reminders of authoritarian-era rulers, report finds // Taipei Times

Taipei thanks US for missile package // Taipei Times

Only in Taiwan
Taiwan airport offers flights to nowhere for people desperate to travel // News.com.au

Taiwan’s defense science institute entangled in security breach over Chinese cloud service // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

Hong Kong police raid pollster ahead of opposition vote // Yahoo News

Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong, offers pathway to residency for Hongkongers // SCMP

Hong Kong activists hold blank signs to dodge China security law // Business Insider

Hong Kong protests: opposition activist Agnes Chow pleads guilty in relation to incident outside police headquarters last year // SCMP

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 6, 2020

It’s official. China has broken the treaty that allows Hong Kong to be Chinese. The last time Britain accused China of breaking treaty, the Royal Navy opened fire on the Taiwan city of Tainan in 1858. The time before that was just a few decades earlier, when Britain obtained Hong Kong Island in a surrender from the Chinese after the Opium Wars.

Those wars began because China believed it was fair for silver to flow out of Britain, but only tea leaves to flow out of China. China would not accept British inventions and technology in trade, only silver for leaves. Opium was another leaf, one some in China were willing to return silver to Britain in exchange for.

For China, friendship has always been a one-way street. The Opium Wars did not begin with British military intervention. They started with an unbalanced sense of justice from China and subversion in response from Britain. While the British military did not start the wars, it ended them.

Now, China has passed a law in Beijing that affects the streets of Hong Kong. That violates the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the basis for Hong Kong’s return to China. It seems 150 years have not changed anyone’s disposition. China wants laws written in one city, then obeyed in another. China wants to make promises, then ignore them. Britain will not respond with military, but with subversion. In the end, America’s military may play a role, but Hong Kong will likely return to the British for one, single reason. History repeats for those who refuse to learn from it.

China

‘Our pastures have been taken’: Indians rue China’s Himalayan land grab // Guardian

“…no evidence China has ambitions to match or replace its global military machinery…” Is the wrier a Chinese opp?
The true cost of a new confrontation with China (opinion) // CNN

Taiwan

67%
Record number identify as ‘Taiwanese,’ poll finds // Taipei Times

Taiwan stages drill simulating response to an invasion by China // Focus Taiwan

Hong Kong

As China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, people are leaving for Taiwan // NBC News

It’s official!
China is breaking Hong Kong treaty with UK, says Boris Johnson // Guardian

Donnie Yen celebrates Hong Kong’s ‘return’ to the motherland – ‘I am fighting for the Chinese people’ // SCMP

Hong Kong Files First Charges Under New Law, Bans Rallying Cry // Bloomberg

Busted for helping, kind of
US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests // SCMP

Broken promises!
Hong Kong makes first arrests under China’s new national security law // CNBC

Military Faceoff

US sends carriers to S China Sea // Taipei Times

 

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Encore of Revival: America, July 6, 2020

Happy Independence! Americans celebrated their declaration almost 250 years ago on Saturday. The country has coexisted with unseen freedoms in many ways and unheard deafness to its own oppression in others. It serves as a reminder that we live in a Republic only as long as we keep it. It’s not the job of presidents nor judges nor legislators to preserve our freedoms for us.

Chief Justice Roberts made a decision that baffled some, but not those who remember his deciding vote on Obamacare. Arguably, having voted to keep Obamacare on the books was the bail of hay that broke the camel’s back and elected Trump. Now, this election mover has stirred the electorate once again toward a choice that will move us closer to the inevitable reversal of Roe v. Wade.

As we approach “election solstice”, the Left puts out every argument it can drum up to oppose Trump. It seems overdone for a group that claims to believe they will win November. And, they ignore deeper matters that move Trump votes.

Much more is at stake other than abortion. China is taking over with a force to eclipse Japan’s expansion in the 1940s. No one was willing to not capitulate to China except Trump. If he were not re-elected, we might have no discussion on civil rights because the Chinese would be killing everyone in America who is not Han.

