[quote]Taiwan sent officials to Malawi and summoned its ambassador to save diplomatic relations amid reports arch-rival China was aggressively courting the southern African nation, a government spokeswoman said on Monday.
Also on Monday, ministry sources said China had recently pressured Haiti, Panama and the Dominican Republic to break ties with Taiwan and ally with Beijing, local media reported.[/quote]
[quote]Malawi is establishing diplomatic relationship with China, which, according to a cabinet minister close to the diplomatic swoop, is a move in recognition of China’s growing influence in world affairs.
The minister said China has already pledged over US$6 billion in aid including funding of Shire-Zambezi Waterway project, the dream project of President Bingu wa Mutharika.[/quote]
Assuming this is true, that means the countries recognizing an independent Taiwan will be down to 23, with a few more on the bubble if the Reuters article is proved true.
I thought I read somewhere that Panama was the next likeliest country to switch diplomatic ties after Malawi, that a Taiwanese official (or some think tank person) stated that Taiwanese-Panamanian relations are in a “danger” zone right now. I could be wrong though.
PRC Foreign Ministry is getting much better at managing these things. I think the Malawi switch was written in stone probably 2-3 weeks ago (certainly when James Huang was left hanging in mid-air… literally)… but rather than announcing the switch the week before the legislative election, they wait until the following days.
LOL, nice. I won’t ask why that particular analogy jumped out at you.
I frankly would be unhappy if Beijing gave anything more than superficial “payment” to gain these ties. Interest-free loans which translate into more Chinese exports and/or jobs are just fine with me. For example, I know much of the construction being done in Africa and Latin America in the form of “aid” are being done by Chinese construction companies with Chinese crews. I’m also fine with the establishment of trade, even if the resulting terms are in favor of the developing nations.
Even on these terms alone, relations with the PRC should be very attractive to many of these third-world nations.
I am still confused as to the legal basis for the ROC to have diplomatic relations with other countries in the present era.
Under the internationally accepted One China Policy, the PRC is the sole legitimate government of China.
On Aug. 30, 2007 Dennis Wilder, National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs said: “Taiwan, or the Republic of China, is not at this point a state in the international community. The position of the United States government is that the ROC – Republic of China – is an issue undecided, and it has been left undecided, as you know, for many, many years.”
These comments from the NSC reflect the fact that none of the leading world nations recognized any transfer of the sovereignty of Taiwan to the ROC upon the surrender of Japanese troops in Taiwan on Oct. 25, 1945. The completion of those surrender ceremonies only marked the beginning of the military occupation of Taiwan.
Then in 1952, Taiwan was ceded by Japan without the specification of a “receiving country.” Taiwan is then, at the most basic level, not a part of Chinese territory.
Under such an arrangement, how is it that the ROC has the right to represent Taiwan in the international community?? (Please see comments by NSC official, quoted above.)
In the present era, it would be more legally accurate to say that Taiwan remains as “occupied territory.” (If anyone has a copy of the post-war treaty, it would be an interesting project to read through it and see which country is specified as the legal occupier. Also, since “military occupation” is conducted under military government, it would also be useful to note which country’s military goverment has jurisdiction over the “property” of Formosa and the Pescadores.)
(Sigh.) “The leading” countries, and the UN, acknowledge the PRC. A few not-so-leading countries acknowledge the ROC, to no appreciable effect on the world. Some Taiwanese, and some PRC Chinese, are under the impression that this has some sort of international legal significance, since it shows that Taiwan has the capacity to enter into relations with other countries. Hence their willingness to waste all that money. Anyway, Dennis Wilder of the NSC does not speak for everybody.
Since Panama is moving towards passing a law requiring its young’ns to learn Mandarin in school, they had better make up their diplomatic mind up fast. Traditional or simplifed. Taiwanese or communist propaganda. Hanyu Pinyin or Tongyong Pinyin (well, maybe not an issue soon). Putonghua or Huayu.
That proyect has many holes, especially because they tried that before and couldn’t find enough teachers. They have not even been able to implement widespread English teaching, I have serious doubts about their organizational ability for getting this Mandarin project on the road.
Some Panamenian friends were joking because they -as part of a rather large Overseas Chinese community in Panama- are Cantonese in origin. Cantonese being the majority, they made fun of the plan saying they would rather have Cantonese language lessons instead.
Panama’s economic ties with Taiwan are very strong, especially in the shipping industry. However, China is making significant inroads in this field, especially because it has a rather significant role in the expansion of the Canal -one more proof of the diminishing role of the US in Latin America, IMHO.
So far, there has been peace and cooperation between Overseas Chinese groups from Mainland and Taiwan in Panama -both have their own lion dance groups for New Year. The local Chinese school -the Sun Yat sen institute- taught Traditional characters for the benefit of the Cantonese population. So the choice of characters depends then of the market and the change in composition of the population. Currently, there is a significant influx of legal and illegal Mainland Chinese immigrants in Latin America, from wealthy business people who pay top dollar for new passports to workers who go by boat to Peru as entrance point, then on to US, if not by land on foot, and hence ending up working in Central America. The face of the population is changing, as I am told by friends and family. Hence, the tide is changing, and will keep changing pragmatically.
My associates and I would be interested in any [color=olive]rebuttals[/color] which the highly informed and knowledgeable members of the forumosa.com community could provide. We certainly want to promote the “correct formulation,” and if we are in error, we would be happy for someone to point it out.
Thing is Richard old sport, me old mucker, nobody that matters gives a shit. There’s the rub. Not the US. Not Japan. Not China. Not Taiwan. I’m afraid the undoubtedly redoubtable good Dr. Lin is not counted among the ranks of those who matter. But do keep us informed – I’d be interested to know if actual jail terms are on the books for those who continue to waste the time of the US authorities. Hee hee!
According to the World Bank, China has 300 Million people living with less than $1USD. Technically, they are extremely poor. $6 Billion in development programs for them would be a wiser choice, but that is just me.
Malawi, however, has as natural resources limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite. The main exports are tobacco 53%, tea, sugar, cotton, coffee, peanuts, wood products, apparel.
Of course, this is just another “isolating Taiwan diplomatically” policy from China.
Taiwan has been involved in international development programs since 1959, when it sent a team of agricultural experts to South Vietnam. Taiwan’s GDP per capita was probably quite low in 1950s, and its poverty levels were probably much higher than today as well.
Competing with the Chinese in Africa is going to be difficult for the Taiwanese. However, I’ve always been impressed by the hardworking nature of the people in the field (not the political appoinments but the f/t agricultural, medical specialists etc. In most countries, development workers sit in air-conditioned offices, do little work for large paycheques, and drive Range Rovers. The Taiwanese development workers get their hands dirty. They integrate pretty well with the local populations too.
From my understanding, the PRC specialists in Africa pretty much keep to themselves and have a very bad reputation as “slave drivers” in some countries. With more countries in the region being exposed to the PRC, you can be sure plenty more of these “negative” press stories will get out (unless the African press becomes as enamoured with the PRC as many liberal Western newspapers are).