Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Longest Running Joke in the World

The Longest Running Joke in the World
Chen Shui-bian's Reign of Ineptitude
Bevin Chu
May 23, 2005

According to a May 22, 2005 Taipei Times news report entitled "Chan's Taiwan remarks hurt people's feelings,"

Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Pasuya Yao said yesterday that Hong Kong-born movie star Jackie Chan is pleasing Beijing by hurting the feelings of the Taiwanese people. "It is his [Chan's] free choice whether or not he wants to come to Taiwan in the future. But when he says bad things about Taiwan, he is pleasing the Chinese government and hurting the feelings of his Taiwanese fans," Yao said. The GIO minister's remarks were in response to Chan's comments last Tuesday. When asked by reporters, Chan said that for the next four years, he will not step foot in Taiwan to avoid being attacked at the airport -- an implicit reference to the clashes that took place when Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman (KMT) Lien Chan left on his trip to China last month. Chan has not come to Taiwan since he said "Taiwan is a big joke" while referring to the assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu last year. Yao also said that when the KMT was in power, Chan made several TV and movie commercials in Taiwan. The minister said that the world-famous action movie star has every right to express his anger or disappointment toward any individual. However, his public comments are an insult to the Taiwanese people.

How can one keep from laughing?

Jackie Chan never "said bad things about Taiwan." Jackie Chan said bad things about Chen Shui-bian.

What Jackie Chan, a Hong Kong and Hollywood hyphenate of global renown said, was that Chen Shui-bian's artificially staged, laughably amateurish, patently phony, Wag the Dog "assassination attempt" of March 19, 2004, was "the biggest joke in the world." Which of course it was.

The editors of the Taipei Times knew that of course. GIO Minister Yao, the same official they quoted in their own editorial, made that perfectly clear. According to a May 21, 2005 GIO press release Yao said:

"Chan, an international martial arts film star with a great number of fans in Taiwan, referred to the election as a joke at a news conference in Shanghai, China last year, leading to calls from some Taiwan politicians to ban his movies on the island."

There you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. Chan did not say "Taiwan was a big joke." Chan said the election was a big joke.

Am I merely picking at nits? Am I merely "looking for bones in eggs," as the Chinese expression puts it?

Hardly. These cheap tricks, these smarmy little distortions of the truth, unworthy of any intellectual with any respect for the value of ideas, are typical of the Taipei Times.

The Taipei Times, as I have noted ad nauseum, is not a newspaper. The Taipei Times is the quasi-official publication of the Taiwan independence movement, English Language Edition. The mission of the Taipei Times is not to report the news. It is to legitimize and "mainstream" Taiwan independence dogma in the minds of English-speaking expats living on Taiwan. Taipei Times news reports aren't news reports, they're Taiwan independence agit-prop for "lao wai." And as the above "news report" should make abundantly clear, appallingly heavy-handed agit-prop. The Taipei Times is even worse than the GIO, the official propaganda arm of the Taiwan independence movement.

Why did the Taipei Times tell what it knew to be a bare-faced lie?

The Taipei Times deliberately and maliciously lied about what Jackie Chan said in order to discredit the immensely popular international star and provoke a "Taiwanese" backlash against performing artists defined as "Chinese," i.e., "the enemy."

Not that the GIO is much better. GIO Minister Yao distorted the truth as well:

"But when he says bad things about Taiwan, he is pleasing the Chinese government and hurting the feelings of his Taiwanese fans... Chan is free to speak publicly about his discontent with certain figures in Taiwan but that he shouldn't hurt the Taiwan people's feelings."

Note Yao's wording: "the Taiwan people's feelings." This is probably the Taiwan independence Quislings' most infuriating habit -- equating their 15 to 20% hardcore Taiwan independence zealots with "the Taiwan people."

Come to Taipei. Talk to the Taiwan people protesting Chen's election fraud, ballot theft, and illegal rule in front of the Presidential Palace every evening for the past 365 days. Ask these members of the 53% majority of Taiwan people who voted for Lien Chan whether Jackie Chan "hurt their feelings."

As a May 22, 2005 China Post article entitled "Jackie Chan to shun Taiwan and protests for four years" correctly notes:

"The Hong Kong-born entertainer is actually a "son of Taiwan," since he is married to a former Taiwanese actress. Chan is hugely popular in Taiwan... [He] has visited Taiwan frequently. He has appeared in commercials on behalf of the police and an anti-smoking charity... He was retained by the United Nations to encourage people to stay away from illicit drugs. He was visiting the Cannes Film Festival to promote "The Myth," a new adventure movie... [the] Government Information Office will host a lavish reception in Cannes today for entertainers, directors, and film producers from around the world. But Chan will be conspicuously absent from the gathering because he was not invited by the government agency... "

Jackie Chan, promoting his movie "The Myth"

Jackie Chan has not hurt "the Taiwan people's feelings." Quite the contrary, he has been a much appreciated spokesman for the Taiwan people's feelings of betrayal by an ostensibly reformist political party that has long spun itself to the Taiwan public and the international community as "democratic" and "progressive." What Chan did was to do precisely what Yao said Chan was free to do, "speak publicly about his discontent with certain figures in Taiwan."

Pan Green demagogues never pass up an opportunity to vilify Beijing for imposing sanctions against performing artists from Taiwan who violate mainland Chinese tenets of Political Correctness. But how did they behave when a performing artist from Hong Kong violates Taiwan independence Political Correctness?

