One thing that is so fascinating about Chinese history is the frequent mass denial of the blatantly obvious, of the willingness of politicians and citizens to ignore what is staring them in the face. During the reign of Mao Zedong (毛澤東), farmers, under pressure to meet impossible production targets, simply lied, claiming to have raised pigs the size of trucks -- and presented papier-mache models as "proof".
Of course, everyone knew that everyone else was lying, but no one could come out and state the simple truth. The same is true with the situation between Taiwan and China. China repeats with a straight face that Taiwan is not a country. And other countries in the world, who should know better, accept the lie willingly. They, too, know that China is lying, but are afraid to speak the truth.
So, we avoid the obvious by engaging in endless discussions about this treaty and that communique, the difference between "acknowledge" and "recognize," and the "Three Noes," the "Eight Nevers" and the "Seventeen Maybes." Taiwan is never mentioned by name, and we end up with something called "Chinese Taipei" participating in the Olympics, the "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu" representing Taiwan in the World Trade Organization and the "Kwang Hwa Information and Culture Center" or Taiwan's embassy in Hong Kong.
But it's all irrelevant, as Dennis Hickey pointed out in his wonderfully refreshing letter (June 29, page 8). Taiwan is sovereign -- as he makes abundantly clear. We can argue about whether it should be in the future, or whether it was in the past, but there is no question -- absolutely none -- about its current status. So the next time I feel myself sinking into a sophistry-induced stupor as people discuss the exact relationship between Taiwan and China (State to state? Special state to state? Two sides on either side of the Taiwan Strait?), I'll remember Hickey's words, and be restored to consciousness and clarity.
Communist China’s Global Times warned US President Joe Biden in the first week of this month that he “should make a significant response to China’s sincerity within his first 100 days, as the sincerity and patience will not last forever.” In fact, they lasted only days. By the end of the week, Beijing had laid down the law, so to speak, to the Biden administration. First was a speech billed as a “Dialogue with National Committee on US-China Relations,” by Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪), director of China’s Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs. Yang said he was pleased “to have
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When Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping (習近平) wakes up one morning and decides that his People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can win a war to conquer Taiwan, that is when his war will begin. To ensure that Xi never gains that confidence it is now necessary for the United States to shed any notions of “forbearance” in arms sales to Taiwan. Largely because they could guarantee military superiority on the Taiwan Strait, US administrations from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama practiced “forbearance” — pre-emptive limitation of arms sales to Taiwan — in hopes of gaining diplomatic leverage with Beijing. President Ronald