Li Ao: Anti-secession law a good thing

I watched the bad copy of Larry King this morning. Guest was Li Ao and they were talking about the new anti-secession law. I believe what Li Ao says does kind of make sense.

The anti-secession law is not such a bad thing for Taiwan. It does not mean that China will invade Taiwan any minute, it means China will invade in case Taiwan proclaims independence. This is basically nothing new, we all know that even without this law, China would have taken actions against Taiwan in case it proclaimed independence.
What Li Ao is saying is that if Taiwan never proclaims independence, then China has no reason to invade. In fact Taiwan is free to do what ever it wants, but proclaim independence.
It also means, Taiwan shouldn’t be afraid next time China does some nuke tests, it’s just a show. Passing this law China is saying that it is OK with the status quo and if Taiwan doesn’t change anything, China won’t either.

Oh well that’s alright then. Nothing to worry about. Back to work.

Except, that’s complete bullshit. The PRC gets to interpret this law, so if they decide that something is going to lead to independence, they can attack.

For example:
a) Does the president of Taiwan saying “Taiwan is an independent sovereign nation” count? Answer: If the PRC decide it does.
b) Would changing the constitution to make it easier to redefine the boundaries of the ROC count as ‘a major incident that will lead to Taiwan splitting out of China’? Answer: If the PRC decide it is.
c) Would the USA formally recognising the ROC and allowing an embassy to be opened count? Answer: If the PRC decide it does.
d) Would the complete rejection of the ‘one china’ principle by the people of Taiwan count as ‘the complete loss of conditions for peaceful reunification’? Answer: If the PRC decide so.

What about changing the name of ROC to Taiwan? Changing the flag? I can’t believe either of those would be greeted with “Oh. It isn’t covered by this law, we don’t mind”.

The bottom line is that, while this law doesn’t change PRC policy, it does codify its aggressive stance. If the PRC decides they want war with Taiwan, then it’ll be trivial for them to justify it with this law (whatever Taiwan does).

Li Ao’s a moron, and from this it seems that he’s a liar too.

It is a change.

Previous situtaion: China will attack if Taiwan declares independence (tacit uderstanding).

Now that this law has been passed: China will attack if Taiwna makes any moves that China construes as moving towards independence (not just declaring it). China will attack if they think peaceful means have been exhausted (and their ‘peaceful means’ currently involve Taiwan surrendering sovereignty before negotiation).

Defenders of this law claim that it’s no change. It is a big change for two reasons. 1. It gives a much wider scope for the use of force. 2. It makes the use of force official policy.


This law is bad for one thing in terms of international perception of Taiwan. China just made a big show to the world to say that Taiwan is part of China and if it seeks formal independence that they will attack.

Taiwan in fact is not part of China and this confuses the world! This politically loaded wording is a ploy to further confuse the issue as they haven’t had the benefit of the KMT yelling about Taiwan and China being the same country so they had to make a big PR event.

Furthermore, this law does not allow Taiwan to do whatever it wants as long as it does not declare independence (F.U. CHINA, Taiwan is already Independent!) it states also that if Taiwan stalls indefinitely with REUNIFICATION, they can also massacre Taiwan citizens to force them to be part of COMMUNIST CHINA.

Li Ao is so Blue he is RED.

Li Ao should just fuck off to China where he belongs.

I struggle to understand this new “law” from a logical standpoint. As a matter of interest, did China pass such a law prior to annexing Tibet?

I’d be more worried about the reaction in Taiwan than the law itself. So China gave itself permission to attack Taiwan if we declare independence. You think they need to give themselves permission? It’s just politics. Look at the stock market. Most Taiwanese simply don’t care that much about it.

The government, on the other hand, is doing so much overreacting I begin to wonder if they have something up their sleeves, and see this law as an excuse to carry it out, thus all the hype beforehand to make whatever it is seem like a reaction. The other possibility is that they’re about to do something rather craven and toady and want to establish street cred in the green camp as being brave and outrageous before they do it.

I guess we’ll find out, in any case. Most likely it will die down and things will return to normal. Marching around and holding referendums aren’t going to convince China to retract their bit of paper.

What Li Ao says makes sense, sort of, until you get to the parts where China says that there is no indefinite timetable and where they feel that all other options have been exhausted.

Well, that China will invade Taiwan, if Taiwan declares independece is nothing really new, is it? China has just given itself a legitimate reason to do so and probably hopes that the world will accept it. Well, maybe the world won’t, but does China really care at all?

Nothing new. You’re right. However, that’s not what the new law says.
The new law says “should Taiwqan make any moves toward independence.”
There is a huge difference between those two statements.

What worries me is who decides when all options have been exhausted?

Remember, China is not supposed to be tinkering in HK’s Basic Law either. That was something they agreed to. History has shown the propensity of the PRC government to “interpret” their on-paper decisions as they wish. The anti-secession law puts a “last-resort” attack of Taiwan in the “legal” diplomatic cards. Of course, all it takes is a slight tinkering with the deck to produce the scenario they want under any situation…such as changing the name of Nanjing Dong Lu to Happy World Boulevard.

