Saturday, January 06, 2018

When evolution leaves you behind.... + LINKZ

A harvest of mountain peas.
The 'living fossil' coelacanth fish left behind by evolution

A deep-sea fish which became known as a “living fossil” has not changed in appearance since before the time of the dinosaurs...(here)
John Copper, the longtime pro-KMT writer, was on at CPI this week with a hilariously awful piece a longtime observer described as "80% Wikipedia, 20% hit piece". But really it was 100% hit piece on the Tsai Administration in Copper's usual pro-KMT style.

What a failure. He bet everything on support of authoritarianism, and then, when history passed him by, he never changed. A living fossil catapulted from the 1970s into the 21st century, Copper still faithfully regurgitates KMT talking points as if they were insights and not propaganda. It would be sad, except a writer from a democracy who supports an authoritarian party is deserving only of contempt.

Copper says:
At the close of World War II and Taiwan’s return to China according to wartime agreements, Taiwan acquired a political party system: Chiang Kai-shek brought the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) to Taiwan along with two smaller parties. Thus Taiwan’s party system was technically a multipolar one, but in reality, it was a one-party structure. There was no party competition and contentious issues were worked out via internal KMT factions or (usually) by strong leadership.
Haha. Taiwan was never "returned to China" and Copper knows that full well. Sad. Note the term "strong leadership". Copper cannot bring himself to say "authoritarian leadership". Instead he assigns it a positive gloss, "strong".
Later that decade there appeared more independents. Behind Chiang Kai-shek’s impressive efforts to promote economic development (soon called miracle growth) grew a middle class that delivered the impetus for democratization.
Haha. As anyone who has read Ho's Economic Development of Taiwan 1860-1970 or Jacoby's US Aid  to Taiwan knows, Chiang actively fought sensible policies to promote growth, instead focusing the government budget on the military. It was a group of technocrats, US aid technicians, and small and medium sized business owners who drove the Taiwan Miracle, without help from, and often with the active opposition of, the KMT and Chiang.
In 1975, Chiang Kai-shek died and his son Chiang Ching-kuo, fondly known as CCK, became Taiwan’s leader. He saw the need for democratization and in 1980 arranged an open and competitive election. Independent candidates campaigned with enthusiasm using their newly gained freedom to do so. They worked together and promoted certain reforms somewhat as a political party might do.
As I was writing the draft of this last night, legislators and others were protesting the DPP's proposed changes to the labor law. The DPP is a left-wing party only if you are squinting through Mussolini's eyes. In the real world, it is a center-right neoliberal nationalist party run by an LSE-educated technocrat. I mean seriously... and the idea that the younger Chiang saw the need for democratization is laughable. The Dec 10 attacks on peaceful demonstrators and arrests of the Kaohsiung 8 had just occurred, torture and murder was going on in the prisons, the KMT was suppressing democracy every way it could... none of that appears in Copper's piece. Age has not mellowed his fierce hatred of the democracy parties, and his staunch support of the KMT.

I don't know why anyone would write such a fantasy, or publish it. The rest consists of the same set of longtime KMT talking points, I won't bother with it. Sad.

Very encouraging to see this Washington Post piece from John Pomfret on Taiwan's defense. It seems at last to have penetrated that Taiwan is fairly well defended.
However, in recent years, U.S. analysts and officials, bucking the view that China’s rise will never end, have begun to question the assumption that China is going to absorb the island. Two recent scholarly articles are indicative of this new trend. Both Denny Roy , a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and Michael Beckley, a professor of political science at Tufts University, doubt whether China has the capacity and even the will to take over Taiwan.
Lauren Dickey smartly pointed out on Twitter that what these pieces need to do is consider aspects of Taiwan's defense other than just buying more weapons. But pieces on Taiwan's defense generally follow the Establishment line that what Taiwan needs is more purchases of US weapons. Commentators need to consider, for example, that the US could play a role in enhancing defense cooperation with SE Asian nations and Japan, and also encourage further links between Taiwan and India.

China simply flat out broke an agreement with Taiwan about airline routes in the Strait.
China unilaterally created the routes in 2015 on the grounds that they would be used to alleviate flight congestion on its A470 route.

Both sides then reached an agreement in 2015 following negotiations between civil aviation officials that only southbound flights would be permitted on route M503 and that the three extension routes would not be activated until after the negotiations had been completed, Chang said.

However, China simultaneously activated the three extension routes and allowed northbound flights to operate on the M503 route yesterday morning without negotiating with Taipei in advance, Chang said.
China treats all agreements this way....

Finally, these last couple of weeks saw the building case against several New Party members for cooperating with a Chinese spy and taking money from China to use to influence Taiwan. Half a million US according to media reports. Brian H comments.The amount of money is tiny.

Taiwan gov't once again vows to move illegal factories off farmland. Hahahaha. Sounds awesome except....
Illegal factories set up on Taiwan's farmland after May 20, 2016 that could cause pollution must be relocated to industrial zones, Vice Interior Minister Hua Ching-chun said Thursday. factories from before that date are left unmolested....
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Anonymous said...

What happened to that Asa Carter post?

Cary Allen said...

Ros-Lehtinen is retiring, so it is a certainty that she will not be in Congress. There's nothing like a guarantee that a generic Republican (no one has stepped forward to run from that camp) will have Taiwan on their radar, much less be a reliable supporter. Any Dem win is a positive in that it will blunt the agenda of the foaming rage mango.

Mark Swofford said...

In the final link, Ros-Lehtinen isn't at risk of losing her seat. She's retiring, so the seat will become open. The article is about whether the Republicans can somehow manage to keep it for themselves.