Thursday, June 09, 2011

ROC General: PRC Army + ROC Army = Chinese Army

Another retired KMT general, another pro-China comment?
Taiwanese media, citing a Chinese media report quoting PLA Major General Luo Yuan (羅援), said a Taiwanese speaker recently told a gathering of retired generals from both sides of the Strait in China: “From now on, we should no longer separate the ROC Army and the PLA. We are all China’s army.”

The report identified the speaker as former ROC Air Force General Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲).

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday issued a statement saying it had checked with Hsia, who said the media report was “not factual.”

The statement said the ministry had never authorized any group or individual to discuss, exchange views or speak with China on its behalf, adding that any comments made by individuals were said in a “private” capacity.
Read it carefully: does the MND specifically say that the comments were not made? Nope, the way I read it, the MND is not denying that the comments were made, just denying that the general was speaking with official authority. Looks like the general did indeed engage in a bit of Chinese nationalist harrumphing. ADDED: President Ma condemned the alleged remarks.

Letters from Taiwan rounded up some previous instances of military officer visits to Zion the Motherland China. Some of them are especially chilling:
2011 - Nineteen retired Taiwanese intelligence officials last month visited late General Tai Li’s (戴笠) hometown in Jiangshan City (江山市), Zhejiang Province, China, reports said yesterday. The Chinese-language China Times reported that former National Security Bureau chief accountant Lieutenant General Hsu Ping-chiang (徐炳強) and former Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) official Major General Huang Chi-mei (黃其梅) led 17 retired MIB officials on a visit to Tai’s hometown — the first time former Taiwanese intelligence officials paid a formal visit to China. Tai is known as the father of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) infamous intelligence apparatus during the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) presidency.
Not only is this habit of retired military officers breaking bread with their Chinese counterparts a problem for Taiwan's military and its democracy, but it has also attracted the worry of the US. These exchanges are one reason the US is reluctant to sell Taiwan its best military gear.

How bad is the problem? The public exchanges of groups of officers that make it into the press don't really get to the heart of the matter. As Lawrence Eyton reported in an excellent and sensitive article on the largely mainlander army and bureaucracy in 2002:
It also follows the release of an alarming statistic by the Ministry of National Defense according to which more than 3,000 former Taiwan military officers are now either doing business or working in "consultancies" in mainland China.
Many more have quiet links to China in other ways, through family doing business there. Indeed in a couple of cases ROC military officers claim they were blackmailed into handing over classified info by some PRC threat to family members doing business in China.
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.


John S said...

What an amazing fluke of history (or maybe psychology)—a military that is unable to recognize its biggest enemy. An army that isn't even sure whether a nation is a friend or an enemy. What a paradox! It sounds almost like a "war is peace" kind of double-speak.

If a military (or a nation) can't even define its allies and adversaries clearly-- then forget it.

Anonymous said...

The problem of creating an ultra-nationalist military that was designed to support the ideological goals of a party that does not center itself on Taiwan.

Dixteel said...

Good thing this is close to election, otherwise Ma won't even say a thing. I think this calls for some serious whoop ass on those retired general, for lacking loyalties and being dumb. I wonder though how much percentage of the current army thinks like this.

Jade said...

Very worrysome. Shouldn't these generals be arrested? It is just disgusting to see these greedy generals profit from their duplicity and still shamelessly make traitorous statements. God bless Taiwan.

David on Formosa said...

Take a look at this photo containing the words "Chinese Army". It is a recruiting poster from Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense.

Samuel Hutchinson said...

But Taiwan is in reality still province of Republic of China, so the army is Chinese. I don't understand the point of this post.

Anonymous said...

If a nation is unable to come to general agreement on a working definition of which nation is an ally and which is an adversary, then it follows that there will also be no solid definition of what constitutes treason.

It all depends on how you define "the nation", etc. There is no "right" or "wrong", it's all just a matter of how you explain, define, or defend an action or position.

Which of course is precisely why retired or even active ROC military have such attractive opportunities as far as establishing cozy social, political and economic relations in China with PRC officials.

Taiwanese has seen about three generations of this fuzzy, undefined and endlessly malleable notion of nationhood, and some apparently believe it can last indefinitely. Too few are prepared to actually start talking seriously about what choices will have to be made when it finally becomes apparent to everyone that the period is ending forever.

Anonymous said...

Lee Teng-hui did a thorough house cleaning of the military by offering some attractive golden parachutes to many in the officers corps, this helped to weed out a lot of the mid-level mainlanders and reduce the possibility of a pro-Hau coup.

He really couldn't go far enough.

Chen tried to promote Taiwanese to top military positions, but it seems a lot of his appointees have been targeted for various "offenses" and forced to step down.

Tsai needs to come in and clean house, take names and make Taiwan seem worth fighting for.

Anonymous said...

The more high ranking military figures and the various intelligence services have links or do business with the mainland, the less likely conflict becomes. Win-win for Taiwan, China and the wider region. Hard to see what there is to complain about, generally speaking.

Robert R. said...

Hard to see what there is to complain about, generally speaking.

