Tuesday, October 31, 2000

The Case against Taiwan Independence

The Case against Taiwan Independence
Not just the Numbers
Bevin Chu
October 30, 2000

Executive Summary: The case against Taiwan independence rests not just on the fact that an overwhelming majority of Chinese on Taiwan firmly oppose Taiwan independence. The case against Taiwan independence rests also on constitutional law and simple logic, considerations even more fundamental and compelling than just the numbers.

Taiwan Independence is Dead. Long live Taiwan Independence!

The Taiwan independence elite routinely asserts, with Alice in Wonderland logic, that "Taiwan is a sovereign and independent state, its current name is the Republic of China."

At other times they assert, with equal vehemence and perfectly straight faces, that "Taiwan has the solemn right to secede from China," and demand a United Nations supervised referendum/plebiscite as prelude to the founding of a sovereign and independent "Republic of Taiwan."

Never mind that their latter claim contradicts their former. Never mind that their latter claim amounts to an indirect admission their former claim is transparent self-deception. Never mind that if they genuinely believed they were already independent, they would not continue to demand independence. If the Taiwan independence elite had the scantest respect for the laws of man or logic they wouldn't be Taiwan independence zealots in the first place.

The Taiwan Independence Elite demands the Right to determine your Future

The Taiwan independence elite routinely insists that "The twenty-three million people who live on the island of Taiwan have a right to determine their own future."

When they make this claim on local Taiwan television, they usually affect an air of unassailable self-righteousness, with the unspoken implication they have surely seized the moral high ground.

In fact they have done nothing of the sort.

Taiwan independence advocates comprise a piddling 10% to 15% of Taiwan's population. Since Chen Shui-bian's inauguration, on air polls conducted by the major prime time TV talk shows reveal public sentiment against Taiwan independence running as high as 10 to 1, and never less than 7 to 1.

When the Taiwan independence elite claims "The twenty-three million people who live on the island of Taiwan have a right to determine their own future," what they really mean is "Two point three million Taiwan independence zealots who don't give a damn about real democracy have the right to determine the future of the twenty point seven million who disagree with them and vehemently oppose Taiwan independence."

When is an Opinion Poll not an Opinion Poll? When it's Taiwan Independence Propaganda

During WWII Japanophile Quisling Lee Teng-hui willingly, eagerly collaborated with Taiwan's brutal Japanese colonial occupiers, and wept when he learned Japanese Emperor and war criminal Hirohito had died.

During his 12 year long regime, Lee Teng-hui ordered the ROC's Ministry of Education to conduct frequent "polls," asking members of the ROC public "Do you consider yourself Taiwanese or Chinese?"

Lee's purpose in conducting these "polls" was not to collect data about citizens of the Republic of China for use by governmental policy makers.

Lee's purpose was to deliberately frame the Taiwanese/Chinese identity issue in the public imagination as an either/or choice. Lee's purpose was to systematically instill doubt in the minds of Chinese citizens on Taiwan about their Chinese identity. Lee's purpose was to precondition citizens of the Republic of China into thinking of themselves as citizens of a future defacto satellite of Japan to be known as "The Republic of Taiwan."

Fortunately, as recent, genuine polls reveal, he was less than completely successful in his efforts.

Ninety-One Percent of the Taiwan Public considers itself Chinese

On Thursday October 26, 2000, on "21:00, Quan Min Kai Jiang" or "21:00, Speaking Your Mind," a popular politically-oriented talk show, the question for the evening was:

"Who are we? Should the president's standard reply be: Taiwanese? Taiwan Huaren? Or Taiwan Chinese?"

For those unfamiliar with the current controversy raging on Taiwan, answering "Taiwanese" means the respondent considers him or herself "Taiwanese, neither culturally nor politically Chinese." Answering "Taiwan Huaren" means the respondent considers him or herself ethnically and culturally Chinese, but politically a foreign national, e.g., an ethnic Chinese Singaporean. Answering "Taiwan Chinese" means the respondent considers him or herself both Taiwanese and Chinese, e.g., both a Virginian and an American, with no conflict between the two.

Of the 8,543 viewers who called in, 657 or 8% said "Taiwanese," 106 or 1% said "Taiwan Huaren," and 7,780 or 91% said "Taiwan Chinese."


If you are, you've been exposed to too much Taiwan independence disinformation, disseminated by our "fair-minded," "objective," "unbiased" mainstream media.

