Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 29, 2015

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 29, 2015

China’s economy is tanking if you look at sales reports, or, no, wait, it’s going up if you ask the Chinese. China is also losing in the battle for Vietnam’s alliance: Moscow is now buddy-buddy with Hanoi.

Taiwan’s internal politics are all over the map with a presidential election schedule running near-parallel to the US 2016 election. Both countries look like they will elect a leader that wants to “deal smart” with China—against Beijing’s de facto policy of demanding that the world allow itself to be annexed by Beijing. Beijing has already rejected what looms in 2016 like a slave owner rejecting a slave’s desire to “normalize relations”.

Speaking of slavery, China is now an expert on human rights, lecturing the US. It is almost comedic, not because of the gross difference in numbers, but because China has so consistently told the US that countries should mind their own business. It seems Beijing has reversed that precedent with a new one.  · · · →

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 22, 2015

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 22, 2015

The MERS virus in South Korea is having a social-networking effect on the young generations of Taiwan and Hong Kong. With the virus in South Korea, flights are being cancelled and students in both countries who planned to visit South Korea are likely to reschedule to new flights from Hong Kong to Taiwan and vice versa. It is conventional student culture in Asia to make frequent visits between Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. When the Mandarin speakers of Taiwan and Hong Kong can’t go to Japan or South Korea, they tend to prefer each other as their “Plan B” travel plans. So, more HK and Taiwan students will be talking to each other this summer than normal. Interestingly, both HK and Taiwanese students had their own anti-Beijing expansion movements just last year. Their summer break travel has already begun.

Beijing is now fighting against the unanticipated consequences of chaos caused by a virus.  · · · →

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 15, 2015

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 15, 2015

Tension and thought. China plans to dispatch drones to watch disputed islands in the Pacific. The US is set to introduce a new war ship. Oliver Stone says viewing China’s activity as dangerous is dangerous. A co-founder of Qunar (Chinese travel agency giant) says it’s never been a better time to start a company in China, as long as you’re not a “foreigner”, then it gets more complicated.

Pundits seem to be making headlines more than policymakers. Other than a few hums and crackles, all quiet on the surface this week. Sometimes a large ebb in the tide indicates an approaching tsunami.

China

Chinese military considers using drones to patrol seas contested by Japan

China plans to build coast guard base near Senkaku Islands: sources

China says its anti-artillery radar, to be used near Myanmar border, can lock onto enemy cannons in eight seconds

There’s Never Been A Better Time To Start A Company In China: Qunar Co-Founder

Oliver Stone warns US about danger of seeing China as a threat

…He commented in HK while finishing his new movie, Snowden, supporting China’s actions in the region.  · · · →

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 8, 2015

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 8, 2015

A week of political campaigns. Imagine if John McCain were under review to be kicked out of the Republican Party for not supporting big money enough, there was no strong Republican Candidate, Hillary was already the Democratic nominee, and McCain said, “If the RNC orders me to, it would be my duty to run for President.”

That’s what happened in Taiwan this week. Wang Jin-pyng, Speaker of Taiwan’s puppet Legislator (which cannot introduce its own legislation) is hated by party bosses of his own KMT-Nationalist party. And he offered to run if the party asks him to, which, of course it won’t. That party never supports any good ideas, especially good ideas that would win favor with the people. They have been too interested in winning the favor of the Beijing Communists. Wang would be the best candidate since the party has destroyed itself with all the footsie-footsie games it played with China over the years, especially over the last decade.  · · · →

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 1, 2015

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, June 1, 2015

Everyone is writing a lot of papers to each other, just like before WWII. Much of this has to do with who claims what territory, which affects how one nation identifies another, which affects peace and stability. Letters can change all of that.

By not normalizing relations with the government it expelled, China has kept a war on the books for over 65 years. This defines China’s military and government as an occupying force. They could end that war and legitimize their claim to the mainland, but they want to keep the war going until they control all land they have ever claimed. No one knows how long that will take.

War games happen in stages, time limits, and windows of opportunity. The times are shifting and, once China has the chance to take some of the islands in the Pacific, other factors will have changed, thereby outdating their battle plans.  · · · →