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Tibet Won't Move China -- But Taiwan Might

A lot of ink has been spilled, and rightly so, on Tibet. But is it possible that the bigger story happening in Asia right now is what's going on between China and its other unruly relative - Taiwan? Is it also possible that the troubles in Tibet could be setting the scene for faster breakthroughs vis-a-vis Taiwan? I think so.

Here's why.

Over the weekend China's president, the purposely boring Hu Jintao, met with the purposely boring vice-president elect of Taiwan, Vincent "Smiling" Siew, in the purposely sleazy resort province of Hainan in southern China. The meeting amounted to the highest-level contact between officials from Taipei and Beijing, which claims that Taiwan is part of China, since 1949 - the year when China's Communists won a civil war and the defeated Nationalists scurried to Taiwan. More recently, the two sides have had no substantial talks in eight years.

The Post briefed the meeting in our Sunday paper. The Times filed something on its website today in a piece that argued the planned dialogue won't amount to much because the Tibet situation would constrain China's leaders on any openings with Taiwan. Just the opposite, I think.

The election last month of Siew and Ma Ying-jeou, the Nationalist candidate for president, in Taiwan means that after eight years of failed leadership by President Chen Shui-bian, who bungled the island's security and its economy, relations between Taipei and Beijing are likely to improve. Leaders from the two sides are finally talking about establishing direct flights. (It takes a day to get from Taipei to Shanghai, home to 250,000 businessmen, right now. If the flights were direct, it'd take an hour.) Pres-elect Ma has said he wants to end most restrictions on Taiwanese investment in China. (A recognition of reality considering Taiwan's businessmen have already sunk $100 billion or so in mainland factories.)

This is good news, but not just for the economy of the region. It's also good news for those who care about the preservation of the world's only majority-Chinese democracy (Taiwan) and the prospect of political change in China.

Why?

For eight years, outgoing President Chen basically advocated that Taiwan declare independence from China. He couldn't say it openly because 1) China threatened to fire missiles at Taiwan if Taiwan took such an act (...not fun) and 2) the United States, which is obligated to (kind of) defend Taiwan under the very ambiguously worded Taiwan Relations Act, has told Taiwan that if it declared independence we probably wouldn't be overly eager to run to its defense. So Chen resorted to a policy of what the Chinese liked to call "creeping independence" which basically meant seizing every opportunity to enrage Beijing. In the end, however, Chen - and Taiwan -- didn't get bupkis. Taiwan failed to improve its security. And China had a strong argument against any kind of democratization. Look at Taiwan, Beijing's mandarins would say, they have democracy and they want to split the motherland! That's a powerful argument over there.

So enter Ma, the Harvard-educated pretty boy of the National Party. He turned his strategy 180 degrees from Chen's. Needlessly antagonizing China, he's said, makes no sense. The keys to Taiwan's security and - critically - to the preservation of its full-throated democracy, he argued, are good relations with Beijing, not the constant tension Chen seemed to crave. This type of thinking upset some in Washington who frame dealing with China in a smart (and somewhat complex) way with Panda-hugging or collaboration with the godless Commies. But I think that Ma is right.

The reason is that as long as Taiwan stops purposely pissing off China, most of the Communist leadership will be happy to let the whole issue of Taiwan's sovereignty float for decades as long as everybody is making money. That will boost Taiwan's economy, grant China time to change and decrease the possibility that the US will have to go to war to defend Taiwan. This peaceful interim will also give Taiwan time to push China's political system in the right direction.

And that's a key here. The only territory in the world with the capability to teach China about democracy is Taiwan. It won't be Hong Kong, which was, is and will always be just a glitzy colony - whether to the old rulers, the Brits, or the new ones, the Chinese. It's definitely not the West. If there's anything the Tibet situation has shown it's that the gap in understanding between us and China is vast and growing bigger.

But once China's propaganda czars can no longer paint Taiwan's democracy with the tar brush of "splittism" or "treason" (which they gleefully did while Chen was president), its political system will become a lot more attractive to the Chinese.

Now, how does Tibet play into this?

China's president Hu has already pretty much ruled out any major breakthroughs with the Dalai Lama. China's state-run media have reverted to propaganda from the Cultural Revolution with a 9/11 twist, describing Tibet's spiritual leader as a "jackal" in a monk's habit and a "terrorist."

But Beijing is desperate for some type of international breakthrough to show the world in this, its Olympic, year. Why not Taiwan? Arguments that flexibility on Taiwan would be impossible because it'd be inconsistent with toughness on Tibet don't wash. When the chips are down (and they are down for China right now), expediency wins. Taiwan could be the beneficiary. And that'd be good news.


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Comments (98)

Pixel:

>>BRAMBLES wrote:
>>..Earlier this month, after the Taiwan presidential election, for several times I heard cabbies (in Beijing) talking about why the election in Taiwan could be a good thing: "Chen is no good, so he gets sacked by the people. No bloodshed and no big fuss. It's good."

Well, BRAMBLES, you heard that only because the pro-unification KMT won the election. Had the election gone the other way, it would probably be a very different conversation. In fact, when Chen won the presidential elections, twice, democracy has always been called by the Chinese propaganda machine as an 'evil tool used to split the motherland."

So I guess whether democracy is a 'good thing' to the Chinese depends on if the candidate favored by the Chinese gets elected? Absurd as it may sound, that's how the Chinese perceive a 'democracy.'

Can:

Why you always see China as your mind,Why don't you go to China to see what happen,Tibet and Taiwan are pars of China ,you don't know Chinese history,you can't talk !I know USA is a free place,although you are free,you always do other states' things ,what you do are very ugly!

Anonymous:

To Peace Maker:

Your point well taken.

The fate of Taiwan's future is already carved on stone, and is not to your liking, to that, i say i am sorry.

If Taiwan declared independence under America's protection in the 50' and 60' of last century, PRC couldn't do a dame thing about it because it didn't have the necessary military power to overcome it, and you might have your chance, although PRC might do something later. But that didn't happen because KMT is nationalist and didn't want to be independence. Come 70' and 80', PRC have nuclear weapon and that deter America's
effort to protect Taiwan from independence. And now PRC is getting stronger in military, and the will of America to confront PRC is getting weaker. One day in the near future, PRC will stand shoulder to shoulder with USA military wise, and America will not want to have anything to do with Taiwan unless USA willing to sign a suicide pact with PRC. The truth is awful but true.

Taiwan is never a independence nation, none of the
leading nations perceive Taiwan as a nation ,that include USA, EU, Russia,Japan etc.

The only thing that you and I can hope for is for PRC to develop a democracy system that's acceptable to Taiwanese and avoid bloodshed and have a peaceful unification.

In the mean time, let's keep the statue quo, talk to each other, improve the relationship, come to an agreement of some sort to give Taiwan more room on the international stage, every body makes some money and happy!

Anonymous:

"Might is Right" is right. No amount of humiliation can make China release Tibet.

Tibetans, don't even think of an American-style war of independence, because that will surely lead to a real Tibetan genocide.

Peacemaker:

Re: SO BE IT comments,

I must correct you when you say "USA will not let go any of her territory, neither will China."

China gave up it's claim on Taiwan in an international treaty to Japan in 1895. It was Japanese territory for 50 years. Therefore, it has no claim on Taiwan.

After 1945 when Japan was defeated, Taiwan wasn't given to the PRC or to anyone else for that matter. Taiwan has a legitimate claim for independence.

PRC people should be smarter on this issue anyway. Why not let Taiwan have its independence and let its democratic principles grow. This way the PRC people can use Taiwan's success for leverage to challenge their own gov't for more basic freedoms. I have to ask, do you really want to be under an authoritarian system?? - This is hard to believe. Ok, sure when you are making $, you are happy, but if something happens like your land is taken by some corrupt govt official I'm sure you wished you had some basic rights and a fair justice system to handle this. Likewise, how about insane policy that forces women to have abortions?

In the future, when Taiwan see's that the PRC has evolved into a trustworthy system, they can give up their independence and become the 23 province. There is no rule chiseled in stone that says Taiwan doesn't have the right to merge with another country if it is independent.

Lastly on your Might is Right statement, sorry, I can't agree with you on that either.

Peacemaker:

Re: So be it comment,

I must correct you when you say "USA will not let go any of her territory, neither will China."

China gave up it's claim on Taiwan in an international treaty to Japan in 1895. Therefore, it has no claim on Taiwan. After 1945 when Japan was defeated, Taiwan wasn't given to the PRC or to anyone else for that matter. Taiwan has a legitimate claim for independence.

PRC people should be smarter on this issue anyway. Why not let Taiwan have its independence and let its democratic principles grow. This way the PRC people can use Taiwan success for leverage to challenge their own gov't for more basic freedoms. (Do you really want to be under an authoritarian system?? - This is hard to believe. Ok, sure when you are making $, your happy, but if something happens like your land is taken by some corrupt govt official I sure you wished you had some fair justice system to handle this. Likewise, how about insane policy that forces women to have abortions?

