Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 9, 2019

The missile issues in North Korea have too much unknown about them to formulate a clear opinion. From reports, Kim has indeed kept his promise, though he has violated seemingly less significant UN sanctions. Japan is on alert. Trump doesn’t seem to care. If we made a stack of American clothes made in China, then stacked what we don’t know about the North Korean missile crisis, the stack of what we don’t know about North Korean missiles would be higher. It’s unsettling, but sometimes we just don’t know.

Carrie Lam’s response to the “five demands” from protestors will not bode well in Hong Kong. She withdrew the controversial bill. The best illustration from Hong Kongers is a bandaid on a scratch after it turned gangrene. “Too little, too late” is what most are saying. Expect riots and burning buildings in the weeks to come.

Some Hong Kongers will indeed be satisfied with her speech, dare we say thrilled, but others will be enraged that she waited until after three months and a leaked recording. That recording included Lam’s claim that she couldn’t resign and that she had two masters, one of them Beijing. This is contrary to the autonomy required by the contract allowing China to claim Hong Kong as its own. If true, that recording could return Hong Kong to Britain merely in court. The stakes are high. Beijing cannot allow the public to believe that the recording demonstrated any truth. And, apparently Lam can’t either.

If that recording was inaccurate as she said, then she wouldn’t be so angry. Not only did she admit that the recording was real, it made her angry. Her objection to it is the recording’s greatest notoriety. But, Confucian Beijing-minded Chinese don’t understand that evidence speaks louder than spin. They only bake the cake they’ll have to lay in.

Withdrawing the bill will be seen by many as an attempt to counter evidence that Beijing interferes regularly, violating the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. But, the evidence remains, and there are greater grievances.

Lam’s speech fails to address the protests’ demand for her resignation, which is the very subject of the leaked recording, which came just before her sudden withdrawal of the bill. The protestors insist on her resignation and will continue to. When she said that she never considered resigning, she further incriminated herself by proving that Hong Kong does not have its required universal suffrage and that she is part of the reason why.

Some will stop protesting, but those who continue will do so with more veracity. Apart from withdrawing the bill, everything in Lam’s video ignores and insults the protest demands, essentially telling the people what they ought to want.

Telling people what they should want is widely accepted in Confucian society. But, it mixes with the West like water with oil. Lam wants to investigate to find out why Hong Kong rejected what are essentially Confucian values. But, there is no disturbance or interference or social trend to investigate. The conflict arose because the Confucian minds controlling Hong Kong, namely Lam and Beijing, are incapable of recognizing that Hong Kong already was Westernized. The question now is whether William Wallace can defeat Mao Tse-Tung.

Great Pacific

Heavy traffic in South China Sea: US vies with China in joint naval drills with Asean members // SCMP

First US-Asean naval exercise begins // Bangkok Post

Chinese pastor shared Christian faith with 1,000 North Koreans before execution, defector claims // Fox News

HK activist calls for rally in Taiwan before China’s National Day // Taiwan News

EU should establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan if China can’t ensure HK people’s rights: Die Welt // Taiwan News

US promotes free and open Indo-Pacific at naval exercise // Taiwan News

Trade & Tech

Huawei believes banning it from 5G will make countries insecure // ZD Net


US-China trade war in the early stages of second Cold War, Niall Ferguson says // CNBC

Merkel Has Made a U-Turn on China But It May Be Too Late // Bloomberg

US China trade talks: The two countries will meet in Washington as trade war rages on // CNN

Who blameth Trump…
It’s up to Trump to resolve US-China trade war, says Beijing advisor // CNBC

Tiananmen 30 years on: China censors all mention of massacre – Video // 660 News


US interested in Taiwan’s links with allies: Kao // Taipei Times

Hundreds join NYC march for Taiwan // Taipei Times

Taiwan tops ranking for expatriates // Taipei Times

US to back Honor Guard participation // Taipei Times

$8 Billion USD…
Premier signs off on F-16V bill // Taipei Times

Hong Kong

Marchers ask Trump to ‘liberate’ Hong Kong, as clashes erupt // ABC News America

Clashes after peaceful crowd takes Hong Kong message to US consulate // Yahoo News

Hong Kong police officers served more than 100 boxes of raw chicken for dinner ordered from city supplier // SCMP

Hong Kong police halt protesters’ bid to choke airport again, with the metro’s help // ABC News Australia

Joshua Wong’s Tweet response to Carry Lam // Twitter @joshuawongcf

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announces formal withdrawal of the extradition bill and sets up a platform to look into key causes of protest crisis // SCMP

Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam talks about ‘quitting’ in leaked audio // YouTube @ South China Morning Post

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responds to audio recording where she discusses quitting // CNN

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam in leaked secret recording // YouTube @ BBC News

Did Carrie Lam just say sorry behind closed doors? // SCMP

Hong Kong protests: China gives Hong Kong October 1 deadline //

Hong Kong court overturns gov’t decision to ban activist Agnes Chow from election // HKFP

Special Report: Hong Kong leader says she would ‘quit’ if she could, fears her ability to resolve crisis now ‘very limited’ // Yahoo News

Korean Peninsula

Typhoon Lingling: North Korea on alert as storm threatens crops // BBC News

North Korea Missile Tests, ‘Very Standard’ to Trump, Show Signs of Advancing Arsenal // NY Times