Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 14, 2020

It was only a matter of time. The stories are breaking about Taiwan’s inhospitality toward foreigners.

Taiwan has the lowest birthrate in the world. They need people; they need talent; they need support. By denying dual-citizenship to foreigners who would have become dual citizens under similar circumstances in almost any other country, Taiwan is not filled with dual-nationals from around the world.

Czech might send politicians to visit Taiwan, but since there aren’t many Czech-Taiwanese dual citizens in Taiwan for Czech to protect, don’t expect military support. If Taiwan had immigration policies comparable to the other nations they want help from, they would have many citizens from those countries; but they don’t. If the Chinese bombed Taiwan, they would hurt citizens from around the world. China might think twice. But instead, any Westerners in Taiwan are simply expats who have no reason to stay, and it’s all thanks to Taiwan government bigotry inherited from an ancient culture made in ancient China.

Taiwan had mistreated and given the red tape runaround toward ESL teachers, European students on scholarship, and who knows what kind of superstitious “cursed black skin” comments have been told to people from Africa. American-born Taiwanese are native English speakers, but denied ESL jobs with the claim “only a White face can teach English”. Leave it to Taiwanese business owners to think Chinese-speakers know how to teach English best.

Now, Hong Kong needed help from Taiwan and saw the same bigotry Taiwan refused to address for decades. And in case anyone wondered, that’s why Taiwan is on the brink of war with China. The Taiwanese government hasn’t built the foundations of justice in society that make an economy resilient to war.

Pacific Daily Times has stories spanning back over a decade. Public appeals have been made and ignored. Recent information says that Taiwan has zero progress in changing its bigotous immigrant policies. But, the Times chooses not to elaborate on the recent resurgence of this decades-old problem for one reason: America’s election.

Such a problem so old should not be overshadowed by routine election cycles. It must not be said that a problem spanning back thousands of years should come up—of all times—two months before the 2020 American presidential election. Taiwan’s ancient-Chinese bigotry must not be reduced to an October surprise.

Taiwan is worth saving, as Jesus said of everyone. The Taiwanese people are amazingly friendly toward foreigners—as long as the Taiwanese are either younger or international, or if the foreigner is White and rich and neither student nor ESL teacher. Taiwan has the potential to change and improve, just as America was among the first nations to ban the human sin of slavery, starting with its own. But, Taiwan must make the choice for Taiwan.

Will there be war in Taiwan? One cannot understand our times while refusing to account for the God who holds all time in His hands. From Deuteronomy, He commands fairness for the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner. And, that God can’t be called on to protect Taiwan until Taiwan has protected those who called.

Whether there will be armed conflict between Taiwan and China will depend on the Taiwanese democracy. Their government must make sweeping and instant changes to bring current what good things should have long happened to their foreigners from the nations they call on for help. If such sweeping justice is not given to foreigners in Taiwan by November 4 Taipei time, then Taiwan’s neglected past will be both neglected and newsworthy. In that event, Pacific Daily Times will dive into Taiwan’s ugly past to explain why Taiwan was weak enough that war from China was feasible in the first place. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

So, will there be open war between Taiwan and China? That’s something not even God can decide, only Taiwan.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 31, 2020

There was always a stark difference between America’s southern wall and the Berlin Wall. America’s wall was built to keep people out—whether they were desperate to come in or hungry to invade. The Berlin Wall was meant to keep people in—people desperate to escape from the oppression, fragmentation, and poverty that flow from communism every time it’s tried.

China’s Great Wall is akin to America’s southern wall. It was a defense against invaders, meant to keep the Chinese people safe. But today, we see a different force in effect. Chinese patrols in the waters outside Hong Kong remind us of the Berlin Wall, meant to keep in people who desperately want to escape a regime they did not choose.

Before, it was said that America has a new Cold War with China. Now, we know for sure. China has implemented new policy that strives to contain a free-thinking people who fueled one of the most amazing economies China has ever destroyed, let alone claimed credit for.

Others are not standing by. Taiwan is arming up and bunkering down. America, all to glad to help, thumps its chest loudly and often. Australia and Japan promise to act independently, which, though seen as diplomatic distancing from the US, won’t make China happy to hear any form of the word “independent”.