They demand official bans on his movies and boycotts of his his public appearances. To paraphrase Yao, "They hurt Chan's feelings."

"I love Taiwan so much. I'm a person who likes Taiwan so much. I have done so many things in Taiwan, but then I get this result."

Jackie Chan was right. The 319 Shooting Incident was the biggest joke in the world. One year later Chan might well add that Chen Shui-bian's grossly incompetent, flagrantly illegal regime is also the longest running joke in the world.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The National Assembly Election

The National Assembly Election
and Fellow Traveler Spin Control
Bevin Chu
May 20, 2005

The End of Mainland Fever?

Taiwan independence fellow travelers, to no one's surprise, are spinning the May 14, 2005 National Assembly Election as "an affirmation of Taiwan independence" and "a repudiation of Mainland Fever."

In a May 17, 2005 International Herald Tribune editorial entitled "Taiwan reads the election's tea leaves," inveterate China demonizer Philip Bowring writes:

The result of Taiwan's election on Saturday has put into perspective the cross-strait hype and hoopla of the previous two weeks. The opposition leaders Lien Chan and James Soong had been feted on the mainland, and visions of imminent cross-strait rapprochement were conjured up, not least by Beijing-based foreign news media. Despite the excitement and media attention at home and abroad, Taiwanese ["Taiwanese" is the Taiwan independence fellow traveler term for Chinese people living on Taiwan.] in the end seem largely unmoved.


An ERA TV Poll conducted the day after Lien Chan's triumphant return from the mainland asked the public on Taiwan "Do you think that overall, KMT Chairman Lien Chan's visit to the mainland is helpful or unhelpful to Taiwan's society and cross-straits relations?"

A 55% majority answered "Very helpful" or "Somewhat helpful." A 27% minority answered "Very unhelpful" or "Somewhat unhelpful."

The same poll asked the public "Is it your hope that Chen Shui-bian can successfully reach an agreement on the future of both sides of the strait during the remaining three years of his term?"

A 72% majority answered "Very much my hope" or "Somewhat my hope." A 15% minority answered "Very much not my hope" or "Somewhat not my hope."

"Largely unmoved?" I don't think so.

A second ERA TV Poll conducted the day before James Soong's return from the mainland asked the public on Taiwan "Do you think now that Lien Chan and James Soong have each met with Hu Jintao, that Chen Shui-bian and the ruling DPP should be more forthcoming or more reserved in contacts with the Chinese Communists?"

A 59% majority said "More forthcoming." A 24% minority said "More reserved."

So much for Bowring's heavy-handed attempt at "disinformation."

Lying by Omission

Bowring writes:

Admittedly, the polling significance of the election was reduced by the low turnout... Nonetheless the result must be judged as the first formal reaction by voters to the Lien and Soong visits. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of President Chen Shui-bian performed rather better than had been expected, with 42.5 percent of the vote. Add in the 7 percent of the fiercely pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union and the forces most skeptical of Beijing appeared in a small majority. Against that, Lien's Kuomintang mustered 38.9 percent and Soong's People First Party a mere 6.1 percent. Assorted independents got 5.4 percent.


The polling significance of the election was not just "reduced" by what Bowring disingenuously refers to as "the low turnout," it was rendered meaningless. The result of the National Assembly Election did not constitute a reaction to the Lien and Soong visits, and Bowring knows it. Why else did Bowring omit the actual number for the turnout in his article?

For the record, it was 23%. That's right. Only 23% of the registered voters bothered to show up at the polling stations on election day, while 77% stayed home. Fewer than one in four cast their ballots.

Why didn't Bowring inform IHT readers that "the low turnout" was an absurdly unrepresentative 23%, from which it was utterly unrealistic to draw any definitive conclusions? Was it lack of space?

Don't make me laugh. How much space do a pair of brackets ( ) and the figure "23%" take up?

Why didn't Bowring go ahead and include it? Because Bowring was hoping readers would assume that "the low turnout" meant 60%, 50%, or 40%, not 23%.

So much for journalistic integrity.

The Non-choice Choice

The results of the National Assembly Election do not mean what Philip Bowring wants readers to think they mean, for two reasons.

One. Voters didn't understand what they were being asked to vote on.

A TVBS Poll conducted on May 4, ten days before the election, showed that although 75% of the public knew a National Assembly Election was coming up, 71% didn't understand what they were being asked to vote on.

A second TVBS Poll conducted on May 10, a mere four days before the election, showed that although 91% of the public knew a National Assembly Election was coming up, 61% still didn't understand what they were being asked to vote on!

Two. Voters who did understand what they were being asked to vote on were deeply offended by the phony "choice" they were offered.

A wide range of important but unrelated issues were "packaged dealed" into a single yea or nay vote. If voters wanted certain items they approved of, they had to accept other items they disapproved of. Adding insult to injury, this yea or nay vote wasn't even cast directly by the voter himself, but indirectly, by one of 12 competing political parties, who would in turn vote for or against the package.

This ludicrous "Rube Goldberg" arrangement denied voters the right to choose the policies they actually wanted, and left them in a quandary. "How," they wondered, "am I going to get what I want? In the end many of them concluded "I can't." In the end many of them decided "To hell with this. Why should I even bother voting? It doesn't make any difference anyway."

