Cadence of Conflict: Asia August 16, 2021

Taiwan continues to shine. Aide sent to Haiti after a devastating earthquake combines growing ties with Lithuania. China objects—and those are bad optics that China’s speech-control can’t control outside its borders.

China has been rewriting religion for years. Hymnals already read love for government rather than love for God. Now, we see more investigations against Hong Kong demonstrators who sought to uphold China’s agreement to democracy. In essence, China is investigating itself, indicating that China is divided against itself.

As a representative office exchange between Taiwan and Lithuania moves forward for this Fall, so do Taiwan’s de facto ties with the rest of the EU. China would rather object to this than be supportive of earthquake victims in Haiti. That is the obvious news narrative to take from what happened this week.

What’s not obvious is Taiwan’s prejudice against foreigners. Taiwan is having trouble building its submarines because of a shortage of engineering talent. Taiwan’s solution is to recruit more foreign talent. However, neither the problem nor the need for recruitment would exist if Taiwan had reciprocal regulations concerning immigration: protection of foreigner’s rights, five years leads to full citizenship, and dropping Taiwan’s ban on dual citizenship. To become a Taiwanese citizen, one must renounce original citizenship. America doesn’t require that. Taiwan does, then complains about losing allies to China. Does Lithuania’s government know how Taiwan treated its immigrants even to this day?

Had Taiwan treated others how they want to be treated, they wouldn’t have the trouble they do. And, Taiwan would not look like such a delicious target for war-thirsty China. The big danger is that US failure in Afghanistan on Sunday will encourage China’s calculus that an invasion of Taiwan is feasible. Combined with Taiwan’s self-inflicted weakness from discrimination against foreigners, China’s invasion question is more of a likelihood.

But, looking at even deeper strategy, we must consider China’s accusation that the US is playing games. If that were so, then failure in Afghanistan was staged by the US to provoke China into viewing the US as weaker than it is, and the US allowing non-reciprocal treatment of its own citizens in Taiwan would be intended to weaken Taiwan for strategic purposes as well.

Regardless of China’s conspiracy theory—which Chinese strategists never imagine to such length—the peaceful path would be for China to not take the invitation for attack and for Taiwan to treat others with respect. Like Jesus wanting to die on the Cross, a power that welcomes disrespect is up to something. But, the devil is none the wiser.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 11, 2021

Let’s look past the fact that Chinese state media doesn’t know what it means to be “cowardly”. Pompeo rejecting Chinese Communist preferences on US policy with Taiwan is not “cowardly”, at worst it would be “foolish” or “over-confidence”; but “cowardly” would mean letting someone else tell the US what to do. Likewise, China is not “cowardly” either; it is “foolish” and “over-confident”. But, the Chinese don’t know the difference, just how they don’t know this decision on Taiwan is meant to provoke China to commit strategic folly. Let’s look past all that.

What is Trump doing? Biden’s strings held by China were well known before they were secluded by the socialist-minded media in the US. By lacing up ties with Taiwan, Trump forces any future White House attempts to let China dictate policy to be seen for what they are. No president or secretary of state would be politically allowed to back down on Taiwan relations without being exposed as a Chinese manchurian candidate.

In the past, socialist media in the US—which is nearly all media in the US—acted as mouthpieces for Communist Russian propaganda. Now, they act as Communist Chinese tools to install a president owned by China—Biden—all the while publishing bad news about China. From the US perspective, there is a pregnant need to protect the US government from saboteurs—shoes which fit Biden and the primary failure Harris perfectly. Trump taking action that would force Chinese-owned saboteurs to tip their hands only makes sense. But, that still doesn’t explain what is going on.

We must not assume that America is in a peaceful transition from one undisputedly elected president to the next. But, of course China hoped for that. The bipartisan-orchestrated chaos in Washington and state capitals comes as a surprise to the Chinese. If they knew what was coming, they wouldn’t have wasted their time snuggling up to Biden last month. So, because they think this capital chaos was a surprise to them, it was therefore not part of a rouse to make them think America is weak. But, that still doesn’t explain what is going on.

Follow the money. Who makes money off China thinking America is vulnerable? Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. They don’t need to be part of any conspiracy; only a few stakeholders do—perhaps not even shareholders, perhaps only suppliers of suppliers. However things play out in the dual-fated cities of Washington and Taipei, it will happen that American weapons contractors make the most profit. We are looking at a short and costly skirmish where neither those weapons contractors’ customers are defeated, nor are their profitable enemies. The South Sea is the perfect place. And, China is the perfect dupe to take the bait.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 4, 2021

The Chinese make one huge gamble based on two doubtful conclusions. They think Biden will be inaugurated in January. They think they have deterred the US military in the Pacific. Both notions have been carefully feigned and crafted by the US. The pieces are in place and China moves its queen to attack the baiting pawn. The US wants China to initiate its own military embarrassment.

