This week was incredibly calm in Asia. China has some non-defined goals of grandeur, though some voices in the Western press cast their usual doubts. China’s big obstacle with becoming a tech leader is two-fold: 1. lack of measurable methods and 2. social media.
Westerners use Facebook and Google to communicate with friends, family, and associates. By blocking Facebook, China is blocking Westerners as well as leading technology. By definition, “global” methods can’t merely involve competitor social media unique to China. Whether China has good reason to block the social media giants is a separate question altogether. If China wants to become a leader, it must have a measurable, defined way forward in its tech and trade ambitions, which must include how to involve people and markets that it has blocked by proxy.
Korea was also unusually quiet. The saber rattling took a hiatus over the holiday pre-week. On Christmas, North Korea was sure to puff its chest out, but that’s about all. It is entirely possible that the problems in Korea will magically and abruptly vanish, Korea will be united, and both the Communists and the Westerners will just go home. But, that would never have happened without the mounting pressure from both sides.
Whatever reconciliation comes at the end of this Korean “situation”, we will have both North Korea and the US military presence to thank for it. Should whatever new Korea emerges snub the US for providing the pressure to resolve a conflict no one else could, Korea’s best days would thus be in the past. Keeping friendship during times of peace is vital to keeping that peace. Lasting peace in Korea means lasting peace among Koreans as well as its friends and neighbors. Should there be a bloodless peace in Korea and America troops just up and leave, the US will probably beef-up its presence with Taiwan. That would be the other shift.
The Obama administration continues to advance its music. Most of it is song and dance, just a show to draw a reaction from the crowds. Much of it can be ignored or circumvented. Everything can be undone with the stroke of a pen via the next President’s executive order. Many are offended—many of whom think Obama’s policies have more weight than they actually do.
The situation raises many questions. Why does Obama push agendas that he does?
Almost everything Obama is doing through executive action can be outright ignored, even Obamacare. Other things could be disputed at State and local levels. Yet, few dissidents push for those options as they focus on trying to put Trump in office, mostly ignoring the Obama policies. Does Obama think that the lack of State and local action against his policies imply support? Does he think the people are too weak to stand up to him? Does he simply want to provoke his dissidents to get excited and angry, even though his policies are mostly bark with little bite? Or, is he like Plankton in SpongeBob SquarePants who doesn’t know how little he is?
At the same time, the people are getting excited about policies that really can’t be enforced. Are they late bloomers? Why didn’t they get angry when Hannity and O’Reilly tried to warn Americans about Obama’s ties to Rev. Wright? Maybe Obama’s noisy song and dance is just waking up drunk America from her slumber.
Issues are stacking up. TSA wait time seems longer than estimated at Airports. Of course, having one’s stuff together can make those times faster. TSA agents might accommodate passengers at risk of missing flights if asked nicely, with all liquids removed from baggage. But a mother with children running around who doesn’t know where her passport is may have some trouble gaining trust of the security agents. Who is to blame? Everyone needs to get their stuff together better. Those who do have fewer problems, TSA and passengers alike. Israel’s security methods have always been preferable and effective, yet, for some reasons, Israel gets little consideration in general from Obama.
Facebook seems to be censoring Conservative stories. Russia complains about US defense in Europe. And many people are having to review their personal beliefs and worldviews, largely on account of needing a better set of arguments to either support or oppose Trump and Hillary.
China is cracking down! All enemies are in the crosshairs: Facebook pages, SCMP news articles, terrorists, religions, demonstrators, “separatists”, “hostile forces”, the Dalai Lama… the usual suspects.
Northern Korea has the sky in its crosshairs, and it doesn’t miss. Now, Kim wants to aim at Manhattan. China didn’t talk about that, specifically, but, Japan isn’t happy. The North announced their plan to “liquidate” Southern assets remaining in their possession, though they didn’t specify any potential buyers.
Taiwan’s military may have squandered efforts last week in the raid of three documents about the KMT’s “White Terror”. Another man claims to have 1,000 such documents, including pre-execution photos of prisoners. He told the public that the soon-to-be-no-longer-KMT military may have been looking in the wrong place for self-inditing documents. He asked to be contacted. At press time, no word yet on any reply.
The week buzzed about China’s currency while the US spotlight made an unusual stop on Taiwan.
Marco Rubio mentioned Taiwan, something significant for an experienced Senator and presidential candidate on the campaign trail. Quartz gave a shout over Taiwanese presidential hopeful, Tsai, in her response to the negative Facebook comments from China (where Facebook happens to be banned). The US State Department even commented about Taiwan as a “beacon of truly representative government”, signifying as proof that Asia is not entirely inept on the matter of Human Rights.
China, by contrasting reports and comment, is the economic dirt devil, so goes the spotlight this week anyhow. China’s money is about to dominate the IMF. Northern China must choose between either cold winters or toxic air. And China continues to meddle with its own currency.
And, by the way, the Pentagon doesn’t seem to get much support from the current White House concerning China. · · · →