In the future, when Taiwan see's that the PRC has evolved into a trustworthy system, they can give up their independence and become the 23 province. There is no rule chiseled in stone that says Taiwan doesn't have the right to merge with another country if it is independent.

Lastly on your Might is Right statement, sorry, I can't agree with you on that either.

Tenzin Lhanze:

dump all u haters of Tibet. we just want freedom and independence. u wouldn't understnd us Tibetans one bit. u dont know how it feels to have your brothers and sisters killed and tortured by bloody communist cannibals. u can just lean back in your luxury chairs and eat caviar and high tea imported from some far away place that no one can pronounce but there is one thing u can never do. feel the hurt, sadness, and anger of a dying species of human the TIBETANS!

so be it:

Very nice article. Well done.

My comment is not about the article, but all the posts.
All of you have your points and all of you missed the point.
Every nation looks out for their own interests, do what's best for their nation. USA will not let go any of her territory, neither will China.
Nuclear-weapon has kept WW3 away from us, and forced nations to negotiate, moral high ground and media are amongst tools to create a better negotiate position, but of cause the most important tool is military.
So debate whatever you want, but at the end: Might Is Right.

Andrew:

Hi, nice very nice page..!

Good luck !

budfox:

Chen,
I believe you need to re-read my comment. I have "all of the above" and so do many others, that is the point I was trying to make.

>>Why? Because it is not a Chinese understanding thing; it is pure anti-Asian prejudice. And you all are totally infected with it!

Grow up or see a doctor.

Chen:

Budfox:

I'm constantly amazed at how quickly a Chinese person brings up the "You are not Chinese so you don't know jack argument". My question to them is what does it take to understand a Chinese? Do you have to live in Taiwan/China for 20+ years and pay attention to the nuances of life? Do you have to speak fluent Mandarin? Do you have to have a lifelong desire to study and understand all things Chinese? Do you have to be married to a Chinese person and have kids?

All of the above.

Why? Because it is not a Chinese understanding thing; it is pure anti-Asian prejudice.

And you all are totally infected with it!

Jeanne Wang:

Thanks for your comments Michael Turton...this article is a piece of uninformed crap.

Willie Wong:

The Slanted View of White Supremacists
“But Beijing is desperate for some type of international breakthrough to show the world in this, its Olympic, year. Why not Taiwan? Arguments that flexibility on Taiwan would be impossible because it'd be inconsistent with toughness on Tibet don't wash. When the chips are down (and they are down for China right now), expediency wins. Taiwan could be the beneficiary. And that'd be good news.”
1. White supremacists talk as if the so-called U.S.-Taiwan Relations Act were a legal right and a God-given principle for the U.S. to “divide and conquer China” using Taiwan as an agent. The fact is no nation on earth has authority or jurisdiction to pass a law regarding another sovereign state. The Taiwan Relations Act is the shameless and immoral way for the U.S. to violate China’s sovereignty. This is not the first time the U.S. oppressed and suppressed China. Ever since 1949 the U.S. sent the 7th Fleet to protect Chiang Kai Sheik’s government and prevented the reunification of Taiwan with China, the U.S. has consistently and persistently used all means, by hook or by crook, to undermine China in all fronts. Lately white supremacists feel uneasy because their foul scheme of getting Taiwan to secede from China using their agents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian failed and fizzled out. The overwhelming majority of Taiwanese rejected the corrupt government of Chen Shui-bian and rejected the insidious independent proposal. Taiwan has been a part of China longer than the existence of the U.S. The forcing of Taiwan to buy costly and deadly weapons so that the Chinese may kill themselves will also flop because Taiwanese are wise up and they do not buy the dirty trick of white supremacists anymore.
2. The U.S. has wronged China too many times, from participating in the infamous Opium Wars that killed Chinese, burned and looted China’s national treasures worth at least US$1,000 trillions; to Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson threatening to drop atomic bombs on China; to bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade; to meddling in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang internal matters; to demanding revaluation of RMB (yuan) and blaming China for American financial and economic crisis; to spying and targeting China and using the so-called National Missile Defense system to encircle China; to using American mass media to spread rumors and smear China with outrageous lies and falsehoods; the list can go on and on due to the hatred, malice and prejudice of white supremacists against China and Chinese people.
3. White supremacists manufactured lies in order to attack and occupy other nations. If white supremacists dare to start war of aggression against China, they better think and think again. The U.S. will be historically judged and forever condemned as the aggressor that brings about a nuclear holocaust which may end the human civilization. No nation or anyone can push or stop China now. The rising of China will overwhelm its foes and enemies like a tsunami. That is the crux of the matter: white supremacists are not only unhappy but jealous of China’s spectacular success because after more than half a century of propagandizing and working for the demise and destruction of China, not only to no avail; China is getting better, freer, richer and stronger every day.
4. White supremacists are busy bodies who relish abnormally pointing others with their dirty fingers. What kind of democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, system of government, etc. that white supremacists are so proud of? Is America the model for the world? What is the no. 1 debtor nation in the world? Which nation has the largest budget and trade deficits? Why the dollar is dropping? Which nation has the largest prison population and the highest crime rate? Which nation has the largest single-parent population? What nation recently committed the largest corporate scandals in history? Which nation has global overseas military bases? Which nation is the most hated on earth? Why 81% of Americans think America is on the wrong track?! If 81% of people believe their government is doing wrong, what legitimacy does the government have? It is about time American people rise up to kick out useless and corrupt leaders, to clean house and change the course of direction in order to save America from self-destruction.
April 19, 2008
Willie Wong
http://www.wongwillie.zoomshare.com/


Asian:

EU is the old moon.
USA is the full moon.
China is the young moon.

In the future,
USA will be the old moon.
China will be the full moon.

Imagine!
In the future CCP will rule China just like today.

Are you happy?

I can welcome the rise of China with pleasure if people can enjoy freedom, justice and democracy in China just like USA.

But...

If We(Chinese, Asian, Western..) want to enjoy freedom, justice and democracy in the future, we have to do something NOW.

overseas chinese:

Mr Pomfret,

I like your analysis and I hope that Taiwan might influence China in a positive way. But I think you might be overly optimistic.

There is a big difference between China and Taiwan. China is big and Taiwan is small. Being small, the only way for Taiwan to survive in the world is to be like the west. By being like the west, Taiwan knows that China would think twice before resorting to force. China is big. It will not bend to external forces.

The only way for China to change is for change to happen from within. I don't know how that will happen but I think with more contacts with the world China will change.

I am very excited about the opening of tourism in Taiwan to people from mainland China. People will see with their own eyes. However I don't think anything will happen soon. China is ruled by old people. Old people don't change their minds. The hope is in the younger generation.

It is funny that people still say "communist china". China is communism in name only. To understand the leadership system today we can look back about 4000 years. Before it was established that the emporor of china passes from father to son, there was a system where leadership was passed to the most able in the next generation.

Free Guam! :

Though President-elect Ma is pro-China, he is not pro-reunification. Then again, he does'nt speak for the whole Nationalist Party.

An-old-conversation:

I remembered when brought my kid home from her work, a Taiwanese man needed a free drive to come home. During my driving, I asked a Taiwanese man a co-worker of my kid as:
"What is the different between a Taiwanese and a mainland Chinese?"

The Taiwanese replied: "Taiwanese are civilized people, and mainland Chinese are the barbarous communist asians and unfortunately, these people all use the same language!".
I said: "I know, all comunist countries they are all barbarous in the same way! China therefore is not an exception, and it is easy to understand!"

This is the true story that I learned from a Taiwanese young man to share with all of you!

Budfox:

Comment about comments:

I'm constantly amazed at how quickly a Chinese person brings up the "You are not Chinese so you don't know jack argument". My question to them is what does it take to understand a Chinese? Do you have to live in Taiwan/China for 20+ years and pay attention to the nuances of life? Do you have to speak fluent Mandarin? Do you have to have a lifelong desire to study and understand all things Chinese? Do you have to be married to a Chinese person and have kids?

Well, my Chinese friends - there are many people like this in the world. Don't always jump to conclusions that just because you are not a native, you can't possibly understand Chinese mentality. There are many of us that know what you are thinking and why. Don't always turn away from constructive dialogue. It's not a zero sum game.

Anonymous:

John Smith wrote "A couple of generations later, the people in Taiwan won't feel very Chinese, but just Taiwanese."

Taiwanese is not an ethnicity. Taiwanese is still Chinese Taiwanese. Taiwan is closer to China than Hawaii is to North America.

John Smith:

Excellent Article. The Tibet issue is really a non issue. Tibetans make up 0.5% of China's population, there're no resources in Tibet for Westerners to eye on, Tibet is internationally recognized as part of China, and Chinese people will be 100% behind China's government in keeping the nation in one piece. No matter how loud the bloody hippies scream, or western politicians try to curry favor with their constituents (Sarkozy, Hillory and McCain...), no one is really going to do anything.

