Monday, October 03, 2016

The Week in Asian Geopolitical Crazy Talk

PROGRAM ADVISORY: As Your Humble Correspondent has been sucked into the undertow of the US election season, IPM will be moving to weekly rather than daily updates. Look for them after Midnight Monday, Christmas Island Time. 

It always ends in tears (original image: AFP)

Chinese leaders are painfully aware of the delicate nature of dealing with a sensitive North Korea. Beijing often stresses that it has no “special influence” over Pyongyang. This is partly true as members of the “Chinese faction” in North Korea have been purged by Kim. But Chinese leaders are also aware that if they publicly claim to have leverage over North Korea, it will drive the nationalistic young leader farther away.
Chow Chung-yan cites the the history of balancing Korean nationalism with necessity in explaining why it's actually rather hard for China to "rein in" the Kim Regime (link - SCMP)


(Translation: China should quickly embark on the Kra Canal project and turn Singapore back into a third world country. This is the best present to give to a “2-headed snake”.)
An editorial in The Independent (link) sees China digging up the Kra Canal (link) again as leverage against Singapore for Global Recalcitrance


The reporter then moves on to disputed territories. The South China Sea? “It has to be China’s,” Comrade Tan asserts. The Diaoyu Islands? Taiwan? All China’s. What about Sora Aoi (Cangjingkong 苍井空 in Mandarin)? “Sora Aoi is also the Chinese people’s,” says Comrade Zhou—not realizing that Sora Aoi is not a place, but a Japanese porn star. 
How about Hong Kong independence? Sunglassed Comrade Chen has a quick answer. “If you get independence, Boss Xi will drop a bomb and destroy you.”
Roy Tsui's TVMOST gives Mainland visitors to HK more than enough rope on National Day (link to story: China Digital Times) (link: Facebook)

The first one is that it comes from Messrs Sit, Fung, Kwok and Shum. I presume they are a respectable firm, though not perhaps very experienced in this line of work. But Mr Leung does not need to resort to private lawyers, respectable or otherwise. Senior government officials who wish to sue for libel have to ask for permission (which in the case of Mr Leung I suppose he can give himself) and having obtained permission get the free services of the Department of Justice. Well we know Mr Leung is not short of a bob or two. But one does wonder why this particular chore was outsourced. Was the DoJ consulted, and discouraging?
Tim Hammlet analyzes, perhaps though the bottom of a beer glass, CY Leung's legal threats against Apple Daily (link: HK Free Press)

Nonproliferation zealots (!!!!) are making sure nuclear weapons now proliferate only to totalitarian states. Despite much rhetoric and sincere, well-intentioned efforts, the United States sat by as North Korea developed its nuclear weapons. It is not too late to disabuse China and North Korea of the idea that nuclear proliferation pays. Japan ought to begin a sincere program to build deliverable nuclear weapons to show China that China’s support to North Korea is counterproductive and strategically naive. The Republic of Korea ought to begin a nuclear-weapons development program.
James Van de Velde wants things to escalate quickly. (link: National Interest)

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