Update: China cancels military, diplomatic contacts with US over Taiwan arms sale

According to a late AP piece , China is “furious” about the arms sale and has canceled serious senior contacts.  Here is an excerpt:

China has abruptly canceled a series of military and diplomatic contacts with the United States to protest a planned $6.5 billion package of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, American officials told The Associated Press on Monday.

Beijing has notified the U.S. that it will not go forward with several senior level visits and other cooperative military-to-military plans because of the sale, which was announced last week, Pentagon and State Department officials said.

“In response to Friday’s announcement of Taiwan arms sales, the People’s Republic of China canceled or postponed several upcoming military-to-military exchanges,” said Marine Corps Maj. Stewart Upton, a Defense Department spokesman, lamenting that “China’s continued politicization of our military relationship results in missed opportunities.”

The Chinese action will not stop the country’s participation with the United States in international efforts over Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear programs, U.S. officials said.

But it does include the cancellation of an upcoming U.S. visit by a senior Chinese general, other similar visits, port calls by naval vessels and the indefinite postponement of meetings on stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the officials said.

China will also not participate in an exchange with the United States on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief that was to take place before the end of November, they said.

“It’s an unfortunate step,” said deputy State Department spokesman Robert Wood.

Beijing is furious with the U.S. decision to sell Taiwan the huge package of advanced weaponry, including 182 Javelin guided missile rounds and 20 launch units, 32 Harpoon missiles, 330 Patriot missiles and 30 Apache attack helicopters. China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province, says the sale interferes with internal Chinese affairs and harms its national security.

“The Chinese government and the Chinese people strongly oppose and object to the U.S. government’s actions, which harm Chinese interests and Sino-U.S. relations,” its foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday, adding that U.S. diplomats had been summoned to hear a strong protest.

China’s Ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong, registered a similar protest at the State Department on Monday. A Chinese Embassy spokesman in Washington said it would be “only natural” for the ambassador to lodge a protest.

Upton stressed that the sale does not represent a change in U.S. policy and that Washington is only upholding the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act under which the U.S. makes available items necessary for Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense.

Not sure if this means anything.  Anyone have any thoughts on these latest developments?

69 thoughts on “Update: China cancels military, diplomatic contacts with US over Taiwan arms sale

  1. China has canceled contacts with the US military over Taiwan-related issues, and other incidents including the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia.

    Washington Post, Oct 12, 1995 –“The Defense Department is seeking to resume contacts with China’s military forces that were canceled by China to protest the U.S. visit of Taiwanese …”

    So I’d say this is nothing particularly unusual. They feel like they must do something, they are probably interested in keeping up N. Korea progress rather than stalling it at this time, and this is a relatively strong protest that will have not have serious negative consequences.

  2. Is this equivalent to China selling arms to the Taliban or helping Nth Korea enrich uranium? or is that just a misguided knee-jerk response? Maybe China can poison American kids by painting Mattel toys with lead paint.

  3. Is this equivalent to China selling arms to the Taliban or helping Nth Korea enrich uranium?

    If China helped North Korea enrich uranium it would be in violation of UN sanctions – sanctions it helped approve. Equally backing the Taliban would be backing an insurgency in a UN member state. So it would be pretty crazy if China even considered it.

  4. Cancellation of meetings and talks are an indication that North Korea talks, Iran talks will be in the laps of the next US President. Bushie is done.

  5. Netizen K, I am not spreading any rumours. I am saying that the idea of China even considering it is crazy – i.e. it almost certainly would never happen.

    Don’t jump the gun please.

  6. Note to self. When commenting on other peoples blogs, readers cannot see that my tongue is in my cheek and may not appreciate the humour.

  7. Cutting military contact is like shutting off the fire suppression system. Strong protest but not the wisest thing to do.

  8. China damages themselves as much as the Americans by doing this, if not more. By cancelling meeting in this fashion China also foregoes being able to use the Americans to put pressure on other regional players, and also the chance of being able to take part in regional forums.

  9. @dedlam, if you still don’t know that…you just new to the internet? 😉

    @FOARP, as much is damages both sides it is a message being sent.

    Beijing views ROC as a province, it would be strange not to react.
    But I do wonder, this sale or buy (in taiwan’s view), has it been approved by the Taiwanese legislative body or they don’t do it that way?

  10. TonyP4: If Alaska currently had their own government, military and administration, the US would have no control on whether China sold it arms or not. Whether the US would object would depend on American public opinion and their elected officials. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

    Puerto Rico currently has its own government and administration. Many in Puerto Rico wanted independence from the US, so they had a vote. They ended up voting to maintain their current territorial status but if they had voted for independence, they would have been independent. No arms were necessary either way.

  11. OP> “it does include […] the indefinite postponement of meetings on stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the officials said.”

    And both chinese and american military are really upset about that. Sure. Like Steve said in previous thread, chinese and american leaders know very well what they are doing, and all has been arranged beforehand.

    PS. Just for reminder: we are about 5billion people in the world who are neither Chinese nor American. We are a large majority. I believe for the most part we are fed up of these two countries investing ever larger amounts of money in the development of weapons that one day will blow up our world.

  12. @Steve,

    If China projects its power somehow and stops US intervene in an Alaska independent war, like what US did to China 60 years ago; and China continues to sell weapons to Alaska in order to kill more US soldiers in a likely armed conflict, would that be something American elected officials can swallow and smile at?

    If US is such a democratic country why state in the constitution each State can not go independent on its own decision? After all, why did US Civil War happen? If Confederacy had their god given rights to stay independent, why would the Union object to that idea? Would the public opinion from each side count?

  13. Anyways…. Does anyone know what likely caused this resumption of arms sale? Did Ma ask for it? Is US testing water with the new ROC administration? Something China did, perhaps in the oil/energy realm that garnered such reaction from US?

