Saturday, June 07, 2014

Ma Gov't Rep Bullshits the US on Radar =UPDATEDX2=

Miaoli county, near Tiangou.

UPDATE 2: J Michael Cole at Thinking Taiwan discusses the affair and provides much detail on MOFA's clarification of who said what. Washington insiders point out that there is no request for radars. Absurd.

FINAL UPDATE: WashTimes has completely rewritten the article

The Washington Times reports:
The [Cong. J Randy] Forbes proposal calls for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency to explore the costs and benefits of merging a Taiwanese early-warning radar, which has the ability to peer deep into China, with the U.S. military’s own missile defense and sensor systems.

Mr. Jieh said two to four “long-range early-warning radars” have been built along Taiwan’s western coastline, but some in Taiwan are resisting the idea of expanding the system.

President Ma has been enduring so much domestic pressure, questioning, ‘Why do you need these long-range radar towers detecting the long-range missiles of mainland China that won’t target Taiwan but target some other countries?’” he said.

Despite the opposition, Mr. Jieh said, the Ma government has “been very affirmative in helping the U.S. set up these radar towers because the Ma administration does believe that setting up these long-range radar towers not only helps the U.S., but also helps Taiwan.”

“It’s not my personal criticism, but a lot of people’s criticism in Taiwan is that, ‘Hey, why do we, Taiwan, need such big radar towers that can detect the inner land of mainland China?’” Mr. Jieh said. “‘We don’t need that, actually.’ That’s some people’s argument.”
I can't emphasize this enough: no one but some fringe Chinese nationalists within the KMT is resisting these radars, and they do that because they imagine themselves to be Chinese and identify with China. The DPP is solidly behind the radar purchase and deployment and supports increase military purchases and contacts with the US. In my years of riding and talking all over Taiwan I have never heard a single peep against these radars. There is literally no domestic opposition. Again, all the opposition comes from the right-wing freak fringe of the KMT, which opposes anything that might interfere with China's ability to dominate the area.

Two conclusions may be drawn here. First, this misrepresentation shows how weird the dialogue within the KMT about policy truly is: it is so weird and out of touch that fringe groups become "many voices" and insanity is treated as so normal that it can be taken out and displayed before the US as if Ma is making sacrifices in supporting the radar: "See how much the President is suffering?" Except the friction is from his own party, because for Ma, those are the only voices that really count.

It also shows something else, something deep and visceral about the KMT: its abiding contempt for both Japan and the US. Missiles flying over Taiwan aimed elsewhere can only be aimed at Japanese and US military. Clearly many within the KMT, the party that so many in the US support, are happy to have US and Japanese boys killed by Chinese missiles. Because it doesn't concern them... and makes them feel strong and powerful, because they identify with China, not the west, and not Taiwan.

The US needs to rethink its support of the KMT and the Ma Administration. Note again: these facilities and other US defense policies have the solid support of the DPP. The US is backing the wrong.... Horse.

UPDATE: Taipei Times has latest. Privately I've heard that Jieh says Washington Times put the words of others in his mouth.
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Anonymous said...

About the only missiles flying over Taiwan aimed at Japan would have to be launched from Hainan and traveling in a straight line. If China were to attack Japan with missiles, there'd be much better places to launch from.

As for missiles aimed at the US military, seeing as China has no intentions on invading the US, any aimed at the US military would likely be in retaliation to a US attack on China. There's really no other chance of China attacking the US except in retaliation.

Michael Turton said...


Anonymous said...


The key part of this is the notion that Chinese ballistic missiles aren't targeting people on Taiwan anymore. The guy should take a minute to look at deployment areas of the seven conventional ballistic missile brigades in southeast China under Base 52, and understand the ranges of the missile systems. Then say that these missiles aren't targeting Taiwan. BK needs to get the new NSB director on record on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Your post reminds me of a TT article that I saved from 2005:

Why the irritation over such support? Because at a philosophical level Lee’s opponents hold the US and its ideals in high and barely disguised contempt, despite the formidable number of them that sucked on the teat of the American education system and whose very survival in this place has been paid for over the decades by the US military. To this day, deep inside the heart of the unificationist ideologue, there lives derision toward the barbaric West and a longing for the time when the center of a true civilization — Beijing, presumably — can return to its rightful place as the capital of not the Middle Kingdom, as it is usually mistranslated, but the Central Kingdom.

Anonymous said... if Ma is making sacrifices in supporting the radar: "See how much the President is suffering?"....

This is called "good cop, bad cop." The KMT and King Pu-tsung have been playing it with the US very successfully in the past 10 years.

In fact, there is a group of main-streamers within the US (some within the banking and news media sectors) that loves it and willingly plays along.

I agree with you though that within Taiwan there is no opposition to the radar stations.

I for one support it because Taiwan needs to get its act together regarding our own national defense. The massive demilitarization of Taiwan surgically and systematically done by the Ma administration since 2008 is extremely alarming. Nobody in the world seems to take note though because the "good cop" says that it is for the sake of "cross-strait rapprochement".

Mike Fagan said...

The idea that the 2nd Artillery cannot target various locations in Taiwan is demonstrably false. The idea that they can target such locations, but choose not to is naive at best.

However, expensive and relatively predictable missiles strike me as much less of a risk than saboteurs armed with simple explosives. Look at those two idiots a few months back who put a bomb on one of the HSR trains. What if they had been professionals who had set explosives to blow up HSR line support pillars at several different points from Taipei to Taichung? There is some security at the major power stations but little to none at transformer stations for the electricity grid. Even less at gas stations. Etc...

Readin said...

"right-wing freak fringe of the KMT"

I wish you wouldn't use "right" and "left" when speaking of Taiwanese politics as it can be very confusing for an international audience.

The use of "right" in America differs greatly from how it appears to be used in Europe. You're an American but appear to using it in a way that has nothing to do with the American usage (a right-wing American with any knowledge of the KMT's pro-China positions would be very opposed to those positions - especially those based on racism).

There is one definition of "right-wing" that does seem to fit, though it makes the word even less useful. "right-wing" is "anything the writer doesn't like". You see that usage quite often in American newspapers. This is one of the reasons Fox News has become so popular.

So if you want to talk about the KMT without insulting the American right-wing half of your audience who should be your natural ally in promoting freedom and opposing bullying, please try to find a different term to use.

Anonymous said...

Better term - > KMTard

As in: Never go full KMTard