Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 29, 2018

It was a week of protests in both Hong Kong and South Korea. Neither side of any controversy rose above the fray. For the powers that be, it was PR gone bad. For the masses, it was spitting in the wind. When the governed don't want the ambitions of the controlling few, the solution is not Delphi method, but re-evaluation at the fundamental level. When the disgruntled masses reject the powers that be, peaceful boycott can make more lasting changes than any message sent by heated protest.

No one forced students to attend Baptist University in Hong Kong. If 90% of the student body objects to the mandatory Mandarin classes then 90% of the student body would do better to simply find another school. If the leadership at the university believes Mandarin classes can help students, then one would think the students would volunteer for them. A better way would be to make the classes both optional and tuition free for students and alumni of up to four years. If leadership is correct that the most widely-spoken language in the world, right in Hong Kong's back yard, would be useful for Hong Kongers—and classes with university credit were free for students and alumni—the university would see an influx of enrollment.

No one is forcing South Koreans to attend the Olympic Games. If South Koreans don't want the Kim Dynasty to participate in the games, they can save themselves the expense and either save the time of going or replace that time with a public stand-in, carrying educational signs during the Olympics, whether on-sight or off. If the democratic South Korean government wants to promote a unified stance with North Korean athletes, they can use the abundance of Internet technology to poll the public on what would make the people happy to that end. Since South Korea's new president is so popular, he should not have lacked feedback when asking his many supporters what they want to do.

Taiwan made it's own—and likely most aggressive—move. By entering the world of AI development, Taiwan is entering the ring with other big players, such as China. Few will see it as the bold move that it is. The miracle of Taiwan's AI venture was that the move did not insight protests.

The only positive communication seemed to be between China and Japan. They are communicating about communicating. That's always a good thing.

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Korean Non-Communion

It was at the North-South Korean border. An American military official approached the line, accompanied by one or two South Korean officials. He held a megaphone. Stopping just before the line, he aimed the megaphone over the border and explained that South Korea had found the body of a dead North Korean soldier and wanted information on how to turn it over to North Korea officials. As he spoke North Korean soldiers looked at him through binoculars and scattered about like flies until they finally went inside their building and closed the door.

It is difficult to take it all in. Normally, when you try to talk to someone, they listen, receive your message, and pass the message on. But, the North Korean officials seemed to assume that South Korea had some other intentions, as if the South wasn't saying what the South was saying. That's not to mention that the South had to communicate with a megaphone because no one in the North would receive a simple message.

What was even more startling was how much I kept thinking about communication between different Christian sects and denominations.

In the Church and in America as a whole, communication has a striking similarity. People are suspicious of each other and they don't receive each others' ideas. When a Baptist speaks to a Pentecostal, it is as if each of their friends circle the other with binoculars before silently walking away and closing the door. The only way to talk about even the most basic of cordial concerns is through a megaphone because there is no reception.

By refusing to listen to each other, Americans have adopted dangerous values to a point where North Korean missiles may not be necessary to destroy the country.

But, shouldn't Christians at least act better? Not only should Christians be courteous across their borders, there shouldn't be borders in the Church. It is as if American society follows the example of old-time, denominational, divided "Churchianity".

Unfortunately, the Church keeps the borders they shouldn't while governments don't keep the borders they should. Ironically, removing Church borders and building government borders are equally politically incorrect. Dr. Ben Carson had some words about political correctness.

"...Fix the PC culture in our country, which only listens to one narrative. And if it doesn't fit their philosophy, then they try to ascribe some motive to it... Whenever you are asked a certain question, it has to be answered in a certain way, and if you don't answer it that way, then let's attack. Let's not try to actually understand what a person is saying. Let's just attack, attack, attack. And hopefully, everybody else will look at that and they will realize they're never supposed to say something like that again. That's what the PC culture is." – Dr. Ben Carson

Blame for the nation's division rightly rests at the doorstep of the Church. It's impossible to rule-out that the North-South Korean conflict wasn't influenced by the Church's own division and non-communication. Non-communication is very dangerous. The Church doesn't seem to understand how important the issue of communication has always been. Christians don't even understand what they say to each other, let alone the great dangers that now await them, merely from their refusal to communicate.

So, the Christian and American political scripts are the same: When someone doesn't respond according to the expected narrative, the programmed minions assume that he has some hidden agenda and it is as if they can't hear plain English. continue reading


Cadence of Conflict: Asia, July 4, 2016

We see the psychology of Chinese cultural leadership on full display. China stopped communicating with Taiwan. An accidental firing of a live missile, killing one and injuring two, on a parked Taiwanese naval corvette was judged to indicate a “loose screw” in Taiwan’s military leadership.

The KMT-Nationalists from Mainland China have been managing Taiwan’s military for the last several years. The sailor responsible for the accidental firing was fatigued on the day of an inspection. They didn’t use a two-person firing system; it only took one sailor to fire. The Taiwan incident indicates “Mainlander” leadership, not the leadership of the opposition party that only took power within the last few months. We still don’t know how that new leadership will turn out. But, refusing to capitulate to China’s unilateral definitions is a good indication that Taiwan has strong leadership.

As for the force controlling China’s Mainland, the Communists, they are on trial over their activity in the South Sea. What is their solution? They hold more Naval exercises in the very waters they are being pressed over. Usually when a man is on trial, it is best if he pretends to be weak. While Beijing loudly denies it, actions indicate thoughts that a “show of force” will soften the decision of the international courts—because that works with Chinese courts, just as it works when the KMT did it with courts in Taiwan. However, the West will see China’s navel drill as further inditing evidence—of either excessive force or lack of discretion.

China is making it difficult for even Russia to come to their defense. Taiwan is making it difficult for America to want to give them missiles, unless meaningful changes happen soon, but that’s too soon. Taiwan claims to see the need for changes, but we’ll see. Beijing apparently thinks the opposite and then says opposite of that. The wise should be concerned over any force that doesn’t know his own situation.

By demonstrating the same worldview in both militaries, we can suspect that similar antics and accidentals are already happening in both. But there is another factor: Communication.

By cutting the “communication mechanism” with Taiwan over a unilaterally defined “one China”, China thinks it is making a power move, when actually, it has sabotaged its own intel gathering. More importantly, in the eyes of the watchful West, China proves that it doesn’t mean what it says. By not communicating with Taiwan over the “one China” concept—according to its own “one China” claim—China is not communicating with itself. That means that China never really believed its own “one China” idea in the first place.

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