Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 22, 2021

China is mixing its civilian population with military front lines. This new Sansha “City” probably should be called a province and not a “city”. Leave it to the Chinese and Taiwanese governments to garble province-level translation. It’s not anything the West considers a city. But, it was planted in the middle of international waters, is used as a basis for applying Chinese law in more places, is highly contested by neighbors like Vietnam, and has civilians.

At what point does a civilian population bear responsibility for the action of its government? Is it in supporting that government’s action? Is it in turning a blind eye to that government’s action, providing passive support? Is it in accepting one-sided gossip about other people they never met nor heard from? If so, all people across the world are guilty of every war.

China grew its power when Western consumers sent their jobs overseas to save pennies at the store. Western civilians built Sansha as much as Chinese civilians. When Sansha becomes a war zone, will there be such a thing as an “innocent civilian” anywhere in the world? All of us involve civilians in military matters; at least China is upfront about it.

Trade & Tech

Huawei loses attempt to rescue CFO Meng from US clutches despite using 140-year-old law in High Court // The Register


CNN Exclusive: WHO panel to recommend ‘deeper’ study of early Covid-19 clues // CNN

South China Sea: Beijing tightens grip on South China Sea with 800,000-square-mile ‘city’ // Times of India

US warns Beijing against using force in South China Sea // Guardian

China Has An 800,000-Square-Mile ‘City’ in the South China Sea // Bloomberg

South China Sea: US steps up challenges to Spratly Islands in freedom of navigation operation // CNN


Four Taiwan ex-intelligence officers charged with spying for China // CNA

Chinese fighters buzz Taiwan’s air defense zone as it appoints new defense minister // CNN

Hong Kong

Why Britain’s anti-immigration politicians are opening the doors to thousands of Hong Kongers // CNN


Pangong Lake: India and China complete pull-back of forces // BBC News

Military Faceoff

The US Army is building the most powerful laser weapon in the world // NewScientist

Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to deploy after extended scrimmage // The Virginian-Pilot

With Ships’ Commissioning Delayed, New Mayport LCS to Test Answer to ‘Class Design Defect’ //

Loved ones of Nimitz sailors making final preparations for their return // Kitsap Sun