“Introspection”—The escalation went underground this week as nations look inside themselves. It all began August 1. A gas line explosion in Taiwan could change politics forever. Earthquake, a factory explosion, protests, and anti-Muslim laws in China. Manila finally jails the 12 Chinese fisherman who entered Pilipino seas and ran aground the 400-year-old reef. Ebola scare in Hong Kong—false alarm that woke up the region. Hong Kong’s discussions in democracy introduce Jimmy Lai’s funding of the recent “Vote”, the Vatican gets involved, and the police are pitted against “Occupy Central”. Motives for Chinese “Air Defense Zones” are analyzed as pointing to Taiwan. And, once again, China’s aircraft carrier is discovered to be even more vulnerable.
Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, jounst fingers at each other. Kerry was 30 minutes late to a meeting. Again, Chinese PR FAIL… Friends don’t care about 30 minutes of tardiness and we always bring our biggest complaints first. By so much as mentioning this, China’s Foreign Minister is accepting all other US premises. Not that China agrees to them, but it is an unintended claim that China can’t complain about anything bigger. China views Western press and trade as an “invasion” of their country. Beijing’s solution is to take over all the countries in Southeast Asia. Communist thinking views freedom as the provocateur. Their concern is not without consideration. Free elections invite high rollers to support their favorite candidates. But Beijing’s solution to hand-pick candidates in Hong Kong’s elections isn’t an improvement. It’s not that China shouldn’t be concerned, but the non-socially savvy way Beijing has of handling problems throws water on the oil fire—which only causes the fire to spread. The US, rather than manning-up and teaching China to be kind, responds like the jerk jock on the high school football team, only making things worse with his “coolness” remarks. So, escalation continues. But things are a little slower this week with all the introspection and internal problems.
An Ebola false alarm in Hong Kong woke up surrounding countries to prepare precautions and quick response systems.
The underground propylene line explosion in Kaohsiung late last week could tip Taiwan’s next election for the first time in the KMT’s exile history. Taiwan’s Premier, Jiang Yi-Hua, earned a second title this week as “Asia’s Premier Heifer” since everyone in Taiwan, including the Legislature, goes to him for milk. After being summoned to court early last week for the beating of peaceful Sunflower demonstrators this spring, Kaohsiung asked him for help in the aftermath of a gas line explosion that took 30 lives and wounded 310. The double Premier said, “No, no, no.” After everyone and their mom met with him later that day, his rhetoric changed, but his “three no’s” did not. Kaohsiung and Tainan, the twin cities of Taiwan’s south, refused his request this past spring to send police during the Sunflower’s occupation of Taiwan’s national Legislature. Both cities are also largely sympathetic to the DPP, the opposition party of Jiang’s own KMT Nationalist party. Irritation with the KMT and sympathy for the DPP has been brewing over a number of issues. This may be the last drop of manure that breaks the cow’s back.
Internal Investigations in Taiwan
Gas Explosion Kaohsiung, Taiwan
…From China Daily Mail on the Liaoning, consistent with another semi-comical piece from the same site 18 months ago, “China: What would it take?”
China: What would it take? (2013)
…Some semi-comedic history of the Liaoning and how Taiwan’s small, but powerful, forces could take the aircraft carrier if they wanted.
…Academic analysis of Chinese Aug. 2 factory explosion in Kunshan
…Analysis: China’s “Air Defense Zone” near Japan a stepping stone to attacking Taiwan—Beijing’s long-term goal
…Interesting analysis of how well N Korea plays its cards with Beijing
…These were the Chinese fishermen who ran aground and destroyed a 400 year old coral reef in 2013. In precedent, Manila sends a strong message to all people in China: Beijing’s “nine-dash line” won’t keep you safe.
…Look who else is concerned about Hong Kong’s democratic system.
…Who funded the “Vote”.
Taiwan’s first lady visits Japan, Japanese hotel flies Taiwan’s flag as they often fly a “nation’s” flag when a high profile visitor visits. This is Tokyo thumbing its nose at Beijing. A purported “untrue rumor” now buzzes headlines that Taiwan’s first lady did not, come to mention it, ask the hotel to remove the flag. And this is a significant deviation from her husband’s policy early in his tenure, when he removed all of Taiwan’s national flags from places the Beijing envoy’s itinerary in Taiwan during a visit, late 2008. London removed Taiwan’s flag in the 2012 Olympics.
…This article also mentions long-standing complaints against Human Rights in Taiwan.
Israeli Headlines in Taiwan
- Taiwan – World Games Stadium (paulsmith.co.uk)
- Gas explosions kill 15, injure 228 in Taiwan (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Plane crashes in Taiwan; 47 feared dead (thestar.com)
- Series of gas explosions in Taiwan kill 20 and injure 270 (itv.com)
- Taiwan names new economics minister after predecessor quits (worldbulletin.net)
- Taiwan probe after deadly gas blast (bbc.co.uk)