Monsoon rains, complete with streets flooded to knee level, especially in the Pan Blue dominated northern half of the island, gave Pan Blue voters all the extra reason they needed to blow the whole affair off.

Pan Blues, not Pan Greens Punished the PFP

Bowring's patently dishonest spin control is typical of Taiwan independence fellow travelers' relentless efforts to use the slightest excuse, however flimsy, to poormouth Chinese reunification. For example, Bowring attributes the People First Party's deservedly catastrophic showing to PFP Chairman James Soong's pro-reunification political stance.

Bowring writes:

Soong's poor showing could be seen as especially significant. The mainland-born populist and longtime presidential aspirant had just returned from a meeting with President Hu Jintao of China. The two claimed to have brokered a new deal using the catchphrase "Two Sides, One China," with an agenda for direct transport links and a free-trade deal between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. They backed a return to the so-called 1992 consensus on acceptance of the One China principle, the interpretation of which is more important than the phrase itself. Chen was quick to reject this so-called "breakthrough."

On his visit to the mainland, Soong had been more effusive than Lien in emphasizing the ethnic brotherhood across the strait. This may also have reminded voters that most of them are descended from people who migrated (illegally) from the mainland generations ago and did not retain the same ties as those who arrived when the Kuomintang was defeated on the mainland in 1949...

Lien and Soong may have to note that playing to the mainland and international galleries is not a big vote winner at home. However much a majority favors trade, peace and the status quo, the concept of Taiwanese identity (not necessarily synonymous with independence) runs as strongly through local veins as their mainland birth runs through those of Lien and Soong.


Prior to the December 2004 Legislative Election, PFP Chairman James Soong promised Pan Blue voters the PFP would reunite with the KMT in February 2005. Soong didn't just renege on his promise. He did much worse. He went over to the enemy camp. He formed an unholy alliance with Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. Pan Blue voters, Deep Blue voters in particular, were furious. They severely punished the PFP for destroying the hard-won Pan Blue majority within the ROC legislature.

Soong's more or less successful "Bridge-building Mission" to the mainland was a totally unrelated issue. Bowring's attempt to link Soong's trip with the PFP's subsequent election defeat is either ignorant or dishonest. I'm not sure which is worse.

The 23% who voted on May 14 were Deep Green and Deep Blue. Deep Greens slightly outnumber Deep Blues. Pale Blues, on the other hand, significantly outnumber Pale Greens.

Overall, Pan Blues far outnumber Pan Greens, but Pan Blues include a higher percentage of spoiled upper middle-class Pale Blue yuppies, who are often cavalier about going to the polls unless they perceive a Clear and Present Danger.

Pan Greens on the other hand, include a higher percentage of lower middle-class Deep Green "rednecks," who can be counted on to show up at the polls to vent their anger, come hell or high water. The so-called "Pan Green victory" in the National Assembly Election reflects this demographic skewing, not larger political currents such as "Mainland Fever."

A Little Honesty - For a Change

By contrast, New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher demonstrated infinitely more integrity and professionalism in his May 16, 2005 article "Taiwan vote hard to read, analysts say."

Elections in Taiwan for delegates to an obscure constitutional assembly drew such a low turnout that they provide little clues to how the general public on the island feels about a month of breakthroughs in relations with China, political analysts said Sunday. Only 23.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots on Saturday, compared with a turnout of 57.6 percent in legislative elections last December and 82 percent in presidential elections in March 2004. Political parties were able to get their strongest supporters to vote, but most of the public responded with a shrug.

The low turnout makes it very hard to use the vote to gauge public sentiment about visits to Beijing in the past three weeks by two opposition leaders: Lien Chan, the chairman of the Nationalist Party, and James Soong, the chairman of the smaller People First Party.

"Any explanation of the outcome is very shaky," said Chu Yun-han, a professor of political science at National Taiwan University. "The people who turned out to vote are not the typical voters - they are basically highly disciplined party regulars."

While a few politicians tried to turn the vote on Saturday into an informal test of public support for a rapprochement with mainland China, the main issue facing the constitutional assembly is really quite different: whether to cut the Legislature, a separate body, to 113 members instead of 225 and elect these members from single-seat districts instead of through the current system of proportional representation in multi-seat districts.

Exactly right.

If Philip Bowring actually believes he is witnessing the end of "Mainland Fever," he's got another think coming.

We are not witnessing the end of "Mainland Fever." We are witnessing the beginning of China's reunification.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The 1992 Consensus

The 1992 Consensus
Down the Memory Hole
Bevin Chu
May 15, 2005

"We did not reach a consensus back in 1992. It was a meeting and a discussion, in which we said that both sides are to have their own interpretation of what One-China means. How can it be called a consensus when we are each going to have our own interpretation? He should just tell them the truth: that there was no consensus. Anything else would be dishonest. Besides, it's already 2005 --so why is he even mentioning 1992?"
-- Annette Lu, "DPP denies existence of 1992 consensus," ETtoday, May 12, 2005

The 1992 Consensus

You have to hand it to the Taiwan independence leadership. They may not have the first clue about how to govern a nation, but their ability to look the public straight in the eye and lie without batting an eyelash is unparalleled.

Is Annette Lu really unaware that Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Ku Chen-Fu and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Wang Daohan reached a consensus back in 1992, based on the "One China Principle?"

