Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 5, 2019

If one were to guess what was going on between Trump and Kim, internal politics of North Korea would explain it all. Korea is no exception to East Asia’s history of ongoing domination quarreling. Kim is not universally loved within his own government. The military is constantly at his back door and he must squash mutinies constantly. Pomp and acting like he’s the “military man” makes it hard for his enemies within to rally ill will against him.

Also, Trump has commented that many things are going on with North Korea behind the scenes—things which remain beyond the paparazzi watch of the Western presses. When Trump indicates no objection to the non-nuclear missile launches in North Korea, it almost seems as if Trump knows Kim is doing something the rest of the West doesn’t know about. For all we know, the number and frequency of non-nuclear missile tests could be a kind of Morse code only known to Trump and Kim. Given what has been publicly told, that would not be impossible. This only leads us to conclude that we can’t conclude anything about what’s happening in North Korea so far; there have just been too many jokers added to the deck.

Then, there’s China, China, and also China.

When it comes to raising public support for Western action against China, China is its own worst PR enemy.

China keeps doing the same thing. Beijing’s solution to rejection is to incite more rejection. Beijing’s solution to resistance is to give excuse for more resistance. It’s in a self-destructing insanity tailspin—paranoid of invisible enemies, justifying interfering in Hong Kong under the auspices that Hong Kong was already interfered in by the West.

That’s what this is all about, by the way. The whole reason Beijing accuses Taiwan and the US of causing the Hong Kong riots is to build the case that “Hong Kong was already interfered with”, and therefore sending in China’s military to stop the protests would not violate the Basic Law. The problem is that the Basic Law does not grant China permission to use military force against unarmed Hong Kong citizens on the basis of “Western interference”. But, the Chinese don’t understand the concept of “lawfulness” anyway. They just come up with whatever excuse sounds sophisticated enough to seem smarter than everyone else and thereby hypnotize the public into compliance.

China wants to blame the US and Trump won’t give China one single excuse to be twisted into so-called proof. Trump treads cautiously, but he is neither callous nor oblivious. His silence should be a warning to China that he is no fool. Sadly, China will take his silence to mean that he has caved into Beijing’s aggression and the Chinese military will only grow more overconfident than it already is. But, choices of the past four decades suggest that may have been the plan all along.

The tipping point is upon us. If China’s warship crashed into a Taiwan freighter on accident, then there would be no reason to fear or respect China’s Navy because their crew can’t steer. The alternative is to interpret it as an act of war. China doesn’t consider either because an angry bully in blamer-mode doesn’t consider others, not even how others can or will respond.

Great Pacific

Channelling Trump, Cambodia says US officials can ‘pack up and leave’ // CNA

China attributes travel ban to Taiwan’s support for HK protesters // Taiwan News

Taiwan tells China to ‘back off’ of Hong Kong // Taiwan News

Trade & Tech

Huawei US ban: Trump’s new broadside could kill hope of a reprieve // CNN


China suspends cooperation with France on police affairs, says report // Guardian

Trade war: China urges US back down after Trump’s $300 billion tariff threat // CNBC

U.S. set to push security strategy as Chinese manoeuvres rattle region // Yahoo News

China was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now – no signs that they are doing so // Forex Factory

Trump rips China as stalled trade talks are set to resume // CNBC


Mysterious Chinese warship slams into Taiwanese freighter // Taiwan News

Taiwan fires over 100 missiles during China war drills // Taiwan News

Taipei mayor to establish political party // Focus Taiwan

Taipei Mayor’s choice of party name irks family of late activist // Taiwan News

China Warship Collided With Taiwan Freighter, Coast Guard Says // Bloomberg

China Imposes Taiwan Travel Ban in Warning Shot to President // Bloomberg

‘Hollywood enables CCP’s repression of Taiwan’ says Ted Cruz on Top Gun flag controversy // Taiwan News

Hong Kong

Riot police fire tear gas to disperse Hong Kong protesters: Live updates // CNN

China signals possible military intervention to stop Hong Kong protests // Vox

‘China’s declaration of martial law in Hong Kong is expected Aug. 4’ claims Guo // Taiwan News

US-based Hongkongers ask United Nations to help resolve extradition bill crisis // SCMP

Thousands of civil servants rally in Hong Kong, kicking off another weekend of extradition bill protests // SCMP

Former Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa accuses the United States and Taiwan of orchestrating ‘well-organised’ recent protests // SCMP

White House Told Officials to Go Easy on China Over Hong Kong // WSJ

Hong Kong protests: China blames US for mass demonstrations // CNN

Hong Kong protesters hurt in drive-by fireworks attack // BBC News

Photo: Police aim gun at unarmed protestor…
Hong Kong protesters injured in drive-by firework attack from private vehicle after clashes outside police stations // SCMP

Hong Kong: Chinese forces gather at border, White House monitoring //

Taiwanese contribute helmets to Hong Kong protesters // Taiwan News

Hong Kong protests: ‘I’m in Australia but I feel censored by Chinese students’ // BBC News

Beijing tells Hong Kong return to normality ‘the most pressing priority’ in response to unrest and protests that followed extradition bill controversy // SCMP

Hong Kong protests: Activists disrupt rush hour trains // BBC News

China defends Hong Kong police, blames Western forces // Yahoo News

Hong Kong: China accuses protesters of committing ‘evil acts’ // CNN

Korean Peninsula

North Korea says Kim Jong Un supervised third weapons test this week in a bid to keep pressure on US, South Korea // Fox News

North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles, US defense officials say // Fox News

South Korea looks to Asean for help in its ‘trade war’ with Japan // SCMP


Japan wants to be an official F-35 partner. The Pentagon plans to say no. // Defense News

China’s Giant Spy Drone Just Tailed a U.S. Navy Cruiser // National Interest