Who foots the bill that comes with Taiwan-China unification?

This is a guest post from Jerome Keating. It reminded me of a recent conversation with one of my colleagues, the only person I’ve met here who is strongly in favor of unification with the Mainland. His reasoning is that Taiwan will enjoy an economic renaissance, becoming flush with cash and abundant jobs for all. Reading Jerome’s article below underscores the folly of my colleague’s argument.

Who Will Pay the Bill? Taiwan Pan-Blue Naiveté or Deception?
Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Credit cards are relatively new in Taiwan, thus for many, particularly the naive and inexperienced, the ability to buy now and pay later is an attractive temptation. The slow but steady accumulation of debt goes unnoticed amidst the immediate gratification of being able to enjoy consumable items. Eventually of course reality sets in and the piper must be paid. Even then for some, they harbor the dream that the bill will somehow be overlooked, forgiven, passed on or even disappear.

That same naiveté or expectation that the bill can always be passed on is evident in discussions on cross-strait relations. In talking with a friend recently, he made the comment, “Don’t you think Taiwan would be stronger if we decided to join China? Think of all the jobs in Shanghai.” My friend was of course conscious of the fact that over 700 missiles are pointed at Taiwan and it is much better to be on the pointing side of all those missiles than on the receiving side as well as the fact that many Taiwan professionals are finding lucrative work in Shanghai.

There is no free lunch. Everything has its price tag. The bullying threat of the missiles coupled with the carrot vision of a booming Shanghai seems to be like the offer of an unlimited credit card to some. But, however rich Shanghai may appear and whatever opportunities it offers some, only the naive think that China is Shanghai (along with its surrounding factories) and that there is no price tag.

What price? I want to avoid discussing the obvious and real loss of the values of democracy, free press, freedom of speech, freedom to come and go, freedom of religion etc., etc. These can often be summed up with the saying, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.”

No, I want to simply look at more practical and crass matters that touch the pocket book. Examine three in particular, the quality of health care, the quality of the environment, and the most propitious use of tax dollars.

There is an erroneous belief among that greatness can only be identified with quantity and/or size. Bigger is better and if one has quantity (bigness), quality will inevitably if not automatically follow. Even if does not, bigger is still better.

In reality, size betrays; it follows a law of diminishing returns. In countries, just like in companies and corporations when they try to control too much, quality suffers. Time Warner suffered by joining AOL; a recent study now suggests it break up into four separate units. The more the Bush administration tries to make America the policeman of the world, a point is reached where life in America suffers in diminishing returns.

The bigger countries and/or corporations get and the more they try to control, the more difficult it becomes for them to know all that is going on and to monitor quality. Things more easily slip between the cracks; corruption more easily creeps in; decisions take longer and responsibility is more difficult to track. This is all the more true when transparency is thwarted and information is blocked.

The leaders of large countries and/or corporations of course rarely suffer; they are the ones who profit most. Witness how the leadership of Enron after making a killing selling their stock prohibited lower rank employees from selling their own stock when it began to fail. In hostile takeovers and mergers; the common people always foot the bill.

Reexamine the promises of the large money pot that pro-unification politicians preach in Taiwan if it submits to a merger; in the three aforementioned areas who will pay the bill?

The quality of Taiwan’s health care is excellent. Over 94 percent of the population is covered under the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) and costs are minimal compared to the USA and most other countries. So inexpensive is healthcare that many Taiwanese living in the States when faced with operations involving lengthy hospital stays readily bear the cost of a plane flight back to enjoy the inexpensive hospital costs in Taiwan. In the same vein, many with relations in China go to multiple doctors to repeatedly fill extra medicine prescriptions so that they can give that excess to relatives in China. Only recently has the BNHI stepped in to curtail such gifts.

With a growing budget deficit, the BNHI has also reduced the number of reimbursable drugs covered under its plan. The general populace naturally complained. In actuality the cost per doctor’s visit and prescriptions has only gone up by about US $5. This is not an extreme burden but think of the costs if Taiwan had to share the gargantuan burden of providing the same good healthcare to the 1.3 billion people in China.

