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Fudan University Professor and Director of Center for American Studies, Shen Dingli: “A blow to Sino-US ties”

September 23rd, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Below is an Op-Ed from Fudan University professor and its Director of Center for American Studies, Shen Dingli, titled, “A blow to Sino-US ties.” It appeared in China Daily today.

Over the last few days, I have noticed Chinese media taking a strong stance against the U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan, albeit this round being upgrades for F-16’s. The Chinese see the U.S. once again violating international law and infringing upon China’s sovereignty.

A blow to Sino-US ties

Updated: 2011-09-23 07:44

By Shen Dingli (China Daily)

Washington’s new arms sale to Taiwan squanders chances for further cooperation in political and economic areas

Despite Beijing’s strong protests, the United States has decided to provide weapons worth of $5.852 billion to Taiwan. Washington’s announcement that it will upgrade Taiwan’s F-16A/B fighters is a serious blow to improving Sino-US relations.

This time, the White House argues that it has exercised self-restraint by merely deciding to upgrade Taiwan’s F-16A/Bs. This is intended to mean the US has kept its commitment to both Beijing and Taipei to provide only defensive weapons systems to maintain the balance of military power across the Straits.

This is an incorrect argument. No country is entitled to intervene into another country’s internal affairs, China’s included, short of a United Nations’ Security Council mandate. Indeed all people need protection for their legitimate rights, peace and prosperity. The UN Charter accords such rights to all the people in the world, including the Chinese. This global organization ensures sovereignty to all nations, and it stands unless the Security Council approves to intervene in the event of a massive disaster.

China’s economic opening-up and social reform increasingly provides peace and prosperity for both mainlanders and Chinese people living in Taiwan. For the first time in decades, Chinese people living on either side of the Straits are enjoying intensive economic co-development and co-prosperity and the lowest tensions ever under an agreed-upon one-China consensus. Legally and morally, there is no justification whatsoever to warrant international intervention into China’s domestic integration.

It is true that people living on the island deserve protection, as mainlanders do as well. Nevertheless, it is up to all Chinese people to work together to protect themselves collectively. Should either side be attacked by a foreign force, Chinese living on either side of the Straits shall organize themselves to deliver the needed assistance for national defense. In a time of peace, they shall cooperate to eventually remove various hurdles that still stand between them, reducing mutual suspicion and fostering better mutual trust.

While Taiwan residents deserve protection, it should not come at the expense of the rights of Chinese people living on the mainland, namely national sovereignty and integration. China has formed during a process spanning tens of centuries, and it is of the utmost importance to all Chinese people that the nation remains integrated. The mainland prefers to attain peaceful integration with Taiwan in time, and will resist with all means at its disposal any effort to tear the nation apart.

The Chinese people appreciate American assistance delivered during World War II. We also appreciate American cooperation in the economic arena as China embarked on reform and opening-up.

Over the past three decades, China and the US have collaborated quite successfully to achieve a win-win outcome. Indeed, they have tapped into each other’s labor and investment to boost their economies and world prosperity. In the meantime, China and the US have expanded their cooperation in many regional and global aspects. Such efforts stabilize the world and improve international relations. In fact, they are indispensable when good global governance is required to respond to the challenges of the financial downturn and the debt crisis that have presented themselves to many countries around the globe.

Though the US has declined to provide F-16C/Ds fighters to Taiwan, its upgrade of the F-16A/Bs is still a serious incursion into China’s core interests. This damages the Sino-US bond, which has shown improvement since a summit between the two heads of state in January, and harms their chances to work effectively to fix a host of challenges they both face and have committed themselves to counter.

Such a negative scenario is not one China wants but one China must respond to. Clearly, when the two countries have been so closely interdependent, it is impossible that the US would not be affected after it caused such harm to China. Expecting China to take this harm without asserting its rightful interests, just because the two countries are mutually dependent, is increasingly unrealistic. The US will have to deal with the consequences.

For a long time the US has stressed its global leadership, but this leadership would benefit others more if Washington would follow international laws. It is hard to claim the US is “a city upon a hill” when it shows no respect for international law. Indeed, the world would be a more chaotic place if other countries followed US disrespect of international norms, especially as global power is quickly being re-balanced.

The US should be aware of the shift in power in the western Pacific. By collaborating with China economically and financially, the US will gain far more benefit than the $5.852 billion weapons sale brings.

However, by trying to contain China by arming Taiwan, the US will squander better chances at economic revitalization and building a better world order.

  1. zack
    September 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 | #1

    quite a restrained and measured response by what the west likes to call ‘mouthpiece of the CCP’ China daily.

    of course China will respond, did those in USG arrogantly believe they could get away with it? aim should also be focused on the republicans and democrats alike who probably worked together behind the scenes to ensure this would happen.

    so the US gains ~$6bln from the arms sale, China should therefore ensure that the US loses $9bln in trade and investment opportunities in China

  2. September 23rd, 2011 at 13:00 | #2

    Thought I just throw this out there.

    When you are relatively weaker, your recourse is through appealing for fairness. When you are mighty, you resort to might is right to the extent you can get away with. Those are tendencies of us humans.

    When I cross-posted this Op-Ed, my main intention is to let people know, especially those in the West, there is reason for China’s populations’ feelings towards the U.S. and the West. Those feelings are molded by these types of actions.

