The Korean DMZ is the hottest new place to socialize! Dear Leaders charge to the border to shake hands. Presidents line up early to get a good spot. Few diplomatic maneuvers or promises on trade can compete with the political electricity and friendship found at the one border in Asia that has no military.
Trump’s visit to Kim Jong-Un on his way home paid a great honor to the leader who was not at the G20 summit. Peace in Korea means a harder sell for countries seeking something else.
Leaders at G20 smiled for the camera and acted like best friends forever, reassuring their citizens back home. But, a bridge that spans 90% of a river is neither a bridge nor a dock, it’s just an obstruction. Trade is on the table. Trump made a gesture without tread, allowing American companies to work with Huawei, as long as they don’t help Huawei in the ways Trump claims Huawei continues to threaten security. Xi smiled, but didn’t seem impressed.
Hong Kong protests have continued four weekends in a row.
If we look at the Hong Kong protests from the view of the Asian Mad Scientist Theorem, everything makes perfect sense. Experimentation with North Korea is finished and moved onto China. Now, it’s time to see what happens when attempting to impose tyranny onto an unarmed, peaceful, free-thinking, free-speaking people.
Their main reaction was to petition G20 nations the week of the G20 summit. China has declared Hong Kong to be an internal matter that will not be discussed at G20. This creates a dilemma similar to the line between an internal family matter vs the kids banging on the neighbors’ door to report domestic violence. If internal matters escalate to a certain point, then can’t not become external matters.
Grenville Cross should be investigated for unhealthy ties to Beijing. Being the director of public prosecutions starting in 1997, when Hong Kong was handed over to Beijing, and with his recent “opinion” piece, more of a political rebuke of the protestors, he is operating as Beijing’s mouthpiece and overlooked one important part of Hong Kong’s Basic Law—mainly that Beijing may never, ever, ever interfere. He should be investigated as an accomplice with a means and a now evident motive.
The Huawei FedEx package returned to Sascha Segan doesn’t seem to be a lash-out at China, but a lash-out at Trump.
It’s the Art of the Deal. Trump and his work in East Asia at G20 upstaged political niggling in the US. His visit to North Korea upstaged G20. Meeting with the estranged Xi Jinping at Osaka—after rumors of Xi not showing and/or not talking, being the first sitting president to cross the Koreas’ border into the north at the DMZ, then accompanying Kim inside for talks on the other side of the border in the south—this is bigger than anything going on in the Democratic presidential debates.
Meanwhile in Washington, the focus should remain on the courts. Justices are no longer divided evenly and clearly, neither along lines of politics nor judicial philosophy. Justice Gorsuch sided with the Constitution against the should-be Conservatives.
In politics, “Conservative vs Liberal” is about social tradition and whether to guarantee due process to ones opponents. On the Court, “Conservative vs Liberal” is about whether to strictly apply law as written vs trying to rule each case as an indirect way of “creating” new law. Both sides of the recent gun crime case voted on party lines—to let criminals walk vs to punish criminals—all except Gorsuch, who sided with the Liberals only because the law was too vague. It seems that Gorsuch is the only judicial Conservative on the court, while the rest seem to be Republican or Democratic activists.
We are looking at a third term for President Trump, along with a sixth Republican-appointed justice on the Supreme Court.
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.
Our president called off an invasion that could have been what the Bay of Pigs was to JFK. We were on the brink of nuclear war with Russia 58 years ago, and we didn’t even know it! What is the value of a human life compared to a drone? Isn’t the purpose of drones to spare human life? Some would use the loss of a drone as an excuse to end human life, but not our president.
Strategy and navigation that win always elude the untrained mind. What seems to most people like the way to win is precisely how to lose. What seems idiotic to most people is the only way to win. Trump’s ongoing fight against establishments in both Asia and Washington prove who is on which side of the “which way is wise” debate. One of those important, counter-intuitive strategies is mercy.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine,” wise words, courtesy Alexander Pope. There are many traps in politics. It is an indication of scruples and wisdom to know how to navigate through them. Refusing to murder in vengeance of a downed drone is no sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Trump did far worse to Iran than any could imagine: He showed mercy.
Trump’s so-called “trade war” with China was never any failed attempt at relations. It was a way to get American companies out of China before the inevitable crud hit the fan. With Hong Kong’s government ignoring it’s people, we can see Trump’s wisdom with China.
One million people in a population of just over 7 million protested a Beijing-backed extradition law in Hong Kong. Protests continued all week until a second, larger march returned one week later. What in the world is happening in the Far East? To understand Hong Kong, first take a look at Taiwan.
Much like the Asian Mad Scientist Theorem for North Korea, consider the Taiwan Schedule Theorem, as follows: Unknown to the world, China has a military expansion schedule which requires possession of Taiwan. By a certain time, Beijing wants to use Taiwan’s harbors to anchor China’s Navy. Anything that threatens or delays that schedule causes China to take more extreme steps elsewhere, in fact anywhere, anyway. This isn’t truth; it’s a theorem that explains a lot.
For example, the DPP being elected in 2016 meant a slow in China’s schedule for Taiwan—according to this theorem. That led Beijing to lean on Taiwan’s allies, making them break off formal relations with Taipei.
With this theorem in mind, the goal of the US would, then, be to make as many disruptions with China’s “Taiwan schedule” as possible, provoking China to exhaust its “other” ways to respond to schedule delays. Trade would be one way China could respond to schedule delays. But, the US trade war already removed “trade” as way to retaliate.