Of course not.

Lu knows perfectly well that Ku and Wang reached a consensus on the core issue, the only issue that Taiwan independence Quislings really care about, whether Taiwan and the mainland are integral parts of One China. Lu knows perfectly well their consensus was that Taiwan and the mainland are integral parts of One China. Hence Lu's stubborn attempt to deny an obvious truth.

Wang Daohan and Ku Chen-fu, Singapore 1993

The "1992 Consensus" was clearly expressed in letters exchanged between the SEF and ARATS, and fully documented in the SEF's summary of talks held in Singapore between Ku Chen-Fu and Wang Daohan in 1993.

The "1992 Consensus" states that:

Taipei and Beijing agree that there is only One China. Taipei and Beijing agree that this One China includes both Taiwan and the mainland. Taipei and Beijing disagree about who is the rightful government of this One China, and its official name. Taipei considers itself the rightful government of this One China and refers to it as the Republic of China. Beijing considers itself the rightful government of this One China and refers to it as the People's Republic of China.

What part of "One China" doesn't Annette Lu understand?

One China, Two Interpretations

The "1992 Consensus" is also referred to as "One China, Two Interpretations," or more precisely, "One China, Different Expressions." The latter translation, "One China, Different Expressions" actually captures the "One China" essence more clearly than the looser but more common translation, "One China, Two Interpretations."

Annette Lu is attempting to claim that "Two Interpretations" means "Two completely different understandings, and no area of agreement whatsoever." Lu is attempting to equate "Two Interpretations" with "No Consensus." Lu is attempting to pretend that "Two Interpretations" is not preceded by "One China."

Annette Lu to the contrary notwithstanding, a consensus was reached about the primary issue of One China. The secondary issue of who should be in charge of this One China and what this One China should be called does not negate the consensus that the island of Taiwan is an integral part of China.

Needless to say, Taiwan independence Quislings like Annette Lu don't really give a damn about who the rightful ruler of One China is or what One China's official name ought to be. They merely wish to generate artificial confusion where no confusion exists, in order to claim that no consensus was reached about One China.

The simple fact is, if Ku Chen-fu and Wang Daohan had not reached a consensus in 1992, their exchanges would never have become known as the "1992 Consensus." Their exchanges would have been reduced to the status of bureaucratic routines that led nowhere, to be filed away and eventually forgotten. Their exchanges are remembered only because government officials and the general public on both sides of the Taiwan Strait understood that there was a consensus. It is only because Ku and Wang reached a consensus that everyone remembers the event and gave it a name.

Big Brother and the Memory Hole

The 1992 Consensus is an undeniable historical fact. Annette Lu can't wish it away merely because she doesn't like it. One could say that Annette Lu's attempt to deny the existence of the "1992 Consensus" is akin to the behavior of a philandering spouse caught in flagrante delicto, who brazenly insists that "This isn't what it looks like!"

Such a comparison however would be much too frivolous. In fact, Annette Lu's attempt to brazenly deny that "1992 Consensus" ever existed is disturbingly reminiscent of the behavior of O'Brien, the inquisitor for Big Brother in George Orwell's "1984":

Richard Burton as O'Brien, an inquisitor for Big Brother, in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1984, directed by Michael Radford, written by George Orwell and Michael Radford)
Information Retrieval Officer

Michael Palin as Jack, an "Information Retrieval Officer" for the Ministry of Information, in "Brazil" (1985, directed by Terry Gilliam, written by Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown)

O'Brien stopped him with a movement of the hand.

"You believed that you had seen unmistakable documentary evidence... There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.'

An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was the photograph. It was another copy of the photograph... "

'It exists!' he cried.

'No,' said O'Brien.

He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away from the wall.

'Ashes,' he said. 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.'

'But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I remember it. You remember it.'

'I do not remember it,' said O'Brien.

O'Brien was looking down at him speculatively. More than ever he had the air of a teacher taking pains with a wayward but promising child.

'There is a Party slogan dealing with the control of the past,' he said. 'Repeat it, if you please.'

'"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,"' repeated Winston obediently.

“‘Who controls the present controls the past,”’ said O'Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. ‘Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?’

Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Winston. His eyes flitted towards the dial. He not only did not know whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ was the answer that would save him from pain; he did not even know which answer he believed to be the true one.

O'Brien smiled faintly. ‘I will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still happening?’


‘Then where does the past exist, if at all?’

‘In records. It is written down.’

‘In records. And—?’

‘In the mind. In human memories.’

‘In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?’

‘But how can you stop people remembering things?’ cried Winston again momentarily forgetting the dial. ‘It is involuntary. It is outside oneself. How can you control memory? You have not controlled mine!’

O'Brien's manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on the dial.

‘On the contrary,’ he said, ‘you have not controlled it... You are here because you... believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right... that the nature of reality is self-evident... But... reality exists... only in the mind of the Party... Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.’