    I am also hoping I am not inflaming the situation. The U.S. is not gearing to invade China. The ‘containment’ idea is not accurate at all. If so, the U.S. would minimize trade and cultural exchanges with China. If so, U.S. experts in all fields wouldn’t be consulting for the Chinese government. The Americans who see the greater benefits of trade and exchanges have won out.

    Many interactions are competitive in nature not any different between two nations who are supposedly ‘friendly.’ Those can be easily cast as ‘containment’ behavior.

    For sure, there must be a segment within the U.S. wanting to truly contain China. But they are just one voice. The more sane voices need to be mindful of that group. They need to be mindful of not to paint the doom and gloom scenarios such groups want.

  3. raventhorn2000
    September 23rd, 2011 at 15:19 | #3


    I direct you to this comment from me. Specifically the part about China needing to get the West onto a “12-step program” to admit its problems.

    That would be the right response in my opinion.

    Otherwise, we Chinese will continue to be taken for granted by the West, especially by US.

  4. Jim
    September 24th, 2011 at 16:08 | #4

    Recognizing the PRC over the ROC is the biggest concession the United States and other countries have made (and continue to make) to China. Our selling weapons to Taiwan reflects the reality that Taiwan is effectively an independent country — I wish the world would rip off the Band-Aid and state the obvious. The CCP needs to respect that basically nobody outside the Mainland wants a government “with Chinese characteristics.” Chinese people, especially haigui like yinyang, should focus more on moving China in the direction of Taiwan’s political development instead of the other way around.

    I recognize that the author’s hope is to use this blog to “correct” Americans’ views on China, but frankly, he should be more worried that Americans will become too familiar with China. Indeed, I loved to study Chinese language, history, and culture — before I lived in China for many years.

  5. Al
    September 24th, 2011 at 21:31 | #5

    You know Jim, there’s people who loved to study english and fancied about US….before they actually lived there for an amount of time…This is valid for any country, and every people is different, so ur point is actually “pointless”. U didn’t like…well, it’s ur problem, and also ur prerogative. 🙂
    BTW, recognizing the PRC over the ROC is just accepting the factual reality..no concession whatsoever in it (do not overestimate urself, ur recognization is only an external factor, PRC would have continued to exist even without it)…unless u prefer to live in a fantasyland all for urself.
    U know (to try to use ur flawed logic) I’d prefer to recognize a free America still inhabited by the original natives, but unfortunately the well almost all exterminated and the factual reality is that that territory is now occupied by a political entity called the United States of America.
    I sense somewhat another incarnation o Pete/Ron here…but I’m probably wrong 🙂

  6. John Holmes
    September 25th, 2011 at 02:30 | #6

    You are right Jim. I mean even the posters on this site only want a government with Chinese characteristics for other people. They prefer a different system for themselves, and that is why they emigrated to America.

    De Wang, odd that you try and block me. I though you Americans believed in freedom of expression.

  7. tc
    September 25th, 2011 at 07:29 | #7

    “….They prefer a different system for themselves, and that is why they emigrated to America.”

    How do you know the reason they emigrated to America is they “prefer a different system”? Presumably you are talking about “government” system, since you mentioned “a government with Chinese characteristics”.

    India claim they are the largest “democracy” in the world. How many people emigrated to India?

  8. Jeff Stryker
    September 25th, 2011 at 07:35 | #8

    Presume what you want tc. The bottom line is they chose to be not Chinese….
    As for the number of people migrating to India, probably best to check with the Tibetan diaspora, though they tend to get shot at when they try, which must be slightly discouraging.

  9. Al
    September 25th, 2011 at 07:44 | #9

    Ahahahah….I guess Pete has gone utterly mad..Poor, poor, poor soul…leave him alone with his madness, no need to answer to him..

  10. Jim
    September 25th, 2011 at 10:50 | #10


    Al, let’s take your comments one at a time.

    1. I’m sure there are some people who come to America and become disenchanted, but that doesn’t make less valid my point about my experiences in China. Indeed, I still think that most people would have a more negative reaction to Chinese politics and society than they would have to American politics and society. That is, most non-Chinese would flatly reject any attempt to impose on them the Chinese system; take Zambia’s recent election of a new anti-Chinese president as an example. Also, would you like to compare the statistics on the number of people who aspire to immigrate to America versus those who aspire to immigrate to China? Or we could just talk about the number of Chinese who emigrate from China to America – and never return to China. A top goal among the affluent in China is still to get their family the hell out of China! And you’re right, I do have the prerogative to not like the Chinese way; that’s why I left China. Sadly, most Chinese people don’t realize they also have the prerogative to voice opposition and instigate changes in their government.

    2. I never stated that the PRC shouldn’t be recognized. Rather, I stated that we shouldn’t recognize the PRC over the ROC. The concession that America made was to recognize only the PRC and not officially recognize the ROC. This political arrangement served a (wrongheaded) point during the Cold War era, but it’s time to call a spade a spade. Under the 1933 Montevideo Convention, a state is required to have a permanent population, a defined territory, government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Taiwan meets all these criteria, but China insists on threatening other states and warning them not to have relations with Taiwan. You made some reference to “factual reality” – where you referring to the concept of self-determination? That is, some people argue that states are states not matter what outsiders think? There is some truth to that, but it is clear that, at least as a practice matter, recognition of state status is still very important.

