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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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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 18, 2021

This is a linchpin week. Britain’s new aircraft carrier stands by with courses ready for the South Sea. America has an inauguration scheduled amid more foreseeable chaos, likely greater than Hong Kong. Bad news on China only gets worse—while the Huawei CFO pleas for a life less difficult than her millions of dollars can buy her, she is contrasted to China’s treatment of two arrested Canadians. That doesn’t make China look charitable in the eyes of the five countries that declared the Hong Kong treaty broken late last year.

Diplomats from Taiwan and the US had a diplomat-to-diplomat talk in Switzerland. That’s new. China’s furious. That isn’t new.

A destabilizing United States coupled with swelling Western spite for China make the perfect bait and trap for China to think it should enter a war it couldn’t possibly know it couldn’t possibly win, but should have and would have if someone had only listened.

Trade & Tech

Detained Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou wants bail conditions eased // WA Post

Imploding!
China’s consumers are turning against the homegrown Big Tech giants they once revered // Fortune

Boeing 777 was chartered to fly Meng Wanzhou home, Canada court hears as she seeks to have bail relaxed // SCMP

China

Upbeat Xi Says Time on China’s Side as Turmoil Grips U.S. // Bloomberg

Darned if you do, darned if you don’t if you have anything to do with China
China brings in new law to fight Trump’s sanctions // BBC News

Taiwan

Taiwan representative meets with US diplomat // Taipei Times

CFR rates Taiwan conflict top concern // Taipei Times

Taiwan can fill gap left by Confucius Institutes: AIT // Taipei Times

“We advise people like Pompeo to recognize the historical trends, stop manipulating Taiwan-related issues, stop going against the tides of history, refrain from going further down the wrong and dangerous path, otherwise they will be severely punished by history.”
China warns Trump admin. heading down ‘dangerous path’ with Taiwan outreach // CBS News

Hong Kong

US-China Row: US sanctions pro-China officials // Taipei Times

Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong Un Unveils New Submarine Missile Threat as Trump Exits // MSN News

Military Faceoff

USS Gerald R. Ford Problems: Carrier Can’t Launch Fighters // Popular Mechanics

Lockheed Martin Delivers HELIOS Laser Weapon System to U.S. Navy // Naval News

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 9, 2020

China and Taiwan are in a military face-off for a singular reason: xenophobia. Taiwan had everything it needed to counter China without help from the US, but it snubbed foreigners and still continues to do so today. Were it not for the US, neither China nor Taiwan would have limped so far along. China’s “miracle” economy was made of money from the US. Taiwan’s weapons use technology developed primarily by the US.

As much as both China and Taiwan have benefited from the US, these two countries have some of the most strict laws against naturalizing foreigners. That doesn’t include a serious lack of protection against intrusion of immigrants’ rights. When Americans—or any other Westerner—or any other foreigner for that matter—finds work in Taiwan or China, companies impose extra rules to take away what few legal rights they have as foreign employees; then government does nothing, it just sits there and watches. In Taiwan, this largely happens with employment. In China, it happens with entire companies.

Even if foreign workers can find a way to survive the onslaught of attacks against their rights, the most they could expect in the end is an elevated residence status—if they are rich. If they aren’t wealthy, no chance. Without citizenship, foreigners in Taiwan have few rights—they aren’t even allowed a phone and landlords can reject them merely on the basis of being a foreigner.

China aside, if Taiwan allowed, then protected a path to citizenship for Westerners working in Taiwan, those naturalized citizens would have had more rights to work and contribute to Taiwan’s culture, language, economy, and technology. If that had happened, it very well could be the US seeking to buy weapons from Taiwan, and China might be more inclined to behave.

The same could be said of China, which has made itself so desperately dependent on US money by keeping foreigners within their own borders at an arm’s length.

This conflict between Taiwan and China was caused by xenophobia from both sides. By not demanding equal respect toward Americans in their borders, but engaging in trade and weapons sales anyway, the US allowed two kittens to grow into a bobcat and a tiger. And, now the whole world faces a huge cat fight—whenever China decides to take advantage of the election ambiguity in the US and bust a foolish move against Taiwan.

