Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 18, 2020

It was a week of slap after slap in China’s face. Congress pokes at Human Rights in Xinjiang among other old-news grievances. China “warns” the US—again—about Huawei, apparently unaware that warnings require power or at least clout, of which China retains neither.

As blame circulates against China for a global outbreak, Taiwan courts favor. Airlines have corrected a listing that identifies Taiwan as somehow part of China or something-or-other. You know you’ve lost when airline companies aren’t even afraid of you.

The dirtiest and best-kept secret is about war. China can’t even threaten military action against America because of the elections in America. While American polling likely lies as usual, war is good for any sitting president’s numbers. Threat of war would be good news for America’s incumbent, whomever that incumbent may be.

So, China is left with a choice: Wait until the West is even stronger in China’s back yard and face shame for not acting or else respond to Western provocation to start a war too early and face shame for losing. All China has to go on is persistent delusions of ancient grandeur. We’ll see how that works out.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 11, 2020

China must brace itself for war. Regardless of any plot from America being true or false, how Beijing handled Wuhan—or rather mishandled—will not be overlooked by the free world. Regardless of how different governments handled the outbreak, the West will see an outbreak that wouldn’t have happened if China had followed the same forthright standards that the West does. The West thought China was on its way to following standards. But, Confucian Communism knows no standard except its own authoritarianism.

How did China get this far? There is so much in China to be desired, including the Bible-based government Dr. Sun Yat-Sen started over a century ago. Chinese medicine addresses many matters of health that elude Western pharmacy. Politeness, indirection, family, and respect—these are virtues the West could have learned from China. Except, just look at what’s happening now.

The term kowtow came from Hong Kong Cantonese. Bowing and placating the bully emboldens the bully.  · · · →

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 13, 2020

The global case against China is marching forward in force. Typically the West doesn’t care about human rights violations—they care, but never enough to do anything until it involves themselves. Two million Uyghurs missing in Xinjiang doesn’t matter to the West. But, if Americans and Europeans are afraid of catching a pneumonia-cold that most people don’t know anyone who died from, but they have to stay home without toilet paper—well, now it’s time for a war. Who do the papers blame?—China.

Anti-Chinese sentiment is no joke. Taiwan is being painted as a key victim. The Chinese Communists are being labeled as the perpetrators of the global pandemic. Even in Israel, even among the anti-Trump American electorate, China is the biggest bad guy ever!

We can argue that China deserves it. We can argue that the West set up China by making China rich in the first place, then causing a fake pandemic. However we chalk it up, the West is coming for China. The saddest part of all comes from the Chinese.

A reporter working for a news company owned by a Chinese general makes a Chinese propaganda speech when “asking a question” to the president. Chinese college students at Western schools march, protest, and even bully, all inline with Chinese Communist propaganda. And, while the West amasses force against China, the Chinese Communists only dig their heels in and feed the forest fire of hate raging against themselves.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 30, 2020

Blame! Both general theories about where this virus originated fail to do two things: They don’t acquit anyone and they don’t tell us how to treat it. The theories no longer seem to matter since fear has taken over the world.

Initially, we had a theory that the virus passed from wildlife to humans at a kind of so-called exotic meat market in Wuhan, a city in China. Then, a Chinese government official—later seen as a lone wolf not speaking for the pack—blamed the US Army specifically, as opposed to the US Military or CIA as the usual conspiracy theory suspects go. We’ll look at the Army’s place in Chinese politics later.

Upon review, there is a convincing case that the 2019-nCoV had its origin at a military laboratory and got out into the American public last summer before the CDC shut down that laboratory. But, this still doesn’t explain how it would have gotten to Wuhan. And, both China and the US still face scorn for coverups and delayed response.

Then, we have China’s negative PR campaign, two actually. Blaming the US “Army” feeds Chinese kook theory because the Chinese military is called the “Army”. Even China’s Navy is called the “People’s Liberation Army Navy”. It seemed from the outset as intended to tip Chinese cultural sentiment against America, not intending to be based in fact. Now, a few weeks later, the Chinese people fear “foreigners” (Westerners and ‘Black People’). Old Chinese superstition still lingers, that Black People are cursed by the gods or by nature because black is the bad color in their culture.