    3. Good job on bringing up one of the few unoriginal arguments that the PRC hammers into the minds of all Chinese youth. As somebody who is part Native American, I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing this argument from every Chinese person I met. (Have you learned about sarcasm yet?) America and other Western countries did horrible things in the past, and we continue to do some horrible acts. But the name of the game is progress. It isn’t acceptable today to make mistakes that should only be part of a distant past, mistakes that we condemned many years ago. It isn’t acceptable for any country to shoot political dissidents who are trying to flee to another country, as China shoots Tibetans who try to flee from China. It isn’t acceptable to arrest journalists who expose corruption, just as China arrests and tortures just about every prominent political activist in China. Query: is this blog readily accessible in China?

  11. September 25th, 2011 at 11:16 | #11

    @Zack –

    “‘mouthpiece of the CCP’”

    errr . . . . Zack, you do know that this is what fellow CCP-owned paper The People’s Daily calls itself? This is old ground – see here:


    Xinhua describes it as “a” (as in, one of) “mouthpiece newspaper of the Communist Party of China”:


    Here’s how Xinhua describes itself:


    Trying to argue that Xinhua, People’s Daily, and the China Daily are not controlled directly by the CCP is something of a fools errand.

  12. scl
    September 25th, 2011 at 11:25 | #12

    @ John Holmes & Jeff Stryker,

    Where one lives or what the lifestyle one chooses has no bearing on what one argues. The person can live in bunga bunga land, and be a polygamy moron. But if his argument is true, then his argument is true. By claiming many posters here “choosing to live in the U.S.”, you just committed the ad hominem fallacy. You are unintellectual and abusive.

    Many people who post here are overseas Chinese, because this is an English site about China. Many people in China hold similar views. And obviously they post on Chinese forums. Unfortunately, their do not speak English, so they do not see the hypocrisy displayed by Western media and government day in and day out, in real time, like we do.

    @ Jim,

    Cuba is an independent country under the threat of the U.S. constantly. Maybe China can sell some J-10 fighters to them for self-defense. And Iran too.

    Americans already know too much negative news about China, thanks to the biased reporting by Western media. What they need to know more is the positive side of China.

  13. September 25th, 2011 at 11:45 | #13

    “The person can live in bunga bunga land, and be a polygamy moron. But if his argument is true, then his argument is true

    However, what if the dispute is as to whether his argument actually is true? What if the person in question is arguing that the government of “bung bunga land” (i.e., China) is great, that the US government shouldn’t interfere its affairs, all whilst, say, living in the US and working for the US government, as some of the HH crew do? You have to say that if the Chinese government were as great as the HH crew say it is, if the HH crew were as patriotic as they make out and if the US government were really as bad as they say, then their actions (in the case of some – going to the US, taking US citizenship and renouncing all other allegiances, and working for the US government) seems somewhat contradictory.

  14. raventhorn2000
    September 25th, 2011 at 12:03 | #14

    “then their actions (in the case of some – going to the US, taking US citizenship and renouncing all other allegiances, and working for the US government) seems somewhat contradictory.”

    That’s a lot of hypotheticals from you.

    But the answer is simple, if US is for Democracy, then you have nothing to worry about. That’s my 1 hypothetical.

    The contradiction arises from the BASIC assumptions about “Democracy”. Which you have evidenced. Do people “renounce” their “allegiances” with “oaths”, or isn’t “Democracy” a fundamental contradiction of MANY “allegiances”??

    Those loyal to “Human Rights” and “Democracy” seem to be disloyal to their own countries too, to the point of even suing their own governments.

    So who is being contradictory? Everyone it seems, MOST of all the “Human Rights” and “Democracy” advocates.

  15. tc
    September 25th, 2011 at 13:11 | #15

    The US support of Taiwan (the Republic of China) to weaken China is the reason Taiwan has “a permanent population”, “a defined territory”, “government”, and “the capacity to enter into relations with other states”.

    And, why do you think China does not “insists on threatening other states and warning them not to have relations with” Japan or Korea? Why Taiwan?

    I am a Taiwanese. Please tell me more about Taiwan.

  16. September 25th, 2011 at 21:05 | #16

    The biggest error of the US policy in the 1940-60s is supporting the KMT who has lost the support of the people, a mistake the US was to commit many times over. By failing to grasp the reality on the ground, the US was to have its hand burned many times. 911 was simply an indication that US policy in the Middle East is a failure. The PRC would not have gotten the seat back in the UN if it does not have support of the majority. I am not surprise to see the US making the same mistake on the Palestinian bid for a UN seat.

    Below is a video of the reception the Mayor of Shanghai got in Taiwan. I doubt any politicians from the world over, including the US can get such a warm reception there. I don’t know what you called the people who supplied arms when two brothers are in a quarrel but in Chinese culture, this is a big sin. Frankly, I have no doubt both sides would reconcilliate in the not too distance future. By then, US policy again would be looked at with disdain by both sides.


