Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 25, 2020

Taiwan has a new Vice President: Former Premier William Lai, known for his pro-independence posture. China won’t be happy, but China is rarely happy these days.

The Chinese made two loud omissions in their rhetoric this week. When talking about reunification with Taiwan, they left out the word “peaceful”. The press noticed. A Taiwan official said it meant the same thing. But, everyone knew better because China also left out regard for Hong Kong’s Basic Law, something else that always got mentioned in the past.

Apparently, Beijing thinks peace and honoring treaties are too petty to be bothered with.

But, certain terms are in need of clarity. Xi Jinping isn’t merely trying to “reunify with Taiwan”; his actions are closest to that of a corporate hostile takeover—not just of Taiwan, but the entire world.

In Australia, Drew Pavlou faces expulsion from Queensland University for organizing student protests in support of Hong Kong opposition to recent law proposals, especially extradition to China and the recent “security” proposal. Follow the money. Australia’s government is looking into China’s influence. Many other governments are too.

According to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, US Congress is required to review whether Hong Kong is autonomous enough to have its visas treated separately from the rest of China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already late in his report. He waited until China held its own congress meetings. What happened at those meetings didn’t help the case for Hong Kong’s autonomy.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 28, 2019

China is playing a dark game with Taiwan over the murder suspect in the case that sparked the spark of the Hong Kong liberation protests. A young man from Hong Kong traveled to Taiwan with his girlfriend where he murdered her, then returned to Hong Kong. Because China plays politics with Taiwan, Beijing refused every channel of cooperation with Taipei to bring the suspect to justice. The only way Beijing would allow the arrested suspect to be transferred to Taiwan for prosecution is with a sweeping extradition bill that would allow any Chinese court to demand the extradition of anyone in Hong Kong to China.

Now, Hong Kong has released the suspect, arguing that a criminal is on the loose in Hong Kong because Taiwan won’t accept Chinese dictated rule.

We are witnessing the faceoff of Chinese Confucianism vs Western Christendom, a conflict which has been brewing for two thousand years. This is happening in our day. Many in the West said that Confucian Shame cannot be overcome, even with the Christian message of forgiveness and reconciliation. Others have said that nothing can ever stop China because big countries always win. All of these claims are about to be tested and proven wrong. Hard times lie ahead, but not all hardship ends badly.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 28, 2019

People must rise up for freedom on their own. Protestors in Hong Kong have stood up for their own freedom; the same should be expected of the Kurds in Syria. If they face persecution, offer asylum or refugee status. There could be a political solution or a referendum that must be honored, like the referendum in Crimea. But, don’t fight someone else’s freedom war for them. Freedom cannot be bestowed, only fought for and defended by the freed folk themselves.

Democrats seeking impeachment without a vote first sets a precedent for Republicans to more easily oust a Democratic president in the future. Many Democrat-driven laws initially meant to curb Republicans came back to bite Democrats when it was their turn to follow their own new laws. A no-vote impeachment proceeding could also impede Congressional ability to enforce subpoenas against another branch of government or to continue to hold hearings in the basement SCIF.

America faces a Constitutional crisis on two fronts: first, impeachment, subpoenas, no official impeachment vote, and whether a Supreme Justice who offered political comments about the President can preside over a trial in the Senate; second, California’s legal authority to enter into an international treaty apart from the Federal Government. By joining the “carbon credits” cult with Canada, California engaged in the kind of international negotiations that the Constitution explicitly prohibits in Article II Section 2 Clause 2, which made the Constitution different from its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation. While California focused on the environment more than the Constitution, it left kindling unattended throughout forests now on fire. Trump warned about the uncollected kindling wood and leaves in the forests of California over one year ago and is suing California for its carbon credit agreement with Canada.

We are in conflict. The nation is in conflict. There are two Americas today, just as there were two types of Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower. The battle in our divided nation rages hotter than California’s fires. Stewardship of the economy, national security, and the environment can all play well with rule of law. Whoever understands that the best will come out ahead in this great American conflict.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 21, 2019

“Careless” Carrie Lam’s effectiveness in Hong Kong is in the red. After banning masks at public gatherings, more people are wearing masks at gatherings than in the past. She bans an assembly, but people assemble anyway. Protests are so bad, police hit some people guarding a mosque with a water cannon and had to apologize to the imam. Lam was heckled by legislators during her annual policy speech and had to leave the chamber twice, finally delivering her speech on television. A government so defied and can’t govern. But, the need for public trust isn’t understood by Confucianism nor Communism nor especially Confucian Communism.

