Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 6, 2020

The pneumoniavirus is having a detrimental effect on China. While Xi Jinping kicks China’s economy into full swing, the rest of the world is on full alert. Manufacturing moves home—whether to or from China. Countries seek alternate supply sourcing. Taiwan shines like a star of brilliance, set up as if to shame China by design. China’s big mistake was going along with feeling shamed, as if by design. China could have played its hand with Taiwan the way the UK did with the American Revolution—claiming it lost a few colonies, but that it didn’t matter. By pretending not to care, the world might not care and China would be unstoppable. Instead, China is taking every step possible to create new enemies and make old enemies worry.

In that wake, Taiwan grows in military and respect, even donating medical masks to other countries. The WHO now faces shame and doubt because of an evermore apparent bias toward China. Australia cooperates with the US in efforts to confront China. Critical voices in China are silenced or otherwise go missing. An employee of Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam resigned, then killed himself. Kim Jong-Un makes more threats. East Asia is more volatile than ever. Times like these are what some call an “opportunity”.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 2, 2020

Wuhan 2019-nCoV will not end the world. But, it is throwing the world into panic. The long-time NIAID director steps out of lock with the president and gives a sobering warning about how viruses actually spread. Bad as the truth is, the stock market is drastically overreacting and Trump is trying to prevent a panic—or that’s at least what we’re all supposed to think. We can’t have the truth of both bad and good news told to a public that dwells on the bad and ignores the good. Presidents know that, disease directors not so much. So, the director should get the muzzle, right?

That will cause more panic. Where panic and fear of China weren’t enough to keep Americans from making China rich at Walmart for decades, fear of China’s virus spreading at Walmart is making up for lost panic.

This is the perfect storm for those who chose not to prepare. The virus won’t kill the world, but the world is panicking and will carry a grudge for what a Chinese virus did to the stock market. Once the virus passes, the world will have time to clean house. China will be blamed, as it should for it’s mismatched priorities, then the world will cut China down to the size it never should have been allowed to grow past.

But in the meantime, the Chinese people are re-evaluating their own priorities, deciding whether their president has his own priorities in order. We could be looking at more killing fields, where citizens who fell for the games of self-censorship and spreading Communist propaganda are executed as cowards. Hopefully it won’t come to that. But, China will face the enemies that it made on the inside while it also faces the enemies that made it big from the outside.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 17, 2020

The 2019-nCoV Wuhan virus isn’t doing any good for Xi Jinping’s public trust. Dissidents inside China are silenced and their social media accounts scrubbed. Joshua Wong issues a call to arms from Hong Kong. Taiwan closes its border and plans to evacuate its citizens from the quarantined cruise ship, Diamond Princess. Yet, the Philippines blocks entry to Taiwanese airline passengers while in-flight because World Health Organization information reports Taiwan as part of China. And, Xi tells Trump that everything will be okay after April’s hot weather kills the virus.

It looks like the world wants a fight. Why did evacuation plans for this cruise ship take so long? Why doesn’t China close its border to Hong Kong as an act of good faith to at least pretend to want to earn public trust? China locked down Wuhan and Huanggang, why not Shenzhen?

The WHO praised China’s efforts, claiming they bought the world time. That doesn’t stack—information control started the problem, China’s clampdown on information only grows, the Philippines close their border to a country run by a completely different administration on account of the WHO reporting in denial. Is the WHO controlled by China, does the WHO just want to start a war, or could it be that the WHO wants to start a war because it doesn’t like being controlled by China?

Fear of the virus may be overrated. Initial figures suggested that the seasonal flu may be more deadly. But, panic is panic. And, with Chinese cities going on lockdown, countries closing borders, and hundreds of people getting sick on a cruise ship after it was quarantined, nerves are on edge. Chinese State control of information has been exposed for the hoax it is; no Chinese people will trust China’s government again. Even those who support the Communist Party can’t expect the public to believe them anymore, no matter what they say. In the middle of the breakdown of Chinese trust and control, Xi’s solution is to fly bombers around Taiwan.

Nothing re-elects a president like a war someone else started and nothing fires a president like an outbreak or a failed economy. If Xi invades Taiwan, Trump’s re-election will be even more certain and Xi’s own party could be doomed along with him. Nothing would weaken China’s People’s Liberation Army at home like the decision to boost its political image by invading one of the best responding WHO-non-members in the world, Taiwan. Xi is so addicted to failing, self-destructive decisions, invading Taiwan might be the ultimate fatal flaw of failure that he just can’t refuse. While this viral outbreak isn’t quite enough to push Xi to the point of desperation for distraction, it’s another bail of hay on the camel’s back.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 11, 2019

Hong Kong has presented the world with the ethical question of confronting bullies. Say there is a bully at school who quietly eats whosever lunch he wants, stealing anyone’s homework he wants, until one day someone says something and the bully gets violent. In theory, most people agree that the bully started it. But in practice, when it comes time to stand up to the bullies of life, even the biggest Braveheart fans place the blame for the fight on the one who had the conscience to stand up to the bully. So, are Hong Kong protestors to blame for not going along to get along while China quietly violates its treaty with the UK, denies human rights, and refuses to regulate police conduct?

China says restoring social order in Hong Kong is the “most pressing issue”, but obviously not as important as destroying anything that stands in the way of Chinese Communist hegemony.

In a double-standard, Taiwan is having to adjust its laws to deal with Chinese interference. The CCP is paying news outlets to spread its propaganda in Taiwan. It got caught having a fake news site and is now resorting to outsourcing. The Taiwanese don’t think that publishing what China tells someone to publish is “free speech”.