    But what’s clear IMHO is this arms sale is the dog not the tail. 6 billion is a drop in the bucket in terms of US/global fininancial problem, or any other possible undercurrent that’s not obvious (at least not to me.)

  14. If Alaska wants to be independent, does US object China selling arms to Alaska?

    Tony, the US would object because currently Alaska is de jure and de facto part of it. The thing with Taiwan is that de facto it is independent of China. A better example would be France arming America after the American War of Independence, but the UK not giving up its claim and being prepared to send another army over the Atlantic even 60 years later.

  15. @Raj(17),

    Taiwan is independent of China is completely a problem created by USA. This is as if the UK (if it was powerful enough) intervene the Civil War of USA and helped to deter the Union army and help to maintain southern states to remain independent till today by selling “defensive” weapons every now and then.

    US constitution does not allow any states to declare independence. The state of Alaska does not have rights under this constitution to declare independence even if every single Alaskans vote to it. So much for Democracy.

    As someone making that kind of statements as you did, you probably are not aware the Taiwan’s government still officially claim the entire mainland china, including Tibet and Inner Mongolia, PLUS the entire outer Mongolia. This is a land even larger than the current mainland China and Taiwan combined, more than the PRC government claims.

    By the way, there is a recent incident that Czech parliament displayed both Taiwan flag and Tibet flag to protest Chinese group visit. This showed how clueless these people are. Taiwan government is more against Tibet independence than PRC ever does!

    In another example, it is Taiwanese who died during the conflict between China, Japan, and Taiwan around Diaoyutai island (known as Senkaku by Japanese) conflict. In 2005 and 2008, it is ROC navy send warships to claim sovereignty around that region; we have yet to see the PRC to respond like that.

    In another example, USA removed Hawaii Queen and ended the Kingdom. Hawaii is under US rule now. Is that justified? The de facto status is not necessary legit.

  16. @dedlam: “Note to self. When commenting on other peoples blogs, readers cannot see that my tongue is in my cheek and may not appreciate the humour.”

    You have to be serious when nationalists are around. 🙂

  17. @saimneor: “Taiwan is independent of China is completely a problem created by USA.”

    Well, the problem is also created by the fact that there was a civil war with two belligerents, which in the beginning happened to be the then legal government of China and a group of rebels. As for the example with the civil war, I’m quite sure the UK (and French) army would have been strong enough to make a decisive difference; the reason they didn’t enter on the side of the Confederation were mostly economical, but also all the hassle with entering into a war with the United States.

    “US constitution does not allow any states to declare independence. The state of Alaska does not have rights under this constitution to declare independence even if every single Alaskans vote to it. So much for Democracy.”

    You can always amend the constitution. So much for democracy.

    As for the ROC claiming the whole territory of PRC and Mongolia combined, isn’t that a thing of the past? I’m not aware of changes in the constitution but I do know that no Taiwanese leader today seriously claims to represent or rule over the whole of the former territory of the ROC.

    Considering too that DL travels to Taiwan every now and then, and is allowed to speak, certainly there isn’t the same opposition to Tibetan independence on the island as on the mainland? Is the ROC governmenet constantly speaking out against the “Dalai clique and his separatist followers”?

    “In another example, USA removed Hawaii Queen and ended the Kingdom. Hawaii is under US rule now. Is that justified? The de facto status is not necessary legit.”

    No, it is not necessarily justified, as far as I can see. Hawaii have all the moral right in the world to claim independence if they want to.

  18. @Wukailong,

    You can always amend the constitution. So much for democracy.

    Right – thus to give any state the right to secede, the whole of US (i.e. procedurally 2/3 of the states) must agree to give such power to the states. China has not decided to do so with its provinces yet.

    Considering too that DL travels to Taiwan every now and then, and is allowed to speak, certainly there isn’t the same opposition to Tibetan independence on the island as on the mainland? Is the ROC governmenet constantly speaking out against the “Dalai clique and his separatist followers”?

    I believe you answered your question in just the paragraph before.

    I do know that no Taiwanese leader today seriously claims to represent or rule over the whole of the former territory of the ROC.

  19. @Wukailong,

    No, it is not necessarily justified, as far as I can see. Hawaii have all the moral right in the world to claim independence if they want to.

    When China becomes a Superpower as dominant as the US, Chinese will say the same to all of its territories…

  20. hi Wukailong,

    What I was trying to say is that USA interfered with the chinese civil war by (1) send the navy to deter any PRC attempts to conquer Taiwan in 1949-ish time period. (2) start the Korea war so that PRC has to be distracted (3) support anti-communism across the world in that period.
    In reality, it makes the conquer of Taiwan out of reach for PRC. So, as a result, Taiwan problem is not just between the chinese; it was caused at least partially by American’s policies.

    The current ROC constitution, as I understand it, still claims jurisdiction over Tibet. Chen was trying to amend it again but failed. In theory they still call them ROC, and the president is the President of ROC. Given that principle they are supposed not to allow Tibet Independence. However, in reality Dalai is considered as a tool by pan-green to fight PRC. If ROC government is pushed to clarify this topic, I guess it will have to keep it fuzzy; since supporting Dalai means violation to its own constitution, even if ROC has no national pride left.

  21. @Kage Musha The internet is that thing the Al Gore invented right?

    Second note to self. Avoid using sarcasm to explain sarcasm. Also when using sarcasm end comments with LOL.

    …LOL

  22. So enough with the sarcasm….

    I may be a little behind in world affairs but I was not aware that Alaska actually wanted to be independent. Apart for being geographically isolated, the example would be like selling arms to Inner Mongolia or Xinjiang rather than Taiwan.

    If the US decided to sell arms to Xinjiangnese provincial government I don’t think China would have any problem with that cos it is part of China.

