Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Republic of China is not Taiwan

The Republic of China is not Taiwan
Clarifying Cato's Clarification
Bevin Chu
April 27, 2005

Executive Summary: Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of "America's Coming War With China: A Collision Course Over Taiwan." In an April 21, 2005 article entitled "Conflicting Conceptions of the Taiwan Status Quo," Carpenter attempts to clarify what Beijing, Taipei, and Washington each mean when they talk about "maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Straits." Unfortunately, he commits the universal and unforgivable blunder of equating the "Republic of China" with "Taiwan." This article will attempt to clarify Carpenter's clarification, and set the record straight.

Cato gets It Right

Carpenter, to his enormous credit, has made no bones about what the US government's position vis a vis Taiwan independence ought to be, for both moral and practical reasons. I have enthusiastically quoted him in my own articles, almost ad nauseum.

As Carpenter wrote:

"Neither the earlier pro-Taiwan policy nor the latest pro-Beijing posture [advocated by George W. Bush] serves the best interests of the United States. It is not America's proper role to take a position on Taiwan's independence or other issues involving relations between Taipei and Beijing... U.S. leaders should make it clear that Taiwan must bear all of the risks entailed in whatever policies it adopts. In particular, Washington should state that it will not intervene if an armed conflict breaks out between Taiwan and mainland China."

Carpenter is right on the money.

Benevolent Global Hegemonists on the neocon right and Humanitarian Interventionists on the liberal left alike cite a slew of laughable "reasons" why the US government is politically justified, even "morally obligated" to stick its nose into the domestic affairs of foreign nations situated half way around the globe -- nations with which the US doesn't even share a common border. In the end, the real question is:

So what if the DPP regime in Taipei wants to secede from China?

So what if the CCP regime in Beijing is determined to stop them?

What business is it of the US? Where does the federal government of the United States get off "admonishing both capitals about their behavior?"

To get a sense of just how presumptuous the US government's attitude is, see:
China to US: No Violence Against Confederacy
China Wants US Attorney General to Testify

Cato gets It Wrong

Unfortunately Carpenter drops the ball in a subsequent article, "Conflicting Conceptions of the Taiwan Status Quo," in which he commits a universal and unforgiveable blunder:

He erroneously uses the term "Republic of China" as if it referred only to the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan, and the term "China" as if it referred only to the mainland portion of China.

Ordinary Americans can be forgiven for dismissing these distinctions as unworthy of their attention, but Carpenter and Cato should know better. These constitutional law distinctions lie at the very heart of the cross-straits conflict, and could spell the difference between continued peace and nuclear catastrophe.

These legal distinctions are not subject to "interpretation." They are explicit provisions of the Republic of China Constitution. Taiwan independence leaders know this better than anyone else. They know it, and they hate it. They might try to deceive Americans about Taiwan's current status. They might repeat the catechism, "Taiwan is already independent!" But in their heart of hearts they know that until and unless they author an new constitution and declare formal independence, Taiwan will remain an integral part of China.

As you read on, take note of the comments in brackets [ ]. They serve to correct a series of erroneous impressions Carpenter leaves the reader with concerning the meaning of such terms as "China," the "Republic of China," and "Taiwan."

Carpenter writes:

China [i.e., mainland China] reacted with anger and dismay when the U.S. State Department criticized the anti-secession law recently passed by the National People's Congress. Chinese officials [i.e., mainland Chinese officials] protested that, contrary to U.S. complaints, the new law did not change the status quo regarding Taiwan. Indeed, they insisted that the legislation reinforced the status quo.

The Chinese [i.e., The Chinese on the mainland, as opposed to the Chinese on Taiwan] are probably sincere. Yet that sincerity underscores a larger -- and potentially very dangerous -- problem regarding the Taiwan issue. Beijing, Taipei, and Washington all insist that they oppose any unilateral action that alters the status quo, but the three capitals interpret the status quo in vastly different ways. That creates considerable potential for misunderstanding and mutual recrimination -- or worse.

When U.S. officials speak of the status quo, they mean a willingness by all parties to tolerate indefinitely Taiwan's ambiguous political status. In other words, the island should continue to enjoy its de facto independence (but not internationally recognized legal independence) until Taipei and Beijing can agree on a peaceful resolution of the dispute.

That rationale enables Washington to acknowledge Beijing's position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China while continuing to sell arms to Taiwan and maintain an implicit commitment to defend the island against a Chinese military assault [i.e., mainland Chinese military assault.] Taiwan's attempts to push the envelope regarding independence are considered disruptive and undesirable, but so too is any attempt by China [i.e., mainland China] to compel reunification. That is why the United States has explicitly admonished both capitals in the past year about their behavior.

The People's Republic of China has a radically different definition of the status quo. As one Chinese official [i.e., mainland Chinese official] put it, "the status quo of the cross-straits relations is that both sides of the Straits belong to one and the same China." He added that it is "a status quo not defined by other countries such as the United States, nor by the Taiwan leaders."

To Beijing, the status quo is a synonym for a one-China policy and Taiwan's eventual reunification with the mainland. Anything that challenges the concept of one China is, therefore, an unacceptable attempt to alter the status quo. Thus, from the perspective of Chinese leaders [i.e., mainland Chinese leaders], the anti-secession law is not disruptive; it merely re-emphasizes the only acceptable political outcome: reunification. Conversely, even the mildest actions by Taiwan to gain international recognition for the Republic of China (the official name of the Taiwanese government) [No, no, no!] are a threat to the status quo and must be resisted at all costs.


The Republic of China is not Taiwan, the Republic of China is China.

The DPP's claim that "Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country; its current name is the Republic of China," is Taiwan independence Newspeak.

For an expose of the DPP's disingenuous verbal sleight of hand, see:
He Who Tells a Lie

The "Republic of China" is not "the official name of the Taiwanese government." The Republic of China is the official name of the Chinese government. Or more precisely, one of two rival Chinese governments. According to the letter and spirit of the Republic of China Constitution, the Republic of China (ROC) government is the sole legal government of all China, including the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, and Hainan Island.

The ROC government has since modified its stance to reflect the KMT's catastrophic military defeat in 1949 and the subsequent cross-straits "Mexican Stand-off." It has acknowledged its loss of active jurisdiction over the Chinese mainland, but at the same time staunchly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Chinese mainland.

Taiwan independence True Believers, needless to say, belittle this pro reunification, strict constructionist stance as "unrealistic," and "deluded." They insist that relinquishing any and all claims to sovereignty over the Chinese mainland, and declaring that "China is China, Taiwan is Taiwan," is more "realistic" and "honest."

What arguments do they offer in support of their position? They cite the fact that the ROC government is far too weak compared to the PRC government, and that the ROC government is no longer militarily capable of recovering the Chinese mainland.