Indo-Pacific

US Super-Carrier Nimitz To Join INS VikramAditya For Next QUAD Drills As Beijing Laments Anti-China Grouping // EurAsian Times

The Philippines Could Start Oil Drilling In South China Sea Without China // OilPrice.com

China

Jack Ma and Ant Financial Are In Trouble! // YouTube @ China Uncensored

China Is TERRIFIED of Economic Decoupling // YouTube @ China Uncensored

China’s yuan has its worst fall in years on fears of renewed US tension // CNN

Taiwan

The Truth in Taiwan by CJayride // YouTube @ cjayride

Most positive over US ties, whoever wins, survey says // Taipei Times

US urges the WHO to invite Taiwan // Taipei Times

National security fears raised over seizure of bullets // Taipei Times

Taiwan TSMC begins hiring campaign in preparation for U.S. fab // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

PLA video shows armoured personnel carriers driving through streets of Hong Kong before conducting live-fire exercise // SCMP

Grandma Wong was a key figure in Hong Kong’s protest movement — until she disappeared // CNN

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 26, 2020

The flashpoint of Taiwan has become a pregnant possibility. Reportedly, a US military jet flew across Taiwan, and no one is fully certain over who claimed what and why. Taiwan’s government said something after the US government said something about the mission. Then the US government said that they weren’t saying what the mission was. So, the Taiwan government said that they weren’t saying what the US government wasn’t saying about what the US government said about why what happened happened. And, we’re not even sure what happened because the identifier tags could have been spoofed.

In the end, China fell for the bait as if on cue. The Chinese State-run Global Times then published a story sometimes written in the first-person stating that the US isn’t allowed to fly military operations over Taiwan and that China would send its military planes over Taiwan if the US did. The story went on to speculate that Taiwan didn’t have the unction—more or less—to fire the first shot at a Chinese plane in Taiwan sovereign airspace. That proves what China is really thinking about: pushing and pushing, trying to call Taiwan’s bluff, wondering who will fire the first shot—because China is hoping someone will fire the first shot.

After all the information China gave away about its intentions—after what seemed like a fluke between Washington and Taipei—don’t think for a second that said fluke was not a well-calculated fluke. The bigger takeaway is that China keeps falling for the bait while Washington learns to anticipate China enough to lead the Chinese Communist military right into its own defeat—and China shows the learning curve of a cat chasing a laser dot.

Trade & Tech

China Reconsiders Its Global Strategy for the Yuan // Bloomberg

Italy vetoes 5G deal between Fastweb and China’s Huawei: sources // Yahoo News

U.S.-China tensions could split the internet — and data will play a key role // CNBC

China

India Captures Chinese Soldier on Disputed Border // YouTube @ China Uncensored

China failing to fill global leadership void left by US // Taiwan News

Analysis: China struggles to fill Trump’s ‘America First’ leadership void // Yahoo News

US designates six more Chinese media firms as foreign missions | China // Guardian

China to Sweden: drop Huawei ban, or face fallout // Yahoo News

Trump or Biden will need support from allies to keep China in check, H.R. McMaster says // CNBC

Taiwan

Whether Trump or Biden wins, US-China relations look set to worsen // Guardian

PLA could send jets over Taiwan to defend sovereignty if US military jets fly over island // Global Times (China Govt)

If US stations troops in Taiwan, China may sever diplomatic ties: Scholar // Taiwan News

Air Force Confirms, Then Retracts Statement That One Of Its RC-135W Spy Planes Flew Over Taiwan // The Drive

China threatens retaliation after new U.S. arms sales to Taiwan // Yahoo News

South China Sea missile drills to blame for Taiwanese plane being turned back at Hong Kong, source says // SCMP

US approves $1.8bn weapons sale to Taiwan // BBC News

Export orders soar on smartphone, 5G demand: MOEA // Taipei Times

UPDATE 2-Taiwan says diplomat sent to hospital after China spat in Fiji // MSN News

