Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 14, 2019

You can’t bring a pot to boil forever. While the conventional narrative for Hong Kong warns, “Retribution is coming,” a better understanding would be, “The Chinese are coming if Hong Kong doesn’t level up.” The protests must either “level up” or otherwise change, or else the PLA will indeed march and smash.

While the situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating into a cultural war—a defense against an invasive culture of Sinicization—talks between the US and China took a similar cultural detour for the worst. China doesn’t want so-called “interference” with kidnapping 1.5 million Muslims in Xinjiang, in Beijing’s view “internal matters”. By that definition, “internal matters” violate international Human Rights laws.

Trump’s words, that all is well in Hong Kong, elude Hong Kongers and Chinese as much as the American media. On the surface Trump appeared to praise the doctored press reports coming out of Hong Kong. He also praised Supreme Justice Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Ford, days before mocking her. Not one main news agency reported Hong Kong’s October 4 de facto declaration of independence with plans for rebellion elections. Praising evidentially censored reports from Hong Kong surmounts to little.

Still, Trump knows the ramifications of his words. By playing along with propaganda China would normally get resistance from, and by staying hands-off, Trump was indirectly telling Beijing that he knows Hong Kong is worse than reported while also letting Hong Kong learn the hard lesson that independence starts with expecting no help from the outside. Over the weekend we saw just that, including smaller flash-protests and perching the Hong Kong “Goddess of Democracy” atop Lion Rock in Kowloon. “Careless Carrie” Lam even cancelled a meeting with Senator Ted Cruz—after his 10+ hour overnight flight landed.

Trump’s words could lead to the very “level-up” game-changer the Hong Kong protesters must make in order to survive. One should guess that Trump doesn’t want Hong Kong to “just be okay”, but to earn whatever independence they get on their own. It feels like rejection at first, but being abandoned to earn one’s own victory—and the spoils with it—is the greater gift of a friend. Trump never said he would squash Hong Kongers’ call for independence; he simply refused to steal their thunder.

The Chinese probably won’t pick up on Trump’s subtlety because Confucianism—especially Communist Confucianism—doesn’t believe anything can happen without outside “help”. This is the only reason Beijing suspects supposed “Western interference” without a shred of evidence.

So, the trade agreement seems to be okay, this week. But, China doesn’t want to be told to let its economy play by the same rules as ours because that too is “internal”. There is one key flaw with China’s thinking: entitlement.

Of course, America should not dictate what type of economy is best for China or any other nation. At the same time, trade is a privilege not a right. By America requiring a free market as a condition for trade with another free market, America is not interfering, but refusing to be interfered with.

Just the same, Beijing claims to reject a “zero-sum game” deal. What they mean is that they want a zero-sum game in China’s favor because they believe being better than everyone else is their right. If America doesn’t lose so that China can gain, China will reject the deal as unfair, just as they did with Britain in the “silver-for-leaves” trade that led to the Opium Wars. Nothing has changed.

The virtue of compromise doesn’t work in dealing with China, whether as an American trade negotiator or as a citizen of Hong Kong. When China demands 100, then we compromise at 50, China will demand another 100 again tomorrow. If we compromise again, it would be 100-0, and it would happen all over again the next day and the next. China will keep demanding to expand and overrun everyone else. By China’s China-favoring standards, the only compromise stands on how fast China takes you over, either ultra fast or slowly. For Beijing, there is no room for the words in the Book of Job where God told the ocean, “Here, and no farther.”

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 7, 2019

Hong Kong has declared independence! On Friday, October 4, thousands peacefully gathered in Ma On Shan at New Hong Kong City Centre and read aloud a manifesto. This manifesto included basic arguments similar to the US Declaration of Independence, along with basic steps for a provisional government until the new government takes over. In the eyes of China, this will be treason, just as the US Declaration of Independence was treason in the eyes of Britain.

There has been no bigger news in almost 200 years. No nation has stood up to a world superpower so great since the American Colonies defied the world-dominating British Empire in 1776. Suspiciously, mainstream news agencies were utterly silent about this all weekend.

The next question is whether Hong Kong will be able to resist China’s military. That question can only be answered by historians who have studied asymmetric warfare, such as the First War of Scottish Independence in 1270, the American Revolutionary War of 1775, or Vietnam’s August Revolution of 1945.

Britain would be wise to help because that might allow the Crown to hold Hong Kong among the Commonwealth afterward. The UN is calling for an investigation into how China has handled the four months of protest, so it would seem that the world is on Hong Kong’s side. But, investigations always follow long after a crime, even against Human Rights, while the people are left to defend themselves until help arrives. Can Hong Kong join the successful revolutionaries of history?

