Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 16, 2020

America is one of the most cunning nations, almost as much so as Britain. Chinese are known for signing contracts early, then negotiating after—something the West calls “reneging”, which breaks the contract. London always knew China wouldn’t be able to keep a promise, let alone a promise to not control and interfere.

But, almost as cunning is the appearance of election-based chaos stirring in America. Republican and Democratic voters have been building mutual hatred for a long time. Fighting within the country is real and believable. It was sparked by ambiguity, the cause of which is easily explained by what appears, for all intents and purposes, as vote fraud. That doesn’t take much manipulation of the masses, only a small push to send society tumbling over the ledge of insanity. And, China was sure to believe it.

But, there is a difference between America and China which the Chinese cannot understand: centralized power. Chinese-based governments, including democratic Taiwan, struggle to think outside the box of micromanagement. China doesn’t know that the US Navy in the Indo-Pacific region is capable of operating and responding, even if all communication is cut off from Washington. That was the purpose of the “boomer” submarines.

The Chinese people are beaten down. It’s a culture-wide mental state akin to groupthink Stockholm syndrome. The Beijing government truly believes the Chinese people will never rebel. So, when they see America in disorder, they will think democracy itself has failed. But, they don’t understand that the people of a nation are always stronger than the institutions they create, including government, which only derives its power from the people who allow it to be so powerful. Not only can America’s government continue to function with American society in a level of chaos, China’s government cannot be stronger than its own beaten-down people.

If China wanted to be strong enough to stand against America, it could have started by living up to the name of its army and actually “liberating” its people from a culture in which everyone is an oppressed-oppressing slave. Yes, America can deal with riots at home and kick China’s ass in the Pacific at the same time. China doesn’t think so; that’s exactly what the Pentagon hopes.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 9, 2020

China and Taiwan are in a military face-off for a singular reason: xenophobia. Taiwan had everything it needed to counter China without help from the US, but it snubbed foreigners and still continues to do so today. Were it not for the US, neither China nor Taiwan would have limped so far along. China’s “miracle” economy was made of money from the US. Taiwan’s weapons use technology developed primarily by the US.

As much as both China and Taiwan have benefited from the US, these two countries have some of the most strict laws against naturalizing foreigners. That doesn’t include a serious lack of protection against intrusion of immigrants’ rights. When Americans—or any other Westerner—or any other foreigner for that matter—finds work in Taiwan or China, companies impose extra rules to take away what few legal rights they have as foreign employees; then government does nothing, it just sits there and watches. In Taiwan, this largely happens with employment. In China, it happens with entire companies.

Even if foreign workers can find a way to survive the onslaught of attacks against their rights, the most they could expect in the end is an elevated residence status—if they are rich. If they aren’t wealthy, no chance. Without citizenship, foreigners in Taiwan have few rights—they aren’t even allowed a phone and landlords can reject them merely on the basis of being a foreigner.

China aside, if Taiwan allowed, then protected a path to citizenship for Westerners working in Taiwan, those naturalized citizens would have had more rights to work and contribute to Taiwan’s culture, language, economy, and technology. If that had happened, it very well could be the US seeking to buy weapons from Taiwan, and China might be more inclined to behave.

The same could be said of China, which has made itself so desperately dependent on US money by keeping foreigners within their own borders at an arm’s length.

This conflict between Taiwan and China was caused by xenophobia from both sides. By not demanding equal respect toward Americans in their borders, but engaging in trade and weapons sales anyway, the US allowed two kittens to grow into a bobcat and a tiger. And, now the whole world faces a huge cat fight—whenever China decides to take advantage of the election ambiguity in the US and bust a foolish move against Taiwan.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 26, 2020

The flashpoint of Taiwan has become a pregnant possibility. Reportedly, a US military jet flew across Taiwan, and no one is fully certain over who claimed what and why. Taiwan’s government said something after the US government said something about the mission. Then the US government said that they weren’t saying what the mission was. So, the Taiwan government said that they weren’t saying what the US government wasn’t saying about what the US government said about why what happened happened. And, we’re not even sure what happened because the identifier tags could have been spoofed.

