Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 30, 2015

Strength against China grows. The people of Taiwan don’t hate China; they want friendship with China. This makes them stronger than people who want subordinates and acquisitions. Communist Beijing and pro-China-control Taipei seem out of touch.

Research consistently demonstrates that a sizable majority of Taiwanese identify themselves as quite distinct from China. The KMT-Nationalist establishment views national sentiment as a result of opposition party propaganda rather than the opposition party’s power being an expression of national sentiment. The Nationalists don’t seem to understand that their policies help their opposition more than any campaign strategy could.

China rejected the entry of the young Miss World Canada winner. She wanted to participate in the global contest in Hainan. She spoke out on Human Rights and was turned away at her connection terminal. This put her in the global spotlight. Yet, it is doubtful that Beijing will be able to recognize, let alone accept, the power they gave this young girl.  · · · →

continue reading
Standard
Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 21, 2015

China mostly talked this week. And they plan to talk more next week with Obama about Taiwan’s elections. Taiwan now allows 5,000 new Chinese visitors per day and China will give Taiwanese electronic passes in their visits. This raises questions about why China wants so many people in Taiwan while making Taiwanese in China easier to track. US experts think that Taiwan will be more difficult to defend from a Chinese invasion over the coming years.

Japan’s National Diet gave the nod for international military action for the first time in seven decades. China had some words about that too, having more to do with Japan’s military staying at home than with China’s military staying at home.

Thousands pour through Austria seeking shelter

…Europe is not the only continent with more international visitors

Japan

Okinawan governor to revoke permit for U.S. base relocation work

Japanese, China express opposition to law change

Japan enhances military’s role as contentious legislation passed

Support for Abe sags even further in more polls

China says Japan security law ‘threat’ to regional peace

U.S.  · · · →

continue reading
Standard
Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 3, 2015

Propaganda backfired this week. Beijing wants more Internet censorship, almost to create a “Chinanet” akin to another Great Schism not seen since the Orthodox Church split from the West. TPP failed. Students in Taiwan stormed government offices to keep out China-propaganda over “minor” changes to national curriculum. An Australia-India-Japan alliance plumed out of nowhere. Taiwan and Japan are kissing and making up. And some truth came through well-kept gates.

An 18-year-old got back from his year in North Korea. The North Koreans shower together like Americans and Romans. North Korean students are curious about mundane life in America. And, notably, North Koreans seem to agree with a Americans: Government is the problem, not the people.

Joshua Wang, Hong Kong, had an interview with the BBC and explained that the Umbrella Movement never really had a plan and never communicated a plan to the public. But they did succeed in raising public awareness.  · · · →

continue reading
Standard
Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 13, 2015

China’s new bank (AIIB, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) dominated headlines this week. AIIB’s history suggests China wants infrastructure money without being told to clean up the environment, respect human rights, or play nice with their hope-to-be soon-to-be-annexed neighbors. The US could have jumped-in and controlled AIIB, but didn’t, as if the US anticipates that AIIB may lose money after, say, a conflict in the Pacific.

The bank seems to be a line in the sand for US allies in the Pacific, but not so much in Europe. The Internet is flooded with articles claiming that China won’t control their own bank, some of which Cadence has too much dignity to link to. Does hiring Westerners to run the Chinese bank make it less “Chinese”? Beijing marketing departments might think so.

Isn’t it interesting that China is creating a bank for infrastructure while, at the same time, China is building up their military to knock-out existing infrastructure in places like Taiwan? All this Pacific infrastructure talk smells a little “fishy”, as it were. China wants to invest. The US doesn’t. The bank controversy may not be about politics, but about money—gambling on who will get a return on their investment after… “something” happens and “someone” wins.

China is building up in the Pacific and the US isn’t afraid to say so, especially to Taiwan. Taiwan made more great poses for the camera with the US, which China won’t like. Taiwan is rolling out a new political party, which the Establishment won’t like.

Chinese corruption and the environment crossed swords this week. No one seems to have asked why China has so much corruption. The answer would likely be that strong households maintain themselves first, while those who think more about their neighbors often leave the own homes in disrepair.

Chinese and Western press exchanges drew a little more attention than normal this week. We see a pattern in both press and policy: Poke at China and they spill their beans; oppose China from abroad and they try to annex you, “by force if necessary”. Michael Cole deserves a medal for getting a Chinese general to give away more of Beijing’s intentions, this time with classy Beijing graphics, though the Pacific Daily Times doesn’t exactly share a coterminous opinion on Israel; we like Israel at the Times. But Michael is as informed as he is thought provoking—and good at provoking the PLA into revealing strategy. With ISIS on the move so much that even Japan is watching, we all might come around to appreciating Israel for standing in their way.

What makes a nation aggressive? Will China give up its claim to the map if the good guys erase themselves from it? An academic blog article encourages the US to infiltrate China’s new bank, claiming that the US is partially to blame for its creation. While joining China’s AIIB might be a good idea—had war on the horizon not made it a risky investment for the Yanks—China didn’t create that AIIB bank because of lack of control in the IMF.

Obama’s election wouldn’t make Al Sharpton complain less nor would Israel’s annihilation suddenly make ISIS stop burning people alive. Limbaugh predicted it: Obama’s election preceded a spike in ethnic tension in America. ISIS is angry that they don’t already control Europe because Israel is in their way. If China controlled the IMF, the AIIB would already be open for business. And if China acquired Taiwan, Beijing would soon publish genealogical claims to Tokyo, and why not Jerusalem and Tehran too?

Top Stories

Britain’s Support for China’s AIIB Means Japan, Parroting the U.S., Is Trapped

…Old, but shows the controversy surfacing.

US reports on Chinese naval threat to Taiwan

“Friction between China and its neighbors appears increasingly likely as Beijing seeks to deter rival activities and assert its own claimed rights and interests.”

The Great Chinese Lie About Taiwan

…From J Michael Cole on China and the controversy *See more under Taiwan

Retired PLA General responds to J Michael Cole

…Photo of a Chinese General’s backlash against Cole (in his Chinese article) *See more under Taiwan

Territorial Claims in the South China Sea

…NY Times maps from 2012, informative

continue reading

Standard
Stories

Sunflower Movement: A Day on the Ground (photos)

View Jesse’s full photo set at flickr.com

Lonely Morning SunflowerThe sun sets on several thousand gathered in Taipei. Police stand guard with riot shields and batons blocking roads and entrances. Streets overflow with students—some standing, most sitting on cardboard, Mylar heat blankets, or interlocking foam pads. Tents and booths line walkways. Traditional Taiwanese food vendors sit at the outskirts. Projection screens and stages can be found at the corner of every block, each with a different guest speaker. Sweepers patrol, armed with brooms and dustpans. The scene is clean. No one litters. Everyone is a volunteer but the police. Sunflowers and yellow banners are everywhere.

Yellow Ribbons and Projection ScreensThis is a movement unlike anything I’ve seen. Anyone who has personally encountered a head of Sate understands the term “electricity”. If you’re standing outside the White House, for instance, not even paying attention, you may suddenly feel an enormous “jolt” of emotional energy, even with no noise or activity.  · · · →

continue reading
Standard