Farewell, Mr. Democracy

Farewell, Mr. Democracy
Bevin Chu
March 30, 2000

Mr. Democracy vs. the Democratic Process

Lee Teng-hui, lame duck president of the Republic of China, is no champion of democracy. Lee’s ludicrous “Mr. Democracy” label was the result of wishful thinking by embarassingly naive reporters for Newsweek magazine with almost zero understanding of what they were writing about.

China-haters and Taiwan “independence” fellow travellers, usually one and the same, suffer from selective amnesia. They conveniently forget just how Lee Teng-hui became president of the ROC.

Lee did not rise through the ROC political hierarchy “democratically,” the way Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan rose through America’s. Lee’s presidency was conferred upon him. The late Chiang Ching-kuo conferred the ROC presidency on Lee, the same way Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek conferred the ROC presidency on Chiang Ching-kuo, the same way Deng Xiaoping conferred the PRC presidency on Jiang Zemin.

Lee became president of the ROC not by means of democracy, but by imperial succession. The only difference is Lee put a democratic face on his ascension to the throne by holding a direct election, after the fact. Exploiting advantages conferred upon him by an imperial presidency, including a state-controlled media and an inexperienced, gullible electorate, Lee ensured his own “democratic” victory.

Unfortunately for Lee, this was a gambit he could use only once. Had “Mr. Democracy” been eligible for another term, and chose to run, he would have been trounced, but good, by James Soong.

Mr. Democracy vs. Term Limits

Lee could not legally run for another term, not without yet another constitutional amendment. Mr. Democracy has had the ROC Constitution amended five times in nine years for two reasons. One, to increase his personal power and two, to pave the way for Taiwan independence.

Previous amendments systematically raised the threshold for impeachment so high Lee is now virtually an elective monarch. Another amendment would mean six amendments in ten years.

It is widely rumored the only reason Lee has not demanded another amendment and another term, is our own US State Department secretly confronted “Mr. Democracy” with an ultimatum, “Step down, or else.”

Mr. Democracy vs. Chiang Ching-kuo

Chiang Ching-kuo earnestly believed Lee would carry on Chiang’s program of political liberalization, of glasnost and perestroika. Chiang was wrong. New Party legislator and vice-presidential candidate Fung Hu-hsiang, who once served as Chiang’s executive secretary recalls how Chiang did so many things right. He lifted martial law. He abolished media censorship. He legalized opposition political parties. He promoted “native” Taiwan political talent to higher office. If anybody deserves the title “Mr. Democracy,” it’s Chiang Ching-kuo, not Lee Teng-hui.

Unfortunately the one thing Chiang messed up, he messed up royally, his choice of successor. He inflicted the despotic Quisling Lee Teng-hui on the people of the ROC, for twelve long years. Such is the downside of “benevolent despotism.” One never knows if the next guy in line is another “Mr. Democracy.”

Mr. Democracy, meet Mr. Mann

In an article entitled “Taiwan President Taking a Bad Rap” (Wednesday, March 22, 2000
Los Angeles Times) columnist Jim Mann wrote:

“Taiwan’s president [Lee Teng-hui] is being charged with secretly wanting the opposition DPP to win the election. Lee, so this argument goes, is an ardent Taiwanese nationalist who sympathizes with the DPP’s past support for the cause of independence for Taiwan… Are these accusations against Lee valid? … did Lee actually work behind the scenes against Lien and the KMT, his own party? There’s little evidence to support such a charge… “

Little evidence to support such a charge?

In August 1994, Liu Tai-ying, Chairman, Business Affairs Committee, Kuomintang, met with then Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh, and offered to pay the cost of the DPP’s new headquarters building. Liu Tai-ying freely admits this event took place but claims that President and KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui knew nothing of the offer. Skeptics consider this even less believable than Hillary Clinton not knowing about the White House Travel Office firings. Liu Tai-ying also offered to underwrite the DPP’s entire annual budget, to the tune of $4.3 million U.S.

Mann must be kidding.

Mr. Democracy vs. Ma Ying-Jeou

Mann wrote:

“The argument that Taiwan’s president wanted his own party to lose ignores what he said and did during this campaign and previous campaigns. Two years ago, when the DPP’s Chen was running for reelection as mayor of Taipei, there were similar charges that the president secretly wanted him to win because Chen was Taiwanese and his opponent, Ma Ying-jeou, was from mainland China. Instead, Lee campaigned vigorously for Ma, who proceeded to win.”

As John McLaughlin of the McLaughlin Group likes to say, “Wrong!”

For starters Lee discouraged Ma’s nomination. When Ma was nominated by the KMT hierarchy in spite of Lee’s wishes, because nominees John Chang and Jason Hu lacked the charisma to beat Chen, Lee refused to attend Ma’s rallies. Finally, a week or so before election day Lee relented.

Ma did not win because Lee campaigned “vigorously” for Ma, because Lee did not campaign “vigorously” for Ma. Lee campaigned grudgingly, half-heartedly for Ma. Getting Lee to campaign for Ma was like pulling teeth. Ask KMT “non-mainstream faction” members who drafted Ma to be their party’s nominee.

Mr. Democracy vs. the New Party

Ma won because New Party members sacrificed their own better qualified candidate Wang Chien-hsuan, in order to block the separatist Chen’s path to the ROC presidency. What they did was referred to as “qi Wang, bao Ma” or “dump Wang, save Ma.” Ask DPP members registered to vote in Taipei. You’ll be subjected to an earful of angry profanity directed at “mainland pigs.” Two years later they still resent Chen’s loss, and place the blame squarely on the pro-reunification New Party.

