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Five reasons why China will not invade Taiwan, and an analysis of Cross-strait Relations

‘So solidly built into our consciousness is the concept that China is conducting a rapacious and belligerent foreign policy, that whenever a dispute arises in which China is involved, she is instantly assumed to have provoked it.’

— Felix Greene, 1965.

When a superpower is engaging in full hegemonic and supercilious display, another country with slowly increasing economic clout and rising international status can raise apprehension. When countries are used to a bigger country that is settled for some years in a bullying position, someone starting to come close to that bully’s level of power, however remotely, has the potential to raise various concerns.

This rise is often wrongly construed as a zero-sum game – the newcomer challenging the bully’s position. In such a case, the existing bully, in its efforts to manipulate popular conceptions about the comparatively-unknown newcomer, will (hypocritically) spread the myth that the newcomer is, and always has been, overtly aggressive. If this myth-making and spreading is successful, even to a small extent, it can negate the effect that the newcomer might have in compensating for or balancing the bully’s hegemony and its hubris. The newcomer’s assurances about its peaceful rise will then be dismissed as deception. The focal point of the bully’s containment policy will be to encourage and manipulate various types of pawns against the newcomer. If such pawns already exist, then they will be fostered and strengthened, and in case they don’t, new ones will be created (Or as Stephen Walt terms it, “a competition for allies”).

China, like many other Asian civilizations and countries, has been a victim of this policy since medieval times. Various countries, from Britain to Russia to the United States, have had a long history of fostering various types of pawns against China. Tsarist Russia did it with Mongolia, Britain did it with Tibet, and in the present day, the United States, with a combination of fate and its own two-faced tactics and strategic efforts, finds itself in an almost enviable position of having a multitude of pawns to choose from in containing China – Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Human rights, Climate change, Google, India, Vietnam – the list is endless. Fate has thrown in America’s way a plethora of such hedges, and these, coupled with popular conceptions about China internationally and biased media opinions, serve to portray China as a truly hubristic nation bent on world supremacy. So much so that even an event as harmless as hosting the Olympics is construed as being a step towards “world domination”.

The pawn star

However, there is one pawn that is truly unique in its nature and relations with China and the world. This particular pawn, in its conception and subsequent American pampering, is outclassed by perhaps no other. It offers the US a unique opportunity to indulge its war-like instincts and meddle in China’s affairs. Deng Xiaoping called it the biggest hurdle in Sino-US relations, and regular weapons sales (never a surprising phenomenon where the US is involved) has further exacerbated the issue. Not even British pampering of Tibet during the late 18th and early 19th centuries can compare to the amount of support this particular pawn has received from the United States. Just as Britain had taken upon itself the role Tibet’s guardian, America has also appointed itself this pawn’s protector.

In this game of containing China, Taiwan has proved to be an invaluable resource to the United States. Until 1971, it occupied China’s seat at the UN. However, the United States apparently realized China’s importance, and this, coupled with other geopolitical reasons, led the United states, with an apparent disregard for its principles (such as they were), to make a politically bullshit decision and shift its recognition to the mainland. The entire capitalist bloc, like a herd of goats, followed suit, leading to Taiwan’s international isolation. However, this policy of the US, like most of its other policies, was two-faced. In short, while it did not support Taiwanese independence in principle, it realized that Taiwan was in itself too important a pawn to let go, and might be useful at some point in the future. An allied, almost-parasite non-country just in China’s backyard – the opportunity was just too good to miss.

Hence, a policy was needed that could prop up Taiwan as a hedge against China, but at the same time maintain America’s pretend position of not supporting Taiwan’s independence. This was made possible by the cheap trick known as the Taiwan Relations Act, cheap even by American standards. Although, in theory, the act does not require the US to intervene militarily if Taiwan is invaded by China, it makes it clear that:

a) The United States is to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character

b) The United States is to maintain its capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan

The act also stipulates that “any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes” is a “grave concern of the United States” (Note: The distance between America and Taiwan is 7000 miles). America has literally surrounded China with its military (see map below). It doesn’t need too much imagination to figure out how the US will react to a multi-billion dollar Chinese arms package to Cuba or a Chinese military base in the Caribbean.

US treaty allies in the South Pacific. Source: CRS report RL33821

 

Whenever a dispute arises anywhere in the world, America, a country that treats war as an instrument of state policy, invariably tries to poke its nose in it. And whenever America becomes involved in a dispute, it inevitably seeks to sell weapons or establish military bases, if possible. The Taiwan dispute is no different. It promised, through the 1972 Shanghai Communique (a textbook example of constructive ambiguity), to gradually reduce weapons sales, but has done exactly the opposite (That China’s military is also increasing in strength is no excuse, since this was known at the time of signing the communique). It recently announced that it will upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of 145 F-16 jet aircraft. Including this deal, the United States, under its “Pacific” president, has sold more than $12 billion worth of arms to Taiwan in just the last two years. This is more than twice the amount sold by the George W. Bush administration in its first term and 75% of the amount sold during Bush’s eight years in office.

It is in US interest to exaggerate and glorify the Chinese threat to Taiwan, which results in everything from Pentagon reports to articles and analyses in the mainstream media parroting the same thing over and over again: accusing China of “assertiveness” (or “aggressiveness”, if one is feeling particularly chauvinistic), “flexing its muscles” and “belligerence”. Weapons companies form one of the largest contributors to party funds; Lockheed Martin (the makers of the F-16) spent $13.7 million for lobbying in 2009 alone.

US weapons sales to Taiwan, in theory at least, are either a) meant to serve as a deterrent against an invasion from the mainland or b) add to the defense arsenal of the island, or both. Counting only the weapons sales in the public domain, Taiwan has received $30.5 billion in U.S. arms from 1950 to 2010. However, whether or not the arms will actually serve to resist an attack from the mainland, and to what extent, remains unclear. Weapons sales to Taiwan have been largely symbolic, serving more as an exercise in American chest-thumping than in helping in the island’s defense. If America was genuinely interested in “defending” Taiwan, it would have supplied it with much more. It is pretending to perform a delicate balancing act between fulfilling its quixotic promise to Taiwan and maintaining steady relations with China. This tactic is then interspersed with regular weapons sales and public statements urging both sides to resolve their differences through negotiations. This is extremely good PR, as it can be done under the pretext of trying to maintain peace and portraying itself as a “guarantor of peace and stability in the region”. Nothing like a couple of Black Hawks to guarantee peace and stability.

In essence, the US is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Great Britain, and faithfully adopting the “Divide and Rule” policy. This was Britain’s invariable practice when it gave independence to its colonies, including India, Palestine, Ireland and Cyprus. And in all these cases, dividing up the colony invariably lead to civil war. In India’s case, Britain made a show of being neutral, and at the same time did all it could to foster enmity between Hindus and Muslims. This has worked so well in the past that there is no reason to abandon it now. If China and Taiwan do find a way to resolve their dispute peacefully, the US will do whatever is in its power to stop it, because it will lose one of its main levers in the region and a peaceful resolution will cause China’s profile to rise considerably. It is in US interest to see China and Taiwan at loggerheads with each other.

