Monday, September 26, 2011

AP: Second term, Ma may go for political talks. Also: sky blue, earth round

I remain both fascinated and amused by the way both journalists and the public seem to regard Wikileaks trove of US diplomatic cables as a kind of glimpse of the sordid but real truth that the shiny surfaces of diplomacy is hiding, a sort of modern version of Procopius' Secret History but without all the juicy sexual allegations. Sadly. It would probably be much more entertaining to see who Ma was sleeping with, than what pap his people are feeding the Americans. AIT, get on it!

The latest version of this reliance on the truthiness of Wikileaks is AP's stentorian piece on the Wikileaks reports that Ma's vice president Vincent Siew told then AIT head Stephen Young that Ma might go for political talks in Ma's second term. AP says:
The WikiLeaks cable, dated June 30, 2009, quoted Siew as saying that political talks during a possible Ma second term would address key issues including "a peace treaty, a formal end to hostilities, and development of bilateral military confidence mechanisms" with China.

In the past, Ma has conditioned the opening of political discussions with Beijing on China's removal of the estimated 1,300 missiles it has aimed at Taiwanese targets. However, there was no mention of this condition in the cable
If you read the entire cable (here) you'll find that it is full of the standard bullshit the KMT always feeds its US listeners. I'm sure Stephen Young, a veteran of several years here, knew perfectly well what he was reporting. For example, Siew says that the beef issue would be resolved soon (hahahhaha -- if only). The Veep also promised to dialogue with the DPP (hahahahahaha). What does the Wikileaks report actually say?
If Ma is re-elected in 2012, observed the Vice President, the administration will confront the more difficult challenge of resolving outstanding cross-Strait political issues, including a peace treaty, a formal end to hostilities, and development of bilateral military confidence mechanisms. These "highly political" issues will be controversial in Taiwan, said Siew, but should be able to build on four years of cooperative engagement on economic issues.
This is about as vague as vague can be. Make up your own mind -- did Siew actually say it as AP says he did? Then look at what it is sandwiched between -- BS about beef above, BS about the DPP below. Siew is just talking; he probably didn't mention the missile condition because, as Young notes, he was fresh out of surgery and not at his best. Not because of some secret nefarious plot -- anyone following events knows that Ma doesn't give a fig for Chinese missiles one way or another; the "condition" is purely for public consumption.

I have two other objections to the AP report. First, any fool could have seen that if political talks were to be held, they were going to held in Ma's second term since if public talks began in the first term Ma would never get re-elected. Pure logic, no Wikileaks needed. Indeed, Ma's KMT underlings still will need to be elected in his second term, and public displeasure at open political talks would definitely hurt their changes.  Political talks will no doubt be held out of public sight, as..... they are now. Second, and more importantly, political talks are already being held, privately and constantly. Does anyone believe that when Lien Chan visited in 2005, the discussion wasn't about politics? Don't the KMT and CCP communicate regularly to update each other about what's going on? When Washington, Taipei, and Beijing coordinated their approach to the F-16 sale, d'ya think the talks weren't political?

Indeed, the extent to which the KMT and CCP cooperate is largely kept out of the foreign media, enabling foreign journalists to pretend that a Chinese Wall separates them, bridged only by salvos of businessmen and tourists -- and thus, any bid to cross that wall is Real News. But it is a media construct, not reality.

Think AP will report on any of that truly important story?
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Anonymous said...

Very sad. KMT loves to tango with CCP. I can never comprehend KMT's reasons for doing so. KMT apparently forgot how they lost China to CCP. KMT probably did not learn a lesson from Tibet either. Unfortunately, Ma most likely will get his second term and KMT might continue to dominate Legislative Yuan. Then Taiwan will really be just a providence of China. After hailing "Long Live to China", KMT probably will become a history. I wouldn't be surprised to witness another KMT historical fallout in my live time, if Taiwanese don't wake up.

Anonymous said...

Taiwanese who favor reunification should try going to Ali Shan and overtake those big and slow tour bus with Chinese tourist or park in front of the bus.

If they enjoy their encounter especially with the KMT tour guide and goon driver who orders people not to pass their VIP tourist bus or even take space in front of a PARKED bus then go ahead !

If not then make Mdm. Tsai your president!

Jason Tung