Unfortunately for them, their argument proves too much. It proves that Taiwan independence True Believers are a thousand times more unrealistic and deluded for demanding the estabishment of a "sovereign and independent Republic of Taiwan."


Because the PRC government is willing to tolerate the reunificationists' position, but unwilling to tolerate the separatists' position.

The PRC government is willing to tolerate the Pan Blue reunificationists' allegedly "unrealistic" and "deluded" position because the Pan Blue reunificationists' stubborn insistence that "the Chinese mainland is an inseparable part of the Republic of China" largely agrees with their own stubborn insistence that "Taiwan is an inseparable part of the People's Republic of China."

Conversely, as Carpenter noted, even the mildest actions by Pan Green secessionists' to gain international recognition for an independent "Nation of Taiwan" with no connection to the Chinese mainland are a dire threat to the status quo and must be resisted at all costs.

This is why the Pan Blue reunificationists' position is, paradoxically. a thousand times more realistic and non-deluded than the Pan Green separatists' position. This is why the Pan Blue reunificationists' position is, paradoxically, both more principled and also more pragmatic.

Before the Taiwan independence leadership began deliberately provoking mainland China, Beijing was in no rush to compel reunification. Mainland Chinese leaders had no "timetable for reunification" and were perfectly content to let the logistical nightmare of eventual reunification slide indefinitely.

Their current hard line is a purely reactive, purely defensive response to nearly a decade of deliberate provocations from two consecutive, pro independence regimes in Taipei, neither of which had the support of a democratic majority of Republic of China citizens on Taiwan.

The most serious of these provocations were Lee Teng-hui's "two states theory" in 1997 and Chen Shui-bian's "one nation each side theory" in 2002, particularly Chen's explicit declaration that he intended to hold a popular referendum and author a "Taiwanese constitution" in 2006, and establish a "Republic of Taiwan" in 2008.

Even the Bush II administration, the most Sinophobic US administration in modern memory, is fully aware of this.

Carpenter writes:

Taiwan's [i.e., the Pan Green leadership's] concept of the status quo is exactly the opposite of the PRC's. Taiwanese officials [i.e., Pan Green officials] routinely argue that the status quo means Taiwan's independence. They point out that the Republic of China has been in existence since 1912, and that at least some countries in the world (at present, fewer than 30 mostly small nations) still recognize the ROC [i.e., "Republic of China," not "Taiwan"] as an independent state.


Here Carpenter commits his most serious error. He conflates "the Republic of China" with "Taiwan." This is unforgiveable for anyone claiming to be a China expert. He is hardly alone in this, but respectable libertarian scholars such as Carpenter must be held to higher standards than the intellectually indolent political hacks who make up America's ruling Demopublican party and America's lapdog media.

Is Carpenter truly unaware that the "Republic of China," which has indeed been in existence since 1912, is not "Taiwan?"

Is Carpenter truly unaware that those countries that "still recognize the ROC as an independent state" correctly refer to it as "China," according to the letter and spirit of the Republic of China Constitution?

Most importantly, is Carpenter truly unaware that those who falsely allege that the "Republic of China" equals "Taiwan" are using Taiwan as a stalking horse for US imperialism?

Carpenter writes:

As supporting evidence for the proposition that the status quo means an independent Taiwan, one official stressed that since 1996, Taiwan [i.e., the Republic of China] has held fully democratic elections "within specified boundaries by specified citizens for a government exercising exclusive control over a territory."


Taiwan did not hold democratic elections "within specified boundaries by specified citizens for a government exercising exclusive control over a territory." The Republic of China held democratic elections "within specified boundaries by specified citizens for a government exercising exclusive control over a territory."

Carpenter writes:

Reunification with China, [i.e., mainland China] according to Taipei, [i.e., Pan Green leaders in Taipei] is only one possible outcome among many to be negotiated by the governments of two independent and equal states. From Taiwan's perspective, [i.e., Pan Green leaders' perspective] the new anti-secession law is an aggressive and threatening attempt by Beijing to alter the status quo, while Taiwanese efforts [i.e., the efforts of a Pan Green minority] to secure international recognition by joining the United Nations and other international organizations are consistent with the status quo.


"Taipei" may not be used willy-nilly as a synonym for "a political authority that stands for Taiwan independence." As the actual results of the March 2004 Presidential Election, before they were falsified by the Chen regime, and the December 2004 Legislative Election confirm, a clear majority of ROC citizens living on Taiwan oppose Taiwan independence and favor eventual reunification.

The will of a minority of Taiwan independence Quislings who stole the election and falsified the results may not be equated with the will of the Chinese people living on Taiwan.

Carpenter writes:

Unfortunately, officials in Beijing, Taipei, and Washington do not seem to grasp that they have very different concepts in mind when they all speak of preserving the status quo. Serious diplomatic quarrels and even armed conflicts have begun over less significant misunderstandings. That danger is becoming acute with regard to the Taiwan issue.


Actually officials in Beijing, Taipei, and Washington do grasp that they have very different concepts in mind. After decades of rehashing the same issues over and over again, they have memorized each others' positions verbatim.

The problem is not innocent "misunderstandings." The problem is intentional dishonesty. Pan Green leaders in Taipei and Neocon China Threat theorists in Washington maintain a disingenuous pretense. They pretend to be unaware of the Original Intent of the Republic of China Constitution and the clearly expressed will of Taiwan's Pan Blue democratic majority.

Cato, a libertarian think tank opposed to unconstitutional foreign adventurism, should expose these lies for what they are -- part of a concerted effort to sabotage the economic and cultural renaissance of a foreign nation, motivated by ugly racial bigotry.

Cato's failure to do so is deeply disappointing. When even anti-interventionist think tanks such as the Cato Institute fail to properly clarify matters for the American public, who will?

The American Enterprise Insitute? The Heritage Foundation? The Project for a New American Century?

For anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the origins of the cross-straits standoff, two articles do an excellent job of connecting the dots. One comes from Linda Chao and Ramon H. Myers at the right of center Hoover Institution, the other from Henry CK Liu, a left-leaning contributor to the Asia Times. Read in particular Part 6 of Liu's article, entitled "Forget reunification - nothing to reunite."

The Divided China Problem: Conflict Avoidance and Resolution, by Linda Chao, Ramon H. Myers
US-China: Quest for Peace, by Henry C K Liu

The Yellow Peril, Redux

Why does the US government insist on intervening in what itself admits are China's internal affairs?

The answer has nothing to do with promoting "freedom and democracy," and everything to do with "containing" China in order to perpetuate US global hegemony.

