Suing Henry Kissinger
In a recent article, Jerome Keating wrote: "The US and the world now know how over 30 years ago US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and president Richard Nixon sold out their ally Taiwan" ("US choice: principle or realpolitik," Oct. 8, page 8).
Declassified documents obtained by the Independent National Security Archive in 2002 showed that Kissinger promised at his historical meeting on July 9, 1971, with then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai (周恩來) that the US would not support Taiwan's independence in exchange for Chinese help in ending the Vietnam War.
However, in the first volume of Kissinger's memoirs, The White House Years, published in 1979, Kissinger said Taiwan was only mentioned briefly during the crucial meeting. What a lie!
By now the media know very well that Kissinger is a flagrant liar and a war criminal who should be tried in The Hague for past misdeeds.
One can learn more about this by reading Christopher Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger.
Creators Syndicate columnist Molly Ivin wrote in "The Return of Cover-up Kissinger" that Kissinger is wanted for questioning in Chile, Argentina and France.
The former secretary of state cannot travel to Britain, Brazil and many other countries because immunity from legal proceeding cannot be guaranteed.
Kissinger has been linked to the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War, the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile. There is also proof of his support of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and his secret involvement in "Operation Condor," which conducted kidnappings and killings of opposition leaders in several countries, including the 1976 bombing in Washington that killed a noted Chilean dissident and his companion.
In September 2001, a civil suit was filed in Washington charging Kissinger with murder.
Historians and legal scholars in Taiwan should perhaps consider filing a similar lawsuit in Washington against Kissinger -- this time for treating Taiwan the way he did and for denying Taiwanese the right to decide their own fate.
Corruption in the CCP
In a recent report, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that the level of corruption in China -- especially among Chinese Communist Party officials -- is such that it costs the Chinese economy US$86 billion annually. Such data exposes the foolishness of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew's (
Even if China somehow completely changed its attitude toward Taiwan and agreed to a free and independent Taiwan, it would be dangerous for Taiwan's economy to integrate such a corrupt economic system and government.
Wrong on Suhua Freeway
As a Taiwanese person and a fellow engineer, I was galled when I read Lin Tzu-chiang's letter espousing the virtues of the Suhua Freeway expansion as safe and ecological (Letters, Oct. 11, page 8). In and of itself and as an isolated system, the freeway could be safe and ecological. But there's a problem. Lin makes the mistake that has always plagued the engineering profession -- a narrow, non-holistic point of view that sees the world as a machine-like system, whose parts may be properly observed in isolation from the rest of the system.
The greater danger posed by this freeway is that it will open the floodgates of unregulated development along the coast and the environmental destruction that would inevitably follow, given the current regulatory climate.
Damage has already been done, as evidenced by the destruction of the once pristine beaches south of Hualien.
One could also consider that part of the danger of the existing route is due to the reckless way in which people drive along this stretch of highway -- particularly truck drivers, who seem to have no regard for either safety or law. Yet Lin sees the flawed view of technology as a panacea, that wider is better and that convenience trumps all other considerations.
I had hoped that in light of the environmental problems we as engineers have helped create, this "build it because we can" attitude would change.
It doesn't seem we're there yet.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday last week met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at an APEC summit in Thailand. The meeting made front-page news in Japan the following day. Three years ago, when then-Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe visited Beijing to meet with Xi, no one questioned Abe’s attitude toward China, as the conservative parties in Japan had been spearheaded by Abe. However, Kishida could easily be labeled as pro-China, as he hails from Hiroshima — a place known for its anti-war, anti-nuclear movements — and was once the director of the Japan-China Friendship Association of Hiroshima.
It is quite the irony when former British prime minister Boris Johnson — a buffoon who for far too long was taken seriously — is branded a buffoon for saying something deadly serious. Following Johnson’s withering criticism of China at a business forum in Singapore on Wednesday last week, the event’s organizer, Michael Bloomberg, apologized to attendees, saying that Johnson was “trying to be amusing rather than informative and serious.” However, Johnson’s characterization of China as a “coercive autocracy” that had showed “a candid disregard for the rule of international law” was spot-on. His comments evoked the wisdom of the Austrian-British philosopher
Although internal Chinese politics are largely defined by meticulously concocted mysteries, it is an open secret that the battle for who will ascend to the highest echelons of Zhongnanhai is decided at the Beidaihe resort. It is where factions within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) engage in horse-trading over leadership selection and delegate appointments long before the party’s national congress. What unfolded at last month’s 20th National Congress was predetermined at the Beidaihe gathering in August. In this context, the CCP, and particularly Chinese President and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平), used the event to project power and party unity.
There has been a surge of global interest in Taiwan’s security in recent years. Amidst the noise, it can be easy to lose sight of broader trends that are shaping the environment within which Taiwan operates. Taking a broader view can bring into focus what tasks are most important for Taiwan to protect its democratic way of life. At the global level, several trends are unfolding in parallel. First, great power competition is intensifying. Russia is employing violence to seek to redraw boundaries. China is advancing its ambitions by operating below the threshold of conflict. China-Russia relations are unnaturally close by