Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 30, 2020

https://youtu.be/ayqbj-b8SKg

Blame! Both general theories about where this virus originated fail to do two things: They don't acquit anyone and they don't tell us how to treat it. The theories no longer seem to matter since fear has taken over the world.

Initially, we had a theory that the virus passed from wildlife to humans at a kind of so-called exotic meat market in Wuhan, a city in China. Then, a Chinese government official—later seen as a lone wolf not speaking for the pack—blamed the US Army specifically, as opposed to the US Military or CIA as the usual conspiracy theory suspects go. We'll look at the Army's place in Chinese politics later.

Upon review, there is a convincing case that the 2019-nCoV had its origin at a military laboratory and got out into the American public last summer before the CDC shut down that laboratory. But, this still doesn't explain how it would have gotten to Wuhan. And, both China and the US still face scorn for coverups and delayed response.

Then, we have China's negative PR campaign, two actually. Blaming the US "Army" feeds Chinese kook theory because the Chinese military is called the "Army". Even China's Navy is called the "People's Liberation Army Navy". It seemed from the outset as intended to tip Chinese cultural sentiment against America, not intending to be based in fact. Now, a few weeks later, the Chinese people fear "foreigners" (Westerners and 'Black People'). Old Chinese superstition still lingers, that Black People are cursed by the gods or by nature because black is the bad color in their culture.

As anti-foreign sentiment grows in China, the world grows more irritated with China. And, as the WHO digs its heels in on keeping Taiwan out, the world sees China controlling too much of the world through its deep pockets—a concern the international finance community had brought up from an article from Harvard Business Review, How Much Money Does the World Owe China?. When a WHO official hung up on an interview twice, we see that Harvard's curiosity wasn't irrelevant.

The world is responding in hatred toward China with such venom, people beat up Asians of any nationality, even those without any connection to China. Yes, the world propped up China for a grand fall into global disfavor. But, China still hasn't done anything to help itself. One little virus, no matter where it came from, was all it took to push the world over the brink.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 23, 2020

China's in trouble—deep trouble. America pauses with the same hush of silence that swept the country from the outskirts of Washington to New Orleans in 1812, gathering around the radio in 1941, or staring at the same TV images on repeat in 2001. While America pauses and reflects, China accuses, taunts, and threatens, as if the world wasn't already angry enough about the jobs lost to a Communist country that promotes leaders for party loyalty rather than governing competence.

There is no PR campaign, no cooperation, no compensation that can buy back decades of ill will. That ill will against China was only fueled by governments and leaders who allowed themselves to be trodden on, quite an evil thing the West did to set China up for such embarrassment. But, the Communist Chinese do themselves no service by fitting the stereotype handed to them.

While China faces Western scorn, Taiwan shines like Venus at twilight. They have the breakout under control almost as much as they have public panic on mute. The Taiwanese premier jokes about everyone having only one butt hole, then encourages everyone to buy, buy, buy—it helps the economy, after all, and there is plenty of supply. While Taiwan clips right along, clamping down as needed, China's jealousy only simmers and froths. The Communists across the Straight want the results of capitalism and competence, without any of the actions or guiding virtues.

When scorn and jealousy mix and reach a critical boiling point, like fudge, China will start to harden. If these are the days when China invades Taiwan, a roused and ready America won't be the only thing stopping them. Taiwanese are already well-stocked at home from a virus that China perceivedly  caused. They can stay at home. They have the defenses and pantries to hold out for America, who is alive and well and hungry to kick someone's butt.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 16, 2020

https://youtu.be/GT920pnBPYM

News around the world has blacked out. Everything is about this new virus that should be called the "pneumoniavirus", also known as Wuhan's 2019-nCoV, everything—the news, the politics, the economy, the maps, organ harvesting. But, that wasn't the only Western bad news on China. Canada had a brilliant solution to the Huawei controversy: go public. So far that hasn't happened. But, Indonesia is buying American F-35s.

As the world goes into panic mode over a glorified common cold, death by economy will be greater than death by disease. People are afraid because people are afraid. Once they freak-out to full-freak capacity, they will look for someone to blame for all their fear. That takes us to China.

China doesn't like being the villain of the world. The Chinese Communist Party doesn't like looking bad. Who does? Most of that bad image throughout the world—including among the Chinese people themselves—comes from unedited videos of what the Chinese Communist government is doing to its own citizens. Other than uncut videos, people are irritated by reports of signs of organ harvesting along with appointing Communist Party bosses to new leadership positions also hurts China's image, both foreign and domestic.