The Taiwan independence Green Terror has already peaked and is currently on the decline, thank god. The prospect of a future in which the likes of Annette Lu can have her hand on the dial, while lecturing us that reality exists only in the mind of the Party, that whatever the Party holds to be the truth is truth, is too appalling to contemplate.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Beginning of the End, Part IV

The Beginning of the End, Part IV
Lien Chan's Triumph
Bevin Chu
May 10, 2005

Executive Summary: On March 20, 2004, incumbent president Chen Shui-bian, via the Central Election Committee, rigged the Republic of China Presidential Election. Chen cheated challenger Lien Chan out of a victory he won fair and square, and the 53% majority of ROC citizens who voted for him out of the national leader of their choice. One year later, KMT Chairman Lien Chan completed a history-making "Journey of Peace" to the Chinese mainland, during which he eclipsed Chen Shui-bian and peformed an end run around the Taiwan independence movement. The Universe had belatedly returned some measure of justice to Lien Chan and those who voted for him.

The 426 Incident: "Kill Lien Chan, Save Taiwan!"

On April 26, 2005, KMT Chairman Lien Chan departed for the Chinese mainland. Pan Blue KMT and New Party supporters who enthusiastically approved of Lien Chan's "Journey of Peace" arrived at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport to give their leader a joyous send off.

Pan Green DPP and TSU supporters who vehemently disapproved of Lien's journey, who characterized it as a "Journey of Surrender," also converged on the airport. They did not come to give Lien a joyous send off. They came to prevent Lien from leaving, by force if necessary. Failing that, they came to stone him with rocks the size of eggs.

Thugs from the "All People's Taxi Company," a pro independence taxi company notorious for violent physical attacks upon those guilty of being born "mainlanders," stalled their vehicles on the freeway in an attempt to prevent Lien's motorcade from reaching the airport. Upon being intercepted, they led the highway patrol on a high-speed chase straight out of television's Max X -- Maximum Exposure.

Having failed to prevent Lien from reaching the terminal building, elected legislators from the ruling DPP [You read that right], the allied TSU, and other pro Taiwan independence groups converged on the airport with rotten eggs, rocks, glass bottles, slingshots, clubs, even firecrackers, with the announced intention of attacking Lien as he made his way to the boarding gate.

One Taiwan independence zealot even brandished a "guan dao," a traditional Chinese weapon similar to a Swiss halberd, and wore a T-shirt that read "Kill Lien Chan, Save Taiwan."

Taiwan independence supporter wearing T-shirt reading "Kill Lien Chan, Save Taiwan."

How did the Chen regime Aviation Police Bureau deal with these two groups?

Pan Blue well-wishers, armed only with flowers and ROC flags, whose only intention was to give Lien Chan a joyous send-off were shut out of the terminal building by a solid phalanx of riot police.

Pan Green trouble-makers, who had openly announced several days in advance their intention to commit god knows what violence against Lien Chan, were allowed to swarm into the terminal building via an escalator from the basement level parking garage.

Taiwan independence fellow travelers have long attempted to depict the Taiwan independence movement as something that it is not, an idealistic, progressive, reformist political movement, rather than what it is, a myopic, reactionary, fascistic political movement. The 426 Incident shattered that myth and showed the world the ugly truth.

Pan Green Panic

According to Pan Green mythology, "Lien Chan lost the 2004 Presidential Election." According to the Pan Green mythology, "Chen Shui-bian is the duly-elected president of the ROC." According to Pan Green mythology, Lien Chan lacks the means to "sell out Taiwan," even presuming he wants to, which he most assuredly does not.

No, Pan Greens were not really afraid that Lien Chan would "sell out Taiwan" by signing any secret and illegal treaties with Hu Jintao.

Instead, Pan Greens were afraid that Lien Chan would undo decades of Taiwan independence brainwashing by transforming the cross-straits political atmosphere.

Taiwan independence leaders are worried. They sense that the tide has turned. They sense that their dream of a "Republic of Taiwan" is slipping through their fingers with unexpected and alarming rapidity.

They are right to be worried. The tide has turned. Their treasonous goal of splitting Taiwan off from China is slipping through their fingers, more rapidly than the most optimistic Pan Blue patriots could ever have hoped for.

Taiwan independence Political Correctness no longer works. Nobody is afraid of being called a "Chi-Com fellow traveler" anymore. Tiresome McCarthyite smears, repeated for the umpteenth time, are no longer able to deter Pan Blue leaders from denouncing Taiwan independence and championing China's reunification.

This is a watershed moment in modern Chinese history, and a far cry from mere months ago, when Pan Blue leaders would tremble in their boots when confronted with wildly unfounded McCarthyite smears.

Ironically this "inordinate fear of Communism" was originally a KMT weapon against real, live Communist agents during the KMT's White Terror, appropriated lock, stock, and barrel by Taiwan independence demagogues for use during the DPP's Green Terror.

The public on Taiwan is overwhelmingly supportive of Lien's trip. This has Taiwan independence leaders wringing their hands in despair. Lee Teng-hui held a series of press conferences during which he became increasingly agitated as he spoke and openly admitted that he hadn't been able to sleep for days.

The Pan Green camp's shocking loss in the December 10, 2004 Legislative Election, followed by the mainland's highly-effective March 14, 2005 Anti-Secession Law, followed by Hsu Wen-long's March 25, 2005 public repudiation of Taiwan independence, followed by Lien Chan's triumphant "Journey of Peace," are all milestones on the Taiwan independence movement's road to oblivion.

The Watershed Legislative Election

According to the results of the 2004 Presidential Election -- before they were doctored by the Chen-controlled Central Election Committee -- Lien Chan was duly elected President of the Republic of China. The only reason Lien isn't sitting in the president's office today is the US only demands that fraudulent elections be overturned when its own pawns are shafted. In the case of the Ukraine, the US pawn got shafted. In the case of Taiwan, the US pawn was doing the shafting.

