Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nelson Report on Ma Visit

A friend of mine passed this along to me. Read it against my earlier post on Taiwan Communique on Ma Visit.

The report presents the hob-nobbing as generally successful for Ma, which I tend to agree with. He appears not have gotten called on his lies, although there was widespread skepticism about his grandiose vision for Taiwan's future as a Chinese protectorate.

SUMMARY: Taipei Mayor and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeo is on his way to the West Coast after what must be seen as a very successful miission to Washington, with meetings at a higher level than any accorded a Taiwanese official in many years. Although Ma and Administration officials played by the "rules"and wouldn't admit to who met whom, nor what the US officials may have said, the lineup, from yesterday, was as follows:

Wednesday at the Metropolitian Club, 3 PM, Asst. Secretary of State for East Asia & the Pacific Chris Hill, and his two principal China deputies, Taiwan Desk chief Ford Hart, and special advisor Jim Keith, who has been keeping the China DAS slot warm until Princeton prof Tom Christensen completes his clearance process; following the State team, Ma met, in separate meetings of roughly 30-40 minutes, White House Deputy National Security Advisor J.D. Crouch and his China director, Dennis Wilder...and finally, at 5:15, Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick.

The report also notes that Ma was seen as constructive.

More generally, informed sources indicate that Ma's presentation (basically the same as his speeches yesterday at AEI/Heritage, and this morning, at Brookings/CSIS) was seen as a constructive contribution to helping meet US concerns. Specifically, one source characterized a meeting as "very positive, very impressive in terms of what he wants to do." That is, while it's good he reinforced the "5 noes" its great that he adds the "5 dos" this source explained. "It's impressive to hear from a Taiwanese political leader how to get to a constructive future." Noting the US concerns about the feuding between the KMT and DPP, this source said that Ma explained that he thinks most of the Taiwanese people don't support either independence or unification, so he is trying to find a way between those two paths. It is a measure of the collegiality of the Administration meetings that this morning, Ma joked with his Brookings/CSIS audience about trading stories of his days at Harvard...but kept the unofficial/off the record rules by not naming fellow alums Rodman and Zoellick; this followed much Ivy League bandinage yesterday with Yale man Jim Lilley, the former Ambassador to China, Korea and head of AIT.

The KMT's strategy of paralyzing Taiwan to make trouble between the US and the DPP has really paid off. Here America's so-called "experts" can see Ma as a constructive force though it is his party that has created the paralysis in Taiwan governance and his party that wants to move Taiwan into the China embrace and out of the US orbit (and totally reject cooperation with Japan). A complete snow job. The KMT is light-years ahead of the DPP in handling US decision-makers. The Nelson Report correctly notes, however, that the arms purchase is a critical test: if Ma actually makes concrete moves to unblock the paralysis and purchase the arms, then the US may actually come to believe he can be a constructive force. Further down, the Report notes:

We noted in last night's Report the obvious discomfort of conservative US think-tank China/Taiwan watchers with what they see as the obvious implication of Ma's "5 do's" proposals, should the PRC ever find a way to actually deal with a KMT-led government in ways acceptable to the political requirements in Taipei....that is, that a KMT-led "modus vivendi" (Ma's term) with the Mainland which led to a security arrangement of some kind would, by definition, take Taiwan out of the US forward defense posture in the Western Pacific.

Ma was questioned again on this today, and argued that the US should welcome any such Taiwan-China arrangement, since by definition it would lower tensions in the Strait, and thus in East Asia, and so make it easier for the US to carry out its mission of helping to preserve the peace and stability of the region, so that economic development...and progress on democracy...is enhanced.

Ma is selling a hill of beans. A Taiwan in China's orbit does not merely create a hole in the US security arrangements. It totally isolates Japan. To read this move correctly, one must see Ma's deliverance of Taiwan into China's arms as something aimed at Japan as well -- for both the Chinese Nationalists in Taiwan and their allies in Beijing hate the Japanese. Again, it is worth asking why a Japan-hating, China-loving politician like Ma whose long-term goal is to annex Taiwan to China, will participate in a regional security alliance aimed at China, with Taiwan at its center. The Report does observe that conservatives and DPP supporters were not convinced by Ma's performance.