Mr. Democracy vs. Lien Chan

Mann wrote:

“In recent months, Lee publicly denounced Chen as unreliable. And he declared that, if the DPP came to power, there would be instability between Taiwan and China. These don’t seem like the actions of a DPP cheerleader. They look more like the actions of a leader who hoped his own KMT would win so that he would retain a degree of power after he was no longer president.”

Wrong! Recent months? Try recent days. Again Lee reluctantly went through the motions of supporting his own party’s candidate for appearance’s sake. But he did so only after he was reasonably confident his strategy of “qi Lien, bao Bian” had taken effect.

Mr. Democracy and the Order of Lenin

Jim Mann just doesn’t get it.

The KMT, like the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is a Leninist political party. For that matter, so is the “opposition” DPP. KMT tradition mandates that whoever is president is also automatically party chairman, and vice-versa. That’s right. Just like the “Communists” in Beijing.

If Lien Chan were elected, Lee would be forced to step down as party chairman. Besides, by Lee’s lights Lien is not sufficiently committed to Taiwan independence. That’s why many pro-reunification KMT members supported Lien against Chen. Rightly or wrongly, they believe Lien to be a closet advocate of reunification.

If on the other hand, Chen were elected, Lee could argue he needed to retain the chairmanship in order “to rescue the party in its hour of need.”

No. Lee did not hope his own KMT would win so that he would retain a degree of power after he was no longer president. Instead Lee hoped Chen Shui-bian, whom Lee compared to Joshua and himself to Moses, would win. Lee hoped after he conferred the ROC presidency on Chen Shui-bian, that Lee would at least be able to retain his own party’s chairmanship.

Mr. Democracy vs. James Soong

During the election Lee Teng-hui marshalled the entire resources of the KMT party machine to smear James Soong with false accusations of embezzlement. A subsequent Control Yuan investigation cleared Soong of any and all wrongdoing. The damage however had already been done. Soong never fully recovered in the polls.

See:
The Least of Three Evils

Mr. Democracy to A-Bian’s Rescue

On the other hand, Lee Teng-hui ordered evidence that Chen Shui-bian defrauded a wealthy Chinese-Malaysian tycoon out of a fortune in a phony lottery scheme suppressed until after election day. Prosecutors have since announced that the handwriting on a sheaf of incriminating documents match Chen’s handwriting samples. Too late. Chen is already president-elect, soon to be president, with full executive immunity. Chen meanwhile, has openly declared his intention to cover for benefactor Lee Teng-hui. Who says there’s no honor among thieves?

L.A. Confidential

The Academy Award winning film “L.A. Confidential” painted a riveting portrait of Los Angeles during the 1950s, on two levels. On the surface, the mythical Los Angeles of Jack Webb’s police drama “Dragnet,” viewed through Eisenhower era rosed-colored glasses. Beneath the surface, beneath the Tinseltown glitz, a Dark City of Rodney King police brutality and Heidi Fleiss sex scandals which persists even today.

Just the Facts, Mann, Just the Facts

Mann wrote:

“The conspiracy theory of Taiwan’s election is too simplistic to bear scrutiny. Chen didn’t win because the Taiwan president secretly supported him… Lee Teng-hui looks above all like King Lear, an elderly ruler in decline… His downfall is the stuff not of conspiracy but of tragedy and pathos.”

What is too simplistic to bear scrutiny is Mann’s glib but irrelevant King Lear analogy. Misleading literary allusions are a sorry substitute for hard facts. Newsweek in 1996, and the Los Angeles Times in 2000 have presented us with a “Pleasantville” version of Taiwan’s “democracy” akin to the sanitized Los Angeles Jack Webb depicted in Dragnet.

Mr. Democracy, be careful What You Wish For

The iconoclastic Li Ao recently suggested that Chen Shui-bian will sell out Taiwan independence for personal political advantage. According to Li Ao, Chen Shui-bian is actually an unprincipled opportunist wolf in Taiwan independence sheeps’ clothing.

If Li Ao is right, and Li Ao ought to know, having known Chen for twenty years, then Lee Teng-hui may have outsmarted himself by turning the reigns of the ROC government over to someone who will wind up making a deal with Beijing and relegate Taiwan independence to the dustbin of history.

If Li Ao’s prediction proves correct, Chen Shui-bian’s election will prove an ironic and unexpected benefit to both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The fact is Deng Xiaoping’s, and now Jiang Zemin’s intention, was never to overrun Taiwan in order to impose doctrinaire “communism” on the island, but merely to prevent the loss of sovereign Chinese territory.

Beijing is perfectly happy to permit Taiwan an extraordinarily high degree of local autonomy, even to keep its own armed forces, as long as Taiwan remains part of China. A pragmatic deal struck between the Chen regime in Taipei and the Jiang regime in Beijing would be a win/win proposition for America, for mainland China, and for Taiwan.

The only losers would be Robert Kagan and William Kristol of the Weekly Standard. These Armchair Warriors, these Profiles in Courage would be instantly deprived of their newest and most likely candidate for Son of Evil Empire. Better luck next time, fellas.

Appendix:

Taiwan’s Newest Export — KMT Corruption
An Abbreviated Chronology of Liu Tai-ying’s Influence Peddling

Liu Tai-ying’s official title is “Chairman, Business Affairs Committee, Kuomintang” (or KMT), the ruling party of the Republic of China (Taiwan). He is the man President Lee Teng-hui has entrusted with Taiwan’s most notorious overseas export: political influence peddling. He is the prime suspect behind the 15 million dollar bribe to Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. In short, he is Lee Teng-hui’s Ambassador of “Checkbook Diplomacy.”

The Kuomintang is reputed to be the world’s wealthiest political party. Americans may be surprised to learn that unlike their own political parties which are required by U.S. law and custom to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the KMT openly owns and operates a wide range of highly lucrative business enterprises, from which it competes unfairly by exploiting its status as ruling party of the R.O.C.