Xi Jinping’s decision to keep Carrie Lam as CEO of Hong Kong only makes sense, notwithstanding it proves interference by pure definition. The Chinese Communist Party would never dispose of such an efficient creator of chaos. Chaos is always the first phase of the CCP taking over a resistant people; the second phase is to send in the military and—well, do what China’s military does so well. While the Western press explains keeping Carrie as a way to avoid opening a can of worms, the Chinese have much more sinister intentions as history proves.

More crud hit the fan this week, over and over, again and again, evermore. A college student not connected with a nearby protest tried to escape a parking lot just after police fired tear gas, then fell to his death. As expected, police denied any wrongdoing.

A woman rumored to be only 16 years old passed a police station Tsuen Wan where she claims to have been ordered inside, then gang raped by four masked men. Meeting some of the criteria of a rape victim, she found she was pregnant a few weeks after the incident, the young woman was reportedly suffering from depression, and had an abortion last Thursday. The investigation is ongoing, but, in the current atmosphere, police have done little elsewhere to stop such stories from being believable.

Over the weekend, police arrested six lawmakers who effectively filibustered Carrie Lam’s annual report back in May. Six reporters wore Chinese letters on hardhats at a police press conference, spelling a Cantonese request to investigate police. This was in response to two reporters having been arrested. The police department sent formal objection letters to the six reporters’ press agencies. Lawmakers and journalists should be immune to such arrests in order to prevent political interference. But, Hong Kong police no longer wear ID tags on their uniforms, and China says the unrest in Hong Kong started because police don’t have enough power.

Western foreigners visiting Hong Kong have started to join protests. It’s arguably bad form, though it indicates that the world feels a sense of solidarity in standing up to China’s bullying anywhere and everywhere it happens. China sees it as proof of interference while the West sees it as successful marketing from the Hong Kong protesters. The problem with China’s “interference proof” argument is that foreign attendees after the fact do not prove any causality before the fact. But, when being a mouthpiece rather than a think tank has been the habit for so long, Chinese wouldn’t understand the difference.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 16, 2019

China is running into one of the problems of Communism; once the government controls a company, what that company buys is fair game in treaty negotiations. China’s government owns a lot of Chinese companies. The world already knows this, but Trump is the first president to figure it out.

Neither Trump nor Xi are attempting any kind of long term trade deal. Xi will only accept a deal where China can grow enough to eradicate the English language from Western culture and the Magna Carta is forgotten, in which case a trade deal wouldn’t be necessary anyway. Trump will only accept a trade deal in which that can’t happen.

No deal is anticipated by either. Both are vying for time and ways to milk money away from the other to fund their own goals, which are already known, though not everyone has figured them out because not many people want to. We’re on a collision course with war and no one wants to admit that.

Delaying the October 1 tariffs because 1. the Chinese premier asked for it and 2. because of the 70th Anniversary celebrating the Chinese Communist Party will only embolden the Chinese Communists. The Chinese love parades, and if they think America respects their parades, they will think it proves that they are invincible. This is a part of Chinese thinking Americans struggle to understand.

Equally, the Chinese struggle to understand Trump. In his Tweet announcement, where he delays the tariffs, but also reminds everyone how bad they will be just two weeks later—it’s a mind game that Beijing can’t grasp. Even reading this article won’t help the Chinese get wise to how much they are being played. The only reason they are so easy to play is because they make it so easy by refusing to abandon their Confucian values. Ironically, those are the very values they want to impose on the rest of the world by Sinicizing the rest of the world.

So, mid-October has become the big date. That’s when Trump slaps more tariffs on China, and that’s when Taiwan is expected to finalize its purchase of 66 brand-new, shiny, American F-16Vs.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 22, 2019

In the singing, fake-smiling scenes of Uyghurs in reeducation camps in China, the Chinese expect the world to be swayed to believe they are happy. That’s how Chinese view it with each other—they fake-smile at each other and buy the lie because they hope other people buy into their own fake smiles. The Chinese have no idea that Westerners know when they are truly happy and truly not, being able to tell a fake smile when we see one—or two or ten thousand.

If Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang and China’s Global Times tabloid editor Hu Xijin are right—that the White House shouldn’t get “the credit” for China’s sinking economy—then China would be thankful, but they aren’t. It’s just more Chinese chicken-chest thumping. So focused on forcing the world to love them back, the Chinese Communist Party and their media puppets are unaware of how they come across to the rest of the world that actually does not need to bend to their demands.

Xi Jinping is the modern Hitler. He calmly talks of peace, claims to not want war, then rouses his sleeping anger to growl that he will use force if necessary. The concentration-brainwashing camps are set up and well-marketed. Everyday shows more unapologetic expansionism upon territories who want nothing to do with China. Symphony’s Asian Mad Scientist Theorem is proving too accurate for comfort and Hong Kong doesn’t want any part.

China might as well get used to this happening in Taiwan, though they won’t accept that the Taiwanese won’t accept Chinese rule any more than Hong Kongers. The difference is that Taiwan has missiles and a military. And, multiple times throughout half a millennium of adversity, Taiwan is only conquered by the enormous mainland when the enormous mainland is already conquered by something else. Mayor Han of Kaohsiung, the KMT-Nationalist contender in the upcoming presidential election in Taiwan, has already been defeated for the populist he is. The election isn’t over, but then again it kind of already is.

Hong Kong has drawn so much attention that Taiwan is looking into asylum avenues, the EU is voicing support for Hong Kong protesters’ demands, and Britain is looking to support not just Hong Kong, but also Taiwan. China, not having learned from the opium wars, has once again been cruel to the little kid in the Far East, oblivious to the anger awakened in his older brother in the West.

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