Thus, America’s Taiwan policy and its “constructive ambiguity” can be rightly interpreted as an amalgam of a form of bullshit and hypocrisy. It has no interest in peace (in fact, it has an interest in there not being peace), no interest in the dispute’s resolution, and certainly no interest in explicitly taking sides (at least not publicly). It wants to be able to sell weapons to Taiwan, and it wants (to be seen to) maintain friendly relations with China. All this for an issue that doesn’t make a pennyworth of difference to US national security.

Look Ma, no consistency!

The unique political status of Taiwan and its relationship with the United States and China has created an interestingly ambiguous situation where words are thrown around with different parties having different interpretations of the situation on the ground. Henry Kissinger will die a happy man knowing that the UShas been equivocal about the whole affair, since having a firm policy would rule out its standard tactic of changing sides whenever required. It comes as no surprise that a) The US has indeed changed its approach multiple times and maintained ambiguity about it, most important of all, b) the party that has been the most consistent throughput the entire dispute has been China.China has always claimed Taiwan as part of its territory, regardless of whether it was weak or strong, observes M.Taylor Fravel, an expert on Chinese foreign policy at MIT. Successive US administrations have tried hard to make people believe that their Taiwan policy is consistent with US interests. Lobby groups and stupid politicians have already started trying to manipulate an issue that they don’t fully understand to their own advantages. And it doesn’t end there. Even the American government has failed to speak with one voice (notwithstanding the childish gaffes). Zhang Qingmin, of the Department of Foreign Affairs at the China Foreign Affairs University, makes the extremely important point of divisions within the US government:

“From a definitional standpoint, however, the bureaucratic politics model states that the US government consists of numerous departments and is not a single, rationally behaving unit. These departments may have different interests and possess divergent policy views on certain problems, including the issue of exporting arms to Taiwan. In opposing US arms sales to Taiwan, and handling other aspects of our relationship with the US, we in China normally approach diplomacy as a form of inter-governmental contact. In past communications with the US, we would often lump all US officials into one. Experience shows this practice to be insufficient and unsound.”

The mainstream US media is more than happy to play lapdog to America’s regular weapons sales to Taiwan. During the latest of such sales last year (amounting to $6.4 billion), China stopped military exchanges with the US and threatened unspecified sanctions against it. The general rhetoric among mainstream western media outlets was that China was overreacting, despite knowing that “the US is obliged to help Taiwan militarily due to the Taiwan Relations Act”, perhaps implying that the act was China’s fault. Following the same twisted logic, if, hypothetically, Taiwan does declare independence, China would also be justified in invading it, and Chinese officials would simply say that they were “obliged” to do so due to the Anti-Secession Law.

Newspapers, for their part, love to write about aggressive postures and war. The Economist brayed recently (it was not the only one) that “abandoning” Taiwan would imply that America would be willing to leave the region’s other democracies at China’s mercy, as though China claimed those countries as renegade provinces as well. Regular readers and fans of the newspaper will no doubt argue that this stance is due to its insistence on avoiding war. And that is indeed true – The Economist has always been opposed to war unless it was carried out by the US or NATO.

Even Taiwan cannot make up its mind about an issue that completely defines its sovereignty. The two main political coalitions have had two opposing views regarding the matter. Fans of democracy will no doubt argue that this is a sign of a “healthy democracy”, and the very vagueness and inconsistency in the Taiwanese political landscape will be used as an excuse for the US to “defend” Taiwan and its democracy. Taiwanese policy and approach keeps changing based on who is in power; the Taiwanese people have, until recently, seemed unable to make up their minds. After future elections, Taiwanese policy and cross-strait relations might undergo yet another reversal.

China, in what has always been a hallmark of its foreign policy, has been largely coherent in its approach to Taiwan’s status since the beginning – that a) There is only one China – the PRC, and b) Taiwan is Chinese territory. The most that China has offered, in the interest of peace and friendly relations, is agree to disagree with Taiwan on what the “China” in  “One-China” actually means, according to the infamous 1992 consensus, which is now the established government policy on both sides of the strait. As far as China is concerned, the One China principle was a stroke of genius. Since it recognizes only one state as legitimate and representing “all” of China (the mainland and Taiwan), it ensures that both China and Taiwan will, at least in theory, always remain united under one government and will not separate, or to use the PRC term – “split”. Under the absurd idea of differing with China over what “One China” means and the equally absurd hope of one day ruling over all China, Taiwan, at least on paper, gave up any hope it had of independence.

The DPP (whose loathing of the ECFA is no secret), if it had won the recent elections, would have risked destroying years of patient diplomacy on both sides. The DPP miscalculated its stance and threatened to rock the boat, and lost the elections.

Both the Greens and the Blues have refused the hugely successful “One Country Two systems” approach which, as in the case of the two SARs, has also served to call the west’s bluff about maintaining “democracy” in those regions (the so -called transgressions of the policy in case of Hong Kong and Macau form the exception rather than the norm). 14 years after the handover, Hong Kong was recently named the world’s freest economy.

In recent times, China and Taiwan have mutually decided not to poach each others’ diplomatic allies. Wikileaks cables reveal that China politely declined an offer from Panama, Taiwan’s most important formal diplomatic ally, to switch diplomatic recognition. This is particularly telling and an extremely significant sacrifice by China, given the important Panama Canal (and Panamanian plans for its expansion) and the PRC ban on Chinese investments in countries that recognize Taiwan.

Five reasons why China will not invade Taiwan

Journalists and analysts never forget to dutifully remind us that China has not “ruled out” the use of force against Taiwan. What they do not remind us with such regularity however, is that the Chinese leadership has regularly stressed that they seek peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland. China has deployed, they say, 1500 missiles targeting Taiwan (or 2000, if one is feeling so inclined), due to which Taiwan should be regularly supplied with US arms to enable it to defend itself. They find the subtle politics of China’s missile deployments beyond the scope of their understanding. What they also fail to address is why China should redeploy or dismantle a major part of its defense arsenal (and one that faces the South China Sea and defends China’s most populated areas) just to placate Taiwan and US hawks. Moreover, even if the missiles were withdrawn, they could be redeployed at any time. These missiles are seen as an important deterrent to Taiwan’s independence and potential US intervention.

Whatever the media wants its readers to believe, the only major reason why China would actually consider an invasion is if Taiwan declares independence. This is in no danger of happening in the near future. Especially given Ma’s recent victory and his pledge of the “Three Nos” – “No independence, No unification, No use of force”. It is reasonable to assume that the majority of the Taiwanese public agree with him, and are happy with the status quo (the latter has been demonstrated by numerous opinion polls as well). Here are five major reasons why a full-fledged Chinese invasion of the island is more suited for a video game rather than reality.

5. Economics:

China has always placed economics at the forefront of most other matters. Despite the often-tumultuous state of Sino-Indian relations (and an unresolved border dispute), trade has touched $63 billion. China is India’s second largest trading partner. In the Senkaku island dispute with Japan, Deng Xiaoping, as soon as he came into power in 1978, proposed that China and Japan jointly explore the oil and gas deposits near the disputed islands without touching on the issue of sovereignty. China has also sought joint exploration in the resource-rich Spratlys, a solution which is the right step forward and is in fact more urgent than sovereignty, which the Philippines and Vietnam and  have so far been reluctant to do.