What follows is a paper trail, thoroughly documented and a matter of public record, of Liu Tai-ying’s long and sordid history of illegal and unethical influence peddling at home and abroad.

Liu Tai-ying’s Paper Trail

1. In August 1994, Liu Tai-ying met with then Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh face to face, and offered to pay the cost of the new DPP Headquarters building. Liu Tai-ying freely admits this event took place but inisists that President and KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui knew nothing of the offer. Skeptics consider this even less believable than Hillary Clinton not knowing about the White House Travel Office firings.

2. On the same occasion Liu Tai-ying offered to underwrite the DPP’s entire annual budget, to the tune of $4.3 million U.S. Both building and budget offers were turned down, but considering that the DPP is the largest pro-independence party in Taiwan, they cast more than a little doubt on Lee Teng-hui’s public expressions of support for reunification with the mainland.

3. Liu Tai-ying’s boss, KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui not long ago declared his intention to offer the United Nations $1 billion U.S. for a seat in the General Assembly. This brazen attempt to bribe the world body was ignored, but reveals the “anything is for sale” world view of the KMT leadership.

4. On behalf of Lee Teng-hui, Liu Tai-ying engaged the high-powered public relations firm of Cassidy and Associates for the astronomical sum of $4.5 million U.S. in order to smooth the way for his politically-motivated “private” 1995 Cornell University trip.

5. Cornell University admits that they received a $2.5 million U.S. donation from a “friend” of Lee Teng-hui after Lee’s trip.

6. In February 1994, Liu Tai-ying paved the way for Lee Teng-hui’s Indonesian state visit by making a $100 million U.S. contribution to Indonesian president Suharto.

7. In April 1995, Liu Tai-ying prepared the way for Lee Teng-hui’s mid-East trip with generous contributions to Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

8. In April 1995, Liu Tai-ying attempted to bribe Israel with an offer ranging between $250 and $400 million U.S. to allow a state visit by Lee Teng-hui. Israel turned him down.

9. In 1994 Liu Tai-ying arranged for the sale of the Hong Kong Times office building at the bargain basement price of $190 million H.K. The building was resold only three months later for the sum of $580 million H.K. Why was the spread so great? Who pocketed the profit? These and other troubling questions remain unanswered.

10. Liu Tai-ying arranged for the purchase of an office building in Japan at the exorbitant price of 13.9 billion Yen. The building has been appraised as having a market value of only 6.5 billion Yen. Who pocketed the 100% profit? Did it pay for Lee’s Japan visit? These are reasonable questions.

11. Liu Tai-ying’s annual salary of $700,000 U.S. exceeds that of R.O.C. President Lee Teng-hui, which in turn exceeds that of U.S. President Bill Clinton. Liu’s bar-hopping lifestyle compares with that of Clinton advisor Dick Morris, as does his ego. He boasts of having single-handedly raised $800 million U.S. for the KMT over a period of three short years, without apology for the unethical means by which he did so.

12. Liu is well connected with the heads of Taiwan’s “Four Big Enterprises,” namely Evergreen, China Trust, the Cathay Group and Formosa Plastics. It was Liu who introduced Mark Middleton, President Clinton’s Special Assistant to the “Four Big Enterprises.” That Evergreen was subsequently fined by the State of California for making an illegal $890,000 U.S. campaign contribution does little to dispel suspicion about Liu’s involvement in the latest Clinton bribery scandal.

Conclusion

Liu Tai-ying and his boss Lee Teng-hui are of course responsible for their misdeeds and must answer for them. Nevertheless our overview is not intended as an indictment of Liu and Lee as individuals, but rather of endemic, systemic corruption. Lee Teng-hui’s “corruption as a way of life” must be rooted out before the Republic of China can become a democracy in more than name only. It is only when clean government has been reestablished at home that the R.O.C. will cease to be an exporter of corruption abroad.

Written by Fung Hu-hsiang, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy at National Central University
Member of the Legislature of the Republic of China

Translated by Bevin Chu
R.A., Texas

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Taiwan’s Fraudulent Election

Taiwan’s Fraudulent Election
Bevin Chu
March 24, 2000

Clinton in Wonderland

Taiwan election shows vitality of its democracy, says Clinton
Agence France Press, March 18, 2000
WASHINGTON — President Bill Clinton on Saturday hailed the the election of Mr Chen Shui-bian as President of Taiwan. [sic!]
“I congratulate Mr Chen Shui-bian on his victory,” the US leader said in a statement released by the White House. “This election demonstrates clearly the strength and vitality of Taiwan’s democracy. I believe the election provides a fresh opportunity for both sides to reach out and resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue,” he said.

Whether Slick Willy actually believes this arrant nonsense, or merely feels compelled to pay pro forma lip service for “diplomatic” reasons, only he knows. But libertarian anti-interventionists need not be bound by the Orwellian Newspeak of beltway insiders, and are free to tell it like it is.

Meanwhile, back in the Real World

On March 18, 2000, history repeated itself. The Republic of China’s Y2K presidential election turned out to be a replay of the 1994 Taipei mayoral election. In 1994 “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui, Chairman of the KMT, coerced Mayor Huang Ta-chou, the KMT incumbent, who knew he was unelectable due to voter dissatisfaction with his job performance, to run in a three way race.

What was Lee Teng-hui’s motive?

Lee is a pro-Japan Quisling and a covert Taiwan separatist. In an infamous 1995 interview with the late Japanese journalist Ryotaro Shiba, Lee likened himself to Moses, leading his people out of Egypt, i.e., China, and to the promised land, i.e., Japan. Lee later likened rabid separatist Chen Shui-bian of the “opposition” DPP to Mose’s successor, Joshua.