The string of anti-extradition protests began March 31, this year, 190 days ago. The protests have been in a state of ongoing outbreak since June 9. Hong Kongers have lived and fought in unrest in their own home for 120 days straight. They have overpowered a 32,000 troupe police force the entire time. Hong Kongers have thus become formidable and battle-tested with inferior weaponry. The impossible odds—fighting with bamboo sticks against guns—make the typical Jackie Chan movie prophetic. If China’s PLA soldiers think they will have an easy time suppressing Hong Kong, they have news in store. It’s not impossible. Only history will tell.

Unrest turned to turmoil on October 2, when China held its 70th Anniversary parade for the Communist Party. America will soon join Hong Kong’s objection to China in its own way.

In Beijing, showing off the old-news, well-known DF-41 hypersonic, “can-hit-America-in-30-minutes” 10-nuke-warhead missiles was a miscalculation. America is not afraid because we don’t expose the limits of our tech in parades. Most of our most-advanced military tech isn’t known to the general public, which is somewhat how the American people want it to be, kind of. Seeing this flagrant, open threat will motivate the inventors and businesses in the wealthier, higher-tech America to neutralize China’s open threats ASAP. Some are calling it a “Sputnik moment”.

China is a nation that thinks itself to be stronger than it actually is. If it rises to even a quarter of the world domination it hopes, it would be the first time a superpower rose from a nation so ancient. Since Persia, all world superpowers of history rose from new nations built on the encouragement of new ideas, legal limits of government, and rights for citizens. China is not on a quest to defy the world; it is on a quest to defy history. Hong Kong has history on its side.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 9, 2019

The missile issues in North Korea have too much unknown about them to formulate a clear opinion. From reports, Kim has indeed kept his promise, though he has violated seemingly less significant UN sanctions. Japan is on alert. Trump doesn’t seem to care. If we made a stack of American clothes made in China, then stacked what we don’t know about the North Korean missile crisis, the stack of what we don’t know about North Korean missiles would be higher. It’s unsettling, but sometimes we just don’t know.

Carrie Lam’s response to the “five demands” from protestors will not bode well in Hong Kong. She withdrew the controversial bill. The best illustration from Hong Kongers is a bandaid on a scratch after it turned gangrene. “Too little, too late” is what most are saying. Expect riots and burning buildings in the weeks to come.

Some Hong Kongers will indeed be satisfied with her speech, dare we say thrilled, but others will be enraged that she waited until after three months and a leaked recording. That recording included Lam’s claim that she couldn’t resign and that she had two masters, one of them Beijing. This is contrary to the autonomy required by the contract allowing China to claim Hong Kong as its own. If true, that recording could return Hong Kong to Britain merely in court. The stakes are high. Beijing cannot allow the public to believe that the recording demonstrated any truth. And, apparently Lam can’t either.

If that recording was inaccurate as she said, then she wouldn’t be so angry. Not only did she admit that the recording was real, it made her angry. Her objection to it is the recording’s greatest notoriety. But, Confucian Beijing-minded Chinese don’t understand that evidence speaks louder than spin. They only bake the cake they’ll have to lay in.

Withdrawing the bill will be seen by many as an attempt to counter evidence that Beijing interferes regularly, violating the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. But, the evidence remains, and there are greater grievances.

Lam’s speech fails to address the protests’ demand for her resignation, which is the very subject of the leaked recording, which came just before her sudden withdrawal of the bill. The protestors insist on her resignation and will continue to. When she said that she never considered resigning, she further incriminated herself by proving that Hong Kong does not have its required universal suffrage and that she is part of the reason why.

Some will stop protesting, but those who continue will do so with more veracity. Apart from withdrawing the bill, everything in Lam’s video ignores and insults the protest demands, essentially telling the people what they ought to want.

Telling people what they should want is widely accepted in Confucian society. But, it mixes with the West like water with oil. Lam wants to investigate to find out why Hong Kong rejected what are essentially Confucian values. But, there is no disturbance or interference or social trend to investigate. The conflict arose because the Confucian minds controlling Hong Kong, namely Lam and Beijing, are incapable of recognizing that Hong Kong already was Westernized. The question now is whether William Wallace can defeat Mao Tse-Tung.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 2, 2019

Reuters broke the story. According to unnamed sources, Beijing refused to let Hong Kong’s government grant free elections, withdraw the extradition bill, and crackdown on police brutality. If this report can be proven in court, a case could be made that Hong Kong is no longer under China’s governance, already. Of course, China would never recognize such a ruling and a military conflict between China and the West would quickly ensue.

The West has slowly been inching forward in support of Western freedoms everywhere the West resides, including Hong Kong, and China has been ill prepared. Had Beijing anticipated the status quo, preventative measures would have been taken long ago. But, China doesn’t understand the West, just as Beijing can’t understand Westernized Hong Kong. So, “suspicion” is the emotional response to expect.

Well past the 79-day record of continued protests from the Umbrella Movement in 2014, the extradition protests are in their 13th week.

