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.

Trade & Tech

China Just Crossed A Dangerous New Line For Huawei: ‘There Will Be Consequences’ // Forbes


Censored American debatw: another reason we should trust China
Debate goes dark in Beijing as topics turn to China’s human rights violations // Guardian

China says in touch with U.S. on signing of Phase 1 trade deal // Yahoo News

Henry Kissinger told White House he talked to Xi about Trump: Kudlow // CNBC

Trade war: China won’t rush into agriculture purchases under phase one deal, US government adviser says // SCMP

Commentary: The US-China trade deal leaves a large American deficit // CNBC


British Royal Navy ship sails through Taiwan Strait // Taiwan News

British navy vessel passes through Taiwan Strait // SCMP

Kaohsiung fears violence, mobilizes police for Han rallies // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

UK urges China to open dialogue with Hong Kong on 1984 declaration anniversary // Yahoo News

President Xi Jinping praised Macao this week, but Hong Kong still has the financial clout // CNN

China pressured 20 years
Special Report: How murder, kidnappings and miscalculation set off Hong Kong’s revolt // Yahoo News

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong says phone hacked by police // YouTube @ Rappler

Hong Kong police size $9 million meant for protesters, accuse 4 of money laundering // CNN

Govt accuses bond crowdfunding of ‘laundering’
Mysterious Bags of Cash Trigger Major Hong Kong Protest Arrests // Bloomberg

Won’t be taken seriously enough!
UK urges China to begin dialogue with Hong Kong // Taiwan News

Cathay Pacific staff leaving in new round of employee exits at airline hit by Hong Kong protests // SCMP

Self-healing from gentrification
Hong Kong protests create space for new businesses to expand, as traditional retailers, restaurants retreat after seven months of falling sales // SCMP

Hong Kong protests change city’s dating rules // Bangkok Post

Hong Kong ‘Christmas shopping’ protests // SCMP

Korean Peninsula

With U.S. and North Korea Deal Unlikely This Year, China and Russia Take Matters Into Their Own Hands // Newsweek

U.S. tells North Korea over nuclear talks: ‘You know how to reach us’ // NBC News