Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 13, 2017

At the APEC summit in Vietnam, Putin told Trump that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election. Putin was sincere. At the same time, Taiwan is beefing-up cybersecurity, ostensibly to counter "daily" and "Russian style" attacks originating in China. If everyone's rhetoric holds true, that means that there aren't any threats at all.

Trump offered to help settle disputes in the South Sea. The Philippines' finance minister complemented Trump on knowing "the art of the deal". The Filipino president does not want any problems in the South Sea. China would rather settle disputes one-to-one. Will everyone get what they want? We'll have to see. This is a chance for China also to earn compliments about negotiation skill from Filipino leadership.

Trump was very friendly in China. He underscored the importance of cooperation between the US and China. It was one of the kindest things he ever said. He publicly conducted himself in some of the kindest ways he ever has since running for office. China received him with respect and his public appearances went smoothly. If there ever was a good chance for peace, now is the best chance there has been for a long while and is probably the best chance there will yet be for a long while.

Will things go peacefully? We'll see.

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Faux Report

Miniharm’s Top 10 Moments of 2014

It’s been a whirlwind year in China. Here’s a look back at 10 moments that made us smile.

10. China allows Xinjiang to secede after deciding it’s just not worth it.

Photo © Reuters

9. Americans befriend Chinese man after discovering he has lots of money.

Alibaba IPO

8. Families relieved MH370 crash not caused by bickering Chinese passengers.

Photo © AFP

7. Taylor Swift releases bestselling concept album about the Tiananmen protests.

1989

6. APEC blue selected as Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year.

APEC

5. China grants Uyghur scholar lifetime tenure at local prison.

Ilham Tohti

4. Thousands of Hong Kong residents throw away chance of ever entering the mainland.

Hong Kong

3. Zhou Yongkang becomes highest-level official purged since Communist Party mascot Sickles the Revolutionary.

Zhou Yongkang

2. Vladimir Putin offers Xi Jinping $1 million for one night with Peng Liyuan.

Vladimir Putin and Peng Liyuan

1. China’s made-up number becomes larger than every other country’s made-up number.

GDP

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Faux Report

Leaders of China, Japan, Philippines and Vietnam to Settle Island Disputes with Fight to the Death

BEIJING — Hailed as one of the biggest success stories to come out of APEC, the heads-of-state of China, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam agreed on Tuesday to settle their territory disputes in the South China Sea with a classic, no-holds-barred fight to the death.

“We exhausted all other options,” said Philippine President Beningo Aquino III. “It’s the only way.”

In a rare interview with state media, Chinese President Xi Jinping revealed that the decisive battle will be a free-for-all held in Olympic Forest Park where “the only rule is there are no rules.”

“This brawl will be a turning point in global diplomacy.”

According to Xi, the park will be walled off and transformed into a Hunger Games-style battleground, complete with weapon caches and hidden traps.

“We will have to rely on our wits to survive,” said Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang.

Speaking at a press conference, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the respective heads-of-state have settled on a winner-take-all system, with the lone survivor’s country staking claim to all disputed islands in the South China Sea, including the Senkaku/Diaoyu, Paracel and Spratly Islands.

“This brawl will be a turning point in global diplomacy,” Abe said. “And I do not intend to lose.”

The leaders will have one week to train and prepare before the showdown on November 18.

At press time, Xi was studying a topographical map of Olympic Forest Park and trying to get an advance copy of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

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Faux Report

Beijing Euthanizes Poor People Ahead of APEC

BEIJING — To ensure world leaders see a clean and beautiful city, the Beijing government has euthanized millions of the city’s poor ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which begins today.

“We need to put our best foot forward when it comes to APEC,” said Beijing deputy mayor Li Jun. “It’s nothing personal.”

Last week, the city issued a statement warning poor people to stay out of the capital during the six-day meeting.

“Any impoverished citizen seen within Fifth Ring Road will be euthanized, in accordance with the law.”

“To protect the image of the Chinese people and ensure a harmonious summit,” the statement read, “any impoverished citizen seen within Fifth Ring Road from November 7-12 will be detained and euthanized, in accordance with the law.”

Though the draconian measure has attracted criticism from human rights organizations, this isn’t the first time a Chinese municipality has taken strict measures to ensure the success of a high-profile event.

Before the World Expo in 2010, the Shanghai government packed the city’s migrant workers into buses and drove them off a cliff.

Though it’s too early to tell whether Beijing’s euthanization program will improve the city’s image as a world-class metropolis, Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly said that the city was “remarkably free of riff-raff” on his way in from the airport.

At press time, the APEC meetings were proceeding smoothly, though, due to the ban on poor people, there was no one left to pour tea, empty trash, open doors or pamper guests.

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