Taiwan's Problems are Clinton's Fault

According to today’s editorial in theTaiwan News, all of the unrest in the region, Taiwan’s predicament in general, China’s hegemony and stray dogs are all Clinton’s fault.
I realize this is basically the same political stance as the Taipei Times et al hold towards Clinton (the same stance that is dictated by certain groups who think the US will jump in and defend Taiwan if we declare independence), but while the Times is usually a little more subtle, the News practically frothes at the mouth on the subject. This is just plain funny.

I love that the contributing writer in the editorial isn’t named. (I’d be too embarrassed to put my name to that kind of crap also.)

Did anybody check out their new format for Saturdays? They’re now aspiring to be Taiwan’s version of Sports Illustrated - lots of pictures, and articles lifted off the foreign press. Boooooring. ~yawn~

And what’s with the comics page now? They’ve blown them up so that now they’re so big you can read them from across the room. New Logo suggestion: “The Taiwan News ~ All The News That’s Printed To Fit”.

The Taiwan News is in its death throes. Personally, I can’t and won’t pay for the sort of garbage that it puts out. $5NT for The Star (Chinese gossip rag) is money better spent. I wonder how long before Taiwan is down to two English newspapers? It’s just a matter of time…

Hey Poagao, what did you think of Clinton’s Three Nos policy?

I agree with the Taiwan News. Clinton should not be welcomed here, unless you are a Pro-China freak and loved what he did to put down Taiwan with his Three Nos policy.

I don’t know if they can blame him for so many of the problems in Taiwan, but that 3 No policy was DISGUSTING. I always thought that the CCP got pictures of him with some hot PRC Girl, and then blackmailed him into saying what he said.

Three Cheers for President George Bush saying that he will do “Whatever it takes to defend Taiwan”. It was far cry from the way that Clinton treated Taiwan and the PRC.

I don’t think the Three No’s actually made much of a difference. W’s statements might have made Beijing nervous and paranoid, but then he qualified his statement by saying that he opposed Taiwanese independence. So that didn’t make much of a difference either. Beijing knows that W, like Chen Shui-bian, was elected by a minority of voters.

So what? Dubya doesn’t believe in this “No mandate” crap for a second. Besides, Americans in general are more unified against China than for it, so that is one issue that Dubya has support on.

I don’t doubt that W doesn’t believe in that “no mandate crap”. It doesn’t really matter what he himself believes, though. It’s everyone else that matters.

I’m also sure that many Americans are united against China. If China were to make an unprovoked attack on Taiwan, I think the US military might even step in to a certain degree.
However, if Taiwan were to provoke an attack by making a formal declaration of independence, which neither the US nor the UN would recognize, the US would basically stay out of it and tell Taiwan “You got yourself into it. Get yourself out of it.”

I agree with most of what you said in your post, Poagao, but strongly disagree with your statement that “It doesn’t really matter what he (Bush) himself believes, though. It’s everyone else that matters.”

What Bush believes does matter, because he is the President of the United States. He was elected to do exactly what he said he would during his campaign. Simply because half of Americans are resentful that Bush won the election, this doesn’t mean Bush has no reason to persue his agenda with agressiveness. Doing so is more likely to win him re-election than not doing so. If he were to sit back and say “I’d better just leave things alone, because I’ve got no mandate.”, then he would surely lose the vote in 2004. In fact, I think his bowing to pressure on various issues, thus far, has caused him more flak than if he’d have kept focused on his original stances.

I’m not saying that what Americans think doesn’t matter. I am saying that he should persue the agenda he was elected for, because he’s already lost the support of those that didn’t vote for him. Like it or not, Bush most certainly has a mandate and he knows it. If Gore had been elected under the same circumstances, I’m sure there would have been resentment on the other side. But he would have had a mandate, too. Being President of the United States IS the mandate.

Back to the original subject, I think the current policy on Taiwan is quite sensible. If China were to make an unprovoked attack on Taiwan, you can bet your life the U.S. would step in. But if Taiwan were willing to go to war for independance, that is something that would be too much to ask the U.S. to be involved in. Remember Vietnam?

Hey Dummies.

I really don’t understand why anyone would think that Bush understands what’s happening between China and Taiwan better than Clinton. First of all, China is not a rich powerful country, and their military may be bigger than Taiwan’s, but it’s certainly no match for the US. China is a BIG POOR COUNTRY. Most people in China are just worrying about how to eat, not how to bomb the US…I think Bush adding fuel to dummy Americans fire can only exacerbate the problem. I think it’s pompous to believe that all Chinese people are just drooling at the thought of capturing Taiwan…if Chinese people are like most other citizens of most countries, they probably just don’t give a sh*t.