    By your reasoning, the only thoughts the Taiwanese are allowed to have is independence, ever heard of Justin Lin. He is the most hard core Chinese nationalist I have ever met, and he is a multi generation Taiwanese. And did you check out the inscription on the F-16?


    You have only spoken to psuedo politicians. Have you spoken to anyone in the military? I can guarantee you that if there is a declaration of independence there would be a coup in Taiwan.

    The Taiwan independence issue is a false agenda. It is like asking Chinese citizens whether the US should exists in its present form, or whether Spanish should be its 2nd official language. It is for people from both sides of the straits to decide. Outsiders should butt out.

  17. scl
    September 25th, 2011 at 21:05 | #17

    @ FOARP,

    A written dispute usually concerns whether or not some statements/arguments are true or false. Suppose I make a statement about the living standards in China and America: Home ownership is higher in China than in America. But the rate of violent crime is higher in America. Now, do you think that if I live in China, then this statement is true, but if I live in America, then what I just said is false? No, where I live is irrelevant to what I argued, even if the argument itself is about living standards in China and America. Do you think that I should make the statement only if l live in China, and I should not make the argument if I am an U.S. citizen? Again, obviously not. Personal attack is a form of verbal abuse. I do not like it at all, and I avoid using it the best I can.

    @ Jim,

    Why should I worry about Americans getting the truth about China, now all they know is the negative side of China, because of Western media reporting? If they know more about China, they can know more about the positive side too.

    Regarding Taiwan buying weapons: even if they spend all their GDP buying weapons, China can still out-spend them (Taiwan GDP < 10% of China's). The economic and military balance now favors China irreversibly. If Taiwan insists paying protection fee to the U.S., then good for them. U.S. probably will not lift a finger if war breaks out over the strait. If U.S. keeps agitating China, China can fight back. Selling weapons to Cuba or Iran is one.

  18. September 25th, 2011 at 21:25 | #18

    If the US is really serious about arming Taiwan, then it should be like in the 1950s-70s where top of the line weapon are given free of charge. In the 1950s, ROC F-86 are the first to use the AIM-9 in combat, Taiwan is also the first region to receive the F-104, the most advanced US fighter at its inception.

    However, today Taiwan only got the F-16A/B almost twenty years after its first flight. The army only got M60 tanks that the US used as coral reefs. Kidd class destroyers (initially ordered by Imperial Iran) for the navy. Anybody wonder why no advanced weapon was supplied? The US know full well that if top of the line weapon like F-35, M1A2, AEGIS destroyers etc are supplied all secrets would be lost to the mainland. That’s the new reality. The ROC military is now filled with Chinese sympathysers.

    The US arms supplier are simply there to make a buck, the Nationalist or the DPP are just playing politics to gather votes. Nobody in their right mind want a war. It is all for show as it is political neccesity. I would take the arms sales gesture with a pinch of salt.

  19. September 25th, 2011 at 23:17 | #19


    “Home ownership is higher in China than in America. But the rate of violent crime is higher in America.”

    But then of course, the above statistics are disputed, not least because there is no such thing as outright ownership of property in China – the rate of outright ownership is therefore zero. Even the figures released (80% ownership-rights, 94% some form of use-right) are only released for urban dwellers, and include among the 80% those who do not have the right to profit from capital gains (i.e., hold-overs from before the change in law which formalised existing arrangements for ownership-rights including the right to profit). The latest available survey of Beijing dwellers showed 60% of home-owners there having the nearest equivalent of home ownership – which is about what you would expect. Similar problems (differing rates of reporting/detection) similarly render a comparison of US/PRC violent crime statistics dubious.

    If you had lived long-term in China recently, you would know this. More to the point, if the argument is about standards of living, the obvious conclusion from someone living in one place and not the other, despite being free to live in either place, would be that, overall, they prefer that place, no matter what they say to the contrary. Simply put their place of residence cast doubts on their opinions.

    This is even more so when you see people who are long-term US residents say “Chinese people think . . .”. The question then is how they know this – and the answer is that they know this only through the internet and Mainland PRC-based media. At which point you have to wonder whether things really are as they say they are.

    The ultimate case, however, involves statements as to their own opinions. If someone avows loyalty to China, but has in fact taken an oath (i.e., the US naturalisation oath) forswearing all allegiances to any country other than the US, then either their loyalty to China is false, or their loyalty to the US. The counter that they are merely trying to “improve” the US seems hollow if these people regularly revel in what they see as the coming down-fall of the US, and regularly castigate both the government and the populace, not from the point of view of a fellow citizen, but as a foreigner.

    The question here is one of honesty.

  20. raventhorn2000
    September 26th, 2011 at 06:36 | #20

    “Simply put their place of residence cast doubts on their opinions. ”

    That’s about what you ultimately reach for as “argument”.

    But their “place of residence” or their “oath” or their “loyalties”, do not validate your LACK of KNOWLEDGE or your SPIN.

    That is a question of YOUR honesty.

    Ie. you choose to believe that YOUR own speculations of their personal motives on their residency SOMEHOW renders your opinion more correct.

    That is self-deception at most.

