Fun in Taiwan

No time to add brilliant commentary. I just want to say this reminds me of the fen qing throwing eggs at Japanese cars and businesses back in 2005. What a great way to further your cause.

Hundreds of Taiwanese protesters surrounded a hotel Wednesday where a Chinese envoy was attending a dinner banquet, tossing eggs, burning Chinese flags and trapping him inside into the early morning hours.

Chen Yunlin, the highest-ranking Communist Chinese official to ever visit Taiwan, has drawn daily protests since his five-day trip began Monday.

He was able to leave at 2:15 a.m. after police with riot shields and clubs began shoving the protesters away from the front of the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei hotel. Some demonstrators had to be dragged or carried away

The Chinese official came to sign a trade agreement with Taiwan that many believe will greatly ease tensions between the rivals. But many of the protesters distrust Beijing and oppose closer ties with the island’s biggest security threat….

Many of the approximately 800 protesters Wednesday night supported permanent independence, and some chanted ”Communist bandit get out.” They tossed eggs and pounded on cars that tried to leave the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei hotel.

Brave heroes or crazed idiots? Your call.

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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: 161 Comments

Useful idiots, I would say. They make the DPP look bad.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:16 am | Comment

It is a shame those protester’s behavior is not broadcast through major mainland media, ie CCTV. What a great way for mainland fenqing to reflect on their past actions, and hopefully they would realize what they did was counter productive to their causes.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:35 am | Comment

CCTV is saving these footages for the day when the DPP comes to power, if ever.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Comment

DPP is too much of a violent bunch.

November 6, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

So the protestors can push cops around now in taiwan, bravo, thanks to Democracy. Imagine if you try to “touch” a cop on duty in America… Taiwan has a lot can teach US about human rights now.

November 6, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

“Brave heroes or crazed idiots?”
It depends, as usual, on which side your are.

“Imagine if you try to “touch” a cop on duty in America”
On the other hand, in CH, you could try to push a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-54/55

November 6, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

How about just “very angry, concerned citiznes?”

November 6, 2008 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

It is a shame those protester’s behavior is not broadcast through major mainland media, ie CCTV. What a great way for mainland fenqing to reflect on their past actions, and hopefully they would realize what they did was counter productive to their causes.

My friend, everyone in mainland knows these protests are happening, and even the most angry Mainland “fenqing”‘s reaction is a simple smile, just laughing it off.

Now, I’ll try to imitate a BBC reporter and apply their standard formulaic treatment of any protests on the mainland to this case:

“Yesterday, hundreds of angry Taiwanese surrounded the compound of a mainland official, who was here, ironically, on a visit intended to increase trade deals and improve ties across the straits. The protesters were mostly young and angry youth, who felt that they were ‘bullied’ by the mainland. Although ostensibly these protests were spontaneous in nature, several witnesses who talked to our reporters saw large groups of protesters being bussed into the site, in what appeared to be buses bearing government licenses….

The pro-independence media in Taiwan has been decidedly one-sided, denouncing what the Taiwanese government perceives as the ‘threat of force from the mainland’ and ‘bullying tactics of the ‘communist bandits’ , a term employed by government run media to refer to the government of the Mainland.

Our reporters talked to several of the protesters, and the responses all seem to tow the official line that Taiwan is an island being bullied and that Taiwan has been a victim. One angry 22 year old named Raj, shouted to our camera: “Those communist bandits! They are the most evil people on earth! They need to just go back home, Taiwanese have no interest being Chinese!” When our reporter asked Raj to explain why it’s ok to assault the visitors and smash his car, he simply repeated the same lines and finally shouted ‘This is fair. This is how democracy works!’

Relationship between Taiwan and its more economically advanced Mainland counterpart has been rocky. Observers say that in recent years, Mainland gov’t has acted with extreme restraint over Taiwan, and not a single Mainland official has made any open military warnings against Taiwan in the past 6 years. However, that did not not seem to have improved relations, as the Taiwanese gov’t continues to reject any gestures of goodwill from the Mainland, citing what they claim to be ‘bullying tactics from the Mainland’

‘If the communist bandit does not like his car being smashed and being physically assaulted, then he should not have come, this is how democracy works here, and they need to get used to it.’ Said another angry protester Michael Turton.”

November 6, 2008 @ 3:27 pm | Comment

None of this would happen if China would just leave us alone.

November 6, 2008 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

@a-gu

amen to that

November 6, 2008 @ 4:35 pm | Comment

Two things China doesn’t get about Taiwan issue:

First, neither side of the political divide in Taiwan will tolerate anything that looks like a ‘takeover’ by the mainland.

Second, a definition of the word ‘unification’ that doesn’t make it synonymous with ownership.

November 6, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

Calling DPP protestors “very angry, concerned citiznes” is like calling crazed soccar rioters “over-enthusiatic fans”. Bottomline is their penchant for violence knows no bound.

November 6, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Comment

Idiots are idiots, regardless of where they are from or what they think they are fighting for.

November 6, 2008 @ 6:02 pm | Comment

Calling DPP protestors “very angry, concerned citiznes” is like calling crazed soccar rioters “over-enthusiatic fans”.

No it isn’t because football thugs riot due to piddling concerns – sport. These people are protesting over something that actually matters – their country’s future. You might say that they have nothing to worry about or that this doesn’t help them. But the comparison isn’t valid.

As for the comparison to 2005, that also is not completely suitable because the Chinese were rioting over history. Japan had not done nor was doing anything that might threaten China in the present. On the other hand China reserves the right to attack Taiwan and still claims it as its own territory. Plus this is around the visit of a senior Chinese official.

I wouldn’t participate in such action myself but throwing eggs is hardly a point of concern. Now, the Police heavy-handedness over the last few days is more concerning.

November 6, 2008 @ 6:19 pm | Comment

Also, you may want to read what A-gu had to say about this.

http://a-gu.blogspot.com/2008/11/dpp-tries-to-calm-protesters.html

Both David Reid of David on Formosa and another observer I know on scene said the DPP helped keep the situation from becoming a full scale riot with its call for calm and physical presence.

November 6, 2008 @ 6:22 pm | Comment

What A-gu says above is true, but unfortunately it’s also divorced from reality. All of us know what the reality is. It may be fun or exciting to stand up to Goliath, something I like to do myself, but in this case it’s not a very productive effort. Working to preserve the status quo and ensuring that Taiwan remains autonomous while improving relations with China for the betterment of everyone is the one practical solution, in my eyes. The fight for an “independent” Taiwan is going exactly nowhere. Unless maybe the US decides to give Texas back to Mexico. (And I know, that’s an imperfect analogy; the Chinese flag never flew over Taiwanese soil. But the odds are the same.)

November 6, 2008 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

Working to preserve the status quo and ensuring that Taiwan remains autonomous while improving relations with China for the betterment of everyone is the one practical solution, in my eyes.

I think Michael Turton put it quite well when he said (previously on his blog) that maintaining the “status quo” is impossible when China seeks to change it. There certainly is no military status-quo and up until recently there was no diplomatic one either, though that may have temporarily changed.

The fight for an “independent” Taiwan is going exactly nowhere.

Depends what you mean by “independent”. If you mean formal recognition by China/the world that Taiwan is independent, I might agree. However, the protesters would doubtlessly say that they are protesting against the erosion of their independence/autonomy. If this was merely about the lack of movement towards formal independence I doubt they’d be nearly as wound up.

November 6, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Comment

Where is the proof of the erosion of their autonomy? I love Michael Turton, but his view of Taiwan is about as unbiased as my view of the music of Richard Wagner, We are both fanatics.

I’ll be away for a while so have fun in the meantime.

November 6, 2008 @ 6:51 pm | Comment

Dear Richard,

DPP supporters would likely say that acceptance of the “One China” principal will necessarily lead to the erosion of Taiwan’s autonomy. That’s why there’s at least as much anger directed at Ma as there is at Chen Yunlin.

November 6, 2008 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Where is the proof of the erosion of their autonomy?

I didn’t say that there had been. I was explaining how they see things – not that they are being frustrated in moving forward to formal independence but that they are moving backwards from where they already are.

A-gu’s point picks up on that.

November 6, 2008 @ 7:02 pm | Comment

Who cares what they think. One day, hopefully in my lifetime, China will be strong enough to take back Taiwan regardless of what the USA thinks. The fate of Taiwan of course is not just the business of those living in Taiwan now – it is a matter of concern for all 1.3billion Chinese – and in this respect those few Taiwanese independence people are out-voted.

November 6, 2008 @ 7:11 pm | Comment

On the other hand China reserves the right to attack Taiwan and still claims it as its own territory.

Raj: and this claim is recognized by virtually every single country in the world including all Western countries. And any country in the world has the right to suppress insurrection. That is why most Western countries supported Georgia’s attempts to prevent South Osseita from seceding and going over to Russia. And the gratuitous violence meted out by ‘democratic’ Georgia to Russian ethnics in South Osseita was completely ignored by the Western media – unlike China’s piddling attempts to restore law and order in Tibet earlier this year which was roundly condemned by the usual suspects.

November 6, 2008 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

DPP are like radical Palestinians pursueing the impossible, sometimes with violence, refusing the recognize the reality on the ground.

November 6, 2008 @ 7:50 pm | Comment

I am so absolutely sickened with disgust watching the protesters beating up reporter. I am more sickened yet knowning along comes people that’ll rationalize the violence.

November 6, 2008 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

There is a sense of despair in the independence supporters. The outlook for them is indeed bleak. The violence is an act of desperation. The will of the vast majority of the Chinese all over the world should prevail at the end. Justice is served in this case.

November 6, 2008 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

Mongol

Who cares what they think.

Anyone who would want to resolve the Taiwan problem peacefully. Some people on either side won’t be satisfied, but the concerns of these protesters are shared by many Taiwanese, maybe even a majority. If you want to ignore them and take the island over by force, go ahead and do that. But if you want to avoid bloodshed you have to take notice of what Taiwanese think.

The fate of Taiwan of course is not just the business of those living in Taiwan now – it is a matter of concern for all 1.3billion Chinese – and in this respect those few Taiwanese independence people are out-voted.

Since when was China a democracy? Maybe if the general Chinese population had input through direct elections as is the case in Taiwan you could conceivably have a point. However, it isn’t and the CCP makes decisions instead. Also even if Chinese did have a vote, Taiwanese won’t care what they think. Again, if you want a peaceful resolution you need Taiwanese to agree – and agree separately.

this claim is recognized by virtually every single country in the world including all Western countries

Complete nonsense. They recognise that China makes the claim, but they do not agree with it. Agreeing to recognise Beijing over Taipei is not a signal that China has carte blanche to do whatever they please.

unlike China’s piddling attempts to restore law and order in Tibet earlier this year which was roundly condemned by the usual suspects

Tibet is more a part of China than Taiwan is. If foreign powers condemned the crackdown in Tibet, why on earth would they support military action over de-facto independent Taiwan? Clearly they wouldn’t.

++++

Falen

DPP are like radical Palestinians pursueing the impossible, sometimes with violence, refusing the recognize the reality on the ground.

Not all the DPP are like that. Indeed the party signalled that it was willing to remove its constitutional commitment to independence if China agreed to talks. From 2000 to 2008 it was the Chinese who were the extremists.

Though I might add that if the DPP are Palestinians pursuing the impossible, Chinese nationalists are like those Israeli settlers who still dream of a united Israel stretching from the to the river Jordan – not going to happen.

I am so absolutely sickened with disgust watching the protesters beating up reporter.

