Wed, Nov 26, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Blue camp proves it's China's pawn

By Paul Lin 林保華

The high-profile treatment President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) received during his stopover in the US en route to Panama indicates that Taiwan's effort to walk out and join the international community has yielded good results, exciting those who love Taiwan. But this has trampled on the toes of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP), which have unthinkably engaged in a barrage of criticism. They have not only launched a tirade against the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but also shifted their anger to the US and stirred up a new wave of anti-US sentiment.

Washington been low-key in responding to Chen's transit diplomacy, emphasizing that it merely offered a "courteous reception" without going beyond the "one China" principle. This being the case, Beijing can do nothing about it. China is, as usual, respectful to the US and, moreover, has signed business contracts to keep the US on its side. Of course, this is no one-sided benefit since the commodities procured from the US are what Beijing desperately needs and have also paved the way for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's (溫家寶) trip to the US next month.

What Washington wants most from Beijing, however, is to let the yuan appreciate and to pressure North Korea to de-nuclearize. China will only present this "big gift" to the new US president after the election next year, rather than helping George W. Bush secure his re-election bid, in the same way as China is not willing to give any advantage to the Chen government to help him win a second term.

While extending courteous treatment to Taiwan, the US did the same to China. When retired Chinese vice premier Qian Qichen (錢其琛) visited the US, Bush also received him in an unprecedented fashion.

We can get a glimpse of how the blue camp is hostile to the US from several facts.

First, while delivering a speech in Yunlin County on Nov. 9, PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said a member of the Bush family claimed that he (or she) could help arrange a meeting with a member of the family for KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) in exchange for US$1 million. Soong demanded that Chen explain how much money he had forked over to meet with one of the Bushes.

Chen said that he didn't spend a cent. The corrupt method of Taiwanese businesspeople squandering money to secure a meeting with Beijing leaders and increase their own worth is prevalent in China. Soong's allegation was apparently aimed at smearing the US. If what he said is true, why didn't he reveal it sooner?

Second, on the legislative floor on Nov. 10, blue-camp schemer and independent Legislator Sisy Chen (陳文茜) questioned the incident in which Yang Liu-sheng (楊六生), a National Security Bureau (NSB) member stationed in the US, was kept by the CIA for a three-day investigation when the scandal related to a secret NSB account was revealed in Taiwan. NSB Vice Director Huang Lei (黃磊) denied her allegation.

Third, Sisy Chen, when analyzing Taiwan's presidential election and mapping out strategies for Lien and Soong on Nov. 13, denounced the US for playing with duplicitous tactics -- demanding that Soong and KMT Vice Chairman Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) fend off the DPP's plan to hold a referendum, while also using arms brokers to deal with President Chen. As a result, Chen Shui-bian's trip to the US was a success while the issue of referendums has become a curse for the blue camp.

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