Taiwan Plays into China’s Hands

China is wise to follow Deng Xiaoping’s instruction on giving priority to economic development. When it has attained the goal of building China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century, there will be no problems of US containment, even less Taiwan independence.

The US lays its hope to make China unable to attain its ambitious goal mainly on:
1. China’s domestic disturbance caused mainly by dissents for Western democracy, press freedom, human rights, etc.

China counters that with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics on a New Year to infuse self-confidence in China’s path, system, theory and culture.

It regards Western, especially American efforts to spread Western democracy and values such as press freedom and human rights as measures to subvert Chinese government. It, therefore, adopts harsh measures to suppress dissents. 709 crackdown was a typical example.

2. Riots for independence in Tibet, Xinjiang, etc., especially the Islamic terrorist attacks that may give rise to panic throughout China.

That is why the US media supports Uygur separatists and describes Uygur terrorist attacks as something caused by Uygurs’ opposition to Chinese government’s restriction to their religious freedom.

Taiwan independence may trigger such Chinese ethnic minority’s riots so that China absolutely disallows that. The situation now is that Taiwanese government is entirely unable to openly advocate independence due to lack of US support. If China takes Taiwan by force, the US may be involved but the US does not have any vital interests in Taiwan to justify a war for Taiwan against China.

Though China is now strong enough to take Taiwan by force and though it is not likely that the US will fight a war with China for Taiwan, Chinese leaders shall be wise not to choose a military solution to the Taiwan issue as wise economic approaches are quite sufficient.

In addition, economic approaches work well due to the stupidity of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Chinese air force has carried out lots of patrols around Taiwan to give the false impression that China is making preparations for taking Taiwan by force. According to Reuters’ report yesterday titled “Taiwan president warns China against military aggression”, Tsai believes that China is going to take Taiwan by force so that she warns China against military aggression.

What she says on the military tension precisely plays into China’s hands. She makes Taiwanese and foreign businessmen scared so that they dare not invest in Taiwan. Without injection of investments how can she reinvigorate Taiwan’s sagging economy?

Moreover, she is stupid to increase Taiwan’s purchases of weapons for possible resistance against Chinese troops. She simply lacks the common sense that Taiwan cannot afford an arms race with China. She is depriving Taiwan of its limited financial resources for improvement of its economy.

As a result she will be replaced by a pro-Beijing president. When that has happened, China will resume its preferential treatment to win over Taiwan. That is China’s carrot and stick approach. It will be much better than a military approach.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-president/taiwan-president-warns-china-against-military-aggression-idUSKBN1EN0JU.


China Keeps Military Threat to Taiwan

SubChina’s report “Chinese ambassador to U.S. does not think Trump’s strategy document is very good” today stresses Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai’s statement in an interview with CNN that “China does not seek global dominance, and ‘we don’t think there is a zero-sum game between China and the United States.’”

I discussed the issue in my preceding post and will elaborate in my next post. However I am interested that the report says, “Cui evaded a question about discussions between the U.S. and Chinese governments on the possibility of war, and said that armed conflict is ‘no option’ on the Korean peninsula.”

China has made it quite clear that it would not help North Korea like it did in the Korean War in early 1950s. Cui diverted people’s attention away from the Taiwan issue.

China is conducting frequent air patrols around Taiwan to threaten away investment and cause pro-independence Tsai Ing-wen to be replaced by a pro-Beijing one. Cui certain should not say that there would not be war when China invades Taiwan to avoid giving Taiwan a sense of security.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SubChina’s report, full text of which is reblogged below:

Chinese ambassador to U.S. does not think Trump’s strategy document is very good

Jeremy GoldkornDecember 21, 2017

Christiane Amanpour of CNN interviewed China’s affable ambassador in Washington D.C., Cui Tiankai 崔天凯. Her questions were mostly about his thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy that was published on December 18, and about North Korea. Xinhua News Agency also has a readout of his talking points.

