Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 15, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 15, 2016

Ri Yong-gil was said to be executed in Korea. He wasn’t seen in his usual place in public with Great Successor Un. This just after the satellite launch, which led to more sanctions approved by the Senate.

Hong Kong cracked down on some unlicensed food vendors in the streets of Mong Kok. People responded by throwing and burning things. Their view is clear, as is the view of Hong Kong’s government. China remarked about “terrorist tendencies”. Hong Kong’s finance minister, Tsang (曾俊華), implied the Biblical story of Solomon’s judgment of two women in writing, “A mother who truly loves her son would not saw him in half and would never themselves be the executioner.” It is good to see that China did not rebuke a government leader for studying the Bible.

China is losing money. It also lost a bank. But, so what. China is oblivious to its own past with which it haunts itself. HSBC has reviewed Hong Kong again, for a possible location. HQ-ing in HK could save $14B. But, again, no. Tienanmen scared them too much. Even after 25 years, old fears don’t die easily, especially when they don’t have a reason to.

It’s somewhat ironic, though. Asia is responsible for much of HSBC’s revenue. Or, maybe it’s not ironic since that “is” seems to be changing into more of a “was”. Asia “was” responsible for much of HSBC’s revenue. It seems that the West has profited and, now, has picked up, packed up, and isn’t coming back. And, what should that tell us?

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 8, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 8, 2016

TPP passed. That’s another Obama deal likely be reviewed by his soon-to-be successor. And that time is coming soon and certain. Not only are the United States proving their plurality of powers, so is the Pacific. Taiwan’s earthquake was a scary demonstration.

The 4:00am Kaohsiung 6.4 was indeed scary to locals at the many wreckage sites. But it was scarier for older structures, including political and economic. A strange selection of buildings fell while most were unharmed. Dishonesty is under investigation by no less than four prosecutors. And Taiwan’s spirit is stronger than it ever has been, something Beijing has never stared more clearly in the eye.

Controversial as TPP is, and as likely as it will be altered, it nails a big “No China Allowed” sign on the tree fort. With Taiwan proving its own, investigating bad dealings likely to implicate Mainland cronyism, further weakening the lame duck Nationalists even further… Even Obama’s “never let a good crisis go to waste” policy must be reviewed. Strength in the Pacific is forcing strength on the rim. The conflict is turning the tide.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 1, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 1, 2016

Age of provocation. China warned everyone, this week. Soros had better not declare war on Chinese currency—or else. Taiwan had better not do a lot of things. The US had better not do a lot of things. Basically, the world “had better not”.

The Pacific conflict is reaching the point where China expects a Wold v China scenario. Whatever China is doing to make enemies is so powerful that not even Obama can stay low key—whether he wants to or not. Beijing’s “magnetic” personality is drawing all guns to point east.

Taiwan is beginning its political transition, not without its own rumors. The DPP opposition took the legislature today. The new president won’t be sworn in for a few months. But with the vast majority already in power in the legislature and local governments, the lame duck, Ma, is strung up by his webbing. All anyone can do about Taiwan is quack; the president, president-elect, and even Beijing.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 25, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 25, 2016

Since Taiwan’s election, China and the KMT-Nationalists have been largely silent. While the Chinese aren’t spending as much money at home, and while the Chinese economy looks evermore shaky, Xi Jinping has no problem dealing with Egypt or declaring all but war against Israel. Historically, talking ill of Israel is bad political luck. Perhaps China thinks itself the exception to many things.

Taiwan’s pro-China KMT-Nationalist party is out for the count. Defeated. Wind knocked-out. Humiliated. It’s over. And, it is surprising. Not only did the KMT respond by acknowledging their defeat; its members showed no awareness of how their pro-China policies would dissolve their power at home nor how their mismanagement of domestic disarray from poor policies would make their aspirations untenable. There was no way the could win, yet the only seem to have seen this in retrospect.

That hindsight realization could have a contagious affect and spread to US policy. The Obama administration has made a Trump nomination and victory ever bit as inevitable as how Taiwan’s DPP opposition victory owes thanks to Taiwan’s Ma administration. Tsai couldn’t not have won in 2016 just how Obama couldn’t have lost with George W. Bush’s foreign policies and refusal to respond to the press. Maybe the West will get wise. This year, there were no Chinese missiles fired across Taiwan, as there was in 1996. Few things indicate that Beijing is learning like this.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 19, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 19, 2016

Victory! Taiwan finally defeated the old enemy of the East that the Chinese Communists could not. The KMT-Nationalist party has rarely faced such a stunning defeat. The enemy of the revolution, murderer of Taiwanese and thieves of Asia’s greatest assets, the witch of the East met her end at the hands, not of soldiers and explosives, but of democracy.

Beijing would have worldwide respect in declaring victory and normalizing relations. But the land of Sun Tzu seems to have forgotten the basics of war: If one government controls an entire region, then an enemy only need take-out the central government for the entire land to fall. If Taiwan were a Chinese province, China would be less safe. As an ally that China itself could not take—an attack against China would be unwise for any adversary. But, again, Beijing seems more bent on delusions of pride than real safety. The best kept secret about respect is not that it must be earned and not bestowed, but that those who state their respect rarely mean it. Having respect of others and having others show respect are entirely different things. This is a lesson the KMT-Nationalists still haven’t seemed to learn.

China had it’s own streak this week. More than one teary-eyed apology cross the air-waves. The world continues to see China for what it is while Beijing counts more ill will an indication of progress. Perhaps Beijing is right.

Taiwan’s confidence in voting overwhelmingly for a political party that will not cow-tow to China’s hostile takeover agenda sends a message to China. While the messengers in Beijing may not deliver, the people of China read it loud and clear, perhaps for the first time: A single government can have a new political party and the people do not need to bend to the dictates of the old establishment.

Read More