Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 24, 2018

Google has gone off the deep end. The level of insanity matches The Bridge over the River Kwai. Actually helping China spy—Are Google execs loopy? From a Chinese company inside China that would make sense. But, Google is American. As if helping a non-ally spy isn’t enough, social media giants are already in trouble over censorship in the US. Google could be in bigger trouble with the White House than Wall Street is.

Taiwan hasn’t wasted any time irritating China. Now, a temple that was bought seven years ago by a Taiwanese business man, which was then converted into a “shrine to Chinese communism”, is having the lights and water turned off as the local government prepares to demolish the whole place. That won’t wash over well for anyone hoping to court friendship with China.

China seems to be taking the hint and finally getting offended. Beijing cancelled a trip to talk trade with Washington after figuring out that tariffs were set by imbalance and retaliation rather than rhetoric. As for the two steering factors—imbalance and retaliation—China shows no indication of making concessions. But, it’s not the tariffs or trade talks that deserve the headlines as much as the insults mounting against China.

The US is going after Russia for selling weapons to China. That’s even more irritation. And, China is even more angry. If we were to analyze the events of the past few months, even years more subtly, it could seem that angering China was an accident. But, the recent past makes more sense, just as events are more easily anticipated, if we consider that the US is irritating China on purpose. Expect more insults from the US, along with Taiwan.

And, Korea. Yes, the two nations are getting along. That won’t work well for any nation or pundit hoping to argue that Trump doesn’t know how to make a difference in the region.


China navy ship makes maiden visit to Venezuela after Maduro visit | Yahoo – Reuters

Apple escapes China tariff hit for now, but threats loom | Yahoo – AFP

Alibaba’s Ma Warns U.S.-China Trade War Could Last 20 Years | Bloomberg Quint

Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans to Closely Track Search Users in China | The Intercept

China, Russia warn US of consequences over sanctions | AFP

China Cancels Trade Talks as New U.S. Tariffs Loom | Bloomberg

China starts to assert its world view at UN as influence grows | Guardian

Amnesty International calls on China to end campaign forcing mostly Muslims into ‘re-education camps’ | USA Today

Critics Divided on Vatican’s Deal With China Over Bishops | WSJ

China-US Trade Status

US and China exchange new trade war blows as latest round of tariffs takes effect | CNBC

US-China trade: US imposes biggest round of tariffs yet | BBC

Trump’s trade war with China just got a whole lot bigger | CNN

Asia stocks, currencies down as US-China tariffs kick in | CNBC

Trump’s tariffs threaten China’s economy. It already has cracks | CBNC


Water, power to PRC temple cut | Taipei Times
…A “Communist” China Temple

Academics warn on studying in China | Taipei Times

PRC residency card prioritized | Taipei Times

NSA changes mulled to limit fake news | Taipei Times

NPP to push for referendum on constitutional changes | Taipei Times

Those with PRC cards must be regulated: poll | Taipei Times

Four military officers to attend British veteran’s funeral | Taipei Times

Expatriates rally in NYC for UN membership | Taipei Times


World leaders at UN look for progress on N.Korea, brace for Trump | Yahoo – AFP

Korean leaders in show of unity on mountain summit | Taipei Times

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too | GazetteXtra

Kim Jong Un agrees to dismantle main nuke site if U.S. takes steps too | Denver Post

North Korea’s Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if U.S. takes steps, too | NBC News

Kim, Moon head to North Korea’s sacred volcano on final day | AP

Kim, Moon head to North Korea’s sacred volcano on final day | ABC News

Two Koreas’ leaders in mountain show of unity | AFP