Sunday, April 10, 2011

China Advances

The spokesman for the People's Rethugclique of China posted an appropriately blustery upchuck of argle-bargle to the Financial Times in response to David Pilling's excellent piece the other day. The central paragraphs are standard PRC hogwash:
From Ms Dai Qingli.

Sir, David Pilling claims that the US should not throw the bone of Taiwan to court the Chinese (“US cannot sacrifice Taiwan to court the Chinese”, Comment March 31). Let me outline China’s position on this major issue of principle.

There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are indivisible. In recent years, cross-Strait relations have been improving. People-to-people exchanges are thriving. Blood is thicker than water. Taiwan is not a “bone” which can be thrown at will by foreign countries. The Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have the wisdom and capability to achieve the early reunification of China.

The Taiwan issue concerns the dignity of the 1.3bn Chinese people. We firmly oppose any interference in the Taiwan issue by any country or any person. China is consistently opposed to US arms sales to Taiwan. In the three China-US Joint Communiqués, the US acknowledged that there is but one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China and undertook to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan, leading over time to final resolution. China will continue to work with the US to handle Taiwan-related issues properly on the basis of one China and the three communiqués to safeguard the overall China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Unfortunately, whenever cross-Strait relations improve, there are people who will try to stir up confrontation, and even clamour for continued arms sales by the US to Taiwan. This is very harmful to peace, stability and development across the Taiwan Strait and in the region. We trust that FT readers will not be misled by these acts which go against the trend of the times.

Dai Qingli,


Chinese Embassy in the UK
This appears to have been put together using a software algorithm entitled "PRC SPOKESMAN RANDOM LETTER GENERATOR." It contains the usual false claims and misrepresentations.

1 -- "blood is thicker than water." 'Nuff said!
2 -- the US says Taiwan is part of China.
3 -- Taiwan is an "internal affair" of China ... one thing missing from Ma's foreign policy, so crucial to the DPP's, is the internationalization of the Taiwan issue.
4 -- the PRC hates arms sales to Taiwan
5 -- the PRC is "reunifying" not annexing Taiwan

The sad part is not the lies, but the fact that the US State Department, whose position is completely misrepresented here -- the US position is that the status of Taiwan is undetermined, not that it is part of China -- will probably not take the three minutes necessary to post a correction to the Financial Times.

A good thing indicated buy this missive is that after two decades of greater engagement, China still has not learned how to package its communications with the outside world in a consistent manner -- too much depends on the quality of the representative. In this case the rep is speaking not to the outside but to her superiors -- hoping to sound hardnosed enough for promotion. As a result, the "spokesman" sounds about as slick as one of the alien characters from the old Master of Orion game. Of course this incompetence could be a bad thing -- perhaps the PRC simply doesn't care what it looks like because it expects instant obedience. Scary....

The Taipei Times must have had a slow news day yesterday, for they said that this was China's call for "early reunification." Does this missive really mean that? Or is it just the usual bluster?

Meanwhile, on the real news front, there's another excellent piece by keen observer James Holmes in The Jamestown Brief. Here's the opening paragraph, don't miss the entire piece:
The sporadic confrontations that punctuated the past two years in the China seas subsided for a time. Senior U.S. military officials depicted the lull as a temporary, tactical retreat from the assertive stance Beijing assumed on such controversies as conflicting maritime territorial claims, foreign naval operations, and military surveillance in the "near seas" [1]. A string of recent events bears out their assessment, suggesting both that Chinese leaders have not abandoned their ambitions in these waters and that these ambitions are apt to encounter pushback from fellow Asian sea powers. Furthermore, the uptick in maritime confrontations demonstrates that China’s "smile" diplomacy—a diplomatic campaign designed to portray China as an inherently beneficent great power—is on hold.
 China's groping for a strategy was also signified this week by additional news about the Shi Lang, the new aircraft carrier China is building, its first. China is close to launching it, reports the NY Times. The vessel won't be any match for the US monster carriers, but it will be a good test bed for China to study carrier operations.

Shi Lang was the general who led the conquest of Taiwan for the Manchus.

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! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

You'd think they'd be working to get Mayor Ma re-elected.

The DPP should thank the PRC for their campaigning efforts.

richard said...

if you look at the numbers - the US has so far build ca. 70 aircraft carriers, currently 11 operational, this is the first Chinese one.
long way to go ...

Jason said...

MT -

Just a minor observation: I'm not sure the PRC has gotten around to renaming the ex-Varyag. I've seen this "fact" reported everywhere but in the official Chinese media. The Shi Lang name makes for good copy but, as far as I know, is at this point only a rumor.

Michael Turton said...

Oh really? Thanks Jason. That makes me feel a whole lot better.


Anonymous said...

Beijing appears to have misjudged the part military power should play in a maritime strategy that taps all sources of national strength. The mailed fist is a poor accompaniment for smile diplomacy. China’s bellicosity over the past two years has squandered many of the gains it reaped from adroit diplomacy in previous years. Its overemphasis on military force may be premature in any event. China cannot yet impose its will by force, while Asian powers have pushed back hard amid the recurring maritime confrontations with China. Beijing risks uniting a hostile coalition.

It seems to me that China holds all the cards. Foreign countries have no designs on Chinese territory. China's instigation of maritime clashes might inspire the formation of coalitions against it, but coalitions are temporary in nature and hold little prospect of threatening the territory China currently holds. Bottom line - China has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Anonymous said...

Someone in the Taipei office in London is at least sensible.

Respect dignity of the Taiwanese also

Source: 13-APR-2011 Intellasia | Financial Times
13 Apr, 2011 - 7:00:00 AM

Sir, In her response to David Pilling's article "US cannot sacrifice Taiwan to court the Chinese" (March 31) Dai Qingli discusses the importance of the sensibilities of mainland Chinese people (Letters, April 8). It is also important, however, to respect and value the views of those living in Taiwan with regard to this matter. I would like to elaborate on this as follows.

First, President Ma Ying-jeou has said that one of his main objectives during his term of office is the improvement of cross-strait relations, and the pursuit of peace and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait. This must, however, be based on the principles of equality and mutual respect; such negotiations cannot succeed when motivated by threats or fear of the use of force. Blood may indeed be thicker than water, as Ms Dai says, but there is no need to find out by tainting the Taiwan Strait with it.

Second, Ms Dai overlooks the opinions of those living in Taiwan, most of whom currently support the continuation of the status quo with no moves towards reunification or independence. It is somewhat insensitive of her to discuss the "dignity of the Chinese people" while at the same time slighting those in Taiwan by ignoring their voice.

According to the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, it is the policy of the US to provide weapons of a defensive character to Taiwan. This is crucial for ensuring that Taiwan has the military capacity necessary for its security. This should not be perceived as harmful to cross-strait discussions; on the contrary, it guarantees that such discussions take place on an even footing.

Taiwan welcomes rational dialogue with mainland China founded on the concepts of parity and dignity, and we expect Ms Dai to accept Taiwan's role in determining its own future.-by Kuo-Chung Lin