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Prelude to Conflict

Prelude to Conflict: Asia, July 21


Prelude To Conflict

Prelude To Conflict

The week of “mixed messages”… Western headlines relating to Southeast Asia were about “helping” Hong Kong, early this week. Thursday, the Pentagon announced that China will join the US and Australia in an infantry exercise this October… mixed messages.

Atop the stack, things are escalating against Russia. WWI started when Germany sank the passenger ship, Lusitania. If the West unites against Russia, this would have significant implications for China. This Prelude tries to avoid stories about Russian-EU escalation, focusing on Asia, but Asia’s back yard has big ramifications for the roof.

In the larger scope, Hong Kong could be a tipping point for China. As much as Beijing is focused on the island of Taiwan as their “2,000-missile-worthy enemy”, Taiwan has the attention of the Pentagon, while Hong Kong has the attention of the world.

The only press siding with Beijing is Beijing’s press. If the Western media were Sun Tzu, HK-related headlines seem to “attack China where it is not.” In the eyes of Western voting taxpayers, the passenger jet downed over Ukraine is to Russia what HK democracy is to China: Best not touch either—too late for Russia. Will China choose to be next?

As Amnesty International is already investigating Taiwan’s current (and less and less US-friendly) government, all it would take is a Human Rights case against Beijing and the West would have the excuse they need to strike both Communist turfs. One Hong Kong professor reminded Britain of the PM’s 1996 promise to do so if Beijing did what Beijing is doing. The NY Times reminded us that the professor reminded us.

The NY Times also had at least two articles about Russia on Friday. The NY Times has been busy.

Speaking of Taiwan, here is a trivia factoid: In Annual [US Military] Reports to Congress on China, Taiwan always seems to make an appearance. Remember this whenever Taiwan makes another appearance in Western headlines… and when they don’t, such as this week’s loud silence on Asia altogether. Hamas, however, continued to make headlines in Taiwan. It’s not that Israel is learning about Taiwan, but Taiwan is learning about Israel. Political change is also in the Taiwan works and the US may quietly back the “other” party come 2016… Beijing also seems to be anticipating that election with illegal entry to Taiwan, as one Taiwanese lawmaker warned. Taking flack indicates that one is over the target… politically and literally.

BRICS is expanding their reach in South America. (BRICS is a financial cooperation between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.) This has military implications. As the Congressional Research report stated June 5, the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept has multiple “domains” (air, sea, cyberspace, outer space, etc.) BRICS would expand the reach of China and Russia into the new “domain” of “finances” in South America, very near to the United States. BRICS’ outreach in South America is a military move. Of course, most news won’t explain this. You read it here first.

Mainland Chinese news outlets are not the only media source Beijing agendas should consider. Chinese residents don’t get to vote on whether the West will fund action against China. Hong Kong’s spotlight in the Western press is indeed snowballing. Interestingly, many articles explain HK’s background as if readers need to be informed of Hong Kong’s relationship to China altogether. The press seems to be siding against Beijing, while operating under the notion that the West needs a history lesson on both Taiwan and Hong Kong. This week, Western readers focus on Russian stories while they reflect on the recent history lessons on Taiwan’s and Hong Kong’s histories with China. Don’t think it’s by accident. It’s the perfect prelude to war.

We don’t read so many history lessons about Japan or South Korea in the news. Maybe the world already knows about those countries’ history in the region. Or, maybe, Japan and the Koreas can’t pivot the Chinese “situation” like HK can. Or, more likely, the truth lay in some “mix” of the two.

Russia

World Leaders Match Anger With Calls for Inquiry Into Ukraine Plane Crash

…Russia, with many video comments from world leaders. (NY Times, June 18)

Obama Points to Pro-Russia Separatists in Downing of Malaysian Airlines Plane

(NY Times, June 18, also)

Hong Kong

China’s top paper dismisses fears Hong Kong autonomy being eroded

…from the previous week. Was China right?…

Pro-democracy lawmakers blast UK over Hong Kong report

…HK demands help from Britain.

Who Will Stand Up for Hong Kong?

…NY Times asks who will help Hong Kong, refers to professor.

HSBC Draws Fire After Downgrading Hong Kong Stocks

…NY Times article referenced this NY Times-owned blog post.

HK leader seeks ‘patriotic’ reform in paper to China

…One HK leader is responding positively to demonstrations. Watch to see what happens to him. Beijing enemies and Vladimir Putin enemies, alike, have a knack for “bad luck”.

Hong Kong’s leader warns pro-democracy activists against mass protest

…even though HK warned demonstrators two months ago.

Taiwan

Apache timetable intact: army

…Taiwan’s military confirms strength in Taiwanese military schedules that reach into Taiwan’s next President’s administration.

Lawmaker warns of increased Chinese infiltration

…Chinese flooding into Taiwan illegally. Little or no action to stop it. Taiwanese elections approaching.

DPP Newsletter May 2014

DPP Newsletter June 2014

…Taiwan opposition party making tracks with the US and in their pre-election arena.

DPP expects tough meet

Israel makes headlines in Taiwan

Casualties rise as Israeli assault enters seventh day

Fighting rages on as Gaza truce fails

Egypt truce plan unravels after new fighting

Israel threatens ground offensive as rockets keep flying

Israel, Hamas agree Gaza humanitarian aid truce

Israel pledges new truce today, but Hamas disagrees

Israel intensifies ground offensive, civilian deaths rise

Islamic State killed 270 in oilfield raid

Regional Southeast Asia

Japan wary as US, Europe up sanctions on Russia

…Russian news connects the situation in Russia to Southeast Asia. This is only the second time The Prelude has documented this connection, but we anticipate seeing more in the future.

China to join military exercise with US, Australia

…More vagary and “bolshevik” on US-China relations.

Congressional Reports

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress

…with a chapter on Air-Sea Battle (ASB)

ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China…

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

 

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