Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 11, 2021

Biden is creating a special center within CIA for China. Xi Jinping is irate. Biden knows China almost as well as Trump. He met with Chinese officials as Vice President. While Trump played a “good cop” routine on China, Biden is in a better position to be less diplomatic. After all, hating on China does well in the polls, which Biden desperately needs for Democrats.

The US has been secretly training Taiwan special forces for over a year. The revelation comes from a report, officially recognized by the Pentagon. This all comes in the context of the US reaffirming its dedication to Taiwan.

Is the US trying to deter invasion from China by affirming commitment to stopping China? Or, is the US trying to provoke China by affirming commitment under the guise of deterring invasion from China? Which is it? In geopolitical strategy terms, the answer is: yes. In military buildup, deterring is provocation and provocation is deterrence; but wars are started because people want them to start. Deterrence and provocation are merely measures we take to excuse what we really want.

If the US didn’t want a war with China, then shipping jobs to China would never have been allowed in the first place. But, coupon clippers and Washington big hats agreed on the path that brought us here. And, make no mistake about it: we are here. Now, the world only needs one foreseeable yet somehow unforeseen surprise to spin the accelerating wheel into going out of control.

Trade & Tech

Sony to join TSMC on new $7bn chip plant in Japan // Nikkei Asian Review

Taiwan’s TSMC mulling response to US supply chain disclosure request // Taiwan News

China

From iPhones to milk, China’s energy crisis ripples across global economy // SCMP

China ‘Decodes’ F-22, F-35 Puzzle; Flaunts ‘World’s First Anti-Stealth Radar’ That Can Detect Stealthiest Of Aircraft // EurAsian Times

British aircraft carrier ignores Chinese warnings for second time // UK Defense Journal

Taiwan

China-Taiwan tensions: Xi Jinping says ‘reunification’ must be fulfilled // BBC News

Secret group of US military trainers has been in Taiwan for at least a year // Guardian

Taiwan, Canada announce joint statement on education // Taiwan News

China could mount full-scale invasion by 2025, Taiwan defence minister says // Guardian

Japan

Thailand

Thai restaurant rides wave of success as customers flock to dine in floodwaters // Guardian

Military Faceoff

The Navy’s Last Conventionally Powered Aircraft Carriers Have Been Sold For Literal Pennies // The Drive

Biden administration reveals number of nuclear weapons in US stockpile // CNN

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 28, 2020

Anymore, it’s not only bad news about China, but continued action in both military and trade. The pressure Washington puts on Beijing keeps finding new ways to keep turning up. Sanctions continue to increase. Military attention rises. And, Japan puts pressure on Biden to decry the “aggressive China”, calling Taiwan the next, likely target.

Just the same, Taiwan continues as the poster boy, especially with the pandemic China takes the blame for. Just when the Chinese government thinks they get a break, the opposition simply moved and grew. Western powers have effectively sneaked up on the Chinese, whose policies isolate them from the experience necessary to understand Western thinking. Western news audiences are being conditioned to support military action against China, no matter which party advocates it. As news watchers, we must see this trend as it has snowballed over the last decade. The Western world is moving toward war against China as Russia remains safely out of the spotlight.

Trade & Tech

Alibaba U.S.-Listed Shares Tumble Most Ever on China Monopoly Probe // Bloomberg

US restrictions on SMIC will strike at the heart of China’s advanced chipmaking ambitions // CNN

China

Singaporean woman faces execution in China as family launches last desperate appeal // CNN

China forces firms like Alibaba to process stolen US data: Report // Business Insider

Taiwan

IHF praises Taiwan’s virus response // Taipei Times

Taiwan imposes new regulations after first Covid case since April // Guardian

China aircraft carrier sails through Taiwan Strait a day after US warship // SCMP

Military Faceoff

Report on Navy Laser, Railgun and Gun-Launched Guided Projectiles // USNI News

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 7, 2020

A date which will live in infamy, 79 years ago. The Chinese warned the Japanese not to attack America for fear of waking a sleeping giant. Now, the Chinese are speeding against their own advice. The move will likely be against Taiwan as a remote and indirect attack on the US. But, the fight between China and Taiwan could have been avoided. The wise can learn from foreseeable history, even when that history has not yet happened.

