Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 15, 2019

China’s recent obsession with arresting Canadians is easier to understand and predict if it is seen as an attempt to alienate US allies from the US. Based on this, we can expect mistreatment of other US citizen allies in the future. They did something similar with an Australian back in January. By lashing out at citizens of US allies, China—more than likely—hopes to make those countries regret being friends with the US…

…because that works in Chinese culture’s inside baseball.

Something about Chinese-Confucian culture is obsessed with “the group” and “uniform conformity”. When someone steps “out of line”—whatever the groupthink happens to have decided “the line” is this afternoon—others within that culture instinctively begin to attack that person like hyenas attack an isolated impala in the wild. It’s almost as if they are governed by a hypnotic auto-think. Small charges, snaps, and bites slowly creep in from any and every side until the group kills and devours whoever tried to be different.

This is exactly what China has done to Taiwan’s allies. Most of them caved. Senator Rubio lashed out at El Salvador for abandoning Taiwan last August when the trend became annoyingly obvious. Since it worked with them, maybe China thinks it will work with the English-speaking world.

But, the Chinese only learn “Chinglish” at best, whether with language or with culture. There attempt will only backfire and that will explain the members of the coming alliance that defeats China in the fast-approaching scuffle. And, it will explain the coming alliance that nations just east of China will soon deepen with the English-speaking world, as well as the growing alienation between English-America and Latin-America. But, that won’t be seen for another decade.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 24, 2019

We are not headed to a Second Cold War. We are not at risk of heading to a Second Cold War. We are traveling at trans-warp speed toward the First Flash War. It will start and end quickly, laying the groundwork for WWIII and FWII to follow.

These pieces of our times are important to distinguish. Different analysts with different levels of understanding of history are trying their best to explain our times. To a novice—either to history or to the West or to the East—who just begins to understand, it may seem like we are headed toward Cold War II.

China and the US are in a growing conflict on the surface, but Russia is whispering in China’s ear. Russia wants the same old thing. The US is generally unaware of Russia’s intent or dismisses it.

China thinks that the US wants to retain power. China wants to rise, so Beijing feels the need to “beat back” the US.

The US knows China wants to rise and doesn’t mind. The US wants to step back, but knows China is an undisciplined bully—lawless and doesn’t respect human rights. So, the US feels the need to “beat down” China to make Beijing behave.

The US takes the approach of protectionism and innovation—tariffs and moving manufacturing back home. China takes the approach of its domineering culture and copying others—both doomed to fail.

One of the Chinese’s biggest complaints used to justify their military aggression in the South Sea is American presence. The claim is that the US has 180 military bases throughout East Asia, rephrased “near China”. Because of this, China calls America the “aggressor” and, like the burglar who thinks society stole from him first, says its military response is justified.

The US has been in many of those places since the end of WWII and after the Korean War. The Chinese didn’t know about this US presence because their surveillance tech wasn’t good enough. Once China reverse-engineered and stole designs for enough Western tech—because they still don’t know how to invent it on their own—they started to see that Americans had been their the whole time.

The “Second Coming Cold War” argument is flawed because we’ve already been in such a “cold” standoff for seven decades. That’s how Beijing interprets it anyway, and now the Chinese want to heat things up.

Consider the contradiction. For over 70 years, Americans have been quietly watching the seas. They didn’t harass fishermen. They didn’t aim missiles and launch threats. They didn’t attempt to ram into other boats. They never tried to deny passage through international waters. China has done all these things, but not the US—in 70 years! So, because of that, the US is the aggressor? That’s Beijing-style thinking anyway. And, that way of thinking is what Washington feels the need to defeat before it gets any bigger.

This week documented a Chinese general committing two “no-nos”. Firstly, he commented on the social structure of Hong Kong—military leaders are supposed to remain outside of politics. Secondly, the thus  proven military government of China thus also proved disdain for the law it must abide by. Motive is one vital burden of proof in a conviction. Not only had Beijing meddled where it wasn’t allowed, but we now have an established motive.

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Encore of Revival: America, June 24, 2019

Our president called off an invasion that could have been what the Bay of Pigs was to JFK. We were on the brink of nuclear war with Russia 58 years ago, and we didn’t even know it! What is the value of a human life compared to a drone? Isn’t the purpose of drones to spare human life? Some would use the loss of a drone as an excuse to end human life, but not our president.

Strategy and navigation that win always elude the untrained mind. What seems to most people like the way to win is precisely how to lose. What seems idiotic to most people is the only way to win. Trump’s ongoing fight against establishments in both Asia and Washington prove who is on which side of the “which way is wise” debate. One of those important, counter-intuitive strategies is mercy.

“To err is human; to forgive, divine,” wise words, courtesy Alexander Pope. There are many traps in politics. It is an indication of scruples and wisdom to know how to navigate through them. Refusing to murder in vengeance of a downed drone is no sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Trump did far worse to Iran than any could imagine: He showed mercy.

That was just the beginning.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 10, 2019

Chinese rhetoric spiked over recent weeks. They made threats. Trump made threats. They made more threats. Trump and Xi are BFF, just like Xi and Putin, but Xi and Putin are BFF-er. Now, we move toward quiet action. If China stops exporting “rare earth metals” to the US, the US would simply get them from somewhere else. “Rare” means many countries can get them, but few actually do because China does it so much.

The US is selling several tanks and tank-buster rockets to Taiwan. Beijing isn’t happy—about the $2 Billion in weapons sales to Taiwan, but also because of the people who publicly express memory of what happened 30 years ago at Tienanmen Square.

Around the time Taiwan’s primaries finish, the US launches its first Ford-class carrier in October, larger than a Nimitz. It still has a year of training and won’t be commissioned until 2022.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 20, 2019

Of course China wanted to “re-negotiate”. Chinese culture, whether in government or business, seeks to sign a contract first, then negotiate the terms after. In America it’s called “reneging”. In China is called “that strange, silly, sign a contract game the Americans require that makes no sense”. Trump has known that since he had his ties made in China, maybe earlier.

Now, the American provocation machine is in full-swing. An executive order banning Huawei and a DOJ prosecution of Chinese hackers—all while planning another meeting in Japan next month—this isn’t failed diplomacy. In the past month, China lobbed one too many objections to US action, thus providing the telemetry the US needed for the final calibrations on the Chinese irritation machine. That machine is up and running and won’t stop. It will keep producing irritation at the speed of a 5G network.

As said last week, the problem of the F-35 was already known because the US was no longer interested in searching. This week, we found out the specifics: a fuel tube. Now, we just need to wait for distribution and replacement to get set up.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 6, 2019

Fibers are starting to snap and the solutions brought by governments always include adding more tension to the frayed rope.

China heads more toward Maoism. A nation headed at warp speed into its past already has its future known.

Taiwan wrestles with itself, seeking endorsement and recognition from other nations while chaotic governance at home makes its next election uncertain. But, two things grow stronger every day in Taiwan: military and resolve. That’s a problem for some countries, one in particular.

If Taiwan isn’t the last straw, Korea could be. North Korea launched a missile for the first time in a long time. That wouldn’t have happened without backing.

The de facto consensus among the US, China, and everyone caught in between is simple: Make the rope snap ASAP by piling on as much load as possible. Even the strategy to improve Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program comes in the form of complaint. The F-35s are ready to go. A dance floor will magically appear in the Pacific once Washington finishes playing with the bubble wrap.

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