In the end, China fell for the bait as if on cue. The Chinese State-run Global Times then published a story sometimes written in the first-person stating that the US isn’t allowed to fly military operations over Taiwan and that China would send its military planes over Taiwan if the US did. The story went on to speculate that Taiwan didn’t have the unction—more or less—to fire the first shot at a Chinese plane in Taiwan sovereign airspace. That proves what China is really thinking about: pushing and pushing, trying to call Taiwan’s bluff, wondering who will fire the first shot—because China is hoping someone will fire the first shot.

After all the information China gave away about its intentions—after what seemed like a fluke between Washington and Taipei—don’t think for a second that said fluke was not a well-calculated fluke. The bigger takeaway is that China keeps falling for the bait while Washington learns to anticipate China enough to lead the Chinese Communist military right into its own defeat—and China shows the learning curve of a cat chasing a laser dot.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 19, 2020

The new global trend is hit pieces against China; even a Taiwanese rapper is on the bandwagon. China’s solution to lack of technology is to take over countries that have enough freedom to create technology, then deprive those countries of their freedom in order to get their technology. It’s clear China thinks innovation is a commodity rather than an indication of an already liberated people.

Taiwan doesn’t need liberated by China; it already has been liberated from China. While the Chinese think that intimidation has driven the Taiwanese into fear, it hasn’t. As Taiwanese carry on with life as usual, the word on the street has nothing to do with fear of invasion; the Taiwanese are simply waiting for the Chinese to ask to get their ass handed to them.

The Philippine government wants to drill for oil in the South Sea. China was supposed to do that in cooperation, an old promise that still hasn’t materialized. From Xinjiang, we learn that children of detained Uyghurs are being orphaned, and China is now sending them to Confucian brainwashing school. Perhaps that was China’s goal in detaining their parents; it certainly worked out that way.

The US is pursuing charges against Chinese espionage in America. China threatens to detain Americans in retaliation. But, that misses the whole point. If China knows about American spies in China, then China should have already taken action anyway. It makes a country look weak to not stop crime except in retaliation. Does China want to send the message that American spies can spy unchecked in China as long as America’s government doesn’t prosecute Chinese spies caught in America? The world wonders what China wants. Maybe China wants the world.

But, the world doesn’t want China’s low-tech industry, repulsive actions, controlling conduct, retaliatory justice, Confucian indoctrination, nor forced language. Nations and peoples of the world will use their ability to invent to overcome China’s low-tech weapons and easily-offended, easily-intimidated culture. Of course, the Chinese don’t know when they are out-teched, out-matched, out-willed, undesired, and surrounded. They already are, but they don’t know. The only ones who know are everyone else.

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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.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 24, 2020

These days, Taiwan is the perfect poster boy in China bashing. Yes, China needs to be confronted. No, China can’t own the world. Yes, China wants to own the world. Yes, China responds to anything and everything like a friendless student carrying a Grandiosity complex. But, that doesn’t mean mindless China bashing will help.

We are engaged in mindless China bashing.

Learn from Germany. WWII developed because the free world punished and insulted Germany after WWI. We need healing, gentle leadership, and grace. Trouble maker countries must be coached and guided, not merely insulted and smeared. Whatever conflict we see with China on the horizon, it will only grow back with a vengeance if we fail to handle it correctly now.

In the China bashing narrative, Taiwan is the perfect innocent—the victim everyone pities. Poor little Taiwan struggles to stay afloat with the tsunami of Chinese conflict. But, as part of that narrative, don’t deify the poster boy.

Taiwan has many of its own problems that go unreported. It’s people are friendly in many ways, but also oblivious. Success with the pneumoniavirus developed a Royalty complex, where Taiwan has a higher regard for itself without understanding the foreign nations that struggle with relations, investment, and trade in these times. There is a growing reputation Taiwan’s government continues to set for itself and Taiwan will need to face that sooner or later.

Taiwan’s troubles are not uninvited. But, when we over-simplify global conflicts, brainwashed thinking wants pure villains attacking pure victims. There is no such thing. And, a peaceful future requires us to stop living a news narrative of fantasy.

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