Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 31, 2021

China is in many crosshairs and Taiwan won’t have water trouble tomorrow. A long drought was going to put limits on TSMC’s chip maker in Taiwan. But, some heavy rain over the weekend and into Monday saved the day. While water rationing has yet to be implemented or delayed at press time, things are looking up, including water levels in Taiwan reservoirs.

Water wasn’t Taiwan’s only problem. A small COVID outbreak has put the nation on partial lockdown. Numbers have slowly been creeping down, but Taipei Mayor Ko is practicing for a level-up in security steps if it became necessary. But, then there is the issue of masks and vaccines.

While Taiwanese face their own trouble, they still donate masks to other countries in need. And, while Taiwan’s government seeks the Pfizer vaccine, the president says China is meddling, making access difficult. Reportedly, China signed some regional distribution rights contract with Pfizer, but unless the vaccine is ordered from Pfizer directly, the vaccine comes with no warranty. Given many recent events, including the undetermined origins of the COVID pneumoniavirus, Taiwan is unlikely to place non-warranted orders for the vaccine through China.

As for verifying any Chinese connection to COVID, China has opposed investigations that would stand to vindicate China. Australia called for an inquiry; China responded with sanctions. Them seem like fightin’ words. Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand met over the weekend to discuss this very matter.

China is in many crosshairs, and it took a lot of work to get there. The Chinese probably won’t want to leave any crosshairs anytime soon. But, Western consumers bought from China. So, it was a team effort.


If China rebuilds Kiribati airstrip, it could spy on US Pacific Fleet // Taiwan News


Rain pelts down in Taiwan to provide drought relief // Taiwan News

Taipei to simulate Level 4 COVID alert Sunday // Taiwan News

‘F9’ star John Cena says he loves China after Taiwan remark stokes anger // CNN

Tsai says China’s meddling preventing Taiwan from getting Pfizer vaccine // Taiwan News

Taiwan accuses China for blocking deal with BioNTech for COVID-19 vaccines // Yahoo India

Taiwan criticizes China over Pfizer vaccine deal, and Wuhan lab theory irks Beijing // MarketWatch


Scott Morrison says Beijing ‘seeking to divide’ Australia and New Zealand //

Morrison in New Zealand for talks amid differences on China // Aljazeera

Military Faceoff

Battleship diplomacy: Britain’s new aircraft carrier joins NATO, has message for China // Yahoo India