Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 24, 2017

All eyes on Korea means all eyes on China, which means all eyes on Trump. What’s at stake?—not nuclear war, not regional war, not freedom for northern Koreans, but a trade deal with China. At least, that’s the story if you ask the money channels.

China is a “gold mine for innovation”, the hope for breakthrough in the car crisis—in case you didn’t know there was a car crisis. Australia is partnering with—of all countries—China to address cyber theft. China is such a booming, excellent, most-happening place that Chinese investors have actually decided it’s a good idea to finally start reinvesting in their own country.

But, most importantly, Trump needs to be very, very careful in dealing with northern Korea. China even said so. They even made a phone call to say it.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 17, 2017

It’s over. North Korea has been defrocked form among Communist nations. Russia and China aren’t trying to send any kind of message to the US by sending intel-gathering vessels to monitor the Vinson. Spectating usually indicates some kind of support. The “Ruskies” and “Chi-Coms”, as some affectionately call them, kicking back with coke and popcorn in hand isn’t exactly opposition. They are trying to send a message to Communists worldwide, including their own people: Act unruly and you’ll end up like North Korea.

The US can’t do an operation in their back yards without the neighbors keeping a close watch—and Northern Korea is in both Russian and Chinese back yards. If the Chinese and Russians wanted to send a message to Washington, they’d send attack vessels like Putin sent late to Syria—at least, he pretended to send a message.

Countries must appear strong. There is a lot of chest puffing and thumping, even with the soon-to-be-deposed occupation of Northern Korea. The Russians and Chinese will be glad to have the dictator child off of their table of concerns. And, in the process, they want their own people to know whose still boss.

So, it’s over. Soon, we’ll find out just how many Northern Koreans cried for the death of their late “Dear Leader” because they missed him or because they feared what the child dictator would do them if they didn’t. Korea is about to become one country, finally. Kim Jong-Un decided that over the weekend when he threw the temper tantrum that broke every camel’s back in the caravan. Now, the caravan is coming for him.

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Drafting Peace in the Pacific: Asia, April 13, 2017

We no longer live in a world without alliances. Yes, individual nations retain sovereignty within their borders. However, the days are over when a single nation will boss and police an entire region alone. One nation can no longer take out an “enemy” in another nation as the “lone ranger”. Any nation that tries will face scorn from others. If a government goes rogue, a plurality of other nations must intervene. This is international political gravity today.

We live in a world of growing alliances between sovereign nations.

China has been seeking respect and peace in its part of the world. The US has been seeking to cut off enemies before they have an opportunity to grow. In the Far East, the US’ solution has been to patrol freely in Asian waters. China’s solution has been to fly its national flag on more soil. Neither process will continue to work. And, if both processes continue, they will lead to unimaginable fallout, what some might think as WWIII, though still not that grand.  · · · →

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 29, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 29, 2016

The battlefronts are solidifying. China has expanded into cooperation with Russia, aircraft engine manufacturing, and diplomatic arenas.

G20 is a hoped-for tool that could make China an international giant. China wants in on Syria, just as the US and Russia may be reaching something to label as an “agreement”. While China has managed to insult and be insulted by many of the G20 countries, Beijing still believes that the important G20 diplomatic moves wait on the road ahead instead of in the past.

The timing of launching its own aircraft manufacturer should raise eyebrows. Taiwan, a US customer of the market-dominant F-16, which the US has not delivered on in the last several years, held secret talks with China, which the US wasn’t even invited to. This happened under the KMT-Nationalist administration, which just saw a crippling defeat, except for recent, small election on Taiwan’s east coast. The opponent, DPP, took control of both Taiwan’s presidency and legislature over the last six months. Now, with China’s secret-talk door closed to a US F-16 customer, China starts manufacturing its own engine parts. Why now? Did China get all the technology plans they were ever going to, one way or another? Is it just coincidence? Why is China also snubbing Russia?

The greater suspicion is the vaguely-defined cooperation between Russia and China. If the two countries are such great friends, why is China not buying more aircraft from Russia? Why go into competition with the US’s aircraft competition?

All of these questions point to a demonstrable worldview inside Beijing. The what and why and means can be largely debated and rarely proven. But, all paths lead to a path-based worldview. China sees cooperation with Russia just as it sees cooperation with nearly everyone else: Just another stepping stone. And, the stepping-stone builders are literally building rocks to walk on in the sea.

China’s motive is known only to the Chinese puppet masters and God Himself. But, no one should think for a moment that China plans—for good or ill—to stop with control of their nine-dash line in the South Sea.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 22, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 22, 2016

There really isn’t much news this week in the Pacific. China and Russia practice war games in the disputed South Sea while the US and South Korea practice their war games near the Korean Peninsula. Taiwan’s government continues what is expected of the new regime: Status quo, strength, and corruption crackdowns—two of which don’t exactly please China.

Status quo is exactly what China will not accept. Taiwan and the US object to the objection to status quo. No big changes are coming from the countries China opposes. China is determined to break the mood. Beijing sees the West as “already having” upset status quo and wants to revert to history—well, a specific part of history anyway. So, “status quo” has become a relative term, as has “perp”. We’ll have to leave conclusions in the hands of the people.

That conclusion may be soon as much as it may be well-informed. The world slowly becomes more and more aware of what is happening in the South Sea. When someone busts a move to make headlines, there won’t be any surprises.

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