Taiwan and China are both run by governments with histories of cruelty, corruption, and incompetence. Taiwan is an emerging and aspiring democracy; China resists democracy. Taiwan is cleaning up its cruelty of the past; China increases cruelty today. Chinese Communist tanks killed thousands of unarmed protestors at Tienanmen Square in 1989; that party remains in power through today. Chiang Kai-shek led an even larger massacre in Taiwan in 1947; his party remained in power throughout Western trade and still exists today, though without total control. Now, these two face war. Would either have the money to bloody the other had the West simply demanded justice and order within their borders proportionate to any agreements of trade?

American Congress continues to push a bipartisan and unanimous agenda for Taiwan. The US wants Taiwan to import meat from livestock fed with ractopamine, something Taiwanese want no part of. The US sells weapons to Taiwan to defend against China—which builds its weapons with money made from exports to the US. Has the US been friend or enemy?

If we look at US and Western policy toward China and Taiwan over the last 70 years, we see pursuit of money, with a blind eye toward massacre of their own citizens, xenophobia toward their foreigners, all trailed by escalation toward war. That has improved, but only in the last 4 years and too little, too late.

From 1947 through 1989, Taiwan should have had limited trade, China none. Had that been Western policy, today both might be much more progressed in technology, just, orderly, wealthy, and most of all peaceful.

Taiwanese continue to grow and mature as a democracy. China continues to pursue control and alienate its neighbors. They each have their lessons to learn. But, not all help is helpful. It might not have come to war if the West had sooner insisted that nations learn a few lessons before bestowing wealth which Taiwan and China could have gained on their own with simple justice and order 70 years ago. Instead, we’re nearing the end of a path that started with greed and finishes in war.

Indo-Pacific

Japan, France, U.S. plan their first joint military drills in May: media // Yahoo News

Trade & Tech

China-US trade war: Beijing escalates tit-for-tat with Washington // BBC News

China Oil Giant CNOOC Targeted by U.S. After Years of South China Sea Tension // Bloomberg

Huawei hits 5G critical mass with Germany’s approval // Asia Times

Canadian Mountie at centre of Meng Wanzhou extradition storm was elite officer in Hong Kong // SCMP

China

Plans of UK, India to deploy aircraft carriers against China of ‘no military significance’ // Global Times (China Govt)

China’s ‘pure propaganda’ move to rewrite coronavirus history // Yahoo News

CNN exclusive: Vast trove of leaked documents shows China underreported Covid-19 numbers… // Twitter @TheLeadCNN

Taiwan

Taiwanese shut out of UNESCO events // Taipei Times

US, Taiwan join forces to launch education project // Taipei Times

Pork importers say no to ractopamine // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

Agnes Chow, known in Japan as ‘goddess of democracy,’ faces prison in Hong Kong // WA Post

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is stockpiling cash because of US sanctions // CNN

India

How Beijing Has Adopted Its South China Sea Strategy In The Himalayas Resulting In A Massive India-China Clash // EurAsian Times

Military Faceoff

Run Silent, Run Deep: PM Meets the Deadly Seawolf Submarine // Popular Mechanics

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 4, 2020

The anti-China machine is in full gear. Western nations are cranking out new reasons to hate China every day. Some is true, some is not, all is justified because China chose to respond in control, concealment, and censorship. Much how George W Bush build a case against Iraq, which many believed to be fake from the get go, people will support action against China because of other indisputable things China has done.

The better road would have been to empower China with values rather than enabling China with money. Some foolishly thought, or at least claimed to think, that giving China Western money would teach China Western values. That’s as silly an idea as thinking that giving a child a birthday cake every day will teach the child to appreciate hard work. Instead of virtue, the West raised China be like Marie Antoinette who answered poverty by saying, “Let them eat cake.”

China’s solution to Western growth is to defeat the West with technology copied from the West. That’s not a nation that learned our values, but underappreciated our hard work to a point that they would go to war with great weakness: lack of ingenuity. Like a butcher prepares a cow, the West fattened China for the slaughter and China was all to happy to get fat and angry.