Contain is such an innocuous word, connoting as it does positive associations such as "assuage, moderate, and restrain." In fact what it means in this context is "hold back, smother, and stifle." In fact what it means is to prevent China from liberating itself from a century and a half of colonialist bullying. In fact what it means is to nip an alleged "Yellow Peril" in the bud.

Why did They fear the Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu?

America's Political Class, which defines America's "national interest" in a way that bears zero resemblance to the individual interests of individual Americans, is determined to characterize the Chinese nation as Evil Incarnate, no matter what the Chinese government does.

When mainland China adopted the defective Western European politico-economic system known as Marxism-Leninism, America's Political Class depicted the Chinese nation as a "Red Menace" threatening the capitalist West and faulted the mainland Chinese government for subjecting its own citizens to mass poverty and famine.

Fair enough. As a hardcore defender of laissez-faire capitalism, I expressed pretty much the same views during the dark days of the Cold War.

But when a disillusioned mainland China abandoned Marxism-Leninism as a failed experiment, and embraced free-wheeling American style capitalism, what did America's Political Class do? Did it praise mainland China for seeing the light? Did it welcome China to the capitalist country club?

It did not.

It asserted that an increasingly prosperous Chinese nation, playing America's capitalist game according to America's capitalist rules, somehow constituted an insidious "Yellow Peril" that threatened "White Supremacy."

It hinted ominously of a coming "Clash of Civilizations," Samuel Huntington's euphemism for "global race war."

It encouraged the resurgence of Japanese fascism and Japanese militarism to "contain" Chinese capitalism.

Why did they fear the mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu?

Do we really need to ask?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Beginning of the End, Part III

The Beginning of the End, Part III
Mainland Fever and Pan Green Panic
Bevin Chu
April 19, 2005

Pan Green Panic

Pan Green political leaders on Taiwan are feeling something they haven't felt in a long time -- sheer panic. Taiwan independence Political Correctness, the bedrock foundation of Pan Green political power beneath the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's feet, has suddenly turned into quicksand. Taiwan independence Political Correctness, the all-powerful talisman against their hated Pan Blue opponents, has suddenly lost its mana.

Pan Blue political leaders on Taiwan, meanwhile, are also feeling something they haven't felt in a long time -- newfound confidence. Pan Blue spokesmen, once terrified of being painted red with a broad "Chinese Communist fellow traveler" brush, no longer bite their tongues in the face of Pan Green McCarthyite name-calling. Instead, they fire back, loudly and unapologetically, confident of a fair hearing from a disillusioned public that no longer believes the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's Big Lies.

The 17 year long witch hunt conducted by the Taiwanese counterparts of Joe McCarthy is over. It ended with Hsu Wen-long's public renunciation of Taiwan independence on March 25, 2005. In this sense, Taiwan in 2005 is like the US in 1954, when US Army Attorney General Joseph Welch broke the spell of McCarthyism with his famous rebuke: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Mainland Fever

Not only are Pan Blue leaders no longer meekly acquiescing to Pan Green intimidation, they are adopting bold initiatives to promote Chinese reunification, in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution and Pan Blue core values. The centerpiece of these Pan Blue initiatives is KMT Chairman Lien Chan's upcoming "Journey of Peace," during which he will travel to Beijing and participate in a summit meeting with CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao. Lien's trip, the first official contact between the two parties in 56 years, will truly make history. Lien's trip cannot be dismissed as a mere photo op. Lien Chan solemnly promised as part of his presidential campaign last year to make just such a "Journey of Peace" in the event he was elected. Lien is merely following through on his promise, having been unavoidably delayed by Chen Shui-bian's Wag the Dog "assassination attempt" and subsequent defacto coup d'etat.

KMT Chairman Lien Chan, the actual winner of the 2004 Presidential Election

PFP Chairman James Soong, meanwhile, has been jumping up and down screaming "Me too! Me too!" Soong would have been an integral member of Lien's historic first-ever delegation, but Soong dealt himself out of the game by reneging on his promise to merge with the KMT following the December 2004 Legislative Election. Instead Soong opportunistically cast his lot in with the DPP, betraying the PFP's Pan Blue supporters for myopic, short-term political advantage. Soong, as a result, will be the second political party leader to visit Beijing. That's a little like being the second man to set foot on the moon. Everyone remembers the first man to set foot on the moon. Nobody remembers the second. For the record, it was Buzz Aldrin. Sorry James, but you did it to yourself.

Counterfeit "president" Chen Shui-bian and PFP Chairman James Soong

The DPP's counterfeit president Chen Shui-bian, who wants the same red carpet treatment for himself so badly he can taste it, wasn't even invited to the party. He won't be, not until the Taiwan independence clause is stricken from the DPP Party Constitution. Chen, green with envy, is gnashing his teeth, sputtering that "The grapes were sour anyway!" Chen is threatening to arrest Lien Chan and toss him in prison for "high treason." Despite such dictatorial threats from the unelected, illegal Chen regime, Lien, the actual winner of the 2004 Presidential Election, has courageously refused to back down. Lien Chan, to almost everyones' surprise, has emerged from Lee Teng-hui's dark shadow and matured into a far-sighted and level-headed political leader.

Naked intimidation against the True Blue Lien Chan having failed, Chen Shui-bian is attempting to spin James Soong's trip to Beijing as his own. Chen and Soong, these two unprincipled, opportunistic birds of a feather, are attempting to spin Lien Chan's trip as "nothing more than a low-level party to party exchange between the KMT and CCP," and James Soong's trip as "the government's officially authorized, high-level state to state exchange between the ROC and PRC."

Good luck with that. Talk about self-delusion. Whom do they think they are fooling? Certainly not Pan Blue voters on Taiwan. Certainly not CCP leaders in Beijing. They are only fooling themselves and their most pathetically gullible True Believers.

The media on Taiwan has coined a name for this unapologetic scramble by the KMT, PFP, and even the DPP to "deng lu" (establish a beachhead on the mainland). They are calling it "mainland fever" or even "China fever." What is mainland fever or China fever? Mainland fever or China fever is not the grudging admission that "Taiwanese" have no choice but to do business with "Chinese" to prosper financially. Mainland fever or China fever is the liberating awareness that the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's artificially manufactured "emerging Taiwanese national identity" is neither politically achievable nor objectively desirable.

War is Peace

High-priced Taiwan independence spin-doctors such as Cassady and Associates have successfully convinced many Americans that cross-straits tensions are a result of sheer cussedness on the part of mainland China. If only mainland China would leave Taiwan alone, they believe, there wouldn't be any problem. A democratic majority of Pan Blue citizens on Taiwan know otherwise. They know the real war-mongers in the Taiwan Strait are Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura. They know that peace in the Taiwan Straits is the last thing the Taiwan independence nomenklatura wants, because genuine peace would deprive them of their key to political power, an "external" enemy. Pan Blue citizens' views however, are pointedly ignored by the US government and the US major media, because they fail to jibe with US "national interests," which should not be confused with the interests of ordinary US citizens.