China doesn’t mind waiting and biding its time until sovereignty issues get resolved. As Deng Xiaoping famously remarked regarding the Senkaku dispute, “It does not matter if this question is shelved for some time, say, 10 years. Our generation is not wise enough to find common language on this question. Our next generation will certainly be wiser. They will certainly find a solution acceptable to all”. Unlike his predecessor Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao has used a softer approach towards Taiwan, promoting stronger economic and cultural ties, high-level official visits and direct flights in order to reduce tensions.

This pragmatic approach is on display even in the Taiwan dispute. China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, and Taiwan is China’s seventh largest. Two-thirds of all Taiwanese companies have made investments in China in recent years. In 2010, China (including Hong Kong) accounted for over 29.0% of Taiwan’s total trade and 41.8% of Taiwan’s exports. The ECFA was heavily tilted in Taiwan’s favor. It cut tariffs on 539 Taiwanese exports to China and 267 Chinese products entering Taiwan. Under the agreement, approximately 16.1 % of exports to China and 10.5 % of imports to China will be tariff free by 2013. Taiwanese firms have invested $200 billion in the mainland, and trade between the two sides has exceeded $150 billion.

Taiwanese trade with China. Source: Reuters

Both China and Taiwan have a lot to lose by fighting with each other. Another factor to consider is the incalculable loss that an invasion will have on the Chinese economy, not to mention scaring away potential investors.

4. The Taiwanese public:

China is, quite rightly, obsessed with “stability”, President Hu’s watchword. Analysts agree that this is one of the main reasons why it is not being “tough” on North Korea – that it wants a stable neighbor with no refugee spillover. With hundreds of protests happening in China every year, it most certainly wouldn’t want yet another headache on its hands and alienate the island’s inhabitants (even more than they are at the moment). There is very less support for reunification on the island, and opinion polls make clear that only a tiny minority of Taiwanese identify themselves as “Chinese”.

The Anti-Secession also explicitly states in Article 9:

In the event of employing and executing non-peaceful means and other necessary measures as provided for in this Law, the state shall exert its utmost to protect the lives, property and other legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan civilians and foreign nationals in Taiwan, and to minimize losses. At the same time, the state shall protect the rights and interests of the Taiwan compatriots in other parts of China in accordance with law.

A Chinese invasion might inevitably lead to riots and international condemnation. China would thus risk flushing down the toilet many years’ hard work of patient diplomacy (in convincing other countries of its “peaceful rise”). This would in turn cause them to inch even closer to America, were they would be welcomed with open arms.

3. The threat of American intervention:

The United States of America, the responsible superpower, has been engaged in more military conflicts around this world than any other. Since the Second World War, the US has

  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically-elected.
  2. Attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries.
  3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
  4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
  5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

Hence, the plain fact that needs to be realized is that the United States is more prone to violent outbursts than any other country.

The PLA doctrinal textbook, Zhanyixue, explicitly states that China is not in the same league as “advanced countries” (The entire document never mentions the United States by name), argues Thomas J. Christensen in China’s Revolution in Doctrinal Affairs: Recent Trends in the Operational Art of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (CNA, 2005). He further states,

Moreover, unlike in the heady early days of the Great Leap Forward, PLA strategists do not envision China closing that overall gap anytime soon. There is no stated expectation of short-cuts or leapfrogging to great power military status. In other words, China will have to accept that its relative technological backwardness and weakness in power projection will persist for a long time.

And then goes on to quote the text of Zhanyixue explicitly:

“Our military equipment has gone through major upgrading (很大提高) in comparison with the past, but in comparison to advanced countries, whether it be now or even a relatively long period from now, there will still be a relatively large gap (仍有较 大的差距)…………….The most prominent objective reality that the PLA will face in fighting future campaigns is that in [the area of] military equipment, the enemy will be superior and we will be inferior.”

As is clear, Chinese policy-makers are realists, and thus can be relied upon to heavily weigh the consequences of a possible US intervention.

2. China wants peace:

China is one of the few rising powers in the whole of human history to announce peaceful intentions and no desire to rule or establish hegemony over the world. In what might come as a shock to most people who consider media reports as a textbook for Chinese foreign policy, China has, on the whole, been a peaceful nation and has not engaged in military action unless provoked. And the military action that it has been involved in in its modern history has been extremely limited in its duration and objectives. Barring a misadventure with Vietnam in 1979 (which was also quite limited), China has only used war as a last resort, when it was left with no other alternative.

Resolutions of boundary disputes can be generally considered as a fundamental indication whether a country is pursuing expansionist or peaceful policies (which is one reason why a thorough analysis of China’s border disputes has been neglected by almost all western media outlets and analysts). China has had the highest number of border disputes of any country in the world and with no intention of living in an unfriendly atmosphere over a peace of land, has successfully handled and offered substantial compromises (this is the other reason) in most of them. China borders 14 countries by land; and as a result of territorial dismemberment and unequal treaties, the PRC government, when it came into power, found itself involved in territorial disputes with all of them. The way in which China resolved those disputes stands as testimony to its desire of peace at any cost and serves as an example to other countries. China has, in the interests of peace and stability on its borders, adopted a negotiation tactic favorable to rival claimants that other countries would do well to emulate. Many of these claimants were countries much weaker than China. China was under no obligation to offer such substantial compromises. The portion of land that China received in border settlements with various neighbouring countries is as follows.

Afghanistan  –  0%
Tajikistan  – 4%
Nepal – 6%
Burma – 18%
Kazakhstan – 22%
Mongolia – 29%
Kyrgyzstan – 32%
North Korea – 40%
Laos – 50%
Vietnam – 50%
Russia – 50%
Pakistan – 54%

Some of this land was strategically important (such as the Wakhan corridor that was disputed with Afghanistan) and extremely rich in resources (such as the Pamir mountain range in case of Tajikistan). China has also not reiterated its claims on a majority of the territory which was seized from it by the unequal treaties (even if it meant being cut off from the strategic Sea of Japan). In the map below, the gray area was part of China when the Qing dynasty was at its height, and then was snatched away from it due to unequal treaties. China has pursued claims on no more than 7% of these territories.

China has generally been known to attack when it has been taken advantage of or construed as weak, or when the enemy was at its very doorstep, such as during the Korean war. The Sino-Indian war of 1962 stands as a textbook example of this strategy. Nehru, the then Indian PM, rejecting all Chinese offers for negotiations, constituted a “Forward Policy” of pushing forward to enemy lines and made belligerent statements about China (“I have ordered the army to throw the Chinese out”), implicitly announcing Indian intentions to attack. Some of the Indian outposts established under this policy went even further then Chinese ones. China, correctly interpreting these actions as hostile and viewing India through the prism of British imperialist intentions on Tibet (as India had made itself the British successor in all matters regarding Tibet and China), made multiple diplomatic protests against the Forward Policy, but Nehru ignored them and never thought that China would have the guts to attack. After China finally did attack and occupied the disputed areas, it declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdraw to pre-war status quo borders without occupying an inch of territory. Hence, Chinese intentions were just to just India a lesson. It had no interest in occupying any territory.