Taiwan is the interesting part. A couple of generations later, the people in Taiwan won't feel very Chinese, but just Taiwanese. This will make it impossible for China to unite with Taiwan.

larry(CHN):

The mass protest on Chinese torch relay in West recently gives me such impression: they don't so much dislike us as hate our communist system. So this is a problem, many Chinese are not satisfied with it neither, the imputation and vituperation on Chinese actually harm all Chinese people with different idea at the same time, therefore the protest is so bad and less effective. At this point, personally, I think western has gotten into foolish because hatred and it’s funny at all.

Rocky:

To independence-everywhere
You are lossing it, go take a break please, lol

independence-everywhere:

INDEPENDENCE-THE-BASIC-NEED-FOR-ALL-MANKIND:

By using commonsense to think clearly then:

TIBET NATION MUST RECLAIM ITS OWN LOST INDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM AS OBTAINED BEFORE THE INVADED CHINA ATTACKED THEM AND OCCUPIED THE TIBET SOVEREIGNED NATION!
Therefore, all Tibetans have their own right to demand and seek to reclaim their lost independence destroyed by the bloody land expansionist China communist thugs!
All Tibetans ALWAYS preferred to live in its own independent Tibet nation as before, due to Tibetans cannot accept to live in shame like 1.3 billions chinese slaves of their own communist murderous regime!
For the same token to: occupied Uighurs people, occupied Inner-Mongolians, threatened Taiwanese to seek reclaiming their lost independences for their own nations being stolen by communist blood-thirsty China!
To do this, all these people may seek the civilized peaceful VOTING PROCESSES TO SEEK AND CHOOSE INDEPENDENCE FOR THEMSELVES UNDER SUPERVIONS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD NATIONS INCLUDING UN, UNSC AND ALL INDEPENDENCE-LOVING AND PEACE-LOVING WORLD CITIZENS COMBINED!
TIBETANS, MONGOLIANS, UIGHURS, TAIWANESE CITIZENS MUST NEVER LIVE AS OCCUPIED SLAVES IN THE SHADOW OF THE EVIL, MURDEROUS, DANGEROUS CHINA AT ANY CONCEIVABLE REASONS!

INDEPENDENCE TO ALL OCCUPIED UNFORTUNATE CITIZENS IN THIS PLANET EARTH!
CHINA CANNOT DICTATE THE FAITHS OF ALL NON-CHINESE CITIZENS LIKE ITS OWN SLAVERY 1.3 BILLION CHINESE IN THE MURDEROUS MAINLAND CHINA!
(repeated)

independence-the-basic-need-for-all-mankind:

By using commonsense to think clearly then:

TIBET NATION MST RECLAIM ITS OWN INDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM AS BEFORE THE INVADED CHINA ATTACKED HEM AND OCCUPIED THE TIBET NATION!
Therefore, all Tibetans have their own right to demand and seek to reclaim their lost independence destroyed buy the bloody land expansionist China communist thugs!

All Tibetans preferred to live in its own independent Tibet nation due to Tibetans cannot accept to live like chinese as 1.3 billions slaves of its own communist murderous regime!

For same token to: Uighurs people, Inner-Mongolians, Taiwanese to seek reclaiming lost independence for their own nations stolen by communist blood-thirsty China!

To do this, all these people should seek the civilized peaceful VOTING PROCESSES TO SEEK AND CHOOSE INDEPENDENCE FOR THEMSELVES UNDER SUPERVIONS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD NATIONS INCLUDING UN, UNSC AND ALL INDEPENDENCE-LOVING AND PEACE-LOVING WORLD CITIZENS COMBINED!

TIBETANS, MONGOLIANS, UIGHURS, TAIWANESE CITIZENS MUST NEVER LIVE AS OCCUPIED, SLAVES FOR CHINA AT ANY CONCEIVABLE REASONS!

INDEPENDENCE TO ALL OCCUPIED UNFORTUNATE CITIZENS IN THIS PLANET EARTH!
CHINA CANNOT DICTATE THE FAITHS OF ALL NON-CHINESE CITIZENS LIKE ITS OWN SLAVERY 1.3 BILLION CHINESE IN THE MURDEROUS MAINLAND CHINA!

Michael Turton:

Wow! You guys took my comments down. Unbelievable. And shameful. Here they are again, adjusted.

Let's take a look at some of the assertions in Pomfret's article First, the
background information...

+++++++++++++
The election last month of Siew and Ma Ying-jeou, the Nationalist candidate for president, in Taiwan means that after eight years of failed leadership by President Chen Shui-bian, who bungled the
island's security and its economy,
+++++++++++++

These are simply Beijing and KMT talking points. Taiwan's economy grew over 4.5% over the entire period, and outperformed S Korea's over
2004-7, growing 5.7% last year. We are now the number 2 exporter to China, passing Korea.

The real economic issue is not "the bungled economy" -- that is a gross misunderstanding -- but stagnant incomes. What actually happened
was that the KMT-controlled legislature brought government infrastructure spending to a halt. Local communities and businesses across the island felt the pinch. The KMT then blamed the DPP for
stagnant incomes. This strategy of keeping Taiwan poor to get re-elected would not have worked in a normal country, but the media is overwhelmingly pro-KMT, and thus, simply repeated the KMT line. Later this line would find its way into the international media, and of course, be repeated as part of Beijing's reading as well. The KMT also
slashed government science budgets, paralzyed several of the branches of government by defunding them or by refusing to confirm candidates,
and so on.

As for 'security' that is a total misreading. It was the KMT, not the Chen Administration, that has blocked purchases of weapons from the US throughout most of the last six years, repeatedly breaking promises made to the US on the issue. This, along with the Bush Administration's strangling of relations with Taiwan as it has
outsourced its Taiwan policy to Beijing, and Chen's own highhandedness, harmed relations between Taiwan and the US.

Moving on to the other comments:

++++++++
relations between Taipei and Beijing are likely to improve. Leaders from the two sides are finally talking about establishing direct flights. (It takes a day to get from Taipei to Shanghai, home to 250,000 businessmen, right now. If the flights were direct, it'd take an hour.)
++++++++

Direct flights were established three years ago on a charter basis during holidays. Pomfret must mean regular airline services.

+++++++++++
Pres-elect Ma has said he wants to end most restrictions on Taiwanese investment in China. (A recognition of reality considering Taiwan's
businessmen have already sunk $100 billion or so in mainland factories.)
+++++++++++

It was, of course, the DPP that opened the island to legal investment in China. It was also the DPP's wish to retain the island's manufacturing base. In placing restrictions in investment in China the DPP was doing what every single one of China's neighbors does -- ensuring that its economic independence and productivity are preserved as China rises. All of the nations around China have restrictions on investment, labor mobility, etc. The dialogue on Taiwan is so skewed, however, that only Taiwan gets lambasted for such restrictions.

+++++
So Chen resorted to a policy of what the Chinese liked to call "creeping independence" which basically meant seizing every opportunity to enrage Beijing.
++++++

This reading turns reality on its head. One of China's most effective strategies has been to not speak to the DPP. At the same time, it chooses to be "provoked" whenever Chen does something. Note that pro-independence actions by other actors do not receive the same treatment -- the Constitution has been amended more than a dozen times in the last 20 years to give the island a more efficient governance and independent governance, but China only made noises about symbolic and minor issues. The goal was to isolate Chen and paint him as a
radical -- note that Pomfret can refer to China' missiles here, but without noting that the real "radicals" are those who threaten to plunge the region into war because Taiwan wants to be a democratic and independent state. Here Pomfret simply repeats Beijing's position on Taiwan as if it were actual analysis rather than political propaganda.


+++++
go to war to defend Taiwan. This peaceful interim will also give Taiwan time to push China's political system in the right direction.
+++++

ROFL. China's leaders know this. Because of this, their number one goal is to hollow out the island's democracy. Although Pomfret does not tell the reader, Beijing and the KMT have been negotiating since the mid-1990s on just this point; indeed the CSIS reported in 2000 that it was the KMT that suggested Beijing not deal with Chen. The two sides are tightly coordinating policy -- the first act of the new KMT Chairman last April was to go to Beijing. All of this is missing in Pomfret's remarks here.

Neither the KMT nor Beijing has an interest in furthering Taiwan's democracy. Ma, who spent most of his career in opposition to democracy -- another fact left out of Pomfret's description -- is a pro-China ideologue who grew up as the standard-bearer for the Return to Zion/China theology of the KMT. The international media has
consistently ignored Ma's long career as an anti-democracy stalwart, sadly.

This suggests that rather than Taiwan changing CHina in a positive direction, it is far more likely to change Taiwan in a negative one -- because Taiwan cannot be permitted to be an object lesson for Chinese society. Indeed, Ma and other leaders have repeatedly pointed to Singapore as a model. What that suggests is chilling....