  21. September 26th, 2011 at 14:17 | #21

    The US also chose the French imperial colonist over Ho Chi Min, resulting in an unnecessary war that almost destroyed Vietnam and the US economy. I would be curious as to how you get the idea of Jiang JS losing control of his officers and ignored the Japanese invasion. Stillwell and Jiang JS hated each other and he already predicted that the CCP which has mass support in the country side and would win the civil war. My point is that sometimes those in Washington DC like to see what they believe and fail to see reality on the ground. By tagging JKS as the lesser evil you are continuing this misunderstanding.

    Actually, most US allies stick with the ROC. It is the Asian and African nations that tipped the balance in favor of PRC in 1971. GWH Bush at that time, the US ambassador to the UN even walked out of the assembly with the ROC ambassador.

    Frankly, by using a skewed article by AFP, you might as well quote an article from Taipei Times or Liberty Times. The AFP article’s title obviously contradicted what happened and reported false fact and half truth. If you watched all those videos instead of just one, you will see the general public gave Han Zheng a warm reception from the airport, shops, to subway and night market. I highlighted the reaction of the high schools students because their reaction surprised all observers, myself included. The students are obviously the future generation of Taiwan and least affected by politics. Their expression showed true sincerity and this is already the shortest version. If you watch them on Taiwanese TV, it is very telling.

    Again, you are quoting textbook example of Taiwan politics which has almost no bearing on real politics or future development. For example, if I quote a survey from a native reservation in the US stating what they want done for their benefits, be it native tongue education or better international recognition of their nation state status would it be of value? If Ma won election again, I wouldn’t be surprised if he visit the mainland. And if you looked back in time even Annette Lu, Chen Shu Bian, Chen Ju etc all visited the mainland before. So you can continue believing what you want to see happen or chose to study the fact at the ground and make your own conclusion.

  22. September 26th, 2011 at 15:54 | #22

    You said:

    Other countries and the Taiwanese people perpetuate a political fiction because everybody knows China would throw a violent temper tantrum if we were to acknowledge the “facts on the ground.”

    Your mindset on this issue is a bit wacko.

    The facts on the ground is that the U.N. and most of the countries on this planet recognize China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. Every U.S. president since normalization have publicly stated so.

    The facts on the ground is that the U.S. has the military might to sell weapons to Taiwan to this day, because China doesn’t have a whole lot of leverage with the U.S..

    What you need to recognize is that the U.S. could some day become relatively weak. Not in our life times. The U.S. will be a hegemon for a long time to come. What you need to realize is that some time down the future, say, when Texas wants to break away, we’d better hope a super strong China, Russia, India or whomever then doesn’t sell them weapons and ‘help’ them self-determine.

    Now is the time for the U.S. to act responsibly and help establish some international norms which deal with this sort of issues more amicably with the world community. Each day passed is lost opportunity.

    In case you haven’t understood – the Taiwan situation today is very much a result of U.S. intervention as well as the actions of the primary actors.

  23. September 26th, 2011 at 16:15 | #23

    Finally, you showed you true color. Basically, the US foreign policy has been based on perceived self interest first and foremost. The US should deal with whatever govn’t that is in place instead of trying to install puppets. You keep on insisting Jiang JS is the lesser evil, despite the end results telling you that the CCP is formed out of the support of the intellectual and eventually the common folks.

    My point is Stillwell knew full well that the CCP would beat the KMT despite being outmanned and outgunned. His advice was ignored in DC, paving the way for confrontation with PRC in Korea. The only smart thing for the US was to stay out or pick the side that has the most support. The US failed.

    No, you said that the US allies switched recognition to the PRC due to cold war politics. I simply point out to you that that was not the case, the PRC got into UN because of support from third world countries. I brought up the Vietnam war to draw analogy to the PRC/ROC issues. If the US would have stay out or chose Ho Chi Min, there would be no Vietnam war, get it? The PRC fought India, USSR and Vietnam on geopolitics ground. It has nothing to do with the discussion of picking losers in a civil war.

    The AFP title ignored the whole picture on the ground. The videos showed Han receiving more support and ovation than protest. Did you actually go through all the videos? There are a series of videos lying around. And if you are even remotely familiar with Taiwan politics you will simply read this post to know that the “Taiwanese” hate the mainlander in this video.


    Like I have pointed out earlier, you share the same delusion as those policy makers in DC. Does Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Afghanistan etc ring any bell? The US basically try to impose a puppet they like without regard to long term political consideration.

    PS: My language is fine. I am just trying to get as many points across using the least words but you are just too thick to get them.

  24. scl
    September 26th, 2011 at 17:44 | #24

    @ Ray,

    Good argument. I would add that even DDP leaders do not really think Taiwan independence is possible. Recently released WikiLeaks revealed that DDP leaders had confessed to American officials that independence was just used for elections, it was not for real. Ordinary DDP sympathizers have been fooled by DDP leaders for a long time.

    @ Jim,

    My prediction is based on the facts that China has nuclear weapons; China has effective area-denial arsenals including anti-ship ballistic missiles; China has overwhelming advantages in logistics because the war will be fought in China’s home turf. And you should not underestimate Chinese’ will for unification.

    @ FOARP,

    Your argument about home ownerships in China and U.S. is valid but unsound, because some of your statements and implications, such as Chinese urban dwellers have higher home ownership than rural residents, are not true. But I do not want to get into details about this argument. I just want to point out that there is no absolute real estate ownership in either China or US. In America, home owners pay a perpetual real estate tax. Their property is subject to confiscation by the government if they fail to pay. As for violent crimes, I do not want to argue with you either. Neither has much to do with my original argument about personal attack.