Ah, yes, the blood-less annexation. Sounds utterly heavenly.

SY said...

Ma Ying-Jeou repeated many times that his regime agrees with China that there is but one China and that their disagreement lies in its name.

Based on Ma's formula, it goes without saying that there is but one Chinese Army.

The former "general" Hsia Ying-chou told United Daily yesterday (June 9, 2011) that there are three steps in approaching the security issue between both sides (of Taiwan Strait): (1) The talks (negotiations?) between the retired generals of both sides, (2) The talks (negotiations?) between think tanks designated by goverments of both sides, and then (3) The direct talks (negotiations?) on governmental level. (see the fifth paragraph of this UDN report (in Chinese).)

It is unclear if the three-step approach Hsia mentioned above is the agreed-upon plan inside the KMT/Ma's regime or just Hsia's own thought. It is very interesting. Hsia may be revealing more than he meant to.

In the same paragraph, Hsia went further to name the exchange between retired military heads as one of three key factors to the "détente" (policy of Ma or China or both?); the other two being economic and cultural exchanges.

Philip L said...

@Samuel Hutchinson and Anonymous 8:32am: No big deal. Right. So why is President Ma squirming like a worm on a hook:

BTW, gotta love this line in the link above:

"The R.O.C. was founded in 1912 when the government moved to Taipei as Communist forces took control of China. "

Anonymous said...

Judging by the food Taiwanese are eating for a long time what a retired general says is already irrelevant.

Taiwan must place food safety above all else so that the country will be strong and not full of plastics.

Agent Orange

Waltzin' Jaloma said...

A member of the Chinese military brass spills the beans on ROC Air Force General Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲)’s comment. That strikes me as weird.

They should know that the run-up to elections is a very sensitive time in a democracy like Taiwan. Why do they do that just now, right in time to embarrass the Ma administration?

Are they so confident that the Taiwanese frog is already so thoroughly cooked that even such leak will not be able to jolt the Taiwanese electorate against the KMT and even against the whole ROC system?

So many Chinese moves and utterances since last year against Japan and Taiwan that get me wondering why would Zhongnanhai or the PLA prefer keeping its spineless neighbors on their toes under the US defense umbrella?

Because, let us face it; once Taiwan, Okinawa and Japan have been “liberated” peacefully with the collaboration of spineless local governments and made into SARS where the dregs of the nation have been sent pioneering, what is a Chinese leader to do to keep his masses tame? What national project can he offer the citizenry once the minor foes are no more?

And another question, this one to you, Michael and J. M. Cole. In light of this last blurb in a long series, are you still advocating selling Mr. Ma the baubles he wants for his markings-free ROCAF? Has the US already completed the task of retiring the China-tainted brass and instilled the replacements with a sense of their allegiance to the US and of their duty to defend Taiwan on US's behalf?

Or maybe do you intend for those birds to be piloted, maintained and guarded by an all-American military outfit ensconced in a gated USAFB on US occupied Japanese Taiwan?

In which case I, like many awakened Formosans, would totally support your advocacy.

「退役上將登陸:國軍共軍 都是中國軍」


The above Hideki Nagayma's post refers to PLAN-related articles from the Diplomat. Have your pick.

Chinese History And Reality
Not the same thing at all

by Philip Bowring, in Asia Sentinel, Monday, 06 June 2011
…“All reports to date say that the aircraft carrier is to be named “Shi Lang.” This is the name of the general…who conquered Taiwan in 1683, ….That Shi Lang was fighting on behalf of China’s Manchu occupiers, who had destroyed the Ming empire a few years earlier, is quietly forgotten.

The use of Shi’s name is most obviously intended to send a message to Taiwan about its eventual fate …. and to impress on China’s domestic audience the importance that its none-too-self-confident leaders attach to regaining Taiwan.

However, it also sends a message to Southeast Asia about the expansion that the Chinese empire has undergone since the Manchu conquest….

Waltzin' Jaloma said...

Thanks to Philip L. for the Chipo link. I could not resist the opportunity to put the record straight. As I doubt my comment will ever appear, here's for the record:

"The R.O.C. was founded in 1912 when the government moved to Taipei as Communist forces took control of China."

That pearl made me neigh with such irrepressible mirth that I pee-ed myself. Another pearl of yours that makes reading your rag worthwhile:

"CNA's Joe Hung, a long time editor-in-chief and current commenter on this rag, speaks fluently Mandarin, English AND JAPANESE."

MORONS!! Who do you think you are fooling when JAPANESE IS HIS MOTHER TONGUE?

I do not know which comes second of English and Mandarin, but I'll bet he speaks Mandarin with a strong JAPANESE ACCENT, like all well-bred FORMOSAN JAPANESE.

Joe was born in Tainan in 1932. A pure product of KOMINKA. A Japanese until April 28, 1952. And, hopefully, still a "kakure Nipponjin" at heart in his venerable age.

Come out of your China closet Joe. Be a mensch, once.

Jerome Besson
Valenciennes - France"

Anonymous said...

Absolutely despicable.

