Sunday, August 28, 2005

China Grabbing Taiwan not Expansionism!

This commentary by a retired Australian diplomat was printed in the Japan Times a couple of months ago and is now making the rounds on a couple of discussion lists. While I appreciate his plea to reassess China's role in world affairs, his claim that China's annexation of Taiwan is not expansionism because everyone approves of it is not only wrong but completely illogical. He writes:

That the Western media have largely gone along with Tokyo's claims over Yasukuni is further proof of just how easily they accept distorted views of China. Other examples include the Tiananmen massacre myth (check the now declassified cables from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing at the time for the true story), the claim that China's claims over Taiwan are expansionist (check the terms on which every major power has accepted Beijing's sovereignty over the island), or Beijing's constant reference to Taiwan as a "renegade province" (check the English-language Web sites for the main Chinese newspapers to find the reality). And so on.

Frankly, you'd have to be on crack to write something that illogical. Think, Greg: everyone approved Japan's grab of Taiwan, and no one has ever argued that it wasn't expansionist. There's no logical connection between "approval of the international community" and "expansionism". It's a credit to China's diplomatic and economic weight that it has gotten the world to approve of its expansionism, but it is not less expanionist simply because the world has agreed to be quiet about it.


Roy Berman said...

Even if one were to accept his claims that China's claims on Taiwan are not 'expansionist' that still doesn't change the fact that they are oppressive and anti-democratic. Not to mention two little places called Tibet and Xinjiang.

I also don't see how his attacks on Japan's history are remotely relevant. Yes, Japan has done some awful things, some of them to China. What is the relevance? It's like arguing that a child molester who was himself molested as a child should not be held responsible for his actions. China doesn't get off the hook now just because Japan wasn't punished as harshly as some think they deserved to be. More power to the people who want to pursue claims against Japan for WW2 era actions, I say. But don't ignore the present either.

Patrick Zhang said...

Well, "oppressive and anti-democratic" may not be the appropriate terms for describing the present China. This comments are no more than stereotype thing. You should be more creative.

If you have been China lately, or if you happen to know a little about China as it was 100 years, 10 years ago, you'd be impressed how much it has changed.

Speaking of Tibet and Xinjiang, I'd suggest you look deeply into some Indian reservations in USA first.