Taiwan Independence: Realistically, how?


#21

Whoa whoa whoa there cowboy. clearly you have not brushed up on your US history. America, the United States of America, loves to drop bombs on asian people. They love it.‘Bombs Away McKay’ used B-29s on Japanese cities like an 8 year old uses a magnifying glass on an ant hill. The good christian Nixon celebrated the lords 1972nd birthday by not bombing North Vietnam for a day. The list goes on and on.

There are 101 reasons the USA would welcome a skirmish with China. They’re just not allowed to start it… China knows they have the most to lose in this ‘theoretical’ conflict. Don’t believe the hype.

T


#22

I’d love Taiwan to become fully and formally independent. But I recognize that it’s an impossible dream under present conditions, so I wouldn’t support any politician whose manifesto included the pursuit of independence as a core goal.

What I care about now is that Taiwan gains the best benefits it can from clinging to the coattails of China’s rise. If it can positively influence China’s political development along the way, so much the better.

I believe this matches the views held by the majority of Taiwanese.


#23

This doesn’t make sense to me, or seems very selectively biased. The KMT include as a major goal the eventual unification of Taiwan with China. Yet you accept having a KMT president because he has stated he will not pursue unification within his term. Then why not take the DPP at their word too: while independence is the party’s long term goal, they too will not make any changes to the status quo at this time. Furthermore, any future outcome from Taiwan (including unification) depends on the will of the people through democratic process.

In essence, the parties platforms are equivalent for the time being with respect to independence. But only one outcome is acceptable to China. And that makes all the difference.

[quote]What I care about now is that Taiwan gains the best benefits it can from clinging to the coattails of China’s rise. If it can positively influence China’s political development along the way, so much the better.

I believe this matches the views held by the majority of Taiwanese.[/quote]

Yes, but that is a pipe dream I believe as political influence from both the Chinese government and the large Taiwanese enterprises that stand to greatly profit from unification will only grow as ties increase.

I can’t see Taiwan resisting when both governments hope for eventual unification; the business elite see it in their best interests; the media functions as a supplier of cheap entertainment; and there is still a large portion of the voting public who look back at martial law as the good old days and hence aren’t all that concerned about losing a few freedoms.

Despite polls showing an increase in Taiwanese identity and little interest in formal unification, I think the tide can easily be made to go backwards. I see it already happening with some blue friends.


#24

Whoa whoa whoa there cowboy. clearly you have not brushed up on your US history. America, the United States of America, loves to drop bombs on Asian people. They love it.[/quote]

It’s only fun to bomb other countries when they can’t bomb back. And when you can bomb them without damaging American-owned businesses, like McDonald’s and KFC.

Years ago there was much talk of “neutron bombs” which can kill people but don’t damage private property. Maybe we can get some traction with that.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_bomb

Uh oh, Wikipedia says it does damage property, but not nearly as much as conventional nuclear weapons. Well, there are always bio and chemical weapons. Certified “safe” for private property. A humane way to fight a war.

cheers,
DB


#25

what’s all this about not damaging property? there’s no way that the US would be able to occupy and enforce such an occupation of China, so the safest option for the US to prevent the eventual Phoenix rising from the ash (with a very large chip on its shoulder) would be to turn as much of it as possible into a hard glassy plain. H-bombs all the way!

that’s be a great way to restart US manufacturing and exports.


#26

[quote=“urodacus”][quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”]

Years ago there was much talk of “neutron bombs” which can kill people but don’t damage private property. Maybe we can get some traction with that.

Uh oh, Wikipedia says it does damage property, but not nearly as much as conventional nuclear weapons.
[/quote]

what’s all this about not damaging property? there’s no way that the US would be able to occupy and enforce such an occupation of China, so the safest option for the US to prevent the eventual Phoenix rising from the ash (with a very large chip on its shoulder) would be to turn as much of it as possible into a hard glassy plain. H-bombs all the way!

that’s be a great way to restart US manufacturing and exports.[/quote]

Wow! You guys think big.
Bombing China with nukes.