I didn’t hear about that, though I note that the Association of Taiwan Journalists protested how the government/Police have been treating their members.

I am more sickened yet knowning along comes people that’ll rationalize the violence.

What, like when Chinese justified the 2005 riots? Were you sickened by that as well? I don’t think physical assault on any innocent person is justified.

November 6, 2008 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

Also a little summary of the recent events has been posted on A-gu’s site.

http://a-gu.blogspot.com/2008/11/protests-so-far-in-nutshell.html

November 6, 2008 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

Looks like there are plenty of anti-reunification Taiwanese.

Tuan-Yuan ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, if ever.

November 6, 2008 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

Mongoloid Warrior

Where to start…

The thing that you don’t realize is that something very big is going on in China currently. And this big thing is not what you think it is. It’s not the economic miracle, although there is a link.

The Insidious Global Culture Assimilation

Modern China is slowly becoming similar to America: culturally, socially and somehow and painfully politically. Thanks to your government for not preserving what most of Chinese consider as trash houses and lifestyle, it’s only making the process faster.

Every pseudo-developed city of China is a caricature of the States, with a MC Donald or a KFC on almost every corners of the city. Dunking Donuts is on its way and Crispy Cream as well.

Obesity rate has increased dramatically amongst the young population, there are zillions of satellite dishes on every building in modern cities, people use VPN to bypass the ridiculous GFW, the youth is turning its back on the Chinese traditions such as The Spring Festival while they are embracing Christmas and Halloween. The 90′s heartless and king child zombie generation is much more scary than what we produced during our flower power era. Because there is no ideology behind their eyes, only greed and ultra-selfishness.

People are piling up in soulless towers while dreaming of being able to buy a multimillion RMB villa with a 4 square meter garden. Grumbling on daily basis at the fact that “China has too many people!” (note: and for some twisted people even using this excuse whenever a couple of them die).

So you might say that China doesn’t focus on ideologies at the moment, but the US for sure does, and it’s now everywhere in your country. It’s insidious and extremely efficient. Much more than a war or a confrontation, because this approach changes people and their mind forever.

The question is: why do people adhere to this lifestyle?

Because they like it and it makes them happy.

One day, the critical mass of people with money and power will demand more control on their life and future, at all level (what we call in our rainbow land, the middle class). Right now the government is pouring the water outside a sinking boat with a spoon.

When Deng Xiao Ping opened the doors, he said “Hello” to globalization. So even if you think you’ll change the course of things to come, the foot of globalization is in the door. It’s too late. Sorry.

Democracy is not a pop trend or a cultural phenomenon, it’s the very essence of the human existence, the right to have a voice, the right to be able to express your vision of life and challenge others’ opinion. The right for you, as an individual and not as an Ant from a colony, to change things in this world.

200 years VS 5000, comparing the results, I’ll go with the first option, thank you.

Ask yourself a simple question: Why are the USA at the top of the world right now ?

Why Isn’t China or Russia? If you think your social model is so superior and great. I really wonder… Doesn’t it sound like a resounding failure message to you?

China might become an economical super power, but it will NEVER become an ideological and cultural power.

November 6, 2008 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

Sorry, wrong thread, please delete the tome Richard.

November 6, 2008 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

Complete nonsense. They recognise that China makes the claim, but they do not agree with it. Agreeing to recognise Beijing over Taipei is not a signal that China has carte blanche to do whatever they please.

Raj: you are completely wrong about this. All Western countries adhere to the ‘one China’ policy and agree that Taiwan should be part of CHina. And your statement is self-contradictory. By saying “recognizing Beijing over Taipei” you admit that both entities claim to be part of China are in fact part of China. The argument is simply which government is the legitimate representative of all of China. The KMT dropped their claim to the mainland a long time ago – they were just being realistic. Beijing is in fact happy to leave things the way they are -Taiwan does not have to be part of the PRC now. The only thing they must not do is say they are not part of a cultural and ethnic entity ‘China.’

An analogy can be taken from the former West / East Germany situtation. Both operated independently of each other for 40 years, the West German flag never flew over the East and vice versa. But neither West or East Germany never said they were not part of some ethnic and cultural entity called ‘Germany’ – even though politically neither would submit to the rule of the other. So all along reunification was something that would be inevitable and all German patriots would hope for the day when reunification would be realized – and when it did happen it was a joyous day for them. Similarly with the situation of North and South Korea today. North Korea does not ‘belong’ to South Korea, nor does South Korea ‘belong’ to the North. But they are both part of and belong to the Korean nation, despite the fact that the administrative and political framework of a united Korea does not at the moment exist. If North Korea suddenly said “we are not Koreans anymore, we are in fact South Manchurians and we will never be Korean again” you can bet that South Koreans would be upset about this.

The situation is exactly the same with mainland China and Taiwan. Taiwan is obviously not yet part of the PRC. But it is part of ‘China.’ Just like both West and East Germany operated separately for a while but all along were still part of the ‘German’ nation.

So in light of the above Richard’s statement that’s an imperfect analogy; the Chinese flag never flew over Taiwanese soil is just plain absurd.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

you are completely wrong about this. All Western countries adhere to the ‘one China’ policy and agree that Taiwan should be part of CHina.

No, you are completely wrong. They acknowledge or recognise the policy so that they can have diplomatic relations with China. It does not mean that they believe China has a right to Taiwan or a right to invade it.

By saying “recognizing Beijing over Taipei” you admit that both entities claim to be part of China are in fact part of China.

The ROC and PRC claim to represent the same/similar thing, but in reality they are different. If Taiwan changed its constitution China would still demand countries not recognise it. Thus it’s a choice between China or Taiwan.

Beijing is in fact happy to leave things the way they are

Not forever. According to A-gu, Chen Yunlin said that relations can improve slowly but not stop. No progress = regression. To may it will sound like he was saying the path towards unification must continue and that if it stops we’ll take that as moves towards independence (and thus war). I’m sure you’ll disagree but perception counts.

Many Chinese also say that unification cannot be postponed indefinitely.

An analogy can be taken from the former West / East Germany situtation. Both operated independently of each other for 40 years, the West German flag never flew over the East and vice versa.

Except that before the end of WWII it had been indisguishably one country for quite some time. At no point did people on either side want separation. The fall of the Berlin Wall was welcomed especially in the East because they were ruled by an oppressive regime and the West offered them freedom.

With Taiwan, it was sort of under Chinese “authority” for some time, then a Japanese colony for many decades, then controlled by the ROC for a few years after WWII and then independent of China. The history is far more patchy, and certainly there is no such desire for unification in Taiwan as there was in East Germany.

Richard was talking about the Chinese flag as being the PRC flag. That’s what most people think.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:20 pm | Comment

Re: “Just like both West and East Germany operated separately for a while but all along were still part of the ‘German’ nation.”

At least East Germany was recognized as an independent country.
Same for North Korea.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:24 pm | Comment

We’ve been here before and it can lead to endless and increasingly meaningless thread. It goes back to the same old question, does a flag having been over one nation once mean that for all time the conquering nation can lay claim to it?

I tend to side with Raj’s last comment, nearly every word, except for his citing A-gu as a definitive source (let’s not bestow to bloggers the mantle of historians). The status quo we are all living with is a somewhat awkward mutual agreement that we let China save face by giving in on the fact that there is “one China,” while we also insist that Taiwan be assured of its autonomy. Awkward, certainly. But until we have a more viable alternative, it’s the best we can do, and it works. It can work better if the two entities improved relations and let some of the ice melt. I know, impossible, But Apartheid really did end and the Berlin Wall really did fall. The one thing that exacerbates the conflict, to everyone’s disadvantage, is the hardline approach from either side.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

No, you are completely wrong. They acknowledge or recognise the policy so that they can have diplomatic relations with China. It does not mean that they believe China has a right to Taiwan or a right to invade it.

Again you are wrong Raj. The US for one recognized the KMT govt in Taiwan as representing all of China right up to 1978. The goverment in Taiwan represented ‘China’ in the UN, with the support of the West right up until 1972? I think. There was never any question raised that the territory of Taiwan was not part of the Chinese nation. Switching recognition of the Chinese governments has nothing to do with whether or not Taiwan is part of the Chinese nation. The legitimacy of any particular regime can be questioned but that is a different thing altogether from questioning the territorial boundaries of a nation.

With Taiwan, it was sort of under Chinese “authority” for some time, then a Japanese colony for many decades, then controlled by the ROC for a few years after WWII and then independent of China. Sorry but the fact that a territory was invaded and occupied for several decades by an aggressive foreign power is not a legitimate way to argue against its return to its original owner. Again the fact is a government clearly claiming to be a Chinese government, calling itself the “Republic of China” was recognized by all Western nations as the legitimate government of all of China with a seat in the United Nations with never a question been raised that it was in some way an illegal occupier of non-Chinese land. So clearly Taiwan is Chinese, and is accordingly recogized as such – NOT because so the West can have diplomatic relations with China.

November 6, 2008 @ 10:46 pm | Comment

Raj is correct on the Taiwan recognition issue. It may not be be satisfying for Chinese nationalists, but it is cut and dried.

November 7, 2008 @ 12:37 am | Comment

The protestors would have gained more sympathy for their concerns if they had expressed their point of view peacefully and perhaps called attention to issues of deomcracy, rule of law religious freedom and human rights in mainland china.

The US adheres to the one china two systems policy and is committed to defending taiwan from a forcible annexation. The US has accepted that the ROC has no claim to being the government of mainland china, however this does not mean they have accepted that the territory of Taiwan belongs to the People’s Republic of China.

The US supports Taiwan until such a time that the two sides of the straights of taiwan peacefully resolve the specifics of a re-unification.

I am sure the envoy from China and Hu Jin Tao understand that. Taiwan is not a toy that belongs to a spoiled petulant fenqing. It is a nation of people with basic human rights who will be willing to re-unite with mainland at a time when the mainland has a form of government that protects basic rights of human beings.

November 7, 2008 @ 1:30 am | Comment

In a strictly legal sense, Mongol Warrior is right. Both the ROC and the PRC officially claim to be the government of an area which includes all of the territories currently held by both of them, and the ROC claims the territory currently governed by Mongolia as well. The Guomindang and the Minjindang no longer claim these territories, but as the ROC is multi-party constitutional state, the parties’ positions have no legal force in and of themselves. What is usually referred to as ‘Taiwanese Independence’ would be no such thing. The ROC is an independent nation, whether anyone else recognises it or not, and what they really would be doing would be acknowledging the PRC and its sovereignty over the territory they control, ie. ‘mainland China’. Presumably they would also acknowledge Mongolia.

In regards to the West Germany-East Germany comparison. Here’s a breakdown of the history of countries controlling Taiwan;
P
re-1624 – Ruled by various groups of Taiwanian aborigines

1624-1661 – Was a colony of the Dutch East India Company (Spanish also tried to move in, but the Dutch chased them off)

1661-1683 – Ruled by the Zheng family as a theoretical last bastion of the Ming Dynasty

1683-1887 – Administered by the Fujian provincial government under the Qing Dynasty (my personal view is that it should be considered a colony in this period and not part of China proper, but this is open to debate)

1887-1895 – Was an official province of Qing China

1895-1945 – Was a Japanese colony

1945-Present – Has been a province of the Republic of China (and from 1949 onwards, the only province)

So yeah, legally, according to both governments and every other government (both those that recognise the PRC and the ROC), Taiwan is part of ‘China’. This could change though, as the Republic of China does have the power to renounce its connection to the mainland. If it did this, you could still say it’s part of ‘China’ in the larger sense, but that would be a matter of opinion.

