Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 20

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 20

Paula Bronstein, award-winning photojournalist, was arrested in Mong Kok, HK, for standing on a car to take a photo. Standing on a car, by HK law, is a greater crime than unsheathing a samurai sword in a theater. So, the new question is: How can HK’s Beijing-appointed government defend its sense of “justice”?

In the neighborhood, Taiwan’s government has the stronger sense of “justice”. Taipei is mulling a change in foreign labor—if a foreign employee is sexually assaulted, perhaps the employee should be allowed out of a work contract. Taipei is still considering the change. Which means that Taipei is considering more than either Beijing or Hong Kong.

With how the western media wants to paint Hong Kong’s government as oppressive—rather than deaf as a puppet—the Foreign Correspondents’ Club at Hong Kong should’t condemn Bronstein’s arrest. Quite opposite they should thank the police not only for helping her become more acclaimed than she already is, but by demonstrating the mismatched priorities of governments operating under the supervision of Beijing.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 13

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 13

HK police violence was angering as it was unusual. Hong Kong woke up, then Hong Kongers woke up the world. Beijing will neither listen nor crackdown. Instead, they make fools of themselves. No Tiananmen part deux, condolences to Western media. This week, the world learned: Neither the current Beijing government, nor the former Beijing-based KMT in Taiwan, can be trusted. You read it here first.

 Stupid item of the week…

Hong Kong… “It was a nationwide decision and the decision has to face the country’s 1.3 billion people,”

— Rita Fan (范徐麗泰), courtesy Taipei Times, HK protest numbers dwindle while talks make slow progress

…Beijing really said something stupid: If HK is a “nationwide decision” as Rita Fan reportedly says, then 1. Why don’t Chinese government decisions involve their own 1.3 billion people? 2. That would mean Beijing reneged on their 1984 promise that HK rule was a HK decision.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 6

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, October 6

Last’s week’s misunderstanding quickly transformed to rage with images of police, out of harm’s way, calmly reaching to pepper spray non-threatening bystanders, one at a time. Hong Kongers’ support for Occupy Central soared from “geek” to “peak” within a day. China opposes interference. Beijing backs the CEO of “China’s Hong Kong”, with no comment on their 1984 promise not to interfere in Hong Kong’s self-governance until 2047.

Ironically, Hong Kongers experienced more freedom and openness to new ideas after China’s takeover. Was that freedom only Beijing’s temporary gimmick? Or is Beijing genuinely on a learning curve, trying to understand the effective power of soft-servant governance? We’ll have to wait and see.

Hong Kongers want more than they can have, as explained last week, but they deserve more than they’ve been given. Pepper spraying targeted individuals when the police are not being threatened is cowardly, unbecoming of Hong Kong’s peaceful police, and is only asking for escalation.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, September 29

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, September 29

Inside Report—Hong Kong has one problem that is unaddressed in the media: HK can’t and doesn’t have its own military. Military service is the unwritten rule of any democracy. As much as Hong Kong needs freedom, they aren’t big enough to have their own military. That creates many problems and misunderstandings.

Hong Kong has a huge misunderstanding that could spiral out of control if everyone involved doesn’t understand each other soon. The uprising in Hong Kong is so complicated, it is difficult to accuse or defend anyone. Here are some perspectives based on anonymous sources from the inside:

With the police having used tear gas on Sunday, it’s most difficult to acquit Beijing. The unwritten law of Human Rights is that unarmed protests can interrupt their own government and force changes without arms—and if the police lift a finger to stop them, it’s a Human Rights violation. This isn’t written, but that’s what precedent hashes out to.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, September 22

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, September 22

When Ma stepped on board Taiwan’s frigate and smiled for the camera, he wasn’t smiling for the Taiwanese, he was smiling for Washington. Beijing has harbored too much friendliness with the KMT Nationalists and not enough with Taiwan’s DPP. Washington’s comments last week about supporting the KMT in 2016 will change that to shape both Taiwanese parties to fit the Pentagon’s agenda: military strength against China.

Now, two events to suggest thugs in Taiwan: The farmer who blew the whistle on Taiwan’s food oil scandal was sought by ‘men in black’ and Sunflower Movement international press translator, Oliver Chen, suspiciously falls off a cliff far from his home. Both people created big problems for the KMT Nationalists who control Taiwan—more importantly, they created trouble for Beijing, which has over 2,000 undocumented Chinese in Taiwan. Taiwan’s premier announces that Taiwan is already independent, even though his friends in Beijing threatened open war if Taiwan declares itself independent.  · · · →