Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 29

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 29

Taiwan hit headlines again this week. More popular than New York, London, and Paris for New Years Eve. Home to a just-finished military head quarters after an 18-year construction project. An ever unpopular President facing oil-food scandal bribery allegations. And, now, object of all China’s military fears, as obviously false Chinese media propaganda tells.

Taipei is more popular than Beijing and opposition party mayors are more popular than Taiwan’s failing president. Communist and KMT-Nationalist rage with jealousy. Ma was China’s only hope to secure Taiwan and, thus, the Pacific. Now that corruption and unpopularity are surfacing like a beached whale, Beijing’s boy is no longer an asset in the hostile takeover of Taiwan, 50th largest nation in the world, 2014.

Chinese media openly and flagrantly speaks of invading Taiwan. This shameless self-exposure could possibly be the last straw after HK’s “defeated” Umbrella’s rained much needed light on Beijing’s deafness. The world can no longer avoid the obvious: Beijing avoided the military option to take over Taiwan, not because they wanted peace, which they don’t, but because they know Taiwan is militarily and geographically unbreakable.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 22

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 22

China made two well-crafted blunders which Beijing likely considers a success. China called for US arms sales to Taiwan to cease, then Xi went to Macau where democracy supporters could protest him more directly at the second inauguration of Macau’s CEO. Macau’s protest was reportedly led by Jason Chao (周庭希).

Japan removed the most at-risk fuel rods from Fukushima, a preventative measure. Jack Ma (马云), the Chinese businessman with an “American dream” who founded Alibaba, gave counter-intuitive wisdom to Taiwanese—the kind of ideas one would expect from Americans, but not from old guard Mandarin-speaking business owners.

Taiwan now has approval from Obama to purchase four US Perry-class frigates, sparking China’s formal complaint. Perhaps Beijing overlooked the fact that their complaint grants the US expanded permission to file future formal complaints with China. Taiwan is also building a lighthouse on the disputed “Itu Aba” Taiping Island (太平島) adjacent to a runway which is being engineered for military air support.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 1

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 1

Taiwan’s landslide election was more historic than the Democrats’ whompping early November. The vote didn’t reject Taiwan’s KMT-Nationalist party as much as it rejected Beijing. One big factor ignored by media: Clearing HK demonstrators in Mong Kong two days before Taiwan elections solidified voters’ decision: The KMT’s de facto agenda of “Taiwan SAR” is unacceptable.

Taiwan’s Premiere “resigned” and President Ma “accepted” it. Rolling the head of the second in command is an old Chinese power tactic. Ma borrowed from the same playbook in his second election when he chose a new Vice President—the man who happened to be governor of Kaohsiung when the 24-year-old gasline was installed, which blew up a few months ago, killing 30 people, wounding 300, and turning one of the city’s beautiful streets into a WWI style trench. Even if Ma resigns as KMT Chairman, as Monday rumors claim, that would only embolden the East Asian culture of Taiwan, which loves the public beating.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, November 17

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, November 17

The week of deliberation, choices, and ring around the rosy. Someone sets an unpopular policy, someone else finds a way around. World leaders came together. Rhetoric repeats, “China can grow; China must learn.” HK’s Umbrella Movement continues to wane as the world continues to react from all that Asian students have taught the world over the last 8 months.

International

US, Australia, Japan confer on Asian security issues

Japan economy enters recession after surprise Q3 contraction

Obama lauds Taiwanese democracy

US president’s Asia-Pacific message ‘directed at China’

G-20 leaders target trillions in fresh economic growth

America’s great gamble on China

China and the new regional order

FEATURE: WWII subs still key to Taiwan’s aging naval fleet

Hong Kong

What Beijing Has to Understand

Is Hong Kong China’s future?

Hong Kong police set to clear Occupy protesters ‘this week’

Hong Kong protest leaders refused entry to mainland

Beijing bans student leaders from taking trip to mainland to press for democracy

 · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, November 3

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, November 3

Disunity delayed HK’s Umbrella Movement. A policeman turned pro-occupy, then called a retreat, but not after expressing his distaste for a recent swelling arrogance in the HK police force. And reality sets in that 2017 won’t look how people want it. Taiwan addresses internal problems of espionage and the lingering food oil scandal while China looks to space where Virgin fails. Yes, Beijing and the HK police will likely avoid Tienanmen Part II, contrary to the hopes of Western News and readers. But, while HK’s Umbrella Movement seems to be losing their game in HK, Asian students are, once again, winning the hearts of the rest of the world as the international community grows in awareness of HK’s situation and Beijing’s deafness in governing, without having the virtue of “blind” justice. Beijing’s stiff neck will calmly win the HK battle, but, more importantly, it will lose the war of international trust.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 20

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 20

Paula Bronstein, award-winning photojournalist, was arrested in Mong Kok, HK, for standing on a car to take a photo. Standing on a car, by HK law, is a greater crime than unsheathing a samurai sword in a theater. So, the new question is: How can HK’s Beijing-appointed government defend its sense of “justice”?

In the neighborhood, Taiwan’s government has the stronger sense of “justice”. Taipei is mulling a change in foreign labor—if a foreign employee is sexually assaulted, perhaps the employee should be allowed out of a work contract. Taipei is still considering the change. Which means that Taipei is considering more than either Beijing or Hong Kong.

With how the western media wants to paint Hong Kong’s government as oppressive—rather than deaf as a puppet—the Foreign Correspondents’ Club at Hong Kong should’t condemn Bronstein’s arrest. Quite opposite they should thank the police not only for helping her become more acclaimed than she already is, but by demonstrating the mismatched priorities of governments operating under the supervision of Beijing.  · · · →