Grow up
Taiwan official in hospital after alleged ‘violent attack’ by Chinese diplomats in Fiji // Guardian

Military Faceoff

The A-10 Warthog Is Preparing For Its Biggest Upgrade In Over A Decade // The Drive

After Stealth Jets, US Equips Its Herculean Navy With The ‘Stealthiest Submarine Ever Built’ // EurAsian Times

All Of The Navy’s Arleigh Burke Destroyers Will Get Hypersonic Missiles Top Official Says // The Drive

Watch the Navy’s beleaguered new stealth destroyer finally loose off a missile for the first time // Task & Purpose

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 12, 2020

China has gone effectively “NR”, a tech term for software being “non-responsive”. No matter what any nation says or does, China only digs in, tells the same lies no matter how increasingly obvious, and continues aggression as the solution to losing more friends over its aggression.

Why censor Mike Pence’s statement on China during the vice presidential debate? As an act of good will, China should replay Pence’s statement to correct for the ostensible “no signal please stand by” message during that part of the debate. If anything, letting a foreign vice president make bad statements would help prove that China does not engage in free speech censorship. In all likelihood, the Chinese have been censoring so many people and getting away with it that they thought censoring the American vice president would go unnoticed—it didn’t.

Besides, why keep a foreign vice president’s words away from the ears of their own people. The Chinese people won’t decide how the West will respond to Chinese aggression; the West will decide how the West responds. That’s something else the Chinese Communists don’t seem to understand.

Four nations held a strangely, vaguely-purposed meeting: Japan, Australia, India, and the United States. The reason went largely unexplained, though it was obviously about China. Japan said the meeting wasn’t about one, single country. Australia said no one tells Australia what to do. The US said China is dangerous. From a Chinese Confucian Communist perspective, the meeting seemed out of order. But, in the minds of Western voters, it is clear that all four countries dislike China without having to be told to. It was an unencrypted message China was sure to not decrypt.

Great Pacific

China tells Indian media not to call Taiwan a country, Taiwan says ‘get lost’ // Yahoo News

Pompeo Rails Against China At ‘Quad’ Meeting With Foreign Ministers In Tokyo // NPR

Cambodia confirms US-funded defence facility has been razed // Yahoo News

Trade & Tech

TSMC reportedly obtains license to ship to Huawei – there’s a catch – // gizchina.com

Huawei CFO Dealt Fresh Setback in Fight Against Extradition // Bloomberg

Huawei: MPs claim ‘clear evidence of collusion’ with Chinese Communist Party // BBC News

Six of China’s largest semiconductor projects now halted // Taiwan News

China technology companies face geopolitical, coronavirus changes // CNBC

SMIC Says U.S. Is Placing Export Restrictions on Suppliers // Bloomberg

China

China censored Pence’s comments on China. Signal returned when Harris began talking again. // Twitter @nvanderklippe

China-US relations: PLA slams ‘provocative action’ as US warship sails through South China Sea // SCMP

Censored!
Why did China censor Pence during the VP debate? // YouTube @ Fox Business

Pew survey on negative sentiment toward China, Xi Jinping, coronavirus // CNBC

US warns China against Taiwan attack, stresses US ‘ambiguity’ // Aljazeera

More anti-China sentiment
Stolen Mao Zedong calligraphy said to be worth billions torn in half by unwitting Hong Kong buyer // SCMP

Negative views of China and Xi Jinping at record levels: international survey // SCMP

Negative views of China soar in western countries, poll finds // Guardian

Taiwan

Taiwan’s president calls for less tension with China in annual address // Guardian

What Taiwan needs to defend itself from a Chinese invasion // Business Insider

US warplane appears to ‘draw’ median line between Taiwan and China // Taiwan News

White House has more coronavirus cases than Taiwan, New Zealand, and Vietnam // Taiwan News

