Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 20, 2021

China steps up expansion via Hong Kong elections. Seven editors are banned from Wikipedia on concerns of not acting in good faith and with relation to China. The US sails through the Taiwan Straight again, this time a destroyer. Taiwan wants more backup runways for fighter jets. Escalations only continue and no side shows any sign of backing down.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 13, 2021

The easiest solution to China’s escalating situation in the South Sea is to enforce China’s own formal statements at face value. China says they respect other countries and do not want to militarize the South Sea. Leave it at that. Any disrespect toward other countries is not at the behest of Xijinping. Any militarization of the South Sea is not at the behest of Xijinping. Therefore, it must be true that Xijinping would not oppose anyone who stops, prevents, and reverses disrespect toward a country or militarization in the South Sea.

The West spends too much time arguing “what people really think”. It is as if Western governments want to read China’s mind to determine China’s intentions, but not entirely say so. The current result is an monitored, yet unchecked, escalation of military tension. “China can’t do this,” the West says. “We don’t do this,” China responds.

China’s response is golden. The West looks like the aggressor, especially in the minds of the Chinese people who live, “under the spell of the system,” as the missing Whitney Duan’s husband says. The West would do best to agree, “then China didn’t do this.” And then, take immediate policing action. After all, China has categorically implied that the man-made islands and battle cruisers are not operating within China’s purview. But, the West just keeps trying to read minds to solve problems. Since reading minds never happens, problems just keep growing.

Now, the Olympics will see a massive China boycott. If the Chinese knew a thing or two, they’d see that without the China Olympics, there would be one less way to boycott China. But, that’s a little complicated for some minds. And, the West prides itself on reading minds, after all.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 6, 2021

Taiwan! Taiwan! Taiwan! Europe can say it enough. In fact, Europe talks about Taiwan almost as much as China does. Taiwan doesn’t need formal diplomatic relations to live rent free in the minds of global leaders around the globe—especially living rent free in the minds of Beijing leaders—especially in the mind of Xi Jinping. Don’t forget Japan.

Europe doesn’t want to be bullied by China. Every response from China is interpreted by the EU as a reason to disagree with almost anything China says. China is so hated, we are almost to the point where China could use reverse psychology to get what it wants. If China disagreed with everything it wants, the world might agree with everything China wants, just to spite China’s rhetoric. But, we are only 98% of the way there. The world doesn’t hate China quite that much. There’s still room for more.

But, look closely at what is happening in Europe. Lithuania deepens ties with Taiwan while the EU pounds the table. It is almost as if Europe is testing China by watching what happens with Lithuania. If that were so, none of the European rhetoric about Lithuania or China is real, yet. They’re just saying things to gauge China’s reaction. In other words, Europe is experimenting with China as the lab rat. That’s got to make shame-phobic leaders in Beijing feel great about themselves.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 30, 2021

Adversity creates alliance. If China’s goal was to unite the world, it is succeeding. Taiwan and Japan are getting cozier than ever, as are Taiwan and the EU. The shift is happening and maps may need to be redrawn.

The logical outcome is the UK returning all of Hong Kong—including the New Territories—to the British Commonwealth, while Taiwan, Japan, and likely a to-be-united Korea become at least commonwealths of a US-Canada reach. This would be valuable because it places liaison states near each other in the Far East. Britain would have a formal government in Hong Kong. The US and Canada would have nearby governments via Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. So, traveling between the US, Britain, and the rest of Asia could all be done through the Taiwan Strait and South Sea.

From a geo-political planning perspective, it would be well-organized. In light of the PDT Asia Mad Scientist Theorem, we could suspect this is being planned. Based on that, failed control systems in North Korea were not only meant to be implemented in China, but also to eventually annex North Korea under Seoul’s government. When later applied via China’s policy, that would trigger events that later subject all of China under a regional cooperation headed by Western governments from both sides of the Atlantic. In other words, North Korea is a test to oppress, fail, and unite under democracy. That test eventually applies to make China fail, then China would be forced to accept formal friendliness with Britain and the US via Taiwan-Japan-Korea states under the US and a Hong Kong province under Britain. The thought is chilling for Chinese Communists.

But, that’s where things are headed. When China objects to a country talking with Taiwan, no one cares anymore. China’s opinion has been reduced to global insignificance—a living hell for respect-obsessed Chinese leaders. Sending more and more military to places without global agreement, then defending itself with insignificant opinions, tightens the noose. China remains its own worst enemy, not only in military defeat, but also inviting its region of the world to be willfully subjected under Western governments.

It is as if the whole thing is planned, and China keeps dancing on cue.
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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 23, 2021

The White House’s distinction between Far Eastern allies and Afghanistan is consistent with the US strategic pivot during the Obama years: away from the Middle East, toward China. While China interprets the befuddled Afghanistan withdrawal as an indication that the US will not defend Far Eastern allies, the US interpretation implies a deeper concentration of military power. Each government’s policy indicates a deep belief in its own respective statement.

Taiwan’s president took the jab from Taiwan’s own, homegrown COVID vaccine. So, while Taiwan can claim one vaccine, Trump can claim all others. This further asserts Taiwan’s capability of standing on its own. Hong Kongers face the music, no matter the injustice. The world is watching. China’s response that Afghanistan is an indication that Taiwan should distrust the US serves mainly as a signal to Western readers that China indeed is a bully. Again, China doesn’t think they think so.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia August 16, 2021

Taiwan continues to shine. Aide sent to Haiti after a devastating earthquake combines growing ties with Lithuania. China objects—and those are bad optics that China’s speech-control can’t control outside its borders.

China has been rewriting religion for years. Hymnals already read love for government rather than love for God. Now, we see more investigations against Hong Kong demonstrators who sought to uphold China’s agreement to democracy. In essence, China is investigating itself, indicating that China is divided against itself.

As a representative office exchange between Taiwan and Lithuania moves forward for this Fall, so do Taiwan’s de facto ties with the rest of the EU. China would rather object to this than be supportive of earthquake victims in Haiti. That is the obvious news narrative to take from what happened this week.

What’s not obvious is Taiwan’s prejudice against foreigners. Taiwan is having trouble building its submarines because of a shortage of engineering talent. Taiwan’s solution is to recruit more foreign talent. However, neither the problem nor the need for recruitment would exist if Taiwan had reciprocal regulations concerning immigration: protection of foreigner’s rights, five years leads to full citizenship, and dropping Taiwan’s ban on dual citizenship. To become a Taiwanese citizen, one must renounce original citizenship. America doesn’t require that. Taiwan does, then complains about losing allies to China. Does Lithuania’s government know how Taiwan treated its immigrants even to this day?

Had Taiwan treated others how they want to be treated, they wouldn’t have the trouble they do. And, Taiwan would not look like such a delicious target for war-thirsty China. The big danger is that US failure in Afghanistan on Sunday will encourage China’s calculus that an invasion of Taiwan is feasible. Combined with Taiwan’s self-inflicted weakness from discrimination against foreigners, China’s invasion question is more of a likelihood.

But, looking at even deeper strategy, we must consider China’s accusation that the US is playing games. If that were so, then failure in Afghanistan was staged by the US to provoke China into viewing the US as weaker than it is, and the US allowing non-reciprocal treatment of its own citizens in Taiwan would be intended to weaken Taiwan for strategic purposes as well.

Regardless of China’s conspiracy theory—which Chinese strategists never imagine to such length—the peaceful path would be for China to not take the invitation for attack and for Taiwan to treat others with respect. Like Jesus wanting to die on the Cross, a power that welcomes disrespect is up to something. But, the devil is none the wiser.

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