Michael Turton
*added "on holidays" to charter flights
**deleted anything that might look personal.
***have no idea how anyone could imagine I thought Ma was a Communist. He's a right-wing ideologue. Being "pro-China" is not the same as being a Communist.

meihui55:

Tibet won't move China, but Taiwan might? Economically, yes. But if we talking about something to do with "sovereignty," the answer is definitely NO.
Enhancing the economic relations between China and Taiwan is truly pragmatistic, but the relationship of the two sides can't be substantially improved if Hu Jintao is not smart enough to do the following things:

(1)Stop doing anything to downgrade Taiwan's status into a local government.
(2)Move away the 1500 missiles aimed at Taiwan.
(3)Help Taiwan enter World Health Organization.
(4)Help Taiwanese journalists obtain press accreditation to cover World Health Assembly in May of this year.

Anonymous:

Mr. Pomfret is more realistic than others in the US, but still astoundingly ideological.

For one thing, he just assumes that the USA can do what it pleases, and that everyone is at our disposal. Better rethink that in a global economy.

Such "patriotic" lies held by those in our government make outdated and even nostalgic policy, like as to Iraq; motivated by evil or stupidity, either way they are simply destroying America, not to mention Iraq, et al.

What I mean is that, for instance, the cultural revolution was not nearly as bad as our 100 years of Jim Crow, and for most of that 100 years, Mr. William Tecumseh Sherman was at the same time slaughtering the Indians in the USA. I wonder how many? What would the census have been if the Indians had not been slaughtered.

During the 1960s, I was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement, and several times in real danger. This was a vast movement for human freedom and dignity, that I am proud to have been in. YET NO COUNTRY then claimed practically that during that time we ought to have been dismembered, invaded, occupied, etc.

Its time we learned to respect others, and to pay for what we own.


If anything...:

It MAY bring in good influence, but I bet you a dollar that the Chinese influence will be dominant over the Taiwanese within 15 years.

If not, I will be happy.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

J.K. Lin:

How many wishful thinkings have to fail so people can wake up?

They were said and failed --- Open-up would change China. Trade would change China. Joining international society would change China. Economical development would change China. Middle class Chinese would change China. Olympic Games would change China ...

Now, a new wishful thinking is coming up. Taiwan may change China!

The Vice-President-Elected in Taiwan went to China under the presumption of "Taiwan is part of China". How can it change China? Are you confused between Lincoln and Hu? In China, winner does not compromise with the loser. The compromise between winner and loser is the western culture China would never understand.

Bottom line:

China wants all the land and minerals in Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang. No justification required. If the Taiwanese, Tibetans and Uighurs are not happy about it, they can emigrate like so many who have done so. Period.

peace4all1:

BILL@
There are plenty of people in Quebec, Canada, calling for sovereignty of Quebec. And Canada parliament passed a law saying that they can have a referendum which clearly stated that they want to leave the country, and if they get 50%+1 vote, they can leave.
Will China do the same with Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang ?
----------------------------

It seems that Bill is only selectively using PART of Canadian history to justify his political statement. The late Canadian Prime Minster, Mr. Trudeau, from 1968 to 1984 is remembered as a fierce protector for Canadian unity against Quebec independent movement even by force when needed. It is good for Canadian that they have passed such a law after thirty more years of progress.

I’m wondering whether West is willing to give China another thirty years to make her own progress without any foreign intervention.

i can not agree with you more :

When We were called Sick man of Asia, We were called The Peril.
  When We are billed to be the next Superpower, We are called The threat.
  
  When We were closed our doors, You smuggled Drugs to Open Markets.
  When We Embrace Freed Trade, You blame us for Taking away your jobs.
  
  When We were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.
  When We were putting the broken peices together again, Free Tibet you screamed, it was an invasion!
  ( When Woodrow Wilson Couldn't give back Birth Place of Confucius back to Us,
  But He did bought a ticket for the Famine Relief Ball for us.)
  
  So, We Tried Communism, You hated us for being Communists
  When We embrace Capitalism, You hate us for being Capitalist.
  
  When We have a Billion People, you said we were destroying the planet.
  When We are tried limited our numbers, you said It was human rights abuse.


When We were Poor, You think we are dogs.
  When We Loan you cash, You blame us for your debts.
  
  When We build our industries, You called us Polluters.
  When we sell you goods, You blame us for global warming.
  
  When We buy oil, You called that exploitation and Genocide.
  When You fight for oil, You called that Liberation.
  
  When We were lost in Chaos and rampage, You wanted Rules of Law for us.
  When We uphold law and order against Violence, You called that Violating
  Human Rights.
  
  When We were silent, You said you want us to have Free Speech.
  When We were silent no more, You say we were Brainwashed-Xenophoics.
  
  Why do you hate us so much? We asked.
  No, You Answered, We don't hate You.
  
  We don't Hate You either,
  But Do you understand us?
  
  Of course We do, You said,
  We have AFP, CNN and BBCs...
  
  What do you really want from us?
  Think Hard first, then Answer...
  
  Because you only get so many chances,
  Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for this one world.
  
  We want One World, One Dream, And Peace On Earth.
  - This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.


Voices From Maniland China:

I am living in mailand China. I am proud to to be a Chinese!
I was born in a poor family in the most poorest areas in Guangdong China.

Thanks to what you called "bloody Communist Party", i have got the chance of entering one of the best universities in Guanddong Province with my own effort.

Thanks to the "bloody communist party", i have got the chance to decide my destiny, to change my life.

You peole have never been to China, you people knows nothing about china. You are all well educated yet you are all too naive to see the truth from the fact. Stop your naive imagination!

Think about yourselves! Your happiness is based on the suffering of the Iraq people!

EJ:

When the issue of Taiwan is discussed, it seems that a lot of Chinese people are having a go at America or Europe, focussing on Hawaii, or Northern Ireland as examples to show that western people also wouldn't allow their countries to "split up".

But perhaps it is a good idea for them to look a bit further than that. Let's take a European country as an example; The Netherlands. In 1830, Belgium became separated from the Netherlands, and since it seemed to be the will of the majority of the people in Belgium, the Dutch government could do nothing but accept, and so it did. In 1945, Indonesia (where of course the Dutch no right to be to begin with) declared independence, and even in the aftermath of a war against Japan which left a lot of people in confusion, the Netherlands could eventually do nothing else but to accept this independence as well (under pressure from the UN and USA).

After the war, the last big colonial "possession" of the Netherlands, Suriname, was encouraged by the Dutch government to seek independence. After some hesitation, they finally did so in 1975. Currently, the Netherlands still incorporates some tiny islands in the Caribbean (Aruba, Curaçao, St. Martin, etc.) under its commonwealth "Kingdom of the Netherlands". These islands have their own government (only depending on the Kingdom for defence and foreign affairs), and are 100% free to make whatever decision they want about their political future and possible future independence.

The point is, the Dutch government, and many more modern western governments, have realized for at least the past 60 years, that people should be free to make their own choice in this regard. Perhaps the next time someone brings up Hawaii or Northern Ireland, they could also take the time to look at some other situations.

CNN:

I hate Americans!!! They're goons and thugs. They're rubbish!
Oh, sorry, I was just offering opinion about American journalism, especially CNN, not its people!
So please don't demand any apology from me.

A-gu:

"set up voting for obtaining independence ?

WHY DO NOT HAVE A TRY IN AMERICA OR UK?"

As an American, I would love to pass a law or amendment that made clear states could declare independence. It makes no logical sense to me that the nation can add states but no state can leave.

Anonymous:

set up voting for obtaining independence ?

WHY DO NOT HAVE A TRY IN AMERICA OR UK?

LET IRELAND HAVE A TRY FIRST!

Taiwan Media Insider:

Michael Turton is spot on in his comments (see below), which are far more enlightening that Mr. Pomfret's original article. The notion of Ma Ying-jeou or anyone else in the KMT as a stalwart of democracy is simply ludicrous. They (and, admittedly, a good number of people in the DPP too) are simply not democrats.
The KMT has been quietly coordinating its policy with Beijing for years now. Speak to any academic specializing in the China-Taiwan field, they'll confirm it.
And again, the economy here in Taiwan is anything other than stagnant. Incomes are however, but the KMT's obstructionism in the Legislature and China's "United Front" strategy bear the lion's share of the responsibility for that.
I wish people would refer to the KMT by their full English name, the CHINESE Nationalist Party. Those guys' loyalty lies on the other side of the strait rather than here in Taiwan. They wouldn't hesitate a second to curtail Taiwan's democracy if it aided their stated ultimate goal of unifying the motherland.

Independence or dependence:

There are many Tibetans and Taiwanese who actually work for a living in China, outside Tibet and Taiwan. Likewise, Taiwan's businesses have factories and offices in China as well. Taiwan has very limited diplomatic and economic links with other countries. Taiwan is now locked into a growing fatal attraction with China of which there may only be one ending worthy of Sun Tzu's Art of War, "Win without fighting".