That should clear things up.

November 7, 2008 @ 2:18 am | Comment

Mongol Warrior,

Seems like the mainland Chinese want unification more than Taiwanese. How about the CCP make a sacrifice for the country and let ROC expand to all of China. In the bargain you get democracy for free too!

What is annoying about the CCP position is that it wants to own the land which belongs to the people who live in Taiwan. It doesn’t care one bit about the people of Taiwan or their wishes.

November 7, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Comment

Lime,
I think I have some issues with your first paragraph. Since the Shanghai Communique the US and the PRC have been “talking out of both sides of their mouths” and saying things that are less than clear and have more than one meaning.

But since then in general the US is no longer actively support the ROC in an attempt to reclaim mainland china, but they have remained commited to defending the Republic of China (Taiwan) from invasion. I agree there are different parties in Taiwan and also different camps in the US. I am sure we could find a neo-con or a heritage foundation or other right wing think tank still blaming Stilwell for “losing” china and still commited to liberating mainland china from the “commies”

In general most american administrations support the status quo of a basically separate taiwan with self rule until taiwan decides they want to reunite with the mainland. The US is committed to defending taiwan from attack, but is against taiwan attacking the mainland.

I think the hope is that there would be some reunification similar to macao or hong kong when the PRC has come to grips with their own issues of humans rights, religious freedom and political reform.

November 7, 2008 @ 2:36 am | Comment

Lindel,
You’re right that the US government’s policy has been very doublespeak, and of course you’re right that the US government has committed itself to defending the two Chinas from one another. And for the record, I think that China was tragically lost to the commies, though I don’t think Stilwell should be the one taking the blame (probably Chiang Kai Shek deserves it as much as anyone). But my mainpoint was that Mongol Warrior was right; legally Taiwan is part of China according to the laws of both the ROC and the PRC, and this position is accepted by every national government on Earth whether they recognise the ROC or the PRC or kinda waffle between the two (like with the US version of the One China Policy). There are lots of private people and organisations, inside and out of Taiwan that recognise ‘Taiwan’ and ‘China’ as separate entities, but in purely legal terms, they don’t matter.

November 7, 2008 @ 3:46 am | Comment

Odd isn’t it that in accepting the ‘One China Policy’, the US validates the PRC’s charge that they are interfering with another nation’s domestic affairs?

November 7, 2008 @ 3:51 am | Comment

“I’m coming to get you, Barbara.”…

Think about the deep meaning of this classic horror quote… ;)

And, most importantly, would you care to be bitten by a Zombie in such context?

November 7, 2008 @ 3:59 am | Comment

You are right legally the US no longer recognizes the government in Taiwan and communicates with Taiwan through the intermediary American Institute in Taiwan.

Is it more a case of the US no longer challenges the mainlands claim to the territory of taiwan, but opposes resolution of the dispute between the two governments by any means other than a peaceful resolution?

November 7, 2008 @ 4:50 am | Comment

The issue should be looked at this way. Forget about PRC or ROC. You can have any view whatsoever about the respective legitimacy of these two regimes. Forget about whether Taiwan should belong to the mainland or the mainland should belong to Taiwan. Put aside the fact that Taiwan does operate for all intents and purposes as an independent nation. All these are issues in the end are unimportant. The question to Lime and Lindel is this.

Do you consider Taiwan to be part of China – not PRC China not ROC China – but part of a China – in the same way that Seoul is part of the Korean nation, in the same way that Hamburg was part of not just Germany, but of the German nation. The facts speak loudly for themselves. YES. And this is recognized by obviously the PRC and Taiwan who still refer to themselves as Republic of China.

Even though East Germany, West Germany operated as independent nations, East Germans never said “we are not Germans” nor did West Germans. North Koreans are still Korean. As are South Koreans. And this is something that is entirely a different issue of whoever happens to be in power right now.

Taiwanese independent activists don’t simply say we don’t want to ‘belong’ to the PRC. They are not simply anti-Communists who would be happy to reunite with the mainland if there was a change in system. What Taiwanese independent activists want of course is they want out of the Chinese nation regardless of who runs things on both sides of the strait. They simply want to say “we are not Chinese anymore.” Taiwanese independence activists don’t just say they want not a bar of the PRC. What they want is for Taiwan not simply not to accept PRC sovereignty but for Taiwan to not even be “Republic of China” anymore. They simply want to be Taiwanese, different from Chinese in a way, I suppose, that Austrians are different from Germans. That is what is meant by ‘independence.’

In a hundred years, perhaps China will have a different flag, have a totally different government in power that is similar to the one in Taiwan. Reunification would then be a realistic prospect. But it will cease to be a prospect if Taiwanese get away with saying they are not Chinese – regardless of the social system sides of the strait.

November 7, 2008 @ 5:23 am | Comment

Mongol Warrior,
I agree. That’s exactly what Taiwanian independence activists want. It’s the same kind of nationalist, nation building ideology that has been seen all over the world since the 18th century, and in the PRC as well. If you believe, though that Taiwan is Chinese in the same way Seoul is Korean, do you believe it would be possible for Taiwan, even calling itself the Republic of Taiwan and recognising an independent and separate PRC, to not be Chinese in the larger sense?

As an aside, I’ve heard it argued in Taiwan by various people that they in fact are much more Chinese than the mainlanders, not having gone through the revolution.

The PRC, I think is also undermining the pro-unification arguments, both from within the ROC and PRC, through their claim that Tibet is ‘Chinese’, rather than a Chinese colony/protectorate. If ‘Chinese’ is not a linguistic or cultural term, then what makes Taiwan ‘Chinese’?

November 7, 2008 @ 6:30 am | Comment

‘…gone through the Cultural Revoltution.’ I mean.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:38 am | Comment

Hey Mongol Warrior,
Don’t you think that the very fact that there are Taiwanians that claiming that Taiwan is different than Chinese marks this as different from Korea or Germany? As you said, there were no East or West Germans who claimed to be anything other than Germans, so why the difference here?

November 7, 2008 @ 6:41 am | Comment

I think taiwan is a collection of islands off the coast of the china with a varied and checkered past. It does not really matter to me if it remains an independent nation or becomes a province of mainland china, as long as the people living there have their fundamental human rights protected. For the moment I think the people living in taiwan have more basic freedoms and prosperity than they would if the CCP sent a couple of divisions there to invade and a party hack to milk them for his personal rice bowl.

Let the chinese envoy and the government of taiwan work out a peaceful re-unification in a time frame after the PRC develops a better government themselves.

I don’t see anything happening in taiwan that the PRC or ROC should fight over except to protect the people of Taiwan from the tyranny of the CCP.

I believe in the status quo until after the PRC makes progress with political and religious freedom reforms.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:46 am | Comment

There is no real absolute right or wrong in this. It comes from one’s own perspective.

But there is such a thing as precedent and there is such a thing as hypocrisy. While right and wrong depends on the point of view of the observer, hypocrisy can be recognized by all sides.

PRCs stand on Taiwan, her determination to never allow Taiwan to declare independence may be wrong to some, but it is not without historical precedence.
Lincoln launched the Civil War to preserve the United States – in spite of the fact that many Southerners wished to secede from the Union.

German ethnics in Sudetenland, Danzig were largely supportive of incorporation into a greater Germany – which was the same as effective cession from Czechoslovakia and Poland respectively at the time. Britain and France declared war to prevent the latter from happening- effectively denying the wish for self-determination of the German people.

A more clear-cut analogy, far more current, is the West’s support of the brutal suppression of Russian separatists in South Ossetia, a overwhelmingly Russian region, by the Georgian government. The West supports the actual brutal suppression of Russian separatists on the one hand, while condemning the hypothetical use of military force by the Chinese to keep Taiwan on the other.

That is hypocrisy. Regardless of your point of view, hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

So simply from the precedent set by other powers, Western included, there is nothing really untoward or unusual in China wishing to hold on to Taiwan, nor is there anything untoward in its determination to use military means if necessary. Just from historical precedent alone there is enough justification for this.

November 7, 2008 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Mongol Warrior. What is wrong with the Taiwanese seeking the same international recognition as Singapore? Not all Chinese have to live in China, any more than all Germans have to live in Germany, as Alsace, Austria, Lichtenstein, and certain parts of Switzerland give proof. To me, the Taiwanese appear in the same situation as the Dai Viet of two thousand years ago. IF they wish to be separate, let them.

HongXing, in re China being Taiwan’s “more economically advanced Mainland counterpart.” While it is true that the Chinese economy dwarfs Taiwan’s, the standard of living in Taiwan is much higher than it is in China proper, and that has been gained through the efforts of the Taiwanese themselves. I believe that if the majority of Chinese could see that difference, and were allowed a vote in the matter, they would opt for a Taiwanese solution over the Mainland Chinese model.

November 7, 2008 @ 8:58 am | Comment

Also, reference Czechoslovakia and Poland, the Sudentenland question was resolved with appeasement, not war. War came later, when Germany (and the USSR) invaded Poland, which had nothing to do with any supposed “German” population living in Poland, but rather the return of “Danzig”. So the Third Reich launched a war to “liberate” Danzig in the name of the German people (inside and outside of Germany proper), and ended up extinguishing the very communities they claimed to be standing up for. There’s a historical precedent the Chinese might mull over carefully before getting too “Froggy” on Taiwan. I wonder how many Volga Germans are left?

November 7, 2008 @ 9:12 am | Comment

“…there is nothing really untoward or unusual in China wishing to hold on to Taiwan, nor is there anything untoward in its determination to use military means if necessary.”

No, but it is hypocritical to cover their intentions in the cloak of ‘unification’. You seem to forget that the KMT is alive and well, and that they were the guys in charge pre-1949. If they don’t get guaranteed representation at the big table in a ‘unified’ China, the kind of protests we’ve seen in the last few days will grow in number and anger.

China really needs to grow up to get anywhere with this issue. A good place to start would be to stop calling Taiwan a ‘province’.

November 7, 2008 @ 9:12 am | Comment

Mongol Warrior. What is wrong with the Taiwanese seeking the same international recognition as Singapore,

Singapore has never been part of China. Taiwan has and is. Any Chinese government that ever let Taiwan go loose would not be deserving of the title Chinese and would go down as national traitors for posterity. This is not the view of the Chinese government but of average Chinese people everywhere.

One only has to look at the demonstrations and the passions shown by Chinese people everwhere earlier this year to realize that when it comes to national sovereignty and territorial integrity it is the Chinese people driving the government not the other way round.

A good place to start would be to stop calling Taiwan a ‘province’. The Taiwanese also do this on their maps.

November 7, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Comment

It is interesting that among Chinese everywhere, most dissidents are recognized as traitors. In this respect we are different from the overseas Cubans – who are largely anti-Castro, even among overseas Iraqis during Saddam’s time many were anti-Saddam (even if not pro-invasion). This is different from the Chinese situation. Chinese communities everywhere support the motherland and dissidents are widely regarded as Western stooges.

This fact some may find unfortunate here but it is a fact. Just witness the passions unleashed round the world earlier this year over Tibet. If China was so bad, surely Chinese with the opportunity to demonstrate would be demonstrating against China, not for China?

November 7, 2008 @ 10:02 am | Comment

I believe that if the majority of Chinese could see that difference, and were allowed a vote in the matter, they would opt for a Taiwanese solution over the Mainland Chinese model.

