The week buzzed about China’s currency while the US spotlight made an unusual stop on Taiwan.
Marco Rubio mentioned Taiwan, something significant for an experienced Senator and presidential candidate on the campaign trail. Quartz gave a shout over Taiwanese presidential hopeful, Tsai, in her response to the negative Facebook comments from China (where Facebook happens to be banned). The US State Department even commented about Taiwan as a “beacon of truly representative government”, signifying as proof that Asia is not entirely inept on the matter of Human Rights.
China, by contrasting reports and comment, is the economic dirt devil, so goes the spotlight this week anyhow. China’s money is about to dominate the IMF. Northern China must choose between either cold winters or toxic air. And China continues to meddle with its own currency.
And, by the way, the Pentagon doesn’t seem to get much support from the current White House concerning China. · · · →
The two presidents of the two governments of China met in Singapore. The exiled government was protested on the island where it remains in exile. It was a wild week. Taiwan’s president, Ma, defended the importance of dialog while nearly every branch of his government clashed with protests.
The meeting comes at the brink of significant change. Taiwan is about to undergo a historic turnover of political powers. This may be the last chance the fading KMT-Nationalist establishment has for high-profile dialog with their Communist arch enemy in Beijing.
While China appears as strong as it is controversial, the US whispers about undisclosed technologies that the Communists will not want to encounter in the Pacific. Everyone has his story.
In pre-WWII terms, last week, North Korea tried a “Hitler” in Southern seas and got sent home running. This week, the US did a sail by and China pulled a “France”. It’s clear who’s boss of the Pacific.
At least that’s what the Pentagon will think.
China’s response, though proof that it lacks strength, neither proves weakness nor will. Chinese are calculating and polite. Chinese conflicts do not escalate slowly; the pressure builds slowly, then the conflict erupts faster than American’s can blink.
But there is more going on with indirect communication, and Beijing is learning, for better or worse. In all likelihood, Beijing expected the US to react like most Chinese do to new power’s assertion. Specifically, they expected either silence or some kind of neighboring buildup. Remember, China is the land of the Great Wall. They built the islands with a fleet, they probably expected the US to confront them either with a fleet or not at all. · · · →
Fireworks and seizure.
On Saturday, a North Korean patrol boat crossed into South Korea’s side of the “NLL” (Northern Limit Line), which North Korea rejects. The South fired warning shots and the “Nork” ship went home. The DPRK will not have the same cakewalk as Hitler had in France… at least not on the water.
Protesters from China didn’t exactly welcome Xi Jinping to the UK. A Tienanmen Square survivor’s UK home was searched and two computers seized by UK police. They even took his iPad and a USB stick!
Apple took 256 Chinese apps from their App Store for “secretly gathering personal info”. China’s Communist Party has taken away permission to join a golf club. China still wants to take Taiwan—it’s really important.
Speaking of Taiwan, the floundering KMT-Nationalist party found yet another different way to lose the upcoming election. If the party had realistic hopes of winning, they would take the hint from Southern voters, who support young Tainan Mayor Lai, whose greatest, and arguably only, achievement is to refuse bribe money. · · · →
China may have been pushed to the breaking point. America may have called the Communist bluff. With all of the “yesmen” required for a totalitarian regime to continue, Michael Cole points out that the majority members of the Communist party probably don’t support an invasion of Taiwan (the largest Chinese contention in the Pacific.)
Reportedly, only 3% of Taiwanese think they are Chinese and only 9% want Taiwan to become a province of China. Reunification between Taiwan and China is untenable by all accounts. Even if forced, Taiwan would cease to exist as it is; China would acquire a costly pile of rubble. The fact that Beijing continues to tout such aspirations suggests that they may be ignorant of the reality of their situation—stereotypical of imploding regimes.
In the “wake” of suggested ignorance in Beijing, America is setting sail for the newest islands in the Pacific. Beijing is getting ready for America getting ready to set sail. · · · →
China didn’t make any friends this week. Beijing spies on every street corner with a service literally named “Skynet”.
The Pentagon wants a strong Taiwan. The US Navy plans to challenge China’s man-made military airport-seaport islands. Most people don’t know exactly where the islands are since they aren’t listed on many maps. But if you happen to have a recent Chinese passport, the islands would fall within the nine-dash line, along with Taiwan, parts of the Philippines, and a number of other territories we thought belonged to other countries.
Local Pacific politics are another big question mark this week. Malaysia’s PM is having “royal” trouble, literally. Taiwan’s failing KMT-Nationalist party seems to be cannibalizing their own Presidential front-runner. Who knows what will happen or even if it will matter.
Old guard and Establishment parties are facing the masses en masse. It’s not just happening in the Pacific, but also in the Americas and Europe. · · · →