Hence, a peaceful South China Sea and Taiwan strait is in China’s interest. As China rises, the last thing it wants to do is anything that might be construed as provocative. It has indicated that it wants a peace treaty with Taiwan, and indeed, negotiating a peace agreement was one of the points that President Hu introduced as a blueprint for cross-strait relations in December 2008. Ma made a campaign promise to sign a peace treaty in the run up to the 2008 elections, but reneged on it after becoming president. Such a treaty will not only assure China’s maritime neighbors (including rival claimants in the South China Sea) of China’s peaceful intentions, but will have the effect of also formally ending the Chinese Civil War.

1. Taiwan is not going to declare independence:

The most important reason why China has not yet considered an invasion. Ma has explicitly declared that he is not seeking independence, and the voters seem to be siding with him and are happy with the status quo. And so is China. Chinese leaders have a penchant for putting issues on the backburner. They adapt to changing situations and are happy to do what they can (business) and leave for future generations what they cannot (reunification).

So what next? Chinese leaders will be happy to admit – they don’t know. As long as both sides are happy with the status quo, there seems to be no reason to fret. As long as Taiwan does not declare independence, there seems to be no reason to worry about a military conflict. And since a majority of the Taiwanese people are happy to be were they are, rocking the boat is the last thing leaders on both sides of the strait would want to do. Both economies are growing, and people are living happily on both sides. Every generation of leaders thus hands over this problem to the next one, with the hope that they might one day either solve it, or preserve the status quo and hand the headache over to their successors.

Hence, discussion of a Chinese invasion serves little purpose other than to be used by various “foreign-policy analysts” to justify their grants and pass their time. There ought to be no doubt that a full-blown invasion would be a nightmare for China, and it simply wouldn’t do it. Or, as Jim Hacker would say, “Not just that it shouldn’t, but it couldn’t, and if it could, it wouldn’t, would it?”

(originally posted at India’s China Blog)

  1. zack
    January 24th, 2012 at 23:10 | #1

    great article, and right on so many spots;
    whilst i do believe there’s a danger that many of Taiwan’s current population may be swayed by US propagandists and opt for tacit independance rather than rightful and inevitable reunification, i do believe it would help smooth the transition when China’s soft power makes such a transition all but inevitable.
    What sort of soft power, you ask?
    Doing everything that China’s doing now, only better and faster; developing the economy to hyperpower status; the Chinese space program is an immense source of prestige; land a Chinese taikonaut on the moon-or better yet, set up a moon colony to mine helium 3-and Taiwan’s reunification is all but assured. People, doesn’t matter what their beliefs, are drawn to power and prestige and in contrast to the US’ belligerence and warmongering, China’s strong silent peacemaker will draw friends and foes alike.

    case in point, the recent visit to the Middle East by Premier Wen Jiabao, despite still maintaining economic links with Iran resulted in the nascent beginnings of a “petroYuan” system-another nail in the coffin of American hegemony. And then you have Canada seeking a Chinese partnership with China for its tar sands; diluting the Americans’ apparent army of allies and winning over the enemy’s allies are integral to success, as Scipio did against Hannibal during the Punic wars.

  2. January 25th, 2012 at 09:45 | #2

    Thanks zack.

    Opinion polls seem to confirm that a majority of Taiwanese would consider reunification only if Taiwan and the mainland have comparable forms of economic and political systems. The plain fact of the matter is, the majority of Taiwanese citizens, like all other citizens in the world, are interested in politics and foreign affairs only when reading the newspaper in the morning and during election time. At most other times, they just want to live their normal lives and carry on with their day-to-day work, since all such talk about the island’s future has no direct effect on their livelihood, which is not threatened in any way. Same applies to all regions in the world, including “restive” ones. Take Tibet for example. We only hear reports about monks self-immolating or protesting against Chinese “oppression”. But what about the average Tibetan citizen? According to me, that average citizen doesn’t give a rat’s ass. His basic needs are fulfilled, and his standards of living are increasing year by year. So what if he can’t access Facebook or Twitter or can’t worship the Dalai Lama (as if pure Buddhism was about hero worship).

    Despite what the western media would have us believe, I don’t think that ties with the mainland are the principal topic of conversation in the supermarkets of Taiwan (except during elections or a major crisis). Taiwanese citizens are no different than citizens of any country in the world in this regard. It is due to this reason that a majority of Taiwanese are happy with the status quo. A textbook definition of pragmatism applied to this case (from China’s view too) – consolidate your position, and let future generations sort it out later. It is not in our power to make any substantial move towards the dispute’s resolution – the least we can do is not make it worse for future generations. So think the leaders and the Taiwanese citizenry too. And since making it worse is exactly what the DPP would have done, it lost. Moral of the story: Don’t rock the boat.

  3. Charles Liu
    January 25th, 2012 at 13:02 | #3

    Agree. There’s an old Chinese saying “separation after long union, reunion after long separation”. There’s a long, complicated history of such between Taiwan and Mainland. From Ming/Qing administration, Ryukyu Kingdom’s status before and after Treaty of Shimonoseki, status of unequal treaties and Taiwan after WWII.

    While US intervention may be a deterrent, and our desire to contain China with a geopolitical “string of pearl” is evident, I would like to add that the US can be a bit of wildcard for cross-strait peace.

    Depending on what the administration is in power, and what the actors surrounding America’s military and political power structure, subvert/overt actions ebb and flows. For example according to a State Dept source, the Pentagon under Rumsfeld had once advocated for Taiwan Independence with Chen Suibian.

  4. January 25th, 2012 at 14:46 | #4

    I completely agree with the thesis. There is little threat of war in the coming years between the PRC and Taiwan even with US beating the war drums.

  5. pug_ster
    January 25th, 2012 at 17:32 | #5

    Despite what the Western Propaganda says about China, I doubt that any Asian countries have any overwhelming reasons want to fight each other. Also, European and the US have any reasons to try to provoke a war in Asia. After Vietnam, I doubt that these countries have any reason to fight a useless war there. Iran and Iraq have its oil. Afghanistan have its opium. A war in the Asia region means no cheap iphones. So the only thing the Western countries can do is trying to suppress China’s influence in the Asia region.

  6. zack
    January 25th, 2012 at 21:19 | #6

    right now, the West believes it can cause mischief in China’s neighbourhood with no repurcussions; indeed the United States openly talks about such strategies of ‘counterbalancing’. Question is, how much longer will China tolerate such mischief and provocation?

  7. silentchinese@gmail.com
    January 26th, 2012 at 09:53 | #7

    ” Question is, how much longer will China tolerate such mischief and provocation?”

    next generation or leaders may not have enough cool headeness or the average people on the street may demand action. when something nasty happens.

    If the government don’t act, it would be blamed, if the government act it would be acting against the full interest of peace and security.

    This is the US’s game. they want an emasculated chaotic china.

  8. silentchinese@gmail.com
    January 26th, 2012 at 09:56 | #8

    They are playing with forces that they do not understand nor have the capacity to control.

    this world will be a dark place by middle of this century.