Dissenting voices against countries that like the word “independent” say China is a benevolence, yet feel the need to add that China must be accepted—forgetting that anyone who needs persuasive words in order to be accepted is not evidently benevolent. So, which is it? Is China benevolent or do we need to be told to accept China because we would not otherwise? Both can’t be true, only one. And, the world is making up its mind which.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 17, 2020

All of us enjoy the results of the paths we choose, paths which no one can choose for us. Americans believe this so strongly, it often leads to unhealthy apathy toward others in distress. When America finally decides to help others, it is often from a kind of “Messiah” complex, viz Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. From this American worldview, including the good and the bad, America would have no motive to “keep China from rising”. We just don’t think about others that much, you see.

Nonetheless, China has frequently claimed its destiny and right to rise to greatness, using this claim as an excuse to threaten, attack, and oppress others, all the while adding another claim that resistance to forced Chinese subjugation is an attempt to “keep China from rising”. But again, free-minded people, whether self-absorbed or genuine, have no motive to keep others from rising.

Why do voices from China’s government suppose the intended motives of a free-thinking people, which the Chinese Confucian Communists cannot themselves identify with? Is this a random misunderstanding? To suspect ill motives of others toward oneself while at the same time seeking unchecked authority over others is more reminiscent of the paranoid narcissist. Adding to that China’s legislated policy for Hong Kong, against its UN-registered treaty of 1984, and for Taiwan, of which it still remains unable to assert jurisprudence, we now have signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD was never about being clean and organized, but rather using excess rules of organizing as a means to control others. Added up, China demonstrates personality disorders from all three clusters.

That is an explosive mix, so to speak.

But, while insanity is a threat to others it is always a greater threat to itself. In addition to narcissism, an over-inflated view of self falls within purview of the Biblical proverb, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” We in the West should not fear Chinese aggression, rather the fallout of narcissistic rage as China painfully learns that it cannot be a worldwide dominator. That lesson may cost a tuition of lives in the millions.

Yes, we are going down this path. August 15, this past weekend, marked the 75th Anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the United States and serves as a reminder of Western resolve to stop the map from changing. Almost four years prior, Japan had provoked the West against the wise advice of China; today, those roles seem reversed. We have no reason to fear, but we must be honest with ourselves enough to be ready for what has been brewing a long time.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 10, 2020

China received two-and-a-half slaps in the face this week: financial sanctions against a few Chinese and Hong Kong leaders, who don’t have money in the US anyway, and the first formal diplomatic visit from America to Taiwan in over 40 years. To add “insultlett” to insults, the purported reason for the US visit was to discuss health and disease cooperation in the face of the Wuhan-famed pneumoniavirus, with Taiwan being the safest place in the world from the disease.

All of these actions from the US are perfectly understandable.

Countries should visit each other. The US is wrong for not having visited Taiwan over the last two score, just as North and South Korea are wrong for their tensions. The world needs people to talk to each other, whether in government, religion, or otherwise. At least Taiwan and the US seem to be getting along much better than Democrat and Republican voters in America.

Sanctions over Hong Kong’s turn of events are also understandable. Beijing doesn’t have jurisprudence over the world, but certain people in Beijing seem to think so and aren’t afraid to put their opinions in ink and law. No, Americans shouldn’t do business with such folk; no one should, no matter what country they’re from.

As understandable as US actions are, they are nonetheless provocative. We can’t expect Beijing to be happy. America found the perfect storm, and bet the bank that people in the Pentagon know what’s going on. But, something seems different in this week’s volley of cross-Pacific insults: Beijing didn’t pop a hernia like it usually does.

Could the Chinese Communists be learning to not feed taunts from the US? Or, more likely, has Beijing read the clear message of actions and decided to quietly plan retaliatory “messages” of action in ways other than rhetoric? The next few months will tell us.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 3, 2020

If ever there were a time when two nations didn’t want to get along, it is now. If ever there were a time when a growing group of nations decided that a single other nation never wanted to get along, it is now.

China’s security law affecting Hong Kong, defining what is a crime in every sovereign, non-China territory of the world—in a word “pretentious”. No nation’s government should ever allow a foreign government to define what is a crime within its own borders, especially a single government acting unilaterally and without counsel.