During the lead up to the December 2004 Legislative Election, political observers, Green and Blue alike, noted that Chen Shui-bian was eagerly awaiting the results of the December 2004 Legislative Election. He couldn't wait to point to the results and announce, "See! This Pan Green majority in the legislature confirms that I really was elected by a majority back in March 2004!"

Unfortunately the results confirmed the exact opposite. They confirmed angry Pan Blue voters' insistence that Chen lost the March 2004 Presidential Election by a wide margin. This was a devastating blow to Chen. If the December 2004 Legislative Election had gone the other way, he would have been gloating endlessly. As it was, he went into hiding for several weeks and we didn't hear a peep from him. For a loudmouth braggart like Chen Shui-bian, that was extraordinary.

The Critical Anti-Secession Law

My own view of Beijing's Anti-Secession Law differs from some of my Pan Blue comrades. I agree that the law provoked an initial backlash, but I believe it was part of a deliberate plan to first intimidate Taiwan independence Quislings with the stick, get that unpleasantness over with, then offer the carrot -- a really juicy carrot.

PRC leaders under the leadership of Hu Jintao have made a strategic decision. They have decided that rather than wage an immensely costly war to force reunification, one that could set the nation's economic development back two or more decades, they might as well use the same money to buy reunification.

Their first target was pro independence industrial tycoons such as Chi Mei's Hsu Wen-long. Their current target is pro independence southern Taiwan peasants such as fruit farmers.

Their strategy is working, like a well-oiled machine. That's the reason for Pan Green Panic.

Veni, Vidi, Vinci

Lien Chan's "Journey of Peace" was an unqualified triumph. Members of the public, both on the mainland and on Taiwan, both Pan Blue and Pan Green, were blown away.

Pan Green leaders, needless to say, were not. TV reporters covering the DPP and TSU showed them sitting around their party headquarters muttering unconvincing rebuttals and accusing Lien Chan of "selling out Taiwan." By which of course they meant, "discrediting Taiwan independence." They were seething because they knew Lien was doing a superb job.

Lien Chan has long been dismissed as a "fu bu qi de A-Dou," i.e., "a loser who can't get his act together."

Between April 26 and May 3, Lien proved his critics wrong, dead wrong. Lien showed them his mettle. Lien demostrated that he was a genuine statesman.

Actually we shouldn't have been surprised. Lien Chan has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. He taught Poly-Sci at the University of Wisconsin and University of Connecticut. Lien knows his history. Lien sees the Big Picture.

Lien Chan's problem, as it turns out, was not Lien Chan. Lien Chan's problem was Taiwan's political stage. Lien was too big. Taiwan's political stage was too small. Lien Chan's problem was that Taiwan's populist "democratic" politics called for him to be a Chen Shui-bian style demagogue, a Pauline Hanson style demagogue, a Willy Stark style demagogue straight out of Robert Penn Warren's searing political novel, "All the King's Men."

Political ability on Taiwan was defined as rabble-rousing ability. Political ability on Taiwan was defined wrongly. Political ability on Taiwan was defined the way it is on "Thirty Seconds to Fame."

Lien couldn't do it. Lien wouldn't do it. It wasn't in his nature. It wasn't him.

Beijing University or "Beida," finally provided Lien with the proper stage. Lien the learned scholar could finally show the world his stuff, before fellow scholars who didn't expect or want him to do a clown act.

Remember the expression, "Let Reagan be Reagan?" To find out what Lien was made of, it was merely necessary to "Let Lien be Lien."

Lien's performance was masterful. Lien showed that Lien had what Bush Senior lacked, "the vision thing." Lien's performance was another nail in the coffin of the Taiwan independence movement.

For a while it looked as if Lien Chan was destined to be a schlemiel, a footnote in history. Who knew Lien would pull a rabbit out of his hat and secure for himself a place in history far more significant and exalted than that of "Mr. Democracy" Lee Teng-hui and "Son of Taiwan" Chen Shui-bian?

The abysmal failure of 17 long years of Taiwan independence economic folly for the sake of an ersatz "Taiwanese national identity," the traumatic Pan Green defeat in the December 2004 Legislative Election, the public surrender of Taiwan independence True Believer Hsu Wen-long, all provided Lien with the opportunity of a lifetime. Lien saw it, and seized it.

Veni, Vidi, Vinci.

Lien's Triumphal PRC Visit May Have Wide Implications

The Universe Works in Mysterious Ways

Sometimes I ask myself, why has the universe ("Lao Tien") given Lee Teng-hui 12 years and Chen Shui-bian eight years to abuse the Chinese people on Taiwan? Why have they been forced to suffer for so long?

But then I find myself thinking, perhaps it's a case of the old Chinese fable "Sai Ong Loses His Horse: Blessing or Bane 塞翁失馬焉知非福." Perhaps the universe is giving the Taiwan independence leadership enough rope to hang itself. By giving Taiwan independence leaders so many years to discredit their own ideology, by the time it's all over and the dust has settled, Taiwan independence as a political ideal will be so thoroughly discredited nobody will believe in it any more.

