Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 12, 2020

China has gone effectively “NR”, a tech term for software being “non-responsive”. No matter what any nation says or does, China only digs in, tells the same lies no matter how increasingly obvious, and continues aggression as the solution to losing more friends over its aggression.

Why censor Mike Pence’s statement on China during the vice presidential debate? As an act of good will, China should replay Pence’s statement to correct for the ostensible “no signal please stand by” message during that part of the debate. If anything, letting a foreign vice president make bad statements would help prove that China does not engage in free speech censorship. In all likelihood, the Chinese have been censoring so many people and getting away with it that they thought censoring the American vice president would go unnoticed—it didn’t.

Besides, why keep a foreign vice president’s words away from the ears of their own people. The Chinese people won’t decide how the West will respond to Chinese aggression; the West will decide how the West responds. That’s something else the Chinese Communists don’t seem to understand.

Four nations held a strangely, vaguely-purposed meeting: Japan, Australia, India, and the United States. The reason went largely unexplained, though it was obviously about China. Japan said the meeting wasn’t about one, single country. Australia said no one tells Australia what to do. The US said China is dangerous. From a Chinese Confucian Communist perspective, the meeting seemed out of order. But, in the minds of Western voters, it is clear that all four countries dislike China without having to be told to. It was an unencrypted message China was sure to not decrypt.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 12, 2020

The Democrats are desperate. In the vice presidential debate, Kamala Harris promoted a delusional sense of peace with China, describing Obama’s policy to empower China to grow strong and aggressive as the means of peace, blaming China’s aggression on Trump’s policy to disrupt China’s decade of aggression. From Harris’s perspective, time travel would be necessary because she blames Trump’s enforcement of basic respect for China having built military islands and aircraft carriers during the Obama years, which are now used to threaten war against any country not accepting Chinese Communist censorship of free speech. Perhaps she doesn’t think China has been bullying its neighbors; or perhaps she knows, but she thinks the American voters don’t know yet.

Talking as if we all need to “get along” to solve the problem of a sinking ship seems wise to people who don’t know their ship is sinking. Such are Kamala Harris’s arguments, along with other Democrats.

Gretchen Whitmer, who was tipped off to a kidnapping plot by the FBI—under the Trump administration—acted indignant, almost as if she believed Trump himself had planned the kidnapping. Regardless of how credible her response wasn’t, it is not the response of a party that believes it is winning the numbers for an approaching election. If Whitmer believed Democrats were winning, they would have said something different.

Democratic leaders and candidates are resorting to emotional appeals in their public statements. This is the most convincing indication that Democrats themselves believe they are facing a major loss in November.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 19, 2018

In Taiwanese politics, a mayor candidate’s comments about his own benefits from drinking honey-lemonade sparked retribution from the medical community. After a lump under his eye went away, apparently from a vegetarian and honey-lemonade diet, he actually said so. A professional from a hospital was quick to weigh in. It’s understandable. If people learned that honey could cure disease, hospital profits would plunge. More importantly, Taiwanese political debates would become outright boring without the ability to, as the saying goes, make lemonade from political debates.

But, lemonade really is important. Google search results even saw a spike after this essential talk of Taiwanese politics made news.

Meanwhile, at the ASEAN summit in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for nations to come together at a time when Southeast Asian stability was under threat. In anticipation of APEC after ASEAN, Mike Pence started talking tough, wanting results and genuine action from China concerning an even-flow of trade. He elaborated, that the US has a quarter of a billion dollars in tariffs and isn’t afraid to go twice as high as well as take more “diplomatic” action. It was a strong “they know that we know that they know what we think” remark, the kind that precedes otherwise objectionable action to make the action unobjectionable.

Later, at APEC, Pence warned of returning to a “cold war” while making plans for a US-Australian naval base in Papua New Guinea. Rather than dropping its tilted tariffs on goods, China has been openly gearing up for all out war three weeks. APEC ended without a written agreement between member nations for the first time ever because of the disagreements between the US and China.

This past weekend, Taiwan did something that China despises every bit as much as it cannot identify with: Taiwan hosted democratic election campaigns. With all the strong rhetoric concerning Taiwan, independence, and China’s loudly and often-spoken determination to invade Taiwan, there shouldn’t be any question where China’s war-in-preparation will start and why America will easily get involved.

America is already involved in Taiwan to quite an extent. AIT, the unofficial yet de facto US embassy in Taiwan, had an interview scheduled for release with a large TV network in Taiwan. But, after the interview, the TV network, TVBS, scrapped the interview. So, AIT shared the interview in its Facebook page, rather than relying on TVBS.

With the history lessons about Taiwan in almost every Taiwan-related story in the Western press, Americans will take an advancement against Taiwan as an advancement against themselves. China would be perceived as an aggressor and rightly so. Everything the US has done to provoke and irritate China would have only worked if China possessed the old school “Asian Pride” that Sun Tzu warned against, a pride that can’t be permitted in a world’s superpower because such pride is easily provoked just as much as it is easily shattered. Hardened pride makes for brittle peace. That’s something that the entire West won’t allow, the US notwithstanding.

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