Cui essentially poo-poos the Strategy, is slightly evasive in answering some of Amanpour’s questions, and produces a steady hum of “win-win”-type Party formulations. His main arguments:
•China does not seek global dominance, and “we don’t think there is a zero-sum game between China and the United States.”
•Cui evaded a question about discussions between the U.S. and Chinese governments on the possibility of war, and said that armed conflict is “no option” on the Korean peninsula.
•He urged “cooperation and coordination between China and the U.S.” in dealing with North Korea.
•The Strategy does not embody “a truly global outlook,” a “forward-looking vision,” or “a constructive and cooperative approach.” “Frankly,” said Cui, “I think the current strategy could be improved in all these aspects.”
•Cui said that trade or currency wars would hurt both countries.

Chinese Model Good for Developing Countries in Spite of West Concerns

SubChina says in its report “Is there a global backlash against China?”, “Author, veteran China journalist, and occasional SupChina contributor John Pomfret writes in the Washington Post that a ‘global backlash is brewing against the People’s Republic of China’ at exactly the same time that Beijing is expressing ‘unprecedented confidence in its economic and political model.’”

It mentions China’s trouble in the US, UK, New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia and EU that are all developed countries and region. Do these countries and region need Chinese model for lifting out of poverty and economic growth? Certainly not. Chinese model offers an alternative to Western democracy for developing countries. Western countries are a minority in the world in terms of population and area of territories. Mr. John Pomfret seems to believe that there are only Western countries in the world other than China.

As China has lifted the large majority of it poor people out of poverty and achieved fast economic growth, it is justified to be self-confident. No one is sure whether China will keep its growth for a long time to come, but at least it has grown rich and strong to be regarded by the US as a competitor. Even if its growth has slowed, China is still financially capable of lifting the remaining 50 million Chinese people out of poverty.

China has good reasons for optimism while the West has nothing to prove that its democracy can enable developing countries to achieve such fast economic growth and lift people out of poverty so quickly.

The four Asian Dragons were not Western democracies when they were achieving fast economic growth. Singapore has never been a Western democracy. Hong Kong grew rich when it was Britain’s colony without democracy while Taiwan and South Korea were both autocracies when they grew rich. They became democracies only after they have grown rich; therefore, they have not been made rich by Western democracy.

Both Chinese and Western systems have their strong points and weakness so that one has to learn from the other’s strong points. China has learnt a lot from Western democracy in industrialization, urbanization, technology, financial management, etc. It is a pity that the West willfully ignores China’s strong points and stresses China’s weaknesses to remain self-confident in spite of being surpassed by China not only in economic growth but also in fighting corruption to prevent officials and rich people from becoming privileged vested interests, providing medical and retirement insurance for almost all the people, lifting almost all people out of poverty, etc.

China is superior to the West in its self-consciousness in keeping on reform to adapt to the changes in situation while Western countries, especially the US, remain conceited about their outdated system in spite of lots of problems such as financial deficit, heavy national debts, poor infrastructures, military inefficiency, etc.

China has set a successful model of socialism with Chinese characteristics for developing countries to learn from.

Western democracy is a good system, but it needs reform for improvement to be commensurate with the changes of situation. Without reform, it problems set poor examples for developing countries.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SubChina’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://supchina.com/2017/12/20/is-there-a-global-backlash-against-china/?utm_source=SupChina&utm_campaign=7604b7e8dc-20171220-444+GlobalBacklashChina&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_caef3ab334-7604b7e8dc-164862477

China conducts ‘island encirclement’ patrols near Taiwan

Reuters Staff December 12, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s air force has conducted more “island encirclement patrols” near Taiwan, its military said on Tuesday, after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened that China would invade the self-ruled island if any U.S. warships made port visits there.

China considers Taiwan to be a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

Numerous Chinese fighter jets, bombers and surveillance aircraft conducted “routine” and “planned” distant sea patrols on Monday to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said on the military branch’s microblog.

H-6K bombers, Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, and surveillance, alert and refueling aircraft flew over the Miyako Strait in Japan’s south and the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines to “test real combat capabilities”, Shen said.

Taiwan Defence Minister Feng Shih-kuan said in a statement they had dispatched aircraft and ships to monitor the activity of the Chinese military and that the drills were not unusual and people should not be alarmed.

China has conducted numerous similar patrols near Taiwan this year, saying such practices have been normalized as it presses ahead with a military modernization program that includes building aircraft carriers and stealth fighters to give it the ability to project power far from its shores.