Inevitably, a Chinese challenge to US security arrangements in Asia is a challenge to Japan as well, for anyone who wishes to be the regional hegemon must deal with both the US and Japan. By swallowing Taiwan, China deals a blow to the positions of both those nations. I hope US experts will ponder deeply the true implications of having a pro-China politician like Ma Ying-jeou at the head of the government of Taiwan.

3 comments:

STOP_George said...

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You know, if it isn't obvious that both China and the KMT are working together for nefarious purposes -- you need your head examined (or relocated).

This whole "peace-negotiator" ruse is about as laughable as George W. Bush being a "freedom-spreader". It is a move that is not in the best interests of the majority of Taiwanese. It is a ploy to politically damage the pan-greens so that unification is the only option.

If you believe in the "good-will" of Ma's rhetoric, then you must also agree in the "good-will" that is emanating from Tuan-Tuan and Yuan-Yuan.

In fact, I suggest we give a new nickname to the Mayor of Taipei that merges these "good-will" gestures from China and the KMT.

From now on, I suggest we call him...

"PandaMa"

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STOP_George said...

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I've fleshed out the "Pandama" creation HERE.
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Anonymous said...

Pardon my word, but dubing Ma as such Japan-hater, Taiwan-traitor, US-abandoner and China-puppet is totally BS. The current status of Taiwan was created by Nixon and Mao and only materialized during Jimmy Carter's admin. Taiwan is just a chess on grand strategy of the US in creating a Westernized, democratic and capitalistic China. But in doing so, the US must confront anti-revolutionary, xenophobic and autocratic faction, i.e. commies, in China, which is dangerous and stupid since they have all kinds of WMD and means of delivery.

Strategically, Taiwan is not important to defense of CONUS. You still have Quam and Marianas. Japan and ROK have their grudge about China and their own strategic interest. If it were about them (due to Korean War and policy to build Japan into anti-commie fortress/frontier), the US would have abandoned Formosa during 1950s. And the US did abandoned Taiwan in 1979 in favor of strategic alliance with Chinese commie to counter Russian commies, refused to upgrade ROC military with newer Jet fighters until Bush Sr. when strategic situation changed after Tiananmen Massacre.

Japan is acting on its own strategic interst and national security, and, unfortunately, we have trouble with them. Not only Japan occupied Daoyu islands, claimed EEZ on Taiwanese east coast and tried hard to minimize our EEZ for their own interests, but also massacred about 20,000 to 100,000 Taiwanese during 1895 to 1910 to quash rebellions by Hans and aborigin tribes. History is history, it's not about hate. Do we need to kiss Japan's a$$ only because they support our freedom and de facto independence for Japan's national security? Why don't they kiss our a$$, give us huge aid for compensation and military build up and thank us for keeping their arse safe from Chinese commies? They didn't, and in Japan's own ethnic hirachical structure, we are a bit lower than S. Koreans but higher than mainlanders and other SEA people.

I'm not posting here to discredit Japan or the US. These are all cruel facts. It is not only commies who are in favor of MaInJiu, but also the US State Department. Armitage just said publically that "peace and status quo is maximized interest for China, Taiwan and the US." The US State Department is apparently in favor of KMT to win in 2008 regardless of their political inclination on military purchase and mainland policy.

It is not to say that KMT's mainland policy is always right. Some people do have disillusion in dealing with commies while some are in favor of another fantacy. The biggest lie in Taiwan is that Taiwan's future should be decide by Taiwanese people. In fact, it is the US who can decide Taiwan's future. If the US says Taiwan should be independent, then it will be. If the US says Taiwan should be part of China, then it will be. The US can't abandon Taiwan due to the promise and moral obligation to protect freedom and democracy (which is the result of a brilliant political move by KMT during late 80s and early 90s) while US allies in East Asia want to keep the status quo. So the US says Taiwan is part of China but it should be resolved peacefully.

I'm a guy from Taiwan and I hope that the US can support Taiwan with out reserve. But the US government is elected by US citizens, paid by US tax payers and should act in accordance with interest of US citizens. Do supporting Taiwanese independence and risk a nuclear war with commies serve best interest for US citizens? I think not. Sometimes the politics is just choice between turd sandwitch and giant douche. You choose which you'd like better.