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    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    More on China's Plans to Conquer Taiwan

    16 March 2005

    The passage of an anti-secession law by the People's Republic of China is having an effect on the world as a whole. If you don't know about the details of the PRC's law, read earlier stories in this web log where I go into more detail. Basically, the law allows the PRC to conquer territories claimed by Beijing, but themselves claiming to be independent of the tyrannical PRC (this permissiveness is under the laws of the PRC only, this has no international legal effect beyond some generous interpretations of comity). Territories affected are Taiwan, and the Senkaku Islands, part of Japanese territory. Korea may eventually be included under this law, as the PRC currently has state historians working to prove that Korea was a historical Chinese kingdom -- but for now, we are concentrating on Taiwan, which is the territory of immediate concern. The PRC has promised to crush Taiwan militarily, and they now have passed a law that allows their government and its military to do just that.

    "Despite objections voiced by Taiwan, the U.S. and Japan, China's rubber-stamp parliament on Monday passed the "anti-secession law" by 2,896 votes to none, with two abstentions. The law, effective immediately, provides for the use of unspecified "non-peaceful means and other necessary measures" against Taiwan if other methods fail. China claims Taiwan as its own and envisages eventual reunification, along the lines of the "one country, two systems" formula that governed Hong Kong's return to mainland rule in 1997." [I would like to take this opportunity to point out that since the U.K. relinquished control of Hong Kong (without consulting its citizens), the economy has seen trouble, civil rights have been jeopardized and are by no means guaranteed anymore, and the sentiments among the citizens is that they were freer and better off as a British protectorate than they are under the PRC with a Chinese executive.]

    Australia is feeling pressure from these new tensions cause by the PRC's law since they are Australia's third largest trading partner after the U.S. and Japan. Australia is one of the U.S.'s most important security partners in the world and for this reason, trouble between the U.S. and China would have a profound impact on Australia. Any future Chinese aggression against Taiwan could trigger intervention by American forces. "The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act commits the U.S. to help Taiwan defend itself and "to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan." Were a conflict to erupt in the Taiwan Strait, Australia could also be drawn in because the 53-year-old ANZUS Treaty obliges Canberra to support the U.S. in the event of an armed attack in the Pacific." Because of the effect a conflict would have on Australia, their government is striving to keep relations calm -- even allowing the head tyrant of Beijing, President Hu, to address the parliament.

    I can't believe that the Australians are buying the propaganda that is being spread by the PRC. "When he addressed the parliament, Hu urged Australia to play "a constructive role" in the peaceful reunification of China and Taiwan, stressing that the threat to regional peace came from pro-independence elements on the island." Excuse me? And I suppose that the British weren't at all responsible for the actions of Michael Collins and the IRA back in the early twentieth century. I don't know, when an imperialist subjugates, or attempts to subjugate a country (in the case of Taiwan), it seems to me that it is perfectly natural that the people of that country might object and form an independence movement, or engage in some other form of resistance. And you know what? The British used the same argument for a hundred years, saying that their regional stability was threatened by the independence movement in Ireland. Well, excuse them for not appreciating tyranny imposed upon them, I'm sure, 'for their own good'. And I suppose that the kid who gets beat up for not giving his lunch money to the bully caused the situation by not bowing to the bully's tyranny. Go ahead, believe the PRC if you want, but their statement is a fallacy.

    As with many military actions, this new focus on a possible invasion of Taiwan could have a domestic policy purpose. "The move also could serve to distract the public somewhat from the unrest over rural poverty and other social concerns." Of course, as long as we continue to allow the PRC's propaganda that Taiwan is provoking them to be believed, this little fact will likely receive little attention in the international media who, it seems, have never met a tyrannical regime that they didn't idolize. I defy you to read all the news stories about the PRC and Cuban government in the past year and, based solely on those stories, not get the impression that the leaders of those countries are wonderful human beings. (The media often conveniently ignores human rights violations by these regimes.)

    In other (good) news, it seems the EU is having second thoughts about openly giving aid and comfort to a tyrannical regime. "China's new anti-secession law could negatively influence plans by the European Union to lift a 15-year-old ban on arms sales to China, or at least the timing of such a move, an EU official said Tuesday." The EU, it seems, still wants to be seen as being committed to the concept of liberty and justice for all and has declared that it has a policy interest in not upsetting the military balance between the PRC and Taiwan. Although, in my opinion, the fact that they were willing to sell weapons to China at all speaks volumes about the true character of the EU.

    Here's my favorite one: China is claiming that all of the to-do over this new law is because it has been mischaracterized by the Taiwanese propaganda machine and the international media is buying into the spin and blowing the whole situation out of proportion. Oh. Sorry, my mistake -- apparently the law doesn't represent a move by China to crush Taiwan militarily, as they have promised to do. Nothing to see, here, folks. Come on, does anyone buy that? Imagine that the U.S. had passed a similar law involving Cuba. Would anyone for a moment believe any U.S. propaganda that Cuba was 'mischaracterizing' the law? An official (unnamed) Xinhua news agency spokesman is quoted as saying: "The statement by (Taiwan's) Mainland Affairs Council...maliciously distorts this legislation. . . "This is to mislead and distort, purely with ulterior motives. Its aim is to cheat Taiwan compatriots and international public opinion and provoke cross-Strait antagonism once again. This is very dangerous." Does anyone else notice that this so-called 'statement' actually says nothing? A conclusion that is offered with no supporting premises may safely be refuted by the simple fact that there is no proof. In other words, the Chinese are lying. If they were telling the truth, they would offer a little more than just a concluding statement.

    In other world reactions, we can gague what governments are in favor of liberty and which aren't. The Soviets, I mean Russians, support the PRC. As do the French, whose coverage of the law is lauded by the Chinese. One Chinese paper reported that "Mainstream French newspapers have given great and objective coverage to China's Anti-Secession Law, helping let people know that this is a law designated to safeguard peace across the Taiwan Strait rather than a war bill as distortedly alleged by some Western media." A phenomenon that gives me hope that the EU may not turn out to be as tyrannical as I had feared, European reaction to the law is divided. Some support it, others oppose it because it is wrong to conquer people. And, of course, it is wrong to conquer people. The sooner the entire world learns this, the safer we will all be. Before you socialist-types say anything, the jury remains out as to whether or not the U.S. has conquered Iraq. Conquest requires the oppression of a people. Since Germany and Japan were defeated by the US, they have become powerful free countries. There is no reason, at this point, to assume Iraq will be any different.
    ---------China says Taiwan is distorting its anti-secession law
    ---------China's Taiwan Law Places Australia in Awkward Position
    ---------New Chinese Law Allows 'Non-Peaceful' Actions Against Taiwan
    ---------A look behind China-Taiwan tension
    ---------China Taiwan law could negatively influence EU move to lift arms ban
    ---------China: Anti-secession law doesn't mark tougher Taiwan policy
    ---------China seeks to allay fears over Taiwan law
    ---------World reacts to China's new anti-secession law


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