Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 2, 2019

Opinions on Asia aren’t just flying, but swarming the Pacific. Hong Kongers vote against China in an unmistakable slap to Beijing’s face, then Beijing blames the US—because Beijing still thinks that voters only vote how the government tells them to. And, everything is all America’s fault anyway, right?

It took a day of silence for Beijing’s media machine to figure out how to spin the election. Beijing accused Hong Kong’s dissent on violence. But, that doesn’t hold since last week’s election went uninterrupted. Yet, Beijing sticks to the same script.

A commentator predicts that Hong Kongers don’t want independence—even though they already declared independence on October 4. Perhaps Doris Lam’s article on Channel News Asia was an attempt to tell Hong Kongers what they should want. Or, it could have been an attempt to tell Beijing to think that Hong Kongers don’t want what they want. Either way, it is a delusional olive branch in the form of a typical long-worded think piece. There is a growing trend of commentators who make their articles longer when they know that few readers will accept their opinions.

After Trump signs two laws about Hong Kong—one to define an autonomous region as autonomous, the other to stop exporting police tools for riot-control—Beijing calls it “interference”. Then, Trump drops tariffs on China because good ole Benjamin is hard to argue with. Yet, Beijing wants more. Now, as in Chinese business negotiation, China wants to change the deal after everything has been agreed to. They want even lower tariffs in Phase One.

Great Britain wants UN access to Xinjiang.  China wants the world to believe Xinjiang is happy, an Islamic utopia; new documents prove otherwise. China also faces a food shortage, but a good marketing effort is underway for investment in Chinese farming. Stopping any possible abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang is interference in Beijing’s opinion, but accepting foreign money to build better farms isn’t. Perhaps Beijing will call it interference if the rest of the world does not invest in Chinese farms.

Taiwan’s election is fast approaching. Though Tsai Ing-Wen, the pro-democracy incumbent president, leads in the polls, many Taiwanese are scared that there are too many voters in the old, beaten-down generation for her to win a second time. Older Taiwanese, like many Chinese, have been so dominated by East Asia’s shame culture that they truly believe that “bigness” always wins and therefore they must vote for politicians who will surrender to China. Younger Taiwanese have seen this older generation get its way so many times, even polls can’t keep them from being scared. But, as John Maynard Keynes said, “Men will not always die quietly.” Few things drive voters to the polls like fear of dying at the hands of politicians who want to surrender. Tsai Ing-Wen is set to win by an even greater margin than she did in her first term—and everyone has something to say about it.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 18, 2019

The trade war with China has hurt American farmers—just as a year of bad weather also hurt American farmers. Notwithstanding questions of why Americans chose to become dependent on Communists as their customer, the larger culprit should be large corporations competing against small farmers, seeking a de facto monopoly. Bigness is set against the small guy in America. Trump’s trade war sees the biggest competitor of any American business as the Chinese Communist government itself—since the Chinese government financially supports companies competing against non-government companies in America.

This is a recipe for war. Rather than hating Trump, farmers will blame the Chinese and support the coming war that the fake trade war was meant to lead up to all along. Secretary of State Pompeo certainly is ready.

Few things re-elect presidents like a widely-supported war. Washington Democrats are not playing to win the next election; they are playing for employment. They know that they can’t win the presidency or the Senate in 2020 and will most likely lose the House. Everything they have done in 2019, and are continuing to do through this next election, is designed to keep their voters preoccupied and distracted from the approaching failure.

If the Democratic electorate stays singularly focused on victories that will never happen, then enough of them will go to the polls to keep the majority of current Democrats in Washington employed, but Democrats will no longer be the majority in Washington. The entire assault against Trump is a shear distraction, designed by Democratic politicians to dupe their own base into marching toward utter failure so they can keep some of their seats on Capitol Hill.

The most recent episode of Russianewsgategate is a glaring example. Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama-appointed ambassador, was working as if still for Obama even though Trump was president. The Ukraine president didn’t like it. She was rightfully fired. Disgruntled, now it’s her moment of payback—as a witness in matters she had nothing to do with. The House hearings on Trump are a mere show trial. Don’t expect the electorate to respond any differently—those who enjoy the show will keep their plans to vote against Trump and those who don’t like the show will vote for him.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 4, 2019

The crud is hitting the fan on China and the fake trade war. The US and China were ready to sign, until they weren’t. They were going to sign at APEC in Chile, but Chilean society’s peace seems to be mirroring that of Hong Kong. Protests seem to be getting in the way of many things related to China.

While a small part of a trade deal might be signed between the US and China, the World Trade Organization approved Chinese sanctions against the US to the tune of $3.6B USD. The ruling was based on things like “zeroing” and “anti-dumping”. Basically, the WTO thinks it’s fair for Chinese factories to sell a product in China for $50, then sell the same product in America for $25 to get a monopoly in America. The US government doesn’t agree.