With China’s jets repeatedly buzzing Taiwan, here’s what could happen if Beijing attacked the island, East Asia News & Top Stories // Straits Times

China Threatens War Over New Taiwan Independence Proposal: State Media // US News

The more trouble Taiwan creates, the sooner the mainland will teach them a lesson // Global Times (China Govt)

Taiwan says military under pressure from China as missions mount // Deccan Chronicle

Hong Kong

Assistants to former Hong Kong lawmakers among nine arrested on suspicion of helping fugitives flee to Taiwan // SCMP

Korean Peninsula

North Korea Workers’ Party anniversary: Kim Jong Un faces his most daunting challenges to date // CNN

Military Faceoff

How China’s aircraft carriers compare with US Navy flattops // Business Insider

The Air Force is experimenting with a brand new way to put warheads on foreheads // Task & Purpose

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 13, 2020

China and the US have shown their intentions to the world. The new “National Security Law”, passed and interpreted solely by the Chinese Communist Party, applies to the entire world. China made it illegal for Americans to support calls for change in Hong Kong. Germans wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh shirt could be guilty of a Chinese crime against China’s national security. This is no joke.

The US went hard line after China over Uyghurs in Xinjiang this week. 78 members of Congress petitioned President Trump from both parties to declare China’s work with the Uyghurs “genocide”. That is not merely rhetoric nor an attempt to insult, but a step to unlock later military permissions. The US is preparing for invasion, either to land US troops or to support some other military that does, such as India. This is no joke.

China clarified its understanding on two fronts.

Firstly, about Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China responded to America’s visa sanction and frozen asset action against Chinese officials with a tit-for-tat policy. By not responding with military preparation, or at least genocide declaration, China misinterpreted what the US is ultimately preparing.

Secondly, Chinese state media have commented how the new “National Security Law” for Hong Kong would apply if China could assert jurisdiction elsewhere. This means that, just as the US is laying in the groundwork for an invasion of China, China is laying in the groundwork for what would follow an invasion anywhere else. In all likelihood, the US’ response concerning Uyghurs in Xinjiang—paving a way for invasion—showed understanding of China’s plans for invasion, less likely not, but surely the sabers have been unsheathed and are no longer just rattling.

Great Pacific

‘High-risk groups’ warned over HK law // Taipei Times

China inches toward ‘liberating’ Taiwan after HK security law: Washington Post // Taiwan News

Hong Kong Security Law Sends Chills Through Taiwan: We Could Be Next // New Delhi TV

China

US punishes senior Chinese officials over Uighur rights // CNA

China, US in new spat over Uighur crackdown // Yahoo News

Bubonic plague: Case found in China’s Inner Mongolia // CNN

Taiwan

Doctor praises, calls Taiwan a ‘country’
Dr. Richard Bartlett | ACWT Interview 7.2.20 // YouTube @ America Can We Talk?

Skeletons in every government closet
Taiwan still replete with reminders of authoritarian-era rulers, report finds // Taipei Times

Taipei thanks US for missile package // Taipei Times

Only in Taiwan
Taiwan airport offers flights to nowhere for people desperate to travel // News.com.au

Taiwan’s defense science institute entangled in security breach over Chinese cloud service // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

Hong Kong police raid pollster ahead of opposition vote // Yahoo News

Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong, offers pathway to residency for Hongkongers // SCMP

Hong Kong activists hold blank signs to dodge China security law // Business Insider

Hong Kong protests: opposition activist Agnes Chow pleads guilty in relation to incident outside police headquarters last year // SCMP

 

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3m_tL9xEgE

China is preparing for war. It has said so in public. It has demonstrated so with militarization of "Made in China" islands that didn't exist a decade ago. It has shown intent by showing no sense of limits in cyber-warfare, technology acquisition, and oppression of the press. Facebook and Twitter users are only a "security threat" to those easily threatened.

Unlike China, the United States does not make a habit of announcing its newest military technology to the world. Whatever warfare breaks out between the US and China in the Western Pacific, China's capabilities will have been known well in advance, but the US will likely employ weapons not yet known to the public. One needs no inside information to forecast as much, only a familiarity with the parts of history that tend to repeat.