I think it was a year before China became a member of the WTO when China was for the first time capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to Washington.

By now, they have their own manned space program.


#27

Unfortunately, even Tsai’s moderated version of the party platform waved the independence banner too loudly and provocatively, making it a much closer objective than realism, wisdom and Taiwan’s best interests allow. Equally damagingly, it pitched anti-China rhetoric, albeit much muted from past hysteria, at a perilously strident level. That is why she and her party lost the election.

The majority of Taiwanese would love Taiwan to be fully and formally independent. But they don’t want to rock the boat by pushing for it at the wrong time. Now is very evidently still the wrong time, and that is not likely to change within the foreseeable future. That is the true “Taiwan consensus”, and I’m sure that Tsai knew it very well, but was prevented from catering to it by the stone-engraved tenets of the DPP’s core ideology.


#28

The PRC owns about 9% of US Debt. Hardly enough reason for the US to push Taiwan to need unifictation with China which it won’t do anyway.


#29

[quote=“Omniloquacious”]Unfortunately, even Tsai’s moderated version of the party platform waved the independence banner too loudly and provocatively, making it a much closer objective than realism, wisdom and Taiwan’s best interests allow. Equally damagingly, it pitched anti-China rhetoric, albeit much muted from past hysteria, at a perilously strident level. That is why she and her party lost the election.
[/quote]

I mostly agree with your analysis. The DPP needs to shed the baggage of the Ah-Bien era, face reality, stop the negative campaign tactics, and generally grow up. Few people in Taiwan really like China and want to reunify with it, but it does no good to provoke the neighborhood bully when all you’ve got is “my Uncle Sam will beat you up” (meanwhile, see Uncle Sam cowering in the corner, telling you to shut up). We don’t have to like China, but we have to get along with it - most Taiwanese have figured that out, but the DPP leadership thinks it can win elections by playing the anti-China card. This time the strategy didn’t work, though they did convince 46% of the voters, which is not all that far from a majority. So I would not count the DPP out entirely.

And the KMT badly needs to clean up the corruption. Many Taiwanese are rightfully indignant about that.

The PRC owns about 9% of US Debt. Hardly enough reason for the US to push Taiwan to need unifictation with China which it won’t do anyway.[/quote]

I don’t think it’s the monetary debt to China that worries the USA. It’s the fact that just about everything on the shelves at Wal-Mart is made in China. Even the Dept of Defense is sourcing parts from China. The USA is dependent on China for the majority of its tech products, be it microwave ovens or computers. Cut that off, and America is in trouble. Yes, in theory the USA could make all those again, as it did in the past. But rebuilding the now torn-down factories, training the workers, even recruiting engineers (who are by now mostly old and retired) is not so simple. Once you let your manufacturing and engineering infrastructure go to Hell, it doesn’t just come back because you want it to. Outside of weapons (which again, depend on Chinese parts), the main exports of the USA today are Hollywood movies and agricultural products. I would call the USA an undeveloping country.


#30

I thought the discussion was about independence.


#31

The KMT can lose popular support due to economic conditions and lack of action on the part of Ma, but corruption is not as much of an issue as it was in the late 90’s with LTH’s KMT and CSB’s DPP.

“Continuous corruption scandals”? What do you mean? Stuff like the flower thing in the Flora Expo? In Taiwan, people only seem to care about extremely bad corruption on a large scale. They are not that obsessed with “typical corruption”.

You don’t see things like the red shirt army anymore in Taiwan. It’s because they view Ma as being fairly clean, but just not that strong a leader.

If the DPP gets back into office and declares the ROT, the ROC military will have the president arrested before the PRC does anything. I know that sounds authoritarian, but at the end of the day, the military is loyal to the ROC and changing the title of the country would mean going into the presidential office and having the DPP president taken out of office by force.

The generally pan blue military is not going to fight a war with the ROC as the ROT. They only fight for the ROC. It’s not a name game like green people make it out to be. Just like you can’t change the name of the United States of America without an outcry either.

[quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”]I have to say that this discussion didn’t quite go as I anticipated. I was surprised that most of the hardcore vocal supporters of Taiwan independence simply begged off. While vehemently supporting a DPP electoral victory because of the TI issue, they seem quite unsure of what they want to happen after the DPP actually comes to power. I suspect that if the DPP really does gain full power, quite a few will be on the first plane out of here. But I could be wrong.

Faced with the uncomfortable possibility that achieving independence might require everyone to personally pick up a gun and go to war (with much likelihood that Taiwan would lose), only one person here expressed any willingness to do so.

There were some opinions that we need to wait for China to collapse before Taiwan independence can be achieved. That is probably realistic, but we may have to wait a long time. The PRC’s imminent demise has been predicted repeatedly ever since 1949 - you can grow old and die waiting for that.

I wasn’t surprised by Hartzell’s argument because he’s stated it before. But I think it’s wholly unrealistic. Trying to achieve independence for Taiwan via lawsuits in a US courtroom - well, good luck with that. No disrespect intended though. Continue plugging away with that, and let us know when you find a US court that will hear the case.

I can’t totally agree with Betelnut’s assertion that the DPP is essentially doomed to remain forever out of power. In theory, the KMT could remain in power forever with ease, if they would actually do something to control their party’s corruption and tackle the issue of worsening economic inequality. People vote KMT over DPP mainly because they think the KMT will do a better job of keeping them safe (from war and poverty). There’s probably not much doubt that the KMT will keep them safer from war, but increasing economic hardship and almost continuous corruption scandals pushes a lot of voters into the DPP camp. Probably the only reason why the DPP doesn’t win is that people still remember what a jerk Ah-bien was. But memories of that fade over time. And do remember that a third party (ie James Soong, the PFP) can rake-off enough votes from the KMT to help the DPP to victory, as in 2000.

I should add that the real DPP faithful (that would include many foreigners here) manage to put both security and economics out of their mind and concentrate on Taiwanese nationalism. Fortunately, the majority of voters haven’t fallen for that yet. Could happen though - flag-waving nationalism has widespread appeal almost anywhere in the world. Plenty of pointless wars have been fought over flags and national anthems.

I promised in my original post to reveal my own position after hearing from others. Well, I’m a big supporter of maintaining the status quo, which is actually a majority position among most Taiwanese. Continue the polite fiction of the ROC and the 1992 Consensus. Fiction it may be, but it’s worked so far. Why should I give a damn if they call this place the ROC rather than the ROT? Nor does the mere existence of a Sun Yat-sen Memorial in Taipei, or his picture on the money, cause me to lose any sleep at night. I am similarly uninterested in what is the official national anthem or the flag (though I admit, a bit obnoxious of the KMT to use their party’s flag as the national flag).

But the big “what if” - the DPP gains power, declares the ROT, China hits us first with economic sanctions, leads to a shooting war eventually. Am I out of here, or not? Answer is “not.” I’ll stay, come what may. America will run in the opposite direction and Taiwan will almost certainly lose. History is what it is: brutal.[/quote]


#32

Play for time. Maybe China will collapse. Even if not, maybe Taiwan can succeed in keeping its de facto autonomy, minus a few symbolic concessions. The longer things go on as they are now, the more Taiwan will develop a real political consensus based on shared experiences. We already see this happening. This murky compromise view will probably disappoint hardcore independence supporters (since independence and unification are each divisive in domestic politics), but if that’s not what the people want / are willing to vote for and fight for, then what can you do?


#33

[quote=“Omniloquacious”]Unfortunately, even Tsai’s moderated version of the party platform waved the independence banner too loudly and provocatively, making it a much closer objective than realism, wisdom and Taiwan’s best interests allow. Equally damagingly, it pitched anti-China rhetoric, albeit much muted from past hysteria, at a perilously strident level. That is why she and her party lost the election.[/quote] That’s not why the DPP lost the election. The people who are bothered by the DPP’s stance on independence or the DPP’s political immaturity already hate the DPP and would vote for the KMT no matter what. The election was lost due to the centrist vote that was convinced - rightly or wrongly - that the economy would suffer under a DPP administration due to China’s reluctance to work with them.