Then, China blames the US Army—not the military, not the Marines, Navy, Air Force, nor Space Force, and not something more sensible like CIA. A Chinese official said that the US Army took the virus to China. A video is going viral in East Asia of Congressman Harley Rouda at a House Oversight Committee hearing questioning CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, "So, we could have people in the United States dying from what appears to be influenza, when in fact it could be the coronavirus or COVOID-19?" to which the director responds, "Some cases have been actually diagnosed that way in the United States to date." And, this is being used in China, and even among the Taiwanese, to argue that the pneumoniavirus existed in the United States long ago, wasn't noticed because it was misdiagnosed long ago, but the US Army then took the virus to China. Chinese speakers easily misunderstand because they don't know how democracy works. They believe this proves the pneumoniavirus originated in the US, even though there haven't been any epidemics of death-by-pneumonia in the US since the bacterial pneumonia epidemic of 1918.

As things progress, China is being pushed to the point of acting on an ancient psychotic belief that all of China's problems exist because China doesn't control Taiwan. If the Chinese PLA military attacks Taiwan, however, they won't be strong enough to deal with their own dissent at home. If China doesn't invade Taiwan, it is because the Communist Party has been rendered catatonic, not knowing what to do. continue reading

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 9, 2020

Things are fairing worse and worse for China, but better and better for Taiwan.

The KMT-Nationalist party is abandoning its long-standing agreement to cooperate with the Chinese Communists, much how the American Democratic party is abandoning socialism within its ranks. Taiwan's handling of the 2019-nCoV Wuhan virus is top notch, possibly the best in the world. The irony is that Taiwan is not a member of the WHO, for mere reasons of political pressure from China. The world will interpret Taiwan's absence from the WHO through the poor response to the virus from WHO members. And the world will, accordingly, blame China not only for the virus, but for the lack of Taiwan's valued input in the WHO.

This week, when things seemed as though they couldn't get worse in China, a hotel collapsed, which housed many people being observed for the virus. Not all had been diagnosed, but at least 10 are dead from the collapse.

Interestingly, this does not fair well for Taiwan. The more respect Taiwan earns from the international community, and the more spite China earns from the international community, the more envy will boil and bubble as China froths with rage against Taiwan. China's government is not functioning with any trace of sobriety. Recent events are pushing the Chinese government over the edge in their ancient desire to invade Taiwan. While that would leave them vulnerable at home and hated even more throughout the world, such things never stopped them before and certainly aren't stopping them now. continue reading

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 2, 2020

https://youtu.be/W4HQaPZJNzM

Wuhan 2019-nCoV will not end the world. But, it is throwing the world into panic. The long-time NIAID director steps out of lock with the president and gives a sobering warning about how viruses actually spread. Bad as the truth is, the stock market is drastically overreacting and Trump is trying to prevent a panic—or that's at least what we're all supposed to think. We can't have the truth of both bad and good news told to a public that dwells on the bad and ignores the good. Presidents know that, disease directors not so much. So, the director should get the muzzle, right?

That will cause more panic. Where panic and fear of China weren't enough to keep Americans from making China rich at Walmart for decades, fear of China's virus spreading at Walmart is making up for lost panic.

This is the perfect storm for those who chose not to prepare. The virus won't kill the world, but the world is panicking and will carry a grudge for what a Chinese virus did to the stock market. Once the virus passes, the world will have time to clean house. China will be blamed, as it should for it's mismatched priorities, then the world will cut China down to the size it never should have been allowed to grow past.

But in the meantime, the Chinese people are re-evaluating their own priorities, deciding whether their president has his own priorities in order. We could be looking at more killing fields, where citizens who fell for the games of self-censorship and spreading Communist propaganda are executed as cowards. Hopefully it won't come to that. But, China will face the enemies that it made on the inside while it also faces the enemies that made it big from the outside.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 24, 2020

https://youtu.be/z_s84LZZtV0

There isn't news this week. More countries hate China. More people are sick with Wuhan nCoV. Cases rise in the Far East. Taiwan is one of the safest places to be—in terms of the virus, that is. Friends of Taiwan continue to be punished; this week regarded Czech in particular with the Senate chair planning a visit to one of the safest places to be in the Far East—in terms of the virus, that is.

The trend in Western journalism is to look down the nose toward China. Media censorship, mismanagement, discontent, and incompetence are part of the narrative. The US president has a different take.

