Three trends spanned the Pacific this week: journalism, entrepreneurs, and 2016 elections. News of ISIS spreads across Asia Pacific, including videos of a man being burned alive. China barks at century-old Taiwanese government leaders about standing up to the young Communist regime. Taiwanese local leaders respond that Beijing should learn to move past the past and just get along. A former US official, Richard Bush, unofficially speculates (without actually speculating) on China’s yet-to-be-seen reaction to Taiwan’s 2016 likely election swing away from the floundering, grossly unpopular, de facto pro-China, incumbent KMT-Nationalist party. The recently acquired economic powerhouse, Hong Kong, receives more lectures from Communist Beijing, which only alienate the upcoming generation; though there is little to suggest that Hong Kong’s successful entrepreneurs have been invited to lecture new Chinese businesses on how to catch up to the former British colony. Beijing’s solution to the Umbrella Movement is to change high school curriculum to remind students how much they need China. · · · →
Hong Kong is back at it, this time marching on local elections. Japan is outraged over Muslims beheading one of their own, Asia is watching. Taiwan’s President is ever less popular and now with more proof than ever. Little news happened this week, but much analysis and beautiful night pictures of Hong Kong and Taiwan are going viral. The media would have us think that life in Taiwan sure is great. Is war near? Taiwan will be a major question, arguably the linchpin because of both reputation and regional strategy.
When Shang Kai-Sheck fled to Taiwan in 1949 during China’s Communist revolution, Beijing had a golden opportunity. They could have declared victory.
The Communists knew that they would not be able to pursue the KMT-Nationalists because taking Taiwan is nearly impossible, even today. If Beijing’s goal was reunification, they should have declared a Machiavellian victory, pretended to recognize Taiwan as a nation, and normalized relations. · · · →
US Congress questions HK: Beijing vets HK politicians; is HK not China? “Experts” say Washington appeases Beijing, but the big issue: Don’t pee in the international pool, consider HK’s Hague membership. Washington and Beijing have only found excuses to raise Pacific tensions, including China’s nine-dash line and Kerry’s extradition request of espionage witness, Snowden. Appeasing Beijing would mean Congress not raising the HK question at all.
It was wise to release HK Umbrella Movement leaders without pressing charges (yet). Even wiser would be if Beijing made one change years ago: Rather than vetting HK politicians before elections, vet HK policy after—free elections, but anti-Beijing policy would automatically impeach a HK CEO. That would have given Beijing the power they want (and arguably deserve since China provides HK’s military) and given HK residents what they want without asking.
Beijing can no longer hope Taiwan would accept so-called “Beijing democracy” after rejecting the HK Umbrella Movement. · · · →
All eyes turn to Tainan, Taiwan. Mayor Lai refuses to attend city council meetings until the investigation of the speaker’s dubious election is resolved. A political opponent holds a sign on the council floor referring to “Emperor Lai”. Beijing’s new commercial flight lines, abruptly announced and unusually close to Taiwan sovereign airspace, come in the context of anti-[pro-Beijing]-incumbent elections, such as Lai’s re-election with 72.9%. The defeated party has a record of being favored by China. Hong Kong took the higher road, Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) was released without charges, yet. This further reduces reasons for protests. The HK CEO suspects unnamed foreign power influence, typical of both the West’s messiah complex and Beijing’s paranoia. Everything is ongoing.
…Analytical collection of various articles, including translation from Chinese. · · · →
Power shuffling and truth-spinning throughout Asia—heads roll and chests puff-out as waning establishments grab for anything to stay afloat. China bails the floundering Communist oil world then doubles its amphibious infantry without a way to transport them. North Korea issues friendly threats to the US. Hong Kong Umbrella Movement leaders are brought to open court where they can bash Beijing even more. Hong Kong legislators open umbrellas inside (for bad luck?) The US disagrees with itself about giving Taiwan permission to fly a flag, China objects to everything. A non-corrupt and popular Taiwanese mayor is attacked by the “other” political party after refusing to associate with their officials currently being investigated for corruption.
The first Taiwanese president from the opposition party was just released from prison by the “other” party that just lost elections. Taiwan’s record unpopular president from the “other” party supports flying the same Taiwanese flag in the US that he would not fly when China visited Taiwan early in his tenure. · · · →
When it comes to Chinese-speaking pastors and the Chinese government, the Chinese are very non-communicative. It’s a shame and a sham, literally—a shame because of the “Shame” culture that can’t man-up to face hard talks and a sham because it’s always hiding some greater aspiration of self-indulged grandeur. China’s boasts of its “great cities” show enough, along with God’s determination to humble the proud with the stampede that killed 36 in Shanghai, now being spun by Chinese media.
Taiwan’s KMT leadership also announces that the press must stand behind the red tape—interestingly literal as it is figurative. When reporters want to understand the reason for a public demonstration, the police will escort witnesses to be interviewed. Not to worry, they will surely choose a fair balance. With this, the KMT definition of “free” will be very difficult for many people to understand—and no matter what the KMT says, the Taiwanese press will probably not be satisfied. · · · →