China has adopted much of Taiwan’s model. When did Taiwan first hold elections? I think it was little over ten years ago. But they were doing fine economically up to then. And do you think if China adopted one-man one-vote now, it would mean the economic growth rate would shoot up even higher than the 10 or 12 percent we have seen in recent years? No. If China wasted its time with one-man one-vote at this stage it would just be a big bribe-fest, uncertainty would increase, economic growth decrease, there would be a risk of great social disorder and we would be no better off than what India is now – which is a significantly lagging behind China in a whole lot of social, human and economic areas.

November 7, 2008 @ 10:12 am | Comment

So the Third Reich launched a war to “liberate” Danzig in the name of the German people (inside and outside of Germany proper), and ended up extinguishing the very communities they claimed to be standing up for,

China will be willing to sacrifice everything to prevent the splitting up of their country. If there was a choice between a divided China or China and Chinese disappearing off the face of the Earth I would prefer the latter (the Chinese ambassador to Britain made similar comments). People all over the world have sacrificed and died for their countries – Chinese should be happy to do the same. Dignity or death.

November 7, 2008 @ 10:16 am | Comment

There are tens of thousands of demonstrations against the Chinese government every day, right inside the country. There are also demonstrations against them in Taiwan, which is what this thread is about. Don’t make it sound as though all Chinese people everywhere support the CCP. Most of those overseas Chinese marching and chanting in favor of China during the torch relay and Olympic Games were mainland students studying overseas.

November 7, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Comment

I’m cutting and pasting my comment addressed to Warrior from an earlier thread, in case he didn’t see it:
———————
I’m getting a little tired of you and your playing fast and loose with your “facts.” Your comment above about moral relativism sickened me. Like, it’s okay for people to stone their 12=year-old daughters to death for the crime of being raped because that’s part of their “culture.” Some things are non-negotiable and flat-out wrong no matter what culture you’re in. If you don’t accept that, then absolutely anything goes. And as part of this blog’s culture, ignoramuses like you get banned. That’s just a warning. Please think before you comment.
———————-

Your last comment above about dying for China is simply nuts. If you want to give up your life to keep some fat, chain-smoking, Audi-driving, heavy-drinking, hopelessly corrupt bureaucrats from losing face over the BS Taiwan issue, that’s your business. I don’t think most Chinese would follow your example. There’s a difference between having a point of view and being a crazed fanatic. The only difference between you and the demonstrators this thread is about is that you’re far more dangerous.

November 7, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Comment

fun·da·men·tal·ism (fŭn’də-měn’tl-ĭz’əm) Pronunciation Key
n.
1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.

often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
Adherence to the theology of this movement.

2. Mongol Warrior

November 7, 2008 @ 10:34 am | Comment

There are tens of thousands of demonstrations against the Chinese government every day, right inside the country.

Sure – against local corruption and police bullying – not necessarily against the CCP. And certainly not for the splitting up of China. Many of my relatives were furious with the government over Tibet earlier this year – because they did not crack down hard enough to protect law-abiding citizens.

Most of those overseas Chinese marching and chanting in favor of China during the torch relay and Olympic Games were mainland students studying overseas.
True. But then large proportion of overseas Chinese simply are students. The fact that the emigre movement is exceedingly weak and poorly supported among overseas Chinese.

Anti-communist, pro-communist has largely lost its significance now. Maybe twenty years ago these feelings were strong. My uncle was a high ranking KMT official in Guangdong escaped down to Hong Kong in 1950 and hanged around Rennies Mill, strongly anti-communist enclave of mostly KMT refugees. But the anti-communism thing has become more or less a moot point. Most people are just looking to the incredible economic progress of China these past few years. And the mainland derived KMT people are every bit as adamant that Taiwan is part of China and that there is only one China as their former leader Jiang Jieshi was.

For me I really could not care whether China is under CCP or whatever – as long as they make China rich and strong. CCP happens to be doing a pretty good job right now.

November 7, 2008 @ 10:39 am | Comment

If you want to give up your life to keep some fat, chain-smoking, Audi-driving, heavy-drinking, hopelessly corrupt bureaucrats from losing face over the BS Taiwan issue, that’s your business

No. But for the unity of one’s country yes. As did hundreds of thousands of Americans in the American Civil war.

What is crazy however is the thousands of young Americans who have given their lives for a war that is not at all in the interests of the United States these past five years. That is what is really crazy. Laying down ones life for your country I can understand. Laying down your life in a land far far away from home supposedly on behalf of people who hate your guts? Now that is deranged.

November 7, 2008 @ 10:44 am | Comment

We’ve been here before. Central Party, good as gold. Local officials, corrupt beasts, uncontrollable rogues. I would gleefully die for the former, who are so great and good (though they can’t even control their own officials). If the division is really as simple as you make it out to be, it means the central government is all but impotent.

Also, the US Civil War tripe – the US civil war threatened to split the continental US in half, affecting the lives of all and creating economic chaos. Taiwan’s remaining as it is or even, heaven forbid, becoming a separate country in no way impacts the life of a single Chinese citizen on the mainland. Not a whit. Incredibly sloppy analogy, but one we hear all the time, so I assume it’s hard-wired, like ‘the baby needs to return to its mother’s arms.” Yeck.

November 7, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Comment

Sure – against local corruption and police bullying – not necessarily against the CCP.

Right, because those corrupt local officials are not CCP members, and those police thugs don’t work for the government, they all belong to some other party called “a few black sheep” that has absolutely nothing to do with the guys who brought them into their positions and allow them to abuse their power.

For me I really could not care whether China is under CCP or whatever

Of course, you don’t care, since you don’t live in China. You are snug and safe in the evil US of A.

November 7, 2008 @ 11:21 am | Comment

Mor, I think he’s in Australia. As with virtually all of the most virulent CCP automatons who hang out here, he loves the party as long as he doesn’t have to live under it.

November 7, 2008 @ 11:24 am | Comment

Also, the US Civil War tripe – the US civil war threatened to split the continental US in half, affecting the lives of all and creating economic chaos. Taiwan’s remaining as it is or even, heaven forbid, becoming a separate country in no way impacts the life of a single Chinese citizen on the mainland.

Richard: that is completely illogical. The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict ever in US history. Whatever economic chaos of effect to the lives of Americans by just simply allowign the Confederate States of America to go there own way would have been nothing compared with losing 500,000 men at a time when the US population was only about 30million.
The Southern states wanted to leave. Lincoln said no. The Southern states wanted to leave because of pressure over slavery, and the war ended with the demise of slavery but Lincoln’s reason for going to war was to “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.”

Lincoln did the right thing in my view. And any Chinese leader who uses military force to hold to Taiwan would also be right. Lincoln sacrificed 1/60 of the US population to preserve the Union. That would be the equivalent of China sacrificing 22 million in a war for national unity. I hardly imagine that we would need that many to die to keep Taiwan – perhaps 20 to 30 thousand at the very most.

So in terms of a cost-benefit analysis China using military force which would result in even 100,000 deaths would be well worth it when compared to the sacrifices Lincoln was prepared to put up with.

Yes in Australia at the moment. But Mor – actually feel more ‘snug and safe’ on Hainan island where my dad is than on the streets of most Western capitals. Its all about economic opportunity. That is why Chinese are in the West and that is why more and more Westerners are in the East and in China – people like Stuart and Richard.

And no, never said US was evil – as long as they leave China alone could not really care less what they do. Don’t even really care that they invaded Iraq – stupid thing to do but Iraqis are not Chinese. Actually admire George Bush a lot.

November 7, 2008 @ 11:48 am | Comment

I think it is important to keep in mind that DPP protesters do not represent the whole of Taiwan. Just because they shout the loudest does that mean they are speaking for Taiwan.

It is worth pointing out that for every hardcore DPP supporter there is one hardcore KMT supporter and one other Taiwanese citizen that is indifferent. Keeping things in perspective.

November 7, 2008 @ 11:57 am | Comment

I would gleefully die for the former, who are so great and good (though they can’t even control their own officials).

Wrong. Would never die for Hu Jintao. But hopefully would if he situation demanded be man enough to die for the national unity of China.

Did those Americans killed at Omaha die for America or Roosevelt?

Did Americans who died in Vietnam die for Johnson or Nixon?

November 7, 2008 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

I have also been very alarmed at the creeping rationalization for violence within DPP camp and media as DPP become more and more radicalized. I think comes election time if they found themselves estranged from the Taiwan mainstream and lose big time, they’ll turn to even more violence and perhaps even terrorism.

November 7, 2008 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

So yeah, legally, according to both governments and every other government (both those that recognise the PRC and the ROC), Taiwan is part of ‘China’. This could change though, as the Republic of China does have the power to renounce its connection to the mainland. If it did this, you could still say it’s part of ‘China’ in the larger sense, but that would be a matter of opinion.

That should clear things up.

Lime, you’re…um…totally clueless. None of the Powers recognizes Taiwan as part of China, starting with the US, which mostly recently reiterated its stance that the status of Taiwan is undetermined last year when Ban Ki-moon erroneously made the claim that it was part of China. When the SF peace Treaty was drawn up the intent of the major powers was to not assign Taiwan’s sovereignty to any power. That’s basic history, and Raj is absolutely right. For the last several years US right wingers have been calling on the US to clarify that position as its public and open position on Taiwan, rather than using the misleading One China claim to placate Beijing.

Michael Turton

November 7, 2008 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

1895-1945 – Was a Japanese colony

1945-Present – Has been a province of the Republic of China (and from 1949 onwards, the only province)

Both of these are incorrect. Japan retained sovereignty until 1951 (apr 28, 1952 when the SF treaty came into effect, I think). Under that Treaty Japan renounced sovereignty over Taiwan, and no nation was awarded it. Hence the crrect post-1951 status is “undetermined.” Taiwan has never been an ROC province, except in ROC supporter fantasies. The post-1945 presence of the ROC was a joint occupation with the US under the authority of the WWII allies, which gave the ROC control as an occupying authority, not as a sovereign power.

Michael Turton

November 7, 2008 @ 12:28 pm | Comment

@Mongol Warrior

i am german and using the german reunification as an example to make your case shows how dumb you are (but i do not expect differently from a communist propaganda ministry state employee who is paid to roam the blogosphere to spread the bizarre viewpoint of his government). because if you would know what has happed back then in germany then you would not have chosen the german example to make your point. i tell you shortly the key thing that happen – the communist part, the dictatorship part, the suppressed part , the stupid part, the mentally corrupt part of germany dissolved and the people wanted to live like and reunite with the democratic, mentally more advanced and free part of germany. So using germany as an example you are practically saying: 1.3 Billion Chinese people will and should get rid of the communist dictatorship and corrupt part of China and reunify under taiwanese government and people. great sounds good to me.

I have to admit all the Taiwanese government were not very intelligent to make their point in the past. I tell you what i would do.
The Taiwanese should spread the following announcement to the world and especially to the 1.3 Billion people living in China and to their government: “We will gladly reunify with mainland China under the following conditions” – you get rid of communism, you get rid of the one party government, you have real democratic elections and participation by the people, you allow press freedom, you allow religious freedom, you have a independent judiciary system, you allow freedom of speech and gathering by the people, you are less corrupt and reckless toward your own people and so on… I guess you know where i want to go with this point.
And I mean this announcement has to be done full scale and massive, everyday, everywhere, like a propaganda nuclear meltdown especially so that the chinese in mainland china get the message.
The effect is – all the blame that China is not united lies completely now on the mainland China side (and I would also emphasize this point in my message delivered to the world) and at the same time you get all the sympathy at least by the countries with their many people that matter.