Shanghai may provide good healthcare but the vast rural area is totally different. There is a reason why SARS began in China; the same can be said for Avian Flu. Whole villages have AIDS from scrimping on needle use. Who will pay the price of trying to bring China’s rural areas up to decent standards? Who will pay the bill?

Second is environment. The quality of Taiwan’s environment is far below the quality of its healthcare. There is much to be done, and the cost of that will be high. Nevertheless there have been successes such as cleaning up Love River in Kaohsiung. Look however across the strait; some 15 of the most polluted cities in the world are in China; likewise polluted rivers are in abundance so much so that even the availability of good drinking water is sparse. If Taiwan finds it hard to put its money into cleaning up its own environmental problems, do the unificationists think they will get a free pass on the burden of cleaning up pollution in China? Who will pay the bill?

A third area is the effective use of tax dollars for the greater benefit of the country ranging from diverse areas such as education to military defense. Taiwan’s education system is good but in need of continuous upgrading and improvement. Attendance at a university is becoming more and more available. When once there were only enough openings to less than 30 per cent of students who took the Joint Entrance Exam, now over 90 per cent can find majors open to them. In China a billion people do not have access to upper level education. Who will foot that bill?

As for military expenditures, in Taiwan, the pan-blue dominated legislature has consistently rejected an arms bill on the grounds that such money should go for more appropriate local projects. Yet these same unificationists ironically promote joining a country that spends billions on military defense (including the 700 plus missiles that it aims at Taiwan). Again does the pan-blue think that Taiwan tax payers will get a free pass on the burden of that military build up? Who will pay the bill? Is this naiveté or deception?

There is a reason that Singapore (where information signs are in four languages reflecting its ethnic diversity) is financially better off separate from Malaysia and the costs of that larger nation. Contrastingly, there is also a reason why even the larger more prosperous West Germans express certain regrets about their obligation to take on their smaller East German cousins. Does anyone care to speculate on who would be sucked dry if a small prosperous country the size of Taiwan were taken over by a giant the size of China with all the bills it has to pay?

In early nineties, it became permissible and fashionable for Taiwan citizens to return to the mainland and visit family members left behind. Many waishengren took advantage of this, but came away disillusioned. They were welcomed to be sure but soon they were besieged by the grasping hands of cousins they never imagined they had, all expecting a gift from their richer cousins. Put simply, if Taiwan faced a takeover by China (hostile or otherwise), whose pocket do you think the over one billion grasping hands would be reaching into?

Businessmen of course look only at the immediate personal profit that their companies might make with freer access to China. They want to share the money pot of Shanghai no matter who the bills are passed on to.

Pan-blue unificationists reminisce on how they profited from taking over Taiwan. Still possessing many of those same assets, they anticipate and/or expect to be on a similar gravy train if they could get Taiwan to unify with China.

The bills and costs of such a takeover however will not go away. They will mount with interest and always be passed on to the common man. Credit card companies offer free gifts to entice customers into their money pit. Once in, the naive find they struggle to make monthly payments. High interest rates continue and the bills mount up and up.

There is no free lunch no matter what gifts are offered. In case anyone is wondering, I’ve been to Beijing and seen the pandas in its zoo. They are not black and white; they are black and brown. They sit around in the dirt and are covered with the dust and pollution in the air.

Other articles can be found at http://zen.sandiego.edu/Jerome

The Discussion: 39 Comments

Interesting article – don’t you think you are assuming almost all of these scenarios?

There has not been any official negotiations regarding the subject of unification for more than 10 years.

Perhaps you have some information connected to the conditions of unification that most of us don’t.

As far as I’m concerned, whatever relationship Taiwan pursues with Mainland China is still very much up to negotiations.

What evidence from either side do you see Taiwan compromising its existing independence and freedom simply because “unification” is in the talks?

February 12, 2006 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

China maintains the “re-unification” is a matter of when and not if. So I think Jerome is justified in asking what the game plan is for dealing with the staggering costs involved.