  9. silentchinese@gmail.com
    January 26th, 2012 at 09:56 | #9

    regardless of which way it goes…

  10. January 26th, 2012 at 13:25 | #10

    I think I commented somewhere that the PRC may not even want reunification with Taiwan but want to remain with the status quo as that is a more stable position. It’s good to see that the wikileaks report supports my view.

  11. true blue sea
    January 26th, 2012 at 13:54 | #11

    Since the last two self promoting dynasty builders, Cheing and Mo are gone.
    Presidents from both sides are more or less public servants now.
    Both have to step down after their terms (4 to 8 years for Taiwan President and 10 years for China President)
    Unification is more or less meaning less to them.
    Cooperation is the keyword here.
    Both sides have trillions of U.S. dollars in reserve.
    Why wasted money, time and people on what, unification? For whom?
    Taiwan’s high-tech. industries help to fuel the China’s economic growth.
    Peaceful China and Taiwan also help to attract over sea Chinese to return to China.
    It is no coincidence that Chinese’ latest weapons look very similar to U.S. latest weapons.
    Those weapons are not copies because they are actually designed by the same Chinese-Americans scientists, engineers and researchers whom were lived in U.S. before.

  12. true blue sea
    January 26th, 2012 at 16:30 | #12

    The latest U.S.’s China containment policy is more like the U.S. military industry complex talking.
    Two biggest issues that U.S. is facing now is Energy and Commerce.
    The Secretary of Energy is Chinese.
    The Secretary of Commerce was Chinese and now Ambassador to China now.
    Mayors of San Francisco and Oakland are Chinese.
    San Francisco’s China Town was burned down three times during 19th century and now Chinese is the Mayor of San Francisco.
    As usual, Chinese tend to sell their services to the highest bidders!!!

  13. true blue sea
    January 26th, 2012 at 16:54 | #13

    The Chinese aircraft carrier battle group is built to enhance/speed up the natural resources negotiations between China and (Japan and Korea), China and (Philippine and Vietnam).

    With China Global Positioning System came on line for Southeast Asia late last year, China is in better position to keep in contact with her aircraft carrier battle groups.

    Taiwan also has her stealth missile boats working.

    Taiwan and China should joined forces to protect all Chinese interests.

    Chinese are business people.
    There is no profit at all for China to go to war with Taiwan or other way around.

  14. mark chan
    January 26th, 2012 at 22:35 | #14

    Articles of his intelligence level are rare in the Western media and are possible only when one looks at facts and does not base everything on ideology which is in fact what the Western powers are doing. China was the greatest civilizaton with the largest economy for most of human history, but was bullied, invaded, plundered, semi-colonized with the Chinse people humiliated on their own soil for almost 200 years. Fair people should agree that it is only righteous that the Chinese people are doing everything they can to regain their rightful position in world history.

  15. January 28th, 2012 at 12:45 | #15

    “The entire capitalist bloc, like a herd of goats, followed suit, leading to Taiwan’s international isolation.”

    . . . and here was me thinking that my home country was part of the ‘capitalist block’. However, since the UK, along with most other Western European and Commonwealth countries shifted recognition to the PRC within a few years of the end of the Chinese civil war, and more than two decades before the US changed recognition, I guess none of the countries that changed recognition in 1949-50 are really capitalist countries.

  16. raventhorn
    January 28th, 2012 at 13:26 | #16

    @FOARP

    Technically, UK tried to recognize PRC, but did not succeed. You can’t “switch recognition” until both sides agreed in treaty terms. (especially because UK did not give support to PRC’s seat on UN).

    And UK maintained a Consulate in Taiwan until 1972, when official treaty relation was established between UK and PRC.

  17. January 28th, 2012 at 13:45 | #17

    @Raventhorn – Recognition is a unilateral act, and HMG recognised the PRC in 1950. We had an embassy in Beijing from early on – otherwise the Red Guards would have had nothing to attack in ’67. The PRC’s embassy in Portland Place (opposite the statue of the great Polish patriot and anti-communist, Władysław Sikorski, and just down the road from the HQ of the BBC) is of a similar vintage.

    Put simply, the UK and many other ‘capitalist block’ countries tried to have relations with the PRC as early as possible, and did not blindly follow Washington’s line on this.

  18. Wayne
    January 28th, 2012 at 14:46 | #18

    FOARP as usual talks complete rubbish: yes the UK recognised the PRC very early on, for entirely mercenary reasons—-they wanted to hang onto Hong Kong and hoped to protect their still considerable commercial and trading interests in China and the rest of Asia.

    “The reason for having diplomatic relations is not to confer a compliment, but to secure a convenience” -Churchill, 17 Nov 1949 in the House of Commons.

    As for your ‘many’ other Western countries, yeah….the Scandinavian countries and Finland established relations in the 1950s.

    All the rest, (except France in 1964 —the French did have a streak of independence) waited around until the 1970s. And this was only after the ‘ROC’ was expelled from the UN and replaced by the PRC – thanks to the support of African and Asian and Eastern European nations.

    So they really had no choice. The US waited until 1979 before doing the inevitable.

    So FOARPs claim that the “many other ‘capitalist block’ countries tried to have relations with the PRC as early as possible” is just plain old rubbish.

    By the way FOARPs tone is relatively respectful on this blog. His posts on other websites are derisive and sometimes even racist, towards the Chinese people. He is little more than a troll. Suggest you keep him on for entertainment purposes and providing some easy debating fodder to shoot down.

  19. Wayne
    January 28th, 2012 at 16:06 | #19

    By the way FOARP: it is ‘bloc’, not ‘block’.

    English is obviously your first language, so you have no excuse, you…..’blockhead’

  20. January 28th, 2012 at 17:21 | #20

    Yes, the UK main purpose of establishing diplomatic relationship with the PRC is to protect its interest in HK.

    Dates of establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dates_of_establishment_of_diplomatic_relations_with_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

  21. January 28th, 2012 at 17:24 | #21

    @Wayne,

    As long as FOARP is respectful here, we should welcome him. He can be derisive here if he likes, as long as he is respectful to the forum (e.g. doesn’t disparage my or others’ intelligence or integrity), I’d still welcome him.

    Whatever you think of his statements earlier, it did give at least you and Ray an opportunity to retort – and for me to get educated of that little chapter of history. So it’s a win-win for the forum.

    It takes courage to reach across the aisle as they say in the U.S. Congress. No need to make things more difficult than they are!

  22. raventhorn
    January 28th, 2012 at 18:07 | #22

    @FOARP

    “Put simply, the UK and many other ‘capitalist block’ countries tried to have relations with the PRC as early as possible, and did not blindly follow Washington’s line on this.”

    Oh yeah, “tried to” and “did not blindly follow Washington’s line”??!!

    Just as UK didn’t follow US in NOT giving PRC support for the UN seat?

    Just as UK didn’t follow US in imposing broad and severe economic embargo on PRC during and following the Korean War??

    What sort of “recognition” was UK doing?

    I can understand it as the same old “eyes wide shut” learning ability that UK seems to be doing presently.

    Well, OK, UK “recognized” PRC, but that meant so little because UK was still in the “Capitalist bloc” that BLOCKED and embargoed PRC!