    I do not want to repeat myself. But personal attacks always fail to counter the original argument. At best, it switches the argument about some characters of something to an argument about some characters of a person. At worst, it poisons the well of discourse.

    Finally, you can criticize U.S. government policies or social injustice even if you are an U.S. citizen, and has sworn allegiance to U.S.

  25. September 26th, 2011 at 18:55 | #25

    I am a realist first and foremost. All along you only advocate what you think is good for the US. And from the examples I have pointed to you it has ended badly for the US. The fiasco in Afghanistan, Iraq is still going on. The refusal to deal with the govn’t of Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Palestine etc simply showed that the narrow minded US policy makers have no concern for the welfare of the citizens of those countries. However, in your view the dictatorship (Saudi Araia, Kuwait, Yemen, UAE, Nigeria) that the US is supporting is somehow better. How come the dreaded CCP is able to deal amicably with all those countries while the US cannot? The PRC is able to deal with the Arab world and Israel in an equal basis. And please show me a source that showed China violate any UN sanction or resolution. Talk is cheap and imagination is delusionary.

    Well, in case you still don’t get it. Money buys rights and democracy. The PRC is moving in the right direction. In case you don’t know China’s economy is 1/15 that of US in 1990, today it is more like 1/2. So which party is doing the common Chinese folks a bigger favour?

    And how does advocating for Taiwan’s independence doing any good to the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens. If you really cared for the development of political liberalization of China, shouldn’t you advocate the KMT, DPP campaigning in the mainland instead of promoting a senseless self exclusion?
    Self exclusion will destroy any country or region, the US included.


    You are just a bigot who refuses to admit to bigotry while at the same time whine and cry that China is doing the right thing. Why don’t you simply admit to fearing a strong and rich China and spare us your moralistic posturing that I already pointed out the US does not have over China.

    Go to Afghanistan and get yourself blown up. I don’t hate the US, but it is people like you that is bringing US to its knees. Instead of arguing on facts, you can only resort to name calling. The US is truly going down the drain if they have more “patriots” like you.

  26. September 26th, 2011 at 22:10 | #26

    Cluelessness is actually what gotten the US into trouble. Your comment on leaders of other countries being nut jobs is most telling. That’s the problem with the US, after the second world war the US policy makers never treat any country as an equal. What do you call the action of the US govn’t since 11th September 2001? It might look sane to you but it is not anyone with a right mind would not think so. Fighting two wars while leveraging its economy to the point of collapse. And what about US action in Vietnam, many South American countries?

    Calling me a CCP loyalist without even knowing my background is a straw man’s argument. Do you like it if I say since you are a Jewish US citizen you are a conniving bastard? Refute my facts and points instead of calling names.

    The idea of world policeman is an idea sold to you by your own govn’t. It is propaganda, pure and simple. Did Afghanistan and Iraq become a better place after US’s police action there?

    And are you so sure the US is a democracy? With close to 10% unemployment and 2 million people in prison (more than the number in China). And are you sure the US system will function if 300 million Chinese move over there? I am not even talking about 1000 million. This is the reality here. Because if you are so sure about the strength of your system then the 300 million Chinese moving there should double the US economy, right? And since they are starting from quite a low base it should be pretty easy to find jobs and housing for them, right?

    I mean if the US is willing to do that for the sake of developing democracies for world humanity, I salute you. While you are at it, you might took in 300 million Indians as well. A democracy shouldn’t show favouritism to just one country. And since there is democracy all will ends well.

    If China is so bad it will be imploding pretty soon and a new government will emerge, why bother spending so much money on containing China. So who has been lying to you?

    Again, you are indulging into your own propaganda of all those dream up countries ganging up on China. Yes, China is pissing off Australia, Vietnam, Philippines and Japan by being the BIGGEST importer of those countries. Those countries just hate selling to China, and the Philippines like the US so much that they kicked out the US base. And in case you don’t know, the majority of the people on Okinawa wants the US base removed, however, the US and the Japanese central govn’t refused. So don’t you see how hypocritical you sounded when you advocate one democratic standard for the Taiwanese and a different one for the Okinawan?

    The article you post on China’s arms sales is all alleged second hand source without a single evidence. Is this how you base your national judgement on? The only countries violating the UN arms embargo to Libya is France and UK. There are documented evidence of those countries providing arms to Libya. Of course, nothing would happen to them because they are permanent members of the security council.


    It is false news article like the one you posted that prompted the creation of Hidden Harmonies. And it is obvious from your reasoning all along that you are either a willing subscriber or a perpetrator yourself. Hiding behind moralistic posturing and abstract notion of democracy will not make this world a better place. And if you want to bring up stories of how the African hate China, go to the following site by a US professor.


    Why do you have to hope for US govn’t or business leader to do certain things? Become the US president and established diplomatic recognition of the ROC. Walla, all US problems solved.

  27. September 27th, 2011 at 01:23 | #27

    “valid but unsound”

    Something of a contradiction in terms there. All I can say is that when someone says one thing, but does another, then people are free to draw their own conclusions and to do so is no “personal attack”.

