IHT: Beijing announces lavish Olympic torch relay, but Taiwan backs out

So Beijing announced the route of the Olympic torch relay. It’s a long, grand, and glorious march to 2008 and the route will take the Olympic flame nearly 85,000 miles over five continents but it’s the proposed stops in Tibet and Taiwan that are getting the most attention. This week activists protested the inclusion of Mt. Everest as a torch destination. Today, the Taipei government announced it would not allow the torch to cross Taiwan.

“The Beijing 2008 torch relay will, as its theme says, be a journey of harmony, bringing friendship and respect to people of different nationalities, races and creeds,” IOC President Jacques Rogge told the ceremony.

Nevertheless, both Beijing and Taiwan hoped to use the torch relay to bolster political agendas: for Beijing, that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, and for Taiwan that it is independent.

To that end, Taiwan wanted to participate as part of the international route — with the torch entering and departing the island via nations other than China. China would like the island run to be part of the domestic route.

In an attempt at compromise that Beijing said Taiwan had agreed to, Olympic organizers said the torch would pass from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City to Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, and then to Hong Kong, which is Chinese-controlled but semiautonomous.

“I sincerely hope that Taiwan compatriots can enjoy the glories and joy of the torch relay,” Jiang Xiaoyu, a vice president of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, told reporters.

In dueling statements in the two capitals, Jiang said Taiwan’s Olympic Committee had earlier signed off on the route while Taiwan’s Tsai rejected the notion.

“This route is a domestic route that constitutes an attempt to downgrade our sovereignty,” Tsai said.

Unfortunately, this promises to be the first of many such rows over the next 15 months. What is the solution here?

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 49 Comments

You should pick up Dave’s post on Tibet Free Advice for the free Tibet crowd

April 27, 2007 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

I wonder if the fact that they chose Ho Chi Minh City as the last stop before Taipei doesn’t reflect feelings in Beijing that Vietnam is in a sense part of Greater China as well?

April 27, 2007 @ 2:50 pm | Comment

Given that it’s absolutely impossible to keep politics out of the Olympics, I see the rows as a good thing if they serve to raise issues that the CCP would rather sweep under the carpet.

The solution, therefore, is to unleash the world’s media in ever increasing numbers as the Games approaches, sending them to all corners of China (legitimate, annexed, or claimed) to report back (objectively, of course) on the plight of the people.

Hu and his boys won’t be able to issue denials fast enough, and they’re going make themselves look very silly if they don’t allow freedom of speech its day in the sun.

Let the banners unfurl.

April 27, 2007 @ 2:51 pm | Comment

If the whole event has anything that will undermine the Republic of China on Taiwan, i think Taipei should reject Beijing’s offer. Late President Chiang Ching-kuo was right about the policy of “漢賊不兩立”.
After all, the CCP time and again insult the ROC’s flag and anthem in all international events.

April 27, 2007 @ 3:37 pm | Comment

After all, the CCP time and again insult the ROC’s flag and anthem in all international events.

That is true, but if it is not for the CCP holding back DPP’s thrust for de jure independence, at this moment there would not be any ROC flag to be flown or ROC anthem to be sung in the first place.

April 27, 2007 @ 4:20 pm | Comment

That is true, but if it is not for the CCP holding back DPP’s thrust for de jure independence, at this moment there would not be any ROC flag to be flown or ROC anthem to be sung in the first place.

Maybe Taiwan would prefer to ditch the ROC flag and anthem – ever thing about that one? But while they have them, it’s the best they have and they want to be able to show pride in them.

Maybe the world should insist that China compete under the name “Chinese Beijing”….

April 27, 2007 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

The mainland cannot give up its claim over Taiwan. Taiwan cannot be included in the international route. If Taiwan does not want to have the torch, then it’s their loss.

April 28, 2007 @ 12:53 am | Comment

zhj, if I were Taiwanese I would prefer losing the torch than allowing its passage to be used for Chinese propaganda.

Sport shouldn’t be politicised, but it was politicised from the first moment China started pushing for Taiwan to be a domestic leg. They could have easily not labelled it at all, but they had to go for the propaganda effect – this is the result of their own short-sightedness.