Great Pacific

Taiwan refutes Philippine claim that China has say in OFW’s fate // Taiwan News

China

Intelligence report says China lied about origin of coronavirus // NY Post

Chinese military lashes out at American warship’s ‘intrusion’ in South China Sea // SCMP

China Standards 2035: Behind Beijing’s plan to shape future technology // CNBC

China is installing surveillance cameras outside people’s front doors … and sometimes inside their homes // CNN

Hong Kong

China’s new ‘rule of law’ in Hong Kong sets stage for new protests // Yahoo News

Hong Kong police break up pro-democracy singing protest at mall // Yahoo News

Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong Un surfaces on state media with mark on wrist // NY Post

Kim Jong Un may be at North Korea resort compound after satellite images spot luxury boats // Fox News

Kim Jong Un’s uncle emerges as possible successor in North Korea // NY Post

Military Faceoff

The F-35 Can’t Fly Supersonic // Popular Mechanics

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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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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 14, 2019

You can't bring a pot to boil forever. While the conventional narrative for Hong Kong warns, "Retribution is coming," a better understanding would be, "The Chinese are coming if Hong Kong doesn't level up." The protests must either "level up" or otherwise change, or else the PLA will indeed march and smash.

While the situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating into a cultural war—a defense against an invasive culture of Sinicization—talks between the US and China took a similar cultural detour for the worst. China doesn't want so-called "interference" with kidnapping 1.5 million Muslims in Xinjiang, in Beijing's view "internal matters". By that definition, "internal matters" violate international Human Rights laws.

Trump's words, that all is well in Hong Kong, elude Hong Kongers and Chinese as much as the American media. On the surface Trump appeared to praise the doctored press reports coming out of Hong Kong. He also praised Supreme Justice Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Ford, days before mocking her. Not one main news agency reported Hong Kong's October 4 de facto declaration of independence with plans for rebellion elections. Praising evidentially censored reports from Hong Kong surmounts to little.

Still, Trump knows the ramifications of his words. By playing along with propaganda China would normally get resistance from, and by staying hands-off, Trump was indirectly telling Beijing that he knows Hong Kong is worse than reported while also letting Hong Kong learn the hard lesson that independence starts with expecting no help from the outside. Over the weekend we saw just that, including smaller flash-protests and perching the Hong Kong "Goddess of Democracy" atop Lion Rock in Kowloon. "Careless Carrie" Lam even cancelled a meeting with Senator Ted Cruz—after his 10+ hour overnight flight landed.

Trump's words could lead to the very "level-up" game-changer the Hong Kong protesters must make in order to survive. One should guess that Trump doesn't want Hong Kong to "just be okay", but to earn whatever independence they get on their own. It feels like rejection at first, but being abandoned to earn one's own victory—and the spoils with it—is the greater gift of a friend. Trump never said he would squash Hong Kongers' call for independence; he simply refused to steal their thunder.

The Chinese probably won't pick up on Trump's subtlety because Confucianism—especially Communist Confucianism—doesn't believe anything can happen without outside "help". This is the only reason Beijing suspects supposed "Western interference" without a shred of evidence.

So, the trade agreement seems to be okay, this week. But, China doesn't want to be told to let its economy play by the same rules as ours because that too is "internal". There is one key flaw with China's thinking: entitlement.

Of course, America should not dictate what type of economy is best for China or any other nation. At the same time, trade is a privilege not a right. By America requiring a free market as a condition for trade with another free market, America is not interfering, but refusing to be interfered with.

Just the same, Beijing claims to reject a "zero-sum game" deal. What they mean is that they want a zero-sum game in China's favor because they believe being better than everyone else is their right. If America doesn't lose so that China can gain, China will reject the deal as unfair, just as they did with Britain in the "silver-for-leaves" trade that led to the Opium Wars. Nothing has changed.