But then, America’s military is spread too thin and neither Republican nor Democratic president has worked to reduce our expanding global presence, none except Trump. There’s also the matter of manufacturing and closing the border to China over a virus when Democrats wanted to keep it open.

While our nation is in no position to decide an election on the social issues when basic needs are at stake, we are thankfully forced to address our neglected past. Intolerance over the atrocities of racism won’t shift the election because those lines have already been drawn. By not being distracted with yet another failed political solution to racial healing, we the People will actually have to deal with the wounds of racism ourselves. Maybe something will finally get done.

Trump

Here comes the push…
Rough polling stretch has GOP operatives asking: Could Trump drop out? // Fox News

Election

Theory:
Trump has a plan to stay in the White House if he loses election, former senator says // Independent

Law

Supreme Court: John Roberts sides with liberals to block controversial Louisiana abortion law // CNN

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Justice Department’s efforts to restart federal executions // CBS News

Congress

Speculation unfettered, that’s a big IF
McConnell warns Democrats about changing Senate rules to kill the filibuster // Yahoo News

Federal System

Justice Department considering replacing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr ally // CNN

Activism, Unrest & Protests

Trump news live: Latest 2020 election updates as US posts record daily coronavirus rise // Independent

Armed St. Louis homeowner speaks out: ‘When I saw that mob … I thought that we would be overrun in a second’ // Fox News

Human Rights, Civil Liberties & Privacy

From the Magazine: ‘It Is Time for Reparations’ // NY Times

Science, Weather & Health

Trump news live: Latest 2020 election updates as president baselessly claims coronavirus will disappear // Independent

NATO Focus

Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over killing of Qasem Soleimani // CNBC

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 29, 2020

At what point is it okay to bully the bad guy? At what point does bullying the bad guy make the bully the bigger bad guy? This is a line China is fast approaching and the US is fast leaving.

The thinking goes, “If you just did the good things I demand, then the great harm I did you in response wouldn’t have happened.” Of this, both China and America are guilty. That’s why they are headed toward a conflict.

China pushes more and more toward this in the Far East while America brings home troops from previous venture wars in the Middle East. China is stepping-up bully responses while America backs off from them. But, both harbor that same “I’m allowed to do anything because I’m right” attitude. Both China and America need to repent. Perhaps God allowing this war will get some people there, or perhaps not. That choice is up to the individual.

Regardless of choice and attitude, we know things are only escalating. China passes a law grossly violating the 1984 treaty with Great Britain. That, technically, un-returns Hong Kong to China, though the wise, shrewd Crown hasn’t said so yet. America has recognized this first, giving third-party credibility. If China’s plan were to endear the world and win hearts with a show of its kindness, it’s failed. It’s hard to show a kindness one does have because it’s hard to have kindness one resents in favor of winning at any cost.

Taiwan

US lawmakers present Taiwan Fellowship Act // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

NPC Standing Committee to vote on HK laws tomorrow // Taipei Times

HK govt accuses Taiwan of ‘interfering’
MAC denies accusation from HK // Taipei Times

Senate passes new sanctions to punish China over Hong Kong // CNN

US Senate passes bill that could punish China for Hong Kong national security law // SCMP

Emperor, biggest landlord on Hong Kong’s Russell Street, world’s most expensive shopping avenue, reports US$464.5 million loss // SCMP

European Union leaders urge Xi Jinping to drop Hong Kong national security law, or risk ‘negative consequences’ // SCMP

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 22, 2020

China seems desperate for war. America has typically been the infamous provocateur. That’s how China paints things. That’s how Japan and Germany saw things. But, China has taken up a new role.

Buzzing jets into Taiwanese airspace is just one concern. China also sends fishing boats to ram Taiwan’s Coast Guard and sand ships just to annoy. These won’t convince the Taiwanese that China’s rule would be preferable to status quo. Taiwanese respond by demanding more money for military and more weapons purchases from America.

Hong Kong looks grim as Beijing closes its stranglehold. There’s no question anymore whether China held up its end of the bargain on its treaty that allowed Hong Kong to return. The question is whether anyone in the West cares. Hong Kongers have done all they can.

