Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 2


Hong Kong is back at it, this time marching on local elections. Japan is outraged over Muslims beheading one of their own, Asia is watching. Taiwan’s President is ever less popular and now with more proof than ever. Little news happened this week, but much analysis and beautiful night pictures of Hong Kong and Taiwan are going viral. The media would have us think that life in Taiwan sure is great. Is war near? Taiwan will be a major question, arguably the linchpin because of both reputation and regional strategy.

When Shang Kai-Sheck fled to Taiwan in 1949 during China’s Communist revolution, Beijing had a golden opportunity.  They could have declared victory.

The Communists knew that they would not be able to pursue the KMT-Nationalists because taking Taiwan is nearly impossible, even today. If Beijing’s goal was reunification, they should have declared a Machiavellian victory, pretended to recognize Taiwan as a nation, and normalized relations. Then, just as Russia has done, they could have slowly inserted their soldiers and professors in hopes of shaping Taiwan’s opinion and subtly moving Taiwan back to China, making it appear as if Beijing had won Taiwanese hearts. Maybe even now, if Beijing had allowed free elections in HK, but vetted policy and impeached CEO’s for anti-Beijing rhetoric, then Communist Beijing might have won the hearts of the Taiwanese. Combined with economics and waiting for one of Washington’s many diplomatic blunders, Beijing would have Taiwan begging to become a SAR. But that didn’t happen.

Instead, China chose the brunt “pride and shame” approach. While even the Machiavellian rout would have its flaws, it would have a better chance of victory than Beijing’s current policy. It is best that Taiwan remain independent for many other international reasons, not the least of them being that, if Beijing didn’t understand enough to seduce Taiwan, they certainly don’t understand enough to rule it. Empires can’t win wars without winning hearts. Beijing not only has faulty goals, they have faulty ways of trying to achieve them… and that is why they won’t achieve them.

Most Taiwan invasion scenarios evaluate military logistics, terrain, technology, and the will of the Taiwanese to resist. In all of these, Taiwan comes out on top. But none of the analyses factor Beijing’s lack of understanding. Beijing’s inability to see this, even now, is the main reason why an invasion of Taiwan is untenable. They can’t win because they don’t know how. If Beijing tries, it will be the end of Communist China as we have known it.

Maybe that’s what some in Washington want, but that would be pure speculation.

Amazing Photos: Light by Night

Oblique Night Image of Taiwan and China

…Amazing picture of Taiwan and China at night, popularly circulating last week

Beautiful, eerie fluorescent glow of Hong Kong seas indicates harmful algal bloom at work | Fox News

…Hong Kong shores also glowing


Taiwan: Between the pivot and a hard place

The Twilight of China’s Communist Party

Confirmed: China Is Building a Military Base Near Japan

China wants to increase military exchanges, but US rethinks plans for further ties

…analysis of two articles

China’s Long-Awaited Day Of Reckoning Is Close


Japan outraged as video purportedly shows hostage beheaded

Apparent slaying of hostage convulses Japan


Squeeze put on Hong Kong press freedom

New Hong Kong group targets district elections ‘to keep spirit of umbrella movement’

Thousands march again for democracy in Hong Kong


Chen Chu tops poll of 12 politicians, Ma comes in last

…Taiwan’s KMT-Nationalist President least popular in Taiwan

‘Taiwanese’ identity hits record level

Marines conduct simulation of PLA attack in south

Hsinchu lawmaker withdraws from KMT

Nation ranked among world’s ‘freest’

Immigrant spouses happy with life in Taiwan: poll

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