[quote=“Omniloquacious”]The majority of Taiwanese would love Taiwan to be fully and formally independent. But they don’t want to rock the boat by pushing for it at the wrong time. Now is very evidently still the wrong time, and that is not likely to change within the foreseeable future. That is the true “Taiwan consensus”, and I’m sure that Tsai knew it very well, but was prevented from catering to it by the stone-engraved tenets of the DPP’s core ideology.[/quote] I thought you already pointed out that there is no possibility of and therefore no right time for independence? The true “Taiwan consensus” is that although most people would like Taiwan to be fully independent the only thing they actually can do is cling to the ‘status quo’. But with the KMT having already embarked on economic integration with China using the One China policy to accomplish it they realize that even the status quo is an ever diminishing commodity and have begun to believe that eventually they will have no choice but accept some form of unification with China. Seeing the path as inevitable they will just vote hoping that the economy won’t suffer in the process. That tips the political scales in favor of the KMT and ironically accelerates the process at the same time. I guess the DPP represents an alternative that would slow the process but at the same time represents an element of unpredictability that makes some % of people wary. But obviously millions of people voted for what the DPP represents.


#34

[quote=“TaipeiDawg”][quote=“Omniloquacious”]Unfortunately, even Tsai’s moderated version of the party platform waved the independence banner too loudly and provocatively, making it a much closer objective than realism, wisdom and Taiwan’s best interests allow. Equally damagingly, it pitched anti-China rhetoric, albeit much muted from past hysteria, at a perilously strident level. That is why she and her party lost the election.[/quote] That’s not why the DPP lost the election. The people who are bothered by the DPP’s stance on independence or the DPP’s political immaturity already hate the DPP and would vote for the KMT no matter what. The election was lost due to the centrist vote that was convinced - rightly or wrongly - that the economy would suffer under a DPP administration due to China’s reluctance to work with them.
[/quote]

I agree partly. I think there is no swing or centrist vote of any significance in Taiwan and the partisan split favors the KMT by almost 10%. As long as the KMT can mobilize their people they will win for the coming 20 years.

Omni, you mention the near strident anti-China rhetoric of the DPP campaign. Yet, this matches the national tone across Taiwan. People here don’t like China and will say mean things about China and the Chinese openly and frequently. So how exactly does the DPP lose by channeling and echoing the majority public dislike of China?


#35

Taiwan independence is not a realistic proposition at the moment, but a strong TI movement is essential for Taiwan.


#36

There IS no status quo, it’s just a slow dwindling spiral of despair and dissolution.


#37

Taiwan should continue along it’s current path building a stronger civic society and better livIng environment, in that manner taiwanese will be proud of their homeland and of who they are COLLECTIVELY and strengthen their hand in negotiations with China.


#38

[quote=“Hamletintaiwan”]
I think it was a year before China became a member of the WTO when China was for the first time capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to Washington.

By now, they have their own manned space program.[/quote]

but they’re still fascist expansionist pricks.


#39

This is basically correct.

When the DPP gets back in power in 2016, it will continue incremental moves toward independence such as getting rid of Sinocentric symbols and revising the curriculum so that it is centered on Taiwan. If it had enough votes, it would seek constitutional changes to eliminate the ROC’s claims to China and to otherwise normalize and consolidate Taiwan’s de facto independence.

No one is going to declare formal independence unless Taiwan is attacked by China or until China becomes a democracy. Time is on the side of Taiwanese independence. Taiwan is already de facto independent and the longer it stays that way, the more likely that state of affairs is to continue.

In the meantime, the DPP should focus on making Taiwan a better place. That includes continuing to normalize relations with China economically and otherwise.

I don’t think the KMT has a chance in 2016.


#40

Yeah, that sounds sensible.

I just wonder what would happen in the unlikely event China did attack. Since the PRC considers Taiwan (already) part of China, that would technically be civil war and the world would simply look the other way and pretend it wasn’t happening. Would there be any legal advantage, I wonder, if Taiwan were to declare independence if war appeared inevitable or imminent?