Sunday, October 04, 2009

Our Failed Media Case #73019

That's me in the pic there on the way to cycling up 130 between Dahu and Sanyi in Miaoli. A gorgeous ride, highly recommended.

In a long article on the 60th anniversary of the PRC, the Washington Post said:
Chas W. Freeman Jr., a veteran diplomat, China expert and former senior Pentagon official, said he did not see a threat to the United States and noted that Chinese military spending is still a fraction of U.S. military spending. Indeed, the Reuters news agency reported Wednesday that two unnamed sources close to the People's Liberation Army said China would reduce its 2.3 million-member army by 700,000, though increases in the air force and navy would offset part of that.

Freeman said the only weapons China has deployed against the United States -- cyberwarfare tools -- were not on display Thursday. "They have no intention of fighting a war in the United States, but we have done a lot of planning about fighting them on their territory," he said. "Their answer has been cyberwarfare."

Freeman did say that Chinese military advances have affected Taiwan. "The Chinese now do have the ability to punish Taiwan so severely that even if the United States intervenes, Taiwan can't win in any sense," he said, adding that the development "has basically brought Taiwan to heel."
Note how it describes Freeman, who was the object of a intense debate earlier this year over his thinking on Israel after President Obama nominated him for the NIC. The knee-jerk reaction to his appointment from the AIPAC noise machine on the right and its opponents on the left completely overshadowed what should have been the real topic of discussion, Freeman's business links to China (once again proving that the most important territory Israel occupies is American foreign policy debates), and beyond that, the business links with China so common in our foreign policy class. The WaPo presentation is a perfect example -- Freeman is represented as an expert and former diplomat, not as someone who sat on the Board of a PRC State-owned oil company, who also has other, prior business links, and whose son does business with China. Sad.
Daily Links:
  • The Taipei Times observed today that the Judicial Yuan was mulling limiting detention to 15 months. It's the common pattern in the Chen case -- changing the law after Chen has been punished by it.
  • Johnny Neihu nails it: the PRC is like "a bunch of North Koreans made good."
  • FP asks whether China has Taiwan in a Strait Jacket.
  • Gary Pisano, one of world's most important business researchers, says in Harvard Business Review that the US is outsourcing its competitive edge. No shit, really? On tap for later today: Harvard Business Review announces discovery of flint knapping, fire.
  • Quake rocks Taiwan this morning -- woke me up.
SPECIAL: Don't forget to monitor typhoon Parma on the CWB. Could be as bad a Morakot, over a greater area of the island. Torrential rain expected beginning Monday, the 5th.

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Thomas said...

Unfortunately, the political class is not doing enough to convince Beijing that force is off the table in Taiwan. Herein lies the problem.

Freeman starts by saying that China poses no threat to the US and that US military spending is way ahead of that of the Chinese.

He then throws doubt on a US security commitment. The Taiwan Relations Act doesn't oblige the US to assist or liberate Taiwan in the event of an attack. But making repeated comments of this nature only adds resolve to Chinese plans to use force. Where is the US president who will tell Beijing that a forceful solution is unacceptabe and will being consequences for them? Not in the White House at the moment.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight.

The business media machine keeps clamoring for outsourcing, offshoring, cost-saving, contracting, de-health caring for a couple of years. All the big corporations do it and make their short term profits look really nice, and any resisters are punished severely by the markets and forced to cave in.

Then after causing all these problems, the pundits come back and say offshoring is actually BAD. You see, all those companies wanted that contracting work so they could learn about design, production, gain expertise, and they were going to move into their own branding businesses afterwards. Because you LEARN stuff from actually MAKING stuff yourself.

Nice. Go Taiwan! Crush these idiots.

BA said...

Watch yourselves.
First, high tide,then communications blackout,power system follows next thing you know you will have many unfriendly visitors from across the straits.

Of course you already know all this.