But, we are not looking at WWIII, not yet. While the brewing conflict in the Western Pacific will likely involve many countries and islands, Russia is not yet ready for the big one. NATO's presence in Europe is still too strong and Putin has not had enough time to amass his forces as he would like. Both Russia and the US would want things to quiet down rather quickly. Every effort from the White House to back away from conflicts with Russia suggests that a deal has already been struck with the Kremlin—that an expansionist campaign from China will not receive meaningful Russian help if squashed by the United States.

The question will concern how many Mainland China military supply installations Russia will allow the US to strike. But, if the US intervenes with Taiwan or razes the artificial islands on Mischief Reef, don't expect China to receive backup from Russia. Moscow took Crimea with a favorable referendum and no bloodshed. The Kremlin would expect just as much success from Beijing in order to court respect and cooperation. Right now, things don't look that way. 80% of Taiwanese rejecting reunification with China is a near flip to the support Russia received from Crimeans. Backroom Moscow secretly mocks Beijing, no matter how much money the Chinese pay them. Moscow would be fools if they didn't.

In the supposed "Chinese invasion plans" for Taiwan, there are multiple phases, including opportunistic retaliation from India. But, those plans fail to anticipate retaliation from the insulted Vietnamese, who also hold a long-standing grudge against China. Then, there is the ancient ethnic spite between China and Japan. Mongolia also has border disputes. Tibet is not the only province that wants to break away. It is doubtful Sun Tzu would have advised an expansion campaign while surrounded by enemies, especially as a mere means of being respected.

It would take a miracle and a half to stay whatever makes the pluming smoke on the horizon of the last decade. But, it won't last long. No one wants this to drag on. No, like "The Great War" (WWI) set the stage for WWII, the approaching war in the Pacific will set the stage for the big one that comes after.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3m_tL9xEgE

China is preparing for war. It has said so in public. It has demonstrated so with militarization of "Made in China" islands that didn't exist a decade ago. It has shown intent by showing no sense of limits in cyber-warfare, technology acquisition, and oppression of the press. Facebook and Twitter users are only a "security threat" to those easily threatened.

Unlike China, the United States does not make a habit of announcing its newest military technology to the world. Whatever warfare breaks out between the US and China in the Western Pacific, China's capabilities will have been known well in advance, but the US will likely employ weapons not yet known to the public. One needs no inside information to forecast as much, only a familiarity with the parts of history that tend to repeat.

But, we are not looking at WWIII, not yet. While the brewing conflict in the Western Pacific will likely involve many countries and islands, Russia is not yet ready for the big one. NATO's presence in Europe is still too strong and Putin has not had enough time to amass his forces as he would like. Both Russia and the US would want things to quiet down rather quickly. Every effort from the White House to back away from conflicts with Russia suggests that a deal has already been struck with the Kremlin—that an expansionist campaign from China will not receive meaningful Russian help if squashed by the United States.

The question will concern how many Mainland China military supply installations Russia will allow the US to strike. But, if the US intervenes with Taiwan or razes the artificial islands on Mischief Reef, don't expect China to receive backup from Russia. Moscow took Crimea with a favorable referendum and no bloodshed. The Kremlin would expect just as much success from Beijing in order to court respect and cooperation. Right now, things don't look that way. 80% of Taiwanese rejecting reunification with China is a near flip to the support Russia received from Crimeans. Backroom Moscow secretly mocks Beijing, no matter how much money the Chinese pay them. Moscow would be fools if they didn't.

In the supposed "Chinese invasion plans" for Taiwan, there are multiple phases, including opportunistic retaliation from India. But, those plans fail to anticipate retaliation from the insulted Vietnamese, who also hold a long-standing grudge against China. Then, there is the ancient ethnic spite between China and Japan. Mongolia also has border disputes. Tibet is not the only province that wants to break away. It is doubtful Sun Tzu would have advised an expansion campaign while surrounded by enemies, especially as a mere means of being respected.

