The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has more than 1,000 “guns” — or rather missiles — targeting Taiwanese. As if poisoned milk and bird flu were not enough. Here is an excerpt from a piece by Agence France-Presse from July 16, 2006, which is still every bit as valid as it was back then:
“China has 820 ballistic and cruise missiles currently aimed at Taiwan, according to Taiwanese President Chen Shui-Bian (陳水扁). Speaking today at a forum of Japanese scholars in Taipei, Chen stated that the People’s Liberation Army had deployed 784 ballistic and 36 cruise missiles, adding that the number of missiles is rising at a rate of 120 per year.”
Chen’s figures were in line with those of the Pentagon’s 2006 Report to Congress on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, which estimated the number of Chinese CSS-6 and CSS-7 short-range ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan as numbering between 710 and 790, an increase over the previous year’s 650 to 730 missiles.
In his statement, Chen noted that a 10-hour Chinese bombardment could paralyze Taiwan’s communications, transportation and command centers.
He added that China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should it declare formal independence.
This news is just over two years old, which means that the current total number of missiles aimed at Taiwan now stands at somewhere near 1,060.
Why is Taiwan and its government not in an absolute state of emergency and alarm over this?
What’s more, why does Taiwan remain willing to increase trade and relations with a neighboring state that has consistently denied Taiwan’s very right to exist at each and every opportunity and constantly threatens the lives of Taiwanese with these dangerous weapons?
To put it in simple terms: “How can we possibly be friends when you [China] have a loaded gun pointed at my head?”
The Taiwanese government — pan-blue or pan-green — should at a very minimum stand for the welfare of Taiwanese and do its utmost to keep them safe.
With the present government, this is just not happening, and no amount of rhetoric and obfuscation can skirt the issue anymore.
The bottom line should be that there can be no negotiations, trade of any kind or relations at all while the lives of Taiwanese are recklessly put in harm’s way by the Chinese.
Where is the Taiwanese government’s dignity and sense of duty?
Any responsible government would by now have asked Beijing to stop targeting its people with missiles.
Until these missiles are all completely removed, with proper verification by a third party, all trade, flights and or relations of any kind should be banned.
No other nation that cherishes the lives of its own people, let alone its dignity, would ever tolerate this ridiculous state of affairs.
Maybe this is one of the reasons China is so bold in its isolation of Taiwan in the international arena, because the Taiwanese themselves do not seem to have any sense of dignity when it comes to this issue.
China knows that Taiwan will continue to provide infrastructure investment and money to the PRC even though doing so hurts the Taiwanese economy and people.
China can therefore afford to say: “Why not threaten Taiwan with missiles? They won’t do anything about it and we still get their money.”
China still gets everything it wants even if it behaves badly. This cowardly behavior on the part of Taiwan only encourages China and only serves to embolden its leaders to become even worse.
If Taiwanese really want peace and harmony in the Taiwan Strait, they should stop dreaming and take a stand.
As Mohandas Gandhi once said: “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”
Taiwan’s goal is not to harm China. Taiwan only wants what every other group of people wants, and that is to live freely and with a certain degree of safety.
If China cannot and will not honor this minimum standard of human interaction, then there really is no point in talking.
Howard Fass is a human rights and political activist.
Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr in a letter to an unnamed US senator on Feb. 9 said that China has offered to “fill every hotel room,” in Palau, “and more if more are built” if the small island nation were to break ties with Taiwan. The letter further claims that China offered US$20 million per year for the creation of a “call center” in Palau, a nation whose economy relies heavily on tourism. It is more evidence that for China, tourism is an economic tool for its political gain. Cleo Paskal, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, posted
When Beijing says “Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China” and calls this “an indisputable legal and historical fact,” it promotes a claim that has absolutely no basis in international law or history. But by aggressively stating that claim time and again over the years, it has made many in the world believe that fiction, especially when the dominant Western media outlets are reluctant to challenge the Chinese narrative. Indeed, some international publications now use the phrase “reunify” without quotation marks while referring to Beijing’s Taiwan goal. The truth is that Taiwan, for most of its history, had no relationship
At a gathering held by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese State Council during this year’s Spring Festival, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reviewed the achievements of the past year. “Good scenery on this side only” (風景這邊獨好), he said about the global situation. The phrase comes from late Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) poem Qing Ping Le (清平樂), written when he lost power in 1934. It was full of the “Ah-Q” (阿Ｑ) spirit of self-deception. Did Xi not know about this history, or was it a trap laid by his aides? Originally, the Third Plenary Session of the 20th Central
Amid the intensifying Sino-US strategic rivalry, Beijing has become more vocal about its coercive “wolf warrior” diplomacy. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) condemned the US-led “containment, encirclement and suppression of China” at last year’s annual National People’s Congress in Beijing. Xi went on to say that China must “have the courage to fight” in the face of complicated changes at home and abroad. Taiwan is still a very sensitive subject for US-China relations. Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Wang Yi (王毅) emphasized that Taiwan was “China’s internal affair” and reiterated that “Taiwan is part of China” during his talk last month with