Results such as these reveal that the Taiwan independence elite's contention that "Taiwanese are not Chinese," and "Taiwan is Taiwan, China is China," are bald faced lies. The Chinese people on Taiwan, to the consternation of their self-appointed nomenklatura, know damned well who they are.

They are Chinese. The name of their country is not "Taiwan," but China -- the Republic of China.

Ninety-Five Percent of the Taiwan Public opposes giving the DPP more Power

The week before, on Friday October 20, 2000, on the same program, the question for the evening was:

"The political scene is in chaos. Are you willing to help the DPP gain a legislative majority, allowing A-Bian [President Chen Shui-bian] to consolidate his power?"

Of the 16,710 viewers who called in, 806 or 5% said they were "willing," 15,817 or 95% said they were "unwilling," and 87 or 1% said they were "not sure."

Why did such an overwhelming majority of ROC citizens, 19 out of every 20, declare they were "unwilling?"

The answer is they are deeply concerned that with a DPP majority in the legislature backing him, A-Bian might be sufficiently emboldened to conveniently forget the solemn promises he made to them not to move toward Taiwan independence.

The Case against Taiwan Secession. Not just the Numbers

At this point defenders of Chinese national unity could simply declare victory, having proven decisively that Taiwan independence is contrary to the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens on Taiwan.

As favorable as the numbers are to Chinese reunification, the case against Taiwan independence does not rest solely on the indisputable fact that a democratic majority opposes Taiwan independence. The case against Taiwan "independence" or Taiwan secession also rests also on legal and logical foundations more fundamental and compelling than just numbers.

UN Referendum/Plebiscite? Fuggedaboudit!

In fact the UN supervised referendum/plebiscite on independence the Taiwan independence elite demands is not even an option. It is not an option because it is an international law proviso which applies only to colonies, or more accurately, "soon to be former colonies."

Taiwan does not qualify for a UN sponsored referendum/plebiscite because it is not a colony, but a province of China. Taiwan is an integral part of the Republic of China, a sovereign and independent nation founded in 1911 by Dr. Sun Yatsen, the "George Washington of China."

The Taiwan independence elite inadvertently conceded this fact when they attempted to hide its "Republic of Taiwan" wolf under "Republic of China" sheep's clothing, but instead painted themselves into a legal and logical corner.

That's the trouble with lying. No matter how clever you think you are, you can never keep your story straight.

The Taiwan independence nomenklatura, for all its affectations of reverence for "the democratic will of the 23 million people of Taiwan," secretly knows the score. They know if a permanent, legally binding, "let's be done with it once and for all" referendum/plebiscite were held on Taiwan today, they would be humiliated, and Taiwan would be reaffirmed as an integral, inalienable part of One Unified China.

Lucky for them no one is about to call their bluff.

For a thorough demolition job on the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's idiotic quest to become a member of the United Nations General Assembly as the "Republic of Taiwan,"

Can Taiwan join the United Nations? by Herb Ho

Chen Shui-bian should instead demand that Bejing share China's UN Security Council seat with Taipei as part of the price of a negotiated reunification settlement with the Chinese mainland. Who knows? He might even receive a Nobel Peace Prize for demonstrating "the vision thing."

Sawing off the Branch One is sitting On

As the Framers of our American Constitution astutely observed, the people retain in perpetuity the right of revolution. The right of revolution is the right to throw out everything that went before and start over from scratch. The right of revolution is a fundamental right derived from nature, with logical and moral priority over man's law.

So far, so good.

The problem arises when the Taiwan independence nomenklatura, out of either ignorance or duplicity, conflates the fundamental right of revolution with the derivative right of referendum/plebiscite.

Many of the DPP's obdurately pro independence legislators boast advanced law degrees from highly respected European or Ivy League American law schools. Yet few if any of these ostensible legal experts grasp the critical distinction between the right of referendum/plebiscite, and the right of revolution. They have been educated, as the famous quip goes, beyond their intelligence.

The right of referendum/plebiscite under the Constitution of the Republic of China pertains only to routine matters of public policy, such as whether or not to build the controversial "Nuclear Four" power plant, and then only within the legal framework of the Republic of China.

This right of referendum/plebiscite may not be invoked outside the constitutional framework of the very same Republic of China from which its authority derives.

The Taiwan independence nomenklatura is comprised in large part of DPP Members of the Legislature of the Republic of China, elected in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of China, deriving any and all legal authority they might exercise from the Constitution of the Republic of China.