    If on the other hand Russia decided to sell arms to South Ossetia so that they could fight the Georgians more effectively then would the US have a problem with that given that Russia recognises the independence of South Ossetia but Georgia doesn’t?

    I am sure that the US would be against it because South Ossetia would then be a friend to Russia and hence indirectly (and probably eventually directly) control more gas fields and pipelines supplying Europe. In principle however the US *should* also support South Ossetia under the same principles of supporting Taiwan’s independence.

    In reality, there are no principles in international relations. One does what benefits one self. Unity between Mainland China and Taiwan is of no benefit to the US so they support independence. Russia having good relations with a neighbouring provence is of no benefit to the US so in this case the US does not support independence. Attacking Iraq to liberate Kuwaiti’s benefits the US in that it made oil resources in the ME more managable. With similar motivations to keep oil resources managable Reagan sold arms to Iraq to fend off Iranians in the 80’s. US international policies appear to flip flop but in reality they just act in the best interest of the US and disguise it with freedom and democracy mumbo jumbo.

    So this debate is not about principle, freedom, democracy or independence. It is about economics and power. Taiwanese are certainly not oppressed. they have a messy government, but it is young so thats forgivable. Becoming part of China in fact isn’t a big issue either because unlike Tibet, there is no ethnicity issue. The large part of the Taiwan population are Han Chinese and indistinguishable from the majority on the mainland.

    The issue is economic access and technology transfer. If Taiwan becomes part of China then all of a sudden, China’s hi-tech industry jumps forward by 50 years. Current trade restrictions by the US on providing hi-tech products to China will become moot and the US’s competitive advantage becomes further deteriorated. The Mainland’s recent space walk was not really a scientific exercise but more a flashing neon sign saying.

    “hey guys, watch out, we’re catching up!”

  23. @saimneor #24

    1. didn’t happen, though you might be referring to the 7th fleet sent into the area after the start of korean war, my personal opinion is that PRC never had enough naval assets to come close to a successful invasion of taiwan either way
    2. north korea attacked with Stalin’s approval, Mao later pushed for Stalin to support PRC involvement
    3. true, but really just against USSR, PRC later played a part in the anti-USSR stance

  24. @saimneor: “US constitution does not allow any states to declare independence.”

    While the civil war definitively settled this question, pre-war this was strongly contested. Let’s just put this logically — why is it that any territory is allowed to JOIN the US as a state at any time, but never allowed to leave? On what grounds can the United States add states forever, but never lose a state whose people want to separate?

    This position is completely lacking in all logic, and applies to the Taiwan/China situation too.

    Just because Taiwan was ONCE part of the same state as China, it has not been for almost 60 years, and on what logical grounds is Taiwan OBLIGED to be annexed?

  25. @cephaloless

    #1. Chinese civil war is not yet officially ended even today. It definitely did not end in 1950 as even a large island, i.e. Hainan island, was captured in mid-1950 by PRC force, just before the Korean war. Yes, I was referring to the 7th fleet’s intervention but you have to understand neither side considers the civil war ended in 1950. As a matter of fact, ROC forces planned for many raids to retake the mainland and attack PRC forces for a few years during the 1950’s. US has been showing support to ROC government for many years, I guess, mainly due to anti-communism motives.

    #2. You are right. It was North Korea who started it. And I was incorrect to say US pulled China into the war. However, if you consider it in the full context of the history, it was apparent that the main issue in the world at that moment was communism vs. anti-communism. So, the Korean War, in effect, distracted Chinese army’s attention away from Taiwan. With the Korean war continues, it was no longer considered possible to fight in Taiwan at the same time.

    #3. It was pretty scary to live in that age even for a country like China (large population but weak economy). You get threats every year that US may bomb/nuke your cities. And all the gov can do is to survive, including build own N-bomb as fast as possible.

    All the above, plus the non-existence of chinese navy, eventually made it impossible to conquer Taiwan island in the 1950’s for China. Personally I doubt how important navy is if US did not intervene; since even a large island like Hainan, can be taken with the right strategies and right approach. However, wrong strategies made Jinmen, a tiny island so close to the mainland, an impossible task for military. But I am not an expert on this so dont take my words for it.

    My point is US was playing a central, influential, and decisive role in all this; that leads to today’s situation. The taiwan problem today, is a problem for all chinese on both sides of the strait, as well as a problem for US. So, the de facto independence as Raj put it, is not a legit reason for Taiwan to be independent. I am not blaming US for this mess; however, I’d like to see US be part of the solution, not part of provocation strategy to the escalation of an arm race. From this reason I personally consider the arm sales to Taiwan to be irresponsible.

    As a chinese, I do NOT necessarily believe Taiwan must be part of China eventually, say, 500 years later. China will be strong; will make friends; and sooner or later Taiwan will lose its current charm as a geopolitical focus. However, there is no reason to make the situation worse in the direction of an eventual bloodshed. I’d rather see cool-headed leaders from both sides of the strait simply keep the status quo. Is US still powerful enough to deter the chinese military in 2050? It is a joke to me as Raj said the US arm sale actually brings peace to this region. How can China tolerate Taiwan to be an effective US military base with a powerful radar installed that can detect southern chinese airbases, the same way Russia tolerate Georgia bring military confrontation right at its doorsteps? China is no longer the weak nation as in 1840. And US need to wake up and act responsibly.

  26. Dear A-gu,

    Taiwan is part of China is based on international law. If you really want to discuss the details here I am afraid we will see another 500 posts without neither side wins. The key issue is that neither ROC government nor the PRC government sign “San Francisco Peace Treaty” and the legitimacy of Taiwan independnce was rejected by both governments. Look at ROC’s constitution and tell me! If you still want to say Taiwan is not ROC, please first establish the Taiwan Nation, or amend the ROC constitution, before we can legally discuss the Taiwan Nation. Good luck getting it done in this life time!