Satellite-based data has been used to suggest that China may be burning thousands of bodies in Wuhan. The site that aggregated the data that was separately used to make this suggestion was windy.com—a Czech company. Go figure. Windy.com did not make the suggestion; it visually animates data already available to the public. There is no news here, only everyone's data and someone else's speculation. The interesting part is how quick the Western public is to jump on any excuse to think something bad about China.

Certainly, cynicism toward China is not without cited history. China remains indignant. Nothing is new, except Czech's name in the headlines. China's spite for Taiwan and friends only grows as spite for China and friends snowballs all the more. Perhaps next week will yield something new in the news. But, when so many people are so bound to make history repeat, there just might not be much to report—except for those who only read what repeats.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 17, 2020

https://youtu.be/H2NBk3u1Obo

The 2019-nCoV Wuhan virus isn't doing any good for Xi Jinping's public trust. Dissidents inside China are silenced and their social media accounts scrubbed. Joshua Wong issues a call to arms from Hong Kong. Taiwan closes its border and plans to evacuate its citizens from the quarantined cruise ship, Diamond Princess. Yet, the Philippines blocks entry to Taiwanese airline passengers while in-flight because World Health Organization information reports Taiwan as part of China. And, Xi tells Trump that everything will be okay after April's hot weather kills the virus.

It looks like the world wants a fight. Why did evacuation plans for this cruise ship take so long? Why doesn't China close its border to Hong Kong as an act of good faith to at least pretend to want to earn public trust? China locked down Wuhan and Huanggang, why not Shenzhen?

The WHO praised China's efforts, claiming they bought the world time. That doesn't stack—information control started the problem, China's clampdown on information only grows, the Philippines close their border to a country run by a completely different administration on account of the WHO reporting in denial. Is the WHO controlled by China, does the WHO just want to start a war, or could it be that the WHO wants to start a war because it doesn't like being controlled by China?

Fear of the virus may be overrated. Initial figures suggested that the seasonal flu may be more deadly. But, panic is panic. And, with Chinese cities going on lockdown, countries closing borders, and hundreds of people getting sick on a cruise ship after it was quarantined, nerves are on edge. Chinese State control of information has been exposed for the hoax it is; no Chinese people will trust China's government again. Even those who support the Communist Party can't expect the public to believe them anymore, no matter what they say. In the middle of the breakdown of Chinese trust and control, Xi's solution is to fly bombers around Taiwan.

Nothing re-elects a president like a war someone else started and nothing fires a president like an outbreak or a failed economy. If Xi invades Taiwan, Trump's re-election will be even more certain and Xi's own party could be doomed along with him. Nothing would weaken China's People's Liberation Army at home like the decision to boost its political image by invading one of the best responding WHO-non-members in the world, Taiwan. Xi is so addicted to failing, self-destructive decisions, invading Taiwan might be the ultimate fatal flaw of failure that he just can't refuse. While this viral outbreak isn't quite enough to push Xi to the point of desperation for distraction, it's another bail of hay on the camel's back.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 10, 2020

https://youtu.be/xbkPMxfPutk

The words of US President Trump set an unsettling policy for Communist China: "We're also getting our allies, finally, to help pay their fair share." This is far-reaching.

By having multiple nations with multiple militaries operating with appropriate budgets, China faces an enclave of opponents, not just one. There is no single head to decapitate. If you're in Beijing, sitting in a room filled with Mandarin speakers who agree that they are entitled to make the world their servant, Trump's words scare you.

While Beijing fights the virus it tried to cover up, Taiwan had recorded 10 deaths from that virus. Yet, China reported 13 in Taiwan, then told the United Nations that China speaks accurately for Taiwan, still arguing that Taiwan should not enter the WHO—even taking offense, still, at any suggestion of entry. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu pointed out that the WHO has referred to Taiwan by at least three different names in reporting on China's Wuhan outbreak. This week, even the US spoke up for Taiwan's request to join the WHO; China was all the more offended.

The outbreak isn't fairing well for China's credibility in governing Hong Kong either. Supermarkets are full of empty shelves.

While China's central government will continue the playbook strategy of blaming the very local governments it dominates, the central government's solution to the failure of a centralized government will be to centralize more government. In Confucian Communism, control is the solution to every problem, especially the problems that control causes. So they themselves believe even more than they purport, the reason that China has so many challenges within its vast stretches of land is that it doesn't have even more land. The Chinese Communists believe that their number one problem is that they don't control the world.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 3, 2020

https://youtu.be/Q3gk8j6_ksY

The world is fed up with China's Communist Party, including people in China. The Wuhan virus is a blame-blaming scandal of a magnitude greater than Chairman Mao. It could crack the foundation of Xi Jinping's rule and party confidence along with it.