February 12, 2006 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

“Pan-blue unificationists reminisce on how they profited from taking over Taiwan. Still possessing many of those same assets, they anticipate and/or expect to be on a similar gravy train if they could get Taiwan to unify with China.”

This is exactly right. The KMT DID profit enormously. How? By milking Taiwan, the wealthiest of Chinese provinces when it was given back to China at the end of WWII, for use in their own war effort against the CCP. Taiwan paid a huge price. The difference is that at that time, the KMT was on the TAKING end. They forget that they would be on the RECEIVING end this time.

February 12, 2006 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

Until the specific conditions of the reunification between Taiwan and China is spelled out, Keating’s article is pointless. Until he presents evidence that Hong Kong’s days of prosperity are numbered, his point is purely theoretical and maybe completely wrong.

February 12, 2006 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

To Chairman Yao, there is no new evidence of negotiations under the Chen administration; as a matter of fact Chen is currently floating the idea of jettisoning the National Unification Guidelines and from recent polls he is getting support across the board. 2008 of course we have new elections; Ma Ying-jeou, a strong candidate there, is trying to keep his feet in two boats and please all sides–I’ll write on that later.
But regardless of whether talks any are in the offing or not; the mounting costs are there and someone will have to pay them. Unificationists with rose-colored glasses are either oblivious or don’t want to address that.
To Thomas, you are spot on, the KMT
would be more on the receiving end this time, however in Quisling fashion, some of them would hope to profit.
Tommy, I must go out right now but will speak to your remarks shortly.

February 13, 2006 @ 6:41 am | Comment

Actually, I typed incorrectly. I did not mean the RECEIVING end. I meant the GIVING end. Blame my split attention between writing and eating lunch for that slip.

February 13, 2006 @ 6:57 am | Comment

Thomas, though I followed your wording I did from context take you to mean Giving.

To Tommy, “Until the specific conditions are spelled out etc.” Even if they were spelled out, that does not mean they would be honored or followed; the promises of democracy to Hong Kong certainly don’t appear to be in the offing.

Again, the bills are there; no one gets a free lunch and it is naive to presume so.

Are Hong Kong’s days of prosperity numbered? The fact that it has not folded is not proof that it is prospering. The Hong Kong of today is not as well off as it was ten years ago but I will let someone closer to Hong Kong speak to that.

In Taiwan, no one speaks of going to Hong Kong, Shanghai is the rage. Hong Kong and Shanghai have their own past history of competition. A good part of China’s bills are covered by Shanghai tax dollars. What do you offer that Hong Kong has prospered more under the CCP?

February 13, 2006 @ 8:09 am | Comment

Your line of thinking seems to be one of “guilty until proven innocent.” That Hong Kong hasn’t imploded can’t be taken as a sign of prosperity? Well, the US may fold, too.

The Hong Kong of today is worse off than 10 years ago? What’s your basis for making that assertion? Here is a link, among MANY, that may warrant some regurgitation.


And this after the return to China.

Realistically speaking, Taiwan won’t be under Chinese rule any time soon. So I think all this discussion is sorta irrelevant. But while we are at it, I will just say that, as a Taiwanese, I support unification, but not right now. When the time comes, we will foot the bills, cuz “there is no free lunch.” But no worthy goal is without a price. The Taiwanese people aren’t morons. They know nothing is free. But then that’s a rather trite statement.

February 13, 2006 @ 11:26 am | Comment

What exactly is the worthy goal? Part of the point of my argument is like Ivan often does is to get the people out of their sentimental and romanticized rot and look at spelling it out in pragmatic terms.
If you are a real Taiwanese and not a waishengren you will have good experience on how quickly that romanticized rot evaporated under the KMT and er-er-ba.

February 13, 2006 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

Nonsense!!! Total Garbage!

Mainland is not East Germany. Taiwan is not West Germany.

Taiwan is enjoys tens of billions of USD in trade surplus with China.

If anything, China is West Germany supplying tens of billions of USD’s worth of aid to Taiwan.

Read your economic news and do some research first before making idiotic assumptions in your articles. If you want to write about Taiwan and China, learn some Chinese first, before making a total ass of yourself.

