Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 9, 2016

Prelude

China is angry. It’s always easy to tell when someone makes lightly veiled threats in the forms of “advice” or “caution”. These comments came from a Chinese diplomat, that pressure in the South China Sea could “rebound” like a “coiled spring”, depending on where it is “aimed” by the US.

In his analogy, he didn’t seem to elaborate on how an engineering culture explains US “aiming” (intention) having a direct effect on spring-coil physics. Usually, one aims with a sling, not a spring; and their is no pressure, only tension and sudden impact.

Chinese easily make grand contradictions in their implications when they don’t say most of what they think. This is part of the East-Asian “implication-driven” culture. The problem is that they rarely see the implications of making contradictory implications—the problem being that it is incredibly obvious to Westerners skilled in recognizing things at face-value.

Putting his conflicting analogy on the couch, this likely indicates he feels more frustration than his Asian culture tells him is appropriate to express. According to Reuters:

China has been particularly angered by what it sees as interference by the United States, whose military has carried out “freedom of navigation” patrols through the sea.

It is evermore clear what is happening: The US is patrolling the same waters, with sling in hand as always. Beijing feels “pressure” from the continuance of peaceful patrols. China behaves as if it knows something the US does not.

Between the fighter and the bull, we know who is in control. And we know who is angry and who is indifferent in the arena of Southeast Asia.

Kim Jong-Un just became Chairman of his political party, in addition to being the Great Successor of the DPRK. The party held a rare meeting, the first in 36 years, where he observed, or properly, “chaired”. There appear to be no reports of whether the meeting was a great success.

Taiwan’s soon-to-be-ousted, lame duck Education minister says that the controversial national high school curriculum—opposed for rewriting history as to murder and slaughter under the direction of KMT-Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Sheck—says that the curriculum has no problems. He considers the curriculum to be part of his legacy. So it is.

Interesting things are happening in London. Events of the Atlantic will echo in the Pacific.

China says South China Sea criticism could rebound like coiled spring | Reuters

7th Fleet Flagship Arrives in Shanghai | US Navy

Kim Jong-Un becomes North Korea ruling party chairman | Channel NewsAsia

Education minister insists curriculum had ‘no problems’ | Taipei Times

Atlantic Watch

Sadiq Khan officially takes over as London mayor – as it happened | The Guardian

‘Brexit’ could trigger World War Three, warns David Cameron | Mirror

10 things we’ve learnt from the leaked Panama Papers | Telegraph