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.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) between the US, India, Australia and Japan has found a new lease of life after China’s militarization of the South China Sea, acquisition and fortification of a new — and China’s first — naval facility in Djibouti, and growing naval activities in the Indian Ocean. With the Chinese navy consolidating its presence in the Indian Ocean and building a base in Djibouti, as well as foraying into the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, major European powers have been unsettled. France and Britain are already busy stepping up their naval presence in the Indo-Pacific region. In February,
Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo delivered a very short, succinct and accurate speech in regards to the US relationship with Taiwan in November last year. This information has again angered Beijing, which has stated that the existence of a free and independent Taiwan will not be tolerated. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) has said Pompeo’s language is interfering with the sovereignty of China. Pompeo was stating the facts. Taiwan has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), therefore it is not a territory of China. The
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