September 14, 2019

LOTS OF ONGOING HONG KONG COVERAGE FROM MICHAEL YON. Plus, he offers this observation from a friend, about the pork-tariff item noted here yesterday:

”There is a tiny, tiny notice in the news today that China has backed off on its tariffs on US soy and pork.

Ya don’t say…

First of all, soy and pork are protein, which is a chronic problem in all national food chains, but more so in China. Between their traditional plant based diet and the cultural prestige of eating pork (the middle class literally measures its affluence by how many nights a week they eat pork and the lower classes and villages use pork as a celebratory meal), China’s protein consumption is very narrowly restricted to soy and pork (fish is common, but not nearly as available as soy and pork).

Second, by lifting the tariffs, China has just admitted it cannot produce enough protein for national consumption, both as a staple or as a preferred meat. Imagine a US shortage of wheat and chicken, with no real access to corn or beef, and a couple dozen urban areas of 20 millions or more with just a third arable land as now. That’s China.

So, what’s the problem with China’s agricultural industry? Basically, they simply do not have enough land to grow the volume of soy they need; and, their pork production is highly diffused and is ravaged by a massive and seemingly uncontrollable swine flu epidemic. In fact, it is estimated that up to 60% of China’s pigs are infected with the flu.

To compound a bad situation to worse, Chinese officials are both incapable of enforcing a quarantine and too corrupt to stop the spread of the flu.

While this seems to have little to do with defense or military matters, I would suggest it is a huge red shift event offering insights into both the underlying economic and organizational civilian support system of the Red Army and suggestive of a wider indigenous structural and organizational condition of the military and government writ large.

I believe we can draw significant conclusions from closely studying China’s responses to this food supply crisis and extrapolating our observations to the military to understand what they do under stressful conditions, what resources they deploy, and how they organize their response. Not to mention, how the civilian population responds to the military’s demands.

“Stipulated: The food supply chain is in fact a national security issue and it is a function of the military’s most basic needs. A lot can be learned by studying this issue.”

Indeed. Plus, from the comments to the earlier InstaPundit post: “Buy crazy amounts of pork and bacon, and drive the prices up for China anyway. Lets see how the Chinese can fight against that sort of 4GW action.”

Wait, so I can kill communism by buying more bacon? This is the most awesome timeline of all!

UPDATE: From the comments:

Michael Yon also observed, and it’s pretty clear if you monitor the Chinese and Hong Kong media, that in the past day or so, that Beijing has ramped up the violence in Hong Kong. Pro-Beijing agitators are attacking random passers-by and fomenting brawls and riots in the shopping malls where pro-democracy demonstrators gather to sing. The Hong Kong police are cooperating with the pro-Beijing agitators, arresting pro-democracy demonstrators, but leaving the pro-Beijing agitators alone. Probably some of the pro-Beijing agitators are triad gang members, and it’s possible that some are mainland China People’s Armed Police agents embedded in the Hong Kong police force. This isn’t random; someone in the Hong Kong government, likely controlled from Beijing is orchestrating this. It leaves me wondering if the Hong Kong police force is being directly controlled from Beijing now and is no longer effectively the “Hong Kong” police. The police appear not to be concerned with following HK law at all and are more and more violent – beating and arresting people anyone they think might be associated with the pro-democracy movement.

Yes, we had a report from a longtime InstaPundit reader who’s also a longtime Hong Kong resident on just that.

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