February 13, 2006 @ 4:17 pm | Comment

Jerome, your post got linked by a Chinese-language message board that’s sure sending a lot of new readers this way.

February 13, 2006 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

As for what a “worthy goal” is, it’s up to the Taiwanese majority to decide, not you or I alone (ok, probably not you at all). As to what constitutes “romanticizing,” gee, it depends on your criterion. Your “naive” Taiwanese friend seems bent in the mercenary direction. But others may not be.

Should they decide that’s what they want, then there is a price for it. I have my personal reasons for supporting unification, but my voice is only one among millions. Again, I do not believe right now is the right time for it, and no one in his sane mind would assert that it is happening tomorrow or even next year. Perhaps 15, 20, 30, or 50 years from now. There will always be a degree of compromise involved. What that is, exactly, is unknown, for it depends on many factors. I wouldn’t pretend to be able to predict the future. In any case, since in your article you declared to confine your attention to the economic realm, I simply pointed out that Hong Kong hasn’t turned to ashes, even under the Chinese rule.

You seem to be very concerned about the issue of real Taiwanese/waishengren. (In fact I am half and half.) If you think the “Taiwanese,” the Minnan population, have some special indigenous right to Taiwan then you are sadly mistaken. Their claim to Taiwan is no more, or no less, valid than Americans’ claim to the US territory. By the way, given that the Taiwanese are called Minnanren, do you know what “Min” refers to? Hint: It has something to do with China.

February 13, 2006 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

You seem to be very concerned about the issue of real Taiwanese/waishengren. (In fact I am half and half.) If you think the “Taiwanese,” the Minnan population, have some special indigenous right to Taiwan then you are sadly mistaken. Their claim to Taiwan is no more, or no less, valid than Americans’ claim to the US territory. By the way, given that the Taiwanese are called Minnanren, do you know what “Min” refers to? Hint: It has something to do with China.

Tommy, stop patronizing Jerome. Everyone knows that the settlers in Taiwan came from China. Big deal — my grandparents are all immigrants to the US but it does not follow that the US thus belongs to Italy or Poland or Scotland or wherever because of that. There is no valid argument for annexing Taiwan to China, which is why, in the end, China has to point missiles at us. Big difference between two countries that really do belong together, like West and East Germany, which unified peacefully, and the two Koreas, which can only be kept apart at gunpoint. The existence of those missiles is a tacit confession that there is no convincing case for annexing Taiwan to China.


February 13, 2006 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

Steve just made an ass out of himself by assuming that no one here knows Chinese.

February 13, 2006 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

Where is Math in all of this? I somehow had hoped to draw him out so that he could regale us with a story or analogy or such on the benefits of panda-hugging.

February 13, 2006 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

Steve, learn to read analogies, I could explain it to you but I think it would still be lost.

February 13, 2006 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Jerome, I’ll substitute for Math.

On the benefits of Panda Hugging:

There is a saying in China, “Pandas have a top and a bottom and an in between.” Some pandas are bigger than others, but most pandas are about the same size. What does this tell us about democracy versus the CCP? The CCP is like a group of pandas who rule the other pandas by consensus. But do the majority of pandas express their wishes to the CCP pandas? No, it is not necessary, because pandas do not speak at all. We should all be like pandas.

February 13, 2006 @ 9:38 pm | Comment

Ivan, you never cease to astonish.

February 13, 2006 @ 9:42 pm | Comment


Check the link you provided, it seems to be a little off…

Again, where is the evidence pointing to the Taiwanese footing the bill of some of these healthcare costs, educational shortfalls and environmental issues? Hong Kong and Macau would be the closest example to what Beijing has or has not done in terms of social and economic welfare.

In Hong Kong, economic freedoms has been preserved, judicial system is among the best in the world, healthcare is excellent all across the board, the only thing debatable is the level of political independence from Beijing (which certainly needs work).

There is definitely a clear bondary between Hong Kong and the Mainland on many levels (social, economic, judicial, environmental, etc.). The opposition to Beijing imposing their system on some of these existing institutions would be huge (July 1, 2003 rallies). The leaders in Beijing are certainly more pragmatic than some may assume.