November 7, 2008 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

Brave heroes or crazed idiots? Your call.

Clearly only one category can apply, because, it is important that we adopt simplistic modes of contemplation, otherwise we’d have to stop with the snark and thought-free equivalences, and actually think about what we are seeing. Clearly no other categories, like…

….concerned citizens threatened with the loss of their country and freedom
….hired gangsters involved in a set up
….abused protesters responding to random acts of police detention and violence
….police exploitation of small numbers of violent individuals to discredit the crowd as a whole

etc. Maybe even more than one category applies. Maybe categories I haven’t thought of yet apply. “Brave” thought, eh? Maybe we could even compare to other protests where the “brothers” come in at the end to stage “violence” and note that it is an old KMT trick, one that I have observed many times — in my shots of the TVBS protest a couple of years ago I took pictures of the “brothers” gathering for the feast on the police.

Nah. Why bother to think or analyze or put in context? It’s just easier to feel superior and SNARK! SNARK! SNARK!

SNARK! SNARK!

Michael

November 7, 2008 @ 12:36 pm | Comment

“German against Mongol warriors” you missed the entire point of what I wrote. But that is OK. It is obviously beyond your limitations to understand. So I will not bother pursuing the matter with you. Suffice to say that Mongol warriors thrashed the Teutonic knights at the 1241 Battle of Legnica. On this website it is should be obvious to all that once again the Mongol has prevailed over the Teuton.

November 7, 2008 @ 12:53 pm | Comment

Michael Turton: your bringing up obscure little factoids of the exact chronology of Japan relinquishing control over Taiwan is a complete waste of time, is diversonary and a smoke-screen.

Of course the status of Taiwan is undecided. The very fact that Taiwan at the moment enjoys de-facto independence with its own elections, government, currency etc yet its status is still undecided is powerful indication in itself that most of the world grudgingly holds that the PRC has strong claim to the island.

What is ‘undecided’ of course is what government should be the sole legitimate ruler of Taiwan – the PRC or the ROC. This is obvious. What of course is not undecided and beyond any sort of dispute is that Taiwan is part of the nation of China and that the people on Taiwan are Chinese. Similarly Seoul is part of Korea, not just South Korea – even though it the South Korean governmetn currently exercises authority over the city.

That is why the Taiwanese still refer to themselves as Republic of CHINA.

And the PRC is happy with that for the time being. The issue of who should rule the place is not the main issue. The only requirement is that Taiwanese never ever say they are not part of the Chinese nation. If that were to happen formally then the PRC would have no choice but to go to war – not on behalf of PRC governmental authority over Taiwan, but on behalf of the unity of the Chinese nation and people.

November 7, 2008 @ 1:08 pm | Comment

DPPs rallies are not pro-Taiwan nor anti-China, they are simply pro-DPP. This is just the everyday internal politics that I’m already used to(and fed up). They fear that in 8 yrs they’ll just fade away like the New Party. Sigh… so annoying…

November 7, 2008 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

“DPPs rallies are not pro-Taiwan nor anti-China, they are simply pro-DPP”

That’d be too much of a compliment because DPP modereates that is not pro-Ah Bien is obviously not pro-DPP. Hahaha.

November 7, 2008 @ 1:20 pm | Comment

China has adopted much of Taiwan’s model. When did Taiwan first hold elections? I think it was little over ten years ago.

The first major elections on the island were held under the Japanese. The KMT held elections for almost 40 years prior to the beginning of free elections after the termination of martial law. The first election of the post-martial law era was in 1989.

Michael Turton

November 7, 2008 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

Michael Turton: well then China also has elections – at village level. I was meaning presidential elections – 1996.

November 7, 2008 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

In the end this thread is a waste of time. If China is not powerful enough to persuade Taiwan to reunify then China does not deserve Taiwan. But I believe China will be powerful enough in the not too distant future. China is winning now. The US is in a period of decline. Americans are hedonistic, live beyond their means (perhaps the major reason for the recent collapse), and are concerned soley with individual happiness. In the end of 1.3billion Chinese cannot beat the 300million Americans then China is weak and incompetent and the Chinese people do not deserve anything. But I have faith in the Chinese people. I believe that China will beat the US and become the pre-eminent power in the world. Anything less is not acceptable.

November 7, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

Mongol Warrior ,看了你的发言,衷心地认为你应该是未来的中国政府外交部发言人,如果智商能再高一点的话。

November 7, 2008 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

I knew it Mongol Warrior you sit here the whole day in your propaganda ministry cubical and watch this blog from 8am to 4pm with your nicely white ironed shirt and slight nerdy aspect, dreaming of power that in real life you personally will never have. By the way do they pay you by the number of words you write? So I give you a new chance to earn some more money.

November 7, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

@Richard #34:

Here’s the source on Chen’s statements here on the requirement of constant progress, which I consider a veiled threat:

http://n.yam.com/cna/politics/200811/20081105177765.html

November 7, 2008 @ 2:21 pm | Comment

Good spot, A-gu.

November 7, 2008 @ 3:40 pm | Comment

Michael Turton,
The Qing handover of Taiwan to the Japanese was not recognised as legal by the ROC, so for them, Taiwan was a province of the ROC from 1911, and did not need to be redeclared after WWII, though they did establish a provincial government in 1947. Taiwan is legally a province of the ROC, according to the ROC, though reading a bit more I see that I was wrong to say it is the only one, as Jinmen is technically part of Fujian province.
Japanese occupation ended 1945, so whatever the legal status was in either Japanese or ROC books at that point, I think it’s reasonable to say it ceased to be a Japanese colony. I stand by those two point.

But I see what you’re saying about the San Francisco Treaty, it appears I was clueless about the US and others’ position on Taiwan. I had misunderstood the One China Policy. Thanks for pointing that out.

November 7, 2008 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

History lessons are boring.

November 7, 2008 @ 5:20 pm | Comment

The Qing handover of Taiwan to the Japanese was not recognised as legal by the ROC, so for them, Taiwan was a province of the ROC from 1911, and did not need to be redeclared after WWII, though they did establish a provincial government in 1947. Taiwan is legally a province of the ROC, according to the ROC, though reading a bit more I see that I was wrong to say it is the only one, as Jinmen is technically part of Fujian province.

The ROC position is irrelevant as under international law as the Treaty of Shimonoseki is a valid international document. It’s a nice little fantasy that China nurses, but it has no support in international law. The ROC constitution, which defines the national territory, does not mention Taiwan, its voting registers from the 1930s do not contain Taiwan, and when Chiang said that China was unified in 1927 nobody mentioned Taiwan. Chinese interest in Taiwan as the sacred national territory of China for every fucking second of the last five thousand years dates entirely from after 1940. No Han emperor ever owned, or was interested in, the place, which was always considered outside of China.

Japanese occupation ended 1945, so whatever the legal status was in either Japanese or ROC books at that point, I think it’s reasonable to say it ceased to be a Japanese colony. I stand by those two point.

Unfortunately it remained under Japanese sovereignty until 1951, so your construction of “reasonable” is really quite unreasonable — it simply argues that possession is 9/10s of the law.

But I see what you’re saying about the San Francisco Treaty, it appears I was clueless about the US and others’ position on Taiwan. I had misunderstood the One China Policy. Thanks for pointing that out.

Always a pleasure.

November 7, 2008 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

History lessons are boring.

….but necessary.

November 7, 2008 @ 5:34 pm | Comment

@Richard

Mor, I think he’s in Australia.

My bad, but it still seems to be true that all the fervent supporters of the CCP are posting from English speaking democracies.

@Mongol Warrior

Richard: that is completely illogical. [...]

You didn’t at all respond to Richard’s point that the status of Taiwan, whether it will remain the status quo or reunification or formal independence, won’t effect the life of any person on the mainland, therefore the comparison with the American Civil War is ridiculous.

Yes in Australia at the moment. But Mor – actually feel more ’snug and safe’ on Hainan island where my dad is than on the streets of most Western capitals.

Since “the West” is a rather big place, I would like to know have you actually visited most “Western” capitals? And if yes,which ones?

Its all about economic opportunity. That is why Chinese are in the West and that is why more and more Westerners are in the East and in China – people like Stuart and Richard.

And I’d say it’s because people like Stuart and Richard live in China that they care more about CCP policies than you do, in spite of your relatives there.

And no, never said US was evil – as long as they leave China alone could not really care less what they do. Don’t even really care that they invaded Iraq – stupid thing to do but Iraqis are not Chinese. Actually admire George Bush a lot.

Enough said!

November 7, 2008 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

@Mongol Warrior

Wrong. Would never die for Hu Jintao. But hopefully would if he situation demanded be man enough to die for the national unity of China.

You mean to say that you would give up both the economic opportunities in Australia and your safe and snug home on Hainan to go and fight Taiwanese splitists?

“German against Mongol warriors” you missed the entire point of what I wrote.

No, you missed the point. The point is that Germany was reunified because the People in West AND East Germany wanted that.

By the way, “Mongol Warrior”, are you aware of the fact that the real Mongols hate the Chinese more than any other people in the world? Have you actually ever been to Mongolia?

November 7, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

Michael, regarding your earlier comment - Sorry, I don’t think throwing eggs at the Chinese envoy is a sign of bravery. So sue me.

November 7, 2008 @ 5:56 pm | Comment

No, history is a dead horse, stop beating it.

Legions of academics and historians smarter and more knowledgable than all of us here have debated the issues to no avail. It didn’t change any minds.

Ouch… what a bloody mess on Apple Daily today… I should be glad nobody died.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

Michael Turton: Chinese of any political stripe would never accept some treaty of Treaty of Shimonoseki, an unequal treaty signed under duress. The rest of your nitpicking is just a complete waste of time. China has more right to Taiwan than whites have to be in Canada – tell me – what treaty under international law permitted the invasion and rape of the American continent by whites? Enough said. Go back to your English class (why are all these busy-body expats not in real jobs? The only thing they seem capable of doing is teaching conversational english)

You didn’t at all respond to Richard’s point that the status of Taiwan, whether it will remain the status quo or reunification or formal independence, won’t effect the life of any person on the mainland, therefore the comparison with the American Civil War is ridiculous.

That is a pathetic ridiculous statement. Completely illogical. If California ceded to Mexico that would also not affect directly most Americans. If China invaded Hawaii 99.9999% of Americans would remain unaffected. China losing Taiwan would be equivalent to invasion. A pro-American, pro-Japanese Taiwan would be no differnt to a military occupation of that island.

Lincoln obviously did not oppose secession because it would be economically disruptive or otherwise to the American people. He opposed secession because he wanted to preserve the United States. That is why he willingly sacrificed 1/60 of America’s population to preserve the United States – far more disruptive to the normal life of the American populace than just letting the South go its own way.

And I’d say it’s because people like Stuart and Richard live in China that they care more about CCP policies than you do, in spite of your relatives there.

I care about CCP policies – by and large support the direction the country is going. As are most Chinese. In fact Chinese are the most optimistic people in the world about the direction of their country according to this Pew Research Centre survey. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/world/asia/23pew.html

I have never met a mainland Chinese, my Dad, my in-laws, who gives a stuff about one man one vote. Have you Richard? Even in Hong Kong there was massive apathy about so-called democracy until Patten tried to stir things a bit a few years before the handover.

Mor- how many Chinese do you know who are suffering because of perceived lack of democracy?