April 28, 2007 @ 1:38 am | Comment

Beijing prepares for torch relay with or without Taiwan. See USA Today.

Raj, please be balanced. Taipei is playing politics more than Beijing. Chen Shui-bian is appeasing hard-core independence activists and tries to boost his party’s support for the upcoming polls. I find it surprising how Beijing keeps appeasing Taiwan and tries to find a peaceful solution. If it would be me, I would instead to choose to defind my principles to the end. That means cutting off all links for 50 years, including economic ones, with Taipei. And check again if the ban should be lifted after 50 years. Banning all immigration from Taiwan to the mainland, including Hong Kong, and expell the million Taiwanese living on the mainland and send them back to Taiwan. Do they really love their Taiwan compatriots as much as they do, or are they just plain stupid and weak?

April 28, 2007 @ 2:34 am | Comment

if I were Taiwanese I would prefer losing the torch than allowing its passage to be used for Chinese propaganda.

By the same line of logic, Taiwan should boycott this all future Olympics all together, because everytime they win a medal, it will be awarded to “Chinese Taipei”.

April 28, 2007 @ 2:38 am | Comment

I also wonder why Beijing does not allow this news to be reported? Are they afraid that the Chinese people will discover that the Taiwan policy of Beijing has been a complete failure? That the majority of Taiwan does not want to unify with them? And that war may be the only solution to settle this issue?

April 28, 2007 @ 2:39 am | Comment

“Maybe Taiwan would prefer to ditch the ROC flag and anthem …”

Raj please don’t act as if you understand the opinion of 23 million people in Taiwan. Otherwise you would not have said something so ignorant and foolish as this one. Most people in Taiwan recognize the flag has a legacy far beyond either CCP and DPP.

April 28, 2007 @ 3:09 am | Comment

By the same line of logic, Taiwan should boycott this all future Olympics all together, because everytime they win a medal, it will be awarded to “Chinese Taipei”.

Taiwan has tolerated that term for many years – it’s not the same. On the other hand being forced to be called “Taipei, China” or some such might be grounds to consider a boycott.

Most people in Taiwan recognize the flag has a legacy far beyond either CCP and DPP.

For China maybe, but not Taiwan. If Taiwanese had the choice between designing a new flag and keeping the current one, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went for a new one.

April 28, 2007 @ 7:10 am | Comment

All I can say Taiwan is kind of snobby on this one.

April 28, 2007 @ 7:48 am | Comment

I like the idea from Charlie of the Positive Solutions blog: Why not just hold a national referendum on the torch question?

He writes:

Taiwan should play to its biggest strength: its democracy. Instead of painfully trying to compromise, trying to save some face, trying to find a balance that doesn’t really exist, it should go on the offensive: let the people decide.

With a referendum or, hell, they could have Pop Idol-style text vote, they could score a propaganda victory of their own by highlighting the mainland’s lack of democracy – everyone’s favourite Olympic host nation characteristic. They could step back from whatever the decision will be, and would therefore be able to spin it as much or as little as they want.

A little too outside the box?

April 28, 2007 @ 8:06 am | Comment

If Taiwan is serious about its ‘independence’, it should return Kinmen, Matsu and Taiping Island in the South China Sea to Beijing. These are all administrated and claimed as ROC or China. However, Chen Shui-bian and his DPP is not that consistent. I would applaud if they would show that consistency. I will respect their Independence position more, but I remain opposed to it of course.

April 28, 2007 @ 9:33 am | Comment

Why not just hold a national referendum on the torch question?

That is a brilliant idea, but a still better one for the referendum-addicted would be first hold a referendum on whether to hold such a referendum.

April 28, 2007 @ 9:47 am | Comment

“For China maybe, but for Taiwan…”

I guess you could also ignore the democratically elected majority in Taiwan as well…

April 28, 2007 @ 9:57 am | Comment

I agree with Fee,

People who are pro-taiwanese independence (especially those like us who likely aren’t taiwanese ourselves) should put a stronger emphasis on Taiwanese democracy. One thing that is easy to forget, is the majority of Taiwanese (atleast currently) are NOT pro-independence. We can ramble on and on about how the people of taiwan want to be free (they likely do, but they’re voting to keep the status quo), but until we respect THEIR right to choose, our multilateral opinions and pushes are no better than those of the CCP. So I say, yes, let the people of Taiwan choose whether the torch comes. And if they choose to let it come, respect their choice.