Ironically, this is precisely what happened on the mainland to Communism. Mao Zedong and his Communist hardliners insisted on implementing Marxism-Leninism in toto, without compromise. They abolished all private property. They herded everyone into communes. They collectivized industrial and agricultural production. The universe gave Mao every chance to make Communism succeed. When it failed, as it had to when it bumped up against harsh economic reality, it failed spectacularly. When it failed, no one could say it hadn't been given a fair chance.

The same thing is now happening on Taiwan to Taiwan independence. Taiwan independence, like Communism, has been given two decades to succeed. When it failed, as it had to when it bumped up against harsh economic reality, it failed spectacularly. When it failed, no one could say it hadn't been given a fair chance.

If on the other hand, James Soong hadn't faced a split vote in 2000, or Lien Chan hadn't been cheated out of his victory in 2004, Taiwan independence supporters would probably insist forever that "Taiwan independence never got a fair chance." Now that Chen Shui-bian, one of their own, has gotten a second term, however illegitimately, and run the economy into the ground, Taiwan independence ideology has been thoroughly discredited, forever, and the Chinese people can move on.

Fate takes some strange turns. Lien Chan won the presidential election fair and square in 2004. He is the Republic of China's real president. Chen Shui-bian stole the presidency from Lien by illegal, underhanded means. Now however Chen is faced with a dilemma.

He can stubbornly adhere to the DPP's "Taiwan Independence Party Constitution" and end up as a footnote in history, with nothing to show for his eight years in power. Or he can betray his Taiwan independence supporters, acknowledge the "1992 Consensus" that there is "One China, Two Interpretations," and make peace with the mainland.

He's sorely tempted to do the latter. Talking heads have noted that Chen could get the Nobel Peace Prize, but only if he is willing to sell out his fundamentalist supporters. Chen is torn, waffling from one moment to the next.

Ironically if Chen Shui-bian makes peace with the mainland, he may kill the Taiwan independence movement even more thoroughly than Soong or Lien. If Taiwan independence supporters are sold out by one of their own, they may be more resigned to the reality of One China and make less trouble down the road.

If Soong or Lien were to make peace with the mainland, Taiwan independence supporters might never be able to come to terms with it. They might insist that they were "stabbed in the back" by "Traitors to Taiwan," and later generations might never hear the end of it.

If Chen does makes peace with the mainland however, Taiwan independence followers may be left speechless. They may be forced to come to terms with the fact that their own champion realized their dream was dead and made the best deal he could for them under the circumstances.

Sai Ong Loses His Horse: Blessing or Bane?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Taiwan Can't Be Fooled

Taiwan Can't Be Fooled
At Least not by the Christian Science Monitor
Bevin Chu
May 2, 2005

The Christian Science Monitor Meddles in China's Politics

"The U.S. major media and much of the minor media are not free and independent, as they claim. They are not the watchdog of democracy but the lapdog of the national security state. They help reverse the roles of victims and victimizers, warmongers and peacekeepers, reactionaries and reformers. The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth."
-- Michael Parenti, political scientist

On May 2, 2005, in a thankfully short article entitled "Taiwan Can't Be Fooled," the Christian Science Monitor told the American public that:

"The increasingly rich and well-schooled Taiwanese [emphasis added] aren't like the mainland's 700 million, little-educated peasants whom the communist leaders usually manipulate. Yet last week Beijing treated the people of Taiwan [emphasis added] like dupes by meddling in their politics in a foolhardy way... These crude good-cop bad-cop antics by China [emphasis added] only further Taiwan's [emphasis added] steady drift away from the mainland in everything but business ties.

How can one keep from laughing out loud, when the Christian Science Monitor's heavy-handed, patronizing spin control so perfectly exemplifies political scientist Michael Parenti's scathing observation?

How do these lapdogs of the national security state reverse the roles of victims and victimizers, warmongers and peacekeepers, reactionaries and reformers?

They do it the way the Ministry of Truth did it in George Orwell's dystopian novel, "1984," by manipulating the language, by playing word games. Veteran China watchers are wise to their tricks, but let's review them for the benefit of newcomers.

They persistently refer to "Taiwan" as if it were the name of a political entity rather than a geographical region of China, an offshore island of China.

They persistently refer to Chinese citizens on Taiwan as "Taiwanese," giving Americans the false impression they are citizens of an independent nation of "Taiwan."

They persistently refer to "China" as if the term applied only to that portion of China under the control of the PRC regime in Beijing.

They persistently refer only to mainland Chinese as "Chinese," giving Americans the false impression they are different from "Taiwanese," rather than fellow Chinese who reside in different region of China.

On the mainland side, they contemptuously dismiss 700 million living, breathing, thinking human beings on the Chinese mainland as mindless ciphers that "the communist leaders usually manipulate."

On the Taiwan side, they duplicitously provide as little coverage as possible to the democratic majority of Pan Blue citizens who are proud of being Chinese, swear heartfelt allegiance to the Republic of China, and resolutely oppose Taiwan independence. Invoking the lapdog media's own words, they "treat the people of Taiwan like dupes by meddling in their politics in a foolhardy way."

Why do they do this?

They do not do this unwittingly. They do not do this innocently.

They do this maliciously. They do this to mislead the American public into believing that "Taiwan" is an independent nation rather than an integral part of China. They do this to persuade the American public to go along with applying the same "divide and conquer" strategies against China that were used against Gorbachev's Russia, Milosevic's Serbia, and any political entity the US government considers a real or imagined threat to the national security state.