Human Rights involve laws that China directly agreed to in joining the United Nations. Human Rights sanctions over forced sterilization among Uighurs in Xinjiang in no way compare to Beijing dictating it is a crime for someone in New Zealand to voice support for free elections in Hong Kong. The Confucian-Communist Chinese don’t see the difference. They view sterilizing Uighurs as fair and international sanctions for doing so as unfair. It’s not a lie or polite statement—they really see things that way.

So, banning TikTok won’t give the Chinese any second thoughts about their aspirations and actions. Taiwan’s first democratically elected president passed away this week at 97 and the US lauded his achievement. China won’t see any need to change so as to cooperate with our democratic world today; they will only see it as an insult to China’s entitlement to greatness.

The Taiwanese chip maker TSMC provides 20% of the worlds microchips at quality of which China cannot produce any. If China invaded Taiwan and TSMC had to cease operations, China would suppose that the ability to make these chips would instantly transfer to China, where China could pick up the slack, so there would be no threat to the global tech industry.

Now, the US introduces a bill with bipartisan support for military action already approved for the US to defend Taiwan against China specifically. It’s not hard to know how China will respond. With every step, China has the same response: China’s right; the rest of the world is wrong. It’s not hard to know how the rest of the world interprets that kind of response.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 27, 2020

Bail on Hong Kong, jump to Taiwan. That’s the move from everyone.

Britain doesn’t bail on Hong Kong, but creates a path for Hong Kongers to bail on Hong Kong. Britain isn’t just walking away. By allowing British Overseas Passport holders to easily enter Britain, British Parliament responds as if 3 million British citizens and their families are suddenly in China—basically treating Hong Kong as if it is truly, fully Chinese. Britain ended its extradition with Hong Kong, making it the same as with China. Britain extended an arms embargo to Hong Kong already in place against China.

This is the part that confuses the Chinese. They want the world to recognize that Hong Kong is China, but when countries treat Hong Kong the same way as they treat China, China objects. Consider the mindset that demands: Everyone treat Hong Kong like China, but you interfere if you treat Hong Kong like China. The Chinese don’t understand how the world is responding. They never thought the world would respond this way. They think the world is simply being mean and cruel.

Staying consistent is not a part of the Chinese Communist worldview. Consulates do passport services and diplomatic visits, not much beyond that. That’s why countries allow them. America says China went way beyond that, claiming evidence of the consulate running a spy ring. Truth or lie, the Chinese thought they could do anything inside their consulate as if they were in Beijing, otherwise they wouldn’t need to burn documents before leaving. They don’t see America following consistent rules by demanding the consulate close; they only see America as starting a fight.

Western nations at least pretend to operate with universal standards and kept promises. They are far from perfect, but at least they pretend to and their voters expect them to. China doesn’t even pretend to operate with universal standards and kept promises. Chinese Communists simply do whatever they decide for each, individual situation, then justify it as either “their right to do what they want” or as “an internal matter” or as “what is best”. If China makes a promise, then decides to break it without any notice, then the people they promised object, China calls that objection “interference”. Following precedent or promises has no place in Chinese understanding of lawfulness.

Now, ask yourself about a government that insists that it is fair to change the rules throughout the game and without notice. What will mid-level leaders within that government do themselves and expect from their leaders above them and from their subordinates below them? Will their military be able to function with a culture where it is right to change rules at any time? Will ship captains prefer battles for the glory over winning the war? Will the West think such a military is a formidable threat or that such a military is inconsistent and easily defeated?

Taiwan certainly sees the Chinese military as a threat, but the Taiwanese apparently believe China’s military can be affronted. Taiwan boosts its own military budget while the US only increases ties. Banks are also looking to Taiwan as the Asian alternative to Hong Kong, which banks are losing interest in since it now appears to be truly, fully Chinese. With so many people running to Taiwan—and taking their money with them—Taiwan won’t lack the budget for defense.

So, ask yourself, with the shift moving to Taiwan, what will the rule-changing Chinese do? And, will China’s rule-changing embolden the West to think that China’s military won’t be very organized?

Read More