Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 5, 2018

China is less and less popular in the news. It’s almost conspiracy-like—how much negative news comes out against China in the Western press at once.

The Trump administration backs Micron with legal action against Fujian Jinhua, an American company vs a Chinese company, over tech theft. At the same time, Jeff Sessions suddenly decides to appear in front of cameras and decry China for cyberspying on the US—a completely unrelated matter except that it is bad press for China. Then, the Taipei Times runs a front page story on illegal Chinese crabs being imported, but not passing a health inspection, with involved companies given a hefty fine, while pushing a North Korean nuke “restart” story to page five! The Taipei Times ran another front page story of China creating fake social media accounts to meddle in Taiwan’s upcoming midterm election.

The truthfulness of this flood of anti-China news is not as important as its timing and priority among headlines. Popular sentiment is more powerful than missiles in a conflict between nations. On that front, the West has already won. Don’t think for a moment that missiles won’t follow to secure what the war of words already won by a deck stacked in the news.

Jeff Sessions on China: Enough is enough | CNN

Why this Idaho chipmaker is suddenly at the center of the US-China trade war | CNN

Alleged UK-China Radar Deal May Be Unpleasant Surprise for US – Academic | Sputnik

Trump could make China trade deal; US interests a priority: Larry Kudlow | Fox News

White House downplays progress with China on trade, sinking markets | WA Post

Trump claims he and Chinese President Xi Jinping are working hard to end the trade war. But who’s playing who? | NBC News

White House officials are pushing back on the idea that a trade deal with China is imminent | CNBC

North Korea warns it could restart nuclear weapons development if sanctions aren’t lifted | Japan Times

N Korea threatens nuclear restart | Taipei Times

China is making the internet less free, and US tech companies are helping | The Verge

The Pentagon has prepared a cyberattack against Russia | Yahoo News

A smartphone you can FOLD into your pocket! Futuristic handset with a bendy screen is unveiled in China | Daily Mail

Taichung Flora Expo opens its three venues | Taipei Times

China targets polls with fake accounts | Taipei Times

China faces grilling over internment camps at UN review | Straits Times

Crab importers face NT$100m in fines | Taipei Times