Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 14, 2020

Hit pieces against China are coming out as if from an avalanche. More dangerous, they are coupled with Western plans of military expansion in China’s back yard. From Xinjiang teens to disappearing journalists to Australian wine to spies in America to colleges—to a global virus pandemic—Western readers have no rest from bad news of China.

The equation has been there and in play. America’s election appears stolen to 75% of Republican voters and 30% of Democrats. Elections require agreement on results in order to function. Lack of agreement on a trustworthy election is unusual as it is staggering. That’s a mandate for Trump to take drastic action, deny Biden’s inauguration, and take measures to remain in office that can’t avoid national inflammation.

As inevitable American conflict in January comes into closer view coupled with such bad press on China, the US strategy in the West Pacific is more and more difficult to deny. China was always the perfect distraction from the mess at home. The problem is that the American populous no longer responds as usual. A national attack may not have the uniting effect it once did—at least not uniting enough to keep any president in office in the face of an election so disputed.

Taiwan continues the role as the “China virus” poster boy. The Taiwanese handle things so well, don’t they. Strict rules on breaking quarantine—punishing a foreigner with thousands in fines for walking in the hallway outside his room for eight seconds—but Taiwanese officials forgot to lock the quarantine door because the world is supposed to believe Taiwan is so careful, right?

At some point, it should become obvious that we are playing a game of charades with who is good and bad—or at least on who is how good and how bad. As China’s role is to be the common enemy for divided Americans and a divided West to unite against, China’s big mistake—over decades and to this day—was to play that role all too gladly. A shoe was made and China chose to fit it.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 30, 2020

America has China fooled yet again. It isn’t hard to figure out, but still ingenious. Whatever strategist first learned it from a convenient mistake that happened with Taiwan. Taiwan’s current president, Tsai Ing-Wen, had previously endorsed Hillary, for 2016—a mistake she didn’t repeat in the 2020 election. When Trump was elected, Taiwan’s government was heavily concerned about retaliation from the Trump administration. But, Americans don’t hold grudges nor do we hold high regard for the opinions of foreign world leaders. Tsai reached out to Trump and they soon developed one of the best relationships heads of state ever shared.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, doesn’t seem to have learned that lesson, however. While many world leaders congratulated Biden when the news industry decided what the future should be, China waited until the GSA got the green light for transition steps. Then, he congratulated Biden on his victory. Taiwan still has not made any move since the electoral college has not convened and remains neutral and welcoming toward whomever the American president will be in January. China’s position shows worry mixed with miscalculation.

When Trump’s lawsuits, appeal to state legislatures, and near 80% support from his suspecting base land him a second term, China will be in for a shock. They will fear retaliation just as Taiwan did, no matter how unwarranted. This will drive China to take defensive measures without need and appear as the provocateur of the coming US-China conflict. Having served its purpose, US ambiguity over the election will quickly pass, and China’s leadership will begin to socially self destruct. Then hold on; things will be furious as they will be fast.

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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, September 14, 2020

It was only a matter of time. The stories are breaking about Taiwan’s inhospitality toward foreigners.

Taiwan has the lowest birthrate in the world. They need people; they need talent; they need support. By denying dual-citizenship to foreigners who would have become dual citizens under similar circumstances in almost any other country, Taiwan is not filled with dual-nationals from around the world.

Czech might send politicians to visit Taiwan, but since there aren’t many Czech-Taiwanese dual citizens in Taiwan for Czech to protect, don’t expect military support. If Taiwan had immigration policies comparable to the other nations they want help from, they would have many citizens from those countries; but they don’t. If the Chinese bombed Taiwan, they would hurt citizens from around the world. China might think twice. But instead, any Westerners in Taiwan are simply expats who have no reason to stay, and it’s all thanks to Taiwan government bigotry inherited from an ancient culture made in ancient China.

Taiwan had mistreated and given the red tape runaround toward ESL teachers, European students on scholarship, and who knows what kind of superstitious “cursed black skin” comments have been told to people from Africa. American-born Taiwanese are native English speakers, but denied ESL jobs with the claim “only a White face can teach English”. Leave it to Taiwanese business owners to think Chinese-speakers know how to teach English best.

Now, Hong Kong needed help from Taiwan and saw the same bigotry Taiwan refused to address for decades. And in case anyone wondered, that’s why Taiwan is on the brink of war with China. The Taiwanese government hasn’t built the foundations of justice in society that make an economy resilient to war.

Pacific Daily Times has stories spanning back over a decade. Public appeals have been made and ignored. Recent information says that Taiwan has zero progress in changing its bigotous immigrant policies. But, the Times chooses not to elaborate on the recent resurgence of this decades-old problem for one reason: America’s election.

Such a problem so old should not be overshadowed by routine election cycles. It must not be said that a problem spanning back thousands of years should come up—of all times—two months before the 2020 American presidential election. Taiwan’s ancient-Chinese bigotry must not be reduced to an October surprise.