Lee wanted to split enough of the pro-reunification vote from the pro-reunification New Party’s Jaw Shau-kang to ensure that Chen Shui-bian would ascend to office of Mayor of Taipei, a traditional stepping stone to the Republic of China’s presidency.

This sleazy, anti-democratic electoral sleight of hand, calculated to deny the voters a result which actually reflected the popular will, was referred to as “qi Huang, bao Chen,” or “dump Huang, save Chen,” and successfully handed the keys to the City of Taipei to Chen.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Now, fast forward to March 18, 2000. KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui deliberately coerces his own party’s unelectable Lien Chan, whose numbers are mired in the low to mid teens, to run against the immensely popular pro-reunification James Soong, whom Lee excommunicated from the KMT and who subsequently ran as an independent.

As in 1994, Chen Shui-bian, aka Joshua, wins again. This dog and pony show was referred to as “qi Lien, bao Bian” or “dump Lien, save Bian.” This time, by a slim margin of 300,000 votes out of 12 million registered voters and an 83% voter turnout, Chen was handed the keys to the Presidential Palace. Soong received 37% of the vote. Lien received 23%. Again, this split the pro-reunification vote, clearing the way for rabid separatist Chen to squeak by with a mere 39% plurality.

Sixty one percent of the voting public in the Republic of China voted against the separatist Chen. Taiwan’s Y2K election may be a lot of things, including a cruel hoax perpetrated against a politically naive electorate still struggling to cope with the darkside of “democracy,” but the one thing it is categorically not is a mandate for Taiwan independence.

Better Living through Chemistry

Even many of those who voted for Chen did not do so because they advocate Taiwan independence. They voted reluctantly for Chen’s party, the DPP, and only because they could no longer endure the KMT’s endemic corruption. They voted for Chen only because Lee Yuan-tse, the ROC’s only Nobel Laureate (for Chemistry), abused the power of his office.

Lee, a Taiwan independence diehard and head of the prestigious taxpayer funded Academia Sinica, went on TV in a slick campaign ad endorsing Chen. Oozing with sincerity, Lee assured borderline Chen supporters who harbored grave reservations about Chen’s fanatical separatism, not to worry. He, Lee, would transform Chen from a separatist Mr. Hyde into a “kinder, gentler” Dr. Jekyll, who would make peace with the mainland, presumably through chemistry.

Chen has thanked Lee profusely, convinced that many undecideds swallowed Lee’s appeal hook, line and sinker.

Are Run-off Elections Undemocratic?

In many European and western hemisphere democracies, election laws would mandate a run-off election to establish an absolute majority and solid electoral mandate. If such a run-off election were held in Taiwan, right this minute, Chen Shui-bian would lose by a landslide, and the Taiwan independence elite damned well knows it.

Yet this obscene travesty of the “democratic process” is going to be spin-controlled by Taiwan independence Quislings and China-hating beltway bombardiers as “the Taiwanese people’s yearning for freedom and independence.” Count on it.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Opinion Polls

The week before the election Lee not only misused party resources, but public resources to brainwash trusting pro-reunification KMT members to “save Lien, dump Soong,” on the false pretext of preventing the pro-independence Chen from winning.

Among his many transgressions, Lee violated ROC election laws, which prohibit the release of poll results starting ten days prior to election day. The purpose of these laws are to prevent the misuse of phony polls designed to influence election results.

What did “Mr. Democracy” do? Lee ordered the release of not one, but two sets of poll results. One real, one phony.

Real poll results, which accurately reflected how far Soong was in the lead, were supplied to the “opposition” DPP Chen Shui-bian’s campaign committee, helping them fine-tune their campaign tactics to shifting public moods.

Phony poll results, which falsely alleged Lee Teng-hui puppet Lien Chan was leading Soong, were deliberately leaked to the public at large. Thousands of red cloth election banners with the white characters “qi Soong, bao Lien” or “dump Soong, save Lien,” were cranked out and distributed island-wide. This had the predictable effect of panicking at least several hundred thousand, if not millions, of grassroots KMT members to do just that.

Many grassroots KMT members who have never been able to bring themselves to believe Lee was in fact a “separatist wolf in reunification sheep’s clothing,” obediently voted for Lien. They now realize, too late, how badly they were duped.

The Japanese Connection

Hsieh Chi-ta, a New Party legislator and former judge, respected even by her political enemies as a stateswoman of impeccable honor, has done her utmost to encourage both the protestors and riot police to remain calm, however righteous their anger might be.

As she spoke she reminded the media and the Taiwan public about an aspect of the cross Straits crisis which is often neglected, deliberately, the Japanese Connection.

Even elementary school girls in Japan, when they receive an award, stand and shout “Lee Teng-hui, wan sui!” or “Long live Lee Teng-hui!” Naturally they do it in Japanese, not Chinese. But why do they perform such a bizzare ritual at all? What does Lee Teng-hui have to do with Japan?

The anwer is, plenty.

They do it because everyone in Japan, even adolescents, know that Lee Teng-hui is to coin a phrase, a “Japanese cuckoo’s egg in China’s nest.” They do it because they know Lee Teng-hui is deliberately engineering an apocalyptic showdown between China and America. They do it because they know China-haters like Chris Cox are too dense to realize that while his irrational bigotry is focused on China, he has forgotten which Asian nation bombed Pearl Harbor. They do it because they want Japan to stand on the sidelines while China and America destroy each other, and when the dust has settled, assume the mantle of Asia’s premier superpower.

Japan’s Proposal

None of this is a secret if one knows where to look. Just read Lee Teng-hui’s book “Taiwan’s Proposal,” ghost-written by a Japanese neofascist and published in Japan, not Taiwan. Pray tell, why is a book entitled “Taiwan’s Proposal” authored and published in Japan by militant Japanese right-wingers? Is “Taiwan’s Proposal” really Taiwan’s Proposal, or “Japan’s Proposal?”

