Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 8, 2019

America’s government has finally cracked the code on China. They know how to get under China’s skin. They had an idea before, but the algorithm—the precise frequency of activation—needed fine-tuning. And, of course, China made it all too easy to know that the code had been cracked. The sale of 60 F-16V’s to Taiwan—inferior in both number and, supposedly, technology—wasn’t even made official. Still, China couldn’t wait to announce to the world exactly the kind of insignificance that it found irritating above all previous attempts.

With this new and tested knowledge, we can expect the US to do more, and to do so more subtly. America will stand calmly, smiling. China will fume more every day, seemingly for no reason. At last, the Chinese will be so overwhelmed with rage that they will strike before military wisdom advises.

The sad, but poetic, part is that no warnings, not even reading this article, not even a spy exposing some kind of “provocation plot” or whatnot would be able to deter China from this fate. For, China loves respect above all else. Those who hunger for respect are easy to provoke and anyone provoked is under complete control of the provocateur. And, Chinese culture doesn’t know how to change or even listen.

But, there is another factor that blinded China to the American tactics. A nation with a one-child policy won’t have as much experience in sibling rivalry. America doesn’t have such a policy. Americans learn from childhood how to get under some else’s skin—especially when that someone else is the known playground bully who needs to be provoked to a brawl and sent to the principle’s office before getting any older, and bigger.

The die has been cast. The fate of the American-Chinese war has already been determined: China strikes; China loses; China loses more. Now, it’s just a matter of watching how the specifics play out on our road to the foreseen.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 23, 2018

The US is arming East Asia and disarming North Korea. China is a spectator in the Western game.

Reports and gossip about the latest North Korean promise to disarm ensnared many in the media. The South Korean Kumbaya singing President Moon Jae-in was quick to give his “peace in our time” report that North Korea has promised to disarm, with the connotatively-added meaning of “shortly after his election”. Trump Tweeted that disarming is great, “yuge” news, then the mainstream media ripped on Trump for an unverified report, particularly PBS. (Why does PBS still receive tax dollar money?) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was more cautions about North Korean false promises, proving himself the most sober in the room.

Japan is looking into a stealthy F-22 F-35 hybrid from Lockheed Martin, in order to deter impedance from “Chinese” and “Russian” jets in its air defense zone. Taiwan is also looking at Patriot missile defense systems. The increased military talk in China’s backyard, particularly about China,  surmounts to the dogs fighting over who gets to eat the pheasant.

China is making so many flybys around Taiwan that scrambling jets over air defense zone approaches is a strain on the Taiwanese military budget. Taiwan might end up sending China a bill, likely by way of military money from the US and US tariffs on not yet mentioned Chinese goods. Also look for new Taiwan-favored trade deficits with the US in amounts similar to the cost of scrambling jets every few days.

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