The general should be forced to forfeit all his retirement benefits.

Worse, you know damn well he spilled his beans to his "brothers" in the PRC about Taiwan's military preparedness.

Fvcking disgraceful piece of worthless trash.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the blood-less annexation. Sounds utterly heavenly.

@Robert R.

Beats the alternative any day of the week.

While you can jump on a plane to America or wherever you come from if there's conflict, most of us here don't have that luxury. Life, even under China, is infinitely better than death.

John S said...

I'm wondering-- if these kinds of relationships are not considered treasonous, what WOULD be counted as treason? Giving information to the U.S.? to Japan?

I wonder what the ROC military recruits themselves think they are preparing to defend against. An attack or a blockade by Japan? Are they being taught to see the PLA as their brothers? How much can you ask a soldier to sacrifice, when they see that their top leadership is already giving up?

Anonymous said...

There you have it: Anon 11:09 speaks for the good people of Taiwan: "Life, even under China, is infinitely better than death."

Apparently there will be no resistance, Beijing! Come on over!

Anonymous said...

如果他們握手言歡了 那就快滾回中國去

Anonymous said...

There you have it: Anon 11:09 speaks for the good people of Taiwan: "Life, even under China, is infinitely better than death."

Apparently there will be no resistance, Beijing! Come on over!

Most people are not war-mongers like the hawks on this blog seem to be. There'd be some guerilla-type action I'd imagine, but in the main, people want safety and security for themselves and their families and that doesn't come through violence. That's especially so here because there'd be little if any difference in daily life for the majority of people if China took over.

Unless you still believe the "we had to kill the village to save it" line that is, we all know how sensible that is. lol

Waltzin' Jaloma said...

JUN 11, 709AM John S said...” I'm wondering-- if these kinds of relationships are not considered treasonous, what WOULD be counted as treason? Giving information to the U.S.? to Japan?”

Spot on, John. Formosan native and former President of the Republic of China, Chen Sui-Bien had been waiting trial in jail on arguably trumped-up charges of corruption when in summer 2009, he offered to testify to the United States Supreme Court in the Taiwan passport case, Roger C.S. Lin, et al vs. United States.

On July 5, 2009, Chen Shui-bian signed an affidavit in support of Roger Lin’s appeal to the US Supreme Court seeking from the US executive a disambiguation of the status of the Formosans under SFPT. In the affidavit, Chen said that he would like to clarify in court the relationship between “the people OF Taiwan (not the ‘exiled Chinese’ ON Taiwan) and the United States.”

Chen then went on saying that the US has been the “principal occupying power” of Taiwan and that Washington has considered him the head of the Taiwan governing authorities “ ... during my term of office, I accepted the instructions of the Chairmen of the American Institute in Taiwan ...”

KMT submits legal complaint over US ‘agent’ Chen
By the TT Flora Wang Thu, Oct 15, 2009
“Who is the bastard son of Uncle Sam?” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus whip Lu Hsueh-chang explains the caucus’ decision to lodge a treason charge against former president Chen Shui-bian at the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office.

Excerpt from the affidavit Chen signed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
"During the period of my Presidency, and according to the TRA {Taiwan Relations Act of 1979], it was my understanding that the United States government only considered me as the head of the "Taiwan governing authorities" and did not recognize Taiwan or the ROC [Republic of China] as sovereign states. According to the SFPC of 1952 [San Francisco Peace Treaty] the United States is the principal occupying power of Taiwan, and to my knowledge there has been no change in this status to date. Based on this rationale, during my term in office, I accepted the instructions of the Chairmen of the American Institute in Taiwan on many occasions, even when their instructions interfered with my Presidential decision-making."
The complete version of Chen’s affidavit and his declaration available at:

I searched the web in vain for further juicy details. Not even in Chen’s Wikipedia bio will you find that charge mentioned. Strangely, the topic has already faded in thin air. The case was heard but quietly dropped once they heard from Roger Lin who remains unabashedly active.

A root cause why Chen did not see eye to eye with the Bush administration on the sovereignty of the ROC on Taiwan owes to what the previous KMT administration should have shared, but that the hapless son of Taiwan had instead to learn on the job the hard way. As they did not notice about the 38000 pieces of missing documents eight years later, they also kept mum about that one and only real aspect of the office. And, while they prepared their return as the darlings of a gullible America by paving their way to Zhongnanhai, they enjoyed eight years of irrepressible glee at Chen’s expenses.

Anonymous said...

I have just returned from a SACO reunion ( Our featured guest was Lt. Gen Chang,Kan-Ping Director MIB,MND,Roc. After reading all your comments I have to wonder,were any of you around when SACO headed by Adm. Miles and Gen Tai Li commanded our operation? It was largly due to Gen donovan, who hated the success of SACO that led to the communist tkeover of China

Anonymous said...

anon! I would like to remain anonymous at least till after the upcoming 10-10 celebration.

Kepha said...

Well, I suspect that most senior military in Taiwan figured they'd learned the value of US commitments in 1978. They're probably figuring they have to make the best possible deal they can.