For them to demand a referendum/plebiscite overthrowing the Republic of China and establishing a Republic of Taiwan, while invoking legal authority derived from provisions within the Constitution of the Republic of China, is a constitutional law non-starter.

To invoke the legal authority of a political system one is simultaneously repudiating and attempting to overthrow, is akin to sitting in a tree while sawing away at the branch one is sitting on. It is akin to standing on a scaffold and taking a sledgehammer to it, all the while denying that the scaffold is the very thing holding you up.

Taiwan Independence, Whim of an Elite
Mister Lee [Kuan Yew] goes to Taipei

Taiwan independence zealots are of course free to attempt to establish an "independent Taiwan nation" by exercising their right of revolution.

But they had better realize in advance that Chinese patriots have the equal right to prevent the disintegration of their nation, China, that "a revolution is not a dinner party" and sure as hell isn't a free lunch. And as recent polls make abundantly clear, Chinese patriots far outnumber Taiwan independence zealots, even if we count only China's Taiwan region and not the Chinese mainland.

Secession for Me but not for Thee

Secessionists typically assert that a self-defined subset of people inhabiting a self-defined geographical region on earth has the right to govern itself and need answer to no "higher" authority.

This proposition is either valid or it is not.

It can't be both. One can't have ones' secessionist cake and eat it too.

Yet this is exactly what almost all secessionists, including Taiwan secessionists, try to do.

Secessionists, with the exception of rigorously consistent, radical libertarian secessionists, almost never grand subsets of individuals within their own political entities the identical right of secession.

Once the prospect of political disintegration confronts them and threatens their "independent republics," tailor-made to suit them, they suddenly start singing a different tune, and cite the desperate overriding need for national unity, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

What gives them the right to claim the "self-determination moral high ground," while simultaneously denying it to others who would secede from them?

If one purports to uphold "the right of secession" then one obligates oneself to really and truly uphold the right of secession, for anybody and everybody, everywhere and all the time. Otherwise one is merely tailoring the principle of "the right to secession" to legitimize nation-building on ones' own terms, not upholding a hallowed, universal principle.

Universal Secession versus Taiwan Secession

Taiwan secessionists rank among the most hypocritical. For example, the Taiwan independence elite objects to Beijing's unwillingness to renounce the use of force in its determination to nip Taiwan secession in the bud.

This is absolutely true.

What of it?

So are the Taiwan independence elite. They are equally unwilling to forswear the use of force. I have yet to encounter a single Taiwan independence advocate willing to renounce the use of force to prevent secession from their "independent Republic of Taiwan" should it ever become a reality.

Taiwan independence zealots have explicitly defined their "independent Republic of Taiwan" as "Tai, Peng, Kin, Ma," short for "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu." They have said nothing about acknowledging the equal right of anyone who detests their "Republic of Taiwan," including Aborigines, Hakkas and "mainlanders," the solemn right to secede from it. They have said nothing about forsaking in advance the use of force to prevent secession from their precious "Republic of Taiwan" which would lead to its political dissolution.

And they never will.

Quite the contrary. Taiwan independence zealots have threatened to deal harshly with "Tai jian" i.e., "traitors to Taiwan" at the appropriate time. To get a sense of what they might have in mind for those they consider "Tai jian," one need only recall the 2-28 Incident of 1947, when Taiwan independence fanatics, working hand in glove with diehard Japanese Fifth Columnists, went on a week long rampage, slaughtering thousands of unarmed "mainlanders," including women and children.

Universal Secession versus American Empire

As a conscientious libertarian I myself endorse the principle of a radical, consistent, universal right of secession, more or less along the lines proposed by seminal Austrian economist Murray Rothbard.

Unfortunately in our less than perfect world, implementation is invariably selective and calculated to benefit certain political players, and not others. To Balkanize and weaken certain political entities, and not others.

If the Benevolent Global Hegemonists in our own nation's capitol were to practice what they so sanctimoniously preach to China, and renounce the use of force against fellow Americans who yearn to be free and independent of our own oppressive federal Leviathan, hundreds of libertarian radicals would promptly declare tiny plots of land to which they hold legal title to be independent republics. They would conduct referenda/plebiscites in which they voted themselves heads of state, and immediately cease paying taxes to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America.

