Friday, May 27, 2016

Beijing official torches self in attempt to scorch Tsai

Bit rainy the other day in Miaoli, but Kerslake produced a fabulous write up with lovely pics of our ride. 

Solidarity translated the entire post of the Beijing official's remarks on Tsai, and observed....
Translation of the repost of a May 24(?) editorial (link) in the International Herald Leader, a Xinhua subsidiary, which has since been scrubbed from the Internet (link). See the Washington Post and New York Times reports on the vociferous reaction inside and outside China to this piece. As CDT noted, the commentary also appeared in some places under the headline “Tsai Ing-wen’s Extremist Political Style May Be Due to Singlehood.” The high position of the author makes one wonder the extent to which this article reflects the views of PRC leadership. Of interest is not only the sexism but also the repetition of numerous deep blue tropes about the green camp, like Tsai being the mastermind of all Taiwanese social movements. A favorite claim of mine was that Tsai manipulates public opinion by interacting with people at events.
In a tweet Solidarity also trenchantly observed that not only is the sexism of the piece shown in locating her behavior in her singlehood, but also, in ascribing her beliefs to the males around her. In Chinese nationalist theology among both KMTers and Beijingers, the independence movement was created by the Japanese to detach Taiwan from China and thus, Tsai's political behavior must have Japanese roots. Similar nonsense was emoted about Lee Teng-hui, who is alleged in KMT nutcase circles to be half-Japanese.

In this kind of thinking, in all cases social movements must have "black hands" -- the mastermind behind the scenes, Japan and later, the US, being the "black hand" behind Taiwan independence. Nothing ever happens organically or spontaneously in this world of conspiracies.

Beijing is being advised on Taiwan affairs by KMT people and Deep Blue businessmen in China. This editorial in the China Times gives a good example of the kind of nonsense it must constantly hear:
The KMT must insist that Taiwan is a pluralistic society with Chinese culture at its core, and not, as the DPP insists, a pluralistic society without any core culture. [MT: in Chinese/KMT theology there is no such thing as Taiwanese culture]. The Constitution of the Republic of China is a constitution that does not permit separatism. The new government has no right to propose Taiwan independence. It has a duty to ensure that the nation remains whole. Cross-Strait relations are not foreign relations. They are relations between two governments within China that are in a state of civil war. The 1992 Consensus is the political foundation for cross-Strait exchanges of administrative and business nature. The KMT must demand to oversee the new government that it continue to uphold these principles. It must tell the people that Taiwan cannot participate in regional economic organizations unless it does so in concert with the Mainland. The KMT must loudly proclaim that legally the civil war is not over. [MT: I hope so! That will marginalize it even further] It must tell the DPP that the more successful its campaign of de-Sinicization, the more people on the two sides are divided in identity, then the more elusive cross-Strait peace will become, and the greater the possibility of military conflict.[MT: De-sinicization is code language for the removal of markers of KMT colonialism in Taiwan.]

During the Mainland's 30 years of reform and opening-up, Taiwan made significant contributions to its economic development. Taiwan also preserved traditional Chinese culture. [MT: "...unlike the Communists who stamped it out." This propaganda claim used to be reproduced even by academics, but it has disappeared outside KMT circles]. This earned it the respect of the vast majority of people on the Mainland. While the DPP is eager to sever all cultural and economic links with the Mainland,[MT: Of course it doesn't want to sever "all" cultural and economic links with China] the KMT must continue to bear the heavy burden. Pessimistically speaking, it must not allow the Mainland to lose all room of imagination for reunification. Optimistically speaking, it must let the Mainland feel that Taiwan can play an important role in cooperation and promotion on road to the revitalization of the Chinese nation. Only then can Taiwan win hearts and minds on the Mainland. Only then, can it then win their respect.
As many of us have noted, and Solidarity again observed above, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Beijing does not understand Taiwan and does not know what to do. It appears to have talked itself into a corner. Even Banyan at the Economist wrote this week...
China’s approach to Ms Tsai suggests it has few new ideas, either, on how to handle Taiwan. She was elected in January despite China’s warnings. 
....saying what several of us have been saying aloud for months: Beijing is floundering. It doesn't know what to do, and this astonishing outburst from a high ranking official suggests that Beijing is so primitive in its thinking that even the gender of the new President has flummoxed them.

It's always good to see the international media catching up to my positions...

MEDIA NOTES: The Emily Rauhala piece at WaPo Solidarity links to above was widely praised. Don't miss it.

I couple of weeks ago I took the Economist to task for misreporting the failure of Ma's China policies. I then published a piece at the Diplomat that put up the numbers and linked to a cluster of nonsensical claims about Ma's China policies. I ended that latter piece:
With a new pro-Taiwan president and party in power in Taipei, Taiwan’s China policies are likely to change. Given what has gone before, readers may rest assured that this will trigger a new round of complaints in the international media: the new government is destroying the massive China trade successes of the Ma administration.
What did Banyan write about trade in that piece above?
Similarly, in Taiwan, a massive expansion of trade and tourism links with China under Ms Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT), caused huge protests in 2014.
...with no numbers, of course, documenting that "massive" expansion. Banyan dare not report the numbers or the critiques of them, because then the slant of her writing would become clear.

But there was a really great moment in that piece:
But in her speech Ms Tsai bent over backwards to keep to her promise not to upset the status quo. She even acknowledged the “historical fact” of the meeting in 1992 at which the alleged consensus was reached. But she did not repeat the “one China” fiction. Struggling to appease both her pro-independence supporters and Taiwan’s domineering neighbour, she gave neither quite what they wanted.
"'One China' fiction". That's beautiful. Thanks, Banyan.
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