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.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has over the past few months continued to escalate its hegemonic rhetoric and increase its incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. The US, in turn, has finally realized how its “strategic ambiguity” is increasingly wearing thin. Similarly, any hopes the US had that the PRC would be a responsible stakeholder and economic player have diminished, if not been abandoned. Taiwan, of course, remains as the same de facto independent, democratic nation that the PRC covets. As a result, the US needs to reconsider not only the amount, but also the type of arms
Taking advantage of my Taipei Times editors’ forbearance, I thought I would go with a change of pace by offering a few observations on an interesting nature topic, the many varieties of snakes in Taiwan. I will be drawing on my experiences living in Taiwan five times, from my teenage years in Kaohsiung back in the early sixties, to my last assignment as American Institute in Taiwan Director in 2006-9. Taiwan, with its semitropical climate, is a perfect setting for serpents. Indeed, one might say serpents are an integral part of the island’s ecosystem. Taiwan is warm, humid, with lots of
China constantly seeks out ways to complain about perceived slights and provocations as pretexts for its own aggressive behavior. It is both victimization paranoia and a form of information warfare that keeps the West on the defensive. True to form, China objected even to the innocuous reference to Taiwan at April 16’s summit meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Neither leader’s prepared remarks even mentioned Taiwan, out of deference to the Japanese side. Biden’s opening statement was modest: “Prime Minister Suga and I affirmed our ironclad support for US-Japanese alliance and for our shared security.
Last month, the Philippine National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea reported that more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels were anchored at the disputed Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, known as Julian Felipe Reef in the Philippines. The task force released astonishing photographs, which showed clusters of enormous fishing trawlers at anchor and tied together in neat rows. Needless to say, the ships were not engaging in commercial fishing activity; they belong to China’s “maritime militia.” Beijing’s flimsy official explanation is that the vessels are temporarily seeking shelter from inclement weather. This is patently ridiculous, given the time that