Much of what I write probably comes as a shock to those who don’t speak Chinese and hence have little clue about what’s actually going on in Taiwan, including instant experts among our sanctimonious foreign policy elite. But it’s hardly a secret to anyone who speaks Chinese, lives here a few months, and spends a little time watching the surfeit of nightly “McLaughlin Group” type political talk shows.

A Taiwanese Tiananmen

If only my fellow Americans back home could receive live Taiwan cable TV news coverage. What they would witness is a Taiwanese Tiananmen Incident. Outraged grassroots KMT members who voted for Soong, have joined outraged grassroots KMT members who voted for Lien. Together with support from other segments of the Taiwan public, they are protesting in front of KMT party headquarters, and are refusing to leave until Lee resigns his party chairmanship.

They are chanting, among other slogans, “Lee Teng-hui, xia tai!” or “Lee Teng-hui, step down!” The flag they are waving is the red, white and blue flag of the Republic of China, not any so-called “Taiwan” flag.

The protestors are protesting not against “democracy,” but against anti-democratic chicanery and election fraud inflicted upon them by their own party chairman, a “stealth separatist” who delivered their nation into the hands of the DPP’s Chen Shui-bian, a opportunistic traitor belonging to another party.

At Tiananmen, protestors chanted “Deng Xiaoping, xia tai!” Lee Teng-hui gloated. Now Lee’s political chickens have come home to roost.

The Ministry of Truth

What has the Fifth Estate’s response been? Lee Teng-hui’s state-controlled Taiwan media, and much of the mainstream western media, with a few noteworthy exceptions which deserve high praise, have been sniping at the protestors, portraying them as a “mob,” as “anti-democratic,” as “sore losers.” They have been self-righteously demanding of the protesters “Why don’t you accept the results of a democratic process?”

Chen’s Clintonian Doublespeak

To which one might ask, why doesn’t Chen Shui-bian, President Elect of the Republic of China, accept the result of a democratic process? Chen began his “acceptance speech” with a ringing declaration about how “the Republic of China’s presidential election” had been successfully concluded, and how he had been elected, get this, “President of Taiwan.” He did not refer to “the Republic of China” again. After that it was Taiwan this and Taiwan that.

On previous occasions Chen has stated, in classic Clintonian doublespeak, that “Taiwan is a sovereign and independent state, its current name is the Republic of China.”

Right. Oral sex is not sex. It all depends on the meaning of the word “is.”

What Chen did was equivalent to crossing his fingers while lying through his teeth. The office he ran for was “President of the Republic of China,” not “President of the Republic of Taiwan.” Republic of China voters who cast their ballots, cast them for a president of the Republic of China, not a president of the Republic of Taiwan.

The fact is Chen offered himself as a candidate under false pretenses. Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian both committed election fraud. What resulted was the farthest thing from a “free and fair election.”

If Chen wants to run for President of the Republic of Taiwan, he is free to do so. I suggest however that Chen first state clearly what he is doing in advance, so voters can decide if those terms are acceptable to them, and Chen first establish a Republic of Taiwan before deciding he has a right to be its President.

The latter would call for first waging a successful war of independence. Good luck on both counts.

Chen will not succeed in his dream of Taiwan independence. Never mind Beijing. Patriotic Chinese on Taiwan, who are “mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more,” and outnumber pro-Japan Quislings, won’t let it happen.

Names Change, Patterns Remain

Let me keep it real simple. Chen Shui-bian did not win this “democratic” election. “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui conferred the Republic of China’s presidency on his designated heir Chen Shui-bian, the same way Deng Xiaoping conferred the Chairmanship of the Chinese Communist Party on Jiang Zemin, and the same way Chinese emperors have conferred the imperial throne on their successors since time immemorial. Chen Shui-bian is merely China’s newest emperor.

“Mr. Democracy” vs. Pro-democracy Demonstrators

The PRC government tolerated a sit in demonstration which paralyzed the heart of Beijing for several months before finally losing patience and brutally inflicting deadly force against the protesters.

“Mr. Democracy,” Lee Teng-hui waited all of two days before ordering helmeted riot police to drive pro-democracy protestors from the plaza in front of KMT headquarters. The police obliged, clubbing unarmed, elderly KMT members with heavy batons. White-haired senior citizens have been hospitalized with concussions. I myself was lucky, and was merely soaked by water cannons.

What is being released is 12 long years of pent-up rage and frustration endured by patriotic Chinese on Taiwan as they watched the Quisling Lee Teng-hui hijack their beloved country before their very eyes.

Taiwan’s Imelda Marcos takes a Powder

Lee Teng-hui is currently in hiding. His staff told Mayor Ma Ying-jeou of Taipei Lee had “a mild case of the flu” and needed rest.

Yeah, right. “Mr. Democracy” is probably quaking in his boots at the prospect of being spotted in public by the Republic of China’s citizenry. Remember what happened to the Ceaucescus? Long overdue comeuppance for a petty tyrant.

Tseng Wen-hui, aka Mrs. Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan’s own Imelda Marcos, has been reported seen boarding a plane at Taoyuan Airport, accompanied by fifty, count ’em, fifty suitcases, bound for Switzerland. Local political observers don’t think she’s on a two week vacation.

The drama, now into its third day, continues to unfold as I write. Tensions remain high. Stay tuned for further developments. In the meantime, will someone please notify Human Rights Watch? Amnesty International? How about Mike Chinoy? Richard Gere even? Anybody?

Taiwan’s Day of Decision

Taiwan’s Day of Decision
Bevin Chu
March 16, 2000

CN and TW

On the internet “Taiwan” is abbreviated TW, and “China” is abbreviated CN. This manner of referring to the two Chinese political regimes vying for the title of legitimate ruler of all China is dangerously misleading. It implies that the PRC or People’s Republic of China comprises only the continental portion of China, and the ROC or Republic of China comprises only the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan. Worse, it implies that something named “Taiwan” which does not even contain the word “China,” has nothing to do with China.

