Category: Opinion

Opinion letters
by Various Authors

The communist government of Beijing, since the coming to power of Mao in 1949, with great assistance from the U.S., has long wanted to bring the escaped Chinese that fled the mainland to Formosa and renamed in Taiwan, back into the control of Beijing (formerly Peking).

Recent 'rattling of sabres' has been aimed at scaring the Taiwanese from electing politicians thought by those in Beijing to be pulling for long term independence from the mainland claim of its right to force the Taiwanese to be controlled by Beijing! Such efforts seem to 'back-fire' and this causes the leaders in Beijing to make all the more noise.

Unfortunately, from their position, they lack any military means of forcing their will on the Taiwanese as long as the U.S. stands ready to keep the would be attackers at bay. The mainland military is now buying technology from Israel that will help coordinate any use of air-power aimed at attacking those from Taiwan that refuse to surrender without a fight.

To show that they do not forget or accept independence for Taiwan by default, the Beijing gang look for opportunities to try to scare the citizens of Taiwan remotely. Here is a typical way it is done via use of the always happy to oblige Associated Press.

"China Again Warns Taiwan Leaders

.c The Associated Press

BEIJING (April 8) - China today renewed warnings to Taiwan's future leaders not to move toward independence, accusing Vice President-elect Annette Lu of being an incurable separatist who would come to ''no good.''

Like Taiwan's President-elect Chen Shui-bian, Lu has said she would support a formal declaration of independence for the island only if Beijing attacked.

But she has harshly criticized China for threatening Taiwan and supports assertive diplomacy by Taiwan to counter China's attempts to isolate the island. Beijing threatens to use force to assert its claim that Taiwan is its territory.

In a harshly worded statement, China's Taiwan Affairs Office accused Lu of using talk of ''threats'' to incite Taiwanese against unification with the mainland and creating ''animosity between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.''

''In fact, she has become the scum of the Chinese nation,'' said the statement, run by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and carried on the front page of the Communist Party's flagship newspaper, People's Daily.

Lu ''uses poisonous words plotting to incite Taiwan comrades to hate their compatriots on the motherland,'' an accompanying commentary by Xinhua said. ''This reveals again that she is an extreme, incurable 'Taiwan independence' agitator.''

It was unclear if the strident statements represented a hardening of Beijing's strategy or if the Chinese government was only reacting to comments it said Lu had made to Hong Kong media in which she noted that the two sides had grown apart.

China has adopted a wait-and-see stance since Chen and Lu were elected in a March 18 vote that forced out the Nationalists, who had ruled Taiwan since they fled the mainland amid civil war 51 years ago.

Chen and Lu are to take office on May 20.

China deeply distrusts Chen because his Democratic Progressive Party favors formal independence. A former political prisoner, Lu was an outspoken supporter of Taiwan independence but has become more subdued in her criticism of Beijing as part of her party's policy to avoid provoking China.

Responding to the Chinese statement, Lu said the Beijing leadership was so shocked by the election outcome that they were left without a response and could only recycle ''outdated schemes'' of ''degrading and dividing'' - attempting to engender disputes within Taiwan's leadership.

Beijing has repeatedly threatened to attack Taiwan if it seeks a permanent break. The Xinhua commentaries said that Taiwan's status as a part of ''one China'' had not changed with the ouster of the Nationalists.

Beijing's insistence on its claim to Taiwan was ''immovable,'' Xinhua said.

''We will persist and fight to the end against all separatist peoples and countries, they all will come to no good,'' the commentaries said.

Chen has offered to talk with Chinese leaders about any topic of their choice but refused to concede to China's demand that he first accept that Taiwan is a part of China.

The comments coincided with a report by a Chinese-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, the Wen Wei Po, that China's People's Liberation Army had sent more troops, including a missile unit, for duty rotation in Fujian province, which faces Taiwan.

The report cited an unnamed military source in Beijing. It also quoted sources in Fujian noting troop movements and an increase in air traffic at military airports in Fujian.

A newspaper in Taiwan reported today that Defense Minister Tang Fei had said Beijing was stepping up pressure for talks on unification.

Taiwan and China relations ''are indeed very, very tense,'' the China Times quoted Tang as saying."

So, how can Taiwan respond to this?

by Richard Tryon

1. Why not agree with Beijing that it will be nice when the mainland can once again be part of an United States of China! Only a few Constitutional details need to be worked out.

2. Note that the Chinese of Taiwan are most anxious to help their ‘brothers’ on the mainland learn to live in freedom and with a prosperity like that enjoyed in the state of Taiwan, so that it will be possible to unite all of the several states.

3. Offer to share the lessons learned on the island of Taiwan that can help other states of the mainland achieve freedom and prosperity by inviting mainland representatives to visit and learn.

4. Show a determination to avoid ever leaving the mainland behind by refusing to declare Taiwan as an independent nation, unable to continue searching for ways to help the mainland achieve its human goal of qualifying for reunification.

5. A National prayer should be written to help encourage souls on the mainland to strive for the achievement of the circumstances needed to permit their peaceful reunification with the prosperous state of Taiwan. Copies should be readily available on the internet so that distribution of the prayer can eventually penetrate most of the mainland provinces where access to the internet is technically and politically possible.

Clearly there is no need for Taiwan to want to exclude the mainland from the chance to be reunified in a peaceful free election manner.

Update of June 20, 2000:

Following the peaceful installation of the new administration in Taiwan we have seen the mainland voice a few more times how much it wants the leaders of Taiwan to accept the leadership of Beijing.

