Prelude to Conflict: Asia, August 11


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

Control Yuan to probe King Pu-tsung over visits

Duh Tyzz-jiun takes over as MOEA chief

Gas Explosion Kaohsiung, Taiwan

CPC pipelines illegal: legislator

Prosecutors raid LCY, CGTD offices

Kaohsiung aims to seize LCY funds

Kaohsiung mayor calls for gov’t funds

Premier ‘callous’ after disaster: DPP

Premier vows to help Greater Kaohsiung amid anger over his ‘three noes’ policy

Rain halts Kaohsiung investigation


China’s aircraft carrier has fatal weakness – vulnerable if too far away from China

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.

Learning from Kunshan: Work safety management in China

…Academic analysis of Chinese Aug. 2 factory explosion in Kunshan

China’s ADIZ System: Goals and Challenges

Analysis: China’s “Air Defense Zone” near Japan a stepping stone to attacking Taiwan—Beijing’s long-term goal

Wang Yi chides John Kerry for arriving late for talks

China completes naval counter-mine exercise: US

PRC listed as top concern in Japanese defense paper

China in Latin America: A Deepening Friendship

Keeping China in Check: How North Korea Manages its Relationship with a Superpower

Interesting analysis of how well N Korea plays its cards with Beijing

China keeps changing excuses for South China Sea claims

An analysis

Philippines Gives Hefty Jail Terms to 12 Chinese Fishermen

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.

Death Toll Rises in China’s Yunnan Quake Amid Call For Dam Probe

Eight Tibetans Land in Jail Over Clash With Police

‘Zhengzhou 10′ Supporters Take To Streets To Call For Their Release

In a Xinjiang City, No Room on the Bus for Those With Veils or Long Beards

Hong Kong

‘Clock’s ticking’ for talks on 2017 election, says Catholic diocese of Hong Kong

Look who else is concerned about Hong Kong’s democratic system.

Media mogul Jimmy Lai ‘spent HK$3.5m on Occupy Central vote’, leaked emails show

Who funded the “Vote”.

Police ‘should sign anti-Occupy petition’

Authorities must prepare for worst-case scenarios of Occupy Central

Taiwan on alert amid Ebola scare in Hong Kong


Japan warns of China’s many ‘dangerous acts’ in sea, air

First lady did not request flag change: official

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.

Taiwan National Flag Removed in London Prior to Olympics (2012)

Taiwan’s National Flag Forbidden by Visiting Communist Cadre (2008)

This article also mentions long-standing complaints against Human Rights in Taiwan.

Japan, South Korea vow to deepen communication

Israeli Headlines in Taiwan

Indirect Gaza talks between Hamas and Israel begin in Cairo

Israel withdraws from Gaza as 72-hour truce begins

Gaza falls silent as three-day cease-fire breaks cycle of violence

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