BRAMBLES:

@ LUO GE:
>>Why do so many mainland Chinese get offensive towards anybody who expresses an opinion different from that of the modern Chinese Emperors? (End of Quote)

Please, you have asked the question, Think for yourself and find the answer. Either there's sth terribly/totally wrong with "so many" mainland Chinese. Or you are.

We trust that you are intelligent enough to do that. Also, you must do that by yourself. Unlike you, we know when to be humble so we wont try to TEACH you.

Be patient.

independence-everywhere:

It is very fair and civilized way for any people that want to seek independence for their people, then they can set up voting for obtaining independence when at least more than 50% population agreed to choose independence to stay away from the occupied central goverment!

THIS CIVILIZED PRINCIPLE CAN NOW APPLY IN TIBET, IN UIGHUR, IN, INNER-MONGOLIA, IN TAIWAN, IN ANY PROVINCES OF CHINA SUCH AS MACAU, HONGKONG, HAINAM ISLAND TO LET THESE PEOPLE TO HAVE NEW LIFE AND NEW INDEPENDENT NATIONS! AND WON'T BE HARMED BY CHINA ANYMORE!

Independence is the most valuable property that all human-beings must demand and fight for at all means!!!!

independence-to-all:

Let say:

In Tibet if after voting more than 50% population want to see Tibet to become independent from China then it is free to declare independence for Tibet as a independent ans sovereigned nation!
Same token with Uighur and Inner-Mongolia, and Taiwan!

sandysunny:

LUO GE:
Don't label mainland Chinese as the government follower, I am voicing my thought. Do you want to know what the people think here, as you have said "Legitimate government comes only from the will of the people being governed, " Come to China and listen to the people here if you want to talk about China, if you only want to follow your imagination to judge what's the will of the Chinese people, you are not legitimated to discuss anything related to China.

Luo Ge:

Why do so many mainland Chinese get offensive towards anybody who expresses an opinion different from that of the modern Chinese Emperors? If some says that Tibetans should be free to choose their own destiny, they start ranting about America's sins in Iraq, or independence for Hawaii of some other such irrelevant nonsense. The rest of the world are not all Americans. Just because American did something stupid in Iraq it is not an excuse for China to maintain its imperial domination of Tibet, or of anybody else. Legitimate government comes only from the will of the people being governed, not from legalistic arguments of those doing the governing.

sandysunny:

I am a mainland Chinese. I don't care wether they want to claim independent or not. But A LOT OF PEOPLE OTHER THAN ME wont let that happen, they have the right to say so. Just like you and your government have the right to judge which government is evil, which country is democratic. so what's the solution? War? Like what happened in Iraq? NO, I don't like war, and I don't think people in Tibet and Taiwan don't like war either. It's too cruel, today in the news i saw your army killed dozens of Iraq people. It's horrible, you know, like you hypos in the US, they are also humanbeings, not some invisible dirt! But they don't know how long their lives will last, just because your government think their former peaceful life is worthless. Isn't it a IRONY?

JD:

Michael Turton,

As a foreigner living in Taiwan, it seems like the only friends you've made over there are all DPP loyalists. I say that because your comments make it sound like they've totally spoon fed you all their viewpoints which you've very articulately regurgitated here. I suggest that you talk with a few people sympathetic to the KMT to get their side of things. Labeling Ma as a "closet" communist is just paranoid rubbish. You should know better than that.

- JD (Taiwanese living in the U.S.)

Ed:

I want to correct one mistake in my comments. I intended to write the people of Taiwan are Chinese and Taiwanese.

The Kangxi emperor ordered Qing forces to invade Taiwan, primarily because anti-Qing rebels were based there. Many Chinese settlers moved to Taiwan. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese Nationalist forces and their families moved to Taiwan after it was clear the Nationalists had lost the civil war. However, there are also millions of people living in Taiwan who are descendants of the original inhabitants there.

Ed:


I think it is naive to think Taiwan will lead China into becoming a democracy. Any significant political changes in China will come from within, by the Chinese. To think they will adopt "democratic" political characteristics from foreign influence is condescending and quite unlikely.

The people of Taiwan should ultimately decide whether they want to maintain the ambiguous status quo, preferred by United States presidents since Nixon, or reunite with China. However, Taiwan should return control of disputed islands to China, at least a couple are only several miles from the Chinese coastline.

The people of China are Chinese and Taiwanese. Taiwan should return to China the cultural treasures, from native Chinese and alien dynasties that controlled China, the Nationalist forces took from China when they lost the civil war and fled to the island. Returning sovereignty of these islands to China and major Chinese cultural treasures would be significant good-will, as well as confidence building steps.

Bill:

"China's last Emperor was Mao Tse Tsung."

No, the last one was Jiang Zemin. The current one is Hu Jintao. The one before Jiang was Deng, and then Hua.

Deng picked Jiang and Hu as his successors before he abdicated. This was just like the Tang, Yue, Xia era - the Emperor picks his successors, until some one pick his own son as successor, the rest is history.

Xi, son of a top official, will be the next one after Hu. May be Xi will pick his son or grandson as successor.

Bill:

There are plenty of people in Quebec, Canada, calling for sovereignty of Quebec. And Canada parliament passed a law saying that they can have a referendum which clearly stated that they want to leave the country, and if they get 50%+1 vote, they can leave.

Will China do the same with Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang ?

It's too late for Mongolia. They left, and the government of China agreed with it. And Chinese are really happy if they have a referendum to rejoin China, but Chinese won't want to have a referendum for Taiwan to leave. This must be logic with Chinese characteristics.

investorblogger:

The other thing is appalling (and in this thread)is the lack of knowledge in China about how Taiwan's political system emerged, and it's close relationship with China's own history...

Most posters don't see the historical connection that the government here was a kind of government in exile (from the mainland)... they brought with them the entire structure of the govt. and continued it here on Taiwan.

The closest parallel we have is that of East Germany vs. West Germany. That's how it evolved, except that both Taiwan (ROC) and PRC got involved in a huge spat over who was the rightful govt. of China with initially the ROC as topdog, but now...

Well, Chen's hands were pretty much tied on that one.

Kenneth

you are yying:

"haoweirenshi"is a chinese saying which describes someone assume themselves superior to others and always want to teach other people lessons. In our culture, this kind people is someone to be scoffed at. what is democracy? what is liberty? is it something to be taught? I dont think so. We would rather choose to get it on our own.Only people living on this land know what they want. So mind your own business-such as your invasion in iraq and people shedding blood in iraq, and your economy, leave us alone. you are not qualified to be a teacher.

Ma, Xutao:

Hi Sir, if residents in Hawaii establish a troop and shout loudly a catchword as "Hawaii is Hawaii, U.S. is U.S.", then what will you guy be doing?

If their state leaders call themselves "president of Hawaii", then tell me your feeling.

Thesefore, do not expect Chinese to admit Taiwan is country.

A-gu:

President Chen's biggest contribution was to make the case that the status quo is sovereignty and independent from the PRC, and Taiwan had no need to make any further declarations upon this line.

It was that idea that the PRC found so infuriating. They need to portray the status quo as "One China" in order to accomplish the eventual annexation of Taiwan. And "One China" is clearly a myth.

Far from being a radical, Chen was simply bold enough to speak the truth in a world where most countries adhere to a patently nonsense policy just to keep good relations with a global manufacturer.

Carlton Aresenault:

I agree with Robert James' assessment of the situation. The Party is rock solid. However, the Party is building itself on a financial foundation. Could be it will allow a few extra concessions to those it negotiates with as long as the $$$ keep rolling in.
The Party is being assailed from a few different directions and must show a little flexibility. If the free world keeps chipping away at that rock maybe something more palatable will emerge.

Nick:

I am from PRC,and I feel strongly,no offence, you guys know nothing about us.What are you talking here is all about what you "assume",what you guess.You all think our goverment lies to us all the time and we are all brainwashed,however did this ever occuer to you that all the goverments are the same.Your assumption based on the stuff your goverments told you.You think your media is free from authority?NOT.I am not interesting in politics which makes fools talk like wise man and makes wise looks stupid.
We were taught when we were kids that we should love the world,love all the people,but now a lot of people in China especially the youth think that the world hate us.
Dont believe what you know what you hear or even what see.You dont know anything about China.

BRAMBLES:

@ V Narayan:

Yes I have met A Tibetan, in fact, so many more than ONE Tibetan. I live in China of which Tibet is a part and I can go there whenever I want. How about you? We have a guy from Tibet in our soccer team back in my college days. How about you?
How many Tibetans have you met? When did they elect or delegate you to be a representative/spokesman? How do you know anything about Tibet?
Well, I totally support your posting here but, please, THINK before you say anything.
It's fun to view some of the posts here.

Robert James:

China's last Emperor was Mao Tse Tsung. The Communist Party was designated to handle the administration of China.

Today Mao's successors are short-lived President's who are permitted to sit on the Emperor's throne. It is the case that the Party has replaced the Emperors. China is now ruled by the PArty.