The virtue of compromise doesn't work in dealing with China, whether as an American trade negotiator or as a citizen of Hong Kong. When China demands 100, then we compromise at 50, China will demand another 100 again tomorrow. If we compromise again, it would be 100-0, and it would happen all over again the next day and the next. China will keep demanding to expand and overrun everyone else. By China's China-favoring standards, the only compromise stands on how fast China takes you over, either ultra fast or slowly. For Beijing, there is no room for the words in the Book of Job where God told the ocean, "Here, and no farther."

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 16, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVX4-DCHYXw

China is running into one of the problems of Communism; once the government controls a company, what that company buys is fair game in treaty negotiations. China's government owns a lot of Chinese companies. The world already knows this, but Trump is the first president to figure it out.

Neither Trump nor Xi are attempting any kind of long term trade deal. Xi will only accept a deal where China can grow enough to eradicate the English language from Western culture and the Magna Carta is forgotten, in which case a trade deal wouldn't be necessary anyway. Trump will only accept a trade deal in which that can't happen.

No deal is anticipated by either. Both are vying for time and ways to milk money away from the other to fund their own goals, which are already known, though not everyone has figured them out because not many people want to. We're on a collision course with war and no one wants to admit that.

Delaying the October 1 tariffs because 1. the Chinese premier asked for it and 2. because of the 70th Anniversary celebrating the Chinese Communist Party will only embolden the Chinese Communists. The Chinese love parades, and if they think America respects their parades, they will think it proves that they are invincible. This is a part of Chinese thinking Americans struggle to understand.

Equally, the Chinese struggle to understand Trump. In his Tweet announcement, where he delays the tariffs, but also reminds everyone how bad they will be just two weeks later—it's a mind game that Beijing can't grasp. Even reading this article won't help the Chinese get wise to how much they are being played. The only reason they are so easy to play is because they make it so easy by refusing to abandon their Confucian values. Ironically, those are the very values they want to impose on the rest of the world by Sinicizing the rest of the world.

So, mid-October has become the big date. That's when Trump slaps more tariffs on China, and that's when Taiwan is expected to finalize its purchase of 66 brand-new, shiny, American F-16Vs.

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Encore of Revival, America, August 26, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp6585eIw70

The news media can't understand Trump. One of the reasons he uses so few words and repeats himself so often is to "sound-bite-proof" his statements. It's difficult to twist his words when he only spoke two of them in a 30 second period. The news media doesn't like not being able to cut and paste together a president's words to make him out to say whatever they want him to have said.

Since sound-bite clipping didn't work the last four years, this past week the media tried a new strategy: Pretend that they don't know what sarcasm is.

CNBC tried to paint Trump's sarcastic "I'm the chosen one" comment as self-aggrandizement. His sarcastic tone clearly communicates that the self-aggrandizement came from the presidents before him who thought themselves incapable of not funding China's Sinicization of the world. Anyone could and should have stopped China. Trump knows that. His tone said that. And, no less than 2 million Hong Kongers have risked their lives to prove just that.

Then we have "regrets". Does the president "regret" his trade dispute with China? Why shouldn't he? Everyone regrets everything, at least for some amount of time, given enough time. The news media keeps asking silly questions that deserve silly answers. Think about the question itself.

Is there a concrete reason to believe that President Trump has regrets about how trade is going with China? Did he say something attempting to reverse the dispute? Did he send a letter apologizing for something he did? Did he suddenly offer China massive concessions out of nowhere? What basis is there for thinking that Trump has "regrets" with China, other than the hope of succeeding with passive-aggression to paint Trump to be someone he is not?

Trump's "order" that American companies explore alternatives to China is not a power-grab, but a shot across the bow. As if fattening China in the first place didn't indicate enough lack of brains, most companies with half a hand at the helm should have long steered clear of China for all the chop. For those stragglers who still can't put two and two together, Trump's warning is a lighthouse. Danger lies ahead; adjust your course. This is gonna' be a big one.

But, all the media can do is complain about the lighthouse. We'll see.

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Encore of Revival, America, August 26, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp6585eIw70

The news media can't understand Trump. One of the reasons he uses so few words and repeats himself so often is to "sound-bite-proof" his statements. It's difficult to twist his words when he only spoke two of them in a 30 second period. The news media doesn't like not being able to cut and paste together a president's words to make him out to say whatever they want him to have said.