    Smaller issues caused by SFPT, such as Diaoyutai island and the once independent nation Liuqiu, known as Okinawa today, will also become issues when China turns the tide. Japan will have to accept some changes in certain form in the future, at gun point or not. That is my prediction, as PRC has proven to put chinese interests in the first place; and they get what they want eventually.

    Finally, in regard to the US anti-separation laws, there are countries that allow that type of freedom. So I do not think US is especially generous to its member States in this regard. For example, UK is probably ok with an independent Scotland. A Scottish friend recently told me there will be a referendum for only Scottish people in the coming years to decide if they want to stay in UK or become independent. Without enough knowledge I can not testify what he said. However, the point is, for a large country in the size of the US or China, the diversity of the people, and the internal conflicts among different parts of the country, make it very hard to grant that type of freedom to its member provinces or states. You can argue USSR broke up peacefully; however, if you look at that area today, you can probably conclude the conflicts between Russia an the former USSR satellite states are getting increasingly worse, unstable, and dangerous.

    After all, big countries were held togehter by power; small European countries split again and again because they are weak and were easy to be manipulated. China or US, I think both are powerful enough to keep itself in one piece, at least at the current stage.

  27. If China sells arms to Alaska, I hope they’ll include something that can be aimed at Russia, and can be launched from the side of Palin’s house (she seems to have a pretty good view of the target).

  28. Saimneor, I would suggest not digging all the way back to Ryukyu Kingdom, because back then, Ryukyu was not part of China. I seem to remember seeing a map from the “Three Nations 36 Islands” journal, and Taiwan is actually one of the 36 islands of Ryukyu. While yellow tail island, aka Daiyutai, aka Senkaku – had alway been part of China.

    Yes, Ryukyu Kingdom was technically a vassal of Qing, but after the Sino-Japan war Japan “liberated” Ryukyu from Qing, effectively annexing it. But the good news is since them treaties are “unequal”, Ryukyu Kingdom was “liberated” by the Americans per Potsdam and Cairo.

    SFPT is, to my understanding, a private dealing between US and Japan since ROC (the sovereign representation of China at the time) didn’t sign it. But gotta give it to old Chiang, he did arrange the Taipei Treaty with Japan, were Taiwan was returned to ROC.

    So as it appears, Taiwan and Okinawa should be allowed to be independent as some form of Ryukyu Kingdom, or at least returne to its former status as a vassal, and Diaoyutai returned to China. But I doubt anyone would be happy with that, not even the Americans (bad precedence for restoration of Hawaii Kingdom.) And poor ROC on Taiwan, stuck in the middle of it all.

  29. @A-gu,

    why is it that any territory is allowed to JOIN the US as a state at any time, but never allowed to leave? On what grounds can the United States add states forever, but never lose a state whose people want to separate?

    This position is completely lacking in all logic, and applies to the Taiwan/China situation too.

    The short answer is that’s law. See this article that I have referenced in a posting a couple of months ago.

    The longer answer is that it really depends on the country. If the country sees itself as an integral whole (e.g. U.S.), it’s going to be very hard to secede – because the country is made of “one people” – and if there is going to be any breakup – it’d have to be approved by the people as a whole.

    If the country is a loose union (e.g. EU), then it’s easy – the individual units for secession would be the individual nation states. France, for example, would be allowed to secede at any time…

  30. @ S.K. Cheung
    the only meaningful target within a thousand and something Kilometers of Palin’s house is a Russian Eskimo fishing village and a old fur trading post. Scary stuff indeed.
    You know what is ironic, is that Biden’s state apparently does something like twice as much trade with Russia as Palin’s does.

  31. Saimneor

    Taiwan is part of China is based on international law.

    No it isn’t. If you don’t want a 500 post argument, don’t make assertions like that which you know are so disputed. But there is no “international law” that says that is the case.

    If it were the case, however, it would be on the basis that it is part of the ROC, not the PRC. In reality the ROC is just Taiwan and the PRC is just China – the two are separate.

    You can argue USSR broke up peacefully; however, if you look at that area today, you can probably conclude the conflicts between Russia an the former USSR satellite states are getting increasingly worse, unstable, and dangerous.

    The Baltic States are fine, as is Ukraine. There are problems in places like Georgia in part because Russia keeps interfering. If it just supported peace rather than backed pro-Russian factions things wouldn’t be so bad.

  32. Raj,

    Last time I checked, it was Georgia started the war. How come you are blaming Russia? So everything related to Russia is bad and US is always innocent? Don’t be too naive.

    Like it or not, in reality ROC means more than Taiwan and PRC is still at civil war with ROC. What Chen did in the last 8 years and what he is doing now, surely reduced the support for Taiwan Independce. TI politicians turn out to be utterly corrupted.

    Again if you really like to see a legally independent Taiwan, please first create a Taiwan Nation. Before you can achieve that (good luck talking to the US of A), please leave Taiwan problem to our chinese to solve. “In reality”, no other country is even capable of interfering with this situation other than arm sales from US. I wonder how soon US will have to drop the ball.

    Don’t you agree? Even if you prove Taiwan is not part of China, will there be another country stand up for Taiwan against the Chinese military? USA officially support Taiwan as part of china, as the basis of establishing diplomatic relations with China. Let’s just wait and see how it ends.

  33. Charlie Liu,

    I do not think the world works that way, either.

    Following that logic, we can conclude Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, California, and almost every US State have the right to be independent because before they were part of USA, they were part of another country! So what about the American Indians?

    Well, I think the aboriginal Taiwan people have a right to be independent. Why give in to the people of ethic chinese? Claim the land once was only occupied by the aboriginals! Let’s try to create a nation inside Taiwan and throw out the illegal immigrants!