Here is the full text of the anti-secession law. It does help if one knows what the law actually says. The English translation needs a few improvements.

Anti-Secession Law (Adopted at the Third Session of the Tenth National People’s Congress on March 14, 2005)

Article 1 This Law is formulated, in accordance with the Constitution, for the purpose of opposing and checking Taiwan's secession from China by secessionists in the name of "Taiwan independence", promoting peaceful national reunification, maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, preserving China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and safeguarding the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. 

Article 2 There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division. Safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity is the common obligation of all Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included. 

Taiwan is part of China. The state shall never allow the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces to make Taiwan secede from China under any name or by any means. 

Article 3 The Taiwan question is one that is left over from China's civil war of the late 1940s. 

Solving the Taiwan question and achieving national reunification is China's internal affair, which subjects to no interference by any outside forces. 

Article 4 Accomplishing the great task of reunifying the motherland is the sacred duty of all Chinese people, the Taiwan compatriots included. 

Article 5 Upholding the principle of one China is the basis of peaceful reunification of the country. 

To reunify the country through peaceful means best serves the fundamental interests of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. The state shall do its utmost with maximum sincerity to achieve a peaceful reunification. 

After the country is reunified peacefully, Taiwan may practice systems different from those on the mainland and enjoy a high degree of autonomy. 

Article 6 The state shall take the following measures to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and promote cross-Straits relations: 

(1) to encourage and facilitate personnel exchanges across the Straits for greater mutual understanding and mutual trust; 

(2) to encourage and facilitate economic exchanges and cooperation, realize direct links of trade, mail and air and shipping services, and bring about closer economic ties between the two sides of the Straits to their mutual benefit; 

(3) to encourage and facilitate cross-Straits exchanges in education, science, technology, culture, health and sports, and work together to carry forward the proud Chinese cultural traditions; 

(4) to encourage and facilitate cross-Straits cooperation in combating crimes; and 

(5) to encourage and facilitate other activities that are conducive to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and stronger cross-Straits relations. 

The state protects the rights and interests of the Taiwan compatriots in accordance with law. 

Article 7 The state stands for the achievement of peaceful reunification through consultations and negotiations on an equal footing between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. These consultations and negotiations may be conducted in steps and phases and with flexible and varied modalities. 

The two sides of the Taiwan Straits may consult and negotiate on the following matters: 

(1) officially ending the state of hostility between the two sides; 

(2) mapping out the development of cross-Straits relations; 

(3) steps and arrangements for peaceful national reunification; 

(4) the political status of the Taiwan authorities; 

(5) the Taiwan region's room of international operation that is compatible with its status; and 

(6) other matters concerning the achievement of peaceful national reunification. 

Article 8 In the event that the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The State Council and the Central Military Commission shall decide on and execute the non-peaceful means and other necessary measures as provided for in the preceding paragraph and shall promptly report to the Standing Committee of the National People'sCongress. 

Article 9 In the event of employing and executing non-peaceful means and other necessary measures as provided for in this Law, the state shall exert its utmost to protect the lives, property and other legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan civilians and foreign nationals in Taiwan, and to minimize losses. At the same time, the state shall protect the rights and interests of the Taiwan compatriots in other parts of China in accordance with law. 

Article 10 This Law shall come into force on the day of its promulgation.[/quote]

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Sounds to me like: If no independence, then no non-peaceful measures. It didn’t say, that Nanjing Rd. couldn’t be renamed Happy World Boulevard… :wink:

Li Ao is such a good writer and very insightful on Taiwan society. May he continue to provide sound and colorful commentary on Taiwan society. I hope he writes another sex novel soon.


Please enlighten us on what part of the Basic Law has been tinkered with. Oh please please please please please!

Li Ao is merely a satirist, the “fool,” yet sees more sharply than any pompous Taiwanese politician is ever able to see. He also (before the vasectomy) had much more LP than the TIers could ever hope to have all-of-them-put-together. Li Ao has gone to jail for advocating TI in Chiang’s time when the TIers fled to their fatherland Japan and motherland the US.

I find it preposterous that TIers have anything to say against Li Ao when all they can muster is some monkey show like kissing the ground and yodeling about “mother” Taiwan to show their “love.”

Oh yeah, they also say “Nee! Nee! Nee!” to China like the knights of “Nee!” Or was that “No!”? I don’t remember any more.

Not only that, the guy ran for President and unselfishly supported another candidate. Also claimed he wasn’t going to vote for himself.

The guy is pretty cool and unpredictable. :sunglasses:

And of course, that’s what Taiwan’s legislature needs: more fools :unamused:

I thought he was inprisoned for advocating democratic reforms? I can understand it if you confuse TI & democracy though.

I’m guessing you’re talking about James Soong here (he’s the most famous person I can think of who has made a show of kissing the ground to show his love) … he’s also a TIer since his 10-point agreement with Chen I guess :laughing: