Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 20


Paula Bronstein, award-winning photojournalist, was arrested in Mong Kok, HK, for standing on a car to take a photo. Standing on a car, by HK law, is a greater crime than unsheathing a samurai sword in a theater. So, the new question is: How can HK’s Beijing-appointed government defend its sense of “justice”?

In the neighborhood, Taiwan’s government has the stronger sense of “justice”. Taipei is mulling a change in foreign labor—if a foreign employee is sexually assaulted, perhaps the employee should be allowed out of a work contract. Taipei is still considering the change. Which means that Taipei is considering more than either Beijing or Hong Kong.

With how the western media wants to paint Hong Kong’s government as oppressive—rather than deaf as a puppet—the Foreign Correspondents’ Club at Hong Kong should’t condemn Bronstein’s arrest. Quite opposite they should thank the police not only for helping her become more acclaimed than she already is, but by demonstrating the mismatched priorities of governments operating under the supervision of Beijing. A number of other governments in the region seemed to agree, this week not the least.

China has been finding a cure for Ebola. After all, Beijing has huge investments in Africa to defend. At press time, the Prelude was not aware of whether Paula Bronstein had commented on whether she plans to take photos of China’s progress with finding a cure to Ebola, or, if she did, whether she would stand on any cars to attain award-winning angles.


Ministry mulls a change to foreign laborer regulations

…Progress is progress, no matter how small. It is not that such an archaic group of Chinese Culture Imperialists were willing to consider justice, they never will. The progress, here, is that the younger generation of Taiwanese were able to do the impossible—to make that old, ruling generation aware of the bad optics of their Asian-Cultural arrogance. This headline should be at the top of every Asian-related blog because, even the slightest learning curve is sharper than the flat-lined learning of HK’s Beijing-puppet government. Increasing aggression from HK police seems to demonstrate that HK’s Beijing-puppet government isn’t aware of optics, but only what it can get away with. If Taiwan’s government has a learning curve at all, then they are strong enough to oppose China. Just as Caesar’s were warned against entanglements in the Balkans, the country that minds its own business is impervious to invasion. Unfortunately, Beijing and its puppets don’t seem smart enough to figure that out.

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Mong Kok, HK

HK protesters regroup as police chief gives warning

Hong Kong riot police, protesters clash in streets

HK protesters slam ‘police brutality’ as clashes flare

HK police attack protest barricades

…these barriers were put in place to keep the police and the protesters far from each other.

Hong Kong protesters fear attacks as police move in to clear barricades

…Some good inside knowledge, but also some anti-China sentiment. As stated in previous weeks by the Prelude, Jimmy Lai has, in fact, been funding much of the protest and Occupy activity in Hong Kong. But stating so doesn’t make one pro-Beijing. Lai’s footage of the protests is among the best and his investment in the protests has certainly helped him sell newspapers in the Hong Kong new media’s “bear market”.

… Paula Bronstein, Foreign Correspondents’ Club letter

….More images

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