Furthermore, I think Clinton’s vague policy towards China and Taiwan was much more intelligent (and Chinese) than Bush’s big DUMMY half-witted threats…of course the US would step in if China attacked Taiwan…why did he have to reiterate that point? All it did was make China mad (purposeless) and really didn’t change anyone’s way of thinking I know here in Taiwan (of course some dummies here think Bush is cool…but, how’s the E-economy doing at the moment?) And then, just to be more vague, he softened his statement later…SUPERDUMMY.

I think a lot of people in the west don’t understand China and the east because they’ve never studied any Asian language or history, so it all seems oh-so-mysterious and leads to a deep misunderstanding of Chinese people. Whatever, I think there should be a group of consultants in Washington who speak and read fluent Chinese. Then, whenever the prez has a meeting with Chinese counterparts, they should pick the biggest, whitest guy to translate with super Chinese right to the (Premier’s?)face, and that’ll make China feel insecure and stop bullying Taiwan. I’m sure those smug diplomats wouldn’t know what to do if the PRESIDENT himself spoke Chinese…mabye I should run for president.

Well, it’s a thought, anyway.


quote[quote]mabye I should run for president [/quote]Yeah - that's a great idea [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] then the whole world can be subjected to your adolescent scatological brand of "humor" and know what a moron you are. Spare us. [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]


mabye I should run for president

Hey DMPP, you go girl !


First, before Bush’s April comments that the US would “do whatever it took” to defend Taiwan, America’s policy was one of “strategic ambiguity.” Basically, that means the US would never say explicitly whether the US would come to Taiwan’s aid if China attacked, in order to keep both sides of the Strait cautious. China would fear the repercussions if it launched an attack; Taiwan would fear making a formal declaration of independence.

Now let’s look at the context of Bush’s statements. On the day he made his now famous statement, he had a host of media interviews lined up to talk about his first 100 days in office. In addition to the Good Morning America interview, he had interviews with the other TV and print media outlets. Also, a couple of days before the interviews, the Bush administration announced its spring arms sales package to Taiwan, which for the first time included submarines and had created some controversy. So one of the issues of the day was Taiwan, and that’s what Good Morning America asked about.

The reporter for the TV show asked a straight forward question, Bush gave a straight forward answer: The US would do “whatever it took” to defend Taiwan.

The critics started howling, because they said the Bush administration had changed its policy on the cross-strait question away from “strategic ambiguity.” Pro-Taiwan people said the US now had a policy of “strategic clarity.” The pro-China people countered that clarity on the issue of whether the US would come to Taiwan’s defense would embolden this country to make a formal declaration of independence.

In the subsequent interviews on that April day, Bush made clear that the US supported a peaceful resolution to the cross-strait problem. The administration also reiterated that US policy on Taiwan remains unchanged and governed by the Taiwan Relations Act.

I think the thing that troubled most people about Clinton’s “Three No’s” is the part about no independence for Taiwan, because Taiwan of course is a democracy and China is not. Critics of Clinton’s Shanghai comments noted that Taiwan’s future should be decided by its 23 million people.

There’s nothing near a consensus in Taiwan on how to solve the cross-strait problem. There have been proposals to come up with one through a national referendum, but of course there’s no referendum law in Taiwan to facilitate one. To boot, the draft referendum laws in the works exclude this issue from ever being decided by the voters (in addition to the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant).

Should by chance a referendum – a democratic mechanism – happen sometime in Taiwan’s future, and should the outcome be a formal declaration of independence, I would think the international community including the US would have to respect that decision.

In the end, I don’t think the cross-strait problem will ever be resolved until China becomes a democracy.

When you say “respect that decision” what do you mean? Defend Taiwan from Chinese attack, or just sit back in Washington and say “Oh, yes, we respect their decision, but they will have to deal with the problem themselves”?
Of course that is a lot of “shoulds” in your hypothetical situation. Most people here want to keep the status quo, with no immediate reunification and no independence. It’s unlikely either would get significant support in a referendum. Of course, things thing. Who knows what the situation will be like in 10 years?

quote[quote] if Chinese people are like most other citizens of most countries, they probably just don't give a sh*t.[/quote]

That’s quite an assumption. But Chinese people are not like Westerners. They are much more nationalistic. The only remaining issue that garners support for the commies, at this point, is Taiwan. This is the issue at the top of their agenda, and people in China most certainly do “give a sh*t” about it. Didn’t you say you speak Chinese? Haven’t you spoken to any of these citizens? A solid majority will tell you that Taiwan is part of China…no ifs, ands or buts. Perhaps you understand China too little yourself to be criticizing others for their lack of understanding.