If our federal Leviathan were to refrain from using force against this homegrown secessionist vanguard, as our meddling Washington foreign policy elites demand Beijing do regarding Taiwan, these independent republics would stand.

Witnessing their successful precedent, countless once apathetic members of the Great Silent Majority would promptly follow suit, and America would soon consist of thousands, even millions of tiny independent, or at least autonomous, republics, none of them paying a dime in taxes to the swarms of worthless parasites in Washington.

We all know of course none of this is about to happen.

That is not the point. The point is why such a scenario is so unlikely.

The reason is our own federal Leviathan itself refuses to renounce the use of force against those would secede from our American Empire.

Knowing full well what the IRS and the police would do to him or her, the average American citizen quite understandably calculates that the price of genuine liberty is simply too high and every April 14th obediently, meekly writes out a check for his or her unconstitutional but ever escalating federal income taxes.

Universal Secession versus The Great Game

When our foreign policy elites prattle on about "the right to self-determination" they are not talking about genuine respect for exalted universal principles, but about Rudyard Kipling's "The Great Game." They are talking about "We get to divide and conquer you, but you don't get to do it to us."

As long as this realpolitik status quo prevails, any foreign political leader would have to be a complete idiot to abide by such high-minded principles when everybody else is either ignoring them or selectively exploiting them to their geopolitical advantage.

Until Taiwan independence zealots and their fellow travelers in Tokyo and Washington are prepared to loudly, visibly, publicly endorse and abide by a universal right to secession, not merely for Taiwan and Tibet, but for Okinawa, Alaska, Hawaii and Texas, for cities, counties, towns and villages within Taiwan, they would do well to shut their mouths, as they have no right whatsoever to speak of the "self-determination moral high ground."

Thursday, October 05, 2000

Mister Lee [Kuan Yew] goes to Taipei

Mister Lee [Kuan Yew] goes to Taipei
Bevin Chu
October 04, 2000

Lee Kuan Yew, Nemesis of Taiwan Independence?

If the fanatical TAIP, aka Taiwan Independence Party, aka "Jianguodang," is to be believed, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore is the Nemesis of Taiwan Independence, the James Cameron T2 Terminator of Taiwan Independence. About twenty TAIP members, a significant percentage of the fringe party's membership, picketed the Taoyuan Westin where Lee Kuan Yew was a VIP guest and the National Palace Museum where his wife was a VIP visitor. Their angry banners read,

"Lee Kuan Yew, Betrayer of Taiwan, Get out!"

Talk about killing the messenger. Actually they were just getting warmed up. Taiwan independence "ji ben jiao pai" or "fundamentalists" from both the DPP and TAIP then went on the evening talk show circuit to rant incoherently against the venerable Senior Minister, a guest of ROC president Chen Shui-bian, who knew Lee when Chen was still Mayor of Taipei.

After enduring their diatribes one Taiwanese woman viewer phoned in and wondered why Taiwan independence zealots, who are in the quaint habit of referring to themselves as "Brave Taiwanese," were so anxious about what the former leader of the tiny city-state might say about Taiwan. Did they think Singapore was about to launch a military invasion of Taiwan?

Be Afraid. Be very Afraid

Actually the Taiwan independence zealots' concern may not have been entirely misplaced.

Taiwan independence zealots are worried that Lee Kuan Yew's utterances during his unofficial or "officially unofficial" visit to Taipei might be like the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Chaos Theory, generate a Perfect Storm halfway around the world, and bring down their Taiwan independence House of Cards.

For while the Senior Minister at age 77 is no spring chicken, his political vision remains a perfect 20/20. Lee Kuan Yew, the Sage of Singapore, in contrast with Lee Teng-hui, the Tinpot of Taiwan, sees with crystal clarity the utter futility of Taiwan independence. Lee Kuan Yew has never been one to mince words or pull punches, and like Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," could easily have embarassed the Taiwan independence zealots under the full glare of the media spotlight, had that been his intent. It was of course not, and Lee Kuan Yew has since quietly returned to Singapore.

Reunification is Inevitable

As SM Lee told Asiaweek magazine, [September 22 , 2000, Vol. 26 No. 37 Asiaweek, "The Sage of Singapore"]

"If China does not disintegrate, reunification is inevitable. That's what I told president Lee Teng-hui. If China disintegrates, all bets are off, so why try to pre-empt? It's a matter of time for them to get the system changed. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore will be useful to them for another 10 to 20 years because we still know bits and pieces which they do not know. In another two or three generations we may be learning from them. This is going to change the world, unless they implode, which I don't think likely."