Since sound-bite clipping didn't work the last four years, this past week the media tried a new strategy: Pretend that they don't know what sarcasm is.

CNBC tried to paint Trump's sarcastic "I'm the chosen one" comment as self-aggrandizement. His sarcastic tone clearly communicates that the self-aggrandizement came from the presidents before him who thought themselves incapable of not funding China's Sinicization of the world. Anyone could and should have stopped China. Trump knows that. His tone said that. And, no less than 2 million Hong Kongers have risked their lives to prove just that.

Then we have "regrets". Does the president "regret" his trade dispute with China? Why shouldn't he? Everyone regrets everything, at least for some amount of time, given enough time. The news media keeps asking silly questions that deserve silly answers. Think about the question itself.

Is there a concrete reason to believe that President Trump has regrets about how trade is going with China? Did he say something attempting to reverse the dispute? Did he send a letter apologizing for something he did? Did he suddenly offer China massive concessions out of nowhere? What basis is there for thinking that Trump has "regrets" with China, other than the hope of succeeding with passive-aggression to paint Trump to be someone he is not?

Trump's "order" that American companies explore alternatives to China is not a power-grab, but a shot across the bow. As if fattening China in the first place didn't indicate enough lack of brains, most companies with half a hand at the helm should have long steered clear of China for all the chop. For those stragglers who still can't put two and two together, Trump's warning is a lighthouse. Danger lies ahead; adjust your course. This is gonna' be a big one.

But, all the media can do is complain about the lighthouse. We'll see.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 10, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LmAmHTuDbE

Chinese rhetoric spiked over recent weeks. They made threats. Trump made threats. They made more threats. Trump and Xi are BFF, just like Xi and Putin, but Xi and Putin are BFF-er. Now, we move toward quiet action. If China stops exporting "rare earth metals" to the US, the US would simply get them from somewhere else. "Rare" means many countries can get them, but few actually do because China does it so much.

The US is selling several tanks and tank-buster rockets to Taiwan. Beijing isn't happy—about the $2 Billion in weapons sales to Taiwan, but also because of the people who publicly express memory of what happened 30 years ago at Tienanmen Square.

Around the time Taiwan's primaries finish, the US launches its first Ford-class carrier in October, larger than a Nimitz. It still has a year of training and won't be commissioned until 2022.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 13, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9jmNHc2RqM

Trump knew the Chinese all along, all too well. The "trade war" never risked creating a real war; the "trade war" was a ploy the whole time—part of an elaborate scheme to provoke the Chinese into striking too soon. He says talks are going well with China—he can't not say that. China is indeed willing to have another talk. Trump announced tariff hikes and they still showed up. That's not exactly bad on the part of the Chinese.

Trade might never go well, but the talks certainly are for now. When has talk in politics ever looked bad?

But, don't make the mistake of thinking for even one second that negotiations aren't going exactly as Washington planned, whether with China or North Korea. The US provoked Japan through trade wars and embargoes leading up to WWII. This isn't just a strategy, it's a proven playbook tactic, and China's irritability is performing right on cue.

As Symphony said previously, the war will start when the US is ready to field-test the F-35 in an actual combat situation that we really need to win. The F-35 was made for this and, like nuclear technology at the end of WWII, if the US doesn't use its fifth-generation fighter jets before Russia and China perfect theirs, it will have failed its initial purpose. Japan is ready to buy the worlds largest non-US fifth-generation F-35 fleet. They want the Marines' vertical take-off model for their helicopter carriers. Perhaps those carriers also had a purpose all along.

Talk isn't deteriorating, not with China anyway, but trade suddenly is. That's because the F-35 is ready to make its entrance onto the world's stage. Taiwan's election could prove to be a convenient lynch pin.

Businessmen are the presidential trend. Foxconn Chair and Founder Terry Gou is running under the KMT, a political party whose platform is "Chinese-Taiwan re-unification", yet he demands that China recognize Taiwan's history of de facto existence; China never will. Moving some production from among Foxconn's twelve factories in China back to Taiwan in Kaohsiung shows that his loyalties don't reside in Beijing nor in Nanjing as KMT old-hats still pine for. He's also beefing up supply in Houston, Indianapolis, and Mexico, atop his newest plant in Wisconsin. That will make the US less dependent on China and better ready for war. As an accomplished businessman, Terry will tear up the inexperienced populist Mayor Han of Kaohsiung in the primaries. After all, he brought jobs back to Kaohsiung.