The following April 16, 2004 Central News Agency news report entitled "KMT-CHINA 'PEACE ACCORD' HARMFUL TO TAIWAN: DPP," provides an example of how fearful the Taiwan independence nomenklatura is that peace might break out in the Taiwan Straits! One is tempted to laugh out loud, except that the issue is much too serious.

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) will seriously damage the national interests of Taiwan and create international misunderstandings if it is to sign a "peace accord" with [mainland] China, ruling Democratic Progressive Party... said Saturday... referring to an upcoming visit to China by KMT Chairman Lien Chan, during which Lien reportedly might seal a "peace accord" with the Communist Party of China (CPC) to officially end the KMT-CPC civil war that lasted around two decades on [mainland] China before the KMT fled to Taiwan in 1949. [The DPP] warned that... signing a "peace accord" with Beijing at this point will reduce the Taiwan issue to an internal affair of China... it will feed Beijing's bid to eliminate the government of Republic of China and downgrade Taiwan to... a locality under the People's Republic of China if the "peace accord" is to be signed for the purpose of ending the "civil war."

The CNA news report perfectly embodies the three slogans of the Taiwan "independence" movement, engraved on the Pan Green Ministry of Truth:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

The Ministry of Information, from "Brazil" (1985, directed by Terry Gilliam, written by Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown)

George Orwell's dystopian political novel "1984," written in 1948, alluded to political patterns manifest in the post WWII world, and political patterns emerging in the coming Cold War world. To see just how prophetic Orwell was, scan the following passages from Chapter 9 and compare them with today's Taiwan. The correlation is positively uncanny. Brief edits, in brackets [ ], have been made to underscore my point.

When war is continuous there is no such thing as military necessity. Technical progress can cease and the most palpable facts can be denied or disregarded... researches that could be called scientific are still carried out for the purposes of war, but they are essentially a kind of daydreaming, and their failure to show results is not important. Efficiency, even military efficiency, is no longer needed. Nothing is efficient in [the "sovereign and independent Republic of Taiwan"] except the Thought Police. [The ROT] is in effect a separate universe within which almost any perversion of thought can be safely practised. Reality only exerts its pressure through the needs of everyday life -- the need to eat and drink, to get shelter and clothing, to avoid swallowing poison or stepping out of top-storey windows, and the like. Between life and death, and between physical pleasure and physical pain, there is still a distinction, but that is all. Cut off from contact with the outer world, and with the past, the citizen of [ROT] is like a man in interstellar space, who has no way of knowing which direction is up and which is down. The rulers of such a state are absolute, as the Pharaohs or the Caesars could not be. They are obliged to prevent their followers from starving to death in numbers large enough to be inconvenient, and they are obliged to remain at the same low level of military technique as their rivals; but once that minimum is achieved, they can twist reality into whatever shape they choose.

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture... But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It... helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the [KMT] did fight against [the CCP]... In our own day [the DPP is] not fighting against [the CCP] at all. The war is waged by [the DPP] against its own subjects, and the object of the war is... to keep the structure of society intact... This... is the inner meaning of the [DPP] Party slogan: War is Peace.

George Orwell's uncannily prophetic political novel "1984"

Lien Chan and a democratic majority of Chinese citizens on Taiwan want to end this imposture once and for all, so they can get on with living their lives.

Chen Shui-bian and Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura, on the other hand, want to keep waging this war against their own subjects, to keep the structure of society intact, and to keep themselves in positions of power.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Taiwan at the Crossroads - Postscript

Taiwan at the Crossroads - Postscript
Important Developments on Taiwan in 2004
written by Huang Chi-hsien
translated by Bevin Chu
April 15, 2005

Introduction: The following is the Postscript to a landmark book entitled "Taiwan at the Crossroads," an eye-opening expose of the Taiwan independence movement. The author, Ms. Huang Chi-hsien, a reform-minded, anti-authoritarian scholar who did her post-graduate studies in England, rips the "democratic" and "progressive" mask from the face of Taiwan independence and reveals it for what it is, an authoritarian fascist political movement motivated by primitive ethnic hatred. Last year, at the behest of the author, "Taiwan at the Crossroads" was translated into English by Bevin Chu, author of the Strait Scoop and editor of The China Desk. I have posted it here for two reasons. One, it provides valuable insights into recent developments on Taiwan. Two, it provides an advance preview of what is contained in the English language version of Ms. Huang's ground-breaking work.


After July 2004, following the Taiwan publication of "Taiwan at The Crossroads," several important developments occured:

The Election Lawsuits

Two election lawsuits challenging the results of the 2004 presidential election filed by the opposition parties were successively rejected by the courts.

The reason the lawsuits were rejected was the courts never had the slightest intention of investigating the case according to the requirements of the law, and actually demanded that the opposition party attorneys provide all the evidence. And even though the administrative branch of the government was itself the object of the investigation, the courts treated every one of its declarations as the living gospel.

The courts were unwilling to carry out any one of the many investigative procedures proposed by the opposition parties.

Despite this, witnesses who were subpoenaed and who testified in court contradicted each other to a degree bordering on the absurd. Furthermore, the courts' flagrant bias, in which it openly abetted Chen Shui-bian's conduct, amounted in itself to another kind of damning evidence.

The court has never understood that the victim of the 319 Shooting Incident and subsequent election fraud, was not merely the Kuomintang's presidential candidate Lien Chan, but also the foundation of Taiwan's democracy, and that the law provided the courts the opportunity to participate in the investigation in order to engage in the pursuit of justice.

Instead, the judges insisted, from beginning to end, on defining these two election lawsuits as nothing more than simple civil actions, and demanded that attorneys working on behalf of the Kuomintang provide 100% of the evidence. The court was unwilling to accept even the most basic investigation methods the opposition party proposed.

For instance, the courts flatly refused to conduct a comprehensive examination of the polling station voter registries. The courts also flatly refused to accept motions for the discovery of material from the military in order to determine whether the government abused its power by forbidding hundreds of thousands of military and police personnel from going to the polls.

During the entire process, the judges applied unrelenting pressure on the opposition party's attorneys, forbidding them to have any contact with the media. Furthermore, the judges continually hinted that the more low key the opposition party remained, the more it refrained from mass resistance, the greater chance it would obtain fair treatment from the courts.

If the media reported even the slightest detail about these two lawsuits, including evidence provided by opposition party attorneys, the judges would immediately humiliate the opposition party attorneys in the courtroom.