On a slightly lighter note, whenever people in China ask me if I support unification, I usually say “when unification is no longer a step backwards for taiwan, then there will be unification”. I figure this is a good answer, because its still supporting unification, right? hehe

April 28, 2007 @ 10:21 am | Comment

“For China maybe, but not Taiwan. If Taiwanese had the choice between designing a new flag and keeping the current one, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went for a new one.”

From what basis did you determine that? Have you talked to many Taiwanese people. The utter arrogance of this statement is quite infuriating…

April 28, 2007 @ 10:23 am | Comment

On the other hand being forced to be called “Taipei, China” or some such might be grounds to consider a boycott.

Well, the English name is “Chinese Taipei” and nobody is disputing that at this moment. The IOC does not have an official Chinese translation, so it is up to the Chinese (in a sense that all people who use a written language that they identify as Chinese). Somebody mentioned in an earlier comment that referendum is such a wonderful tool to solve disputes, so let us hold a world-wide referendum on this issue. Everybody who uses written Chinese natively is invited to cast a vote. Well, well, that will be a little unfair to the Taiwanese who unfortunately also use written Chinese. Taiwan still has an option, though. They can rename their written Mandarin. Renaming is in fashion on that island, by the way. Say, they come up with a name such as “Taiwandarin”. Then they can claim they are linguistically independent from China and have their own Taiwandarin translation of Chinese Taipei. When de jure independence is not achievable, at least they can start with this de lingo independent. If you have doubt about this, read the history of Norwegian. This is doable and they should be doing that right now or at least hold a referendum on it…

April 28, 2007 @ 10:49 am | Comment

I’m not sure where this post should go, but I DO feel there’s some relevance between the idea of freedom, creativity and the like. Excellent new Thomas Friedman article. I like this quote.

I think this is a comment that should give us ALL pause:

“My favorite Einstein quotation is that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” A society that restricts imagination is unlikely to produce many Einsteins — no matter how many educated people it has. But a society that does not stimulate imagination when it comes to science and math won’t either — no matter how much freedom it has.”

Very good article.

http://politikaerotika.blogspot.com/2007/04/thomas-l-friedman-china-needs-einstein.html

April 28, 2007 @ 11:26 am | Comment

Taiwan is better than China, simple as that. Why would Taiwan want dirty, slovenly CCP bosses molesting their daughters and peeing everywhere?

April 28, 2007 @ 2:55 pm | Comment

@nhyrc
i concur. taiwan is indeed the cleanest province in all of china.

April 28, 2007 @ 3:49 pm | Comment

Chip

Problem is that Taiwanese aren’t free to choose – both Beijing and Washington (and there’s the cowardice from the US) don’t want it to declare independence. If on the other hand they weren’t being pressured on the matter, most polls suggest they would choose independence.

If they’re being threatened by their greatest enemy and greatest ally, it’s not really their choice – is it?

New info

Something interesting here. Taiwan has said when it discussed the proposed route with China, it said it wouldn’t object as long as China did not use it to belittle Taiwan. Apparently China’s insistence on refering to Taiwan as the first domestic leg (rather than leaving it ambiguous) was too much for Taiwan – as was refering to it as “Taipei, China” rather than “Chinese Taipei”.

April 28, 2007 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

BBC reports that President Hu Jintao wants closer ties with Taipei. I do not understand. Hu’s Taiwan policy has been a complete failure. The number of Taiwan people supporting independence has been increasing each day. Clearly it is not working. Hu Jintao and his administration is pinning its hope on peaceful reunification by calling for closer ties. The effect has been the opposite. It should have cut off all links 4 years ago when Chen Shui-bian got ‘re-elected’ and have banned all trade and people exchanges, including Taiwan-Hong Kong links. Then this situation would have not been serious as today. Beijing is in fact (literally) paying for this by calling for closer ties, because Taiwan is getting a huge surplus and enjoys big spoils, and uses that money to develop offensive missiles to target mainland cities as Shanghai so it is in a better position to declare independence. Taiwan independence supporters want isolation. They can get it. Meanwhile, Beijing can settle this issue with a war when Taipei has degenerated into a kind of ‘Cuba’. This is how Western powers would have settled such issues. Beijing should do the same.