Over the years, America has stirred unneeded trouble throughout the world. America will pay the consequences for that, but not according to any itinerary set by China. Something similar could be said for Taiwan concerning its own internal systems of justice, both for the Taiwanese and for resident foreigners. Taiwan will pay the consequences, but not according to any itinerary set by China. We all answer to God, and God the Judge will not share space on His bench. If China—or anyone else—wants to take God’s bench, God may send in His bailiff.

China wants the results of innovation—which come from free thinking—which comes from free speech. But, free speech and rights respected are the two things China will not accept. So, China indirectly rejects the good results which only follow good choices. Trying to live without the very shame the continue to create—trying to defeat the countries with military technology they could only steal from those countries—trying to absorb economies with innovation that only thrived without their tyranny—China only knows how to miscalculate. The embarrassment China is about to bring upon itself is nothing any good person would wish for. That the Chinese wish for it says more on this matter than anything else.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 24, 2020

The US has has taken a hardline on NATO. Of course, NATO members love to criticize the nation that pays the bills that their economic policies can’t afford—or perhaps that their economic priorities refuse.

Germany wants an American debt-funded military and complains like a cat when something is taken away. Everyone wants to negotiate with an Iranian government that actually issued an arrest warrant for the American president. It’s not that those nations believe negotiating is an answer; they don’t know what the answer is. For them, negotiation is nothing more than their ongoing career habit that guided them through fundraisers and elections.

Europe is largely Liberal anymore. It’s like a nest of baby birds whose economic theory is that mamma and pappa bird need to give them more worms—and this is the way to keep the economy going. None of these baby birds demonstrate awareness that worms don’t just appear; the adult birds must go find them! The solution is for baby birds to grow up and learn to hunt for worms of their own. But, tell that to European Liberal leaders these days and you’ll get a response of aloof entitlement and condescension.

There are ways in which things must be done so that cash flows. Money doesn’t move merely because the government told it to. People are driven to invent and pursue dreams and healthy ambitions. Keep them from killing each other, stay out of their way, and then they will gladly generate profit on which they gladly pay enormous taxes.

Ambition is unimaginable to a baby bird who thinks it will never be able to fly simply because it never has. Lucky for us, many Americans are growing up. But, Europe might not grow up in time.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 10, 2020

China received two-and-a-half slaps in the face this week: financial sanctions against a few Chinese and Hong Kong leaders, who don’t have money in the US anyway, and the first formal diplomatic visit from America to Taiwan in over 40 years. To add “insultlett” to insults, the purported reason for the US visit was to discuss health and disease cooperation in the face of the Wuhan-famed pneumoniavirus, with Taiwan being the safest place in the world from the disease.

All of these actions from the US are perfectly understandable.

Countries should visit each other. The US is wrong for not having visited Taiwan over the last two score, just as North and South Korea are wrong for their tensions. The world needs people to talk to each other, whether in government, religion, or otherwise. At least Taiwan and the US seem to be getting along much better than Democrat and Republican voters in America.

Sanctions over Hong Kong’s turn of events are also understandable. Beijing doesn’t have jurisprudence over the world, but certain people in Beijing seem to think so and aren’t afraid to put their opinions in ink and law. No, Americans shouldn’t do business with such folk; no one should, no matter what country they’re from.

As understandable as US actions are, they are nonetheless provocative. We can’t expect Beijing to be happy. America found the perfect storm, and bet the bank that people in the Pentagon know what’s going on. But, something seems different in this week’s volley of cross-Pacific insults: Beijing didn’t pop a hernia like it usually does.

Could the Chinese Communists be learning to not feed taunts from the US? Or, more likely, has Beijing read the clear message of actions and decided to quietly plan retaliatory “messages” of action in ways other than rhetoric? The next few months will tell us.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 10, 2020

The words of US President Trump set an unsettling policy for Communist China: “We’re also getting our allies, finally, to help pay their fair share.” This is far-reaching.

By having multiple nations with multiple militaries operating with appropriate budgets, China faces an enclave of opponents, not just one. There is no single head to decapitate. If you’re in Beijing, sitting in a room filled with Mandarin speakers who agree that they are entitled to make the world their servant, Trump’s words scare you.

While Beijing fights the virus it tried to cover up, Taiwan had recorded 10 deaths from that virus. Yet, China reported 13 in Taiwan, then told the United Nations that China speaks accurately for Taiwan, still arguing that Taiwan should not enter the WHO—even taking offense, still, at any suggestion of entry. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu pointed out that the WHO has referred to Taiwan by at least three different names in reporting on China’s Wuhan outbreak. This week, even the US spoke up for Taiwan’s request to join the WHO; China was all the more offended.

The outbreak isn’t fairing well for China’s credibility in governing Hong Kong either. Supermarkets are full of empty shelves.

While China’s central government will continue the playbook strategy of blaming the very local governments it dominates, the central government’s solution to the failure of a centralized government will be to centralize more government. In Confucian Communism, control is the solution to every problem, especially the problems that control causes. So they themselves believe even more than they purport, the reason that China has so many challenges within its vast stretches of land is that it doesn’t have even more land. The Chinese Communists believe that their number one problem is that they don’t control the world.

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