It would take a miracle and a half to stay whatever makes the pluming smoke on the horizon of the last decade. But, it won't last long. No one wants this to drag on. No, like "The Great War" (WWI) set the stage for WWII, the approaching war in the Pacific will set the stage for the big one that comes after.

continue reading

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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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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 8, 2018

China's political, socioeconomic worldview is that of a zero-sum game. It has played it's socioeconomic game that way for decades. Now, it must empty its reserve coffers to keep its zero-sum game strategy from sinking too fast. This means that it can't use those coffers if a military conflict arose. The United States knows this.

Don't be fooled. The US strategy is to provoke China into a conflict sooner than it wants. In the Western view, China has shown how it will behave by having shown how it has behaved more and more. This is enough to warrant preemptive agitation for the Western taxpayer. In China's view, the world has failed to bestow on China what China deserves; because China rightly deserves what it deserves, China can't lose.

Interpol has now gotten whatever international attention against China's favor that Hong Kong malcontents did not. With the disappearance of Interpol's president into China, whoever didn't care about so-called "Chinese aggression" does now. China's government thinks they sent a message to the world. They did, but the message received is probably not the message that was intended.

As the Pacific conflict escalates, the US-Taiwan aggravation strategy moves into more military cooperation. "Unprecedented" was the word of the week. And, everyone knows what it means just as much as everyone knows why.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 17, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTzNYYL9Gg8

The US is not sending a contingency of Marines to Taiwan to protect it's envoy. This announcement came after reports that the US had such plans. After discussing the non-existence of the plans for deployment, the State Department also discussed that it does not discuss plans for security or other strategies. Perhaps the real strategy not being discussed is that the strategy is not being discussed.

At any rate, the announcement that an announcement has not been made about the discussion of not discussing security strategy and the non-discussion about Marines who will not be deployed should make heads in Beijing spin as they try to figure out just what the US is not doing about what it's not discussing. Fewer Marines in Taiwan would be more inviting for an invasion, if the discussion were under discussion, which it is not—reportedly.

One of the best kept secrets about the brewing trade war between the US and China is that US jobs departed to China. A trade war would move those jobs back to the US.

Consider a US company that set up shop in China. While the financial know-it-alls loose sleep over anything being less pleasant than an afternoon massage, including a US company in China being attacked hyena style as Chinese culture loves to do, the people in the US wouldn't care about that company. That's the company that forsook the American worker. In the mind of the average US working voter, the company that got in bed with China should stay around for the abusive marriage; so leave them to the hyenas! Any Americans who own shares in those companies would do well to keep that information secret from their working, voting neighbors.

The world doesn't work how so-called "financial experts" think it does. The trade war will not hurt the US economy because economies flourish from jobs, not consumption. Claiming that lower consumption of off-shore goods will harm a market would be to measure a farm's profitability based on how much the farming family eats other farmers' food. The real issue with the trade war is a real war.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 2, 2018

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6necue

America is in great peril. A party is looking at winning the midterm right after winning the presidency. This is not normal and it doesn't matter how "wonderful" the party may seem at the time. Single-party rule is the death of the nation.

Mass shootings, Leftist protests, anger, rage, blame—the Left turns up the volume and the Republican party grows bigger.

The Republican Party is not what anyone thinks it is because the Republican Party isn't really a thing. This is the party that despised its own president, who is giving them this unusual midterm victory—but then suddenly gets behind him. This is not a party with normal values of conscience, but a party that gauges popular opinion and always arrives at the right conclusion too late—because that party actually has a moral compass quite different from the rest of the country.

Whatever that hidden moral compass is will only be seen after the party gains its supermajority and Trump leaves. From the moment he announced, Trump's biggest danger was always that he would succeed too well.

