Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 19, 2016

All eyes went to Taiwan this week. The Taipei Times shows an uptick in article views. China held no less than three military activities that made headlines in Taiwan’s backyard, and is reported to have broken its promise not to militarize it’s freshly-made islands. In one incident, the Japanese even responded.

The topic of Taiwan’s Independence is not going away anytime soon. The topic was formally debated in Taipei with careful scrutiny over the implications of Nixon’s (1972) and Carter’s (1979) policies involving Taiwan and China. The Taiwanese, reading the tealeaves as it were, suspect that they won’t be able to trust the current political party that just took power, and the new “Power” party is already on the rise with “Independence” as a “crucial” talking point.

China has gone full-swing into testing it’s one-and-only operational aircraft carrier, the diesel-powered, Soviet-made Liaoning. The other carriers are still being assembled in the docks and aren’t scheduled for commission for a few years. But, China already has its own “unsinkable aircraft carriers”, man-made airport islets in the Spratly Islands.

With the Western and Eastern press in full-swing, with military events moving as they are, neither the West nor the East will be lacking, neither in force nor in press nor in public support for what’s been brewing in the South Sea.

China to return seized US underwater drone, Pentagon says | BBC

Trump Says U.S. Should Refuse to Take Back Drone Seized By China | NBC

China says it seized US Navy drone to ensure ships’ safety | Taipei Times

China’s aircraft carrier conducts first live-fire drill amid US tensions | Telegraph

China Deploying Weapons on Artificial Reefs, Think Tank Says | Bloomberg

Chinese Air Force Exercise

Japan denies Chinese allegations of dangerous conduct by ASDF fighter jets | Japan Times

Taiwan says China air force conducts long-range drills | Times of India

Taiwan reports China air force conducting long-range military exercises in nearby waters | SCMP

Ministry says military responded to Chinese aircraft; no exercise held | Taipei Times

Eyes on Taiwan

US ‘one China’ policy debated at forum | Taipei Times

Independence crucial, seminar told | Taipei Times

Obama warns Trump over Taiwan ties | Taipei Times

Presidential Office thanks US for ties over past eight years | Taipei Times

US-Taiwan breakthrough likely: ex-minister | Taipei Times

Court suspends transfer of firms’ shares from KMT | Taipei Times

…The continued drama of the old KMT-Nationalist party’s “financial assets”.