Beyond loss of control, the West gets the message loud and clear: China won’t back down on its forced expansionism. US Congress continues to pass laws favoring freedom in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. The TAIPEI act is largely symbolic, but still meaningful inasmuch as it gauges China’s response. Evaluating Hong Kong’s level of autonomy to be treated as a separate territory from China makes sense. Still, China considers the US formulating its own international policy a form of “interference”. Think about that…

US international policy must be what China wants it to be, otherwise China labels this as “interference”. This can only mean that China considers the US already under Chinese rule. It’s no longer about whether or to what extent China can boss Hong Kong and Taiwan. Now, the question is whether China should be allowed to dictate another country’s foreign policy.

Another factor is corporate. Gaming companies oust gamers who make “political” statements to defend freedom and human rights, but then Dior gets political by apologizing to China for not putting Taiwan in its map of China. If companies were consistent about being so-called “non-political”, then Dior would have refused to agree or disagree with China. But, this isn’t about being non-political; it’s about agreeing with whatever China demands.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 7, 2019

President Trump has been a role model for America’s place in the world: non-interference. Fighting revolutionary wars for others is a bad idea. It has only backfired. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq are just a few examples. Hong Kong’s October 4 declaration of a provisional government is a model of what should be done to help another democratic revolution: nothing. Real democratic revolutions must happen on their own and Trump knows that. He might be the only president in our time to know that.

Even though he does not interfere as presidents before him have, the non-interference fans among Democrats continue to attack him. That, too, is backfiring.

The president has an obligation to investigate criminals. Joe Biden and his son have extremely dubious financial entanglements and possible connection to elements Robert Mueller investigated. If the Mueller investigation was so important, then President Trump ought to pursue loose ends that Mueller and Congressional Democrats didn’t. When a foreign country is party to elements of such a serious investigation as Mueller’s, as well as extremely dubious dealings of the Bidens, the Attorney General of the United States ought to cooperate with the government of that country through official channels.

Trump asked for just that and no more.

Trump did not ask to connect secret attorneys or organizations. He did not request back door channels. He did not ask for unofficial cooperation. And, the people he wanted to investigate were not without serious suspicions.

Had President Trump not asked Ukrainian President Zelensky for the official cooperation he did, Trump would not have been doing his job as president. As for Biden and the supposed “political campaign rivals” accusation Congressional Democrats conjured, Joe Biden should be aware that running for president doesn’t allow a candidate to break the law without being investigated. Biden started his dubious dealings long before he was a presidential hopeful. If claiming “for political purposes” is granted to every candidate under investigation, Democrats could make crime vanish merely by declaring the entire population to be political candidates.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 19, 2019

Conflicts with China are helping Taiwan. The trade war is driving manufacturing away from China toward Taiwan, Vietnam, and Burma, among others. China’s travel ban on Taiwan for openly supporting the Hong Kong protests is pushing the Taiwanese to implement better visa privileges with other Asian nationals visiting Taiwan. Not only did last week’s occupation of the Hong Kong International Airport break Western confidence in the Chinese “Special Administrative Region”, the Hong Kong protests are even affecting business in Macau.

Why the protests? Where did it all start? Follow the money. Of the many factors, one of the best kept secrets around the world is the housing cost for local Hong Kongers. It’s called “gentrification”. Ordinary Hong Kong citizens can’t afford even the least expensive homes without government subsidy in addition to living with family. A Hong Kong jail cell is larger that many homes.

That happened because Hong Kong’s government, clearly under the thumb of Beijing, allows Mainland Chinese citizens to move into Hong Kong at such a high rate that new housing can’t be built fast enough to keep residential costs affordable. Wealthy Chinese need a place to live, some place where they can enjoy life. They won’t find anything nice enough within China proper, so they have to go somewhere with an economy created by the West—somewhere like Hong Kong. That way they can enjoy all the money of China without the lousy lifestyle. In their view, it would be cruel for Hong Kong not to let as many Chinese Mainlanders displace native Hong Kongers as fast as possible.

Protests are entering their eleventh week. One more week will begin a new record of 79 days from the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

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