April 28, 2007 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

“Taiwan should play to its biggest strength: its democracy.”

They should solve it in a congressional fistfight.

April 28, 2007 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

“Problem is that Taiwanese aren’t free to choose – both Beijing and Washington (and there’s the cowardice from the US) don’t want it to declare independence. If on the other hand they weren’t being pressured on the matter, most polls suggest they would choose independence.”

Where did you get this ridiculous notion? No one in my entire extended family (and my dad’s side is benshenren) wants China to ruin Taiwan’s economy.

And we disapprove of Chen Shui-bian. Most people I’ve listened to in Taiwan (and I’ve been there for several summers throughout my entire life) prefer the status quo. “Eventual reunification” means China cleaning up its act and fitting Taiwan’s standards.

Then there are the typical fringe jingo assholes who are not much different from fringe jingo assholes in Korea, Japan, and the mainland.

There is a lot of support for independence with the youth (particularly those going through their Che-Guevara-T-Shirt revolutionary period, something that shouldn’t have been imported from America), but hopefully they’ll grow up, realize they were morons, and be more pragmatic in the future.

As for the Free Tibet retards, I hope they get a clue sometime before they die.

April 28, 2007 @ 9:08 pm | Comment

Where did you get this ridiculous notion? No one in my entire extended family (and my dad’s side is benshenren) wants China to ruin Taiwan’s economy.

Did you bother reading my post? I said “if they weren’t being pressured on the matter” – i.e. if they were given real freedom to make the choice because there weren’t any threats about what would happen if they went for formal independence.

This “ridiculous notion” has come from published opinion polls in Taiwan that posed this hypothetic scenario.

There is a lot of support for independence with the youth…. but hopefully they’ll grow up, realize they were morons, and be more pragmatic in the future.

Why would they support reunification ever? What does it do for them, other than offer the possibility of China being able to meddle in their affairs?

I don’t think you actually understand Taiwan properly, despite the fact you’ve had holidays there. It isn’t just an issue of young people feeling strongly about independence, it’s about people growing up in Taiwan having never gone to China, not giving a damn about it and wanting to be treated equally on the international stage. China isn’t going to reform itself into a multi-party democracy for a long time, unfortunately. By that time very few people in Taiwan will have been born in China and few will want formal unification.

If you want to get the real story I suggest you contact Michael T (Turton), who actually lives in Taiwan.

April 28, 2007 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

“Why would they support reunification ever? What does it do for them, other than offer the possibility of China being able to meddle in their affairs?”

access to markets, money. etc. none of this feel-good hippie independence bullshit that would accomplish absolutely nothing. yes, the ccp has historically sucked and still does, but they have the ability to damage Taiwan’s economy. so thus the status quo is the best bet. by nature of the situation Taiwan is going to have pressure from both the U.S and China, so that point is moot.

my “holidays” involved spending a lot of my life there with my family, by the way, listening to the opinion of Taiwanese people and not commentators who are eager to paint their own ideals on everything. and i grew up in a circle of Taiwanese people.

April 28, 2007 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

access to markets, money. etc.

Access to markets – why can’t that be achieved with a trade deal? Why does it require unification? If anything it is expected markets would be opened prior to any political deals, not after.

Money – what, you meant from Beijing? You have to be joking. The fear in Taiwan is that Chinese would go over there and exploit their far better health service (not unlike what is happening in Hong Kong with pregnant Chinese women conveniently giving birth while “visiting”).

by nature of the situation Taiwan is going to have pressure from both the U.S and China, so that point is moot

That wasn’t the point I was making. The original point was that Taiwan keeping with the “status-quo” is not done under free will.

my “holidays” involved spending a lot of my life there with my family, by the way, listening to the opinion of Taiwanese people and not commentators who are eager to paint their own ideals on everything.

