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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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 23, 2019

China's in over its head. They got somewhat of a trade deal, though they never had much to bargain with because their economy is much more dependent on imports than the US economy. So, their trade deal can't have gone as well as they would have liked, so they were always going to be unhappy, no matter what they got. They won't be happy, even though they plan a signing photo op come January.

Beijing-rooted leaders in Hong Kong are genuinely confused about the public outcry. In all likelihood, the Chinese truly don't know how much they afflict and oppress their own people. Because they are out of touch with normal life—because they rely on inhumane means to silence any opposition—they probably believe dissidents are genuine misfits. Beijing remains oblivious to how cruel and rightly despised its rule is. Had Beijing even tried to know what real, ordinary people really, truly think, they might not have been surprised by Hong Kong's harsh rejection. But, Beijing never cared enough to try to ask in the first place. So, Beijing despises Hong Kong, all the while doing so under the delusion that its spite is well-deserved.

The British have politely demanded that Beijing honor the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and hold talks with Hong Kong protestors. From Beijing's perspective, this is as unimaginable as a Chinese demigod being willing to hold a dialog with a cockroach. Make no mistake, Beijing does not feel that Britain is making any kind of request; it is purely interpreted as an insult, like demanding one to kiss one's own rear end. However incapable Beijing is of understanding the polite demand, let alone obeying it, the demand remains legally binding. Britain is building a case for nullification and Beijing believes that every way out is an illusion meant to insult.

Then, there's Huawei. The trade agreement China holds no cards to oppose with won't matter. Huawei needs customers and Europe is skittish, to say the least. Huawei needs money because the Chinese government needs money. Central planning squandered loans on enormous, countless, empty buildings. The concept of "scalability" is foreign to the government that always gets what it wants, until it can't afford to anymore. Even then, the Chinese won't know why they can't afford to anymore because they can't understand "scalability". Huawei's losses will weaken China's position further when it comes time for round 2 of the US-China trade negotiations.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 16, 2019

China is desperately grasping for straws. While German parliament is planning to ban Huawei against the will of their head of state, Chancellor Merkel, a Chinese ambassador sends a message that "there will be consequences"—when diplomatic channels go to the head of state, not parliament. The Chinese ambassador is like a dog barking up a tree; German parliament doesn't care what the Chinese ambassador says. But, in China different branches of government don't matter because that's just a "silly Western thing". So, the Chinese don't know how German government works because the Chinese presume that Germans lie as much as the Chinese do.

Moreover, the Chinese Communists have overlooked one blaring flaw—if Huawei isn't controlled by China's government, that would make it the only entity in China not subject to passive-aggressive threats under pain of organ harvesting. Moreover, if Huawei were the independent company China's government claims it is, China's government wouldn't be so defensive of Huawei being banned from Germany.

China has many weaknesses, self-contradicting diplomacy being the least. Its labor force is shrinking. Its economy is much more dependent on exports than America's. Its tech sector is even more dependent on importing American-made components. Tit-for-tat tariffs don't favor China in that regard. The Chinese don't spend as much on their military as America does, regardless of the hype from State-run Chinese news outlets. And, it doesn't own a very big piece of the pie when it comes to US Treasury bonds—the greatest liquidation threat China could make there is to offer a temporary discount price to willing investors. The cost would be China forfeiting any leverage it had by owning such a small part of America's debt, while America's economy might skip two beats at most, then nevermore.

Then, we have the anti-Trump camp. Many economists who haven't a clue where wealth comes from despise America's president. Everything needs to pay for itself, otherwise it will die in a suicide cult of bankruptcy. Maybe NATO shouldn't be in Germany, maybe it should, but the answer—one way or the other—will only surface if NATO requires Germany to pay for its own national defense. Bowing down to China may have made a few American companies rich—regardless of making a few million Americans poor—but it was never going to last long. Even though China took American money and started bullying their neighbors, those who profited from those greedy companies in particular are angry. But, most Americans aren't fooled anymore.

