Cadence of Conflict: Asia, March 26, 2018

China has out-shined. In the game of power, that’s an execution wish. With an aging population, an irritated neighborhood, a loudly whining generation of kids in Hong Kong drawing media attention, and the taste of freedom provided by trade with the outside world, China’s Communist party is trouble where the West is concerned.

China’s ruling party has not courted support from any territory either under its control or that it aspires to control. Some old school idealists in the retiring generation will support old empire methods, but they aren’t the muscle of the future. The gray-head Communists who dye their hair black don’t understand what a mess adult children can make when someone takes away their toys because that never happened in China before. Allowing their people to do business with the West injected those Western ideals and China can’t go back.

Now, with the massive assertions of power in China, those assertions are about to get stronger. Watch for greater power grabs by the Communist Party. But, even with the power grabs of recent weeks, the rest of the world—including Asia and the West—is on high alert. Russia’s only interest in China is to disrupt the rest of the West, not to have a new rival that changes as fast as Beijing does, in its own back yard of all places. These tariffs from the US and Trump signing a pro-military and otherwise Liberal omnibus spending bill from Congress indicate American resolve to halt China in its tracks—at least the Communists.

As for the ongoing “freedom of navigation” sail-bys in the poetically appropriately named Mischief Reef, Britain is also on board, as it were. The US just did another this week with the USS Mustin. China reacted in predictable anger as if on cue.

So, the assault against China’s Communism has begun. The West think they can win by using rage to control the “bull in the China shop”, as the saying goes. All it would take is one, small Western ship being disrupted by the Chinese and the fury of America’s democracy would stand up—with the greatest military budget in history already approved for the next two years.

Exclusive: U.S. warship sails near disputed South China Sea island, officials say | Yahoo – Reuter

US Navy vessel carries out freedom of navigation exercise in South China Sea | Taipei Times

US warship triggers fury in Beijing after sailing near to disputed South China Sea islands | Independent

No laughing matter: China regulator bans TV parodies amid content crackdown | Yahoo – Reuters

Report: U.S. and China in Trade Talks After Tariffs | Daily Beast

No exemption due to Chinese metals | Taipei Times

Asia markets fall in morning trade as concerns over a US-China trade war rise | CNBC

The United States needs multilateral talks with China — not tariffs, says S&P Global CEO | CNBC

US poised to sue Beijing at WTO | Taipei Times

China bans video spoofs and parodies | The Verge

China’s new central bank chief pledges steady opening of financial sector | CNBC – Reuters