In fact many many Chinese even agree with perhaps the most ‘undemocratic’ action of the government in recent times – June 4 Tiananmen suppression. Many Chinese, even in Hong Kong understand that the suppression of the protesters was necessary. And many are angry that the government did not do enough to smash Tibetan rioters earlier this year.

Fact is democracy is basically a waste of time. India is a democracy as is the Phillipines and Bangladesh. People in those places are probably worse off than the average Chinese.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:20 pm | Comment

I see China has already begun its bitching to Obama on the issue:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7712294.stm

The CCP really are the masters of playground politics – ‘do what we want or we’re not going to talk to you anymore.’ Pathetic.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:38 pm | Comment

No, you missed the point. The point is that Germany was reunified because the People in West AND East Germany wanted that.

Mor – what if Chinatown in San Francisco wanted to secede from the US? Would that be just a matter for the denizens of Chinatown to decide or a matter for all Californians – or Americans.

Fact is the fate of Taiwan is not just the business of those who happen to live there. It is a matter that concerns the entire Chinese nation. Fact is pro-independence sentiment is now quite marginalized in Taiwan. Ma Yingjeou supports the princple of one China, maintaining the status quo with the long term possibility of re-unification.

Anyway the reality is Taiwanese independence movement is going to go nowhere. China is getting more and more powerful and the US is getting to have no appetite for foreign adventures. It is simply a matter of time before Taiwan comes home to China.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:40 pm | Comment

All the usual arguments, all the usual talking points. All that’s missing is the spiel about how lucky we are China rejected democracy so it avoided ending up with corruption and anarchy like Russia did. (Nope, no corruption in China.) Thank God for the all-knowing, all-caring Party. Hard-wired and pre-programmed to perfection. Like the dancing chicken at the carnival, just drop in a quarter, the light goes on and the chicken goes into its dance, always the same…

November 7, 2008 @ 6:45 pm | Comment

But Richard – if thats the way many Chinese think how does that affect you? You have your job, you enjoy your peking duck, I suppose you are doing OK out of China – just be happy. I don’t waste much of my time thinking about how things are done in the US – except its effect on the world economy – and Obama could be bad in terms of protectionism. So why should you care too much about the way China is run? Most Chinese are optimistic and happy with the direction the country is taking – is that not enough?

November 7, 2008 @ 6:54 pm | Comment

Hahahahaha

Spot on Richard, I’ve been trying for a while to find an appropriate mental image for this phenomenon about such repetitive faceless commentators. I now have it. Thanks.

November 7, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Comment

Dear Mongol Warrior,

Please not ESWN’s translation of a poll done by Apple yesterday (can’t say they’re green media). Note that fewer than 10% of people here have any interest in unification, ever:

Where would you like Taiwan to head towards?
16%: Independence as quickly as possible
16%: Maintain status quo and then independence gradually
49%: Maintain status quo permanently
5%: Maintain status quo and then unification gradually
4%: Unification as quickly as possible

Fact is the fate of Taiwan is not just the business of those who happen to live there.

I believe this is false, but as a practical matter you are correct that Taiwan is not the only one who will have a say in Taiwan’s future. Surely China’s voice will make a difference. But this does not contradict the fundamental point of the pan-green movement, which is to say that whatever happens to Taiwan must get the direct consent of the Taiwanese people through referendum.

November 7, 2008 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

whoops, my bad, poll was UDN’s, obviously bluer than Apple of course.

November 7, 2008 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

All that’s missing is the spiel about how lucky we are China rejected democracy so it avoided ending up with corruption and anarchy like Russia did.

It’s like a template letter.

Dear Sirs/[Insert user name]/Whitey/China-basher,

You should recognise that CCP has lifted all Chinese out of poverty and has made China proud again. CCP has provided stable rule and by rejecting false Western democracy embraced true people’s democracy, avoiding corruption and unrest.

China stands proud and happy. We will never let Tibet/Xinjiang/Taiwan become independent/declare independence because the people of China have spoken.

You are just a racist/China-hater/Falun Gong devil/CIA agent/Zionist pig. Leave China to the Chinese.

Sincerely/Take that/Hahahaha, I win!

A Chinese patriot/[Insert user name]/Real Chinese guy

====

You have your job, you enjoy your peking duck, I suppose you are doing OK out of China – just be happy.

Is Mongol suggesting that richard could only get work in China? o_0

Though the comment is telling of his mentality. You’re ok, so why should you complain about anything?” As if the problems of others are nothing that ever concerns Mongol.

November 7, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

This was really crazy. But not all Taiwanese are like that. This however just points out to the long-standing conflict between the Mainland and ROC.

November 7, 2008 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

Raj, very funny.

Mongol, I write about what catches my attention. My two big interests are China and the US, and I’ve always been interested in government and politics. Why should you be telling me what I should blog about? As it happens, I agree with some (not many) of your points, especially about the optimism of the Chinese people. But optimism and happiness and enthusiasm do not necessarily a good government make. Please read my earlier post about this very topic, which is probably the single most inspired post I ever wrote (for what that’s worth).

November 7, 2008 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

Michael, regarding your earlier comment – Sorry, I don’t think throwing eggs at the Chinese envoy is a sign of bravery. So sue me.

I never thought you did, Richard. I just hoped that you might show the same depth of understanding you usually show when officials from Beijing go out to the provinces to cut a deal with local officials to screw the peasants, and the peasants protest. I guess it’s different when the peasants are Taiwanese…..

BTW, eggs are a sign of wit — “flying egg” sounds like “missile” in Chinese.

But you’re right, all this violence is terrible. Taiwan should take its cue from the resounding success of the nonviolent tactics of the Dalai Lama, which have enabled the Republic of Tibet to celebrate its 60th year of independence and freedom next year. Gentility rulz!

Michael

November 7, 2008 @ 11:59 pm | Comment

All that’s missing is the spiel about how lucky we are China rejected democracy so it avoided ending up with corruption and anarchy like Russia did.

It’s like a template letter.

What? you mean the 50 centers are ripping off Beijing? Say it ain’t so, Raj!

Michael

November 8, 2008 @ 12:00 am | Comment

Michael, it isn’t necessarily either or….

November 8, 2008 @ 12:03 am | Comment

I recall reading that when Nixon met Mao for the first time that he jokingly said something about Chiang Kai-shek says your an old bandit. Mao got angry and said Chiang Kai-shek is the bandit.

So the two chinese brothers Mao and Jiang Jie Shi had a feud over who would be emperor. Now the two brothers are dead.

There is really no reason for their grandchildren’s children to continue with the feud.

We should focus on important things like does Dokdo island belong to japan or korea? Is it the Sea of Japan or the Eastern Sea (Donghai).

November 8, 2008 @ 12:40 am | Comment

LOL they are just angry mobs incited by the CIA.

November 8, 2008 @ 12:45 am | Comment

Now that I look back at my last comment, I realize that the question that generated this thread – “brave heroes or crazed idiots?” – was also an either/or. I’m still waiting for someone to convince me that this tactic was brave and/or admirable, or in any way more sophisticated or as successful as the tactics of the Dalai Lama that Michael dismisses above. If we don’t attain our goals by peaceful means, is violence then acceptable? Terrorism? Anything that we think might do the trick? Just wondering.

In the most pressing and dire of circumstances, there may be a time for violence or even for terrorism (the Boston Tea Party and the Revolutionary War come immediately to mind). I just don’t feel that the envoy’s visit constituted such a time. Michael says above that the tactics of the Dalai Lama failed so now the Greens need to adopt different ones. I am willing to bet practically all I own (which isn’t much, granted) that the egg throwing and violence we saw yesterday will likewise fail, and may even exacerbate the tensions. Once more, it’s caused the world to look at Taiwanese politics as some rather bizarre anomaly, something distasteful and irrational. I’m a pragmatist. I simply see no benefit to the egg-throwers, no moving closer to their goals, no increase of sympathy to their cause. To the contrary.

November 8, 2008 @ 12:46 am | Comment

抗議的是民進黨的支持者,並不代表所有台灣人民!要是這幫小丑能代表台灣人民,馬英九就不會當上總統啦!

November 8, 2008 @ 12:59 am | Comment

Riots =/= Protest

November 8, 2008 @ 1:20 am | Comment

For now, those so call protestors are yelling so loud. But one day, then the CPP took over taiwan, these a55holes will be the first group who come out and lick Chen YunLin’s a55.

November 8, 2008 @ 1:38 am | Comment

The problem with the likes of Michael Turton is not their fervent yearning to Taiwan separatism, but their moral inconsistancy. On one hand MT relishes the articles of Treaty of Shimonoseki, on the other hand, MT condemns how the perceived brutal coersion of PRC on the helpless Taiwan. Yet, Treaty of Shimonoseki is nothing but the product of forced brutal coersion.

Michael Turton if you so cherish the Treaty of Shimonoseki, why bothered by PRC producing another Treaty of Shimonoseki, taking back Taiwan the way it was taken away? If you want to defend the weak and helpless how can you not condemn and renounce the Treaty of Shimonoseki? You can’t speak out of both sides of your mouth, you know.

November 8, 2008 @ 3:35 am | Comment

why bothered by PRC producing another Treaty of Shimonoseki, taking back Taiwan the way it was taken away?

Because that’s impossible. He said quite clearly that Taiwan was officially handed to Japan by China, but then after WWII Japan lost its sovereignty over it – it was not given to anyone else. So legally speaking that would probably make Taiwan independent.

November 8, 2008 @ 3:39 am | Comment

But optimism and happiness and enthusiasm do not necessarily a good government make

But that optimism and happiness in itself a sort of referendum on the government’s performance and a mandate for them to rule – in fact why do you need to go to the expense of an election if you can scientifically determine the attitude of the people?

Iran has elections. Ahmadinijad got elected in. Are you telling me Richard that Iran has got a good government? (I actually admire the Iranian govt) – doubt Richard does though).

November 8, 2008 @ 3:41 am | Comment

Mongol Warrior

Why do you admire the Iranian government ? (non sarcastic question)

November 8, 2008 @ 3:52 am | Comment

@Raj, Taiwan was lost by brutal force, so that’s what takes to get it back. That’s what I mean.

Other attempts of creating confusion on the clear WWII legal documents are smoke screens. Japanese Instrument of Surrender, Cairo Declaration, Possdam Proclamation had undoubtablly restored Taiwan’s sovereignty back to China. The legal grounds of Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan is unquestionable.

November 8, 2008 @ 4:14 am | Comment

Because that’s impossible. He said quite clearly that Taiwan was officially handed to Japan by China, but then after WWII Japan lost its sovereignty over it – it was not given to anyone else.

Raj: because a bunch of Western nations may or may not have formally decided to hand Taiwan back to a Chinese government does not automatically mean that Taiwan is not part of China.

In any case, the very fact that many in the West recognized a government called the Republic of China seated in Taipei, Taiwan for almost 30 years (in the US’s case) as the legitimate representative of all of China, and there was not one question raised that Taiwan was somehow not part of the Chinese nation, is in itself evidence that Taiwan was recognized as a legitimate part of China by the West -especially the US.

Michael Turton and Raj bringing up ridiculous little factoids about when some treaty got signed, if or if not there was a formal handover (handover by whom Raj) are just trying to muddy the waters.