Turn of events included protestors setting large fires on police-related barricades and the police using blue die in water cannons, presumably to mark protestors for later action. This is a serious escalation on both sides. Far more importantly, but less likely to be noticed, protestors marched outside the Chinese military garrison, near Central on Hong Kong Island. This is a direct affront to Chinese control and, for that reason alone, the situation has never been more explosive, so to speak.

Hong Kong’s miracle was that it was Western, but it was located in the Far East. This made it an overlap and a gem in the world. It was the convergence of extremes that made Hong Kong special. But, Confucian-Communist Chinese can’t imagine that being Western would make a thing desirable. So, Beijing chalks-up Hong Kong’s “greatness” to the idea that “it is Chinese”.

In attempt to explain the protests, and without evidence, China has repeatedly accused the West of interfering in Hong Kong, which got its very value from already being Western. The greatest Western influence in Hong Kong came from Hong Kong itself. Reports of supposed Western financial backing for Hong Kong protests seem laughable to the West since they have been presented without a shred of anything remotely resembling a “paper trail”; it’s mere surmise.

Far more importantly, since when did Beijing object to Western influence? Communism is Western. But, seeing that requires objective thought, something Confucian culture can’t do.

Beijing supposes their must be someone behind the protests. In Confucian Chinese thinking, no one would oppose their great benevolence unless someone else told them to, and “objective thinking” is a mere myth. But, the West can’t imagine anyone supporting the government of the Tienanmen Square massacre without brainwashing.

As Westerners, Hong Koners don’t want to be brainwashed to support such a murderous government, neither does the rest of the West. So, with this past week, we can’t expect the West not to interpret action against Hong Kong’s protestors as a preemptive attack on the rest of Western civilization. World War veterans remember what happens when the West feels threatened. Still, no matter how much Hong Kong wants to, Beijing refuses to allow the only way to stop making Western culture feel like someone wants it to stop being Western.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 26, 2019

The Hong Kong police have lost public trust. They’ve cried, “Victim!” after their injuries were proven to be from self defense when they were the assailants. They illegally shot tear gas canisters as harmful projectiles in violation of international law and from windows high enough to kill someone if a canister landed on someone’s head. One girl lost an eye because the police shot rubber bullets at the crowd at point blank range and one bullet passed through her protective face mask. Yet, the police claim that rubber bullets don’t cause harm.

Now, peace turns to instant violence just because these police arrive. Or, perhaps it’s because they arrive, then start pounding their batons against their shields as if they were Roman soldiers about to charge.

At the Yuen Long MTR Station in a somewhat remote part of Hong Kong’s New Territories, protestors were loud, but not violent, until the police showed up. From well-earned fear, protestors tore up the place to block the police from blinding someone else. Trash cans and other furnishings were turned on side, fire extinguishers made a smokescreen, and the students pulled down a gate to block the way between themselves and the violent police of Hong Kong.

The greatest mistrust of Hong Kong police isn’t their violence, but their inaction. The great criminals control the government. Perhaps protestors believe the police should enforce the Basic Law by forcefully unseating CEO Carrie Lam for violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. But, they don’t because they have become a tool of Beijing’s interference, proven most by the usual Human Rights violations of Beijing.

But, Hong Kongers’ fears are still greater, sharing an overlap with US President Trump. China wants to Sinicize the world, as the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony showed—as Hong Kong and Taiwan show—as America’s economy shows.

As if Hong Kong’s problems haven’t shown enough about the greater threats looming over the world from the Far East, South Korea’s vindictive administration keeps making trouble. This week, South Korea ended an intel sharing agreement with Japan, then stepped up military drills near an island disputed by Japan.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 19, 2019

The nation is polarizing even more. The anti-Israel sentiment from some members of Congress is only one part. The Russianewsgategate scandal surfaces more evidence every day, but no one changes heart or mind on the matter. Portland protests have the same non-effect on persuading people to change sides, only mobilizing everyone.

Chris Cuomo is grossly annoyed by Limbaugh’s nickname for him. Perhaps he thinks he’s the only one allowed to get offended. Senator Lindsey “Gramnesty” wore his like a badge of honor and Andrea “Tarantula” Tantaros welcomed Rush as a guest on her show to explain the good humor of it all. At this point, it’s unlikely Rush will be able to grace the ratings of Chris, who seems to be the only one with a nickname the rest of us aren’t allowed to use.

While protests and extreme voices raise their volume, the only thing provoking people to switch sides are Liberals in the spotlight. It’s not all—neither those in the spotlight or those switching sides. But, some of the dumber and loudest among the Left have made themselves such an embarrassment that many social-minded voters are starting to think that they will get more social justice from the Right.

The election has always been and remains in Trump’s favor. China will lose the trade war, as well as the other war it was always going to instigate. Gun laws and abortion laws will strengthen in both directions. While the Right seems to have the advantage for now, neither Right nor Left has any clear path towards domination, only further polarity. There’s no stopping it. Buckle up, grab your popcorn, and stay safe.

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