  34. @saimneor (#24): I mostly agree with you. This is quite an interesting piece of history as the USA didn’t have much of an interest in supporting Taiwan; Truman thought about leaving it to the newly created PRC and wasn’t thinking of supporting the KMT government with weaponry or aid. What finally turned the situation around was the Korean War. (This is all claimed in a Chinese history of the Cold War)

    I can see why Taiwan wouldn’t be half as important as it is considered today, strategically speaking, if Korea hadn’t been a battleground during the Cold War.

    “The current ROC constitution, as I understand it, still claims jurisdiction over Tibet. Chen was trying to amend it again but failed. In theory they still call them ROC, and the president is the President of ROC. Given that principle they are supposed not to allow Tibet Independence.”

    Does someone know (A-gu, Allen?) if Taiwan still keeps offices/boards for making business in Tibet and Mongolia? With what I’ve learned about Ma’s ideas of the status of ROC, nothing in this area would surprise me.

    (#40): “Well, I think the aboriginal Taiwan people have a right to be independent. Why give in to the people of ethic chinese? Claim the land once was only occupied by the aboriginals! Let’s try to create a nation inside Taiwan and throw out the illegal immigrants!”

    I’m sorry, I don’t really understand this. Do you think it’s morally justified or not justified of aboriginal peoples to seek independence? I certainly think states in the US have a “right” to be independent (and my supervisor seems to support the Californian independence movement)…

  35. @saimneor (#39): “Last time I checked, it was Georgia started the war. How come you are blaming Russia? So everything related to Russia is bad and US is always innocent? Don’t be too naive.”

    Indeed, far Eastern Europe has gotten their own Kosovo conflict. Of course, Russia (like NATO in the Kosovo case) pulled the strings to get things their way, and I’m sure they’re pretty happy about the outcome. In the end, we get two new countries that get recognized by almost no one (like Kosovo, which has a few Western backers).

  36. @Allen (#36): “The short answer is that’s law. See this article that I have referenced in a posting a couple of months ago.”

    Wow. The US has made it well nigh impossible for any state to secede, it seems. I guess Canada doesn’t really have the same complicated rules about it, or any other country that ideologically allows seceding territory.

  37. @Wukailong(43):

    I thought after Qubec attempted it in 1994/95, there was some legal expalination that secession from Canada is not permitted by Canadian constitution?

    (#41) Taiwan aboriginals seek independence was just an example related to the previous discussion. If the aboriginal people have a strong organization they can certainly try to claim the land of Taiwan island. That is even a stronger case than Taiwan independence since the culture is different from chinese. It is just a possible but unlikely outcome.

    I am not supporting that. I do not think the world should work this way. So, base Taiwan’s independence on the fact the island was not under chinese rule many many years ago is a weak argument IMO.

  38. Saimneor @40, I’m with ya. When Soong was running for president, his camp released an article titled “Everybody Du” – Gaoshong is not happy being so frar from Taipei, it should Du, Taoyuan has an airport, so it should Du…

    Wukailong @41, Tibet and Mongolia falls under the jurisdiction of Overseas Chinese Affairs Ministry. Mdm. Chang Fumei, former minister, once joked about having to receive a Mongolian trade deligation because Foreign Affairs Ministry decided it would be inapproprate for it to receive them.

    When they saw a maple leaf shaped map of ROC at her office, where outter Mongolia was still part of China, she had to explain the map was a “historical artifact”.

  39. @Wukailong,

    I guess Canada doesn’t really have the same complicated rules about it, or any other country that ideologically allows seceding territory.

    I will try to argue that even Canada also make it difficult. Take Quebec secession – did it really fail?

    My understanding of the Quebec referendum of 1995 is that the referendum took place over such a wide swath of territory (including Montreal) that there was little chance that people of French descent was going to get the referendum passed. (It was therefore that much more amazing how close it came to 50%.)

    Now, if Canada were to truly care about self determination of its people, i.e. the French Quebec people, then it would have drawn the referendum maps in such a way that closely aligns with where the people with true aspirations for succession actually live. As it went, however, the whole referendum was a farce. The people with real aspirations for secession were drowned out as a “minority” with little recourse for true self determination…

  40. To Allen and Saimneor:
    yes, after the 1995 referendum, Stephane Dion (ironically the guy who wants to become Prime Minister next week…did you guys know us canucks have an election next Tuesday…gets drowned out by Obama/McCain, even in Canada) crafted the Clarity Act, which actually makes it harder for any subsequent attempt by Quebec to become independent, in ways I do not understand. And I think it was an unfortunate step…not least of which is it pissed off a bunch of Quebecers who won’t vote for Dion’s party, which is trying to unseat the Conservatives (our version of the Republicans) from power.

    As for the 1995 referendum itself, both sides agreed to “the question”. This is because Quebec nationalists want independence of the entire province, not just the French speaking bits. So Allen, you can’t turn around and blame Canada and say, if the referendum only covered certain parts of Quebec, the separatists would’ve won. They wouldn’t have wanted the question posed in any other way. “the people with true aspirations for secession” don’t just want it for where they live; they want it for all of Quebec. And perhaps that’s unrealistic; but that’s not Canada’s fault. So yes, it really failed, as pertains to the ground-rules laid out before hand.

    So as far as I’m concerned, if “Tibet” were to be given a referendum, you’d first have to geographically define “Tibet”, and then let everyone in it have a vote. And if Taiwan were to get one, you’d have to include all of the island, and everyone on it. But I absolutely agree that it would be a farce to let the rest of PRC vote on either referendum, because then, as even you say, “the people with real aspirations for secession (would be) drowned out as a “minority” with little recourse for true self determination”. Truer words were never said.

  41. @SKC #47,

    Are you really sure there are no people in Quebec who want independence other than the whole of the province? We know there are still many Quebec people who aspire independence. Are their voice heard?

