Saturday, March 05, 2016

Nelson Report on Taiwan

Nelson Report on Taiwan. The first piece included in the report is "Taiwan Giving China the Jitters". The slant will be recognizable to anyone: Poor Put-Upon China! If only Taiwan would quit threatening Beijing with democracy, everything would be ok. It's crazy: since the election the international media has produced a slew of pieces claiming that Taiwan somehow upsets China, yet not a single piece centered on how Taiwan feels about China, or how Chinese threats to maim and murder Taiwanese and take their land "give Taiwanese the jitters."

No, Beijing is not concerned about a possible push for independence -- it is concerned about painting Taiwan as the provocative, disruptive factor in cross-strait relations. It's a shame that the Straits Times simply forwards Beijing's claims with neither comment nor critique, and no balancing information.

The second piece is a conventional discussion of the "comfort women" issue originally in The Diplomat. The author does not understand the issue at all in its ROC context... more below


TAIWAN ISSUES... US/CHINA/TAIWAN...we sent the following Straits Times piece to expert Loyal Readers for comment on whether it's pro-forma/par for the course, or cause for concern:

RICHARD BUSH, former president of AIT...speaking for the group:

No worry per se. This is the positioning that Beijing has been engaged in for about two years. Tsai is doing her own positioning. Whether a mutual accommodation will follow is an open question. This is the stage of a sumo match when the wrestlers stomp around the ring, throwing sand or whatever they throw.


Richard C. Bush
Director, Center for East Asia Policy Studies
Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies


Your Editor: we're pretty sure that's ritual salt the Lads are tossing around, but the point's the same
Taiwan Giving China The Jitters. Kor Kian Beng, The Straits Times. "China's top political advisory body has voiced its opposition to Taiwanese independence in its annual report for the first time since 2008, reflecting its concern about a breakaway as the island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) prepares to take power. China's fourth-ranked leader Yu Zhengsheng, who chairs the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said Beijing will uphold the "1992 Consensus" and oppose Taiwanese independence as its political foundation while seeking to advance cross-strait ties. Outlining its 2016 work as the CPPCC opened its annual session yesterday, Mr Yu said Beijing would be launching exchange programmes for Taiwan's youth "to experience the mainland first-hand" and also study the employment situation of Taiwanese students who have attended mainland schools. The last time the phrase Taiwanese independence - tai du in Mandarin - appeared in a CPPCC annual work report was in March 2008. That was just before the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) regained power later that month, ushering in a balmy phase of ties over the next eight years. But now, Beijing is concerned over disruption in cross-strait cooperation and a possible push for independence after the KMT lost the legislative and presidential polls in January to the DPP, ...
Also on Taiwan issues:

HISTORY/THE COMFORT WOMEN TRAGEDY...Taiwan's ambassador to the United States, Loyal Reader and Representative Lyushun Shen, speaking Wed. night at Twin Oaks, called the matter of an Abe Administration apology to Taiwan for its comfort women victims "a matter of human decency"....from The Diplomat:
Will Taiwan's 'Comfort Women' Get an Apology From Japan?

After reaching a deal with South Korea over the "comfort women" issue, will Japan ignore Taiwanese victims?

By Mina Pollmann
March 04, 2016


However, even though Japan has made valiant efforts to find closure on the issue with South Korea, this deal has inspired survivors from other countries to step forward and press their claims - including survivors from Taiwan.

In Taiwan, which was then, like the Korean peninsula, under Japan's colonial domination, 2,000 women were abducted or cheated into becoming comfort women. Just as in South Korea, many of these women did not immediately share their stories due to the patriarchal culture that shamed and blamed the victims for what was done to them by the Japanese Army.


Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has reiterated his government's pledge to seek justice and dignity, including requests for an apology and compensation from Japan to former Taiwanese comfort women. South Korea's success has spurred Ma to demand immediate negotiations with Japan on the issue. Speed is of the essence, as time is running out. Three of the survivors featured in the documentary have passed away since the project began in 2013.

LOL. People often forget that in the 50s and 60s women found in public in Taiwan without residence cards would be rounded up and sent to Matsu and Kinmen and elsewhere as sex slaves for the KMT army. Indeed, women sold into prostitution in the cities in that era would typically have their residence cards seized and hidden by the brothels in order to control them, just as today women trafficked across national borders typically have their passports seized by their brokers and brothel owners, so they have no legal documents to escape. Of course the KMT has never apologized for this heinous policy or compensated the victims, but it demands that Japan do so.

The real function of the comfort women issue between the Ma Administration is the same as the Senkakus claim: an irritant to keep relations between Taiwan and Japan roiled, and -- less so -- a nationalist rallying cry that the mainlander ruling class hopes to use to spark Taiwanese hatred of the Japanese: look how the evil Japanese treated your women! You should hate them! 
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Jenna Cody said...

To be fair, the importance of an apology/reparations to KMT-sold comfort women doesn't mean that Japanese-sold comfort women don't also deserve an apology. I wouldn't put it past the Ma administration to purposely keep the Japan-Taiwan relationship a bit irritated, but that can be true **as well as** Taiwanese comfort women of the Japanese army deserving justice. That's what makes it a complicated issue. The answer isn't just to say "screw the comfort women - they shouldn't get an apology or reparations", either.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Turton, in terms of comfort women transgressions, who do you think did it worse, the KMT or the Japanese? Would they both need to apologize and pay compensation to the Taiwanese about that practice? Or only side needs to (either KMT or Japan)? Or none does because that practice was justifiable in the past context? It's one thing to snipe about KMT hypocrisy or how politically motivated they are, but what is your real stance on this issue.

Linden said...

Justifiable in the past context? Is this a joke? Obviously they were both guilty of human rights abuses. Both should apologize and compensate, but I'm not sure to what extent the KMT has done either.

Anonymous said...

KMT will use any tool to stay in power. Many people in the government are still working for KMT covertly. Just take a look at recent incident in 政治大學 and action of the military police that threaten civilian and go into their home to confiscate document. Too many apparatus of police state are still in operation in Taiwan. I hope the new DPP government will dismantle them.