Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 26, 2021

The world is starting to realize that China is just going to ignore everybody. Talking won’t work. Action won’t work unless China loses, then China still won’t listen.

This isn’t new. China has never listened. The only reason China respected international laws in decades past—including its own treaties—was because China was forced to. But, China never wanted to. And, China never will.

The EU is in blaming mode. The Philippines are on high alert. Australia is on high alert and warns Taiwan. Taiwan has always been on high alert because Taiwan may be the only country that never misunderstood China—neither its psychology nor its intentions.

But, it looks like this scuffle isn’t building up in Myanmar or Japan or even Taiwan. The flashpoint is staged at the Philippines. Anything else could serve as the fuse. But this time around, the Philippines hold the payload. Here we go.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 22, 2021

Drama and theater! The veil is lifting. Tech giants are useful, but they seem driven by parasites. The same can be said of legislative bodies, entertainment giants, and prosecutors going after the January 6 Capitol Insurrection.

Jessica Watkins has an interesting story to tell. Her defense of January 6 could convince the public that the prosecution is over-stating its case, looking to hang anyone and everyone possible as payback for the Capitol being breached. In acquitting those who occupied their legislative floor in 2014, Taiwan’s dignity far outshines that of America’s. To the US Supreme Court: You have a higher bar to reach, so to speak.

Social media takes a bumpy turn for the better. Australia’s social media law is somewhat vague, but mainly forces dialog. As understood by the Times, the Aussie law, along with the infamous ‘Articles 11’ of the EU law, aren’t aimed at the normal guy nor the pundit. Instead, they aim at huge tech giants who use AI to aggregate enormous numbers of new stories as one more added feature of their already behemoth-sized tech services. The infamous EU ‘Article 13’ law banning memes is another story. While Europe wants to tax links on Apple and Google, then ban memes for nearly everyone, Australia just wants Facebook and Google to have a conversation when they re-post part of a news story.

While the giants fight, originality steps up. In the approaching shadow of it becoming illegal to use any old music on YouTube, the need for original music spikes. Such laws were lobbied for by big entertainment companies; ironically it is big entertainment that now faces its fiercest competition from billions of ‘little guys’—who used to be their customers.

So, to the tech giants, tech-phobic lawmakers, copyright mongers, and prosecutors: Keep overreaching. Just keep overreaching.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 12, 2020

China has gone effectively “NR”, a tech term for software being “non-responsive”. No matter what any nation says or does, China only digs in, tells the same lies no matter how increasingly obvious, and continues aggression as the solution to losing more friends over its aggression.

Why censor Mike Pence’s statement on China during the vice presidential debate? As an act of good will, China should replay Pence’s statement to correct for the ostensible “no signal please stand by” message during that part of the debate. If anything, letting a foreign vice president make bad statements would help prove that China does not engage in free speech censorship. In all likelihood, the Chinese have been censoring so many people and getting away with it that they thought censoring the American vice president would go unnoticed—it didn’t.

Besides, why keep a foreign vice president’s words away from the ears of their own people. The Chinese people won’t decide how the West will respond to Chinese aggression; the West will decide how the West responds. That’s something else the Chinese Communists don’t seem to understand.

Four nations held a strangely, vaguely-purposed meeting: Japan, Australia, India, and the United States. The reason went largely unexplained, though it was obviously about China. Japan said the meeting wasn’t about one, single country. Australia said no one tells Australia what to do. The US said China is dangerous. From a Chinese Confucian Communist perspective, the meeting seemed out of order. But, in the minds of Western voters, it is clear that all four countries dislike China without having to be told to. It was an unencrypted message China was sure to not decrypt.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 15, 2020

The West and China just won’t back down from each other. China will no longer try to work through former Mayor Han of Kaohsiung to reunite Taiwan against the will of 23 million people. America wants to put new missiles in China’s back yard and every ally has turned down the offer except Taiwan, who hasn’t had the chance. Australia is putting out the word on China, it’s not the best place to study and coercion won’t work. Now, North Korea is selling sand—illegally, of course, since selling anything has been deemed “illegal” by the West.