Like the Emperor the Party is ruthless, domineering and imperialistic. It, and it alone, decides what will happen to and in China.

The suggestion that Taiwan will take China by the hand and show it how to become a democracy is nonsense. It assumes that the Party will surrender its dominion to a rebel province which is separated from the mainland by a sea.

This is nonsense. The Part will continue to be imperialistic and brutal because it knows no other way. We cannot assume that directives from above will change beliefs that are instilled in the culture and genes of senior Party members. In this regard they are fundamentalists and they will not allow their power to be subsumed to the likes of a rebel province whose only real concern is to make money. The Party cannot contemplate that it should change its fundamental right to rule. If it did so this would be a revolution. We are not talking about changing the thought patterns of one or two people over a glass of red wine, good food and a robust dinner conversation. The revolution contemplated in this article would require millions of senior Party officials to change their heart and soul in order to abandon their fundamental beliefs.

China will remain intransigent, brutal and imperialistic in relation to the role of the Party and its raison d'etre.

let me remind you that imperialism means that authority is imposed from above. In China it is applied ruthlessly. Is this very different to George Bush ruthlessly being imperialistic in the Middle East? I think not. Some things never change or they change so slowly that we should not hold our breath. This includes Chinese and US imperialism.

V Narayan:

To the chinese here:
have you ever met a tibetan ?
they hate chinese rule, they hate your mass murdering maniac
chairman mao.

you can put a gun to someones head and get them to sing patriotic songs which is what china is doing to Tibet.
why not have courage to face the truth:
(1) chinese rule in tibet is colonialist
(2) given the chance tibetan will want have independence.
(3) the chinese communist party is sick, it is happy to kill its
own people as well as people from the occupied nations such
as tibet.

Found Treasure:

___The reason is that as long as Taiwan stops purposely pissing off China ... [t]his peaceful interim will also give Taiwan time to push China's political system in the right direction.____

This is utter nonsense.

There is no basis to say Taiwan has done anything to "piss China off". Nothing. Taiwan has done nothing that should piss China off. Zilch. Zero.

And why is it incumbent on Taiwan to "push China's political system in the right direction?"

Why does this fall on Taiwan to have to take responsibility for a messed up backward nation that is 50 times bigger and at the same time not Taiwan is not allowed to be an independent nation in its own right but must be under the nation that Taiwan is supposed to fix.

This is absurd and that it is published in a major newspaper and passes for insight or wisdom in the foreign policy community is astounding and shows just how bereft of any sort substantive thought this community has become.

If this is the argument, why not just recognize ROC over China and call on the communists to step down?

ai3d:

I am not always rigt, in fact most of the time I am wrong, I can get just as made at my country as I can with another country. When I make claims of unjust with China, I can make just as many unjust claims with the U.S.
I feel as if the Idea of countries is coming to an end. We still will need ppl who run every side of each land mass in a government style, but if you are not starting, or started already, to think about everything globally, then you are foolish. What happens in one place, effects all places. I can do business anywhere, over the course of a week I can visit many places all around the globe. This travel time will get shorter i'm sure of it. If your job is outsourced, you can always get another job, if your think you are unqualified for other jobs, I suggest you start reading and learning some more. At least teach your children. I can remember all the students in my life that never tried and failed a lot because they were too into drinking, drugs, women, sports. They thought school was a joke. Who is the joke on now?

Mr Lake Horsenine:

___The keys to Taiwan's ... democracy, he argued, are good relations with Beijing___

This is the least logical thing I've heard in a long time.

They key to keeping a democracy is to placate an Nazi-like one party oligarchy that is 100% against democracy and claims the democratic country is under its authority?

Yeah, makes sense if you are brain damaged. Or Ah Q.

Free Hawaii!:

After the "One Country, Two Systems" allowance expires for Hong Kong, will this territory enjoy more freedom, or will it degrade into the same status as it's sister autonomous region, Tibet?
Taiwan will be watching closely, and if it evers negotiates for "One Country, Two Systems" status, fifty years expiry is not enough!

ai3d:

I think that China thinks they are the best in the world. They don't realize that everyone on this planet is not better then anyone else. If you really think you are better then someone, the truth is is that you are a much worse person then everyone else.
China should be banned from a lot of things. They make inferior products, in which they don't care how many they harm or kill doing so. They pollute the world more then every other country, and are not doing anything to change this. They don't care about human life, only the greater scheme of things in their government.
If we were to follow suite, then maybe Canada, and Mexico should be just forced into being part of the U.S. or maybe instead of shooting close to illeagal immigrants crossing over, we should just shoot them instead, or house them in jail forever. Kids working in sweat shops, let's do it. Do these should like good things? China operates their country only 1 step short of Hitler. They should feel bad, nobady should apologize for what they said about China because they say things just as bad about everyone else.

Jack:

@Made in Taiwan, Republic of China

Well technically, Made in Taiwan (MIT) never said that they weren't Han Chinese, just not "Chinese". And Chinese CAN be defined as "Zhong hua min zu", which can mean people of the Chinese state. This would include the 56 minorities of China. So, there is still that disputed wiggle room.

independence-everywhere:

INDEPENDENCE FOR TAIWAN DECIDED BY ALL TAIWANESE BUT NOT ANYONE ELSE!

RECLAIM INDEPENDENCE FOR TIBET NOW! AND CAN BE DECIDED BY ALL TIBETANS ONLY BUT NOT BY ANYONE ELSE!

RECLAIM INDEPENDENCE FOR UIGHUR MUSLIM NATION NOW! AND CAN ONLY BE DECIDED BY ALL PEOPLE OF UIGHUR MUSLIM NATION BUT NOT BY ANYONE ELSE!

RECLAIM INDEPENDENCE FOR INNER-MONGOLIA OCCUPYING BY THE MURDEROUS COMMUNIST CHINA NOW! BUT NOT BY ANYONE ELSE!

The entire world must assist these ocupied Tibet nation, Uighur muslim nation, Inner-Mongolia nation, Taiwan nation NOW!
AND LET COMMUNIST CHINA LIES TO ITSELF! AND THE WORLD MUST TURN THEIR EARS AND EYES AND NOSES AWAY FROM THE CHINESE LIARS!

MADE IN TAIWAN, REPUBLIC of CHINA:

To MADE IN TAIWAN

Taiwanese is also Chinese. No matter who ceded Taiwan to who at whatever time, Taiwanese is also Han Chinese and citizens of Republic of China. No matter you admit or not, that's our born identity and decided by our blood.

Loyal Monk:

It's time for Americans to change our faith.Let dump the bored Pope! Let Dalai Lama to be our Holiness!His Holiness Dalai Lama, we American love you! Our kids love you because you don't molest them! Our Nancy love you because putting her nose on your head will shake her heart, She loves you and she speaks for us! It's time for us to embrace our Holiness, Dalai Lama--A 72 years monk with pure, simple, clear baby's eys!!!

Jack:

Dear me. Reunification vs. Independence boiled down is basically an argument of Irredentism vs. Self-determination. Add a splash of Colonialism and Cold War and you got the Taiwan Strait Cocktail.

Eh, I don't see how Taiwan would gain from being independent or reunifying. I'd much rather just keep the status quo for the next 1,000 years. At least they'd be able to keep the china. ;p

Direct flights between China and Taiwan:

Let the direct flights between China and Taiwan begin. When I'm in Taiwan this fall, I want to go from Taipei to Beijing. I fully support direct flights between China and Taiwan.

Alex S.:

Michael,

Seems like we have our own little private conversation going here.

What the Japanese did was no different than what the Conquistadores did in the Americas. You don't think there was initially an explosion of bloodlust, rape, and frenzied violence that was done with enjoyment by the Spanish in their spreading of their glorious Catholic Christian empire to the lowly Indian infidels, stealing all their gold along the way? If someone had dropped an atom bomb on Seville and Cordoba back in 1492, you'd have Michael Montezuma today writing about how the Spanish were particularly demonic and bloodthirsty in their invasion of the Americas.

Anyways, the greater point is that people are the same all over. They all are greedy and will justify their rule over other people as a "civilizing, modernizing" mission. There might be SOME degree of difference in the violence and exploitation, but it is still violence and exploitation just the same.

Like the rape victim that grows up to become the rapist, all Han Chinese can do now is dwell on how they were raped, but can't recognize that they are becoming the monsters that they criticized so much in the past. They sound EXACTLY like self-righteous white people in the last two centuries, who thought they did no wrong, were only civilizing the world, and wondered why people couldn't see that.

I have no doubt that we will just have to "deal with it" (i.e., the Han stance on the Tibet issue), since it IS quite a bit hypocritical for the West to judge (didn't you get the point of the rest of my post?). But, then, who is hypocrisy-free (the other point of my post)? So, I WILL judge.

Zephon:

Tibet has been a province of China since the 1200's.

Taiwan has been a part of China far longer.

But Taiwan has a higher cultural and genetic inheritance from the majority Han culture of China than Tibet does.