Meanwhile, Trump hasn’t forgotten. In America’s election, China “trumps” many topics, as it were—including the economy, the virus, Biden’s past, and even war. The only reason China hasn’t stepped up its aggression is unawareness: China doesn’t know how American elections work because China doesn’t understand the concept of democracy, as Hong Kong’s deterioration shows. To those who know, Trump faces a statistically likely victory. Holding out for November might prove too late.

Taiwan

Seventh Chinese jet spotted this month // Taipei Times

Beijing steps up presence in ‘military grey zones’ to pressure Taiwan // SCMP

Chinese fighter jets buzz Taiwan again, stoking tensions // Yahoo News

Taiwan jets ‘drive away’ intruding Chinese fighter plane, third intrusion in days // CNA

Hong Kong

Beijing details HK security law // Taipei Times

This is what is called a ‘threat’
The End of Hong Kong. // thenationalpulse.com

Beijing reserves right to handle ‘rare’ cases involving Hong Kong’s new national security law // SCMP

Korean Peninsula

North Korea blows up liaison office in Kaesong used for talks with South // CNN

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 15, 2020

The West and China just won’t back down from each other. China will no longer try to work through former Mayor Han of Kaohsiung to reunite Taiwan against the will of 23 million people. America wants to put new missiles in China’s back yard and every ally has turned down the offer except Taiwan, who hasn’t had the chance. Australia is putting out the word on China, it’s not the best place to study and coercion won’t work. Now, North Korea is selling sand—illegally, of course, since selling anything has been deemed “illegal” by the West.

The sad part about the predictability of this conflict is how many were surprised by it. China never wanted to Westernize, otherwise it wouldn’t have injected so many “Confucian” centers to indoctrinate other countries with their ancient Chinese ideals. All those students and propagandists from China were welcomed to teach Chinese or learn from the West, but when their Confucian-Communist colors shown, it all unraveled in a flash. Both professors and businesses that received Chinese money are sent packing.

But, we were always headed here. When ideological differences spread too broad, irreconcilable differences are destined to break whatever scaffolding temporarily binds us together. To those who saw it, they haven’t been affected by the divide. For the rest, the damage hurts to much not to blame and rage. And, that will only build.

Great Pacific

Australian official urges students to consider studying there as China claims racism // CNBC

Australia won’t be intimidated by China’s ‘coercion’, prime minister says // SCMP

China

Danger ahead: US bumps in China’s global belt and road // SCMP

Signs of infighting surface among Chinese leadership // Taiwan News

Taiwan

Even nuclear deterrents to prevent ‘fait accompli’
US senator introduces Taiwan Defense Act // Taiwan News

Is rare US military flight over Taiwan a sign of more to come? // SCMP

Chinese warplanes enter Taiwan Strait after US flyover // SCMP

If China Invades Taiwan, This Is What The Fleet Could Look Like // Forbes

So, ‘peaceful’ is out the window?
Beijing won’t rely on KMT for realizing reunification with Taiwan following ‘mayor’ recall drama: analysts // Global Times (China Govt)

City speaker jumps to death after Taiwan mayor recall vote // This is Money

S. Taiwan city council speaker’s suicide overshadows recall vote // Taiwan News

Korean Peninsula

North Korea is making millions selling sand. Yes, sand. // CNN

Military Faceoff

So, will it be Taiwan?
U.S. seeks to house missiles in the Pacific. Some allies don’t want them // Yahoo News

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 8, 2020

If The Chinese think poll numbers looking low or that the unrest in America means the Xi doctrine has a widening path on the road ahead, they should think again. But, being Confucian Communist, that’s hard.

Trump actually may be ahead of where he was when he ran against Hillary. And, if the one president who could stand up to China were really on the outs, the last thing America’s government would want is for the news media to report on it. It’s a rouse. America and Trump are far better positioned to take on China than anti-society new media would have us think.