Trump played his cards well, and he's still got plenty of chips left to ante up for many rounds to come. That isn't good news if you're a member of the Chinese Communist Party, hoping to help the party dominate America.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 2, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJDDexe-URI

Opinions on Asia aren't just flying, but swarming the Pacific. Hong Kongers vote against China in an unmistakable slap to Beijing's face, then Beijing blames the US—because Beijing still thinks that voters only vote how the government tells them to. And, everything is all America's fault anyway, right?

It took a day of silence for Beijing's media machine to figure out how to spin the election. Beijing accused Hong Kong's dissent on violence. But, that doesn't hold since last week's election went uninterrupted. Yet, Beijing sticks to the same script.

A commentator predicts that Hong Kongers don't want independence—even though they already declared independence on October 4. Perhaps Doris Lam's article on Channel News Asia was an attempt to tell Hong Kongers what they should want. Or, it could have been an attempt to tell Beijing to think that Hong Kongers don't want what they want. Either way, it is a delusional olive branch in the form of a typical long-worded think piece. There is a growing trend of commentators who make their articles longer when they know that few readers will accept their opinions.

After Trump signs two laws about Hong Kong—one to define an autonomous region as autonomous, the other to stop exporting police tools for riot-control—Beijing calls it "interference". Then, Trump drops tariffs on China because good ole Benjamin is hard to argue with. Yet, Beijing wants more. Now, as in Chinese business negotiation, China wants to change the deal after everything has been agreed to. They want even lower tariffs in Phase One.

Great Britain wants UN access to Xinjiang.  China wants the world to believe Xinjiang is happy, an Islamic utopia; new documents prove otherwise. China also faces a food shortage, but a good marketing effort is underway for investment in Chinese farming. Stopping any possible abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang is interference in Beijing's opinion, but accepting foreign money to build better farms isn't. Perhaps Beijing will call it interference if the rest of the world does not invest in Chinese farms.

Taiwan's election is fast approaching. Though Tsai Ing-Wen, the pro-democracy incumbent president, leads in the polls, many Taiwanese are scared that there are too many voters in the old, beaten-down generation for her to win a second time. Older Taiwanese, like many Chinese, have been so dominated by East Asia's shame culture that they truly believe that "bigness" always wins and therefore they must vote for politicians who will surrender to China. Younger Taiwanese have seen this older generation get its way so many times, even polls can't keep them from being scared. But, as John Maynard Keynes said, "Men will not always die quietly." Few things drive voters to the polls like fear of dying at the hands of politicians who want to surrender. Tsai Ing-Wen is set to win by an even greater margin than she did in her first term—and everyone has something to say about it.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 18, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HS6OIm1tUY

The trade war with China has hurt American farmers—just as a year of bad weather also hurt American farmers. Notwithstanding questions of why Americans chose to become dependent on Communists as their customer, the larger culprit should be large corporations competing against small farmers, seeking a de facto monopoly. Bigness is set against the small guy in America. Trump's trade war sees the biggest competitor of any American business as the Chinese Communist government itself—since the Chinese government financially supports companies competing against non-government companies in America.

This is a recipe for war. Rather than hating Trump, farmers will blame the Chinese and support the coming war that the fake trade war was meant to lead up to all along. Secretary of State Pompeo certainly is ready.

Few things re-elect presidents like a widely-supported war. Washington Democrats are not playing to win the next election; they are playing for employment. They know that they can't win the presidency or the Senate in 2020 and will most likely lose the House. Everything they have done in 2019, and are continuing to do through this next election, is designed to keep their voters preoccupied and distracted from the approaching failure.

If the Democratic electorate stays singularly focused on victories that will never happen, then enough of them will go to the polls to keep the majority of current Democrats in Washington employed, but Democrats will no longer be the majority in Washington. The entire assault against Trump is a shear distraction, designed by Democratic politicians to dupe their own base into marching toward utter failure so they can keep some of their seats on Capitol Hill.

The most recent episode of Russianewsgategate is a glaring example. Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama-appointed ambassador, was working as if still for Obama even though Trump was president. The Ukraine president didn't like it. She was rightfully fired. Disgruntled, now it's her moment of payback—as a witness in matters she had nothing to do with. The House hearings on Trump are a mere show trial. Don't expect the electorate to respond any differently—those who enjoy the show will keep their plans to vote against Trump and those who don't like the show will vote for him.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 23, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL-LUAjsa3w

China is dipping into its pork reserves while America is largely unaffected by the surge in oil prices. The pork crisis in China started with an outbreak of the African Swine Flu and has been exacerbated by the trade war. China doesn't have energy independence like America does. Soon, China will have a crisis of both food and energy. Wars have started over less.