Both are rightfully part of China and to think anything differently is foolish.

MADE IN TAIWAN:

Taiwan has not been Chinese for many hundreds of years, it has only been usurped by temporary regimes that have never been able to establish roots or foundations. The Ching dynasty (Manchus) never really tried to exert control over the island, and similarly the grip extended by the Portugeses and Dutch colonialist powers was very tenuous. Taiwan was ceded to Japan after the Sino-Japanese war ended in 1895, but that didn't really last, because the Taiwanese hated the Japanese overlords. After WWII, there was no actual treaty which decided the fate of Taiwan, other than the fact that Japan gave it up. Taiwan was free until 1949, when the Kuomintang fled to the island. The claim of the People's Republic of China that Taiwan has always been part of the motherland historically is about as tenuous as the Mongol (Yuan dynasty) claim to Vienna and western Europe.

Proud Taiwanese and Chinese:

Henry:

Don't make me laugh. I don't know how your green president brainwashed you as this. Taiwanese is Han Chinese too, genetically and historically. Your 'native born Taiwanese' are from mainland two hundred years ago. The real natives have alreay been drived to the mountains.
Taiwanese are citizens of the Republic of China, so we are Chinese too. I admit this and is very proud of this.

The DPP won 2000 and 2004 elections because they intentionally advocated this sick 'different race and breed' concept. They are as sick as the communist during the Culture Revolution. Now, they are also as corrupt as old KMT. Now KMT under Mr. Ma is nice and clean.

the world-should-never-play-with-yellow-peril:

INDEPENDENCE-TO-TIBET-TAIWAN-UIGHUR-INNER-MONGOLIA:
Taiwan can declare independence as wished due to all people in Taiwan have their own right to make their own destiny!
USA, and the rest of the world have no rights to interfere and impede the wisdom of choosing independence making by all people in Taiwan!
All Taiwanese never wish to become volunteered slaves for the bloody communist China and its murderous Chinese communist regimes!
All Taiwanese should never be naively tricked by the murderous communist China regimes! These communist Chinese murderers will kill all naive Taiwanese when they could make the most terrible mistake as to turn back and live under the deadly and unpredictable shadow of communist China!!!
If anyone in Taiwan doen’t believe this hint then please feel free to try and unfortunately will all be fried instantly by the killers in the mainland China!!!

THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD NEVER CLOSE THEIR MIND AND BE TRICKED BY CHINA! LIKE A BUNCHES OF OSTRICHES DUG THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND!!!

independence-to-tibet-taiwan-uighur-inner-mongolia:

Taiwan can declare independence as wished due to all people in Taiwan have their own right to make their own destiny!

USA, and the rest of the world have no rights to interfere and impede the wisdom of choosing independence making by all people in Taiwan!

All Taiwanese never wish to become slaves for the bloody communist China and its murderous regimes!

All Taiwanese should never become tricked b murderous communist China regimes! these murderers will kill these naive Taiwanese when made mistake to turn back and live under the deadly shadow of communist China!!! If you don't believe this hint then you will all be fried instantly by the killers in mainland China!!!

Michael:

Alex S. seems to have problems with understanding an argument.
The Native Americans were oppressed, murdered and forced out of their lands for the benefit of European settlers. This is a perfectly valid comparison with China and Tibet (albeit the situation in Tibet is not as extreme) whilst Japan's situation during WWII was far more extreme, or more to the point, it was monstrous and a genocide that was not solely for gain but more for "enjoyment" which is why I singled out your Japanese comparison.

As for "Why do Han Chinese have such low self-esteem and self-confidence problems that they can't even handle the idea of the Dalai Lama in Tibet?". That has nothing to do with my comment and you would do well to not try and link two things together just to try and push your own silly arguments.
But I will answer that anyway, the Chinese government doesn't WANT the Dalai Lama back and they most definitely don't want to give up Tibet, plain and simple; if you don't like it, scream like a kid all you want.

Anonymous:

I am Taiwanese, but if you call me Chinese, I also agree with that.
In factly, some part of Taiwanese like to be indepedent, some part don't.
I can understand people who want make an independent country. That is their dream in their life.
However, I am not one of them.
I am young people, for me, "Economic" is always the priority.
To have business with China can not be avoided.

I didn't say I disagree with independent choice. I just disagree with some Taiwaneses who want to be independt via the war. The same, I also disagree with China get Taiwan via the war.
No matter independt or not, "peace" should be the only method.

David:

The Chinese will not accept the Dalai Lama because of his ties to the CIA and attempted overthrow of the Chinese government. Before 1959 he was considered the governor of Tibet. But modernization of China by the Maoist great leap forward required that the 5% of Tibetans (including the Dalai Lama) that owned all property in Tibet to no longer be land owners. That slave owners/serf's like the Dalai Lama could no longer have slaves.

These changes to modernization were to much for the Tibetan serfs, the Dalai Lama to bear. Instead they created a terrorist force funded by the CIA and trained at Camp Hale in Colorado and Samoa. Air dropped into China and starting warfare they Dalai Lama's forces lost and fled to India. End of story.

Asking China to accept the Dalai Lama as a leader would be like asking Americans to accept Osama Bin Laden as a leader here.

LIttlebridgebuilder:

Taiwan has the spirit. The Middle Kingdom has the body. Let them combine chemically for a great compound.

Alex S.:

Sigh. Michael, Michael, Michael,

You don't think when Europeans invaded the Americas and Australia, it wasn't for the glory of their "superior" Christian civilization-empire? That they weren't encouraged to rape and pillage ("the only good injun is a dead injun"?) until all the lands and resources were firmly in their control?

All these things said by Han Chinese about the Dalai Lama are the same arguments lots of Western Protestant countries used to make about the Pope. Why do Han Chinese have such low self-esteem and self-confidence problems that they can't even handle the idea of the Dalai Lama in Tibet? If the splittist really are in the minority and most Tibetans are grateful for the modernity brought by the Han, then give him a little park with the Potala Palace like the Italians do the Vatican and let him slowly become politically irrelevant by himself.

David:

Let me also remind everyone that the official policy of the United States is the "One China Policy".

That Taiwan is a part of China!

ref:
http://usinfo.state.gov/eap/Archive/2004/Nov/12-116671.html

Michael:

Alex S is quite obviously misinformed or just another person trying to act like as if they understand everything.

All three things you listed are examples of human greed, but the fact that you have added the Japanese acts from WWII into it shows your ignorance.
All the Japanese wanted to achieve was glory for their empire and the fact that their soldiers were openly encouraged to rape and pillage their way to victory is more than enough evidence that they were only thinking about themselves.

China invaded Tibet, that is a fact that cannot be disputed. But the pathetic rhetoric that all the Dalai Lama wants is "genuine autonomy" is misleading propaganda spread by his government and wrongly spread by the media due to bias.
He wants an "autonomous" Tibet that is the size of India, has next to no other Chinese inhabitants (be they Han Chinese or not) that is solely governed by him and his "democratic" government (that amazingly has a lot of his relatives, not particularly hard to get them elected in when you're revered as a god-king) with China acting as nothing more than a shield that provides military protection.

suchart:

Ideas clearly stated. Good article.

John:

Who is the moron who said he is not Chinese when he continue to use all things Chinese. Omph, I forgot to add that maybe he is some kind of zombies. Never mind, he can alway be another odd greaseball if he wants. But let me warn him not to speak on behalf for the rest of the Taiwanese, don't.

Alex S.:

When white men brought "modernity and civilization" to the Native Americans and Aborigines in the 19th Century and flooded their lands with more white people, they were oppressors

When the Han Chinese brought "modernity and civilization" to the Tibetans and flooded their lands with more Han Chinese, they were liberators

When the Japanese wanted to kick out hypocritical white colonial powers from Asia and bring "modernity and civilization" to the rest of Asia and tried to flood their lands with more Japanese, they were oppressors.

When the Han Chinese wanted to kick out hypocritical white colonial powers and bring "modernity and civilization" to the Tibetans and flooded their lands with more Han Chinese, they were liberators

When Tibetans want autonomy, the Han Chinese condemn them as evil splittists of the motherland

When Mongolians want autonomy, they get their own country and Han Chinese send an ambassador to Ulan Bator.

Why aren't you hypocritical as well, We asked?
  
Because we have CCTV and Han Chinese are never wrong. Unlike the West, we never oppress other people, really, it's true! And besides, do your history books really call you oppressors? Isn't there a monument to General George Custer somewhere out there? How come you aren't limiting white people from settling in Queensland and Arizona and letting natives have "true" control and autonomy of those states?
  
Because you only get so many chances,
Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy by both Chinese and Westerners for this one world.
  
We want One World, One Dream, And Peace On Earth.
 - This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.

Henry:

Why are you calling the Taiwanese as Chinese? The Taiwanese are not Chinese.

The Taiwanese are not ethnically Chinese. They are a different race and breed. That's some bull the Chinese and the Westerns created.

