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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 24, 2020

These days, Taiwan is the perfect poster boy in China bashing. Yes, China needs to be confronted. No, China can’t own the world. Yes, China wants to own the world. Yes, China responds to anything and everything like a friendless student carrying a Grandiosity complex. But, that doesn’t mean mindless China bashing will help.

We are engaged in mindless China bashing.

Learn from Germany. WWII developed because the free world punished and insulted Germany after WWI. We need healing, gentle leadership, and grace. Trouble maker countries must be coached and guided, not merely insulted and smeared. Whatever conflict we see with China on the horizon, it will only grow back with a vengeance if we fail to handle it correctly now.

In the China bashing narrative, Taiwan is the perfect innocent—the victim everyone pities. Poor little Taiwan struggles to stay afloat with the tsunami of Chinese conflict. But, as part of that narrative, don’t deify the poster boy.

Taiwan has many of its own problems that go unreported. It’s people are friendly in many ways, but also oblivious. Success with the pneumoniavirus developed a Royalty complex, where Taiwan has a higher regard for itself without understanding the foreign nations that struggle with relations, investment, and trade in these times. There is a growing reputation Taiwan’s government continues to set for itself and Taiwan will need to face that sooner or later.

Taiwan’s troubles are not uninvited. But, when we over-simplify global conflicts, brainwashed thinking wants pure villains attacking pure victims. There is no such thing. And, a peaceful future requires us to stop living a news narrative of fantasy.

China

China’s Communist Party is a threat to the world, says former elite insider // CNN

South China Sea: Asean states set course for Beijing’s red line // SCMP

Why Did a Chinese Diplomat Walk All Over People on a Pacific Island? // NY Times

Former CIA officer charged with spying for China // NBC News

China’s Xi Jinping facing widespread opposition in his own party, insider claims // Guardian

Taiwan

Destroyer makes Navy’s 10th trip through Taiwan Strait this year // Stripes

Basketball star Jeremy Lin has obtained Taiwan passport // Taiwan News

U.S. Tries to Bolster Taiwan’s Status, Short of Recognizing Sovereignty // NY Times

US boosts Taiwan’s status without recognizing sovereignty // Taiwan News

Taiwan to alter emergency energy guidelines amid escalated cross-strait tensions // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

Blamer mode at its finest:
Is the US encouraging murderers and rapists to hide in Hong Kong by suspending extradition treaty? // SCMP

US suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty over new security law // CNN

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 17, 2020

All of us enjoy the results of the paths we choose, paths which no one can choose for us. Americans believe this so strongly, it often leads to unhealthy apathy toward others in distress. When America finally decides to help others, it is often from a kind of “Messiah” complex, viz Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. From this American worldview, including the good and the bad, America would have no motive to “keep China from rising”. We just don’t think about others that much, you see.

Nonetheless, China has frequently claimed its destiny and right to rise to greatness, using this claim as an excuse to threaten, attack, and oppress others, all the while adding another claim that resistance to forced Chinese subjugation is an attempt to “keep China from rising”. But again, free-minded people, whether self-absorbed or genuine, have no motive to keep others from rising.

Why do voices from China’s government suppose the intended motives of a free-thinking people, which the Chinese Confucian Communists cannot themselves identify with? Is this a random misunderstanding? To suspect ill motives of others toward oneself while at the same time seeking unchecked authority over others is more reminiscent of the paranoid narcissist. Adding to that China’s legislated policy for Hong Kong, against its UN-registered treaty of 1984, and for Taiwan, of which it still remains unable to assert jurisprudence, we now have signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD was never about being clean and organized, but rather using excess rules of organizing as a means to control others. Added up, China demonstrates personality disorders from all three clusters.

That is an explosive mix, so to speak.

But, while insanity is a threat to others it is always a greater threat to itself. In addition to narcissism, an over-inflated view of self falls within purview of the Biblical proverb, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” We in the West should not fear Chinese aggression, rather the fallout of narcissistic rage as China painfully learns that it cannot be a worldwide dominator. That lesson may cost a tuition of lives in the millions.

