Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia August 16, 2021

Taiwan continues to shine. Aide sent to Haiti after a devastating earthquake combines growing ties with Lithuania. China objects—and those are bad optics that China’s speech-control can’t control outside its borders.

China has been rewriting religion for years. Hymnals already read love for government rather than love for God. Now, we see more investigations against Hong Kong demonstrators who sought to uphold China’s agreement to democracy. In essence, China is investigating itself, indicating that China is divided against itself.

As a representative office exchange between Taiwan and Lithuania moves forward for this Fall, so do Taiwan’s de facto ties with the rest of the EU. China would rather object to this than be supportive of earthquake victims in Haiti. That is the obvious news narrative to take from what happened this week.

What’s not obvious is Taiwan’s prejudice against foreigners. Taiwan is having trouble building its submarines because of a shortage of engineering talent. Taiwan’s solution is to recruit more foreign talent. However, neither the problem nor the need for recruitment would exist if Taiwan had reciprocal regulations concerning immigration: protection of foreigner’s rights, five years leads to full citizenship, and dropping Taiwan’s ban on dual citizenship. To become a Taiwanese citizen, one must renounce original citizenship. America doesn’t require that. Taiwan does, then complains about losing allies to China. Does Lithuania’s government know how Taiwan treated its immigrants even to this day?

Had Taiwan treated others how they want to be treated, they wouldn’t have the trouble they do. And, Taiwan would not look like such a delicious target for war-thirsty China. The big danger is that US failure in Afghanistan on Sunday will encourage China’s calculus that an invasion of Taiwan is feasible. Combined with Taiwan’s self-inflicted weakness from discrimination against foreigners, China’s invasion question is more of a likelihood.

But, looking at even deeper strategy, we must consider China’s accusation that the US is playing games. If that were so, then failure in Afghanistan was staged by the US to provoke China into viewing the US as weaker than it is, and the US allowing non-reciprocal treatment of its own citizens in Taiwan would be intended to weaken Taiwan for strategic purposes as well.

Regardless of China’s conspiracy theory—which Chinese strategists never imagine to such length—the peaceful path would be for China to not take the invitation for attack and for Taiwan to treat others with respect. Like Jesus wanting to die on the Cross, a power that welcomes disrespect is up to something. But, the devil is none the wiser.

China

CCP using laws to suppress religious freedom: MAC // Taipei Times

China signals crackdown on society to go on // Taipei Times

Taiwan

Talent shortage hampers military projects: official // Taipei Times

Taiwan to donate US$500,000 to quake-hit Haiti // Taipei Times

Ministry thanks US for Lithuania boost // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

Hong Kong police investigating protest group behind massive democracy rallies // Taipei Times

Military Faceoff

The Army’s first laser weapon is almost ready for a fight // Task & Purpose

Chinese See U.S. Littoral Combat Ship as ‘Powerful Tool’ in Future Distributed Conflicts // USNI News

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 5, 2021

Everyone gets more serious about Taiwan. The US wants a special free trade agreement. China wants reunification, again. While China stockpiles nukes, the US shakes the finger, then China shakes its fist.

But, Chinese on the inside are tired of it. CCP has burned-out much of its talent and it looks like the Chinese solution is to burn-out more. It’s a very common indication of a very bad leadership—that the solution to a problem is more of the cause.

Taiwan makes a swift recovery from its own COVID lockdown, though Taiwan still has a long way to go. Charging significantly higher fees for the vaccination to resident foreigners, including Americans, isn’t exactly the best way to court support from America. Then again, too often the proposed solution to a problem is more of the cause. Taiwan has developed a fear of foreign invasion—a fear reinforced by recent Chinese rhetoric—yet Taiwanese xenophobia fails to distinguish between foreign friend and foreign foe. That’s the greatest cause of Taiwan’s security threats.

Indo-Pacific

Bagram: Last US and Nato forces leave key Afghanistan base // BBC News

China

U.S. calls build-up of China’s nuclear arsenal ‘concerning’ // Yahoo News

Some Chinese shun grueling careers for ‘low-desire life’ // AP

Taiwan

COVID-19: New infections fall to 37: CECC // Taipei Times

Xi pledges ‘reunification’ with Taiwan // Taipei Times

US senators call for groundwork for Taiwan FTA // Taipei Times

Taiwan to require vendors of freshly made beverages to label caffeine content // Taiwan News

Taiwan hospitals charge foreigners up to 57% more for PCR tests // Taiwan News

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 16, 2015

The week buzzed about China’s currency while the US spotlight made an unusual stop on Taiwan.

Marco Rubio mentioned Taiwan, something significant for an experienced Senator and presidential candidate on the campaign trail. Quartz gave a shout over Taiwanese presidential hopeful, Tsai, in her response to the negative Facebook comments from China (where Facebook happens to be banned). The US State Department even commented about Taiwan as a “beacon of truly representative government”, signifying as proof that Asia is not entirely inept on the matter of Human Rights.

China, by contrasting reports and comment, is the economic dirt devil, so goes the spotlight this week anyhow. China’s money is about to dominate the IMF. Northern China must choose between either cold winters or toxic air. And China continues to meddle with its own currency.

And, by the way, the Pentagon doesn’t seem to get much support from the current White House concerning China.  · · · →

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