Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 20, 2016


Last week, Taiwan’s president forgot the law that his own political party created as a means of controlling the other political party, that won in a landslide. The Japanese seem to have a better memory. Abuse of international agreements has irritated Okinawans for over half of a century. A recent murder committed by US personnel at the base in Japan initiated more protests and more are anticipated.

The US and Taiwan Navies also anticipate responses from China. Taiwan announced 12 new vessels, pushing the program with large amounts of PR. There will even be an open house in Kaohsiung where the public can learn all about the beefing-up of Taiwan’s Navy. The US rescheduled a Stennis-Reagan sail-by off the Philippines, hoping to make waves, weeks before Hague rules on China’s nine-dash line. The US made no attempt to hide that the exercise was rescheduled early, just to make a point.

Hong Kong’s booksellers also remember. A recently detained and released seller led protests in Hong Kong. Unlike all other territories with public displays this week, Hong Kong does not supply its own military and there seems to be little-to-no effort from Hong Kongers to request any changes to this. It will be interesting to contrast any results between the protests in Hong Kong with the protests in Japan.

US carriers dispatched in muscle-flexing exercise | Straits Times

Navy scheduled to release plans for new vessels | Taipei Times

Massive rally planned in Okinawa to protest slaying of woman by U.S. base worker | Japan Times

Thousands protest at US bases on Okinawa after Japanese woman’s murder | Guardian

Hong Kong bookseller defies Beijing by leading protest | Daily Mail