But let us assume now that the opinion of West does matter and that if the West says Taiwan is part of China then it is, if it is not then it isn’t:

I work in construction. If a sub-contractor (say a steel-fixer) comes on site (without a formal contract) carries out work, you (the engineer) see him there carrying out work, raise no objections, deal with him as if he is a legitimate part of the crew – and this carries on for a reasonable amount of time – then that is enough to establish an agreement to provide services (on the part of the sub-contractor) and to provide hire and provide payment (on the part of the contractor) – regardless of the fact that no formal contract has actually been signed. And this happens frequently because you nned to get constractors and subbies up and running as quickly as possible and maybe have not the time to much around with drawing up something formal until later on (sort of like the San Francisco Peace treaty – hostilities hastily ended – formal structure to confirm and establish cessation of hostilities can come later)

Now if we assume the West is the rightful arbiter in all territorial disputes the world over – (and most here do) – then the US say, supported a government called the “Republic of CHINA”, armed that government, supported its seat in the United Nations as representating all of China, in fact called it ‘free’ China for a period of almost 30 years – then I think that fact in itself is enough is very very strong evidence that the US recognizes that Taiwan is part of the nation of China – notwithstanding the fact that China remains politically divided.

The political division is what renders the matter ‘undecided.’ What is not ‘undecided’ of course is that Taiwan should be an integral part of a united China when that day comes. This the US, for one, has already provided ample enough reason to confirm that it has held to such a position for a long time.

November 8, 2008 @ 4:17 am | Comment

Now if we assume the West is the rightful arbiter in all territorial disputes the world over – (and most here do) correction: definitely not me, but people like Richard, Michael Turton and Stuart

November 8, 2008 @ 4:20 am | Comment

Taiwan was lost by brutal force, so that’s what takes to get it back. That’s what I mean.

So you would right a wrong with a wrong? Then you become no better than the {Imperial} Japanese.

November 8, 2008 @ 5:05 am | Comment

@ No. That was a statement being used to reveal moral inconsistancy of the likes of Michael Turton.

November 8, 2008 @ 5:28 am | Comment

Crazy hillybilly rednecky “we aint no chinese, we are better than chinese, all chinese go back to china, taiwan, taiwan always number one” brave heroes

I can tell, their feelings are hurt

November 8, 2008 @ 9:36 am | Comment

@mongol warrior
They simply want to be Taiwanese, different from Chinese in a way, I suppose, that Austrians are different from Germans. That is what is meant by ‘independence.’

Interesting comparison. You know, Austrians and what are today’s Germans actually were part of the same empire for quite a long time. It was called the Holy Roman Empire, and it lasted from 962 to 1806.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire

But when this empire broke apart (Napoleon), Austria and the rest of the German nations (especially Prussia) went their seperate ways, and ultimately there even was a war between Austria and Prussia (1866). Austria lost and did not become a part of the Second German Empire (1871-1918). After that, “reunification” never was an option, apart from 1938-1945, and you see what that led to.

(Sorry to all scholars for this gross oversimplification of German and Austrian history…)

So it might be really fitting to compare Chinese and Taiwanese to Germans and Austrians. They have seperate nations today, but they used to belong together a long, long time ago, and then again for a short time in the middle of the 20th century.

They share the same language and a common heritage, but we Germans feel very much complete today without having Austria. Just let them do their thing!

November 8, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Comment

“Now if we assume the West is the rightful arbiter in all territorial disputes the world over – (and most here do) correction: definitely not me, but people like Richard, Michael Turton and Stuart”

If we left territorial disputes to China the deeds to half of Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, and Pakistan would change hands. Plus all of Taiwan and a few acres in India. Best leave it to the grown ups.

November 8, 2008 @ 10:15 am | Comment

Stuart: As far as Mongolia is concerned it was the Taiwanese government which never accepted the loss of Mongolia – look at their government maps of what they consider to be China (unless they have recently revised their position on this -maybe someone here has more updated information – by the way what is the current Taiwanese ROC position on Tibet?).

If we left territorial disputes to China the deeds to half of Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, and Pakistan would change hands. Plus all of Taiwan and a few acres in India.

All the rest is rubbish – chief aggressors against other lands you mentioned in past two centuries have been France, US, Japan and the United Kingdom – not China. Using Stuart’s logic we should think about containing those menacing Swedes who use to war against Poles and Russians. And yes also those menacing Tibetans -they are very threatening to world peace given their past history.

Best leave it to the grown ups
You mean those ‘grown-ups’ who currently occupy Iraq, bombed Vietnam, who in recent history owned virtually the whole world. But of course ‘grown-ups’ is synonymous with ‘white people.’

November 8, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Comment

The problem with mainland rhetoric on this issue is that it confers legitimacy of ownership through sheer size. The argument goes something like this:

A few brothers and sisters in Taiwan have strayed a little too far from the pack. We hate the fact that the strays have built a superior society with democratically elected leaders. Their disobedience needs to be punished. In order to be punished we need to bring them home. As our home is larger than the dwelling of the stray siblings it is clear that the smaller home must be an annex of the bigger one. It belongs to us. Therefore, the leader of the pack has every right to visit his own property, slap the siblings around, take whatever he wants, and begin correcting some of the wayward children’s awful mistakes. I mean, whoever heard of high-quality affordable healthcare for the entire population? The very notion!! The sooner we get there and impose mandatory smoking in all doctor’s surgeries the better.

November 8, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Comment

“Using Stuart’s logic we should think about containing those menacing Swedes who use to war against Poles and Russians.”

Absolutely! They were known to invade our shores once upon a time, along with their helmet-wearing pals from Norway and Denmark. Reparations and apologies are hereby demanded. If we don’t get them we will refuse to talk to those venomous Vikings; they’ve hurt the feelings of all British people.

And while were about it, the French, Germans, Italians (Rome), and Spain have all plundered this sceptered isle. More apologies required. Such a beleaguered, humiliated nation. How did we ever survive?

Sorry, what were we talking about?

November 8, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Comment

They share the same language and a common heritage, but we Germans feel very much complete today without having Austria. Just let them do their thing!

That’s the business of you Germans to decide. Did China poke its nose in the business of Austria and Germany? Of course not. So you Germans should also get your noses out of Taiwan and China – you are past aggressors against China in any case.

And in any case you had no choice but to accept the loss of Austria – and territories in Poland – you started a war and lost and suffered the consequences.
You had the Russian and Allied boot on your necks. Most Germans (and Austrians) were very very keen on bringing home all the German speaking peoples – hence
your taking of the Sudetenland, the need for polish corridor etc. I can’t imagine that if you had not had a gun pointed at your heads you would have happily given up those conquered territories – under any sort of regime, Nazi or otherwise.

The other thing of course is that Austria and Germany are have very similar social systems, and under the EU are in a sense almost part of the same set-up anyway. Its almost like Scotland and England. But an independent Taiwan would challenge China, all itself with Japan and the West and be a perpetual annoyance.

Obviously China relinquishing claim to Taiwan would be voluntarily bending over to be shafted by the West. But China now is not the China of 100 years ago. China regained its independence in 1949 and is now a budding superpower ready to challenge the US. Thats just too bad for some people here.

November 8, 2008 @ 11:09 am | Comment

As our home is larger than the dwelling of the stray siblings it is clear that the smaller home must be an annex of the bigger one.

Stuart – absolute BS. Taiwanese also claim to represent all of China – only gave up the pipe-dream of reconquering the mainland not long ago.

So Stuart – I suppose you supported the recent Russian action in South Ossetia – a region overwhelmingly Russian where the people have an overwhelming desire to secede from Georgia (much more so than the Taiwanese where pro-indepdence sentiments are still a minority) – yet why is the desire of these people for self-determination not respected by the West and why did the West support Georgia when Georgia tried to bomb and pound innocent civilians of South Ossetia into submission – whereas the worst the Chinese have done has drop a few missiles into the taiwan straits killing no one.

Some people’s position on taiwan here is one of utter rank hypocrisy

November 8, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Comment

Stuart. Please answer this direct question. Exactly who are the ‘grown-ups’

November 8, 2008 @ 11:18 am | Comment

“Stuart. Please answer this direct question. Exactly who are the ‘grown-ups’”

All those that are willing to enter into an open dialogue of the issues without resorting to propaganda, violence, threats, or any other uncivilized measures that might interfere with the will of a people to be self-governing.

That means a complete and public discussion of all matters relating to the Taiwan issue by all interested parties without exclusion. To qualify as ‘grown up’ participants must demonstrate the ability to listen to alternative viewpoints and report these openly and honestly to those they represent without bias.

Some applicants are clearly not qualified to take part in this debate. Yang Rui need not apply; China Daily need not apply; CCTV need not apply.

In addition, so long as they keep making petty demands of foreign leaders to the effect that ‘we won’t be your friends if…’ and so long as they refuse to address Ma as ‘president’ and so long as they look upon the ROC flag with indignation, the CCP need not apply either.

November 8, 2008 @ 11:56 am | Comment

DPP can’t complain about the excess of fences and barbed wires on the road. Certainly, we do not want to look like the Chinese Communist guards in the Olympic torch rallies, but DPP betrayed our trust with what happened in Tainan few days ago. They’re the only ones to blame.

November 8, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

Why are you guys still arguing with the Mongol Warrior psychopath who wants to send millions of people in to death in his delusion of power fantasies. His a very sick sick and week man with a very black heart who crazy talks and mixes up in an insane way history (so typical for chinese extreme left wing propagandist). This guy post at 3 am in the morning, so apparently he has no life. This guy took over the entire discussion, everybody is reacting to him, ignore him, do not give him the power he so desperately longs for. Lets bring the discussion back to a more human and intelligent level.

Here a nice article about these extremist guys

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20081106_1.htm

November 8, 2008 @ 12:57 pm | Comment

German, you have a point. This is exactly what Mongol Warrior set out to do – hijack the thread and make it a platform for CCP 101 talking points.

About his posting at 3m and making this his life: let me just say that’s the oddest thing about this site. Sometimes I see from the backend that people linger here for absurd amounts of time. Get a life everyone! Blogs are stupid, and this one is the stupidest of them all.

November 8, 2008 @ 1:49 pm | Comment

Stuart:
Do ‘grown-ups’ include thsoe countries which invade a sovereign state under false pretences causing the deaths of perhaps 500,000 civilians?

And can anyone here justify the absolute hypocrisy of the West in condemning Russia for helping out Russian ethnics in South Ossetia who were being indiscriminately attacked by Western ally Georgia for demanding the very same thing posters to this board purport to be the desire of Taiwanese (even though it is only a small minority of Taiwanese)?

Western ally Georgia has actually gone ahead and shelled minorities seeking independence. Are American’s (both Democrat and Republican) still considered ‘grown-up’ after supporting the suppression of these ethnic Russians?

November 8, 2008 @ 1:53 pm | Comment

Richard and German: obviously anyone who disagrees with you is labelled an ‘extremist.’ Well that’s fine. It’s a way of admitting you don’t have an argument when you resort to simply characterizing the opposing viewpoint with labels such as ‘extremist.’

I can’t be an extremist because everything is relative. My views are quite mainstream in China, and considered a bit to the left in Hong Kong. But even in Hong Kong I would get about 70% of people agreeing with me when it comes to the issue of national unity.

November 8, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

About his posting at 3m and making this his life: let me just say that’s the oddest thing about this site.

Reason why I’m on the net a bit these past few days is its a break from marking assignments – students need their final coursework marks before exams(I lecture structural engineering in Aussie) – I love to go right through the night when marking- so you see German – I do have a proper job and a life. Love this site though – window into the black hearts (German used the term first) who want bad for China.

November 8, 2008 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

Richard

“Get a life everyone! Blogs are stupid, and this one is the stupidest of them all.”