In the case of internet abbreviations, this is not the result of any dark conspiracy, merely regrettable semantic imprecision. It is harmless enough as long as politics is not part of the equation. Unfortunately politics often is, at which time the “CN vs. TW” formulation is the source of infinite confusion and mischief.

As the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius once explained,

“Above all it is essential to refer to things by their correct names. If things are not referred to by their correct names, then our language will not reflect reality. If our language does not reflect reality, then our actions will not reflect reality, and will be exercises in futility.”

George Orwell, who warned against the abuse of the English language by the totalitarians in our midst, could not have put it any better.

Americans need to be reminded that the name of our great republic is These United States of America, not “The United States of America,” and that the name of our Department of Defense, before we learned to dissemble, was the Department of War. Chinese on Taiwan meanwhile, need to be reminded that the name of the government which is holding its presidential election is the Republic of China, not “Taiwan.”

Even if out of convenience, expediency or laziness China watchers don’t always employ the proper terminology, and I myself plead guilty, we must never forget that an objective reality exists independently from our misleading linguistic formulations, which we neglect at our own peril.

McCain’s Mother and the “Little Guy”

According to a Thursday, March 2, 2000 article by Steven Mufson in the Washington Post entitled ‘McCain’s Mother and the “Little Guy'”‘

“… Roberta McCain, mother of presidential candidate John McCain, flew the Taiwanese flag out her apartment window last October on the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s victory in the Chinese civil war. She lives near the Chinese Embassy in Washington and is said to be sympathetic to the capitalist, self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing asserts should be reunified with the mainland.”

“Taiwanese flag?” What Taiwanese flag?

Blue Sky, White Sun, Red Earth

I assume Mother McCain was referring to the Republic of China flag. The Republic of China flag features a white twelve pointed sun on a blue background on a red field. It is known as the “qing tien bai re, man di hong” or “blue sky, white sun, red earth” flag. It is the flag of the old KMT, of Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, of the party which in 1911 overthrew the “Last Emperor” portrayed in Bernardo Bertolluci’s Academy Award winning epic.


Republic of China Flag

Taiwan separatist zealots, busy counting their chickens before they’ve hatched, have designed a “Taiwan” flag, such as it is. Their would-be “Republic of Taiwan” flag sports a red eight petaled chrysanthemum on a white field with green borders. It was modeled on the Japanese emperor’s Chrysanthemum Flag, but with only half the petals.


Would-be “Republic of Taiwan” Flag

Why only half the petals you ask? Excellent question. Because Taiwan “independence” Quislings, deathly afraid of displaying any genuine independence, felt obligated to defer to their former colonial overlords, the Japanese, hence only half the petals. So much for their shrill demands for “dignity” in reunification talks with Beijing.


Japanese Emperor’s Chrysanthemum Flag

The Quisling Lee Teng-hui once permitted separatist fanatics to raise this ersatz Japanese flag on a flagpole over Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek International Airport for several days, before protests from patriotic Taiwan Chinese forced him to order it taken down. I doubt this is the flag Mother McCain was flying. I doubt Mother McCain has ever laid eyes on the “Taiwanese flag.”

The Little Guy against the Big Guy

“Joe McCain, her other son… said, “My mother is a free market type, a Western democracy type… [my] mother “has always had great affinity for Taiwan… she always favors the little guy against the big guy.””

So Mother McCain “always favors the little guy against the big guy.” Really? Always? During the Vietnam War, which incidentally the Vietnamese refer to as “The American War” — Imagine that! — Mother McCain’s “little guy” was Vietnam. The “big guy was the World’s (soon to be) Only Remaining Superpower. Did Mother McCain favor “the little guy against the big guy” then? Did she favor the Vietnamese David over the American Goliath while her son was a guest at the Hanoi Hilton?

Will the day ever come when libertarian anti-interventionists no longer have to endure this kind of smug, facile, self-congratulatory, cracker barrel, “David versus Goliath” formulation from every Benevolent Global Hegemonist and his mother? I sure as god hope so.

A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing

Mother McCain’s gesture of solidarity was made toward a Taiwan that no longer exists, having been destroyed by Lee Teng-hui in what I refer to as Phase Three of Taiwan’s modern political evolution.

See:
Taiwan’s Pseudo-Democracy

Mother McCain’s political naivete is humorous, and has the makings of comedy. Senator McCain’s abysmal ignorance combined with colossal arrogance, a mix shared by too many of his colleagues in Congress, sets off alarm bells, and has the makings of political tragedy.

“Mr. Democracy’s” Rigged Ballots

Taiwan’s voters are being treated to a special ballot on March 18. Rigged ballots. In past years whenever an independent candidate was listed on the preprinted paper ballots, his “Party Affiliation” was indicated as “None.” This year, the space for independent candidates James Soong and Hsu Hsing-liang’s “Party Affiliation” have been left blank!

This amounts to an open invitation to less alert Soong and Hsu voters to stamp their ballots in the blank space below their candidate’s names instead of above their candidate’s name.

Is this a big deal? You’re goddamned right it is. Voting regulations specify that if a ballot is stamped in the incorrect space, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the ballot is discarded as null and void.

Now nobody on Taiwan believes the ruling KMT deliberately left the space below former DPP Chairman Hsu Hsing-liang’s name blank so that Hsu’s supporters would be disenfranchised. Hsu is not going to get more than one or two percent of the vote.

But plenty of ROC voters have no trouble believing Lee Teng-hui deliberately ordered the space below former Taiwan Provincial Governor James Soong’s name left blank so Soong’s supporters would be disenfranchised. Soong after all, according the last round of polls conducted was in the lead.