Mayor Han of Kaohsiung in Taiwan just faced a recall election and he got spanked. In a vote of 939k to 25k, the China hopeful from the grand old KMT-Nationalist Party faced a humiliation that the rest of the party might never overcome. The Kaohsiung city council speaker reportedly jumped to his death. Mayor Han had challenged Taiwan’s president in the general election and lost, now his own constituency dumped him. It wasn’t just a reprisal on him or his party; it was a reprisal against China. He ran on a platform of reuniting with China. These days, China is unpopular because of decisions within China’s power to change.

Hong Kong is another hot spot for bad press. While Hong Kong could never stop China alone, Hong Kongers have been a platform on which China showed the world how China does things. And, the world isn’t having it.

We’re past the point of common sense and diplomatic shuffles. Nothing China even could do ever would change anyone’s opinion. The world already has its mind made up.

Great Pacific

Overreach bolsters tech demand
Protests In Hong Kong And Minneapolis Show The Need For Privacy And Bitcoin // Forbes

Trade & Tech

The case to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States can continue, judge rules // CNN

UK to decide on Huawei 5G ban // BBC News

China

US to impose restrictions on more Chinese media outlets // Taiwan News

Chinese Government Buildings in Africa Used as a Way to Spy // christianitydaily.com

Government Buildings in Africa Are a Likely Vector for Chinese Spying // Heritage Foundation

Bill that could delist Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges to see ‘swift passage’ in House, analyst says // MarketWatch

All about the whole thing…
The US is Getting SERIOUS About China // YouTube @ China Uncensored

China asks state firms to halt purchases of U.S. soybeans, pork, sources say // CNBC

Smear piece: American YouTuber inside China spreading CCP anti-democracy sentiment
China propagandist Nathan Rich’s criminal record revealed // Taiwan News

Is Beijing preparing to decouple from the US? // SCMP

Taiwan

Defeat! 939k : 25k
Kaohsiung voters recall Han Kuo-yu // Taipei Times

Taiwan opposition candidate Han Kuo-yu removed as mayor of Kaohsiung after heavy defeat in recall election // SCMP

Crackdown and pushing out spies:
Taiwan offering up to NT$20,000 reward for info on foreigners who overstay visas // Taiwan News

Taiwan remains sanguine despite Beijing sabre-rattling // Financial Times

Taiwan recall vote stirs acrimony, brings new problems for KMT // Yahoo News

Hong Kong

Pro China sentiment
Never bet against China // SCMP

Tiananmen vigil as it happened: thousands of Hongkongers defy ban to mark anniversary of June 4 crackdown // SCMP

Hong Kong leader calls out ‘double standards’ on national security, points to U.S. // Yahoo News

Hong Kong Police Block Tiananmen Square Vigil, Citing Coronavirus // NPR

Podcast episode: Basic Law recap & history
Hong Kong: the end of one country, two systems? // Guardian

Hong Kong facing ‘Tiananmen Square’ moment – as plea is made for UN intervention // Express

Security Law Sends Hong Kong Residents Dashing for the Exit // Bloomberg

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 1, 2020

China says every effort will be made for peaceful reunification with Taiwan as long as there remains hope; force is the last resort. But, Taiwan wants peaceful freedom from tyranny; force is the last resort. There is no hope for China to find any reunification with Taiwan of any kind. China has removed any desire for peaceful reunification with it’s pressured propaganda campaigns around the world and in Taiwan, not to mention terrible handling of Hong Kong. Taiwan has prevented any hope of forceful reunification by arming to the teeth in response to China’s backfired PR campaigns.

Taking Taiwan would hurt and cost both lives and resources. And, Russia knows this. With steep cliffs on the east coast, complex deltas plains on the west coast, and a capital city inside a mountain bowl at the north, any beach landing would make Normandy Beach look like a walk in the park. With mountains peaking even higher than Fuji, China faces a jungle battle like halted America in Vietnam, except this battle would only be uphill.