    Similarly, if someone claims knowledge of what life is like in modern-day China, but in fact has not lived there long-term since childhood, this casts doubt on their standing as a source of information – once again, to say so is no “personal attack”.

    Likewise, when someone gloats about the coming downfall of the US and the rise of China, you are free to draw your own conclusions as to where their true loyalty lies. The same is true if they claim loyalty to China, and describe themselves as Chinese first and foremost, but have sworn an oath of allegiance to the US, and foresworn all allegiance to any other country.

    “because some of your statements and implications, such as Chinese urban dwellers have higher home ownership than rural residents, are not true”

    I made no such statement or implication. I merely said that the statistics released cover only urban dwellers. This being true, the statistics do not include rural dwellers, and since the standing of rural dwellers is unknown, and since these make up about 50% of the population of China, the obvious question is: “is the situation of the country as a whole known?” The answer is no. You may assert that the ratio is higher or lower in rural areas, but this will not be on the basis of statistics.

    Similarly, when people who cannot profit from an increase in the value of their home are included as “home owners” for the sake of Chinese statistics, a direct comparison to the US home ownership statistics, which are gathered according to a different standard, is less than entirely meaningful. This is even more so for 94% “ownership” figure for urban dwellers – which includes any and all forms of use-right.

  28. raventhorn2000
    September 27th, 2011 at 05:23 | #28

    “but in fact has not lived there long-term since childhood,”

    How was that “in fact” according to you? Do you even have any statistics to even interpret to this “fact”?

    That rather cast doubt on your “doubt”. LOL!!

  29. raventhorn2000
    September 27th, 2011 at 06:12 | #29

    “I don’t advocate for Taiwanese independence for the sake of Chinese people. Rather, I advocate that for the sake of protecting democracies around the world we shouldn’t let the CCP bully us on the Taiwan issue.

    Sure, money – and guns – maintain rights and democracy to some extent.”

    And yes, US has a great history of recognizing “Democracies” like Mubarrak’s Egypt and Pakistan and “Freedom fighters” like Bin Laden, and helping them with money and guns.

    “And I think what really bothers you about “patriots” like I am is this: I’ve already taken enough shit from the CCP’s system when I lived in China, and I just won’t take any more. If the CCP wants to stick to its rigid form of authoritarian rule, I hope American politicians and business leaders will be more selective about engaging China. And if the CCP were to aspire to propagate its system abroad, then it should be ready for a real fight. Hell, these past two years they’ve already managed to piss off Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, India, and many other nearby countries.”

    CCP “aspire to propagate its system abroad”??

    Please, CCP may piss off a few neighbors over land, minerals, trade, but it’s not the one advocating helping like-minded systems with money and guns.

    The fact that CCP is pissing off a few neighbors rather proves that it has very little ambition to “propagate its system abroad”, or to build a fan club around itself.

    Unlike US, trying desperately to Propagate “democracy” via promising money and guns.

    Buying “friends” didn’t work, and won’t work. Have you learn that from history?

  30. Al
    September 27th, 2011 at 07:29 | #30

    @Jim “except to say that it’s ridiculous that China supports the Iranian government.”
    Ahahahahah, and why would that be? Couse as a self-righteous, self centered classic american, u decided that that’s it, and nobody can change that? Or cause ur country’s propaganda really convinced u that iran is the land of evil and Ahmadinejad the new Hitler (like Saddam and many others before….propaganda ways seldom change) that wants Israel deleted from the map and denies the holocaust (ALL things that people who know a little Persian language and do not only refers to newspapers have already repeatedly refuted and explained in details)?
    Venezuela leaders also are nuts? Why, cause ur propaganda says so? Or u really believe that what u read and hear in the States is “free, objective and impartial”??

  31. September 27th, 2011 at 08:43 | #31

    I think it would be wrong to say that China pissed a certain country off. National relationship goes both ways. You could also say that Vietnam and the Philippines pissed China off. However, if we look at things objectively. All people are the same. All sides are saying “Hey, this is our land.” In China most online poll are showing 80% of netizens who voted wanted China to take stronger action against Vietnam and Philippines. Can you imagine the same thing happening to the US. If two of US’s neighbours are intruding into territories claimed by the US, what would have happened already?

    Territorial dispute are actually very complicated in Asia. There are Malaysia/Thailand, Malaysia/Indonesia, Malaysia/Philippines, Malaysia/Singapore, Indonesia/Philippines, Kampuchea/Thailand, Japan/Korea, Japan/Russia etc. It is not the China versus the rest scenario that the western media try to paint, so China actually has a lot of leeway in settling the disputes. The US also have to walk a thin line there, what if Japan and Korea flared up their dispute on Dok Do, and what if Japan and Taiwan got into a loggerhead again?

  32. raventhorn2000
    September 27th, 2011 at 11:25 | #32


    It is subjective as to who pissed off who. In any case, regardless, neighbors pissing each other off is simply contrary to the notion that one is somehow “propagating its system abroad”.

    IE. US (and other Western nations) are the ones evidently trying to “propagate their system abroad” by buying friends with money and guns.