“Mr. Democracy’s” Jack Booted Thugs

In case anyone thought I was exaggerating when I warned darkly of a revival of the White Terror, imagine the following fictional scenario.

A corrupt, scandal-ridden American president faces imminent impeachment. Fortunately for the White House, Congress boasts a “friendly” majority. Unfortunately for the president, the Speaker of the House is fed up with the president’s unrepentant wrongdoing and intends to defect to the opposition party. The speaker’s defection may precipitate more defections, an opposition majority, and as a result, the criminal prosecution of the soon to be out of power president.

The day after the Speaker holds a press conference revealing what he’s done, IRS and FBI agents surround his home. Black uniformed SWAT Teams burst in and turn the Speaker’s home inside out, with the pretext of searching for evidence in an unrelated case against a personal friend of the Speaker. Press kits, prepared in advance, are handed out to the television crews, who were notified in advance, all the better to capture the event live on TV, in a calculated attempt to influence voters.

Would Taiwan independence fellow travellers and China bashers refer to such a president as a “champion of democracy?” Would they weave elaborate excuses for him?

No?

The President in this fictional case is “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui. The Speaker of the House is Liu Sung-fan, President of the Legislative Yuan, the Republic of China’s closest counterpart to our own House Speaker. Three weeks ago, disgusted with Lee Teng-hui’s overt corruption and covert separatism, Liu defected to reformist James Soong’s camp. For this the 70 year old, six term senior lawmaker of the ROC Legislature was subjected to political persecution rivalling that inflicted against mainland political dissidents.

Liu’s case is not unique. Other KMT members who have defected to the Soong camp have received similar “special” treatment. Welcome to Taiwan’s “thriving democracy.”

These are the shabby depths to which Newsweek magazine’s “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui is willing to stoop in his determination to promote Taiwan independence. The Taiwan separatist elite’s apologists should ask themselves the following question. If the ROC electorate really wants Taiwan “independence” as badly as separatists claim, why does “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui feel compelled to resort to such anti-democratic measures to ram through his secessionist agenda?

To Uphold Democracy

According to Government Information Office Director-General Chao Yi, another Lee puppet, the arrival of more than 400 foreign journalists on Taiwan to cover the presidential election “indicates that the international community attaches great importance to the ROC’s upcoming election, as it symbolizes the consolidation and progress of the country’s democratic system.”

Oh, please.

Voting with One’s Dollars

In fact an election of sorts has already been held, and the results are not nearly so flattering.

TAIWAN SHARE PRICES POST HISTORIC NOSE-DIVE OF 617.65 POINTS
Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Share prices opened low and closed even lower on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TAIEX) on Monday, with the weighted index, the market’s key barometer, plunging a record one-day fall of 617.65 points to close at 8,811.95. Affected by uncertain political factors five days before the presidential election, the bourse opened at 9,279.9 points… Losers outnumbered gainers 582 to 13… All eight major categories lost ground…

TAIWAN STOCK PRICES DROP BY 195.55 POINTS
Taipei, March 15 (CNA) The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TAIEX) lost ground on Wednesday, with the benchmark-weighted price index plunging 195.55 points to close at 8,640.03.

Taiwan’s shareholders have already voted, with their portfolios, and they have voted a resounding, thunderous NO! No to Lee Teng-hui. No to Chen Shui-bian. No to Taiwan independence. They have done so decisively and unequivocally, by withdrawing their personal fortunes from Taiwan’s economy. Just as during the Cold War refugees voted with their feet across the Berlin Wall, across the Florida Straits, so Taiwan voters are voting with their NT Dollars.

They are fearful Lee Teng-hui’s covert “qi Lien bao Bian” i.e., “dump Lien, save Bian” string-pulling may have ensured that Lee’s real hand-picked successor Chen Shui-bian, will succeed him and carry on Lee’s drive toward separatism, the opposition of Taiwan’s citizenry be damned.

Election Day

Saturday March 18, 2000, the day after tomorrow, is election day in the Republic of China. The office the candidates are running for is President of the Republic of China.

Taiwan does not have a president. It never has. Taiwan is a Chinese province, not a sovereign state. The highest office for the Chinese province of Taiwan is, or rather was, until Lee Teng-hui abolished it in flagrant violation of the Republic of China’s Constitition, Provincial Governor.

Who will become President of the Republic of China? I sure as hell don’t know, and neither does anyone else. If the candidate who has won the hearts and minds of the largest number of voters in the ROC wins, it will be former Governor James Soong.

But Lee Teng-hui’s White Terror has wreaked havoc to the democratic process. Any hope of an authentically free and fair election is already out of the question. If Soong wins it will be in spite of Lee Teng-hui’s pseudo-democracy, not because of it. It will be, as title of the Phil Collins tune goes, “Against All Odds.”

Post Script: The Stars and Stripes — Made in Taiwan

When neoconservative would be patriots thump their chests and propose amendments against “desecrating the American flag” I have to laugh. More than a few of these “Champions of American Values” think nothing of violating their fellow Americans’ fundamental right to free trade, including the importation of cheap textile products, specifically American flags, from various regions of China, including Taiwan, Hongkong, and the Chinese mainland.

Eight out of ten American flags flying on flagpoles in these United States of America are made in the Republic of China, aka, “Taiwan.”

Neocons who wouldn’t recognize a fundamental American value if it bit them on the ass, have been floating trial balloons about a constitutional amendment making it punishable by law to destroy squares of nylon fabric imported from Taiwan, as if they were the Shroud of Turin. So what if it tramples over the rights of sovereign American citizens to dispose of their private property as they see fit?

