Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 16, 2015

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 16, 2015

A thorough and thoughtful article catches wind, documenting China’s threats against Great Britain over Hong Kong. Based on records declassified in 2013, the Crown wanted independence for Hong Kong long ago, but Beijing threatened invasion. The Hong Kong we know has been a store front so China can access the world and so Taiwan would become jealous, which it has not. This research article surfaced in the wake of the foreseeable publicizing effect of the Umbrella Movement’s forte. Now, reports are suggesting that, not only do China’s promises no longer matter, but they probably never mattered in the first place.

Bullies make threats because they fear conflict. Victors reply, “It doesn’t matter,” before the fight. Peacemakers are usually the most powerful. China has one problem that goes largely unreported: They have not been tested by war as the last four generations of American soldiers have been. China’s other problems are starting to make headlines, including the fact that Taiwan is finding its heart.  · · · →

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 9, 2015

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 9, 2015

China was doing great. They had it “goin’ on”. Then, they made some choices over the last few years. Now, the Pacific region is foreseeably destabilizing. But the least of those concerns, and arguably the most overrated, is the situation in Hong Kong. Before we review the facts, read clearly; Hongkongers have nothing to fear. Here are the facts: China promised a kind of “contained autonomy” to Hong Kong as a precondition for Britain leaving the former colony.

As history repeated in Hong Kong as in the American British colonies, when Britain left, the former colony prospered. Now, in being consistent with old school Asian rhetoric, China is omitting key phrases during rhetoric that relates to its own promise. Beijing speaks more and more about their power over Hong Kong and less about Hong Kong’s power within its own territory.

The uninformed West, including westernized Hongkongers, misunderstood this old school Asian rhetoric as being a threat.  · · · →

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 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.  · · · →