I disagree with you, in my opinion it’s the blog that generates the most interesting/twisted discussions between Chinese and expatriates/people from all around the world. I’ve been searching a bit other blogs, and they just don’t generate as much passion and discussions.

Your blog started as a personal journal and it has now evolved to something bigger and very interesting I think.

November 8, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Comment

Oab: actually agree. Good place to dry-run my anti-anti-China apologetics. Problem is the opposition is rather feeble – but I suppose that is not really their fault. China is the most moral power on the face of the Earth – try to portray her as otherwise and your arguments will end up like eggs against grindstones.

November 8, 2008 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

@mongolwarrior:

Most Germans (and Austrians) were very very keen on bringing home all the German speaking peoples – hence your taking of the Sudetenland, the need for polish corridor etc.

Correct. And they were wrong. They were indoctrinated by propaganda, following an aggressive, authoritarian regime that needed expansion in order to secure the support of its people. Sounds familiar?

An independent Taiwan would challenge China, all itself with Japan and the West and be a perpetual annoyance.

Actually, it would only challenge a China that is not democratic, does not respect the fundamental rights of its people and quite basically thinks it’s okay to behave like a steamroller because no one else has the right to criticize it anyway. A nation that is not able to cope with this kind of challenge has some fundamental problems, ranging from inferiority complex all the way to megalomania. That’s all right, it’s China’s business only how it wants to present itself to the rest of the world. Just don’t force others to share the same couch.

Another thing: You are obviously not only 110% convinced of your position, but also smart and eloquent enough to talk your way out of all the arguments thrown your way. So although I could not agree with you less, I guess nobody here will ever be able to make you change your mind. Kudos to successfully turning this into a one-man show.

If you like to reply again and have the last word, 加油。 I am not going to take part in this anymore. But I do have a question for you, out of interest:

Did you ever actually go to Taiwan? Did you meet people there, look them in the eye and tell them what you think about their country?

November 8, 2008 @ 5:29 pm | Comment

“China is the most moral power on the face of the Earth”

I see you have even developed a good sense of irony during your westernisation.

November 8, 2008 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

Please Klaus, he’s already added plenty of oil. We’ve seen this here more than once, where a fanatic an enthusiastic commenter takes over a thread. Again, it’s the dancing chicken pattern; solicitously encourage others’ opinions, dismiss them with the old talking points, throw in some condescending words of praise for the host and other participants and, of course, declare victory. Whatever turns them on…

November 8, 2008 @ 6:08 pm | Comment

@Mongol Warrior

So you Germans should also get your noses out of Taiwan and China – you are past aggressors against China in any case.

That from the same clown who – in comment no. 74 – was so proud to say:

Suffice to say that Mongol warriors thrashed the Teutonic knights at the 1241 Battle of Legnica. On this website it is should be obvious to all that once again the Mongol has prevailed over the Teuton.

“Aggression by my nation is something to be proud of. Aggression by others is bad.” You put that together with his admiration for George W. and statements like the following:

China will be willing to sacrifice everything to prevent the splitting up of their country. If there was a choice between a divided China or China and Chinese disappearing off the face of the Earth I would prefer the latter (the Chinese ambassador to Britain made similar comments). People all over the world have sacrificed and died for their countries – Chinese should be happy to do the same. Dignity or death. (comment 57)

and what you get is the typical attitude of a die-hard nationalist. Now what is this glorious fighter for the Chinese motherland doing?

I lecture structural engineering in Aussie (comment 137)

because

Its all about economic opportunity. (comment66)

So much about the fervent patriotism of somebody who thinks Chinese people should be happy to die for their country.
But what should you expect from a (allegedly) Chinese nationalist who calls himself “Mongol Warrior”? He’s most likely never met a real Mongol in his whole life.
I know, commenting on blogs is a stupid waste of time, but it’s a cold and cloudy Saturday afternoon, where I am, and taking apart the ridiculous arguments of ignorant clowns from Down Under is one of my hobbies.

November 8, 2008 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

SiMor, I hate to tell you, we won’t be hearing from Mongol Warrior anymore and I just deleted his last comment, which you probably read. (If you didn’t see his last comment, which was obscene and, to put it mildly, hateful, let me know and I can email it to you. )

After giving him a lot of latitude,he just showed what he’s really all about. Maybe I should just stop being so nice, giving a platform to people who obviously are playing games, and nasty games at that.

November 8, 2008 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

@By german against Mongol Warriors

i am german and using the german reunification as an example to make your case shows how dumb you are (but i do not expect differently from a communist propaganda ministry state employee who is paid to roam the blogosphere to spread the bizarre viewpoint of his government).

I thought Germany was sane enough to regret for her decisions made prior to world war II?

The Taiwanese should spread the following announcement to the world and especially to the 1.3 Billion people living in China and to their government: “We will gladly reunify with mainland China under the following conditions” – you get rid of communism, you get rid of the one party government, you have real democratic elections and participation by the people, you allow press freedom, you allow religious freedom,

Yes yes yes; a true democratic China would have the guts to start a war searching for WMD in Taiwan. But the democratic Taiwan, in the name of world peace and freedom, has every reason to provoke and start a regional war to get US confront China directly. I finally get your point. Now CCP government is too weak to stand up against the DPP terrorists because of communism.

Who stops the future, more powerful, democratic, China search WMD in Germany afterwards?

November 8, 2008 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

You are a very patient person Richard and it’s all in your honor.

After reading the last comment of Mongol, I had to struggle very hard with myself to not post 10 pages of insults addressed to him. I glad I didn’t.

I’ve been wondering one thing while watching this painful episode of insane public stupidity: Where are these crazy Chinese in real life?

I’ve never met a single person in China with a vision like this. Not even a glimpse of something that could hint that such people exist for real.

I wonder sometimes if people like Mongol are not in fact the exact opposite of what we think they are. What if these people are in fact hardcore anti-China haters? Ultra racists people that play these games just to trigger rage from other countries while trying to convince us that they represent the majority?

Just a theory, but who knows.

November 8, 2008 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

@saimneor
“Yes yes yes; a true democratic China would have the guts to start a war searching for WMD in Taiwan. But the democratic Taiwan, in the name of world peace and freedom, has every reason to provoke and start a regional war to get US confront China directly. I finally get your point. Now CCP government is too weak to stand up against the DPP terrorists because of communism.”

What a thin haired argumentation. You are desperate, aren’t you?

November 8, 2008 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

Thanks Bao, I’m actually glad you saw his comment and can back me up on how vile and depraved it was. I wouldn’t waste even a minute coming up with theories about what kind of person Mongol and his clones are – they don’t merit that much time and effort. After what I just saw, all I know about him, and all I ever want to know, is that he’s fucked up and totally bad.

November 8, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

@mngol warrior — mor
“”Suffice to say that Mongol warriors thrashed the Teutonic knights at the 1241 Battle of Legnica”"

Interesting read in Wikipedia about the battle of Legnica. Always wondered about the tactical/strategic superiority of Mongol armies.

Tried to find a good book about it, but so far I have been unlucky. Enough books about history, but none good enough about battle tactics, strategy, weapons and comparison with other armies.

Any recomendations?

Yes. Grey slow day here too.

November 8, 2008 @ 9:07 pm | Comment

@Oab
“What if these people are in fact hardcore anti-China haters? Ultra racists people that play these games just to trigger rage from other countries while trying to convince us that they represent the majority?”

Pssss. Do not tell anyone. They are really 50cents CIA agents hired to discredit China.

November 8, 2008 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

That’s not what I implied. Not at all. From what I understand about the 50 cent phenomenon, it’s that they troll forums to help promote China and the CCP views.

Would the CPP endorse such extreme depraved words and fascist thinking?

If this guy is really a 50cents, then I don’t see how he’s actually helping the CCP cause in any way. And I’m pretty sure that if they would read what he wrote, he would end up in inner Mongolia.

We can say all the bad we want against the government here, but I refuse to believe that the example we just saw is in any way linked to it.

There is a line between expressing a stance that goes against the general opinion and expressing pure madness.

He’s just a very troubled individual with obvious mental problems.

Anyways, case closed.

November 8, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Hey Mor! I take issue with you calling the Chinese Mongolian in Australia an ignorant clown from down under. IN down under, not from, please.

Bao, I think you may have found the truth.

November 8, 2008 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

@Oab
“That’s not what I implied. Not at all. ”
I was just being ironic and I said CIA not CCP ;-)

“…he would end up in inner Mongolia.”
He is a mongol warrior. That would be not too hard for him. You are sending him back home ;-)

November 8, 2008 @ 9:36 pm | Comment

@Rhys

My bad, you are totally right. The only excuse that I have is that I’m not a native English speaker and I actually meant to say “an ignorant clown posting from Down Under”.

@ecodelta

Indeed, interesting read.

Looks like I missed Mongol Warrior’s last comment. I guess he will go on to defend the Chinese motherland on some other blog.

November 9, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Comment

we won’t be hearing from Mongol Warrior anymore

Now I think about it I think I remember him from a forum. He won’t know me as we never tangled, but he was a troublemaker. Guess this is the same guy – wasn’t sure up until now.

Actually, Bao, I just assumed he was someone with a huge chip on his shoulder and was spoilt by his parents so he didn’t learn basic polite behaviour.

November 9, 2008 @ 2:41 am | Comment

I don’t know who or what he is, but I noticed that there seems to be a clear pattern in blog commenting since a couple of years, especially on cross cultural platforms, such as the Peking Duck. And as Richard pointed to, the message is endlessly repeating itself, like a demented mantra.

I just feel it’s too consistent somehow to come from multiples random sources. Like Raj pointed out, it’s a template. Somebody or some peoples are having a good laugh right now, I have no doubt about that.

This kind of targeted commenting is not coming out of nowhere. The guy clearly analyzed the Blog host before starting his circus.

November 9, 2008 @ 2:59 am | Comment

“We will gladly reunify with mainland China under the following conditions” – you get rid of communism, you get rid of the one party government, you have real democratic elections and participation by the people, you allow press freedom, you allow religious freedom,

I would never reunify for such a piddly offering. I’d rather demand much more transparency, good treatment of the people, and freedom from Christianity/Islam/Falun Gong/Scientology.

Seriously, religious freedom in China? Who cares? If you are “religious” you are probably following organized religion and it can be said that China is better off without it.

Who stops the future, more powerful, democratic, China search WMD in Germany afterwards?

Funny.

November 9, 2008 @ 7:59 am | Comment

A comparison between Fenqing throwing bottles at Japanese and DPP-supporters throwing eggs at Chinese envoy?

y there’s no comparison.

Bcoz one works, and the other doesn’t. Anti-Japaneseism in China is quite popular, while anti-Chinese in Taiwan is not as rampant or as rooted in Taiwan as anti-Japan is in mainland China.

The latest polling results for DPP is pretty dismal, considering that Ma Yingjeou have had a hard time with the economy. The DPP has taken the wrong route by resorting to violence and supporting former president Chen Shui-bian.

November 15, 2008 @ 4:06 pm | Comment

No time to add brilliant commentary. I just want to say this reminds me of the fen qing throwing eggs at Japanese cars and businesses back in 2005. What a great way to further your cause.

Well, Richard,

It worked for China. Can’t say the same for DPP, though.

November 15, 2008 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

Let’s face it.

The West is dying, and here we have a bunch of whinners from what’s left of a dying breed.

So delete me !

GO OBAMA !!!

November 15, 2008 @ 4:14 pm | Comment

Taiwan is a country. China you mind your own business and leave Taiwan alone. Period.

August 24, 2009 @ 8:39 pm | Comment

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