One China Yes!

Since the time of Chang Kai Shek the Chinese have dreamed of a unified nation. Both Mao Tse Tung and Chang shared the dream- one, however, discarded his Soviet training in Moscow as the work of criminals. With withdrawal of help from the U.S. at the end of WWII, thanks to some well meaning folks in the U.S. State Department, Mao won the war. Unfortunately, Chang fled to Formosa and changed the name to Taiwan.

Taiwan is now a democracy that has been able to peacefully elect an opposition party into power- something that Mao’s successors do not want to allow. So, 1.2 billion Chinese live on the mainland and a small fraction of their kin live on Taiwan.

Read what the following report says, and you will start to understand what follows:

China Ignores Taiwan's Call for Summit

By Benjamin Kang Lim

TAIPEI (June 20) - Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, inspired by a successful meeting between leaders of the rival Koreas, on Tuesday invited his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin to join hands at a summit for peace.

Chen also held out another olive branch to China, saying the island might back Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympics and offering to co-host some sports events.

But Beijing ignored Chen's overtures, merely reiterating its long-standing demand that Taipei unambiguously embrace its cherished ``one China'' policy -- that there is but one China of which Taiwan is an inseparable part.

Chen said a Taiwan-China summit could be held in any form or place and should not be restricted by any preconditions, a reference to Beijing's demand that Taiwan accept the ``one China'' principle.

``If North and South Korea can, why can't the two sides of the (Taiwan) strait?'' Chen said at an outdoor news conference.

Chen invited Jiang to ``join hands and work to create a moment like the handshake'' in Pyongyang between South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korea's Kim Jong-il last week.


Analysts said they saw faint hope for a Taiwan-China summit until the sides break their semantic stalemate over ``one China.''

``The two Koreas do not have a problem of whether there is one Korea or whether they are Korean,'' Chang King-yuh, formerly Taiwan's top policymaker on China affairs, told Reuters.

``I would say the likelihood of a summit across the strait is very slim,'' said Chang, who now teaches diplomacy at National Chengchi University.

Tension between Taipei and Beijing, simmering since Chen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party swept to power in presidential elections in March, has eased somewhat as he made repeated goodwill gestures towards the island's giant communist neighbor.

Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has threatened to invade if the island declares independence.

Premier Tang Fei told a symposium that ``a crisis of confidence is the crux of the problem truly obstructing cross-strait relations.''

Chen dismissed speculation that his new administration would backtrack on existing bilateral agreements, saying Taiwan was willing to deal with the issue of a future ``one China'' under the ``present basis.''

Taipei maintains that negotiators verbally agreed in 1992 that there is ``one China'' but each side could have its own interpretation. Beijing insists that it merely agreed to shelve discussion of the definition.


``If there was a consensus, it was to agree to disagree,'' Chen said.

The president said forming a consensus was ``very arduous'' in politically polarised Taiwan and urged Beijing to try to understand the island's rambunctious democracy.

``In mainland China, they can speak the same words from the top down and from the bottom up, but this is impossible in Taiwan,'' he said.

But Chen said he believed Taiwan and Chinese leaders have the wisdom and creativity to come up with a definition of ``one China'' acceptable to both sides.

Chen said the island would not lift a decades-old ban on direct trade, transport and postal links with mainland China until the two sides resume talks that were frozen by an angry Beijing last July after Taipei demanded political parity.

President Chen also held the door open for more U.S. participation in improving Taiwan-China relations, but a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing poured cold water on that suggestion too, saying Taiwan was entirely an internal Chinese affair.

Chen's news conference, held in sweltering midday heat, marked his first month in office. He was inaugurated on May 20 in the island's first democratic transfer of power, ending five decades of rule by the Nationalist Party.

Chen receive an approval rating of 75 percent, according to a United Daily News survey of 1,095 people with a margin of error of three percentage points.”

Commentary by Richard Tryon
as of June 20,2000

What an interesting situation! The leader of the democracy on Taiwan, thought to be in favor of declaring independence from the mainland China, comes forth to encourage dialogue and is rebuffed! Why?

How else could Beijing respond. As leader of 1.2 billion mainlanders that have no choice but to profess Communism or be persecuted or worse, Jiang Zemin can only allow underlings to mouth the party line- there is only one China and Taiwan is a non-conforming province!

It will be helpful if the new Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian responds with a statement declaring that he too favors one China and will be happy to allow the mainland to rejoin the fold when it allows a democratic election of the people to elect him or someone else as the president of a united China, but one dedicated to freedom and opportunity for the people to work and own property as a reward for their effort.

He need not be opposed to one China and needs only to declare that Taiwan is not a break away province, just the remnant of what once promised to be a free China before the U.S. helped Mao take away the people’s freedoms!  The long and wonderful history of the Chinese, one of the oldest of the world’s civilizations has many evidences of having learned a and forgotten a lot more about diplomacy than some of the newer ones have mastered. For example, the recombining of the mainland to the united sense of freedom as found on Taiwan, will happen. We just don’t know when? But, Chinese are never in a hurry! Time is what makes ideas mature.

Peoples of the Western civilization seem to think that problems must be resolved quickly- like at least within a human lifetime! Such is not the way of thinking among Chinese. So learn to be patient and expect that it will take a longer time for the Chinese to solve the problem of the run-away mainland then has been required just to get the North and South Koreans to just meet and publicly allow that they should try to resolve their problems via some other means than starvation in the North because their leadership doesn’t produce wealth any better than any other government. That takes freedom and people able to use it!

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