    My point about minority being drown out was meant as a thought provoking assertion – not something to be agreed upon. For however you try to carve out Quebec (could be any other entity), there will always be some minority against the majority – thus if “Quebec” (however defined) had succeeded in succession, there would have been a minority who did not want to secede amongst the region – and their right self determination to would be trampled; if “Quebec” failed (as it did), there are still a minority still want to secede that are not able to – and their right to self determination continue to be trampled.).

    This is the nature of governance – of being in a society. It is not about democracy, elections, communism, etc.

    Mabe this marks our closure this time on self determination – till a next time! 😉

  42. @Allen: “For however you try to carve out Quebec (could be any other entity), there will always be some minority against the majority – thus if “Quebec” (however defined) had succeeded in succession, there would have been a minority who did not want to secede amongst the region – and their right self determination to would be trampled; if “Quebec” had failed, there would have been a minority who did want to secede that were not able to – and their right to self determination would also be trampled.).”

    This brings up the perennial question of democracy vs. majority rule, and how to safeguard the rights of minorities. I don’t think there’s any way to make everyone satisfied, but at least the minorities should be able to make their voices heard.

    I don’t think countries should be based along the lines of ethnic groups, but if there is a large majority for secession and it takes too much energy to keep them bound, then in the long run it’s probably better for them to get their country. Most countries today (excluding the US) are based on ethnicity, like it or not, and as adamant as ethnic groups often are to get their own independence, as adamant they are to deny others the same right. Look at the Kurds for an example.

  43. @Allen
    @Wukailong
    @S.K. Cheung

    Self-determination, democracy, governance and setting social contracts are very messy, complicated, disturbing work. Getting a consensus is damn near impossible. Pleasing everybody, well just forget it. If you know how to get a consensus, please let me know. I am not holding my breath. BTW, using drugs to induce euphoria is not acceptable as a solution for achieving consensus. 😀 I told you that getting consensus is hard. 😀

    Attributed to Abe Lincoln is “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” Applies to pleasing people, too. And this is the same Abe Lincoln who suspended habeas corpus. Forget consensus and just take shortcuts, Abe. 😉

    —————-

    Back to the original topic about China cancelling contacts. Wolfowitz has control of the US side. Knowing that, I expect China to seek to level the playing field. Cancelling contacts seems reasonable to me. Plus God knows what other games being played by the US and China sub rosa.

  44. saimneor

    Last time I checked, it was Georgia started the war. How come you are blaming Russia?

    Because Russia was backing South Ossetia in breaking away from Georgia, rather than prodding it to have meaningful discussions with Georgia.
    Because Russia started issuing Russian passports to people in South Ossetia, suggesting it was preparing to annex the territory.
    Because South Ossetians started killing Georgian policemen/soldiers prior to the conflict’s start, which Russia was happy to ignore and Georgia couldn’t ignore.
    Because Russia was attacking Georgia assets in the region, such as when it shot down the UAV, which could have been taken as a prelude to a military operation.

    So everything related to Russia is bad and US is always innocent? Don’t be too naive.

    Err, yeah, don’t make stuff up please – it’s not mature.

    Like it or not, in reality ROC means more than Taiwan

    No, in reality the ROC just means Taiwan.

    PRC is still at civil war with ROC.

    No, the PRC and ROC never went to war. The CCP is still at war with the KMT – they should make a peace agreement that doesn’t involve Taiwan.

    What Chen did in the last 8 years and what he is doing now, surely reduced the support for Taiwan Independce.

    Not according to the polls that were shown on other threads. If anything support for independence has increased and support for unification has decreased. Perceptions of Taiwanese being “Taiwanese” have gone up, whereas those saying they’re “Chinese” have gone down.

    TI politicians turn out to be utterly corrupted.

    Not as much as the unification politicians, like the KMT who plundered hundreds of millions of dollars in assets from the Taiwanese people.

    please leave Taiwan problem to our chinese to solve.

    No, you leave Taiwan alone to decide what they want to call their country and what their territorial claims are. Then when they’ve sorted that out without bullying and threats from China, they can try to resolve their differences with China.

    And it’s too late – Hu asked for international help re Taiwan, so you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

    Even if you prove Taiwan is not part of China, will there be another country stand up for Taiwan against the Chinese military?

    Probably the USA, and possibly Japan depending on how they change the laws concerning military action/whether China attacks US bases on Japanese soil.

    USA officially support Taiwan as part of china, as the basis of establishing diplomatic relations with China.

    It doesn’t any more.

  45. “(AP) — The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday approved a resolution to ask the International Court of Justice to provide a formal opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

    Serbia, which proposed seeking the court opinion, considers Kosovo’s drive for independence illegal. It maintains that Kosovo is its religious and historic heartland and, along with Russia, rejected Kosovo’s declaration in February.

    After war in August between Russia and the former Soviet republic, Georgia, Russia cited Western support for Kosovo as bolstering Moscow’s case for recognizing Georgia’s two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    The assembly voted 77-6 to ask the U.N.’s Dutch-based court for the opinion. As many as 74 nations abstained, rather than support seeking an advisory opinion from the U.N.’s main judicial arm. The rest of the 192-nation assembly did not attend.”

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g5vqKFtlF_jH9u2cDSjI641n6-KwD93MFT800

  46. @Wukailong,

    I don’t think countries should be based along the lines of ethnic groups, but if there is a large majority for secession and it takes too much energy to keep them bound, then in the long run it’s probably better for them to get their country. Most countries today (excluding the US) are based on ethnicity, like it or not, and as adamant as ethnic groups often are to get their own independence, as adamant they are to deny others the same right. Look at the Kurds for an example.

    Agreed. All I am trying to do here is trying to pierce the armor of self determination a little bit for some of the people in the West.

    I am not arguing that there is never a right to secession. I am only arguing that secession is an issue that need to be worked out amongst the parties themselves.