The purpose of doing this was of course to erode public concern and support for the election lawsuits, to make sure that the media could not see the damning evidence held by Lien/Soong's attorneys, to make sure the media could not see how unfair the court was being in its procedures, to make society accept Chen Shui-bian's media spin control: "Lien/Soong have no evidence, they are nothing more than sore losers."

The Pan Blues Win a Majority in the Legislature

Nine months after the presidential election, Taiwan held a legislative election.

Chen Shui-bian exploited every last administrative resource at his disposal campaigning for the Democratic Progressive Party, appealing to the voters to give the Pan Greens a majority in the legislature. Instead, amidst dark clouds of despair, the Pan Blues successfully appealed to the people to use their ballots to return the Pan Blues some small measure of justice.

Most election observers thought that the Democratic Progressive Party monopolized all administrative and judicial resources, and Chen Shui-bian desperately needed a majority in the legislature to prove that his presidency did not depend upon the 319 "assassination attempt" and 320 election fraud. All objective factors were unfavorable to the Pan Blues, and for the Pan Greens to win a majority was not seen as a problem.

Prior to the election, the atmosphere in Taiwan society was extremely grim. The media and public resources were all in the iron grip of the Democratic Progressive Party, and were directly or indirectly helping to get the Democratic Progressive Party elected.

But when the December 11, 2004 election results came out, the Pan Blues had won 116 seats, the Pan Greens a mere 101 seats, and independents had won 10 seats (independents mostly side with the Pan Blues). The Pan Blues, to everyones' surprise, had retained control of the legislature.

This legislative election had enormous significance. First, it clearly revealed that Taiwan's majority public opinion opposed Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party's Taiwan independence path. Second, because the legislative election was a multiple-seat election, election fraud was more difficult, demonstrating that under conditions in which election fraud was not a factor, Pan Blue votes far exceed Pan Green votes. The proportion of Pan Blue votes in the legislature unexpectedly tallied extremely well with opinion poll numbers just prior to the presidential election, and also with the proportion of voters who boycotted or voted "no" on the referendum. This proved that Chen Shui-bian's second term was not achieved by legitimate means. Third, it demonstrated that the people did not trust the Chen Shui-bian government and wanted it subjected to close supervision.

This election result also motivated Chen Shui-bian to redouble his efforts to divide the Pan Blues, to control the media, and manipulate the judicial system.

The Truth Commission

On March 27, under public pressure from 500,000 demonstrators, Chen Shui-bian publicly indicated his willingness to establish a Truth Commission to investigate the facts behind the 319 Shooting Incident. But as soon as the crowd dispersed, his pledge turned hollow.

The Democratic Progressive Party resisted the passage of the 319 Truth Commission bill. The Pan Greens used procedural delays to stall passage of the bill for four months. Only then was the opposition party able to marshal all its strength, pass the law, force Chen Shui-bian to sign the bill into law, and announce its execution.

But an order come down from the presidential palace. The entire administrative branch of government would immediately respond by exercising illegal resistance to a government body legally established by the legislative branch. The administrative branch even invented a fictitious "administrative right of resistance," something unheard of in human political history.

Legally, the Chen administration was obligated to provide funds, yet it refused to provide a single cent. All 319 Truth Commission operations met with resistance, even comparatively minor matters. When the 319 Truth Commission attempted to establish an official website, for example, it was denied its legal right to use the official government suffix, ".gov" and instead forced to use the suffix for non-governmental organizations, ".org."

Confronted with this kind of comprehensive official resistance, the 319 Truth Commission valiantly struggled to deposition officials, obtain and examine documents, and carry out its investigation. But government officials and Democratic Progressive Party elected representatives at every level, either descended upon the Truth Commission to harass it, or resorted to populist fascist methods, leading mobs to surround, threaten, and humiliate the Truth Commission. The most unforgettable image is that of Truth Commission spokesperson Wang Ching-feng at the Tainan District Attorney's office, surrounded by a mob led by Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Wang Hsing-nan, spitting at her and shouting obscenities.

The Truth Commission members each reached into their own pockets in order to continue pursuing the case. This was obviously unsustainable. Eventually they fell back on a charity book bazaar to raise funds. But the Truth Commission's charity book bazaar was also something that almost none of the media dared to report on for fear of government retaliation.

Eventually, after two days of continuously broadcasting information about the Truth Commission's charity book bazaar on Sisy Chen's television program, "Sisy's News," the Truth Commission managed to raise five million Yuan in funds in two weeks.

Most significantly, the contributions received by the Truth Commission were overwhelmingly for sums ranging from 15 to 30 US dollars. These amounts let us know that the Truth Commission's grass roots support was coming from the common people.

On January 30, 2005, the Truth Commission, in accordance with the law, ceased operations. Despite full-scale, all-out government stone-walling, it was nevertheless able to obtain considerable news and material. On January 17, after reviewing all the gathered material and face-to-face interviews with concerned parties, the document Chen Shui-bian was least willing to see, was the 150 page history-making "Truth Commission Report."

Here is the conclusion of the Truth Commission Report:

1. The Criminal Investigation Bureau hand gauze sample and bloodstain was obtained from a garbage bag, not directly from Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu in person, therefore they did not constitute evidence.

2. The National Security Bureau violated common sense in every way it handled matters. It coordinated its performance with the government.

3. During his press conference on the day of the 319 Shooting Incident, Presidential Office Secretary General Chiu Yi-ren deliberately and maliciously misled the public.

4. Chen Shui-bian's abdominal wound was not inflicted by the lead bullet. Because the temperature of the lead bullet, its velocity, and the length of time with which it came in contact with the skin, could not have caused Chen Shui-bian's abdominal burns, and could not have been hot enough to melt Chen Shui-bian's jacket.

5. Based on the way Chen Shui-bian normally wore his clothing, the complete lack of bloodstains on his underwear and trousers violate the basic laws of biology, and the lack of bullet holes violate the laws of physics.

6. The possibility that whoever perpetrated the shooting incident was motivated by a desire to commit suicide, to commit murder, or suffered from mental illness should be ruled out.

7. The 319 Shooting Incident was an election ploy.

Therefore the Truth Commission Report suggests:

1. Continue to uncover the complete truth.

2. Impeach the president.

3. Refer those officials who violated the law and neglected their duties to the Control Yuan for impeachment.

4. Establish an independent counsel.

This conclusion and report was what Chen Shui-bian feared the most, and the real reason the Democratic Progressive Party stubbornly resisted the formation and activation of the Truth Commission.

The Criminal Investigation Bureau

For a full year, police personnel investigating the 319 Shooting Incident convened one press conference after another at the strangest moments. These press conferences frequently gave the ruling administration a helping hand, deftly shifting the focus of media attention, keeping any news that might have embarrassed the ruling administration out of the headlines and off the front pages.