Hong Kong protests are worse all around. “About 200” people were arrested just this past weekend. One Mandarin-speaking pro-Beijinger started knifing people, then bit off a man’s ear before being arrested. China’s solution to the protests about Chinese intervention is to intervene more and to “improve” the non-autonomy methods of Hong Kong, which was supposed to have autonomy and still doesn’t. Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam envisions a new Hong Kong that the world will trust and love, based on Chinese intervention and strict law enforcement everywhere.

Taiwan gains more international sympathy. The US is introducing yet another law, more or less aimed at stepping-up Taiwan’s presence on the world stage—while at the same time seeking to resolve a disagreement that purportedly started over trade.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 23, 2019

China is dipping into its pork reserves while America is largely unaffected by the surge in oil prices. The pork crisis in China started with an outbreak of the African Swine Flu and has been exacerbated by the trade war. China doesn’t have energy independence like America does. Soon, China will have a crisis of both food and energy. Wars have started over less.

Taiwan is ready and on high alert. Though there is a surrender movement in Taiwan as always, Taiwan stands ready with the advantage. Projecting power for an invasion is not as easy as defending an impossible island. With a coastline of either cliffs or marshes and jungle mountains everywhere else, Taiwan is no walk in the park. Taiwan’s president is wise to the bullying of China and believes in taking a stand. This is why she supports Hong Kongers as she does.

The situation in Hong Kong is past dire. As foreseen, the protests turned violent because of a deaf government. “No” means “no”, but China and its puppets can’t bring themselves to accept that, and Hong Kongers won’t let “no” mean anything else. Chinese Confucian Communism now faces the determination of the West. The great showdown between the Shame culture of the Far East and the self-determined culture of the West has begun. It’s only going to escalate. And, all those people who preached “capitulation to the bully” and the “invincibility of Chinese Shame” are about to be proven drastically right or fatefully wrong.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 9, 2019

British Parliament is essentially attempting to filibuster the Brexit referendum. PM Boris Johnson has been ordered by Parliament to agree with whatever decision comes from the EU—in which Johnson gets a vote and a veto. Maybe British Parliament should have gone on to instruct France not to veto an extension. The problem with this law is how non-specific it is, which is typical of posturing. Perhaps that’s the best way for Johnson to legally “interpret” it. Johnson’s main goal is to get a Brexit deal, which he believes will only be best if real fear of real failure is allowable. But, that’s up to the British, so the rest of the would should grab a popcorn, not tell others what to do, and see how the theatrics end.

Why is America arguing about weather? Sabotage. Someone at NOAA gave the president a ridiculous forecast, that a hurricane would plow through a wall of heat and high pressure, which doesn’t happen. Of course Dorian would turn right. But, someone advised him otherwise.

The president, who is not a meteorologist, then Tweeted caution and concern for Alabama, because someone at NOAA so advised, when everyone else at NOAA knew better. This is the work of someone trying to undermine the president. He’s fired people who were wrong in the past, he should also fire the advisor who made the prediction that was as wrong as it was ridiculous.

The economy is doing well, contrary to the best efforts of the bank. Don’t blame Trump for the Chinese trade war prices; blame the companies. Over 80% of our clothing and over half of our shoes are made in China. Whatever happened to cause that, Trump is fixing it. If we don’t like the road of all things made in China, then don’t do it again, and don’t blame the cleaning lady.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 19, 2019

Conflicts with China are helping Taiwan. The trade war is driving manufacturing away from China toward Taiwan, Vietnam, and Burma, among others. China’s travel ban on Taiwan for openly supporting the Hong Kong protests is pushing the Taiwanese to implement better visa privileges with other Asian nationals visiting Taiwan. Not only did last week’s occupation of the Hong Kong International Airport break Western confidence in the Chinese “Special Administrative Region”, the Hong Kong protests are even affecting business in Macau.

Why the protests? Where did it all start? Follow the money. Of the many factors, one of the best kept secrets around the world is the housing cost for local Hong Kongers. It’s called “gentrification”. Ordinary Hong Kong citizens can’t afford even the least expensive homes without government subsidy in addition to living with family. A Hong Kong jail cell is larger that many homes.

That happened because Hong Kong’s government, clearly under the thumb of Beijing, allows Mainland Chinese citizens to move into Hong Kong at such a high rate that new housing can’t be built fast enough to keep residential costs affordable. Wealthy Chinese need a place to live, some place where they can enjoy life. They won’t find anything nice enough within China proper, so they have to go somewhere with an economy created by the West—somewhere like Hong Kong. That way they can enjoy all the money of China without the lousy lifestyle. In their view, it would be cruel for Hong Kong not to let as many Chinese Mainlanders displace native Hong Kongers as fast as possible.

Protests are entering their eleventh week. One more week will begin a new record of 79 days from the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

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