Even if Gou loses primary or presidency, his campaign rhetoric, though less unacceptable to China than others, could force all other viable candidates to sympathize with Taiwan independence, if that proves to be the only electable platform. That's more than likely. Equally likely, China will see no way to "talk" its way toward absorbing Taiwan. Talk would thus breakdown and "the military option" would be the trigger in the gas tank known as the South Sea. Then, F-35 moves to centerstage.

Trump says China has one month. If we make it that long, then China would be stupider than we thought because the F-35s would have more time to fuel up.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 11, 2019

Trump fell a few dots shy of declaring all out war against China in his State of the Union address. He spoke kindly of China, then brought back Cold War era talk of "defeating Communism". He also said he wanted China to have to play by the same rules as Russia and the US where nuclear missiles are concerned. The Chinese won't like that because they genuinely believe they are better than everyone else.

China's ancient, recently best-kept-secret, aspiration of saturating the world with the "Han" bloodline is in full swing. The recent spotlight has been the Han migration that threatens to dilute and eventually eliminate Uyghurs from the Xinjiang Uyghur "autonomous region" in China—one of many "provinces under protest" that reject forced assimilation into China's bossy political ideology—an ideology Trump threatened in announcing his goal that China come down to the lowly level of having to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Then, there was military defense. Trump's speech was patriotic. He celebrated "American exceptionalism" and the US's role in helping save people in other countries from tyranny. Some call it a "messiah complex". Some call it "American charity". Whatever it was, Trump stirred the hearts of Americans to remember their roots of militarily helping those in need, announcing massive military investment, and reviving America's old war on Communism.

The US is already preparing for war with China—in the old fashioned, soft, "humble" way, according to its Christendom roots of Chivalry. Without the pomp and parade, China's imperialistic culture may not even notice. But, war drums are sounding on the horizon. Trump's trade talks are either an irritant or a stall tactic—probably both.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 31, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Gv7F2e-6Y

China and the US—more specifically Xi and Trump—are talking more and more about talking more and more about trade. China has drafted legislation to propose making China a fair country to outsiders. What a great proposed Christmas gift, just before the New Year.

In light of everything, China seems to be making other concessions to US demands. But, one issue lingers in the back-of-the-room shadows: Taiwan. The US is bound by near-treaty to defend Taiwan if China were to invade. And, Taiwan just keeps taking pot shots. And, China doesn't seem to notice the conflict on the US side of the talks.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 10, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBKrheGIxY4

The "Huawei arrest" sends yet another a irritatingly mixed message to China. China believes that a "strong response" concerning Taiwan will convince the US to back away from support for Taiwan. Conveniently for China, the recent provincial elections in Taiwan seem encouraging and Beijing has reached out to Taiwanese cities that just elected pro-Beijing party candidates.

Premier William Lai intends to resign at the "right time". Could that time be what is necessary so he can run for president? Taiwanese politics are quite unpredictable. All we should expect is a series of surprises before, during, and after 2020. Considering where things stand in the world, we must remember that there is no way the UK could be on Taiwan's side, especially since the UK has concerns about Taiwanese fisherman illegally killing dolphins as shark bait. With opportunity seeming to open, and the increased possibility of the loud-spoken, pro-independence William Lai to run for office, Beijing may be feeling put in an ever tightening situation that compels action.

As concerned as the Chinese are about security, they are far more concerned about insult. Without any sympathy from Western news audiences, an extradition of the Huawei executive from Canada to the US could push China over the edge. China believes that its horrific past justifies its conduct today. It is only a matter of time before Beijing decides that a strike against Taiwan, supported by cooperation with Taiwanese city governments, would send the US out of the region. Taiwan may not be seen by Beijing as the irritant of tensions, but the solution to them. The US might have a different opinion.

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