Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 19, 2018

In Taiwanese politics, a mayor candidate’s comments about his own benefits from drinking honey-lemonade sparked retribution from the medical community. After a lump under his eye went away, apparently from a vegetarian and honey-lemonade diet, he actually said so. A professional from a hospital was quick to weigh in. It’s understandable. If people learned that honey could cure disease, hospital profits would plunge. More importantly, Taiwanese political debates would become outright boring without the ability to, as the saying goes, make lemonade from political debates.

But, lemonade really is important. Google search results even saw a spike after this essential talk of Taiwanese politics made news.

Meanwhile, at the ASEAN summit in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for nations to come together at a time when Southeast Asian stability was under threat. In anticipation of APEC after ASEAN, Mike Pence started talking tough, wanting results and genuine action from China concerning an even-flow of trade. He elaborated, that the US has a quarter of a billion dollars in tariffs and isn’t afraid to go twice as high as well as take more “diplomatic” action. It was a strong “they know that we know that they know what we think” remark, the kind that precedes otherwise objectionable action to make the action unobjectionable.

Later, at APEC, Pence warned of returning to a “cold war” while making plans for a US-Australian naval base in Papua New Guinea. Rather than dropping its tilted tariffs on goods, China has been openly gearing up for all out war three weeks. APEC ended without a written agreement between member nations for the first time ever because of the disagreements between the US and China.

This past weekend, Taiwan did something that China despises every bit as much as it cannot identify with: Taiwan hosted democratic election campaigns. With all the strong rhetoric concerning Taiwan, independence, and China’s loudly and often-spoken determination to invade Taiwan, there shouldn’t be any question where China’s war-in-preparation will start and why America will easily get involved.

America is already involved in Taiwan to quite an extent. AIT, the unofficial yet de facto US embassy in Taiwan, had an interview scheduled for release with a large TV network in Taiwan. But, after the interview, the TV network, TVBS, scrapped the interview. So, AIT shared the interview in its Facebook page, rather than relying on TVBS.

With the history lessons about Taiwan in almost every Taiwan-related story in the Western press, Americans will take an advancement against Taiwan as an advancement against themselves. China would be perceived as an aggressor and rightly so. Everything the US has done to provoke and irritate China would have only worked if China possessed the old school “Asian Pride” that Sun Tzu warned against, a pride that can’t be permitted in a world’s superpower because such pride is easily provoked just as much as it is easily shattered. Hardened pride makes for brittle peace. That’s something that the entire West won’t allow, the US notwithstanding.

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Tempo: May 19, 2015

Obama: Less local police militarization. Top tech companies don’t like warrantless spy requests. Kerry pushes international Internet. Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide Scott Walker’s recall election investigation. France back at it: No foreign trade deals, TTIPNo amnesty at home for rogue AussiesSnowden’s story contradicts the official Bin Laden story. Obama wants long-term thinking on addressing race issues. Hillary’s 36-day media silence makes news. Invest in art: Why Buying a Picasso Is Like Investing in Uber (Almost)  · · · →

Tempo: April 28, 2015

Nepal suffers from an earthquake. Israel helps. Countries China wants to invade aren’t allowed to help Nepal. US: Japan can respond in Pacific war. Sidney sits under water and ice. Baltimore riots. Chipotle: No GMOs, no corn, no Monsanto. W: Ease sanctions on Iran ‘naive’, new Iran president ‘smooth’. SCOTUS to hear on pairrage, Christians attend. Apple’s got cash! Leadership: Former Mars Hill Church Executive Pastor and Elder Shares All: Good Decisions Made by the Right People, ResultSource (Pt. 2)  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 23, 2015

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 23, 2015

The conflict is already here. As it seems, China always planned to invade Taiwan and upset the teetering Pacific balance. Myanmar and India won’t have any more. Declassified notes (last week) suggest China was lying about their intentions with Hong Kong since 1958 and Thatcher knew this in her confidential talks with Beijing in the 1980’s. The “economic” rout to taking over Taiwan seems only a way to bide time so that Beijing’s military could grow stronger and, thus, their invasion would be more likely to succeed. Economics were never a “first option”, but only a ploy.

Analysts who buy into to the “by fore if necessary” rhetoric could say that China’s “economic option” (AKA a ‘hostile takeover’) with Taiwan was “wishful thinking” or an “either way” approach. Through economic ties, so it could be said, Beijing could cripple Taiwan before the invasion. Thus, Taiwan could always cave, “but if not”, Beijing would be in a better position.  · · · →