On March 7, 2005, just before the one year anniversary of the 319 Shooting Incident, just before the opposition party rallied the public to take to the streets and protest, the Criminal Investigation Bureau, by the sheerest coincidence convened a press conference, claiming that they were "on the verge of a breakthrough" and that "significant progress" had been made on the 319 Shooting Incident. During this major press conference they announced that one Chen Yi-hsiung, a resident of Ching-hua Street in Tainan who died in late March 2004 was the perpetrator of the 319 Shooting Incident.

On what basis did Criminal Investigation Bureau Chief Hou Yu-yi make such a claim? He did so on the basis of several letters that had already been burned, that had allegedly been seen only by Chen Yi-hsiung's family members, that may never have existed at all. All of which made people question the authenticity of the deceased person's last will and testament. Without any evidence whatsoever, Hou concluded that Chen Yi-hsiung committed suicide for fear of punishment.

After the press conference, the Criminal Investigation Bureau showed a videotape of a woman sitting in the dark, with her back to the camera, allegedly the widow of Chen Yi-hsiung, apologizing to the public for her husband's alleged crime. By this time the Taiwan public learned that Chen Yi-hsiung's entire family had been placed under house arrest by the Public Security Bureau and their human rights had been violated.

On 21st Century Taiwan, evidence is unnecessary, a confession is unnecessary, and officials can indict a suspect who has been dead for a year. Officials can make the facts of a case go away or come back at will. They can psychoanalyze a dead man. They can arrange for someone who has been dead for a year and unable to argue his innocence take the fall for a crime he did not commit. The person is dead. His last will and testament is nowhere to be found. His surviving family members are under house arrest.

The New York Times pointed out that such a scenario was more absurd than those found in dime novels. According to most Taiwan media opinion polls over half the people refused to swallow this official explanation.

On March 19, approximately 50,000 people participated in a parade commemorating the anniversary of the 319 Shooting Incident, demanding the truth about the case.

The protesting crowd repeatedly called Lien Chan "Mr. President." The populace believed that the truth of the shooting incident and the rigged election would one day come to light, and that Lien Chan was in fact the candidate whom citizens of the Republic of China elected president during the 2004 presidential election. The truth, they believed, would prevail.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Backtalk! Dying for Taiwan Independence

Backtalk! Dying for Taiwan Independence
Bevin Chu
April 13, 2005

I received a number of responses to my article, "Dying for Taiwan Independence." I have divided them into two categories: those that were soundly reasoned, and those that were not. Notice I did not divide them into "those that agreed with me, and those that did not." Agreement is always welcome, but a willingness to debate an issue on the merits is even more important.

One reader who disagreed with me demonstrated such a willingness:

"I must disagree... You are absolutely right when you state that most "Taiwanese" individuals consider themselves Chinese, and that the same holds for most university students in Taiwan. However, just because one considers oneself to be Chinese, due to language, culture, history, etc., that does not meant that one agrees that government by Beijing is the best option. Students in Taiwan can oppose an invasion... by Beijing and STILL consider themselves Chinese. Considering oneself Chinese is not a free pass to bending over to whatever Beijing does, anymore than considering oneself an American is a free pass to accepting everything Washington DC does. At the end of the day, those who would fight, I believe, would fight for freedom, a just fight if there ever was any. Just as I would have supported the South were I alive during the Civil War, and just as I support secession in almost all locations around the globe, I believe any "reunification" of Taiwan with the mainland would be oppressive and against the freedom and property of the people of Taiwan, be they Taiwanese or Chinese."

My response was that I understand your concerns, but they would not be concerns at all if Taiwan independence zealots would stop forcing the issue. Even George "Whatever it takes" Bush knows that Chen Shui-bian, whom he now refers to as "that SOB," is the real troublemaker in the Taiwan Straits.

The US major media usually gets the Taiwan issue exactly wrong. Newsweek, which mindlessly canonized the dictatorial and corrupt Lee Teng-hui as "Mr. Democracy," is among the worst offenders. Occasionally however, they get it right. As TIME magazine's "2005 TIME 100" list of the 100 most influential people in the world today notes, Chen Shui-bian is the real threat to cross-straits peace and stability.

The reality is the mainland authorities have no desire whatsoever to use military force against Taiwan. They have no desire whatsover to "deprive Chinese on Taiwan of their freedom." The whole Taiwan independence issue is one giant Excedrine headache for them. They have their hands full solving serious economic problems on the mainland. Their plate is full. The last thing they need is to be distracted by trouble on Taiwan.

All they really want is the island to remain under a loose umbrella of "One China." This "One China" doesn't even have to be the People's Republic of China (PRC). Beijing is perfectly okay with the 1992 Consensus, in which both sides agreed that:

"There is only one indivisible China. This China includes both Taiwan and the mainland. Beijing will refer to this China as the People's Republic of China. Taipei will refer to this China as the Republic of China. As long as Taipei doesn't move toward independence, Beijing will not take any military action."

Beijing can live with this. All they want is for Taiwan not to become a foreign country. All they want is Taiwan not to become a nominally "independent" nation that is in fact a military forward base for Japanese and US imperialists and a link in a strategic ring of containment along China's eastern seaboard. Beijing is willing to tolerate defacto independence as long as a future German style peaceful reunification can be reasonably assured.

Beijing truly does not want to occupy Taiwan. They don't need the hassle of being responsible for it. Especially now that Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian have run the Taiwan economy into the ground. If Beijing were forced to assume responsibility for Taiwan's future now, they would inherit this mess and be unfairly blamed if they couldn't pull Taiwan out of its economic doldrums any time soon.

But if Taiwan independence zealots force their hand, they will act.

Western sympathizers of the Taiwan independence movement need to get something through their heads. Republic of China citizens on Taiwan are not under the protection of their current pro independence government. They are its hostages. ROC citizens on Taiwan forced to endure the unelected Chen Shui-bian regime are akin to Frenchmen forced to endure the Vichy France regime, or Norwegians forced to endure the Vidkun Quisling regime. They are abductees bound and gagged in the trunk of a vehicle. Anyone who hands the kidnapper the keys and a full tank of gas is hardly doing the abductees any favors.

Those genuinely concerned about the well-being of ordinary, living, breathing ROC citizens on Taiwan must not aid and abet Taiwan's Quisling leadership. They must instead adopt a Taiwan policy long advocated by this author and bluntly articulated by Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute:

"Neither the earlier pro-Taiwan policy nor the latest pro-Beijing posture [advocated by George W. Bush] serves the best interests of the United States. It is not America's proper role to take a position on Taiwan's independence or other issues involving relations between Taipei and Beijing... U.S. leaders should make it clear that Taiwan must bear all of the risks entailed in whatever policies it adopts. In particular, Washington should state that it will not intervene if an armed conflict breaks out between Taiwan and mainland China."