The sad part about the predictability of this conflict is how many were surprised by it. China never wanted to Westernize, otherwise it wouldn’t have injected so many “Confucian” centers to indoctrinate other countries with their ancient Chinese ideals. All those students and propagandists from China were welcomed to teach Chinese or learn from the West, but when their Confucian-Communist colors shown, it all unraveled in a flash. Both professors and businesses that received Chinese money are sent packing.

But, we were always headed here. When ideological differences spread too broad, irreconcilable differences are destined to break whatever scaffolding temporarily binds us together. To those who saw it, they haven’t been affected by the divide. For the rest, the damage hurts to much not to blame and rage. And, that will only build.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 19, 2018

In Taiwanese politics, a mayor candidate’s comments about his own benefits from drinking honey-lemonade sparked retribution from the medical community. After a lump under his eye went away, apparently from a vegetarian and honey-lemonade diet, he actually said so. A professional from a hospital was quick to weigh in. It’s understandable. If people learned that honey could cure disease, hospital profits would plunge. More importantly, Taiwanese political debates would become outright boring without the ability to, as the saying goes, make lemonade from political debates.

But, lemonade really is important. Google search results even saw a spike after this essential talk of Taiwanese politics made news.

Meanwhile, at the ASEAN summit in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for nations to come together at a time when Southeast Asian stability was under threat. In anticipation of APEC after ASEAN, Mike Pence started talking tough, wanting results and genuine action from China concerning an even-flow of trade. He elaborated, that the US has a quarter of a billion dollars in tariffs and isn’t afraid to go twice as high as well as take more “diplomatic” action. It was a strong “they know that we know that they know what we think” remark, the kind that precedes otherwise objectionable action to make the action unobjectionable.

Later, at APEC, Pence warned of returning to a “cold war” while making plans for a US-Australian naval base in Papua New Guinea. Rather than dropping its tilted tariffs on goods, China has been openly gearing up for all out war three weeks. APEC ended without a written agreement between member nations for the first time ever because of the disagreements between the US and China.

This past weekend, Taiwan did something that China despises every bit as much as it cannot identify with: Taiwan hosted democratic election campaigns. With all the strong rhetoric concerning Taiwan, independence, and China’s loudly and often-spoken determination to invade Taiwan, there shouldn’t be any question where China’s war-in-preparation will start and why America will easily get involved.

America is already involved in Taiwan to quite an extent. AIT, the unofficial yet de facto US embassy in Taiwan, had an interview scheduled for release with a large TV network in Taiwan. But, after the interview, the TV network, TVBS, scrapped the interview. So, AIT shared the interview in its Facebook page, rather than relying on TVBS.

With the history lessons about Taiwan in almost every Taiwan-related story in the Western press, Americans will take an advancement against Taiwan as an advancement against themselves. China would be perceived as an aggressor and rightly so. Everything the US has done to provoke and irritate China would have only worked if China possessed the old school “Asian Pride” that Sun Tzu warned against, a pride that can’t be permitted in a world’s superpower because such pride is easily provoked just as much as it is easily shattered. Hardened pride makes for brittle peace. That’s something that the entire West won’t allow, the US notwithstanding.

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Tempo: May 19, 2015

Obama: Less local police militarization. Top tech companies don’t like warrantless spy requests. Kerry pushes international Internet. Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide Scott Walker’s recall election investigation. France back at it: No foreign trade deals, TTIPNo amnesty at home for rogue AussiesSnowden’s story contradicts the official Bin Laden story. Obama wants long-term thinking on addressing race issues. Hillary’s 36-day media silence makes news. Invest in art: Why Buying a Picasso Is Like Investing in Uber (Almost)  · · · →