This of course is the last thing Taiwan's Quisling elite wants to hear.

Motivated by unprincipled and shortsighted opportunism, Lee Teng-hui and his ilk sold out their own people and cast their lot with Taiwan's brutal colonizers, the Japanese. Having sold their souls to become ersatz, second class Japanese, the last thing Taiwan's Quisling elite wants to contemplate is the distressing prospect they might have bet on the wrong horse.

Selling One's Soul

The week before last Chinese historian Li Ao showed a remarkable photograph on his nightly TV talkshow, an ancient black and white photo of Chinese Quislings caught in the act of consumating their Faustian bargain with Taiwan's colonial oppressors. These Quislings stood in a circle around an chest high pile of wooden ancestral plaques. Surrounding this inner circle of Quislings was a second, larger circle of Japanese officials. These Japanese officials' duty was to witness the Quislings set fire to their ancestral plaques, to watch as the plaques turned to ash, to listen as the Quislings declared they were no longer Chinese and had always been Japanese.

The Quislings' reward for their soul-degrading self-abasement? Material comforts and political privileges denied the majority of courageous Taiwan Chinese who could not bring themselves to engage in such self-demeaning behavior, not to mention immunity from "comfort women" sexual enslavement if one was a woman or forced labor at the frontlines if one was a man.

See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil

Not surprisingly, when Japanophile Quisling No. 1 Lee Teng-hui was dogged by Taiwan reporters who demanded to know whether he thought Lee Kuan Yew's visit might be of help in restarting cross straits talks, he testily shot back, "No help!"

Not surprisingly, when Japanophile Quisling No. 2 Vice President Annette Lu learned of the Senior Minister's impending visit she sternly warned him not to "deliver information or influence people."

Optimistic predictions about China's future from Lee Kuan Yew are especially upsetting to Taiwan's Japanophile Quislings, because they contain the unmistakable ring of truth. Lee Kuan Yew, the Ludwig Erhard of southeast Asia, is not one to indulge in idle speculation. Lee Kuan Yew and his Peoples' Action Party led Singapore, a minuscule city-state of 3 million out of Third World poverty and into First World prosperity in a mere 30 years. Singaporeans currently earn even more per annum than Canadians.

Taiwan's Quisling Elite demands Taiwan Independence. Ordinary Chinese on Taiwan Don't

The Taiwan independence elite claims to have its finger on the political pulse of Taiwan, and claims that its elitist dream of an aptly named "ROT" or "Republic of Taiwan" is shared by the Taiwan public.

The Taiwan independence elite is half right.

The Taiwan independence elite does indeed know what the public on Taiwan wants. The problem for them is the Chinese people on Taiwan don't want what the Taiwan independence elite wants. The problem for them is the hearts of Chinese people on Taiwan do not beat to the Taiwan independence tune. And that makes them mad.

Eighty-seven Percent of Taiwanese affirm, "We are also Chinese"

On Monday September 25, 2000 for example, on "Er Yi Lin Lin, Quan Min Kai Jiang," a politically themed TV talk show hosted by Li Tao, Taiwan's answer to Larry King, copycat suspenders and all, the question for the evening was:

"Are Taiwanese also Chinese?"

Of the 5070 viewers who called in, 4399 or 87% agreed, 632 or 12% disagreed, and 39 or 1% were not sure.

For the record, Li Tao, host of "21:00, Quan Min Kai Jiang" which might be translated loosely as "21:00, The People Speak," makes little effort to disguise his own Taiwan independence sympathies, so he is hardly susceptible to the charge that he fudged the numbers to favor Chinese reunification.

Besides, Li Tao's show, as popular as it is, is hardly the only one of its kind. Viewer response on the other popular politically oriented primetime TV talk shows such as "Da Jia Lai Sheng Pan" ("You be the Judge"), "Ba Dian Da Xiao Seng" ("Big and Little Voices at 8:00"), and "Xiang Diu Lun" ("Relativity") during recent months has been virtually identical.

Taiwan viewers have repeatedly and soundly rejected the DPP's Taiwan independence agenda and vented mounting frustration with Chen Shui-bian's insincere foot dragging on resuming cross straits reunification talks.