That’s not the same. Your family is not going to reflective of general society, and you’re not going to ever meet a broad enough spectrum of people just by visiting.

April 28, 2007 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

As far as the differences between Raj and Falen on the flag for Taiwan; I have lived in Taiwan for over 18 years and daily converse with them. I have seen many versions suggested for the flag; many see the ROC flag as a symbol of a past colonial and martial law period. Falen you are the one that is out of touch.

April 28, 2007 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

i concur. taiwan is indeed the cleanest province in all of china.

I beg to differ. Tibet is cleaner, if you count Autonomous Regions as a provinces.

April 28, 2007 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

Jerome, you have lived in the South too much. Converse with the people in the North, like Taipei. Clearly the ROC flag is esthetically more pleasing than that horrific green/white flag with the shape of the island printed on it?

April 29, 2007 @ 1:18 am | Comment

“Access to markets – why can’t that be achieved with a trade deal? Why does it require unification? If anything it is expected markets would be opened prior to any political deals, not after.”

Because China is going to restrict trade with an independent Taiwan, most likely. And the “money” thing includes returns on investments and ease of doing business in China as well as general trade..

The pressures about “independence” is there because there’s so little to gain from declaring it, and because China by nature is not going to give it up.

April 29, 2007 @ 3:05 am | Comment

“Because China is going to restrict trade with an independent Taiwan, most likely.”

You bet! Most likely they will ban trade altogether. Taiwan assets in the mainland will be seized. Too bad for all the businessmen and their families, but they can return to Taiwan emptyhanded. That is the best case scenario for Taiwan. If they are unlucky, the mainland will launch a immediate war instead. In any case, Taiwan is the biggest loser.

April 29, 2007 @ 3:15 am | Comment

Because China is going to restrict trade with an independent Taiwan, most likely.

So then China loses out as well – there’s a lot of investment in China by Taiwanese. Also, read my post again. I asked what’s in it for Taiwanese to support unification, not what’s in it for them to not declare independence.

However, one could argue that if China cut itself off from Taiwan that would be the best thing for Taiwanese independence in the long-run. Sure there would be short-term pain, but afterwards Taiwan would redirect its trade elsewhere. China’s biggest asset is its trade links with Taiwan. If those go it has little left other than military force.

April 29, 2007 @ 4:57 am | Comment

“Taiwan doesn’t have free will…”

They have the right to vote, travel freely, earn a decent living, speak their minds without being coerced, pretty *free*, no?

Politically, CSB can declare his Taiwan Republic whenever he wants – who’s putting the gag on him? Beijing and Washington? Partly, but what about the legislature the people of Taiwan voted in? The constitution of the ROC he swore to twice, the “no’s” he reiterated numerous times to the relevant parties – do those matter?

He (and Taiwan as a whole) is as free as the law allows.

April 29, 2007 @ 7:19 am | Comment

“Sure there would be short-term pain, but afterwards Taiwan would redirect its trade elsewhere. China’s biggest asset is its trade links with Taiwan. ”

Not if the mainland can compete with Taiwan on that trade. If Taiwan sells something for 2 dollar, the mainland can sell for 1. Just force them out of the market. In the world economy, the price matters.

Taiwan is interesting for the US, because it is a spoil for the mainland to become a democracy. American companies want use Taiwan as a safe corridor to the mainland. I think the Americans will quickly lose interest if they see a poor island with only weird people shouting funny slogans and wavering an ugly green/white flag all day, and island that has no any connection whatsoever with the other side of the Straits.

Sure, there is no unification, but there is no harm either. The mainland can then fully focus on developing itself without getting bothered. To be frank, I don’t a war should be fought at this stage. Believe me, if Chen Shui-bian would appear on Taiwan TV right now in an emergency broadcast, and says he has disbanded the parliament, introduces a state of emergency and declares an independent Republic of Taiwan with a new constitution and flag….there won’t be war! There will only be large riots on the mainland, which will be cracked down CCP style. You will hear Beijing announcing a total boycot of Taiwan instead. Why? Because only Beijing decides its moment for going to war. The ball is not in Taipei’s hand.