Top down leadership ties the hands of first responders. So does propaganda-driven speech censorship. Of course an outbreak will breakout where people aren't allowed to respond or warn without permission from the central bureaucracy. For China, it was only a matter of time.

And, the world is fed up. Now Hong Kong, severely underprepared for an outbreak, faces a strike of 6k medical workers and growing—if CEO Carrie Lam doesn't completely close the Hong Kong border to China. Simply not having the resources to handle an outbreak should be enough for Hong Kong to to close its border. Not doing what simply should be done begs more questions of whether Beijing's top down leadership is preventing Hong Kong from responding to the Wuhan outbreak, which would be yet another violation of the Basic Law and a breach of China's treaty with Britain that allowed Hong Kong to return.

Shameless in the face of its mismanagement in Wuhan then Hong Kong, China then asked the EU for emergency medical supplies. The EU would be wise to respond that giving medical supplies would require proper oversight, including an end to the bureaucratic methods of centralized control that delayed containment in Wuhan and keeps Hong Kong in danger. Also, the EU should require China to stop politicizing Taiwan's need to join the World Health Organization.

Argument could be made that Taiwan and the West are capitalizing on the Wuhan crisis to get more international recognition for Taiwan. But, then it could also be argued that China created that need to capitalize on a crisis to do something that should have been done long ago. In light of the Wuhan outbreak, Canada, Japan, and the EU now sponsor Taiwan's request to join the World Health Organization as an active participant, not a mere observer. A viral White House petition snowballed past the threshold over the weekend, effectively making the same request of President Trump. Now that Trump has a massive petition to respond to, China won't be able to claim "interference" when he responds. But, China may try to anyway because, in Confucian Communist thinking, petitions of the people should be ignored.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 27, 2020

Trying to be polite or indirect while not taking no for an answer does not give anyone a right to make trouble. When someone gives a decisive, "No," decent people accept that answer, then move on somehow. But, China doesn't seem able to do that. In Beijing's thought, relentlessly pushing forward, no matter how many more thousands hate them by the day, China is being polite to Hong Kong. They are being indirect. By not giving up, the Chinese Communists believe they have very politely told Hong Kongers how things will be, thereby justifying whatever manslaughter China chooses to invoke.

It's not as if China has a lot of time to worry about telling other people what to do. Hong Kong was designed in its Basic Law to be largely autonomous. That means that Hong Kong can take care of itself, should China need to put energies into other matters—such as stopping the African swing flu or the Wuhan coronavirus.

China's choices led to a landslide re-election for the de facto independence president of Taiwan. She says there is no independence to declare because Taiwan can't possibly be any more independent than it already is. Some in Beijing might think that means Taiwan has reached its limit; but anyone in the West knows that means Taiwan already has the fullest measure of independence as defined. Yes, many in Beijing might not know that.

Vietnam reached a similar vague point in gearing up for military strength in ASEAN. Buying boats from India is also on Vietnam's agenda—yes, India is another country China has managed to aggravate.

Why do things unfold this way in China's back yard? It's not that China is so much evil as it is immature. But, we tend to stay immature when we age, if we won't open up to the outside world. Rather than helping China learn, the West just dumped money and emboldened a brat, all so we could save a few pennies on our stuff. Who is really being the most unfair to who? Friends know when to accept a no because friends know when to say, "No."

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Faux Report

Parent Company of Corona Beer Sues China Over Bad Press During Their Coronavirus Scare

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – 

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Corona brands of beer, has announced they are filing suit against the Chinese government, after the massive Coronavirus scare in that country has caused a mass panic and multiple deaths. AB InBev claims that the bad press of deaths, mixed with the satiric natures of internet memes connecting “coronavirus” with Corona beers has caused them a loss of tens of millions of dollars.

“Anheuser-Busch InBev feels that the Chinese government is solely responsible for putting the bad taste in people’s mouths regarding the name Corona,” said AB InBev spokesman Rick Barker. “The lack of their medical care, the lack of their preparation, has lead to a massive outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, and as such, has lead to a massive souring of our brand here in the United States.”

The lawsuit, which claims nearly $200 million in damages, was filed in a superior court in Beijing, and names several specific government officials and medical personnel.