Air Force One

Shortly after his inauguration, while inspecting a brand new Boeing 737 destined for service as the ROC's own "Air Force One," Chen Shui-bian invoked a lame metaphor about how Taiwan was an airliner and A-Bian was a Chuck Yeager Pilot with the Right Stuff who would fly 23 million passengers safely to their destination.

A-Bian's risible attempt to do a Ronald Reagan Great Communicator number elicited no little amusement among opposition party legislators, who piled on with extended tongue in cheek airplane metaphors of their own. In fact the most telling metaphor of all is that 23 million Chinese on Taiwan are nothing less than victims of an airline hijacking, and the Taiwan independence elite are their hijackers.

Citizens of the Republic of China have been dutifully paying taxes to the government of the Republic of China. Citizens of the Republic of China have been dutifully voting for candidates running for the office of President of the Republic of China. Citizens of the Republic of China paid good money for tickets on the understanding their seats were on a plane belonging to China Airlines, and their final destination, One China.

Little did they know that once aboard the air crew would suddenly remove their blue "China Airlines" uniforms to reveal green "Taiwan Airlines" uniforms underneath, and announce that "we have assumed control of the plane and shall be proceeding not to the destination indicated on your ticket, but to a new destination of our choosing. Next stop, Tokyo."

Or as mealy-mouthed DPP spokesmen have become proficient at "explaining" to incredulous ROC citizens, "Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, its current name is the Republic of China."

Yeah, right. "And I'm Chow Yun Fat, internationally reknowned movie star from Hongkong, my current name is Bevin Chu."

As I said before, for 23 million hapless passengers of China Airlines Flight 2000, a hijacking is the only airplane metaphor that really resonates.

Ninety Percent of Taiwanese have No Confidence in Chen Shui-bian

On Friday September 22, 2000, on "Er Yi Lin Lin Quan Min Kai Jiang," or "21:00, The People Speak" the question for the evening was,

"Do you have confidence in the government of President Chen Shui-bian?"

Of the 10,814 viewers who called in, 1,000 or 9% said yes, 9,759 or 90% said no, and 55 or 1% had no opinion.

When A-Bian invoked his airliner analogy he was probably thinking Charleton Heston in "Airport." The ROC public on the other hand, was almost certainly thinking Peter Graves in "Airplane."

Seventy-four Percent of Taiwanese say DPP should not reject Reunification

On Wednesday September 13, 2000 on "Ba Dian Da Xiao Seng," or "Big and Little Voices at 8:00," the question for the evening was,

"Should the DPP as the ruling party continue to reject reunification?"

Of the 6,654 viewers who called in, 1,760 or 26% said it should, while 4,894 or 74% said it shouldn't.

Taiwanese 12 Times more satisfied with Chiang Ching-kuo than with Lee Teng-hui

On Friday September 1, 2000 on "Er Yi Lin Lin, Quan Min Kai Jiang" or "21:00, The People Speak," the question for the evening was,

"Chiang Ching-kuo, Lee Teng-hui, Chen Shui-bian: which of the last three presidents during the past 13 years are you the most satisfied with?"

Of the 10,993 viewers who called in, 8,662 or 79% answered Chiang Ching-kuo, 719 or 6% answered Lee Teng-hui, and 1,612 or 15% answered Chen Shui-bian.

These numbers are all the more astonishing considering "mainlander" Chiang Ching-kuo, whom Taiwan's quisling elite assures us was a ruthless dictator hated by all Taiwan Chinese, died twelve years ago, while "native Taiwanese" Lee Teng-hui, aka "Mr. Democracy" left office only four months ago.

So what happened?

Plenty. It didn't take long for "native Taiwanese" to figure out that while Lee Teng-hui might have been "one of us," so what? Lee Teng-hui was a Ferdinand Marcos crook who was robbing "us" blind. Chiang Ching-kuo on the other hand, while "from out of state" and an authoritarian to boot, was at least an honest authoritarian, a clean authoritarian, an uncorrupt authoritarian who genuinely cared about the well-being of the Taiwan people.

Score one for the Chinese people on Taiwan. Score zero for Taiwan's Quisling elite.

Who stands in the Way of Taiwan Independence? The Chinese People on Taiwan

Poll results such as these are clearly devastating to the Taiwan independence elites' transparent fiction, disseminated uncritically by our "objective" western media, by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek magazine, that the ROC public "yearns for Taiwan independence" and considers itself "Taiwanese, not Chinese."