    Quite 2-faced, indeed.

    Well, hey, I guess that’s why UK treats itself like it’s outside of EU, when it is technically a member.

    Quite a history of duplicity!

  23. January 29th, 2012 at 01:15 | #23

    “Just as UK didn’t follow US in NOT giving PRC support for the UN seat?”

    Yes, exactly like when the UK voted to give the PRC the Chinese UN seat in 1961 (see Resolution 1668) and in all following resolutions, and never voted against the PRC taking the seat after recognising them in 1950.

    “Just as UK didn’t follow US in imposing broad and severe economic embargo on PRC during and following the Korean War??”

    Yes, exactly like how British firms did business in mainland China from 1953 onwards – see the history of the China–Britain Business Council, particularly the “Icebreaker Mission”. You’re pretty good at this.

    ” . . . that meant so little because UK was still in the “Capitalist bloc” that BLOCKED and embargoed PRC!”

    Oh, so you mean despite the fact that the previous sentences were actually true, you were in fact trying to be sarcastic? I guess here’s an irony all of its own.

    Here’s a pointer – go and actually learn the history of British relations with China after switching recognition in 1950 and then get back to me when you find any evidence of the British government “blocking” Chinese UN membership during this period, or of the British government refusing to allow UK companies to do business in China in anything but areas of military or repressive application.

  24. raventhorn
    January 29th, 2012 at 10:50 | #24

    @FOARP

    (1) when did the “switch” of “recognition” happen? Because UK maintained a Consulate in Taiwan until 1972? Hey, no “switch”! Just “recognize” both then?

    (2) I have read enough of UK’s embargo on PRC, perhaps you should do more reading.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&ved=0CGQQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cap.lmu.de%2Fdownload%2F2007%2F2007_eu-china_eisel.pdf&ei=6ZMlT9W6DoKx0AGlxbXEBg&usg=AFQjCNEzqH_QCAhkV_LkmPjs_Y4ACNDlwg&sig2=bhBRxo2KnG4XlxI0nIYQBw

    “3. British China policy focus on economic improvement
    On the issue of the embargo on the PRC after its direct involvement in the Korean War,
    British policy indicated the dilemma from the outset. On the one side, it imposed even
    more severe controls on the exported items to the PRC. In addition to the lists of normal
    embargoed commodities, the British government added 48 items of commodities
    prohibited to be exported to China.”

  25. LOLZ
    January 29th, 2012 at 14:33 | #25

    All great points.

    I would also argue that most nations in the world (including the US) really don’t want Taiwan to declare independence in fear of regional instability. If other nations supported TI Chen Shui Bian would have declared Taiwan independence during his reign. It wasn’t only the CCP who was happy that Ma had won the election, but pretty much every official in every large nation in the world. Given the inter-dependent world we live in today there is little to gain for other nations to support Taiwan independence.

    Internally, Taiwan nationalism has waned over the years. Chen’s disgraceful tenure has weakened the opposition quite a bit. The next real chance for TI is after the CCP collapse, when and if that maybe. However that is only if the CCP ends violently and major chaos ensues. If China transitions into democracy I don’t think TI will ever happen.

  26. January 29th, 2012 at 21:01 | #26

    Thanks mark.

    @Charles Liu

    Deterrence can actually work both ways. America might deter China from attacking Taiwan, and China might deter America from selling even more weapons to Taiwan and establishing military bases even closer to the mainland; and it also deters Taiwan from declaring independence.

    Ma promised a peace treaty, and then reneged on the promise. I wonder whether US pressure was a factor. After all, the US will do all it can to obstruct any semblance of peace in the region.

    @FOARP
    A Simple google search makes it clear that most capitalist bloc countries switched recognition in the period from 1971 to 1979, after the China was admitted to the UN. Capitalist countries did recognize China before this period, but they were the exception rather than the norm.

  27. zack
    January 29th, 2012 at 21:04 | #27

    i have an issue with the title and would like to draw attention to how the propagandists manipulate words: your title states that China won’t “invade” Taiwan; how can a country “invade a part of its own territory”?. The word “invade” implies that Taiwan’s independance is indisputable when the reality is anything but.

    Better to say that Beijing will never militarily reclaim the province of Taiwan unless forced to do so by independance advocates.

    When propagandists such as the NYT, Economist, SMH, etc etc say “China see Taiwan as a renegade province” they are indirectly questioning China’s legitimacy over Taiwan, as they would being the charlatans to fact that they are.

  28. January 29th, 2012 at 22:39 | #28

    @zack
    That’s a really good point.

  29. January 29th, 2012 at 23:05 | #29

    @zack
    haha…thanks!

    Actually, given a choice between “Five reasons why China will not invade Taiwan” and “Five reasons why China will never militarily reclaim the province of Taiwan”, there are no prizes for guessing which one I would choose! 😉 I didn’t think that there is any need to give all these details in the title, since the target audience of the article is not absolute beginners to the topic. It is meant for people who at least have some basic knowledge of the matter, and would not simply interpret from the title that Taiwan is an independent country. I thought it was quite clear that I meant a military reclaiming.

    Of course, the current title doesn’t discuss the political status of Taiwan in any way, and nor does the article, except to a very small extent. China might be Taiwan’s province, but the government that rules Taiwan (and the people) doesn’t except it, hence the dichotomy.

    Actually, an “invasion” can also occur against a province/region that is one’s own, but has been (temporarily) separated, either by external forces or on its own. The region might be de facto independent or ruled by someone else at the time. Examples of this abound in history, and this is especially true in case of European colonies. eg. Goa. The Portuguese refused to give up Goa, and India had to invade a territory that was its own. Hence, a country can “invade” a part of its “own” territory.

  30. January 30th, 2012 at 00:31 | #30

    @Maitreya

    I’d skip the whole “invasion” thing – even the “subject” and “object” could be deemed to imply “aggression” even if use a more neutral word than “invasion.”

    How about just – Why there will be Peace Across the Taiwan Strait?

  31. mark chan
    January 30th, 2012 at 03:12 | #31

    China wants eventual reunification, not a hasty and premature one. China’s strategy is to prevent Taiwan independence and to maintain the status quo which gives China the benefits of the commercial link and peoples’ interactions between the two sides. This is also good for America and Taiwan, the former being able to continue playing the “Taiwan card” and enjoy selling low grade weapons for top rate prices to Taiwan and the latter having a feeling of security and independence.

    In fact, China does not really mind America selling weapons to Taiwan because Taiwan’s military can never match Mainland’s regardless how much Taiwan buys, but China has to protest such sales because they violate the 3 Sino-American communiques and keeping silence will weaken its diplomatic strength against America. Meanwhile, America dares not sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, knowing that they will end up in the hands of the Peoples’ Liberation Army when reunification eventually happens.

    For now, the so-called “no-independence-no-reunification-no military confrontation” status quo serves all 3 sides very well. But poor Taiwan taxpayers.

  32. January 30th, 2012 at 06:13 | #32

    @raventhorn

    So:

    1) HMG did recognise the PRC in 1950,

    2) HMG did not “[impose a] broad and severe economic embargo” on the PRC after the Korean war, but instead encouraged British firms to business there from an early stage, and

    3) HMG did not block PRC UN membership after 1950, and from 1961 onwards voted in support of it.