If China prioritized such a venture, using either or both of its two copied aircraft carriers with its copied fighter jets and its copied missiles and copied drones, China’s neighbors would see an opportunity even if the US didn’t respond with any of its forty-four home-made carriers.

India, with one billion people, is no forced-friend of China, especially in recent months. A Taiwan distraction would be the perfect chance to free Tibet. Two thousand years of anti-friendship relations between Vietnam and China would require enormous numbers of soldiers to keep the Vietnamese from taking Nanjing as a pathway to the island of Hainan. Vietnam has a motive anyway, keep China at a safer distance for its history of aggression. With China occupied at the west and east while squandering enormous forces at Taiwan, Japan—a larger economy than India—has its own grudge and would love the chance for target practice near Beijing. None of the other countries small enough to be bought off and bullied would bring much help nor will to China’s aid.

Then, there’s the US after China would be in enough trouble. Russia doesn’t want more trouble, for all Moscow’s effort to seduce Europe by appearing pacifist. If China ever did manage to reach a Pyrrhic victory over Taiwan, China would have no defenses left, Tibet might be gone, then Japan and Vietnam would have taken their own bits out of the map. China would be clean pickings between the US and China’s frenemy Russia.

Russia is no friend of China. Who do you think gave China the idea of this wasted pursuit? All of that assumes things go well with the one billion Chinese who hate their government more than ever before in history.

So, why did Taiwan request a lower-grade missile—because it comes with a vehicle Taiwan already has? It’s not because Taiwan actually needs it. No. Talking about arming again to the teeth already armed to puts a kind of social pressure on Beijing, a sense of urgency. Taiwan sees what China is up against. Taiwan knows that Confucian culture can’t pass up the opportunity to self-destruct in order to save face. Taiwan’s policy is clear: Bring it.

Great Pacific

Taiwan president pledges humanitarian relief for Hong Kongers // Yahoo News

Nikki Haley says ‘Chinese takeover of HK’ would ‘endanger Taiwan’ // Taiwan News

Trade & Tech

South Korea is the pivot in the Huawei wars // Asia Times

Huawei’s Nightmare Week Is About To Get Much Worse // Forbes

Taiwan

Them sound like fightin words
Chinese general says Beijing will ‘resolutely smash’ any separatist moves by Taiwan // SCMP

Taiwan Wants Land-Based Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles To Counter Growing Chinese Naval Power // The Drive

War drums…
Defense minister says Taiwan prepared for China attack // Taiwan News

Boost Ties with Taiwan: China can’t dictate terms for everyone in Asia // Times of India

Hong Kongers in Taiwan worried over possible law suspension // Focus Taiwan

Hong Kong

What could losing US ‘special status’ mean for Hong Kong? // indiatoday.in

Broken treaty:
China’s public security ministry vows to ‘fully guide’ Hong Kong’s embattled police force in safeguarding stability and restoring order // SCMP

Hong Kong national security law: US gets little backing with hard line on China, as other countries steer clear of threats // SCMP

2,878 : 1 in CCP approve!
Chinese parliament approves controversial Hong Kong security law // Guardian

Chinese version, CCP vote on HK security law…
2878票贊成、1票反對、6票棄權:中國人大通過「港版國安法」!// 風傳媒 // Storm Media

Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, US determines, as Mike Pompeo makes certification that may mean sanctions // SCMP

Hong Kong police arrest hundreds and fire pepper pellets amid fresh unrest // BBC News

Hong Kong protests: police arrest 180 peopleoint as Legislative Council begins debate on national anthem law // SCMP

China threatens US with counter measures if punished for Hong Kong law // SCMP

Hong Kong mobilizing again to counter CCP encroachment // Taiwan News

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 25, 2020

Taiwan has a new Vice President: Former Premier William Lai, known for his pro-independence posture. China won’t be happy, but China is rarely happy these days.

The Chinese made two loud omissions in their rhetoric this week. When talking about reunification with Taiwan, they left out the word “peaceful”. The press noticed. A Taiwan official said it meant the same thing. But, everyone knew better because China also left out regard for Hong Kong’s Basic Law, something else that always got mentioned in the past.