A second reader faulted for featuring an article that "opposed the right of secession."

Nothing could be further from the truth. For the record, I don't oppose the right of secession. As a "market anarchist" I eagerly await the day when any individual who owns a piece of land within any nation is able to declare political independence and stop paying taxes to any government that would claim him as its property.

What I oppose is the discriminatory, cynical, selective application of the right of secession as a strategic weapon in the "Great Game" of nations. A number of governments have censured mainland China for its recent Anti-Secession Law. How many of them permit secession themselves? Specifically, how many of them permit the radical and consistent form of secession I mentioned? How about none?

Secession is either a right for everyone, or a right for no one. It can't be a right for some and not a right for others. Supporters of Taiwan independence, Tibetan independence, and Xinjiang independence demand secession for themselves, but deny secession to others. Have you ever heard a supporter of Taiwan, Tibetan, or Xinjiang independence insist that others also have the right to secede from Taiwan, Tibet, or Xinjiang? You haven't, and you won't. By denying the right of secession to others, they forfeit the right of secession for themselves.

Independence for Me but not for Thee

A third reader attempted to bypass genuine debate by suggesting that my arguments could be dismissed because of my family background!

Gee, I guess that explains why Red Diaper Baby David Horowitz is a rabid, foam at the mouth conservative hawk. The reader also asserted, in ignorance of the facts, that the universities polled reflected Pan Blue views. In fact, as most people who live on the island know, the law schools, medical schools, and humanities departments of northern Taiwan universities such as National Taiwan University in Taipei, the demographic heart of the Pan Blue camp, have for decades been mass-producing Taiwan independence radicals like Model Ts off Henry Ford's assembly lines.

A fourth reader attempted the tired old "straw man" approach, implying that I was an closet advocate of racist Apartheid!

He insisted that I was the Taiwan counterpart of a racist white Afrikaner, while "native Taiwanese" so-called, were the counterparts of South African blacks. I really did a double-take on that one. After all, if I advocated racist Apartheid, wouldn't I be demanding separatism, not integration? Why would I be championing reunification under the roof of One China, on the premise that "Everyone is a fellow countryman, regardless of race, creed, or color?" One really has to wonder how some peoples' minds operate.

As I read some of the responses to my article, I realized to my dismay how little many Americans know about Taiwan's situation. They don't understand the critical distinction between "Taiwan" and the "ROC." They think that "Taiwan" = "ROC." They don't understand the historical events that led to the current situation, and they don't understand the operant forces, namely:

1. The Kuomintang (KMT) and its Pan Blue allies, the New Party (NP) and People First Party (PFP)
2. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
3. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its Pan Green ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU)

The KMT and CCP both want to reunify, not now, but eventually. The DPP is a Johnny Come Lately force that is taking advantage of the prolonged Cold War standoff between the KMT and CCP to create a non-Chinese, anti-Chinese, pro-Japan "Republic of Taiwan." The DPP has attempted to transmute the KMT's ideologically-motivated opposition to communism into ethnically-motivated hatred of their mainland compatriots, and to concoct an artificial "ethnic Taiwanese" political identity. For a number of years, this movement appeared to be gaining momentum. This year however, the political winds on Taiwan suddenly and dramatically reversed direction.

The Beginning of the End of the Taiwan Independence Movement

For anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the historical background, two articles do an excellent job of connecting the dots. One comes from Linda Chao and Ramon H. Myers at the right of center Hoover Institution, the other from Henry CK Liu, a left-leaning contributor to the Asia Times.

The Divided China Problem: Conflict Avoidance and Resolution, by Linda Chao, Ramon H. Myers
US-China: Quest for Peace, by Henry C K Liu

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Dying for Taiwan Independence

Dying for Taiwan Independence
Bevin Chu
April 8, 2005

Taiwan Students too Intelligent to Die for Taiwan Independence

According to the results of a scientific poll conducted in late March by the Chinese Culture University on Taiwan, 65% of the university students on Taiwan would be unwilling to defend the island if the Chinese Communists were to attack; only 35% would be willing. Released on April 7, 2005, the poll surveyed 1161 students enrolled at National Taiwan University, National Chengchi University, and nine other major universities in northern Taiwan.

Poll: University Students' Views on Cross Straits Conflict
Source: Culture Weekly, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

Question One: "If the Chinese Communists attack Taiwan, would you be willing to defend Taiwan's territory?"

- Unwilling: 65%
- Willing: 35%

Question Two: "If the Chinese Communists attack Taiwan, what would be your reaction?"

- Raise the white flag and surrender: 18.1%
- Wait to die: 19.2%
- Wait for US or other troops to come to the rescue: 21.9%
- Resist to the end: 28.6%
- Other: 12.2%

Question Three: "Why wouldn't you be willing to go to the front line?" (不參戰的原因?)

- As a woman I oppose war (我是女生, 應遠離戰爭): 22.8%
- Taiwan is no match for the Chinese mainland (臺灣不是大陸的對手): 30.5%
- Going to war will merely turn me into cannon fodder (參戰也只能當炮灰): 25.6%
- If a fight is necessary, it would be better to reunify with the Chinese mainland (與其開戰, 不如統一): 12.2%

The Coalition of the Unwilling

So what is one to make of these fascinating poll results?

Some would-be Rambos might snort with disgust, having concluded that university students on Taiwan are "cowards."

I would politely but firmly disagree. The reason the brightest young minds on Taiwan are unwilling to fight in the event the Chinese mainland attacks, is not because they are unwilling to "fight for their country."

The reason they are unwilling to fight in the event the mainland attacks the island, is that they are not willing to fight for Taiwan independence. Taiwan independence is not synonymous with Taiwan. Taiwan is merely part of their country. Their country is the "Republic of China," or "China" for short.

University students on Taiwan know that if the mainland ever attacks the island it will be for one reason and one reason only: a 15% to 20% hardcore of Taiwan independence zealots who have hijacked the ROC, have made their final desperate move toward formal independence, against the will of the overwhelming majority of patriotic Chinese citizens who wish to maintain the status quo until the time is ripe for "reunification."

University students on Taiwan don't consider redefining themselves as "Taiwanese, not Chinese" something worth fighting and dying for. University students on Taiwan consider themselves Chinese. Just as "Tasmanians" are merely Australians who live on the offshore Australian island of Tasmania, so "Taiwanese" are merely Chinese who live on the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan. Who wants to die for that?