    @Maitreya –

    “A Simple google search makes it clear that most capitalist bloc countries switched recognition in the period from 1971 to 1979, after the China was admitted to the UN. Capitalist countries did recognize China before this period, but they were the exception rather than the norm.”

    A simple Google search also shows that there are aliens in Area 51, that 9/11 was an inside job, that Elvis is still alive, and that Obama is a Muslim. The point was that democratic countries were not, in the main part, simply blindly following the lead of the US – in fact two of the big three NATO powers (the UK and France) recognised the PRC years before the US did.

    However, you are correct to point out that ‘invade’ does not necessarily imply that the territory invaded does not belong to the invader. For example, both the D-Day landings and Operation Corporate were approvingly referred to as ‘invasions’ in the British press. Similarly, the 1944 landings in Guam and General Grant’s March to the Sea are referred to as ‘invasions’ in US historical writings.

  33. January 30th, 2012 at 07:28 | #33

    @FOARP

    Your arguments are entirely based on red herrings and are completely non sequitur. In a nutshell, what you said, with minor variations. can be boiled down to this:

    1. All cats have four legs
    2. A dog has four legs
    3. Therefore, a dog is a cat

    A variation of this is your google argument:

    1. A google search shows both A and B
    2. B is wrong
    3. Hence, A is also wrong.

    OR

    1. China can “invade” Taiwan even though it is its own territory
    2. America “invaded” Normandy
    3. Hence, Normandy is American territory

  34. January 30th, 2012 at 13:19 | #34

    No, my argument is:

    1) Google searches by themselves show nothing but what people have at various times posted in relation to the terms searched.
    2) Many people post things on the internet which are not actually true, even if they believe they are.
    3) Therefore a Google search by itself is not proof of anything other than what people, rightly or wrongly, may have believed at a certain time.

    And:

    1) British and Americans speak, in the main, English, and the usage of a certain word in press reports and official documents can therefore be used as a guide to the meaning of the word.
    2) British and Americans describe even the attacks the armed forces of their own countries launch into territory their governments believe to be their (or their allies’s) sovereign territory as ‘invasions’, and do so approvingly.
    3) Therefore neither Britons nor Americans use ‘invade’ to denote that the invader does not own the territory being invaded.

  35. February 4th, 2012 at 03:29 | #35

    @FOARP

    It’s the same thing again. I am not concerned about what other things google shows up, and that does not invalidate what google shows up about Taiwan and its diplomatic relations.

    Of course, one needs to know which results to believe and which to take with a pinch of salt. In this particular case, I choose to believe wikipedia over you.

    And as for the other matter, I think “invasion” can be used both ways. I assumed that the last paragraph in your last comment was sarcasm, and that is why I responded with what I did. If it wasn’t, then I agree with you that I was right!! 😉

  36. February 18th, 2012 at 08:29 | #36

    It might have been mentioned here before that the author of Sun Bin Blog did an excellent analysis on the Taiwan-China relationship using game theory a few years ago.

  37. puerchina
    July 10th, 2012 at 09:50 | #37

    Yes, like China is two faced in supporting North Korea and selling it weapons, while getting money and investment from South Korea. China has no problem keeping countries divided when it suits her, let alone a small province like Taiwan, so this whole article is quite frankly a waste of space.

    And what are those thirty countries the US has bombed, you must have a list. Sounds interesting.

    As to fomenting revolution against democratically elected governments, let’s not forget Mao did his fair share of attempting to export revolution (even if his attempts were mostly miserable failures).

  38. July 10th, 2012 at 15:18 | #38

    ^^^Sockpuppets like puerchina always make these grand claims without a shred of evidence. They do not cite with credible sources because their main purpose is not discussion but propaganda spewing.

    Meanwhile S.Korea is a major nuclear proliferator.

    http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2011_03/SouthKorea

    While it hosts thousands of US troops in the region destabilizing it and antagonizing a nuclear confrontation.

    The US and the EU (with Russia and France next) are the worst weapons proliferators in the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_arms_proliferation

    Countries the US has militarily invaded. THE LIST.

    http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

    And Mao did not “foment” any revolution against a single democratically elected government. You are confusing Mao’s China with the American CIA which has overthrown democratically elected governments all over the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions

    Educate yourself, sockpuppet.

  39. puerchina
    July 10th, 2012 at 17:30 | #39

    Interesting, the site you link which you argue demonstrates the US bombed dozens of countries since the second world war does nothing of the sort. Indeed, it includes the evacuation of personal and UN Security council backed actions (including some that China voted for such as the first war against Saddam). So who here is the two faced sock puppet?

    By the standard of that site, China has engaged in four wars since the year 2000: A large deployment against Vietnam, twice. Sailing offensive ships off the coast of the Philippines in a show of force, and evacuating Chinese nationals from Libya using the Chinese navy.

    And you can’t even bother to refute the main point: That China supports North and South Korea, thereby keeping an entire Country divided for mercenary reasons, making the entire article a waste of space.

    China also has a history of attempting to influence foreign governments in exactly the same manner as the CIA, hence the number of bloody Maoist insurgencies around the world.

  40. July 11th, 2012 at 08:18 | #40

    @puer
    In case you don’t know Korea was divided by the USA and USSR in 1945! The PRC was only founded in 1949 and was willing to accept a united Korea provided no FOREIGN troop was over the north of the 38th parallel. However, the US administration stupidly ignored this advice so the PRC got involved. If the US did not cross the 38th parallel there would be only one Korea today.

    The Korean military in the south suffered close to a million KIA while the US suffered only 30,000 KIA. The main reason is that the US always positioned the Korean in the worse position and thus always took the brunt of the attack. Read up on the No Gun Ri massacre also.

    The PRC recognized both the DPRK and ROK as two government of one Korea. The US recognized the PRC as the ONLY government of China but still sell arms to Taiwan. So which government is two faced?

  41. July 11th, 2012 at 08:26 | #41

    @puer
    Wow, so if nobody died and no shots being fired is the same as hundreds of thousands of death. You must be really thick are’t you?

    And what makes the PRC’s position different from Vietnam and the Philippines? I am glad you bring up the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya. Yes, to bigot like you it is worse than US bombing and killing Libyans in that coutry.

    The PRC stopped supporting revolution after being admitted into the UN, can you say the same about US?

  42. July 11th, 2012 at 08:53 | #42

    @puer
    Wrong again! China supported Prince Sihanouk’s government. It is the CIA that plotted the coup by Lon Nol to depose him but the new military government is so unpopular it was deposed soon after. The US is instrumental in bringing the Khmer Rouge to power, not China. Read up on Sihanouk’s history and you will know that China want to preserve stability in Kampuchea but the US wants to destablelize it for its own selfish interest. Maybe you want to say that it is the Vietnamese who stopped the genocide in Kampuchea.

    You seems to have selective amnesia, the US supplied the bulk of scrap metal and resources to imperial Japan from 1920s to 1940. If you want to say that the US helped China, you must remember that the US support and arming of Imperial Japan made the invasion of China possible in 1931 too!

