The snowball has begun. In the past, the escalation might be seen as linear. This week, that changed. Though the curve is slight, it’s clearly curving.
Beijing and Hong Kong are mutually paranoid; Beijing is paranoid of the West and Hong Kong is paranoid of Beijing. One Hong Kong newspaper, House News 主場新聞, started in 2012, shut down Sunday with a message from the owner about his family fearing their safety. A “soft-spoken” anti-Occupy speaker is highlighted in the HK press as HK busses run ads against the pro-democracy movement. Britain considers making a visit to their former colony.
China’s military sea exercise, commencing this week, is higher profile than what has been seen in the past, as expected. It even disrupted commercial passenger flights. What is Beijing planning?
Opinion writers now warn Taiwan to learn from Israel, that Taiwan needs high-tech defense, just as Israel has, to deter Beijing from even trying anything. · · · →
The week of “mixed messages”… Western headlines relating to Southeast Asia were about “helping” Hong Kong, early this week. Thursday, the Pentagon announced that China will join the US and Australia in an infantry exercise this October… mixed messages.
Atop the stack, things are escalating against Russia. WWI started when Germany sank the passenger ship, Lusitania. If the West unites against Russia, this would have significant implications for China. This Prelude tries to avoid stories about Russian-EU escalation, focusing on Asia, but Asia’s back yard has big ramifications for the roof.
In the larger scope, Hong Kong could be a tipping point for China. As much as Beijing is focused on the island of Taiwan as their “2,000-missile-worthy enemy”, Taiwan has the attention of the Pentagon, while Hong Kong has the attention of the world.
The only press siding with Beijing is Beijing’s press. If the Western media were Sun Tzu, HK-related headlines seem to “attack China where it is not.” In the eyes of Western voting taxpayers, the passenger jet downed over Ukraine is to Russia what HK democracy is to China: Best not touch either—too late for Russia. · · · →
The word for the week is “rhetoric”. There has been a lot of talk and analysis of the situation with China and Southeast Asia. China continues to bully. The US calls for calm.
In Asian thinking, China’s aggression is “polite”. It serves as a kind of warning. Beijing expects the West to run away like Chinese employees flee when the boss clears his throat. But anyone who understands the West knows that won’t happen, especially with the US. In America, if the boss clears his throat once, a union forms. If he clears his throat twice, the union goes on strike. Beijing is confused, however, since the US is neither fleeing nor striking. The Yank’s strength remains, literally, below the surface. With US submarines, China’s navy doesn’t stand a chance.
Only more recently has Beijing discovered US activity in the air and on the seas. For Asian culture, it’s uncontrollably irritating to see how close another sovereign State is. · · · →
This week’s international smack-talk of China took a more academic tone. China’s evidential first enemy: the global super-giant (little old Taiwan), still not thwarted by the near-2,000 missiles aimed at the island, is appearing in more and more news articles and sections. One news site discusses Taiwan’s economy and demographics.
Documented rising sea levels (3 feet over the next 90 years in SE Asia) is now another academic consideration in regional conflict. Japan may bail on TPP over their ally’s catfish (meaning that Big Hollywood will be less able to sneak in their hostile takeover of the world through their copyright-aholic fetish embedded into TPP).
Taiwan’s Ma met Kerry in Panama—it was cordial at best, though reported as mere chit-chat. Ma watching the World Cup actually made news, which means that there was nothing better to report about Kerry meeting one of the most significant US allies in the Pacific, which means that there are deeper hostilities between Taiwan’s Kuomintang Ma administration and the US—probably because Ma wants both US military jets AND wants to keep holding secret meetings with Beijing… Though no one reports on that conflict of interest in the news. · · · →
A Chinese “big wig” visited Taiwan this week, sent from the TAO (Taiwan Affairs Office). The visit met strong opposition. Police were accused of warrantless searches of the protestors. More professors, scholars, political delegates with experience, and former Sunflower leaders are speaking out about too many things in too many locations to list them all. The message is clear: China wants Taiwan to become a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and Taiwan doesn’t want anything to do with it. Who will win? What will the US eventually do to keep their promise to protect Taiwan from China? One way or another, the outcome will probably be in the form of history repeating itself. Whether Beijing or the US wins this showdown, we know for sure that a showdown is coming and the winner will be whoever has learned the most from history. Those who don’t learn their history are condemned to repeat it. · · · →