With regard to Taiwan, I simply do not expect Beijing to do anything irrational with unification. Talk about the existing freedoms being abolished because a one-China *principle* is realised is bogus.

Taiwan has been indepedent in every sense of the word for more than 50 years; they’ve had freedoms and opportunities many people around the world can not even dream about. What is the fault with keeping the situation as it is until the situation evolves to Taiwan’s advantage instead of pushing for a “about-face” *officially independent* ROT?

February 13, 2006 @ 11:05 pm | Comment

The people that want to wait it out, I’m curious what reasoning behind that is. When I was younger, I used to think how great it would be if China could unite, under a new flag without communist or nationalist tones, etc etc. But the reality is that China is pretty far removed from Taiwan today, largely due to CCP’s impact the mainland side.

My understanding is that 1) many people in Taiwan don’t identify with China and don’t see this as their problem, so time wouldn’t help in any way (unless you believe PRC’s coersion works). 2) The dream of China catching up to Taiwan politically is really mere fantasy, despite our hopes. And the rants of HX, China_hand, Math and co. friends certainly support this.

Any type of talk on negotiations, on how China is handling HK or Macau, doesn’t address these issues and therefore don’t impact Taiwan. To address (1), it has to be attractive for Taiwanese to want to join China, as some of the states did in the early days of the USA. No country will want to join CCP land in our lifetimes. To address (2), the commies have to go. The NTD TV people are certainly trying, and seem to be building momentum, but the commies are too well entrenched and the masses too indocterinated to handle change well. So, barring someone comes along with a great plan to transition China past the CCP, and the ability to execute, (2) is a pie in the sky idea.

What is the purpose of a nation anyways? And by what definition should Taiwan agree to be ruled by the CCP?

The argument that most Taiwanese are MinNan and therefore should join the communists is immaterial. By that logic, there should be only three countries of Mongloids, Caucazoids and Negroids. My assumption is that a MinNan ren would rather live under freedom mixed with other ethnicities than live as the commies do.

February 13, 2006 @ 11:59 pm | Comment

Ivan, I think the CCP should provide you with a free panda for a pet.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:59 am | Comment


It’s not a matter of valid/invalid arguments. I have my opinions. So do other Taiwanese. The vote will decide. It’s called democracy.

The job of the government is, at the very least, to provide its people with peace and prosperity. The reason for “waiting it out” is because I prefer the democratic ways of Taiwan. Now, what do you suppose we do? Declare independence tomorrow and fight a war? I love Taiwan. I don’t want to see it ruined. Chen shui-bian’s government has degenerated into demogoguery. In the last election a couple of months ago, the Progressive Party lost by a landslide. The reason, according to most analysts, is failure to deal with his party’s corruption. So what did Chen do in response? More China-bashing. That should tell you the boy is no good. If this is the cause you want to go to war for, then there’s something wrong. Ironically enough, the US government, which observes the “one-China” policy, rebuked Chen on his anti-China rhetoric even before the Chinese had a chance to respond.

The rest of your argument about the three-nation world is too far-fetched.

February 14, 2006 @ 10:44 am | Comment

To Tommy:

‘One China’ policy IS the only reason your KMT slime regime still exist today. Without it, you’ll have no place to hide in Taiwan!

BTW, stop giving me crap about how you love Taiwan. You love MONEY above all; and, of course, your investments that are currently in China. A war would certainly ruin that!

To Ivan:

Why hug a retarded panda when I can reach out touch them at a much longer distance. BTW, ever wonder why these creatures of yours are on the extinction list.

February 14, 2006 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

Who will pay the bill for the future? Nobody knows. The U.S. thought that Iraq oil would pay much of the bill for the invasion. Apparently it hasn’t materialized. A lot more realistic questions can be asked. For instance: what is the cost of no direct flight between Taiwan and the mainland? Who will benefit if the tension across the Taiwan Strait keeps high? Arms dealer, perhaps?

