Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 22, 2021

China is mixing its civilian population with military front lines. This new Sansha “City” probably should be called a province and not a “city”. Leave it to the Chinese and Taiwanese governments to garble province-level translation. It’s not anything the West considers a city. But, it was planted in the middle of international waters, is used as a basis for applying Chinese law in more places, is highly contested by neighbors like Vietnam, and has civilians.

At what point does a civilian population bear responsibility for the action of its government? Is it in supporting that government’s action? Is it in turning a blind eye to that government’s action, providing passive support? Is it in accepting one-sided gossip about other people they never met nor heard from? If so, all people across the world are guilty of every war.

China grew its power when Western consumers sent their jobs overseas to save pennies at the store. Western civilians built Sansha as much as Chinese civilians. When Sansha becomes a war zone, will there be such a thing as an “innocent civilian” anywhere in the world? All of us involve civilians in military matters; at least China is upfront about it.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 1, 2020

It’s happening. Biden is battening down on China. The Chinese still think they can push their diktat in the South Sea and the East Sea and the Taiwan Strait and the Indian Ocean. Rumors spread in America of China helping Biden steal the election. That won’t help China get the support of the American public. Quite opposite, as Americans turn on Biden, accusing him of his own diktat, he will feel the push to prove that he’s not afraid to hit China where it counts. So you see, China may have helped install the very president most likely to create the most trouble for China.

Evidence points that he’s already going there. While weapons deals halted toward the Saudis and the UAE, they are right on schedule for cute, adorable, cuddly, lovable Taiwan.

But, America is not Taiwan’s only friend. Nor, is Taiwan the only territory that doesn’t like China’s diktat. Vietnam, the Philippines, India, and Japan won’t ignore any Chinese aggression in their back yards. And, with the British all ready with their HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier group, they could sweep into a Chinese sea contest after everyone else is bloodied and give their own diktat.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, October 29, 2018

The Pacific Ocean has become a chess board of moving pawns, castling kings, bluffs, and propaganda. China offers the moon to small countries, the US warns that no “free” gift comes without strings attached. When Trump pulled out of the INF treaty for supposed Russian violations, Russia went on high alert at home and called it “preparing for war”. Russia being ready for war means China feeling more confident about busting a move.

Given regional instability, Japan and India are talking big. They want cooperative military exercises. They will also need passage through that section of the ocean—the South Sea—that China drew a nine-dash line around. America won’t be the only challenger to China’s new notion of “ocean ownership”. As China gets more and more assertive, even the British are on edge. Nothing happens in the Western Pacific unnoticed.

Is China strong enough to win a military conflict? A Chinese rocket failed at launch. In the news, it’s reported as a “private company”, but there is no such thing in China, by Western understanding of a “private company” anyhow. The reason it failed is probably rooted in the sister controversy to trade: reverse engineering and technology copying. China couldn’t launch the rocket, in all likelihood, because too much of the technology used by China wasn’t invented by China, but invented by someone else, made in China, and copied by China—but not understood by China. Such is the tech of this “private company” and the tech that made China so big as it is today and the tech it would use in battle. Russia would be wise to not depend on that tech. And, small countries would be wise to remember that the “great China” was made great by a tilted-trade, copied-tech cash cow that is no longer making milk.

China’s National Tourism Administration suspended group tours to one of China’s many coveted destinations in Taiwan. The delay is scheduled to last from early November into April. November is an election month for both the US and Taiwan. It’s a big month for expos in Taiwan, especially a flora expo in the city where tours were suspended, Taichung. November is also when a large group from the US Navy will make a show of force near China’s man-made islands.

Read More