Taiwan has a new Sheriff. Former President Ma, whose regime pursued secret talks with China, wanted to visit Hong Kong just after leaving office. Remember, on the books, Taiwan is still at war with China. Since 2003, former Taiwan presidents must file 20 days before international travel as a matter of national security. Ma filed 14 days before and cited a 2000 visit as an example of why the policy should not apply to him. The new president’s office, held by the other political party, denied Ma’s tardy request, citing lack of cross-straight and interpol cooperation—cooperation China has promised to diminish in recent weeks, since Taiwan’s new president took office. Accusations of democracy and grandeur flew in all directions.
The highly-coveted “blue crab” lives in some controversial waters. South Korean fishermen towed Chinese fishing boats from the South Korean waters to the South Korean authorities. A few days later, the South Korean military drove more Chinese fishing boats out of the same waters. North Korea claims the waters and referred to the incident as an “invasion”. The United Nations recognizes the South Korean map. Seoul asked Beijing to watch its own fishermen more carefully.
Germany also asked Beijing to ensure rule of law, this time over NGOs not being involved in politics. Human rights and abuse of new police authority over NGOs were mentioned. Historically, NGOs are a tool of human rights advocates, which China has been known to view as political.
Few policies in Europe create fewer problems than they invent, NGO governance in China being one example, European immigration being another. There seem to be many satellites orbiting the headline reasons for Britain’s immanent “brexit” from the EU. The “brexit” would have financial repercussions—sooner and smaller as opposed to later and larger, so the narrative goes.
Britain and Europe would not normally be mentioned in an editorial on Pacific-Asia, except for Britain’s continued agreement with China concerning Hong Kong—a territory that could lose its financial status in Asia and, interestingly also, a destination recently denied to a former and distrusted president of a US ally in the Pacific. Neither HSBC’s headquarters nor the former Taiwan president will be going to Hong Kong anytime in the foreseeable future.
China was a major player in the Panama Papers scandal, including Hong Kong offices. British Prime Minister Cameron was involved. The British foreign secretary warned of threats to Hong Kong freedoms. Hong Kong’s CEO, Leung, hit back at calls for independence in the face of Hong Kong’s brand-new “National” party. China continues to crack down on corruption.
Japan send a sub and two destroyers to dock in Manila in the wake of the new Japan-Philipines defense pact. The US and Taiwan are drafting stronger ties affecting visitors. As Taiwan’s rising DPP political party gains popularity, the lame duck KMT-Nationalist party plays power against the DPP to the bitter end. North Korea tested a long-range nuclear missile engine to “guarantee” a strike on the continental US.
Friends and enemies are everywhere and everyone has a motive for everything.
A Chinese official, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), has become the first to recognize Taiwan’s Constitution. He says that the president elect, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), should “abide by it”. Tsai has promised to declassify documents about the 228 Massacre, which the Taiwanese observed in memory this past weekend. The three day weekend of Feb 28 (2/28) stands as a blight on the face of Chiang Kai-shek, who founded the recently defeated KMT-Nationalist party and slaughtered 10,000 to 30,000 people in Taiwan, depending on who you ask, during the time of his flight from the revolting Communists. Statues of the “Hitler of Taiwan” were defaced throughout Taiwan over the weekend. Officials are “not yet” pressing charges.
While Taiwan exposes more truth and topples statues of tyrants, China is finding vengeance on booksellers. The times are ripe with contrast. Nations in the region see anything but peace in our time.
Ri Yong-gil was said to be executed in Korea. He wasn’t seen in his usual place in public with Great Successor Un. This just after the satellite launch, which led to more sanctions approved by the Senate.
Hong Kong cracked down on some unlicensed food vendors in the streets of Mong Kok. People responded by throwing and burning things. Their view is clear, as is the view of Hong Kong’s government. China remarked about “terrorist tendencies”. Hong Kong’s finance minister, Tsang (曾俊華), implied the Biblical story of Solomon’s judgment of two women in writing, “A mother who truly loves her son would not saw him in half and would never themselves be the executioner.” It is good to see that China did not rebuke a government leader for studying the Bible.
China is losing money. It also lost a bank. But, so what. China is oblivious to its own past with which it haunts itself. HSBC has reviewed Hong Kong again, for a possible location. HQ-ing in HK could save $14B. But, again, no. Tienanmen scared them too much. Even after 25 years, old fears don’t die easily, especially when they don’t have a reason to.
It’s somewhat ironic, though. Asia is responsible for much of HSBC’s revenue. Or, maybe it’s not ironic since that “is” seems to be changing into more of a “was”. Asia “was” responsible for much of HSBC’s revenue. It seems that the West has profited and, now, has picked up, packed up, and isn’t coming back. And, what should that tell us?
Propaganda backfired this week. Beijing wants more Internet censorship, almost to create a “Chinanet” akin to another Great Schism not seen since the Orthodox Church split from the West. TPP failed. Students in Taiwan stormed government offices to keep out China-propaganda over “minor” changes to national curriculum. An Australia-India-Japan alliance plumed out of nowhere. Taiwan and Japan are kissing and making up. And some truth came through well-kept gates.
An 18-year-old got back from his year in North Korea. The North Koreans shower together like Americans and Romans. North Korean students are curious about mundane life in America. And, notably, North Koreans seem to agree with a Americans: Government is the problem, not the people.
Joshua Wang, Hong Kong, had an interview with the BBC and explained that the Umbrella Movement never really had a plan and never communicated a plan to the public. But they did succeed in raising public awareness. · · · →
China moves more and more with money. The economy is crashing, largely due to the Communist doctrine that citizens do not own land—something we rarely read about.
China also gears up for both war and investment contingency. BRICS was ratified this week. New national “interests” rhetoric and policy came from Beijing, implying war against Taiwan more than recently.
The Taiwan problem comes from documentation. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, they gave up Taiwan, which China had surrendered properly to Japan. But Japan never stated who they were giving Taiwan over to, technically rendering Taiwan an already independent State. Taiwan has been fought over by China’s Communist party after China’s KMT-Nationalist party was forced to find a place to live in de facto exile. Both Communist and KMT-Nationalist parties seem to be attempting to rewrite history, as the Taiwan education fiasco shows.