Yes, we are going down this path. August 15, this past weekend, marked the 75th Anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the United States and serves as a reminder of Western resolve to stop the map from changing. Almost four years prior, Japan had provoked the West against the wise advice of China; today, those roles seem reversed. We have no reason to fear, but we must be honest with ourselves enough to be ready for what has been brewing a long time.

Great Pacific

PLA drills point to stepped-up plans to take control of Taiwan, analysts say // SCMP

China imposes sanctions on US officials in retaliation for Hong Kong measures // Financial Times

China

US sanctions: economist Yu Yongding flags risk of Chinese bank assets being seized overseas // SCMP

South China Sea: Chinese military told not to fire first shot in stand-off with US forces // SCMP

Taiwan

US Senate defense bill calls for Taiwan’s participation in RIMPAC exercises // Taiwan News

Former top US military officials say China could take Taiwan in 3 days by early 2021 // Taiwan News

Cabinet approves lowering age of majority to 18 // Taipei Times

Proposed defense budget to rise 4.4% // Taipei Times

The de facto ‘pro-independence’ party: 70%!
Chen Chi-mai wins Kaohsiung vote // Taipei Times

US formalizes sale of new F-16 warplanes to Taiwan // Taipei Times

Taiwan eyeing US cruise missiles, mines to make ‘invasion very painful’ // Taiwan News

Taiwan president meets with US health secretary, pledges to strengthen collaborations // Taiwan News

U.S. health chief offers Taiwan ‘strong’ support // Yahoo News

Hong Kong

Agnes Chow: the Hong Kong activist who gave up UK citizenship to fight for democracy // Guardian

Jimmy Lai!
Hong Kong media tycoon arrested, newspaper raided // Aljazeera

Japan

Korean Peninsula

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in to focus on victims in ‘comfort women’ dispute with Japan // Mumbai Mirror

Military Faceoff

Ships Arrive In Hawaii For RIMPAC Amid Heightened Local Scrutiny // Honolulu Civil Beat

20 Ships Participating in Reduced RIMPAC in Hawaii Starting Monday // Military.com

Scale of RIMPAC may be smaller, but military leaders say significance still huge // KITV4 Island News Honolulu (ABC)

RIMPAC international maritime wartime exercise to begin // Foreign Brief

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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, 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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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 28, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blxtRT-MRyM

China is playing a dark game with Taiwan over the murder suspect in the case that sparked the spark of the Hong Kong liberation protests. A young man from Hong Kong traveled to Taiwan with his girlfriend where he murdered her, then returned to Hong Kong. Because China plays politics with Taiwan, Beijing refused every channel of cooperation with Taipei to bring the suspect to justice. The only way Beijing would allow the arrested suspect to be transferred to Taiwan for prosecution is with a sweeping extradition bill that would allow any Chinese court to demand the extradition of anyone in Hong Kong to China.

Now, Hong Kong has released the suspect, arguing that a criminal is on the loose in Hong Kong because Taiwan won't accept Chinese dictated rule.

We are witnessing the faceoff of Chinese Confucianism vs Western Christendom, a conflict which has been brewing for two thousand years. This is happening in our day. Many in the West said that Confucian Shame cannot be overcome, even with the Christian message of forgiveness and reconciliation. Others have said that nothing can ever stop China because big countries always win. All of these claims are about to be tested and proven wrong. Hard times lie ahead, but not all hardship ends badly.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 16, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92cVA_EwNI0

America faces a crossroads. We have enemies mounting against us. Great monsters, fed and allowed to grow, are coming back to haunt us, hunt us, and devour us. It's scary. And, there is a natural tendency to negotiate and avoid provoking wrath of what already wants to eat us.

Some Americans—many, perhaps—have done very bad things in the past. But, many of us learn and improve. Others of us fought against the injustice. Like any nation, America needs to heal, grow, fight the bad, and strengthen the good. We don't need to all lay down and die as our enemies want.

