Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 11, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 11, 2016

China was a major player in the Panama Papers scandal, including Hong Kong offices. British Prime Minister Cameron was involved. The British foreign secretary warned of threats to Hong Kong freedoms. Hong Kong’s CEO, Leung, hit back at calls for independence in the face of Hong Kong’s brand-new “National” party. China continues to crack down on corruption.

Japan send a sub and two destroyers to dock in Manila in the wake of the new Japan-Philipines defense pact. The US and Taiwan are drafting stronger ties affecting visitors. As Taiwan’s rising DPP political party gains popularity, the lame duck KMT-Nationalist party plays power against the DPP to the bitter end. North Korea tested a long-range nuclear missile engine to “guarantee” a strike on the continental US.

Friends and enemies are everywhere and everyone has a motive for everything.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 22, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 22, 2016

China is deploying weapons. The US is responding with pressure—mostly economic, some political, always involving alliances. Money and trade are atop the list.

China’s unusual manipulation of its money is documented and under more scrutiny than ever.

According to Chinese State-run media, China has weapons on disputed islands by right. According to the government, US concern over militarizing those islands is “hype”. Still, Asean is watching the Pacific and so is Bloomberg.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 15, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 15, 2016

Ri Yong-gil was said to be executed in Korea. He wasn’t seen in his usual place in public with Great Successor Un. This just after the satellite launch, which led to more sanctions approved by the Senate.

Hong Kong cracked down on some unlicensed food vendors in the streets of Mong Kok. People responded by throwing and burning things. Their view is clear, as is the view of Hong Kong’s government. China remarked about “terrorist tendencies”. Hong Kong’s finance minister, Tsang (曾俊華), implied the Biblical story of Solomon’s judgment of two women in writing, “A mother who truly loves her son would not saw him in half and would never themselves be the executioner.” It is good to see that China did not rebuke a government leader for studying the Bible.

China is losing money. It also lost a bank. But, so what. China is oblivious to its own past with which it haunts itself. HSBC has reviewed Hong Kong again, for a possible location. HQ-ing in HK could save $14B. But, again, no. Tienanmen scared them too much. Even after 25 years, old fears don’t die easily, especially when they don’t have a reason to.

It’s somewhat ironic, though. Asia is responsible for much of HSBC’s revenue. Or, maybe it’s not ironic since that “is” seems to be changing into more of a “was”. Asia “was” responsible for much of HSBC’s revenue. It seems that the West has profited and, now, has picked up, packed up, and isn’t coming back. And, what should that tell us?

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 1, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, February 1, 2016

Age of provocation. China warned everyone, this week. Soros had better not declare war on Chinese currency—or else. Taiwan had better not do a lot of things. The US had better not do a lot of things. Basically, the world “had better not”.

The Pacific conflict is reaching the point where China expects a Wold v China scenario. Whatever China is doing to make enemies is so powerful that not even Obama can stay low key—whether he wants to or not. Beijing’s “magnetic” personality is drawing all guns to point east.

Taiwan is beginning its political transition, not without its own rumors. The DPP opposition took the legislature today. The new president won’t be sworn in for a few months. But with the vast majority already in power in the legislature and local governments, the lame duck, Ma, is strung up by his webbing. All anyone can do about Taiwan is quack; the president, president-elect, and even Beijing.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 25, 2016

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 25, 2016

Since Taiwan’s election, China and the KMT-Nationalists have been largely silent. While the Chinese aren’t spending as much money at home, and while the Chinese economy looks evermore shaky, Xi Jinping has no problem dealing with Egypt or declaring all but war against Israel. Historically, talking ill of Israel is bad political luck. Perhaps China thinks itself the exception to many things.

Taiwan’s pro-China KMT-Nationalist party is out for the count. Defeated. Wind knocked-out. Humiliated. It’s over. And, it is surprising. Not only did the KMT respond by acknowledging their defeat; its members showed no awareness of how their pro-China policies would dissolve their power at home nor how their mismanagement of domestic disarray from poor policies would make their aspirations untenable. There was no way the could win, yet the only seem to have seen this in retrospect.

That hindsight realization could have a contagious affect and spread to US policy. The Obama administration has made a Trump nomination and victory ever bit as inevitable as how Taiwan’s DPP opposition victory owes thanks to Taiwan’s Ma administration. Tsai couldn’t not have won in 2016 just how Obama couldn’t have lost with George W. Bush’s foreign policies and refusal to respond to the press. Maybe the West will get wise. This year, there were no Chinese missiles fired across Taiwan, as there was in 1996. Few things indicate that Beijing is learning like this.

Read More