Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 6


Last’s week’s misunderstanding quickly transformed to rage with images of police, out of harm’s way, calmly reaching to pepper spray non-threatening bystanders, one at a time. Hong Kongers’ support for Occupy Central soared from “geek” to “peak” within a day. China opposes interference. Beijing backs the CEO of “China’s Hong Kong”, with no comment on their 1984 promise not to interfere in Hong Kong’s self-governance until 2047.

Ironically, Hong Kongers experienced more freedom and openness to new ideas after China’s takeover. Was that freedom only Beijing’s temporary gimmick? Or is Beijing genuinely on a learning curve, trying to understand the effective power of soft-servant governance? We’ll have to wait and see.

Hong Kongers want more than they can have, as explained last week, but they deserve more than they’ve been given. Pepper spraying targeted individuals when the police are not being threatened is cowardly, unbecoming of Hong Kong’s peaceful police, and is only asking for escalation. More pepper spray and rubber bullets are arriving by the truckload. There are no simple answers, but there is a lot to learn while we pray for peace in one of the world’s most dearly-loved cities.

The Symphony does not comment on what Beijing should do—they should figure that out on their own. The only thesis here is that there is a foreseeable prelude to conflict in Southeast Asia.

Communists don’t understand how they are perceived by others, that actions speak louder than propaganda, nor how free people think. Beijing and Hong Kong governments are genuinely surprised by the protests.

Meanwhile, Japan and Vietnam are more open to getting their own weapons. Beijing can’t imagine why that would be. They probably think it’s caused by “Western propaganda” rather than their own actions.

This conflict is becoming more and more about a learning curve in Greater Asia. Every country that touches the Pacific Ocean needs to learn something, even about what motivates other countries. The greater everybody’s learning, the lesser the foreseeable conflict. So far, learning seems low.

China’s Neighbors Arming-up

China aims to be capable of attack by 2020: report

Taiwan Is Building a New Navy—and US Companies Aren’t Invited

Vietnam hails ease on arms sales ban

US continues work on ‘pivot’ to Asia

Communist Thinking

‘Dalai Lama Debacle’ Stirs Anger in South Africa

…14th World Peace Summit cancelled in Beijing’s shadow.

Chinese students’ dispute with NCCU sparks debate

A recent incident in which a Chinese exchange student made a rude gesture at a speaker who addressed the Chinese students at National Chenchi University’s (NCCU) student orientation as “overseas students from China (中國的留學生)” has prompted heated discussion online and among university staff and students.

Along with several other Chinese exchange students, the student in question reportedly complained to the university after the moderator at last month’s student orientation greeted them by saying: “We welcome the overseas students from China to Taiwan.”

The Chinese students said it was “inappropriate” to address them that way at a public event, demanding to know why they were not addressed as either “students from the mainland (陸生)” or “friends from the interior (內地來的朋友).”

They also demanded an apology from the Taiwanese students who attended the orientation.

Hong Kong makes world headlines…

Drone footage shows massive scale of Hong Kong protests

…with the best video being from Apple Daily

Cartoon: Hong Kong v Beijing

China’s Outer Regions Watch Hong Kong Protests Intently

Hong Kong Protests Propel a Phone-to-Phone App

HK tensions soar amid rubber bullets

Police mobilise in Mong Kok after two days of clashes over Occupy protest

HK protesters demand chief steps down

LIVE: ‘Ball is in government’s court’ – student leader Alex Chow Yong-kang remains uncompromising

Britain has ‘abandoned’ Hong Kong: former chief secretary

Ending the stand-off on the streets will benefit all sides

When it comes to popular protest, success is measured in the long term

Occupy Central’s Umbrella statue is a symbol of peace, says artist

John Tsang admits government not psychologically prepared for scale of protests

Hong Kong Wealth Gap on Display in Protests

HK protesters make partial withdrawal

The Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong: a second Tiananmen?

An outcry for freedom will be heard far and wide

Beijing face to face with universal suffrage promise

US Senators Call For De-Escalation of Hong Kong Political Standoff

The Burden of ‘One Country, Two Systems’

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