For Taiwan independence sympathizers who have been brainwashed by Taiwan independence propaganda for the past 17 years, the results of this March 2005 poll should provide a badly needed reality check. Taiwan independence sympathizers may wish to ask themselves, is Taiwan independence really something they are willing to die for, when even "Taiwanese" themselves are not?

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Beginning of the End, Part II

The Beginning of the End, Part II
The Hsu Wen-long Effect
Bevin Chu
April 7, 2005

The Hsu Wen-long Effect

On March 25, 2005, billionaire industrialist Hsu Wen-long dropped a bombshell. The Taiwan independence movement's most generous benefactor publicly renounced Taiwan independence. In an open letter entitled "Reflections upon Retirement," Hsu not only renounced Taiwan independence, he expressed unqualified approval of Beijing's "Anti-Secession Law." That was something James Soong, Wang Ching-ping, and Ma Ying-jeou didn't have the guts to do, although they should have.

Hsu's bombshell left the Taiwan independence leadership in shocked disarray. The local media promptly dubbed the phenomenon the "Hsu Wen-long Effect" and speculated about a potential "Domino Effect." After all, if even a heavyweight champion of the Taiwan independence movement like Hsu Wen-long had already thrown in the towel, how long could the middleweights and lightweights be expected to hold out?

The Short Road to One China

Anyone who dismissed the Hsu Wen-long Effect as imaginary would soon be proved wrong. Less than a week after Hsu's open letter, Stan Shih, founder of Taiwan's largest computer manufacturer, Acer, submitted his resignation as Senior Advisor to the President. The second domino had just fallen.

Actually, defections from the Taiwan independence movement began years ago, as early as 1999.

Among the first to leave were former DPP party chairmen Shih Ming-teh and Hsu Hsing-liang, along with DDP Public Relations Chief Sisy Chen. In 1999 the Hoklo fascists in control of the DPP labeled the trio "race traitors" for reconciling with the predominantly "mainlander" New Party.

They were followed by a younger generation of disillusioned idealists such as DPP National Assemblywoman Cheng Li-wen, who is now Deputy Director of Public Relations for the KMT (You read that right.), and Li Yung-ping, who is now a legislator for the PFP.

The departure of these liberal and progressive forces within the Taiwan independence movement was cavalierly dismissed as good riddance to bad rubbish.

But now that a dyed in the wool Hoklo chauvinist such as Hsu Wen-long, a major benefactor to their cause has turned his back on them, Taiwan independence holdouts are desperately wringing their hands wondering why.

Taking the Red Pill

In fact the answer is staring them in the face. The reason the Best and the Brightest among them have deserted one after another, is they have awoken to the fact that Taiwan independence is not a "beautiful dream," but a pathetic delusion.

Like Neo in the mind-bending SF masterpiece, "The Matrix" (1999, written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski), they have taken the "red pill." They know what the Matrix is. They can't go back.

As Trinity put it, "You've been down there, Neo. You already know that road. You know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you want to be."

As Morpheus put it, "You're here because you know something... you feel it... there's something wrong... it's there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me."

The only reason the remaining holdouts can't see it, is they refuse to see it.

The Red Pill, or the Blue Pill?

Awakening from the Dream of Taiwan "Independence"

OutNow - The Matrix

The Devil Made Him Do It!

Since Hsu's public defection from their ranks, they have been making excuses for him, insisting that "Hsu was coerced, and didn't really mean what he said."

Chen regime mouthpiece Chou Jung-tai maintained that "Beijing has been pressuring Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China [i.e., mainland China] to take a pro-China position, and it is likely that Beijing forces them to say things that go against their hearts" and that most Taiwanese won't believe such declarations because they know they are insincere.

Vice President Annette Lu insisted that China [i.e., mainland China] prepared the text then forced Hsu to put his name on the statement.

DPP legislator Wang Hsing-nan railed that "Hsu could well be living under the threat of having his entire family wiped out, otherwise Hsu would never have made such a declaration."

In fact, a source who is seldom wrong reports that Hsu experienced a genuine change of heart. The well-connected political analyst Chang Yu-hua reports that a close confidant of Hsu told Hsu:

Taiwan is not going to be politically independent. You know it and I know it. And if by some miracle Taiwan were to become independent, the credit would go to the politicians, not to business leaders such as yourself. Your legacy is going to be the Chi Mei Corporation. Chi Mei is a great Taiwan company. Working hand in hand with fellow Chinese on the mainland, Chi Mei has every chance of becoming a great global company. If you sacrifice Chi Mei for a pipe dream that even the Taiwan independence leadership is not serious about achieving, you could destroy everything you worked for. Is that really what you want?

What Hsu did next is a matter of record.

Furthermore, as far as "coercion" is concerned, what exactly do Taiwan independence Quislings mean by "coerce?"

According to their own reasoning, "Taiwanese are not Chinese." According to their own reasoning, the Chinese mainland is a "foreign country," even an "enemy nation" with "500/600/700 (pick one) missiles pointed at Taiwan." According to their own reasoning, Pan Green "Tai Shang" (Taiwan businessmen) who contribute to the Taiwan independence cause are shrewdly but righteously subsidizing Taiwan's secession from "China" with profits extracted from "China."

Therefore, again according to their own reasoning, how exactly are Pan Green Tai Shang such as Hsu Wen-long being "coerced?" Wouldn't it be more honest and accurate to say that Pan Green Tai Shang freely chose to invest there for less than honorable motives? Given the political orientation of Pan Green Tai Shang, isn't playing the victim card just a little bit disingenuous?

Please note of course that I am referring exclusively to Pan Green Tai Shang who actively abet Taiwan secession, not to either Pan Blue or non-partisan Tai Shang, who are innocent of any treasonous activities.

The Long Road to One China

In a 2001 op ed piece entitled "Taiwan Independence, R.I.P.," I wrote that Chen's dilemma can be stated quite simply.

If on the one hand, 23 million living, breathing human beings on Taiwan are to survive, let alone prosper, A-Bian must boldly sweep aside his predecessor's artifical barriers standing in the way of economic, social, and yes, political reintegration with the Chinese mainland.

If on the other hand, the constipated, small-minded, petty insular ideology of Taiwan independence is to survive, A-Bian must not only keep Lee Teng-hui's barriers in place, he must erect even higher ones, committing economic suicide. Taiwan will then devolve into an impoverished island backwater unable to afford the cost of political independence.

A-Bian has arrived at a fork in the road. Both roads lead to One China. Take one and arrive before dusk, warm, dry and refreshed. Take the other and arrive at the same destination after midnight, cold, wet and exhausted. The route is optional; the destination is not.

In retrospect we see that A-Bian chose the wrong road, the long road, the roundabout road to One China. Now, four years later, A-Bian has arrived at the destination after midnight, cold, wet and exhausted.

What he does next will be interesting to see.