Death comes like a burglar, sneaking in the night. It seeks to isolate, frighten, paralyze first with fear, then with venom, and finally consume. Death makes us long for fear and even death itself. Don't follow its poisonous seduction.

When a people find their heart, no matter how dark times have become, they have what they need to overcome any obstacle. The greatest battle is not over land or law, nor waged with guns or swords, but over the heart and fought with the heart.

We face trying, fearful times. By standing on our values, no matter the cost, we will pay a lesser price in the long run anyway.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 24, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4TngGdDx1Q

We are not headed to a Second Cold War. We are not at risk of heading to a Second Cold War. We are traveling at trans-warp speed toward the First Flash War. It will start and end quickly, laying the groundwork for WWIII and FWII to follow.

These pieces of our times are important to distinguish. Different analysts with different levels of understanding of history are trying their best to explain our times. To a novice—either to history or to the West or to the East—who just begins to understand, it may seem like we are headed toward Cold War II.

China and the US are in a growing conflict on the surface, but Russia is whispering in China's ear. Russia wants the same old thing. The US is generally unaware of Russia's intent or dismisses it.

China thinks that the US wants to retain power. China wants to rise, so Beijing feels the need to "beat back" the US.

The US knows China wants to rise and doesn't mind. The US wants to step back, but knows China is an undisciplined bully—lawless and doesn't respect human rights. So, the US feels the need to "beat down" China to make Beijing behave.

The US takes the approach of protectionism and innovation—tariffs and moving manufacturing back home. China takes the approach of its domineering culture and copying others—both doomed to fail.

One of the Chinese's biggest complaints used to justify their military aggression in the South Sea is American presence. The claim is that the US has 180 military bases throughout East Asia, rephrased "near China". Because of this, China calls America the "aggressor" and, like the burglar who thinks society stole from him first, says its military response is justified.

The US has been in many of those places since the end of WWII and after the Korean War. The Chinese didn't know about this US presence because their surveillance tech wasn't good enough. Once China reverse-engineered and stole designs for enough Western tech—because they still don't know how to invent it on their own—they started to see that Americans had been their the whole time.

The "Second Coming Cold War" argument is flawed because we've already been in such a "cold" standoff for seven decades. That's how Beijing interprets it anyway, and now the Chinese want to heat things up.

Consider the contradiction. For over 70 years, Americans have been quietly watching the seas. They didn't harass fishermen. They didn't aim missiles and launch threats. They didn't attempt to ram into other boats. They never tried to deny passage through international waters. China has done all these things, but not the US—in 70 years! So, because of that, the US is the aggressor? That's Beijing-style thinking anyway. And, that way of thinking is what Washington feels the need to defeat before it gets any bigger.

This week documented a Chinese general committing two "no-nos". Firstly, he commented on the social structure of Hong Kong—military leaders are supposed to remain outside of politics. Secondly, the thus  proven military government of China thus also proved disdain for the law it must abide by. Motive is one vital burden of proof in a conviction. Not only had Beijing meddled where it wasn't allowed, but we now have an established motive.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 13, 2018

China's situation isn't getting easier. Taiwan now has tested a new missile, boasting ability to fire within China's mainland, being capable of destroying military targets on both land and sea. This is no laughing matter. On the economic front, Beijing has a hard-headed counterpart in the White House, Donald Trump. He shows no indication of backing down on any front, including Beijing. Now, China is going after Muslims.

While it can be politically incorrect for the West to pursue terrorists if they are Muslim, China doesn't have that problem. Military states rarely do, which is one advantage China has over the West. Terror cells may be in hot water since China is on high alert in all directions. If Taiwan were to create trouble on its eastern coast, Beijing would not want more trouble from its western borders. So, any earlier preemptive action from Beijing is likely to be westward, toward Muslim nations. Those Muslim areas could be in greater danger than Taiwan.

Taiwanese have been busy, though. When anyone uses the "Taiwan, China" format, Taiwanese go berserk. That's raising a lot of attention about a little island in the Pacific which now has missiles capable of attacking China. These are interesting times.

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