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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 21, 2020

Taiwan has become the center of China’s conflict with the world. One economy at a time, one government at a time, China has managed to insult the world. The Chinese have done such a good job of losing friends and alienating voters of foreign countries, not even Russia can afford the political cost of siding with China, not even to manipulate China behind a mask of feigned friendship. Don’t expect Moscow to take center-stage at China’s aid quite yet.

While the world hates China more and more every day, that hatred finds a way to express itself in love for Taiwan. Taiwan is now the grand alternative! Taiwan is the adorable poster puppy everyone should have sided with from the beginning. Taiwan needs military help, but most of all sympathy, compassion, and understanding, perhaps even grandstanding. Nothing sends the message that a nation is fed up with China like siding with adorable, cuddly Taiwan, especially on the most trivial things like medical masks or forcing Taiwan to call its team “Chinese [what the heck] Taipei” at the Olympics. Trivial things, after all, are what China loves to claim as some of the greatest threats to Communist-controlled national security.

It’s almost to the level of being an election tactic in Western democracies. Do or say something that couldn’t even hurt a fly, then China squeaks and bellows and throws such a fuss, voters love whichever politician China hates. Nothing is as adorable and benign as kindness toward Taiwan. So, that’s the story of how Taiwan became the world’s new favorite.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 27, 2020

China is under global attack from all sides. It’s not just the government, but a sizeable portion of the Chinese people who cooperate with that government. We don’t know how many in China are part of the problem or the solution. Reports from China remain silenced and Chinese culture is beaten down and overtly compliant even to tyranny. While Chinese students at Western universities volunteer themselves as mouthpieces for Chinese Communist propaganda, they join the party deemed guilty by the jury of the world.

African governments are in panic about Chinese government gentrification of their own nations. China is seen as the villain who covered up information vital to the EU. Great Britain is fed up with China, claiming the Chinese don’t just lack or hide information, but lie about it. Trump has been warning the world about China since before he was president—arguably that got him elected.

Then again, there’s Taiwan again. Former US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has a petition for Taiwan to be admitted to the WHO. Even in a recent scuffle over some infected Navy sailors who walked around in Taiwanese public, there still are no new person-to-person virus cases in Taiwan 14 days later. The staggering success is largely accredited to Taiwan’s miraculously brilliant and swift handling of the situation. It’s all based on a germ-phobic population, slow and steady sectional school closing protocols, but it started with immediate and utter lockdown against the since-become world villain: China.

Taiwan has foresight. Maybe that’s why China wants Taiwan out of the WHO. And now, the truth isn’t hiding anymore.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 3, 2020

The world is fed up with China’s Communist Party, including people in China. The Wuhan virus is a blame-blaming scandal of a magnitude greater than Chairman Mao. It could crack the foundation of Xi Jinping’s rule and party confidence along with it.

Top down leadership ties the hands of first responders. So does propaganda-driven speech censorship. Of course an outbreak will breakout where people aren’t allowed to respond or warn without permission from the central bureaucracy. For China, it was only a matter of time.

And, the world is fed up. Now Hong Kong, severely underprepared for an outbreak, faces a strike of 6k medical workers and growing—if CEO Carrie Lam doesn’t completely close the Hong Kong border to China. Simply not having the resources to handle an outbreak should be enough for Hong Kong to to close its border. Not doing what simply should be done begs more questions of whether Beijing’s top down leadership is preventing Hong Kong from responding to the Wuhan outbreak, which would be yet another violation of the Basic Law and a breach of China’s treaty with Britain that allowed Hong Kong to return.

Shameless in the face of its mismanagement in Wuhan then Hong Kong, China then asked the EU for emergency medical supplies. The EU would be wise to respond that giving medical supplies would require proper oversight, including an end to the bureaucratic methods of centralized control that delayed containment in Wuhan and keeps Hong Kong in danger. Also, the EU should require China to stop politicizing Taiwan’s need to join the World Health Organization.

Argument could be made that Taiwan and the West are capitalizing on the Wuhan crisis to get more international recognition for Taiwan. But, then it could also be argued that China created that need to capitalize on a crisis to do something that should have been done long ago. In light of the Wuhan outbreak, Canada, Japan, and the EU now sponsor Taiwan’s request to join the World Health Organization as an active participant, not a mere observer. A viral White House petition snowballed past the threshold over the weekend, effectively making the same request of President Trump. Now that Trump has a massive petition to respond to, China won’t be able to claim “interference” when he responds. But, China may try to anyway because, in Confucian Communist thinking, petitions of the people should be ignored.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 25, 2019

Nations and peoples of the free world are reaching toward each other. The EU reached out to Taiwan and Taiwan was grateful. Taiwan reached out to CNN and CNN did an interview. Kim Jong Un is likely on a train headed through China to Vietnam to meet President Trump. President Trump met with the Vice Premier of China in the Oval Office to discuss trade. And, China “rightly” oppresses an estimated two million Muslims in internment camps, who inhabit the hope-to-breakaway province of Xinjiang, through which China’s “Silk Road” passes to reach other nations with trillions of dollars in trade.

Taiwan’s position in the world only stepped up. In tech, it’s the multinational victim of China. The EU’s unanimous statement of support for Taiwan and condemnation of China’s military activity in the Taiwan Strait is anything but positive PR for China. Taiwan has the support of Europe; that doesn’t count for nothing.

China’s latest shenanigans include Hong Kong taking a serious look at redefining extradition laws so that Taiwanese in Hong Kong would be “extradited” to China. This does far more damage for Hong Kong’s popularity with its electorate at home than it does for Taiwan, raising international sympathy for both. Remember, meddling in Hong Kong’s government is a “must not” as the condition of Hong Kong not remaining under Britain. Nothing would indicate Chinese meddling in Hong Kong’s government more than such a sure-to-backfire anti-PR move like Hong Kong is making by even entertaining such a revision.

The fingerprints of Beijing damaging Hong Kong where British interests remain, all in order to damage Taiwan, goes against the wisdom of courting favor with the masses across Europe. Then, there’s Huawei.

As if international scandals implicating China weren’t enough, Huawei’s founder made the narcissistic comment that “the world can’t live without Huawei”. In Chinese culture, that might make enough people feel compelled to comply. But, the God-fearing West will take the self-absorbed claim as a challenge, much how God took the challenge when “experts” said He couldn’t sink the Titanic. Huawei just might take its place in the hall of sunken fame. No, the West does not. Not too many years from now, when a finance guru claims that a company is “too big to fail”, the public will respond, “Remember Huawei.”

Read More