It’s funny when some pundits talk about the mainland China, the CCP is doomed and its days are numbered. When the issue of the possible future unification is raised, they then think the CCP will stay in power forever. When the mainland Chinese expresses their distaste of the CCP, it is regarded as the genuine desire for freedom. When the same people express their hope for unification, they are just a bunch of brain washed idiots. Even the opinions from Taiwanese people who advocate an eventual unification do not count: they must be “waishengren” or just lusting for money.

“The existence of those missiles is a tacit confession that there is no convincing case for annexing Taiwan to China”? Well, maybe, and pointing missiles toward Taiwan is a stupid idea. However, did Lincoln have a convincing case when he resorted to force to keep the Union together?

February 14, 2006 @ 1:18 pm | Comment

What is the Taiwan independence agenda nowadays anyway? Do they have a plan in place? If so, is it in the least bit attractive to the Taiwanese?

To some fanatics of the Taiwan independence clique they seem to have forgotten who has called and continues to call the shots in Taiwan. It is the democratically elected blue camp – the legislature, and over 2/3 of Taiwan. The squatter currently residing the Presidential Palace cannot carry out any tasks because its impossible to push an agenda only he and his people support.

What exactly is a “true Taiwanese”? One that supports independence? Are the only Taiwanese in the world the ones who are in the green camp?

KMT “slime”? Green is pretty slimy don’t you think?

February 14, 2006 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

To Chairman Yao, Some years back I remember being in Xian viewing the terra cotta warriors when I overheard a loug mouth Republican (USA) on some tour spouting off, “Just wait till we get in power, then we will show the country how to run an economy.” (Clinton at that time was in power.) I thought to myself, “Yeah, just wait.” The USA budget surplus was gone long before 9/11.
That is a naivete born of idiocy and the most dangerous.
Yours up until your last post I would put as a naivete born of sincerity, that of someone linked to academia who had nver been in the trenches of social change long enough to see people go to jail, get their heads knocked, have their lives threatened etc.
You say “Taiwan has been independent in every sense of the word for more than 50 years” etc. and “you do not expect Beijing to do anything” etc.
Your concept of Taiwan history is lacking; more like those who live either in today’s security. Taiwan’s democracy came because people opposed a one party state that grudgingly gave up control. It is only in the past twenty years that martial law was lifted and in the past fifteen that the legislature elected in 1947 had to give up its posts and in the past ten years that direct election of the president came about. Democracy came in spite of not because of the KMT and at a price to many.,

February 14, 2006 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

The cost is over exaggerated in the first place. I am assuming that we can safely trust the CCP to carry out its promise of leaving Taiwan alone once unification occurs. Taiwan will have autonomy and basically behave like any independent nation would save in the areas of foreign policies. Assuming that CCP is willing to let that happens, Taiwan will have the right to enact restriction on the flow of resources, be it monetary, financial, or technological, to mainland China. This way, Taiwan won’t have to foot the bill of China’s costs. Of course, this all depends on the integrity of the CCP.

February 14, 2006 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

Will the CCP allow the Falun Gong banners to fly?

February 14, 2006 @ 7:49 pm | Comment

I don’t see why not if Falun Gong calls it quits and stays non-political.

In fact, Falun Gong was very welcome in China in the early 90’s, and was showcased many times on local news. Only when they decided to tell people to stop going to the doctors did the gov’t intervene.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:00 pm | Comment

I love that. Sure, the FLG can stick around – but only if they “call it quits.” We love free speech, as long as you only say what the Party tells you to say.

February 14, 2006 @ 8:13 pm | Comment

Oh please. The FLG right now is a 100% political organization with its mission statement being facilitaing the collapse the the CCP.

Where do you think the group’s funding comes from? I mean they run several color newspapers with several editions and independent reporters and distribute them for free across the globe. They have a satellite TV station called the New Tang Ren. Last year they managed to hack into China’s Gallaxy 1 and 2 communications satellites and disrupt domestic Chinese programming and replaced them with Falun Gong videos for 20 mins. This borders on terrorism does it not? To hack into a country’s satellites and disrupt their signals?