    In this blog, I have been arguing for an integrated multi-cultural society for China (sort of like that of America). Perhaps I am wrong – and that won’t work in China – I don’t know.

    Perhaps we will have to divide the country up along traditional cultural lines. And if that doesn’t work, perhaps go to a loose federation of China. If that still doesn’t work, maybe China will have to be broken up.

    But whatever the fate of China, I just want the Chinese themselves (as a whole people) to decide – rather than outsiders touting the flag of self determination to conflate the issue…

    In any case – I definitely agree with Jerry that governance is messy. Can’t please everyone. The CCP will simply have to do what it thinks is Just for the Chinese people – and let history fall where it may.

  47. @SKC,

    Is that right – Stephane Dion is running to become Prime Minister – and the election is next week?

    I never saw that in the news here in the States (and I am a news junky!) So do Canadians prefer Obama by something like 3-1 or is it much closer?

  48. To Allen:
    I think self-determination is bullet-proof, walks on water, cures cancer, is carbon neutral, has zero calories, no trans-fats, and can run 100m in 9.6 seconds flat. 🙂

    Yes, whereas the Iowa straw poll (what the heck is that anyway?) seems like a generation ago, our election writ was dropped a month ago, and the entire campaign is 35 days long. Short and sweet. We vote next Tuesday. No surprise that you haven’t heard…when I lived in the states, the only time I heard about Canada was when cold weather was about to hit. You’d think Canada’s only export is winter storms.

    Canadians prefer Obama by a wide margin, but I don’t know the latest numbers. And we don’t think much of Bush (go figure).

  49. @Allen #53, 54
    @S.K. Cheung #55

    Agreed. All I am trying to do here is trying to pierce the armor of self determination a little bit for some of the people in the West …

    But whatever the fate of China, I just want the Chinese themselves (as a whole people) to decide – rather than outsiders touting the flag of self determination to conflate the issue…

    Allen, the concept of self-determination is a great concept. The implementation? Aye, there is the rub. You stipulate no outside intervention. Ideally speaking, you are correct. Good luck, though. The history of this small planet indicates that the odds are against you. Whether it be Yugoslavia (I’ll never figure how Tito held together that collection of Balkan feudal fiefdoms), the Soviet Union, South Ossetia, Georgia, Armenia, Mexico, Kurdistan, Chechnya, Cuba, Chile, Panama, Grenada, Pakistan, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Algeria, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Vietnam, l’este Timor, etc., outside intervention seems to be the norm. And the reasons are too numerous to mention.

    Sometimes outside intervention has had rather positive effects for the natives. I can think of Vietnam’s incursion into Cambodia and the routing of that murdering bastard, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Also, the repressive thuggery of the Yugoslavia’s Serbian leadership (I hate to criticize Serbs. They saved a lot of Jewish people during WWII, while most of those primarily Catholic Croatians sat idly by.) was routed by international intervention. And how can I fail to mention South Africa.

    Sometimes the lack or insufficiency of outside intervention creates genocide and massive repression. I would cite Cambodia (3 or 4 years before the Vietnamese intervened), the Palestinians, Rwanda, Darfur, South Africa (Which we ignored for years. Just ask Nelson & the ANC.), the Jews in Germany, Algeria, Armenia, the Congo, etc.

    Sometimes, there is amazingly peaceful self-determination. I would cite Czechoslovakia peacefully splitting into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Perhaps it was the Bohemian influence? 😉

    As I said earlier, this whole thing is messy, disturbing, and complicated. And occasionally, as proven by our Czech and Slovakian friends, it is somewhat easy. Maybe they should become international consultants on self-determination? LOL 😀

    —————-

    #54 and #55

    SK, I want to thank you for not mentioning Shrub’s (GWB) poodle, Stephen Harper. GWB had another poodle on the other side of the pond, Tony Blair. And then, across the other pond, there was John Howard in Australia. Is the British Commonwealth particularly adept at breeding poodles? 😀

    Thanks for enlightening me about the amazing, miraculous properties of self-determination. Wow, who would have thunk it? 😀

  50. @Jerry #56,

    Sometimes outside intervention has had rather positive effects for the natives.

    I know you meant well – and backed it up with some good examples – and we both agree that reality is not clean – but you should be careful… 😉

    Because if I were to write what you wrote (esp. if hypothetically regarding Hans helping Tibetans (I purposely refrained from using the terms Chinese helping Chinese for discussion purposes)), many on this board would accuse me of being racist, chauvinistic, and perhaps imperialistic.

    Such is life though … See you in the next thread…! 🙂

  51. @Allen #57

    Thanks Allen for the heads up. A shaynem dank dir shmooz. I have been called worse, even by my own people. I am not a PC guy. Reality and life are messy and unclear. And these are my opinions and observations, colored by my filters and prejudices.

    If people want to attack, I say, “Go ahead! But get in line.” I have Jewish genes which have been crafted by centuries of persecution, personal attacks and repression. We are kind of used to this. 😀 Not that we like it. Not that it doesn’t hurt at times. Just that we know how to get back up on our feet.

    Such is life as you say. C’est la vie. A bi gezunt. Zie ga zink. Mazel tov. 😀

  52. @Allen (#53): “Perhaps we will have to divide the country up along traditional cultural lines. And if that doesn’t work, perhaps go to a loose federation of China. If that still doesn’t work, maybe China will have to be broken up.”

    I don’t think China will be broken up, but some sort of federation is probably where it should be heading. As pointed out in a recent book about China (I can get the quotes later), “one country two systems” is already something of an attempt at federalism, although an unusual one.

  53. @Wukailong,

    I don’t think China will be broken up, but some sort of federation is probably where it should be heading.

    That’s one possibility. But it is not my vision or that of many Chinese…

    Let’s just wait and see how history unfolds before jumping to conclusions!