    Why don’t you say that it is China that tied down the bulk of the Japanese army in WWII and inflicted 2/3 of the casualties on them? Granted the Imperial Japanese Navy was destroyed almost single-handedly by the US Navy. Some facts when presented in isolation out of context can be ugly. China inflicted 1 million Japanese military casualties while the US inflicted 3 million Japanese civilian casualties. Is this a fair representation of history? Well, it seems this is the way you are taught or interpreted them.

    PS: Who is the one who caused total chaos in Libya and Syria now by supplying arms there? Of course to dim wit it is also China’s fault.

  43. July 11th, 2012 at 09:19 | #43

    @puer
    Hey kid. I will give you a rundown of China and US foreign policy. Since WWII, the US will support any movement or government that it perceived to benefit the interest of US. Unfortunately, from the military dictatorships in South America, to corrupt government like the South Vietnamese, Marcos of Philippines, Mubarak of Egypt, things don’t always worked out. The PRC since its founding will support any movement or government that shared close or similar ideology.

    However, since joining the UN and building diplomatic relationship with other countries the PRC will always deal with whatever government in official power regardless of ideology. The US since then still support any movement or government that it perceived to benefit the interest of the US.

    The PRC will also treat different countries with the same standard. For example, in PRC’s view DPRK as important as the ROK. The PRC also treat Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran the same it would treat France, Turkey, Argentina, Japan or UK.

    The US has different level of engagement with different countries. For example with UK, Isreal it is one level. With Germany, France, Japan, Turkey it is another. With ROK, Singapore another. With Malaysia, Thailand another. With Cuba, Iran another.

    That’s the major different between the two countries.

  44. July 11th, 2012 at 09:58 | #44

    @puerchina

    The US didn’t bomb Vietnam? It didn’t bomb Cambodia? It didn’t bomb Laos? It didn’t bomb Iraq (twice)? It didn’t bomb Yugoslavia? It didn’t bomb Bosnia? It didn’t bomb Yemen? It didn’t bomb Somalia? It didn’t bomb Afghanistan? Are you illiterate? Yes.

    A list of all countries the US has bombed since the Korean war.

    http://killinghope.org/superogue/bomb.htm

    There are >30 on that list (I know counting up to that number is a challenge for you so you should get some help). Educate yourself. Learn literacy skills beyond the 4th grade reading level (which I estimate to be yours).

    A list of all countries the US has invaded and attacked

    http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

    “By the standard of that site, China has engaged in four wars since the year 2000: A large deployment against Vietnam, twice. Sailing offensive ships off the coast of the Philippines in a show of force, and evacuating Chinese nationals from Libya using the Chinese navy.”

    Do you even know what a war is? No. Because you are illiterate.

    How did you like getting bitch slapped?

  45. July 11th, 2012 at 10:00 | #45

    Quote of all the bombing missions of the US on foreign soil:

    The bombing list
    Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)

    Guatemala 1954

    Indonesia 1958

    Cuba 1959-1961

    Guatemala 1960

    Congo 1964

    Laos 1964-73

    Vietnam 1961-73

    Cambodia 1969-70

    Guatemala 1967-69

    Grenada 1983

    Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)

    Libya 1986

    El Salvador 1980s

    Nicaragua 1980s

    Iran 1987

    Panama 1989

    Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)

    Kuwait 1991

    Somalia 1993

    Bosnia 1994, 1995

    Sudan 1998

    Afghanistan 1998

    Yugoslavia 1999

    Yemen 2002

    Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)

    Iraq 2003-present

    Afghanistan 2001-present

    Pakistan 2007-present

    Somalia 2007-8, 2011

    Yemen 2009, 2011

    Libya 2011

    Plus
    Iran, April 2003 — hit by US missiles during bombing of Iraq, killing at least one person {2}

    Pakistan, 2002-03 — bombed by US planes several times as part of combat against the Taliban and other opponents of the US occupation of Afghanistan {3}

    China, 1999 — its heavily bombed embassy in Belgrade is legally Chinese territory, and it appears rather certain that the bombing was no accident (see chapter 25)

    France, 1986 — After the French government refused the use of its air space to US warplanes headed for a bombing raid on Libya, the planes were forced to take another, longer route; when they reached Libya they bombed so close to the French embassy that the building was damaged and all communication links knocked out.{4}

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985 — A bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor’s office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

    Them other guys are really shocking
    “We should expect conflicts in which adversaries, because of cultural affinities different from our own, will resort to forms and levels of violence shocking to our sensibilities.”
    Department of Defense, 1999 {5}

    The Targets
    It’s become a commonplace to accuse the United States of choosing as its bombing targets only people of color, those of the Third World, or Muslims. But it must be remembered that one of the most sustained and ferocious American bombing campaigns was carried out against the people of the former Yugoslavia — white, European, Christians. The United States is an equal-opportunity bomber. The only qualifications for a country to become a target are: (1) It poses a sufficient obstacle to the desires of the American Empire; (2) It is virtually defenseless against aerial attack.

    The survivors
    A study by the American Medical Association: “Psychiatric disorders among survivors of the
    1995 Oklahoma City bombing”:

    Nearly half the bombing survivors studied had an active postdisaster
    psychiatric disorder, and full criteria for PTSD [posttraumatic stress
    disorder] were met by one third of the survivors. PTSD symptoms were
    nearly universal, especially symptoms of intrusive reexperience and
    hyperarousal.{6}

    Martin Kelly, publisher of a nonviolence website:

    We never see the smoke and the fire, we never smell the blood, we
    never see the terror in the eyes of the children, whose nightmares
    will now feature screaming missiles from unseen terrorists, known
    only as Americans.

    NOTES
    1. The Nation, September 26, 1994, p.304

    2. RFE/RL Newsline, April 9, 2003 (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a “private” international communications service in Europe and Asia funded by the US government.)

    3. Washington Post, January 1, 2003, Australian Broadcasting Company, January 1, 2003, Agence France Presse, September 19, 2003

    4. Associated Press, “France Confirms It Denied U.S. Jets Air Space, Says Embassy Damaged”, April 15, 1986

    5. U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, “New World Coming” (Phase I Report), September 15, 1999, p.3

    6. Journal of the American Medical Association, August 25, 1999, p.761

    This is a chapter from the book Rogue State: A Guide to the

    World’s Only Superpower, by William Blum

    GTFO, monkey sockpuppet.

  46. July 11th, 2012 at 10:06 | #46

    Warmongering S. Korea was part of the coalition forces that supported the invasion and helped occupy Iraq between 2004-2008. The Iraq war is responsible for the death of 1.5 million Iraqis, millions more injured and millions displaced. The S. Koreans are partly responsible for that genocide.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-National_Force_%E2%80%93_Iraq

    They are just a running dog of the US government

  47. July 11th, 2012 at 10:10 | #47

    You mean sockpuppet has LIED about China being an aggressive military power?

    Yes.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/08/15/think_again_war?page=full

    Since Chairman Mao’s death, China has been hands down the most peaceful great power of its time. For all the recent concern about a newly assertive Chinese navy in disputed international waters, China’s military hasn’t fired a single shot in battle in 25 years.

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