Korea drew attention this week. It almost seems disappointed that it hasn’t drawn fire. The North has not built up its military just to make beautiful propaganda videos. Unlike the West, “building the bomb so you never need to use it” eludes the reasoning of the old far east.
But, something else seems to have slipped past China’s and Korea’s strategy—the Britons. During English-Scottish-Irish wars, the Scottish burned their own corn fields in response to being invaded. While the English culture has sought to dominate the world—even by language if necessary—Scottish defence methods have made the the Western British-American force unbeatable, at least from a cultural perspective.
While Congress, Senator McCain, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in particular, voices growing concern about America’s readiness for off-shore battle, China and North Korea don’t show any concern, or even awareness, about how the West thinks. When spreading propaganda about an enemy who has never lost a home game, it’s better not to show him an imaginary home game where he loses. He just won’t believe it.
The deeper question is does China really believe that if America had a weakness that the press would be allowed to know about it? McCain is the loud voice on the matter. Perhaps he understands something that China and Korea can’t.
Global headlines are dominated with much ado about Trumping. Everyone has something to say, Japan being slowest to judge, judging nonetheless. In a declining world of failed political correctness, controversial reactions to Trump almost indicate who might have been doing something wrong and who just might be doing something right.
It is more and more difficult to categorize headlines into countries. The Pacific Conflict has become so intertwined that the publishing world will soon shift to taxonomies using a plurality of tags rather than mutually-exclusive categories. Any more, every news article seems to involve more than one country and it’s going to confuse the librarians.
Japan takes a hardline against China, but doesn’t want Trump’s help, taking a hardline against Trump for taking a hardline against Japan and China. China wants Japan and Trump to keep quiet as it militarizes islands that, technically, don’t exist, at least in the minds of everyone except China. China seems to have map-reporting conflicts with nearly everyone, Trump and Japan notwithstanding. Beijing’s explanation for nearly everything is that other countries don’t want diplomacy with China. Though, by claiming disputed lands and demonstrating authority over what Japan can and can’t talk about, it seems that China isn’t interested in diplomacy either, at least as much as it is in domination.
Nothern Korea jailed a college student for wanting to take Kim propaganda to the US—missing the point that usually one wants one’s propaganda spread around, that is, if one believes that one’s own propaganda is true. Maybe the North’s failing economy has caused a shortage in propaganda, which seems more and more necessary to convince the Northerners that their economy isn’t failing.
Japan just banned 22 North Koreans from re-entering Japan, one of them a graduate of the University of Tokyo. Why Japan let a North Korean study Japanese rocket science in the first place remains unknown. Perhaps Japan prefers North Korea’s diplomatic methods over Donald Trump’s. There appears to be no word from Japan about whether they agree with Trump on North Korea.
China is cracking down! All enemies are in the crosshairs: Facebook pages, SCMP news articles, terrorists, religions, demonstrators, “separatists”, “hostile forces”, the Dalai Lama… the usual suspects.
Northern Korea has the sky in its crosshairs, and it doesn’t miss. Now, Kim wants to aim at Manhattan. China didn’t talk about that, specifically, but, Japan isn’t happy. The North announced their plan to “liquidate” Southern assets remaining in their possession, though they didn’t specify any potential buyers.
Taiwan’s military may have squandered efforts last week in the raid of three documents about the KMT’s “White Terror”. Another man claims to have 1,000 such documents, including pre-execution photos of prisoners. He told the public that the soon-to-be-no-longer-KMT military may have been looking in the wrong place for self-inditing documents. He asked to be contacted. At press time, no word yet on any reply.
China’s political Two Sessions just finished. It is good to see concern for responsibility, enforcement, growth, and grace within China’s governance. Clean air was on the agenda. 300,000 soldiers have been cut from active duty, mostly non-infantry. The military did not get the 2.5% budget increase it wanted, only 1.5%. A number of generals are disgruntled. President Xi’s decisions related to a slow in economic growth. Macau and HK SARs were underpinned as mostly autonomous and will receive extra priority and money, raising questions about an increase in gentrification. All the while, Beijing’s Taiwan policy remains unchanged: peace, trade, but, above all, no independence; the term “family” is being thrown around.
Interestingly, China has stated it will not talk with the new president, Tsai, until her party alters its bilaws about Tiawan’s independence. China has little understanding of the difference between a party and a government since, via Beijing, they are one-in-the-same. While China remains a “frenemy” of the free world, there are lessons to be learned and 5,000 years to understand. Even a deer hunter understands the nature, instinct, and thought processes of deer. The West has not displayed the same with China, only disdain. This is probably why China wins against the West on so many fronts and will continue to do so until the West learns a valuable lesson to the wise: Never hate your frenemies, study them.
The US Navy has dispatched what has been called a “small armada” to China’s troubled waters in the South China Sea. The USS Stennis group, including the flagship Blue Ridge, are making rounds. Experts anticipate more sail-by’s.
Meanwhile, Taiwan examines its past. The most recent scandal involved questions about use of military for a warrantless search and seizure of documents relating to the “White Terror” era of genocide and tyranny of Chiang Kai-Shek’s KMT-Nationalists in Taiwan, recently defeated in elections. One man was said to be given 15,000NT$ in “hush money”, the equivalent of $450USD. Military officials claimed to have signed permission and to have followed due process. If true, perhaps the military’s purpose was to remind the Taiwanese of the past by appearing to repeat it in the eyes of some.