Prelude to Conflict: Asia, July 28


The snowball has begun. In the past, the escalation might be seen as linear. This week, that changed. Though the curve is slight, it’s clearly curving.

Beijing and Hong Kong are mutually paranoid; Beijing is paranoid of the West and Hong Kong is paranoid of Beijing. One Hong Kong newspaper, House News 主場新聞, started in 2012, shut down Sunday with a message from the owner about his family fearing their safety. A “soft-spoken” anti-Occupy speaker is highlighted in the HK press as HK busses run ads against the pro-democracy movement. Britain considers making a visit to their former colony.

China’s military sea exercise, commencing this week, is higher profile than what has been seen in the past, as expected. It even disrupted commercial passenger flights. What is Beijing planning?

Opinion writers now warn Taiwan to learn from Israel, that Taiwan needs high-tech defense, just as Israel has, to deter Beijing from even trying anything. It would be interesting to see if Taipei, impatient with the US tardy delivery on military supplies, becomes a new defense customer of Jerusalem.

While Taiwan may be left to depend on Taiwan to fend for itself, Hong Kong’s fate will depend on everyone but Hong Kong. The showdown between Beijing and “Asia’s International City” is not about Hong Kong vs Beijing; it’s about the West vs Beijing where Hong Kong is merely the host.

Articles with International Emphasis

China Adds East China Sea Drills to Military Exercises

…Bloomberg, simpler, more international-focused, and includes more historical-educational background for Western readers—a consistent trend

China holds live military drills in E, S China Seas

…Taipei Times, more Chinese names and more of the inside scoop

China’s Tide of Trash

…Chinese trash drifting to Taiwan’s coasts

Global Indifference and Why Taiwan Needs a Strong Deterrent

…Connects Taiwan’s military need to the situation in Gaza

Chinese pressure just shuttered Hong Kong’s version of the Huffington Post

…House News website down


New parties demonstrate China’s reach [into Taiwan]: academics

…China taking over Taiwan through new political parties

Report on KMT’s assets puts focus on [President] Ma

…Taiwan’s controlling political party an unfair “authoritarian party-state”.

No shift in Washington’s arms sales to Taiwan policy

…Continuing trend in news stories: US has soft, “unchanging” support for Taiwan military, but little explanation as to why delivery on sales has slowed to a near halt and no explanation as to whether Taiwan’s President’s endorsement of ruling party (KMT) secret meetings with China are seen by Pentagon as a security risk.

US needs ‘pro-active policy over China’

Dealing with America’s China Problem in Asia – Targeting China’s Vulnerabilities

Dealing with America’s China Problem in Asia – Targeting China’s Vulnerabilities (pdf)

…Article referenced by in “No shift in Washington” and “US needs” articles. Two more articles by the same author, Robert Sutter…

Rebooting the U.S. Rebalance to Asia (pdf)

China-Southeast Asia Relations: Beijing Shifts to the Positive, Downplays Disputes (pdf)

DPP’s Tsai evades charter clause fight

…Ongoing discussion within Taiwan’s opposition party concerning about how strong a stance is needed for Taiwan to be separate from China.

Our Colonial Administration

…Inside Taiwan’s politics and it’s unpopular controlling political party in the north

Hong Kong

Redefining Hong Kong SAR: The Mainland Security Crackdown Arrives

…Loaded article with references, inside details, recap of historic details, and rich in context

‘My parents are watching from heaven’: Son pays tribute to Hong Kong chef and mother killed on MH17

…SCMP story about a son who lost mother and father in the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine. One more example of how the tragedy has affected lives all over the world.

[Hong Kong] Newspaper vendors offered cash to display and hand out anti-Occupy posters

…Someone is trying to buy-out Hong Kongers who oppose Beijing.

UK lawmakers may visit Hong Kong as part of inquiry into Joint Declaration

…Beijing’s recent activity in Hong Kong has gained the attention of London.

Anti-Occupy advertisement runs on MTR and buses

Robert Chow Yung: There is another voice in Hong Kong

…Article spotlighting a “soft-spoken” Occupy Central opposer

Israel’s Headlines in Taiwan

Kerry in diplomatic push as assault on Gaza continues

No Gaza ceasefire in sight, while UN warns over children

Washington, United Nations call for an immediate truce as Gaza toll tops 500

UN Security Council holds urgent meeting on Gaza

Israel batters Gaza’s Shijaiyah, over 60 dead

Hamas accepts a 24-hour holiday truce for Gaza

Pressure for Gaza truce mounts after Israel shells UN refuge

In 12-hour Gaza lull, residents return to destroyed areas

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