  33. scl
    September 27th, 2011 at 13:00 | #33

    @ FOARP,

    In my original post, I was talking about why personal attack was fallacious. I gave you an example why. And now you simply cannot stop talking about the soundness of that particular example. You do realize that whether or not the example itself is true doesn’t matter, don’t you? If the example I gave is false, then it doesn’t matter where I choose to live. Living in America will not make the example true, neither if l live in China.

    Since we are at it, I will argue with you one last time: your argument is valid, because if all your premises are true, then your argument is true. Your argument is unsound, because some of your premises are false. Your premise about rural home ownership in China is false. There are plenty open source information on the web about urban and rural home ownership in China: urban rate approaches 80%, while rural rate approaches 100%.

  34. September 27th, 2011 at 13:34 | #34


    One thing that is consistent with you is to distort what other people say. I am surprised you are not embarrased by that.

    You said:

    Likewise, when someone gloats about the coming downfall of the US and the rise of China, you are free to draw your own conclusions as to where their true loyalty lies.

    I take it you are referring to what I said to Jim above:

    What you need to recognize is that the U.S. could some day become relatively weak. Not in our life times. The U.S. will be a hegemon for a long time to come. What you need to realize is that some time down the future, say, when Texas wants to break away, we’d better hope a super strong China, Russia, India or whomever then doesn’t sell them weapons and ‘help’ them self-determine.

    Now is the time for the U.S. to act responsibly and help establish some international norms which deal with this sort of issues more amicably with the world community. Each day passed is lost opportunity.

  35. September 27th, 2011 at 15:38 | #35


    I was not referring to your comment in your discussion with Jim, which I had not in fact read since it did not involve me. However, you appear to consider that the logic of my comment does apply to your statement, and you are certainly free to draw that conclusion if you so wish.

    @SCL –

    The example is significant in as much as it is a demonstration of what I’m talking about – drawing conclusions based on official statistics without balancing them based on recent, first-hand, experience of working and living long-term in the country. Obviously anecdotal evidence does not trump genuine statistics, but it can act as a test on where statistics might need to be treated with caution, especially when comparing to statistics gathered in other countries according to different principles.

    I made no statements either-way as to whether the true figure is higher or lower – although the independent surveys showing 60% ownership in Beijing do, obviously, suggest a lower figure for urban areas. Instead, I merely said that comparison is dubious since the basis of statistics is different, based on different definitions of ownership, and anyway only disclosed for urban dwellers in China.

    Is rural home ownership at or near 100%? Well, no official statistics as to this are released, nor are all people who live in rural areas actually farmers, therefore it is at the very least disputable whether the figure is, or has to be, at or near 100% – the 100% figure appears to be simply an assumption.

  36. September 27th, 2011 at 15:44 | #36


    Then, could you quote for us who is ‘gloating . . coming downfall of the U.S.’

  37. raventhorn2000
    September 27th, 2011 at 16:01 | #37

    yinyang :
    Then, could you quote for us who is ‘gloating . . coming downfall of the U.S.’

    Oh, Oh, I know, It’s me, isn’t it??!! LOL!!

    Yes, my “schadenfreude” in actually seeing the mistakes coming out of US, UK, and actually talking about them.

  38. September 28th, 2011 at 01:08 | #38

    @YinYang – As Raventhorn points out above, and as you yourself said in your 27/9/2011 13:34 comment, you guys don’t seem to have to much trouble finding examples of it within your own commentary.

  39. September 28th, 2011 at 05:41 | #39


    I would like to “point out” that my “schadenfreude” sarcasm was my “gloating” over FOARP’s irrational arguments, not my “gloating” over the “coming downfall of the U.S.”

    I never consider any “downfall” of any nation a laughing matter, unlike some people.

  40. raventhorn2000
    September 30th, 2011 at 09:21 | #40



    there are plenty of statistics from outside that say Rural homeownership in China is higher than Urban.

    “not least because there is no such thing as outright ownership of property in China – the rate of outright ownership is therefore zero. Even the figures released (80% ownership-rights, 94% some form of use-right) are only released for urban dwellers, and include among the 80% those who do not have the right to profit from capital gains (i.e., hold-overs from before the change in law which formalised existing arrangements for ownership-rights including the right to profit).”

    I don’t know where you are getting your stats from, but PRC has a form of property rights Law that’s similar to HK, which is premised upon ownership of LEASE rights that’s transferrable.

    100% of HK properties are on LEASE rights terms of 50-99 years.

    If you want to say PRC property ownership is still different from US, then EVERY country would be technically different.

    (On that note, US’s homeownership for “profit” would point to the weakness in the motivation, and the reason for the Housing bubble, which actually shows that US “homeownership” is inflated at the current time, as many are defaulting EVERY MONTH!!)

  41. vokoyo
    October 26th, 2011 at 19:11 | #41









  42. October 28th, 2011 at 13:07 | #42

    @vokoyo #47

    I agree to a large extent that China has been the victim of many nations that border it. It has suffered aggression from Japan, Russia, and more recently India, Vietnam, and maybe in the future Philippines – with backing of U.S. and other Western powers.

    As I noted earlier in a recent comment, that is the curse – but also the privilege – of being the middle kingdom…

    When you are weak, you have many who want to feed on you. When you are strong (truly strong) – you have automatically a large sphere of influence (it makes sense for all these nations to align with such a strong China)…

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