The Christian Science Monitor continues:

"China rolled out the red carpet, literally, for a visit by Taiwan's opposition leader, Lien Chan. He, like China, opposes formal independence for the island nation and favors eventual reunification. In treating him as a head of state, [emphasis added] and even signing an agreement of common objectives with him, China hopes to isolate Taiwan's current president, Chen Shui-bian, who talks of officially accepting the reality of an independent Taiwan. [emphasis added] China's autocrats can't seem to accept that Taiwan is a democracy in which the people have voted for Mr. Chen twice, and against Mr. Lien. [emphasis added] They also must think they can act kindly toward Taiwanese politicians [emphasis added] they favor while aiming hundreds of missiles at the island and recently passing a law that threatens war if Taiwan [emphasis added] moves toward formal statehood."

Ironically, Lien Chan is a head of state. Lien Chan is the actual winner of the March 2004 Presidential Election. Lien is in fact President Lien of the Republic of China. The only reason he isn't currently occupying the Office of the ROC President is that unlike Viktor Yushchenko, who was "Our Man in Kiev," Lien was too proud to be "Our Man in Taipei," i.e., a willing puppet of the US.

Just before departing for the South Pacific, Chen Shui-bian, green with envy at Lien Chan's wildly successful Journey of Peace, told reporters that "No matter which Taiwan party or individuals China prefers to talk to, it ultimately has to talk to the leader chosen by Taiwan people and the government of Taiwan."

I'm sure the 53% majority of ROC voters who cast their ballots for Lien Chan on election day 2004 got a good laugh at that, considering the fact that mainland China, in talking to Lien Chan, was talking to the leader chosen by the Chinese people on Taiwan and the government of the Republic of China!

Even more ironically, ersatz president Chen Shui-bian is at this very moment considering following in Lien Chan's footsteps. Chen is talking of officially accepting the reality of One China, traveling to Beijing, signing an interim peace treaty, thereby ensuring his place in the Pantheon of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

This is why Taiwan independence fundamentalist Lee Teng-hui recently held a press conference during which he complained he hadn't been able to sleep for days. The editors of the Christian Science Monitor are way behind the curve. They really need to get a clue. They need to log on to the internet and check out some websites other than their own.

Taiwan is not a democracy. Taiwan is a cronyist dictatorship a la the Philippines under Marcos, or Indonesia under Suharto, with the external trappings of a democracy. ROC voters on Taiwan have not "voted for Mr. Chen twice, and against Mr. Lien."

To see whom ROC voters on Taiwan actually voted for, see my series of articles on Taiwan's Stolen Election.

The Christian Science Monitor concludes:

"Lien's visit, however, did carry some historic symbolism. He's head of the KMT party, or Nationalists, who lost China to the communists in 1949 and fled to Taiwan. He's the first KMT leader to return to the mainland since the civil war ended with Mao Tse-tung's victory. His party still controls Taiwan's legislature. [emphasis added] But Beijing wins no point by pretending to put the civil war memories aside and welcoming Lien as an equal. He's not Taiwan's duly elected leader. [emphasis added] Unlike in China, Taiwan's leaders reflect the will of voters, who prefer that their leaders keep their independence of Beijing's manipulative ways. China will need to talk to Taiwan's president, no conditions attached, if it wants to be taken seriously by Taiwanese."

As noted above, Lien Chan is "Taiwan's duly elected leader," or more precisely, the Republic of China's duly elected leader.

As noted above, the shameless pretender squatting in the Presidential Palace does not "reflect the will of voters."

As noted above, ROC voters "prefer that their leaders keep their independence of [Washington's] manipulative ways."

This is why they prefer that Lien Chan and James Soong, the leaders they actually voted for and who actually won, conduct peace negotiations with Beijing based on the well-known "1992 Consensus" of "One China, Two Interpretations."

For those unfamiliar with the "1992 Consensus," it stipulates 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."

Vox Populi, Vox Dei?

On March 29, 2005, the ERA TV cable channel conducted a public opinion poll, attempting to gauge the Taiwan public's reaction to Lien Chan's historic visit. The question asked was:

"Do you approve or disapprove of proceeding with cross-straits negotiations on the basis of "One China, Two Interpretations?"

An overwhelming majority of 77% answered "Approve."
A mere 11% answered "Disapprove."

72% of Pan Green voters, 67% of Neutral voters, and 92% of Pan Blue voters answered "Approve."
20% of Pan Green voters, 10% of Neutral voters, and 4% of Pan Blue voters answered "Disapprove."
8% of Pan Green voters, 23% of Neutral voters, and 4% of Pan Blue voters answered "Don't know."

ERA TV Poll, conducted March 29, 2005

Alas, you would never know any of this from reading the Christian Science Monitor, because as Michael Parenti noted, "The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth."

Fortunately the increasingly rich and well-schooled Chinese people on Taiwan aren't the little-educated peasants the Monitor thought it could manipulate. Despite the Monitor's attempt to treat them like dupes by meddling in their politics in a foolhardy way, the Chinese people on Taiwan could not be fooled, at least not by the Christian Science Monitor.

Unfortunately, these crude antics by media organizations such as the Monitor only further the Chinese people's increasing alienation from and disillusionment with the America they once admired.