Given that, I will admit that I am not a strong Chinese speaker. But I have spoken with several mainland Chinese (with fantastic English speaking skills) who all agree that Taiwan is an issue that sparks much passion in them, as well as rallies support for the commies.

I agree with Michael’s position concerning Bush’s statements on Taiwan. He merely gave a straight answer to a straight question, but also reiterated that a peaceful resolution is the paramount objective. Who knows if Clinton ever would have stepped in to help Taiwan, but it’s highly doubtful given the "kow-tow"ing he did to the Chinese government (including the allowance of Lockheed Martin and Motorala to sell sensitive nuclear missle launch and guidance technology to the Chinese gov’t).

If Taiwan were to make a declaration of independance, war is almost definately a given. Taking an action that would provoke war with certainty clouds the question as to whether the United States should or would step in. I doubt anyone knows, even the highest U.S. military officials. But even if they do know, we’re sure never to find out about it before we’re already engulfed in war. We can sit here and speculate all day, but there is no clear answer.

the "don’t give a sht" people I was referring to were poor people, who comprise most of the population of China. Sure, in Beijing, people are well informed and, many may support unification, and discuss these sorts of things. Have you ever seen a documentary on TV about any places outside of China’s big cities? Millions of people live outside the cities, and millions are farmers, and many aren’t ethnic Chinese. If you live in Western China, and are a poor camel herder, I seriously doubt you give a sht about Taiwan. I think you’re much more worried about selling your camels.


quote[quote]If you live in Eastern China, and are a poor camel herder, I seriously doubt you give a sh*t about Taiwan. I think you're much more worried about selling your camels. [/quote]

Hey Eye Opener, I mean Dummy MPP, there are camel herders in Eastern China? Cool. Tell me where. Shanghai? Maybe Xiamen?

You may laugh, but there are really camel herders in Eastern China (uh…pardon my geography, but Shanghai is not in the east…)

It’s interesting, along the silk road route, there are still actually people who buy and sell camels in the same camel markets built during the Ming dynasty…

I certainly hope you guys all at least know that many “Chinese” people aren’t ethnic Chinese at all…do you know about this?

PS Eye Opener…who’s that???
Oops, my English sucks, I mean western, not eastern China. He he he…I’m a dummy. In fact, I’m dummy my poo poo.

Hey, Dummy, here’s a map for you.


Where is Shanghai? Should I circle it for you?

michael wrote:

quote[quote]In the end, I don't think the cross-strait problem will ever be resolved until China becomes a democracy.[/quote]

A democratic China would be better – but not necessarily for the cross-strait problem. A democratic country poisoned by nationalism isn’t necessarily an improvement for a Taiwan that isn’t eager to link itself politically with the mainland.
“Taiwan is an issue that sparks much passion (in China)” is, if anything, an understatement. And this isn’t just about people in Beijing. Nationalism – and the fear of ending up becoming a shithole like Russia if they take the risk of getting rid of “the devil they do know” – is what holds China together. Crbkstiles is right. Sure, some of the non-Han might be more than happy to declare independence themselves; but they’re minorities (even in many of the cities of their areas of origin).

Sure, I’ve seen the documentaries on places in the countryside of China. But I’ve also lived in China, been to lots of places in the countryside, and talked with people. Many people out in the boonies may not know or care much about what’s going on outside their villages. But among the things many of those people usually do “know” are that China is the center of the world, that Taiwan is and will always be part of China, and that “splittists” would richly deserve to be killed in an invasion.

Well said, cranky laowai. Certainly, the sudden collapse of the communist government would reap anarchy and chaos. It would not be an easy transition, for sure, and it really brings forth the question as to what truly is best for China. It seems that currently things aren’t as bad as they could be. Jiang Zemin isn’t as militant as his predecessors, and he is in charge…for now. With things continuing in the more capitalist direction within the major cities, no doubt more open trade will also bring more open communication. More tourism, perhaps? This could be the benifit of China joining the WTO, as it could signal a gradual phasing out of the communist government in to something more compatible with a capitalist economy. This is purely theoretical, but I have read some very interesting analysis on this. Here is a link to one such analysis (excerpted from a book), if anyone’s interested:

So cranky poop,

Where exactly in China did you travel? Please tell us more about the difference between the nationalism of Han Chinese to those who are not ethnically Han. Especially in regards to Taiwan. Did you already live in Taiwan, is that why you asked about Taiwan?

And, are you sure they weren’t just barfing up the “right” answer for the “foreigner”…I mean, were they really candid with you?

Also, what was your feeling about their level of education in regards to their attitude, as far as the role it played in their viewpoint.