Taiwan is ready and on high alert. Though there is a surrender movement in Taiwan as always, Taiwan stands ready with the advantage. Projecting power for an invasion is not as easy as defending an impossible island. With a coastline of either cliffs or marshes and jungle mountains everywhere else, Taiwan is no walk in the park. Taiwan's president is wise to the bullying of China and believes in taking a stand. This is why she supports Hong Kongers as she does.

The situation in Hong Kong is past dire. As foreseen, the protests turned violent because of a deaf government. "No" means "no", but China and its puppets can't bring themselves to accept that, and Hong Kongers won't let "no" mean anything else. Chinese Confucian Communism now faces the determination of the West. The great showdown between the Shame culture of the Far East and the self-determined culture of the West has begun. It's only going to escalate. And, all those people who preached "capitulation to the bully" and the "invincibility of Chinese Shame" are about to be proven drastically right or fatefully wrong.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 9, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgxx8mNjtvY

British Parliament is essentially attempting to filibuster the Brexit referendum. PM Boris Johnson has been ordered by Parliament to agree with whatever decision comes from the EU—in which Johnson gets a vote and a veto. Maybe British Parliament should have gone on to instruct France not to veto an extension. The problem with this law is how non-specific it is, which is typical of posturing. Perhaps that's the best way for Johnson to legally "interpret" it. Johnson's main goal is to get a Brexit deal, which he believes will only be best if real fear of real failure is allowable. But, that's up to the British, so the rest of the would should grab a popcorn, not tell others what to do, and see how the theatrics end.

Why is America arguing about weather? Sabotage. Someone at NOAA gave the president a ridiculous forecast, that a hurricane would plow through a wall of heat and high pressure, which doesn't happen. Of course Dorian would turn right. But, someone advised him otherwise.

The president, who is not a meteorologist, then Tweeted caution and concern for Alabama, because someone at NOAA so advised, when everyone else at NOAA knew better. This is the work of someone trying to undermine the president. He's fired people who were wrong in the past, he should also fire the advisor who made the prediction that was as wrong as it was ridiculous.

The economy is doing well, contrary to the best efforts of the bank. Don't blame Trump for the Chinese trade war prices; blame the companies. Over 80% of our clothing and over half of our shoes are made in China. Whatever happened to cause that, Trump is fixing it. If we don't like the road of all things made in China, then don't do it again, and don't blame the cleaning lady.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 19, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMJHFMQYPP8

Conflicts with China are helping Taiwan. The trade war is driving manufacturing away from China toward Taiwan, Vietnam, and Burma, among others. China's travel ban on Taiwan for openly supporting the Hong Kong protests is pushing the Taiwanese to implement better visa privileges with other Asian nationals visiting Taiwan. Not only did last week's occupation of the Hong Kong International Airport break Western confidence in the Chinese "Special Administrative Region", the Hong Kong protests are even affecting business in Macau.

Why the protests? Where did it all start? Follow the money. Of the many factors, one of the best kept secrets around the world is the housing cost for local Hong Kongers. It's called "gentrification". Ordinary Hong Kong citizens can't afford even the least expensive homes without government subsidy in addition to living with family. A Hong Kong jail cell is larger that many homes.

That happened because Hong Kong's government, clearly under the thumb of Beijing, allows Mainland Chinese citizens to move into Hong Kong at such a high rate that new housing can't be built fast enough to keep residential costs affordable. Wealthy Chinese need a place to live, some place where they can enjoy life. They won't find anything nice enough within China proper, so they have to go somewhere with an economy created by the West—somewhere like Hong Kong. That way they can enjoy all the money of China without the lousy lifestyle. In their view, it would be cruel for Hong Kong not to let as many Chinese Mainlanders displace native Hong Kongers as fast as possible.

Protests are entering their eleventh week. One more week will begin a new record of 79 days from the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

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