Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 2, 2015

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 2, 2015

Taiwan and China are reportedly taking the turn to provoke God. Beijing is turning from Israel and Taiwan will no longer “discriminate” against adultery. Recent history knows that countries that change their policy on Israel get “bad luck”, but fully legalizing adultery has yet to be tested. Israel and Islam are ever more on the Asian radar in news and politics.

The highly popular mayor of Tainan in Taiwan has determined to remove statues of Chiang Kai-shek in the shadow of the recent 228 massacre memorial, when Taiwanese refused to welcome the KMT-Nationalists in their flight from the Communists, thus preparing the way for decades of martial law. Chiang Kai-shek and his KMT-Nationalist political party are seen as tyrants by more and more Taiwanese.

The West shakes its head more and more over the region, whether moving moved Microsoft jobs to Vietnam, climate, dealings with the neighbors, or Hong Kong promises—which the Crown, all of a sudden, thinks weren’t kept so well as was claimed a few months ago.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 23

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 23

Muslims wanted attention… They got it. Japan authorized millions in aid to fight terrorism. Myanmar calls on China to help them fight against terrorist attacks, ostensibly being launched from inside China. Beijing may not like being asked to turn their attention away from the great threat it feels from Taiwan. But, the terrorists in Myanmar don’t have yellow umbrellas. And President Xi is internationally considered to be almost as “great” as Chairman Mao himself! So, Myanmar may not get as much attention as Hong Kong. China is also being asked to help with Afghanistan.

Taiwan’s economic relationship with Beijing may have been an attempt to exploit Beijing’s greed, biding their time and getting rich off of China until unification with Taiwan would work in Taiwan’s interest and against China’s—and probably never happen at all. Perhaps Beijing will learn: There is more to international magnanimity than targeting the most peaceful and defenseless of Pacific islets.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 16

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 16

Propaganda turn of the tide. For years, Chinese have attended international circles, promulgated their talking points, and convinced others to unwittingly do the same. But, recent reports explain that having traffic lights and convincing drivers to stop at them are two different things.

China’s military has some technology, flaunts technology it does and doesn’t have, but lacks the first-world culture necessary to support its technology. The US has better technology, conceals the technology, “reveals” technology it wants China to know about, and certainly has the organized culture to make its technology work.

This week, China prepares to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which commemorates the creation of the KMT-Nationalist-controlled Chinese government 104 years ago, which is not the government founded by the Communist Party, but the government of Taiwan. Taiwan celebrates the same New Year that Beijing still recognizes, though China has not been reported to give homage to the 104 year old government that has been in exile since 1949.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 9

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 9

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.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 2

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, February 2

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.  · · · →