Beijing regularly calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue between it and the United States. Taiwan is well armed, mostly with U.S. weaponry, but has been pressing Washington to sell it more high-tech equipment to better deter China.

In September, the U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2018 fiscal year, which authorizes mutual visits by navy vessels between Taiwan and the United States.

That prompted a senior U.S.-based Chinese diplomat to say last week that China would invade Taiwan the instant any U.S. navy vessel visited Taiwan.

China suspects Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who leads the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, wants to declare the island’s formal independence. Tsai says she wants to maintain peace with China but will defend Taiwan’s security.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Fabian Hamacher in TAIPEI; Editing by Michael Perry

Source: Reuters “China conducts ‘island encirclement’ patrols near Taiwan”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

A warning to Taiwan-independence forces

Global Times Published: 2017/12/10 22:43:42

The minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Li Kexin, said Friday that he had told US lawmakers that the day US Navy vessels arrive in Kaohsiung will be the day the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unifies Taiwan by force. His remarks have triggered an uproar in Taiwan, with protests from its “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” and Mainland Affairs Council.

Obviously frightened, the Taiwan authorities’ reaction indicates they care about Li’s words and lack faith in their invisible movement toward Taiwan’s independence.

After the US Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018 in September, which enables naval vessels of Taiwan and the US to pay mutual visits, Taiwan authorities have been both delighted and dubious about the bill.

The island under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has become deficient of both direction and sense of security.

The Chinese mainland has never given up the option of Taiwan reunification by force, which is clear to people across the Taiwan Straits. But Taiwan is not sure what will prompt the PLA’s actions while the DPP has been deceiving Taiwanese that the island will stay safe whatever it does.

Taiwan knows so little of the mainland’s Anti-Secession Law. The DPP is already approaching the boundary of the law and leading Taiwan to a wrong direction. The sustainability of the island’s development remains uncertain.

Li’s words have sent a warning to Taiwan and drew a clear red line. If Taiwan attempts to hold an independence referendum or other activities in pursuit of de jure “Taiwan independence,” the PLA will undoubtedly take action.

This is the cornerstone of Beijing’s policy on Taiwan that can’t be shaken and also the will of the entire Chinese nation.

It shouldn’t be underestimated, otherwise, Taiwan’s laissez-faire attitude will allow the DPP to make fatal mistakes.

After all, the mainland’s determination to prevent Taiwan from gaining independence far outweighs the DPP’s and overrides the US’ play of the Taiwan card. The mainland has the military strength and strategic will to defy any challenge.

Li’s words are like warning bells on Taiwan authorities considering independence by a salami-slicing strategy. Taiwan is facing what Peking faced in 1949 – being encircled by mainland forces. Any move that oversteps the boundary will be in vain.

The mainland certainly wants a peaceful reunification with Taiwan. But if Taiwan authorities brazenly defy the Anti-Secession Law, using force will be the only choice regardless of cost.

Taiwan authorities are playing a ridiculous trick to run counter to the trend of history. They should avoid misjudging the current situation and refrain from making the worst-case scenario happen.

Source: Global Times “A warning to Taiwan-independence forces”

Note: This is Global Times’ op-ed I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the Global Times’ views.

America Just Quietly Backed Down Against China Again

When China complained about a plan for the Navy to make port calls in Taiwan, Congress listened.

By Julian G. Ku | November 29, 2017, 12:36 PM

In June, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed an amendment to the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require U.S. Navy warships to conduct port calls in Taiwan — that is, to regularly dock, contrary to current practice, at Taiwanese ports for extended visits. The Chinese government quickly indicated its opposition: The amendment drew “solemn representations” from the ministry of foreign affairs, which denounced the U.S. government’s “erroneous actions on Taiwan-related issues.”

I have previously written about how, as a matter of law, Congress almost certainly lacks the constitutional authority to require the president to send the U.S. Navy on port calls to particular countries. But on merit, such port calls are a good idea since they would reassure Taiwan of the U.S. commitment to its security while placing China, which claims Taiwan is part of its own sovereign territory, on the defensive. A U.S. aircraft carrier visiting a Taiwanese port for an extended visit would be a tangible demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s commitment to maintaining a presence in and around Taiwan in the face of growing Chinese naval strength.