Apparently, Beijing thinks peace and honoring treaties are too petty to be bothered with.

But, certain terms are in need of clarity. Xi Jinping isn’t merely trying to “reunify with Taiwan”; his actions are closest to that of a corporate hostile takeover—not just of Taiwan, but the entire world.

In Australia, Drew Pavlou faces expulsion from Queensland University for organizing student protests in support of Hong Kong opposition to recent law proposals, especially extradition to China and the recent “security” proposal. Follow the money. Australia’s government is looking into China’s influence. Many other governments are too.

According to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, US Congress is required to review whether Hong Kong is autonomous enough to have its visas treated separately from the rest of China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already late in his report. He waited until China held its own congress meetings. What happened at those meetings didn’t help the case for Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Trade & Tech

Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou could be set free next week by extradition ruling // SCMP

U.S. regulators open door to possible tightening of Huawei chip curb // Yahoo News

US semiconductor giant shuts China factory hailed as ‘a miracle’, in blow to Beijing’s chip plans // SCMP

Huawei Loses Millions Of Users As Serious New Threat From China Gets Real // Forbes

China

Part Deux… blaming Russia…
Coronavirus: 2nd Wave Hits China // YouTube @ China Uncensored

Wuhan lab admits to having three live strains of bat coronavirus on site // DNyuz

China has new US$1.4 trillion plan to seize the world’s tech crown from the US // SCMP

As Trump threatens to pull funding from World Health Organization, China pledges billions // YouTube @ CBS This Morning

This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! @realdonaldtrump // Instagram

China’s Xi Jinping to give opening speech at WHA // Taiwan News

Taiwan

Taiwan united in condemning HK law // Taipei Times

China drops word ‘peaceful’ in latest push for Taiwan ‘reunification’ // Yahoo News

What Taiwan Told the WHO at the Start of the Virus Outbreak // TIME

Taiwan says it is ‘disappointed and angry’ being excluded from WHO meeting // CNBC

Construction of Chinese airport in close proximity to Taiwan’s Kinmen outrages netizens // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Independence May Not Survive the Pandemic // NY Magazine

Outrage in HK over security law // Taipei Times

What you need to know about the national security law for Hong Kong // SCMP

Two Sessions 2020: Beijing sets sights on Hong Kong legal system as part of national security move // SCMP

Why Chinese luxury shoppers won’t return to Hong Kong soon – protests, prices and death of the city’s ‘experience’ // SCMP

Hong Kong lawmakers scuffle as pro-Beijing politicians clear path for controversial national anthem bill // CNN

Korean Peninsula

North Korea state TV curiously scrubs Kim Jong Un emblem // NY Post

India

China-India border tension flares up in Galwan Valley, won’t lead to another ‘Doklam standoff’: experts // Global Times (China Govt)

India building defence facilities in Galwan Valley region of Aksai Chin: Chinese media // Hindustan Times

And now India too…
Indian Troops Being Reinforced In Ladakh After Face-Off With China // New Delhi TV

Military Faceoff

F-35 stealth fighter jet crashes at Eglin Air Force Base // Fox News

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 18, 2020

It was a week of slap after slap in China’s face. Congress pokes at Human Rights in Xinjiang among other old-news grievances. China “warns” the US—again—about Huawei, apparently unaware that warnings require power or at least clout, of which China retains neither.

As blame circulates against China for a global outbreak, Taiwan courts favor. Airlines have corrected a listing that identifies Taiwan as somehow part of China or something-or-other. You know you’ve lost when airline companies aren’t even afraid of you.

The dirtiest and best-kept secret is about war. China can’t even threaten military action against America because of the elections in America. While American polling likely lies as usual, war is good for any sitting president’s numbers. Threat of war would be good news for America’s incumbent, whomever that incumbent may be.

So, China is left with a choice: Wait until the West is even stronger in China’s back yard and face shame for not acting or else respond to Western provocation to start a war too early and face shame for losing.  · · · →

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