February 14, 2006 @ 8:29 pm | Comment

Whoever hacked the satellite should probably be punished. And certainly we can’t blame or punish all FLG believers for the crime of a few. Nasty as hacking is, no one’s been tortured or killed by the FLG.

They are allowed to demonstrate peacefully now. Would the CCP allow them to continue their peaceful public demonstrations? Your argument implying that since their goal is the fall of the CCP and thus they should be banned is silly. Many people are dedicated to getting Chen out of office, but they are still allowed to say their peace and demonstrate if they wish. Equal protection for all under the law, right?

February 14, 2006 @ 8:38 pm | Comment

I have always sympathised with independence movements around the world – Kosovo, Chechnya, and certainly Tibet.

The problem with Taiwan’s case is severe. There is not a consensus among the people who live in Taiwan and the overall image of the advocates is just ugly. There isn’t a person to point to as a leader, non-existent/unpredictable agenda, sleazy slimeballs in all levels of governace, and above all no vision.

What has Chen done in the last 6 years? Did he follow his party’s constitution of creating an officially independent country? Has he done anything to improve the livelihood of the people of Taiwan? Has he followed through with anything he has said?

I think most people in the world including myself would have more respect for him if he would just stick to his guns.

February 14, 2006 @ 11:05 pm | Comment

FLG is a joke – I’ve never had an opinion about them either way until recently.

This “spiritual” sect claims to be independent, apolitical, peaceful, compassionate and tolerant – this could not be further from the truth.

For anyone who has watched and read NTDtv and Epoch Times knows the kind garbage they spew across the Chinese speaking world.

What amazes me the most is not their sensational “reporting” but what lengths they go to discredit Americans who disagree with them. The San Francisco Chinese New Years Parade fiasco is the epitome of low-class.

They referred to multi-generation Americans as “CCP agents” and other unspeakable labels because they were refused a spot in the parade. (Check out SFGate for whole story)

Now, who or what in their right mind would want to be associated with FLG? These folks openly advocates the fall of a foreign government, blatantly sows discontent and instabllity in another country, and hell-bent on challenging China at all costs (but somehow they’re still apolitical and independent).

No district rep will receive my vote for supporting these guys.

Maybe this topic should be on another thread ehe?

February 14, 2006 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

On this issue, I agree with Chairman Yao. There is a wide field here.

Anyone up to writing a brief presentation of the Falun Gong issue?

Interesting that we have never had any trouble with them in Taiwan.

February 15, 2006 @ 1:04 am | Comment

It’s actually relevant to the Taiwan discussion, because they are treated very differently here than in China. And I would like to know in advance how China intends to deal with them.

I can’t stand the FLG, by the way, and see them as a bizarro cult. But they never killed anyone. I know all the criticisms, and agree with most. But hey, that’s the price of freedom – cults have their liberties, too.

February 15, 2006 @ 1:54 am | Comment

Chairman Yao states that Hong Kong has a bond to the judiciary in mainland China. Although not a lawyer, I believe the judicial system in Hong Kong is still along the lines of the Anglo-American legal system. Of course, any light someone can shed on this would be appreciated.

February 15, 2006 @ 4:31 am | Comment


I didnt’ say anything about going to war. But whether or not Taiwan should join the mainland (as an ambition) is different the the tactical things that should be done at this time. Leaving the mainland alone until it gets mentally mature and stable is certainly the way.

I’m not saying there are no reasons for reunification, but given how broadly spread the Chinese are, saying reunification should occur because “we’re all Chinese” is not much different than invoking as “We’re all Jews”, or all whites to invade and annex a country.

February 15, 2006 @ 9:50 am | Comment

That is very true – a lot of Mainland Chinese still have this terrible attitude of being the victims, ALL THE TIME.

Everyone knows the kind of hell they went through to get to where they are today but sometimes people (especially the ones in the government) need to step up and take a pro-active role in being the bigger person by moving past some of these historical calamities.

The world and especially Taiwan would see them in a much better light.

Beijing just needs a container of PR doctors.

February 15, 2006 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

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