So there was plenty of reason to support a House version of the 2018 NDAA that would have simply required the secretary of defense to submit a report by fall 2018 on the feasibility of such Taiwan port calls. Such a provision is perfectly constitutional and would send a useful signal to China that the United States takes Taiwan port calls seriously.

But China’s opposition may have led to Congress further dilute the already watered-down House version of the “port calls” language. The Senate recently passed a final version of the 2018 NDAA that no longer requires a report but merely expresses the “sense of Congress” that the U.S. should “consider the advisability and feasibility of reestablishing port of call exchanges between the United States navy and the Taiwan navy.” A sense-of-Congress statement is not nothing, but it represents a substantial climb-down from mandating port calls or requiring the Pentagon to report on a plan for them.

Port calls in Taiwan are not going to make or break U.S.-Taiwan policy. But it’s notable that Chinese government opposition may have convinced Congress to back off
Port calls in Taiwan are not going to make or break U.S.-Taiwan policy. But it’s notable that Chinese government opposition may have convinced Congress to back off
its more aggressive support for this idea; it should remind us of the difficulty of managing foreign policy from the legislative branch. As I observed earlier this year, Congress has usefully intervened on Taiwan policy with several bills, including the Taiwan Travel Act and the Taiwan Security Act. But given Congress’s many legislative priorities, these bills are likely to languish in committee. The NDAA, by contrast, must pass every year to authorize military operations, which is why it is so disappointing the more aggressive port call provisions were removed.

On the other hand, just as Congress backs off its effort to manage Taiwan policy and push port calls, the Trump administration’s China team may finally be coming together behind the idea. After all, the individual most responsible for promoting the idea of U.S. Navy port calls in Taiwan, Randall Schriver, is likely to soon be confirmed to the position of assistant secretary of defense for Asia-Pacific affairs. In prepared answers to policy questions at his confirmation hearing in November, Schriver reiterated his support for port calls in Taiwan, even though the Pentagon has been neutral on this issue so far:

Since we reserve for ourselves the right to define our own One China Policy, commencing U.S. ship visits to Taiwan and vice versa can be included. The benefits of U.S. port calls to Taiwan would fall into the traditional justification for port calls to any other friendly country in the world — rest and relaxation for the sailors (which aids in recruitment and retention); minor repair and maintenance; port familiarization to assist in planning for a known contingency; and to support our political goals of supporting Taiwan and deterring China. If there are alternate views in the Department of Defense, I look forward to learning more about the counter arguments.

We will see whether Schriver’s views prevail within the U.S. government, where the State Department is likely to provide an opposing view in deference to what are likely to be vigorous Chinese government protests. But the baton on port calls, and Taiwan policy as a whole, is probably being handed over to the executive branch. For those of us outside the administration, whether such port calls happen will be an interesting signal of Schriver’s influence in shaping U.S.-China policy — and the ultimate direction of that policy in the Trump administration.

Julian Ku is the Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Law at Hofstra University in New York.

Source: Foreign Policy “America Just Quietly Backed Down Against China Again”

Note: This is Foreign Policy’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

China Will Send Warplanes around Taiwan Regularly to Scare Taiwan

In my post “China Wise in Subduing Taiwan Economically, Stupid in Using Force” on October 12, I said China is stupid to use force to take Taiwan. Economic measures to attract Taiwan fund and military tension to drive funds away and force Taiwan to use its limited financial resources in obtaining weapons instead of boosting Taiwan’s stagnant economy are quite enough to subdue Taiwan.

True enough, according to Reuters’ report “China air force again flies around Taiwan, over South China Sea” today China recently sent warplanes around Taiwan. Taiwan is scared and “has been pressing Washington to sell it more high-tech equipment to better deter China”.

Seeing that China’s official media CCTV showed footage at its primetime news of an interview with Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke at an airfield. According to Shen, Chinese air force has intensified its long-distance military drill since the 19th Congress.

Such drills have increased from four times a year to several times a month to make them regular and systematic for real war.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ and CCTV’s reports, which can be viewed respectively at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-defence-taiwan/china-air-force-again-flies-round-taiwan-over-south-china-sea-idUSKBN1DN12K and