Another way China expands its power is through unofficial loans. Sri Lanka had to surrender a strategic sea port to China because of debt. Moreover, if countries borrow Chinese money off the books, then government bond values are inaccurate. Under-the-table lending is another rout China can take if the “Taiwan schedule” gets delayed, but that’s been exposed and won’t be so easy in the future.
China’s getting boxed-in and Taiwan absorption seems farther and farther away.
With snowballing US-Taiwan cooperation—including the FBI scene last week, also including the $2 Billion in arms sales—China will see more delays. Protesting the G20 set for June 28, 2019 in Osaka would be another way Beijing could retaliate for delays in absorbing Taiwan. But, Trump already promised tariffs on yet another $300 Billion in goods if Xi Jinping doesn’t show.
Chinese ambassadors to G20 countries are promoting anti-US sentiment. Will those countries be likely to side with China against the US just because a Beijing ambassador told them what to do? Even Hong Kongers don’t like Beijing telling their CEO what to do. Perhaps Beijing doesn’t know that. Perhaps Beijing knows, but doesn’t care. Perhaps everyone “kowtowing” to China’s demands over the last 40 years has led the Chinese to believe they are more influential than they really are. Beijing doesn’t seem to be aware of where it stands with international opinion. But, it might find out soon.
Does any Chinese president show up where he is not welcome? Think about that…
With Trump’s G20 threat in place, if Xi Jinping shows up at G20 where his anti-US diplomacy efforts “un-welcomed” him, then people will think he succumbs to threats and is weak. If he doesn’t show, then Trump will lecture China publicly about “keeping a schedule” while Xi’s country faces tariffs on $300 Billion of goods, and Xi will be seen as weak. More importantly, with new tariffs, China would be even less able to retaliate to delays in the “Taiwan schedule”. Either way, drama over G20 exhausts China and leads to a checkmate.
If Taiwan is considered a playing “card”, then it is a “trump” card, as they say. Taiwan might be a chess piece, but not one that gets sacrificed. Taiwan may be the pawn-turned-queen to hold the king in check at the end game.
Now, consider Hong Kong, where a “to other countries including China” extradition law brought out 1 Million Hong Kongers in protest, twice. CEO Carrie Lam outright ignored the protestorstwice. She’s sad—not about her proposed extradition law, but that the law is opposed. Ignoring 1/7th of the population when they march in the streets is a bad idea in any country, in any universe. But, Carrie doesn’t care, thus reflecting the worldview of any Beijinger.
Taiwan responded by deciding that it would not cooperate with the Hong Kong extradition law, even if passed, until “human rights” were addressed and only if Hong Kong heeded the opinion of its people in choosing whether to pass the law. Without Taiwan’s support, the largest—if not only—reason known to the public for the law has vanished. And, it’s all because of Taiwan.
One important factor in the “Taiwan schedule” is the upcoming election. Things seemed to be leaning toward Mayor Han of Kaohsiung for the KMT-Nationalist party. But, the events in Hong Kong over the past week have weakened Han and almost certainly assured a second term for Taiwan’s incumbent, President Tsai. That means only more delays in the “schedule”
If Beijing can’t get a grip on Taiwan quickly, Beijing will tighten its grip on Hong Kong even more.
But, Hong Kong is small and already attached to the mainland and doesn’t lend itself to much in the way of retaliation. Too many changes in Hong Kong law and countries will break treaty with Hong Kong and the “Asia’s World City” show will be finished. Once Hong Kong is no longer sufficient for Beijing to lash out over delays with Taiwan, the only retaliation left will be to invade Taiwan. That was Washington’s goal all along—a fight for Taiwan that requires Pentagon intervention—and long-term presence after—and China started it.
Beijing might be willing for a pro-unification candidate to win Taiwan’s election. But, if other things crowd in too quickly—say the US normalizes with Taiwan—the 2020 election wouldn’t help the “Taiwan schedule” either way. Beijing needs to give Washington a reason not to formalize ties with Taipei, and so far they haven’t. G20 will decide a lot; China voting “absent” will decide a lot more a lot more quickly. Based on this Taiwan Schedule Theorem, expect more jeers and insults leading up to G20, from both sides, at the end of this month and expect Beijing to try every way to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.
The US could be looking at war on at least three fronts—as if things heating up in the Far East weren’t enough. Two oil tankers were bombed in the Middle East and the Arab Prince blames Iran. The US claims to have evidence. Now, Senator Lindsey Graham is calling for war in Cuba to curb war with Venezuela.
All this international conflict is outshining the Left’s ever weakening calls against Trump. But, the Left doesn’t give up easily.
The summary of Robert Mueller’s argument against Trump is that Trump tried to stop an investigation known to be fake. A group of people started a fake investigation against Trump, they broke the law, along with customary rules and ethical precedent. Mueller thinks Trump tried to stop this lawless, no-rules, fake investigation. Because of that, Trump “interfered with justice”?
Financially, the term for Mueller’s side of the argument is called a “hostile takeover”. That happens when one company wants to buy another company. The buying company just lies and makes false accusations until the other company is weak, then everyone says, “Well, I guess there is no choice except for the one company to get what it wants and buy the other.”
If Trump had a kind of “technical foul” in stopping Mueller’s fraudulent investigation, it would be Mueller, not Trump, who would have obstructed justice for creating the unlawful situation in the first place.
Democrats want the documents, hoping that the people won’t see the deeper matters of justice and who started the baseless fight, rather than honoring the man who ended a fight that never should have started to begin with.