As anti-foreign sentiment grows in China, the world grows more irritated with China. And, as the WHO digs its heels in on keeping Taiwan out, the world sees China controlling too much of the world through its deep pockets—a concern the international finance community had brought up from an article from Harvard Business Review, How Much Money Does the World Owe China?. When a WHO official hung up on an interview twice, we see that Harvard’s curiosity wasn’t irrelevant.

The world is responding in hatred toward China with such venom, people beat up Asians of any nationality, even those without any connection to China. Yes, the world propped up China for a grand fall into global disfavor. But, China still hasn’t done anything to help itself. One little virus, no matter where it came from, was all it took to push the world over the brink.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 20, 2020

China is engaging in “rapid expansionism”; this is different from the slower-moving modes of Russia and, until Trump, the United States. During Obama, Russia took back Crimea—after that fling Nikita Khrushchev had in giving Crimea to Ukraine when it wasn’t his to give. Russia has also been crawling its influence in Syria, softly with Iran, and shrewdly using China as an effective puppet.

America, though not an empire seeking to claim more within its political borders, propelled power through military bases around the world. Once the Chinese got over their phobia of technology—a disease it long had, which even led up to the Opium Wars—they looked beyond their bubble and saw America’s non-border expansion. But, they still haven’t seen Russia’s soft-handed expansion for what it is. 180 military bases in China’s backyard didn’t bode well with China’s neediness for receiving endless heinie kisses.

Thankfully, Trump is slowly recalling propelled American power—consider Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, and now Iraq. He is not the archetypal “neocon” expansionist. But, other than Trump, America did have its own soft form of expansionism.

China, different from either of the two soft expansions of America and Russia, is engaging in a more rapid, rude, speedy expansion. The Chinese don’t care how they come across to others because they have been knocked off their emotional rockers, having seen that the world doesn’t regard them to be a fraction of what they think themselves to be. This speed has alarmed the nations of the world like a body’s immune system responding to a spreading virus or cancer. Even India is on alert.

Russia played its card well—or maybe we should say Russia played its China well: expansion backed by Russia, which upsets the global balance, and Russia doesn’t get blamed for it. China doesn’t know what its speedy expansion, mainly against Taiwan and India, will do because China hasn’t been paying attention to the rest of the world for most of human history.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 8, 2019

America’s government has finally cracked the code on China. They know how to get under China’s skin. They had an idea before, but the algorithm—the precise frequency of activation—needed fine-tuning. And, of course, China made it all too easy to know that the code had been cracked. The sale of 60 F-16V’s to Taiwan—inferior in both number and, supposedly, technology—wasn’t even made official. Still, China couldn’t wait to announce to the world exactly the kind of insignificance that it found irritating above all previous attempts.

With this new and tested knowledge, we can expect the US to do more, and to do so more subtly. America will stand calmly, smiling. China will fume more every day, seemingly for no reason. At last, the Chinese will be so overwhelmed with rage that they will strike before military wisdom advises.

The sad, but poetic, part is that no warnings, not even reading this article, not even a spy exposing some kind of “provocation plot” or whatnot would be able to deter China from this fate. For, China loves respect above all else. Those who hunger for respect are easy to provoke and anyone provoked is under complete control of the provocateur. And, Chinese culture doesn’t know how to change or even listen.

But, there is another factor that blinded China to the American tactics. A nation with a one-child policy won’t have as much experience in sibling rivalry. America doesn’t have such a policy. Americans learn from childhood how to get under some else’s skin—especially when that someone else is the known playground bully who needs to be provoked to a brawl and sent to the principle’s office before getting any older, and bigger.

The die has been cast. The fate of the American-Chinese war has already been determined: China strikes; China loses; China loses more. Now, it’s just a matter of watching how the specifics play out on our road to the foreseen.

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