  54. I expect Malaysian Chinese’s vision. I find it hard to imagine China will be able to resist expanding it’s influence.

    I think what a lot of people miss is that much of the assumptions we have of the world are based on western influence. For example the assumption that democracy is effective form of governance, that rights are negative (a right not to be effected by government), that property rights are fundamental, that privacy is a core right, attitudes towards race and attitudes regarding minorities and majorities etc etc most relevant for this topic is the idea that independence and self governance are good things in themselves (even for other countries).

    In the same way that the US and Britain (and before that Rome and Greece) have forced their assumptions of these things onto the world I don’t think China (and India for that matter) will be able to help do anything other than push their views on the rest of the world, and that their views will become a bit more specialized as they emerge from the shadow.

  55. China is looking for global domination. for 5000 years A united China had no enemy. The recent military build up is nothing more of continuous patient steps for the blue water navy,then global domination. we all be slaves working for a Chinese emperor. HOwever, Chinese current foreign policy must been devised by a kindergardener; so dumb.. Why worry about Taiwan? It will eventually be part of China, maybe 100 or 200 years?..It I was Chinese Foreign Policy maker, I would just take of Senkaku island very soon; within 12 months for three reasons:
    1.- Russian military crush over Georgia shows how US is reluctant to get involved with additional war. (Iraq and Afganistan) and it is just a paper tiger at this time.
    2.- Japan’ NAvy is not as strong as it will be in next 10-25 years as they are builging up many military asssets today for the preparation of the future conflict with China.
    3.- If conflict exists, China could ask Taiwan to help (great diplomacy for shorting the time for one China) and ask help from Russia to take their Kuriles Island to Japan.

    US is too busy, Japan is week. what else do china want? This has to happen soon for internal reasons.. With hundreds of millions unemployed in China, implosion could divide China like history.. Chinese Foreign policy makers are naive. They need to grow up and show they are players. NO wonder, world leaders still treat China like a little Big kid even China is has 2nd largest economy and put men in space. China,, wake up and act like a world leader.. chickens..

  56. @Visionary 62

    I would disagree that China looks into World domination. During the Dynasty days China at the time they considered themselves superior. They want little to do with Western Culture and have little interest in anything outside China. When Great Britain and Japan attacked them during the Opium War and WWII respectively, they realized that having a strong military is not an option. They only use their military might only in their interest, like pointing missiles at Taiwan and bring their Navy against the Somilia (sp) pirates so that their cargo ships can go thru. Like during the Dynasty days, they have very little interest to follow the footsteps of the Western Imperialists.

  57. I think someone got the history mixed up.. Can anyone ever tell me in 5000 of chinese history? ,,, Please when China was united and strong.. when did they ever left their neighbors alone? They gobbled up their neighbors as fast they could and spit them out. During Britain Opium war and WWII was weak with no modern weapons.. which Chinese Polibutos will never ever repeat the same mistake again,, space ships, subs, soon aircraft carriers,, and so on.. They learned in a generation which is nothing for Chinese history..
    During the Dynasty days,, China did dominate the world. (Asian continent) Today,, world got bigger.. so it will again. one sub at a time and one carrier at a time if it takes 1000 years.. unless off course, it implodes like history says it would. When emperors (communist polibutos) ruled they treated peasants like mosquitos. In 5000 years, their was not single one time,, that democracy existed in China nor human rights. it never will.. It is not how China is built. China was built by one strong man uniting 2-4 major kingdoms.. I say,, when time comes for Chinese domination, all prettest worlds virgin daughters will be delivered to polibutos just like a long time ago. Again, I say, the domination is when not “if”..It is good time to start it… with Senkaku islands…

  58. Gee, with China’s large army, I thought their quest for world domination would be with one of its weaker neighbors like Taiwan. But if you say that their world domination starts with 5 islands with a total area of 1700 acres, that’s funny.

  59. You missed the point. If china has the will and the means to take highly disputed 5 islands against Japan and US, Pacific ocean is open to China. Taiwan, senkaku islands are the choke point for Blue water NAVY for China. And when China has access to pacific ocean, It will dominate the every country the ocean touches, eventually, one country at a time. Remember, Panama is already under PLAN. A long futuristic view. But it will. I will give 200 – 500 years after Senkaku and Taiwan annexation.

  60. You sound some some fearmonger of China yet countries like Taiwan and Japan maintains Diplomatic ties with China. No offense, unless you have some proof of China’s ‘world domination plans,’ I don’t see China attacking its neighbors in anytime in the near future.

  61. The key word from your statement is “near future”. China will not do anything in the near future(1-5 years) It is not the China way. China will keep on building nuclear submaries, and air craft carriiers and SLBM and they will keep doing it until no other forces will come close to it; a long term approach (100 years or more); like a quite bully.. a good example of this is how quietly China took over Parcel and Spratly island in South China Sea. Parcel island now has military base with air strip that is an engineering marble. Philiphines and Vietnam and Indonesia could not do a thing.. just watching China take over and international community also just watched and did not do a thing. This is how China is going to take over the pacific. That is the reason I said the foreign policy maker is a kindergarderner. China should just take Senkaku in near future because Japan and US is not going to just watch this time.. So, if there is going to be a conflict why not strike when the enemies are weak. It shoudl happen before Japan gets new military hardware and US finishes Iraq and Afganistan. But no,, China will wait and will keep building mighty subs and carriers for decades and centuries to come.. that worries many countries including Austrailia, Japan, Malaysia, Philiphines, Vietnam, Korea, India and so on..which is the main reason why Asian countries are trying to match it, creating unprecendent military build up in recent history. Why,, because they all know history tells China with mighty military will not stand still.. It will continue to invade somewhere and expand. It already started in South China Sea. No one can dispute that. even you.

  62. Pingback: Online Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.