Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 13, 2019

Trump knew the Chinese all along, all too well. The “trade war” never risked creating a real war; the “trade war” was a ploy the whole time—part of an elaborate scheme to provoke the Chinese into striking too soon. He says talks are going well with China—he can’t not say that. China is indeed willing to have another talk. Trump announced tariff hikes and they still showed up. That’s not exactly bad on the part of the Chinese.

Trade might never go well, but the talks certainly are for now. When has talk in politics ever looked bad?

But, don’t make the mistake of thinking for even one second that negotiations aren’t going exactly as Washington planned, whether with China or North Korea. The US provoked Japan through trade wars and embargoes leading up to WWII. This isn’t just a strategy, it’s a proven playbook tactic, and China’s irritability is performing right on cue.

As Symphony said previously, the war will start when the US is ready to field-test the F-35 in an actual combat situation that we really need to win. The F-35 was made for this and, like nuclear technology at the end of WWII, if the US doesn’t use its fifth-generation fighter jets before Russia and China perfect theirs, it will have failed its initial purpose. Japan is ready to buy the worlds largest non-US fifth-generation F-35 fleet. They want the Marines’ vertical take-off model for their helicopter carriers. Perhaps those carriers also had a purpose all along.

Talk isn’t deteriorating, not with China anyway, but trade suddenly is. That’s because the F-35 is ready to make its entrance onto the world’s stage. Taiwan’s election could prove to be a convenient lynch pin.

Businessmen are the presidential trend. Foxconn Chair and Founder Terry Gou is running under the KMT, a political party whose platform is “Chinese-Taiwan re-unification”, yet he demands that China recognize Taiwan’s history of de facto existence; China never will. Moving some production from among Foxconn’s twelve factories in China back to Taiwan in Kaohsiung shows that his loyalties don’t reside in Beijing nor in Nanjing as KMT old-hats still pine for. He’s also beefing up supply in Houston, Indianapolis, and Mexico, atop his newest plant in Wisconsin. That will make the US less dependent on China and better ready for war. As an accomplished businessman, Terry will tear up the inexperienced populist Mayor Han of Kaohsiung in the primaries. After all, he brought jobs back to Kaohsiung.

Even if Gou loses primary or presidency, his campaign rhetoric, though less unacceptable to China than others, could force all other viable candidates to sympathize with Taiwan independence, if that proves to be the only electable platform. That’s more than likely. Equally likely, China will see no way to “talk” its way toward absorbing Taiwan. Talk would thus breakdown and “the military option” would be the trigger in the gas tank known as the South Sea. Then, F-35 moves to centerstage.

Trump says China has one month. If we make it that long, then China would be stupider than we thought because the F-35s would have more time to fuel up.


Exclusive: China backtracked on almost all aspects of U.S. trade deal – sources | Yahoo – Reuters

White House Ratchets Up Trade Fight | WSJ

Trump urged to resolve China tensions as Wall Street plunges |

Donald Trump’s latest tariff threat raises fears that US-China trade talks will unravel as Beijing vows not to cave in | SCMP

Trump says new China tariffs are because Beijing ‘broke the deal’ | CNN

China censors Trump and boosts propaganda ahead of vital trade summit | CNN

US-China trade war: Beijing not desperate for deal, ex-Aussie PM says | CNBC

Trump on new trade war tariff threat: China ‘broke the deal’ in talks | CNBC

Donald Trump gets a ‘beautiful letter’ from China’s Xi Jinping ahead of trade talks |

Asia markets: US-China trade war, currencies in focus | CNBC

Decision to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. sets off a Republican firefight | WA Post

China trade: US tariffs jump, but trade war talks to continue | CNBC

Trump China tariffs ‘may or may not be removed’ trade talks continue | CNBC

Trade Representative: Trump Orders Hikes In All Remaining China Import Tariffs | Sputnik

US-China talks break up after US raises tariffs | Inquirer

China says to hold more trade talks with US in Beijing | CNA

U.S., China break off latest trade talks without a deal, as new tariffs rile markets | USA Today

China Names Its Trade-Deal Price as Trump Sets Month Deadline | Bloomberg


Economy resilient enough to weather trade war: Tsai | Taipei Times

Foxconn to move production lines from China to Kaohsiung in Taiwan | Taiwan News

ROC and PRC belong to one Chinese nation: Terry Gou | Focus Taiwan

Terry Gou’s ‘hat trick’ stirs cross-strait controversy | EJ Insight

Taiwan says China has stepped up infiltration efforts | Yahoo – Reuters

China has stepped up efforts to infiltrate Taiwan – president | Aljazeera

Tsai condemns China’s press intrusion | Taipei Times

Wang vows to replace ‘consensus’ if elected | Taipei Times

Japanese back Taipei’s WHA bid | Taipei Times

Premier reiterates swine fever controls on travelers from Hong Kong, Macau | Taipei Times

North Korea

Kim Jong Un tells N. Korea military to keep “full-combat posture” after second missile launch in week | CBS News

North Korea requested US send ‘famous basketball players’ to normalize relations: report | Fox News

US suspends effort to retrieve war dead from North Korea | BBC News

North Korea fires ‘unidentified projectile’ days after new missile launch | Mirror

Hong Kong

Hong Kong reports its first case of African swine fever | Taipei Times

Brawl breaks out in Hong Kong parliament – video | Guardian

HK lawmakers brawl over extradition law | Taipei Times

Hong Kong lawmakers brawl over controversial extradition bill | DW

Chinese lawmaker collapses as brawl erupts in Hong Kong Parliament |

Brawl erupts in Hong Kong parliament amid heated debate on extradition laws | Standard

Here Comes the StormBreaker: The Next F-35 Super Weapon | National Interest

Inside search for missing Japanese F-35 stealth fighter | CNN

The U.S. Ends Search for Missing F-35 Fighter Jet | Popular Mechanics