On-air polls are of course, as I have freely acknowledged, not "scientific." No matter. Results such as these are fully consistent with other more "official" gauges of public sentiment, not the least of which was the recent presidential election.

In fact the Taiwan independence elites' conduct, which drowns out their words, is proof positive they know perfectly well how the ROC majority feels about Taiwan independence. That's why A-Bian campaigned the way he did, talking up his "New Centrist Path" and distancing himself from the DPP's pro independence party charter. That's why A-Bian solemnly promised, if elected, NOT to make the slightest move toward Taiwan independence. That's why the Taiwan independence elite sings one tune inside Taiwan to attract votes from a political center decidedly unenthusiastic about Taiwan independence, while singing a very different one outside Taiwan to perpetuate the false impression held by most westerners that the ROC public longs for an independent Republic of Taiwan.

Virtual China

Most American readers' reaction by now is, or ought to be, "There's got to be some mistake! This can't be right? Our mainstream media can't possibly be that wrong about Taiwan independence, can they?"

As libertarian anti-interventionists familiar with the real story behind Kosovo know, the answer is "No mistake. Our mainstream media has in fact gotten it exactly wrong." As John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine, a techie with no political axe to grind, put it in a June 17, 1997 op-ed piece, "My Trip to China":

"China was not what I expected... Let me say this: our media is doing a crummy job of keeping us abreast of what's going on over there... Anyone who thinks this is anything like Russia or the Eastern bloc is as wrong in their assumptions as is imaginable. I would advise you to go see for yourself what's really going on."

Dvorak is being far too kind. Our academia/government/media establishment has treated the American public with the same casual contempt that Christoff, the Svengali-ish media mogul played by Ed Harris, treated his unwitting puppet Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, in the 1998 SF hit, "The Truman Show."

The ROC Military vs. Taiwan Independence

My father had to be hospitalized the week before last for an operation. He checked himself into a room at the Veterans' Hospital in Shilin. Both his roommates were diehard anti-communists, veterans of China's Civil War against Mao Zedong's PLA. I should have taped their remarks. They know who the real enemy of the Republic of China is, and weren't shy about sharing their views with anyone who would listen.

One hint: It ain't the PLA.

Just who is it that stands in the way of Taiwan independence?

Is it merely the ruling elite in Beijing? Is it "merely" 95% of 1.3 billion Chinese across the Taiwan Straits? Or is it every other officer, noncom and enlisted man in the Republic of China's armed forces on Taiwan?

Remember Mel Gibson's Scottish nationalist epic, "Braveheart?" Remember the scene where Irish troops unexpectedly defect from the ranks of Edward Longshank's English to join Braveheart's Scots? Pro Taiwan independence "China experts" and strategic analysts who drone on in authoritative tones about relative troop strengths and armament specifications are utterly clueless about what might in fact happen if Taiwan's Quisling elite provokes open warfare between Chinese soldiers on Taiwan and Chinese soldiers on the mainland.

A-Bian on the other hand, knows this. That's why immediately after his inauguration he dutifully rushed to every last military academy graduation ceremony on the island, frantically waving red, white and blue Republic of China flags and shouting "Zhong hua min guo wan shui!" or "Long live the Republic of China!" at the top of his lungs until he was red in the face. Let me tell you, pro reunification New Party, People First Party and Kuomintang Reform Faction members got some good belly laughs watching the pro independence A-Bian go through those motions!

Not that it did any good. The TAIEX just fell from a 52 week high of 10,393 to a new 52 week low, below the psychologically important 6500 support level. Poor A-Bian. He can't understand why nobody believes him. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that four months after his inauguration he still can't bring himself to say three little words, could it?

"I... am... Chinese."

Read All About It

Singapore's Straits Times is currently featuring a special webpage dedicated to Lee Kuan Yew's newly published autobiography, "From Third World to First."

If there is something else I can do that would enable my fellow Americans to better understand how the Chinese people feel about Taiwan independence, than to turn them on to Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore's superb newspaper, The Straits Times, I can't imagine what it would be.

Read especially the segments on "Relations with Taiwan's Leaders," "SM Lee, the go-between," and "Deng Xiaoping's China," by clicking on the pulldown menu.

An hour devoted to Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew's uncannily perceptive political insights is worth a hundred squandered on scribblings by China-hating "China experts" such as William Triplett and Edward Timperlake, authors of "Year of the Rat" and "Red Dragon Rising."