Give it ten years to ripen, but we live in the most dangerous time of the nation's history. Of course, there's always a chance to wake up and get it done right. But, the nation first needs to see the danger where it lies: in the hidden values of the always "failing" GOP, then to recognize that hope has already been kindled.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 11, 2017

The North Korean situation makes much more sense when seen from the perspective of a film director performing a social experiment. Film makers, directors, actors, screen writers—they love to do good "real life" research. If one was making a movie simulating culture in a story such as Orwell's 1984, North Korea would be a perfect laboratory.

Looking at North Korea through this lens, some predictions could be made. What outside forces and events would be necessary to watch a "hermit kingdom" implode?

Another perspective could be from, say, China's view. China rightly fears that it is surrounded by US allies—Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan... India is a "frenemy" of the US, but more of an "enemi-friend" from China's view. Then, there is Korea. If the North were provoked to invade the South, that would be "plus one" ally for China and "minus one" ally for the United States, at least on China's border. "Gain more land to win the war" is an old school strategy from Westpoint, a strategy that Grant had to put aside at Gettysburg.

So, the jockeying in the West Pacific could be more predictable by thinking of international policy for North Korea as Film Maker vs Westpoint China. One set of policies wants the North to be easily provoked into decimating the South to win a land war in Asia. The other set of policies initiates "outside force" to carefully study an implosion of the North—and that includes allowing the North to be provoked, but on a controlled terms.

This week, North Korea made even more threats. So, the theorem of Film Maker vs Westpoint China can be put to the test in weeks to come, watching international policies provoke the North to attack and pressure the North to implode. While that transpires, international support from common folk to see North Korea's dynasty come to an end only grows, and the international press certainly doesn't do anything to shift sentiment the other direction.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 27, 2017

Americans love flags. The over-sized flag, the “Star Spangled Banner”, was a strategic tool of Fort McHenry at the Battle of Baltimore and the US national anthem itself is named after the flag. If the United States ever truly intended to communicate that it believes Beijing seats the rightful government over the island of Taiwan, then Washington DC would have demanded that Taiwan fly the Chinese Communist flag over its own flag, like Hong Kong does. But, it didn’t and they didn’t ask. The test of what Donald Trump thinks about China is not a question of how many times he sees the word “China” on his globe at home, but what flags he accepts flown where.

Is China wise to what’s going on? Perhaps money is making all the difference. China’s PLA Navy is headed for an increased budget. If money was China’s answer, perhaps money tipped-off Beijing in the first place.

According to Obama Treasury rules, China is only 1/3 of a “currency manipulator”, exceeding a $20B trade deficit with the States. The other two rules relate inflation to GDP and official currency purchases to GDP—two things where China plays by a different set of rules than American economics. China “declares” its own currency value, it is not determined by the markets, making what the US refers to as “inflation” irrelevant to China. The second irrelevant Obama rule relates to “official” currency purchases. If only economics were only affected by “official” purchases, many other economic problems would be solved. But, economies are affected by “actual” purchasing, not merely whatever we happen to label as “official” this decade. The Chinese, especially, are experts at looking good “officially” while doing the bulk of their work under the table. Why else would Asians be so focused on cram schools and testing?

Then, there is the task of calculating “GDP” in a heavy back-and-forth trade economy. In 2011, the US slapped tariffs on China-made solar panels, which were made with materials imported from the US, which China also slapped a tariff on. Not only is actual “domestic” product difficult to measure in a “Venn diagram” of overlapping markets, there is also the problem that China’s government behaves like a company itself—benefiting from tariff revenue, thereby triggering another slew of investing and purchasing opportunities. If economics were a pair of glasses, China operates in ultraviolet light that no pair of US lenses can detect.

So, not only were the Obama Treasury “currency manipulator” rules an attempt to measure the light with a wind sensor, Trump gets what Trump wants. If China is destined for the “currency manipulator” list, it will get on that list one way or another, and there is a laundry list of ways that can happen.

But, then, there is North Korea.

While the “experts” lecture the world about how “trade wars” always backfire, China harbors its own trade war with the government in Northern Korea. Kim Jong Un isn’t happy with Beijing and Beijing wants to talk about it with the US.

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