April 29, 2007 @ 8:22 am | Comment

zhj I live in Taipei in a pan-blue district.
Where do you live? it does not sound like you live on this island. You talk like an outside theorizer.

As for the aesthetics of flags, what basis do you give for your judgements?

Your colors are showing.

April 29, 2007 @ 9:48 am | Comment

“Problem is that Taiwanese aren’t free to choose …”

Sure they are! And they HAVE! But any pressure on them from Washington and Beijing (and there indeed IS pressure) has no effect whatsoever on their ability to vote. Beijing freaken’ shot missles at them right before Abian was elected, and suddenly his polls skyrocketed and he gained presidency. I see that as proving that the Taiwanese people cow to noone in deciding their future. Don’t underestimate their collective will, don’t underestimate their ability to carve their own future. I’m just saying we should respect (as should Beijing and Washington) their choices, even if they don’t go along with what we personally wish for.

April 29, 2007 @ 10:16 am | Comment

One thing that is easy to forget, is the majority of Taiwanese (atleast currently) are NOT pro-independence.

Actually, that is incorrect. Good recent polling work has shown that independence has majority support among the Taiwanese; since Taiwanese routinely keep silent about support for independence, actual support for it is much higher. That will continue to rise over time, too.

Politically, CSB can declare his Taiwan Republic whenever he wants – who’s putting the gag on him? Beijing and Washington? Partly, but what about the legislature the people of Taiwan voted in? The constitution of the ROC he swore to twice, the “no’s” he reiterated numerous times to the relevant parties – do those matter?

What’s your complaint? Chen cannot declare the Republic of Taiwan at any time, he’s bound by the laws of the nation he is currently president of, and to its complex politics, especially local clan and faction politics.

There is a lot of support for independence with the youth (particularly those going through their Che-Guevara-T-Shirt revolutionary period, something that shouldn’t have been imported from America), but hopefully they’ll grow up, realize they were morons, and be more pragmatic in the future.

There is a lot of support for independence among all age levels, youths merely being the most likely age level to express it. Support for independence is “pragmatic”, Ferins — gaining control over one’s own future is a pragmatic act, not a utopian one. Unless you think people Washington, Kenyatta, Nkrumah, Havel, and Gandhi were morons who never grew up. Personally I prefer the moronic immaturity of a Michael Collins or a Simon Bolivar to clueless, patronizing servility to authoritarian masters neatly packaged and all tied up with a neat bow tie called “pragmatism.”

As I always say, I understand the people who want to be the masters, and I understand the people who fight them. But I will never understand the kind of mind that wants to serve them.

Michael

April 29, 2007 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

Sure, there is no unification, but there is no harm either. The mainland can then fully focus on developing itself without getting bothered. To be frank, I don’t a war should be fought at this stage. Believe me, if Chen Shui-bian would appear on Taiwan TV right now in an emergency broadcast, and says he has disbanded the parliament, introduces a state of emergency and declares an independent Republic of Taiwan with a new constitution and flag….there won’t be war! There will only be large riots on the mainland, which will be cracked down CCP style. You will hear Beijing announcing a total boycot of Taiwan instead. Why? Because only Beijing decides its moment for going to war. The ball is not in Taipei’s hand.

A very observant paragraph. That last sentence is so dead on. I wish some of the less clued-in analysts in the US understood that.

Michael

April 29, 2007 @ 4:19 pm | Comment

“The ball is not in Taipei’s hand.”

I dunno, I reckon Taipei could take a much better grip on in. So much of what Taipei does is reaction: rejecting the pandas, rejecting the torch. When they do positive things (setting up the unification council, freezing the unification council), they’re administrative, not eye-catching. It’s bad politics.

I reckon they could take much more of an initiative to raise their profile internationally. This new application to the WHO under the name Taiwan is a good first step. They should be thinking, what would we do if China wasn’t squatting on us?

April 30, 2007 @ 10:18 am | Comment

As I always say, I understand the people who want to be the masters,

US of A?

and I understand the people who fight them.

China?

But I will never understand the kind of mind that wants to serve them.

Yeah. I sometimes have trouble understanding the servile attitudes some Taiwanese folks show to Americans.

But I do understand Americans, or any human beings, enjoy the feeling of superiority in taking a client state.

