Monday, September 17, 2007

Latest Nelson Report on Taiwan

Panorama of the Taichung Train Station. Note the Taiwan-UN Banners, which are prominent on many government buildings throughout Taiwan.

The Washington insider Nelson Report says good things about the US management of the DPP Referendum headache:


CHINA-TAIWAN...[A/S Chris] Hill at his press conference confirmed he had just come from a meeting with China's State Council chief on Taiwan, Chen Yin-lin, and said the conversation was about "cross Strait Relations" and the UN Membership Resolution being pushed by Taiwan's president Chen Shuibian.

(The KMT's version of a plebiscite was not mentioned by Hill, nor asked about by the press.)

Asked about China's view of Bush Administration criticisms of Chen, and its handling of the referendum issue, Hill said he referred the minister to the speech Tuesday by A/S Tom Christensen (Nelson Report, Sept. 12).

We later asked Hill if any criticisms or suggestions were offered, and Hill responded, "He had actually read the speech!"

So...reading between the lines...we've been told by several sources this week, from China as well as here in Washington, that Beijing remains "vary satisfied" with the US approach to Chen and the UN matter.

This would seem to imply that China has assured the US that it will not seek an embarrassing fight at the UN over this, one which could force the US into changing various bits of the sensitive catechism which has so long governed cross-Strait relations.

Chen himself gave a very long interview today to the Wall Street Journal in which he repeated his arguments from last week, in the teleconference at AEI. The basic Chen-DPP argument was spelled out, at length, that it cannot be a change in the status quo to point out that Taiwan has been an independent democracy for years.

It's anyone's guess whether Washington and Beijing are mollified by Chen's admission that there is no practical effect by the Taiwanese people approving an approach to the UN for membership - by any name - because that will not be recognized by the US or China.

For what it's worth...we were just told (after typing all of the above) that there's some intelligence warning that President Chen plans to say or do something in just a few hours (Saturday, Taiwan time) which might take the de-facto independence arguments to another level.

Obviously, some movement in that direction could alter the cozy little conversation now going on between the US and the PRC.


Judging from the statement in the second-to-last paragraph that claims President was about to do something on Saturday that might change the Status Quo (like what, plant 1,000 missiles on the coast -- oh wait, I forgot -- that can't alter the Status Quo), someone was a victim of anti-Chen propaganda. Mad Chen rears his implacable crazed head in the intelligence apparatus.....

As the interested reader can see, the State Department is primarily interested in placating China, and appears to have been successful in doing so. For the moment. Now that the DPP has established some great forward momentum, dominated the political discourse, raised our image all over the world, garnered sympathy and support -- it is time to wind things down a little. The election is a marathon, not a sprint, and the US needs at least a token signal that Taipei is going to cooperate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beijing remains "vary satisfied" with the US approach to Chen and the UN matter. --- "very"?

As usual, it is funny ;-)