Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 24, 2019

We are not headed to a Second Cold War. We are not at risk of heading to a Second Cold War. We are traveling at trans-warp speed toward the First Flash War. It will start and end quickly, laying the groundwork for WWIII and FWII to follow.

These pieces of our times are important to distinguish. Different analysts with different levels of understanding of history are trying their best to explain our times. To a novice—either to history or to the West or to the East—who just begins to understand, it may seem like we are headed toward Cold War II.

China and the US are in a growing conflict on the surface, but Russia is whispering in China’s ear. Russia wants the same old thing. The US is generally unaware of Russia’s intent or dismisses it.

China thinks that the US wants to retain power. China wants to rise, so Beijing feels the need to “beat back” the US.

The US knows China wants to rise and doesn’t mind. The US wants to step back, but knows China is an undisciplined bully—lawless and doesn’t respect human rights. So, the US feels the need to “beat down” China to make Beijing behave.

The US takes the approach of protectionism and innovation—tariffs and moving manufacturing back home. China takes the approach of its domineering culture and copying others—both doomed to fail.

One of the Chinese’s biggest complaints used to justify their military aggression in the South Sea is American presence. The claim is that the US has 180 military bases throughout East Asia, rephrased “near China”. Because of this, China calls America the “aggressor” and, like the burglar who thinks society stole from him first, says its military response is justified.

The US has been in many of those places since the end of WWII and after the Korean War. The Chinese didn’t know about this US presence because their surveillance tech wasn’t good enough. Once China reverse-engineered and stole designs for enough Western tech—because they still don’t know how to invent it on their own—they started to see that Americans had been their the whole time.

The “Second Coming Cold War” argument is flawed because we’ve already been in such a “cold” standoff for seven decades. That’s how Beijing interprets it anyway, and now the Chinese want to heat things up.

Consider the contradiction. For over 70 years, Americans have been quietly watching the seas. They didn’t harass fishermen. They didn’t aim missiles and launch threats. They didn’t attempt to ram into other boats. They never tried to deny passage through international waters. China has done all these things, but not the US—in 70 years! So, because of that, the US is the aggressor? That’s Beijing-style thinking anyway. And, that way of thinking is what Washington feels the need to defeat before it gets any bigger.

This week documented a Chinese general committing two “no-nos”. Firstly, he commented on the social structure of Hong Kong—military leaders are supposed to remain outside of politics. Secondly, the thus  proven military government of China thus also proved disdain for the law it must abide by. Motive is one vital burden of proof in a conviction. Not only had Beijing meddled where it wasn’t allowed, but we now have an established motive.

ASEAN calls for restraint in South China Sea row | Taipei Times

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam Makes Personal Apology, But Won’t Resign | Bloomberg

Hong Kong Protests | Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren | YouTube @ VOA

Hong Kong police vow to pursue HQ siege protesters | AFP

Hong Kong police slam ‘illegal, irrational’ HQ | CNA

Hong Kong police vow to pursue HQ siege protesters | CNA

Hong Kong protests: How tensions have spread to US | BBC News

YouTube: What Hong Kong’s protests look like from inside China | YouTube @ Quartz

Chinese general blames Hong Kong protests on … | Taiwan News

Hong Kong protesters at police headquarters in Wanchai | YouTube @ CNA

Department of Health seeks clarification from Hong Kong Adventist Hospital over refusal to treat injured protester who was later arrested | SCMP

In Pictures: ‘Flow like water’ – Hong Kong protesters converge on police HQ after day of wildcat road occupations | HKFP

Many in Hong Kong, fearful of China’s grasp, flee to Taiwan | CNA

HK parents march against US meddling | China Daily

Hong Kongers used low tech to beat Chinese techno-authoritarianism | Business Insider

What China struggles more than ever to get from Hong Kong: Loyalty and love | National Post


A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be a bloody, logistical nightmare | CNN

No cutback in US official visits: MOFA | Taipei Times

Sentences toughened for China spies | Taipei Times

Foxconn founder urges Apple to move production from China to Taiwan | The Verge

US refers to Taiwan as country and could draw China’s anger | Business Insider

Thousands protest pro-China media | Taipei Times


Beijing wants the US to stop ‘inappropriate’ actions against Chinese firms | CNBC


Apple, Black & Decker and Steve Madden among US companies moving production out of China. Here’s the full list. | Fox Business

YouTube: Apple possibly moving some production out of China | Fox Business

China says both U.S., China should make compromises in trade talks | Yahoo News

China digs in for protracted trade fight with US | MSN News

Canada ‘will join US’ in speaking out for rules-based global order against China | SCMP

Trump Blacklists More China Tech Companies Days Before Xi Summit | Yahoo News

China Would Fight Trade War ‘to the End,’ State Media Says | Bloomberg

US blacklists 5 Chinese groups involved in supercomputing | MarketWatch

Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei confesses to bribery in Chinese trial | Guardian

China’s Two-Pronged Trade War | The Atlantic

Yes, It Is a New Cold War. What Is To Be Done? | War on the Rocks

Death toll from China quakes rises to 12, East Asia News & Top Stories | Straits Times

China warns US against opening Mideast ‘Pandora’s box’ | Yahoo News

China warns US against opening Mideast ‘Pandora’s box’ | CNA

Not the New Cold War | Real Clear Defense

The New Cold War Is a Lot More Dangerous Than the Old | Foreign Policy In Focus

Huawei CEO Dodges Question About Chinese Internet Censorship During Awkward Press Event | Gizmodo

The Koreas

Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Donald Trump, North Korean media reports | ABC Australia

Xi in North Korea: Kim hails ‘invincible’ ties with China | BBC News

China is cracking down on North Korean defectors, activists say | CNN

Xi Jinping arrives in North Korea in plane, may embarrass Kim Jong Un | Business Insider

Xi Jinping lands in North Korea to meet Kim ahead of Trump talks | Guardian

Why the US and North Korea aren’t going to war (Opinion) | CNN

North Korea earthquake: Panic at ‘large explosion’ on border with China | Express

Chinese President Xi to visit North Korea amid Hong Kong protests, tension with US | Fox News


Hypersonic Missiles Are Unstoppable. And They’re Starting a New Global Arms Race. | MSN

This Boring Looking Plane Is Deadlier Than an F-35, B-2 Bomber or F-22 | National Interest

B-52 bomber makes emergency landing at RAF Mildenhall | BBC News

US Air Force successfully flies its newest hypersonic missile on its mighty B-52 bomber | CNBC