April 30, 2007 @ 11:12 am | Comment

In Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park, the following words were carved in the pavement from where peeple can have the best view of the famous bas-relief. I was really moved. I reached for my camera and took a picture of these words.

“The vast majority of those who fought and died for the Southern Confederacy had little in worldly goods or comforts. Neither victory nor defeat would have greatly altered their lot. Yet, for four long years they waged one of the bloodiest wars in history. They fought for a principle: the right to live life in a chosen manner. This dedication to a cause drove them to achieve a moment of greatness which endures to this day.”

Both the North and the South had moral justifications for their acts, but none was there for any outsiders who thought about taking advantage of this war of indendence, which turned out to be remembered as a “civil war”.

April 30, 2007 @ 12:53 pm | Comment

As I always say, I understand the people who want to be the masters, and I understand the people who fight them. But I will never understand the kind of mind that wants to serve them.

Because that’s how you survive, ask the French why did they surrender (gave up their country; since according to my French friends, they really didn’t surrender) so easily during WWII to Hitler. And how about some so call Taiwanese’s attitude toward the former Japanese rulers (I did say some). Of course, this is not a statement on saying that having mind set on serving a master is right.

Both the North and the South had moral justifications for their acts, but none was there for any outsiders who thought about taking advantage of this war of indendence, which turned out to be remembered as a “civil war”.

Cough, where do you think South got their weapons? And I have no sympathy for people only fought for their own liberties while enslaved thousands. Talk about bunch hypocrties, and I won’t say it is moral justification either. Also, the South did pull the trigger first.

May 1, 2007 @ 2:20 am | Comment

“Taiwan does not have free will…”

Excuse me, this is an retarded and idiotic notion. Every country has as much free will as power politic dictates.

US, Taiwan and China all have many complex interests interwoven into the already contentious and complex cross strait issue. Why some people like to reduce this huge mess into one single moral and local issue about democracy and Taiwanese independence?

I found this to be frustrating and dangerous because the stake is very high. Discussing real issues often means first fighting off retards with their hollywood vision of the world. Is it possible to lay off the rhetorics and discuss real issues and explore real solutions?

How can some people keep rambling on and on about this or that without considering the cold hard reality of simple power politic? Who is going to risk offending China? US? Japan? If not today, then what about ten years from now? What about twenty years, when China is going to be in an even stronger position? And what about the well being of Taiwan? Can Taiwan develop by playing the zero-sum foreign policy game with China?

May 1, 2007 @ 7:11 am | Comment

Heres an exerpt from the Taipei Times

I cant believe that stupid CCP is accusing Taiwan of being too political about this issue. Beijing aggressively threatens Taipei economically and physically and then they want to call their silly torch route purely athletic?? So if someone has missiles pointing at you and totally disrespects you , you should just forget about that in the name of the Olympics for a few hours? Yeah right!

Chinas silly torch route is by no means about athletics. It’s about control and brainwashing as it always is with the CCP.

Fighting Beijing’s Olympic propaganda

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2007/05/01/2003359041

Taiwan needs to make its side of the issue known to avoid being labeled by the
international community as a troublemaker, even in the athletic arena.

Furthermore, Taiwan should utilize all resources available to remind the world
of Beijing’s military ambitions, abuses of religious freedom and human rights
violations.

Others have already sounded warning’s about Chinese abuses.

US actress Mia Farrow has called for Beijing to take responsibility for doing
nothing to oppose the Sudanese government’s ethnic cleansing campaign in
Darfur.

French presidential candidate Francois Bayrou publicly pledged that if elected,
he would place more pressure on Beijing to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Members of Falun Gong work tirelessly to remind the world of China’s attempts
to crush the organization.

Taiwan needs to join these voices to ensure that China truly becomes the
“responsible stakeholder” it claims to be.

While millions of eyes are focused on the Summer Olympics’ sporting events,
Beijing will seize the opportunity to convince the world that it has evolved in
a democratic and civilized manner.

Taiwan needs to mobilize all available resources to debunk this fallacy. It
needs to show the international community that behind the glossy facade of the
Olympics, China’s many faults remain.

May 2, 2007 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

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