Is American an ethnicity or not? If yes, didn't everyone come from some other country originally? Even the founding fathers of the US, they or they're ancestors came from England. If not, people should stop calling Americans Americans.

You might say the Taiwanese speak the same language as the Chinese. Are you saying the same language means the same nationality? Americans use English, Mexicans use Spanish, but they're not English or Spanish. Also that's because after the WWII the loser Chinese KMT came from China (more like invaded Taiwan with the US' permission) and FORCED every Taiwanese to learn "Mandarin/Chinese". It's actually called "Pekinggo" by the Japanese, which means Beijingnese. And in China, only about half of the population speaks Mandarin or AKA Chinese.

You might say Taiwanese is a dialect of the bigger Chinese language family. All languages are derived from other language(s) one way or another. Look at Japanese. They use the Chinese character. Does that make Japanese part of the Chinese language as well? I don't think so. Isn't Portuguese very similar to Spanish? They can understand each other, right? But, they're different languages? That doesn't make any sense. That goes for Italian as well to some degree. Someone who only speaks Taiwanese CANNOT communicate with someone who speaks only Chinese.

I'm digressing here, but that's why I think China is actually made up of several countries. The Chinese are just controlling them all like Tibet, Mongolia, East Turkestan, and others.

This is just one distorted fact about the Taiwanese.

To the Author:

Your english is really poor. Can you put your simple ideas in simple english rather than tasteless slangs?

BRAMBLES:

@CHENNCHINA:

>>To Brambles, I'd have to say the author's cultural insight on the matter has a lot more to do with his conclusion than mere reporting based on a press release or gleaning headlines off of other media sources. (END OF QUOTE)

Sorry, frankly I dont get you. I dont see your point. I happen to agree with Mr. Pomfret regarding his take on the cross straight relationship. One thing I m not sure is whether Ma has the will and capacity to effect the influence.

Henry:

Why are you calling the Taiwanese as Chinese? The Taiwanese are not Chinese.

The Taiwanese are not ethnically Chinese. They are a different race and breed. That's some bull the Chinese and the Westerns created.

Is American an ethnicity or not? If yes, didn't everyone come from some other country originally? Even the founding fathers of the US, they or they're ancestors came from England. If not, people should stop calling Americans Americans.

You might say the Taiwanese speak the same language as the Chinese. But, that's because after the WWII the loser Chinese KMT came from China (more like invaded Taiwan with the US' permission) and FORCED every Taiwanese to learn "Mandarin/Chinese". It's actually called "Pekinggo" by the Japanese, which means Beijingnese. And in China, only about half of the population speaks Mandarin or AKA Chinese.

You might say Taiwanese is a dialect of the bigger Chinese language family. All languages are derived from other language(s) one way or another. Look at Japanese. They use the Chinese character. Does that make Japanese part of the Chinese language as well? I don't think so. Isn't Portuguese very similar to Spanish? They can understand each other, right? But, they're different languages? That doesn't make any sense. That goes for Italian as well to some degree. Someone who only speaks Taiwanese CANNOT communicate with someone who speaks only Chinese.

I'm digressing here, but that's why I think China is actually made up of several countries. The Chinese are just controlling them all like Tibet, Mongolia, East Turkestan, and others.

ChennChina:

@ Chinese Say: The Big Blue Earth is no longer so. Congrats to China for breaking yet another "world record" for the Guiness Book. This time it's for surpassing the West in polluting the Earth in a much faster timespan.

One big factor Chen won two terms with the DPP was that Taiwanese people were sick and tired of the systemic corruption of the KMT and all the sweetheart setups that had become ingrained into the system after many decades of control. Kinda like the CCP's power hold on the Mainland. Unfortunately, Chen kind of went off kilter after that. Either way, it's a lot freer a place than Singapore will ever be.

Pretty much have to agree with Pommy's viewpoint on this matter. To Brambles, I'd have to say the author's cultural insight on the matter has a lot more to do with his conclusion than mere reporting based on a press release or gleaning headlines off of other media sources.

By the way, "Chinese Lessons" was a purchase I was quite pleased with and have passed it on to friends to read as well. Got it in Taipei.

BradSpring:

Remember WMD in the Iraq war? Tibet, another lie from the western media.

The so-called "free media" never have the courage to report a simple fact: 90% of Tibetans were serfs and slaves in Tibet under Dalai Lama. It was the Communist Chinese Army who liberated Tibet from the brutal theocracy serfdom rule of Dalai Lama and the upper class monks. The liberation of Tibet by PLA is analogous to American Civil War: slavery abolished, country unified.

Occupation? I laugh. Please, let's call the US occupation of California, the Canada occupation of Ontario.

Oppression? Genocide? Lets see:

- Tibetan ethnic has free access to elementary schools and high schools
- Tibetan ethnic can enter elite Chinese Universities with half scores of Han Chinese kids’ in the national university entrance exam.
- Tibetan ethnic has free public health care access
- “One-Child” policy does not apply to Tibetan and other minorities
- State of art infrastructures, railways are provided for free to Tibetans
- Tibetans don’t need to pay tax.
- Tibetans are free to practice their religions, monks are paid full time for doing nothing else but praying in temples.

Pleeeease, oppress me, genocide me.

BRAMBLES:

Mr. Pomfret, maybe you are wise to avoid the Tibet issue. Maybe not. You have started it by making a serial of judgements. We would really like to see your research and analysis. As a POST correspondent, you are expected to hold a higher standard than a layperson.
Regarding cross straight relationship, some of the analysis above does make sense. Well, if you do watch CCTV (Chinese Central TV Station), you'd see lots and lots of news reports about the democratic elections in other country over the years. Who can say it's not gonna have an impact on the public psychology? One may argue China is far lagging behind in democratization. But certainly this is 21st century and information age.
Earlier this month, after the Taiwan presidential election, for several times I heard cabbies (in Beijing) talking about why the election in Taiwan could be a good thing: "Chen is no good, so he gets sacked by the people. No bloodshed and no big fuss. It's good."
Cabbies in Beijing are known to be chatty.

Chinese Say::

When We were called Sick man of Asia, We were called The Peril.
  When We are billed to be the next Superpower, We are called The threat.
  
  When We were closed our doors, You smuggled Drugs to Open Markets.
  When We Embrace Freed Trade, You blame us for Taking away your jobs.
  
  When We were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.
  When We were putting the broken peices together again, Free Tibet you screamed, it was an invasion!
  ( When Woodrow Wilson Couldn't give back Birth Place of Confucius back to Us,
  But He did bought a ticket for the Famine Relief Ball for us.)
  
  So, We Tried Communism, You hated us for being Communists
  When We embrace Capitalism, You hate us for being Capitalist.
  
  When We have a Billion People, you said we were destroying the planet.
  When We are tried limited our numbers, you said It was human rights abuse.

When We were Poor, You think we are dogs.
  When We Loan you cash, You blame us for your debts.
  
  When We build our industries, You called us Polluters.
  When we sell you goods, You blame us for global warming.
  
  When We buy oil, You called that exploitation and Genocide.
  When You fight for oil, You called that Liberation.
  
  When We were lost in Chaos and rampage, You wanted Rules of Law for us.
  When We uphold law and order against Violence, You called that Violating
  Human Rights.
  
  When We were silent, You said you want us to have Free Speech.
  When We were silent no more, You say we were Brainwashed-Xenophoics.
  
  Why do you hate us so much? We asked.
  No, You Answered, We don't hate You.
  
  We don't Hate You either,
  But Do you understand us?
  
  Of course We do, You said,
  We have AFP, CNN and BBCs...
  
  What do you really want from us?
  Think Hard first, then Answer...
  
  Because you only get so many chances,
  Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for this one world.
  
  We want One World, One Dream, And Peace On Earth.
  - This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.

zhubajie in Beijing:

Very perceptive. Good to see a western voice recognizing that the Chinese are mightily angry with the west's take on Tibet, and that it has done huge damage to the cause of human rights in China. Tibet is a matter of national pride for China and they see attempts to split it from the motherland as a conspiracy against China and attempted colonialism.

The Dalai Lama is no friend of democracy, so why are we all lining up to back his quixotic campaign for self-rule? Surely, democracy in China would be a far greater achievement? The Dalai Lama has set back that goal by his actions and those of his supporters in tieing Tibetan independence to the Beijing Olympics. We've all been led up the garden path.

RedBlack:

Good !! It may happen.

Lee Something-or-Other:

I'm guessing that Mr. Pomfret shares William Safire's view that Singapore is a dictatorship? Singapore is, of course, a majority-Chinese state that holds free elections. However, the rules of the game are purposely biased to help keep the ruling party in power.

If you think about it, it's not so different in effect from gerrymandering. Both serve the same ends, but Singapore's government declares it openly (and they're rather proud of it too). Does this make it somehow less acceptable than the more backhanded maneuverings that go on with tweaking election systems in, say, Italy or Texas?

Billy:

Wonderful read as always Mr. Pomfret.

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