“While Corona beer has never been particularly popular in the United States with anyone, outside of those who hate the taste of good beer so prefer swill that you have to add fruit to in order to drink it, but that’s not the point,” said Barker. “We are already feeling the pinch of this Coronavirus, and sales figures are dwindling daily. It’s only a matter of time before the connection becomes a total mixture of truth and reality, and people stop drinking Coronas all together because they think they’ll get sick from it. They will, but that’s because it’s garbage beer, not because it’s got any virus in it.”

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 20, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQrpM6sveIQ

China is engaging in "rapid expansionism"; this is different from the slower-moving modes of Russia and, until Trump, the United States. During Obama, Russia took back Crimea—after that fling Nikita Khrushchev had in giving Crimea to Ukraine when it wasn't his to give. Russia has also been crawling its influence in Syria, softly with Iran, and shrewdly using China as an effective puppet.

America, though not an empire seeking to claim more within its political borders, propelled power through military bases around the world. Once the Chinese got over their phobia of technology—a disease it long had, which even led up to the Opium Wars—they looked beyond their bubble and saw America's non-border expansion. But, they still haven't seen Russia's soft-handed expansion for what it is. 180 military bases in China's backyard didn't bode well with China's neediness for receiving endless heinie kisses.

Thankfully, Trump is slowly recalling propelled American power—consider Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, and now Iraq. He is not the archetypal "neocon" expansionist. But, other than Trump, America did have its own soft form of expansionism.

China, different from either of the two soft expansions of America and Russia, is engaging in a more rapid, rude, speedy expansion. The Chinese don't care how they come across to others because they have been knocked off their emotional rockers, having seen that the world doesn't regard them to be a fraction of what they think themselves to be. This speed has alarmed the nations of the world like a body's immune system responding to a spreading virus or cancer. Even India is on alert.

Russia played its card well—or maybe we should say Russia played its China well: expansion backed by Russia, which upsets the global balance, and Russia doesn't get blamed for it. China doesn't know what its speedy expansion, mainly against Taiwan and India, will do because China hasn't been paying attention to the rest of the world for most of human history.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 13, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11f_GgbJiJ8

The overwhelming, earth-shattering, landslide re-election victory of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen sends a shocking message to Beijing: If you plan to take Taiwan, prepare for greater opposition than you got from Hong Kong. But, like the house cat who doesn't know it's not God, let alone that it's not any tiger, they won't ever decrypt the message. Beijing will be emotionally hurt, insulted, and will thus froth with rage.

Choosing former Premier William Lai as her Vice running mate was wise. Not only is he loved for—perhaps only for—his intractable stance against corruption, he also views Taiwan as having an already de facto independent status. While President Tsai prefers status quo—a peacefully unresolved dispute with China—Vice President Elect Lai views any Taiwanese declaration of independence from China as no more than a formality for how things already are anyway.

This choice of William Lai strengthens her position. If she were to step down, a president would take her place with an even stronger stance against Chinese expansionism. So, even her political opponents would want her to remain in office.

Taiwan's position is stronger, not only in US relations, but also within Taiwan. Expect actions from China that result in Taiwan responding with moves toward even greater independence than status quo already boasts.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 6, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzXIlvmys-U

The West has been at odds with the Far East for centuries. It began before the Opium Wars, laws and treaties were made and broken, but the issues remain the same old same old. Chinese stare down their noses at the rest of the world, regardless of the imbalance it causes for their end of the teeter-totter we all stand on. They believe China getting richer and expanding its borders is fair for them, and whatever may or may not be unfair for the rest of the world doesn’t matter because justice is only a matter of importance in whether Chinese receive justice. Everyone else can either become Chinese or die—which would do their miserable existence a favor. That is the ancient worldview driving the Far East to do what it has always done—what it continues to do today.

But, one thing is different now: Not all Chinese speakers go along with Chinese supremacism. Previously, dissidents who had been crushed by Chinese supremacism were either Uncle Toms in their own rite or too scared to object, but not anymore. Hong Kong is standing up to old generation arrogance, so is Taiwan. People within Hong Kong and Taiwan are standing up to that arrogance even within their cultures, families, social circles, and societies at large. That old supremacism is collapsing at the hands of free-thinking, self-motivated, self-initiated Chinese-speakers themselves, Cantonese speakers of the same historic culture notwithstanding the least. The “Revolution of Our Times” is much deeper that Hong Kong political identity; it’s cultural, regional, and even global. Consider Chinatowns and Chinese churches across America—which won’t be any kind of exception.

Soon, Trump will have something to hang over everyone's head—Democrats and Chinese Communists alike. It's a power stronger than any missile. Next week, China is sending a delegation to sign the infamously famous "Phase 1". Woohoo!

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