Taiwan is worth saving, as Jesus said of everyone. The Taiwanese people are amazingly friendly toward foreigners—as long as the Taiwanese are either younger or international, or if the foreigner is White and rich and neither student nor ESL teacher. Taiwan has the potential to change and improve, just as America was among the first nations to ban the human sin of slavery, starting with its own. But, Taiwan must make the choice for Taiwan.

Will there be war in Taiwan? One cannot understand our times while refusing to account for the God who holds all time in His hands. From Deuteronomy, He commands fairness for the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner. And, that God can’t be called on to protect Taiwan until Taiwan has protected those who called.

Whether there will be armed conflict between Taiwan and China will depend on the Taiwanese democracy. Their government must make sweeping and instant changes to bring current what good things should have long happened to their foreigners from the nations they call on for help. If such sweeping justice is not given to foreigners in Taiwan by November 4 Taipei time, then Taiwan’s neglected past will be both neglected and newsworthy. In that event, Pacific Daily Times will dive into Taiwan’s ugly past to explain why Taiwan was weak enough that war from China was feasible in the first place. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

So, will there be open war between Taiwan and China? That’s something not even God can decide, only Taiwan.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 1, 2020

China says every effort will be made for peaceful reunification with Taiwan as long as there remains hope; force is the last resort. But, Taiwan wants peaceful freedom from tyranny; force is the last resort. There is no hope for China to find any reunification with Taiwan of any kind. China has removed any desire for peaceful reunification with it’s pressured propaganda campaigns around the world and in Taiwan, not to mention terrible handling of Hong Kong. Taiwan has prevented any hope of forceful reunification by arming to the teeth in response to China’s backfired PR campaigns.

Taking Taiwan would hurt and cost both lives and resources. And, Russia knows this. With steep cliffs on the east coast, complex deltas plains on the west coast, and a capital city inside a mountain bowl at the north, any beach landing would make Normandy Beach look like a walk in the park. With mountains peaking even higher than Fuji, China faces a jungle battle like halted America in Vietnam, except this battle would only be uphill.

If China prioritized such a venture, using either or both of its two copied aircraft carriers with its copied fighter jets and its copied missiles and copied drones, China’s neighbors would see an opportunity even if the US didn’t respond with any of its forty-four home-made carriers.

India, with one billion people, is no forced-friend of China, especially in recent months. A Taiwan distraction would be the perfect chance to free Tibet. Two thousand years of anti-friendship relations between Vietnam and China would require enormous numbers of soldiers to keep the Vietnamese from taking Nanjing as a pathway to the island of Hainan. Vietnam has a motive anyway, keep China at a safer distance for its history of aggression. With China occupied at the west and east while squandering enormous forces at Taiwan, Japan—a larger economy than India—has its own grudge and would love the chance for target practice near Beijing. None of the other countries small enough to be bought off and bullied would bring much help nor will to China’s aid.

Then, there’s the US after China would be in enough trouble. Russia doesn’t want more trouble, for all Moscow’s effort to seduce Europe by appearing pacifist. If China ever did manage to reach a Pyrrhic victory over Taiwan, China would have no defenses left, Tibet might be gone, then Japan and Vietnam would have taken their own bits out of the map. China would be clean pickings between the US and China’s frenemy Russia.

Russia is no friend of China. Who do you think gave China the idea of this wasted pursuit? All of that assumes things go well with the one billion Chinese who hate their government more than ever before in history.

So, why did Taiwan request a lower-grade missile—because it comes with a vehicle Taiwan already has? It’s not because Taiwan actually needs it. No. Talking about arming again to the teeth already armed to puts a kind of social pressure on Beijing, a sense of urgency. Taiwan sees what China is up against. Taiwan knows that Confucian culture can’t pass up the opportunity to self-destruct in order to save face. Taiwan’s policy is clear: Bring it.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 18, 2020

It was a week of slap after slap in China’s face. Congress pokes at Human Rights in Xinjiang among other old-news grievances. China “warns” the US—again—about Huawei, apparently unaware that warnings require power or at least clout, of which China retains neither.

As blame circulates against China for a global outbreak, Taiwan courts favor. Airlines have corrected a listing that identifies Taiwan as somehow part of China or something-or-other. You know you’ve lost when airline companies aren’t even afraid of you.

The dirtiest and best-kept secret is about war. China can’t even threaten military action against America because of the elections in America. While American polling likely lies as usual, war is good for any sitting president’s numbers. Threat of war would be good news for America’s incumbent, whomever that incumbent may be.

So, China is left with a choice: Wait until the West is even stronger in China’s back yard and face shame for not acting or else respond to Western provocation to start a war too early and face shame for losing. All China has to go on is persistent delusions of ancient grandeur. We’ll see how that works out.

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