One China, Two Systems

One China, Two Systems
Our Foreign Policy Elite objects
Bevin Chu
March 09, 2000

Our Foreign Policy Elite objects

Our foreign policy elite has spoken. George Will, Arthur Waldron and William Shawcross, among others, have pontificated on the upcoming presidential election in the Republic of China, which they invariably refer to as “Taiwan.”

What sort of foreign policy wisdom are they offering to share with us? Let’s look at a Newsweek article by William Shawcross, reprinted in The Straits Times Interactive on March 4, 2000 and entitled “One China? Not until Mainland is Democratic.”

“… Taiwan is an island with its own constitution and its own defence forces. It is willing to pay lip service to the idea of reunification, but, as Foreign Minister J.R. Chen says: “For us, it’s a pre-condition that the people of China enjoy the rule of law, freedom, democracy and a free market before unification can take place.”

What part of “Two Systems” don’t you understand?

Foreign Minister J.R. Chen is of course obediently parroting bossman Lee Teng-hui’s transparently insincere rationalizations for refusing to engage in good faith negotiations over eventual reunification. Chen is Lee’s appointee. When “Mr. Democracy” says jump, Chen asks “How high?”

But what’s your excuse, Mr. Shawcross? What part of “One Country, Two Systems” don’t you understand? It’s not as if the terms of Jiang’s “Eight Point Proposal” for the reunification of China aren’t crystal clear, at least for anyone who cares more about the search for the truth than the search for an new “Evil Empire.”

Now if Beijing were demanding “One Country, One System” that would be another thing. But it isn’t. The whole point of Beijing’s “One Country, Two Systems” proposal is to to bend over backwards to offer the Taiwan region of China “the rule of law, freedom, democracy and a free market” in the interim, while the mainland catches up. When the mainland has caught up, then the two sides can reunify.

The Stockholm Syndrome, Revisited

Let’s get real here. The Taiwan separatist elite doesn’t object to the “Two Systems” part of Beijing’s offer. How could they? Two systems is what we’ve got, here and now. What they object to is the “One Country” part. Their objections have nothing whatsoever to do with rational economic or political criteria, and have everything to do with social psychology, or rather, social psychopathology. As they put it in their more candid moments, “We don’t want to be Chinese.” For the social dynamics underlying their attitude, see Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome. The rest is just smoke.

Is Your State Utterly Insignificant?

“Last year, Taiwan’s President Lee Teng-hui caused something of a ruckus when he stated that relations with China should be conducted on a “special state-to-state basis”. China was infuriated and stepped up its threats against “the rebel province”. The bizarre nature of the international system is rarely seen so clearly as in the case of Taiwan. States that are utterly insignificant or brutal are in the United Nations.”

We know of course, courtesy Mad Madeline, which state is “The Indispensible Nation.” We know, also courtesy Mad Madeline’s state sponsored terrorism against Serbians which state is “utterly brutal.” But Mr. Shawcross, pray tell which states are “utterly insignificant?” Inquiring minds among Antiwar.com’s readers would like to know. Who knows? Maybe their own states are among them.

Taiwan is not a State, merely a State of MInd

“Taiwan, which is neither, is not only excluded but has full diplomatic relations with few others because of Chinese threats.”

Mr. Shawcross, be advised Taiwan is not a state. Taiwan has never been a state. No state named Taiwan exists or has ever existed. Taiwan is a province of China. What Mr. Shawcross and other self-designated foreign policy “experts” refer to as “Taiwan” is merely one province belonging to a state called the Republic of China. The Republic of China’s territory includes the entire Chinese mainland.

The Republic of China’s Constitution, like the Peoples’ Republic of China’s Constitution, unequivocally specifies that its sovereign territory encompasses both the mainland and all offshore islands, including Hainan and Taiwan. In other words, both the constitutions of the regime in Beijing and the regime in Taipei agree there is only one China. The only disagreement is over which regime is legitimate, and which is not.

What Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian are talking about is a horse of a different color. What the Taiwan separatist elite are talking about is establishing a pro-Japanese “Republic of Taiwan,” a defacto satellite to Taiwan’s former colonial occupier, Japan. Do I need to tell you this is a non-starter, not only with Beijing, but with patriotic Chinese on Taiwan who consider their constitution more than just a piece of paper?

Deliver Us from the Peacekeepers of the New World Order

Shawcross we are informed “is on the board of the International Crisis Group, and is the author of the forthcoming Deliver Us From Evil: Warlords And Peacekeepers In A World Of Endless Conflict.”

Wow! His bio in itself speaks volumes. International Crisis. Evil. Warlords. A World of Endless Conflict. Do I really need to editorialize?

Taiwan Good. China Bad. Washington Punish

“Taiwan, one of Asia’s newest and most effective [sic!] democracies, is nearing its March 18 vote for a new president. Just as during the last such election in 1996, mainland China is threatening to invade. Every time Beijing acts in such a way, it diminishes the myth that there is but “one China”. In the run-up to the 1996 presidential election, the People’s Liberation Army fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait and backed off only when Washington sent two carrier battle groups into the area.”

Permit me to translate. “Taiwan good. China bad. Washington punish.”

Never mind that China has been divided into far more than just two parts more times than most historians can keep track of, and eventually reunified into One China.

Never mind that all those political explosions and implosions in China occurred millennia before these United States ever came into being, and that a Chinese Civil War being fought on the opposite side of the Pacific is none of our damned business. Remember Vietnam? Anybody?

Never mind that that’s not the way things went down, that what happened was the Gauleiters of the New World Order stood down, pulling the Seventh Fleet out of the Taiwan Straits when they realized PLA attack submarines were no longer in their submarine pens along the Fujian coast, and the Pentagon had no clue where they were.

From the Halls of Milosevic to the Shores of Taiwan

Our omniscient foreign policy elites are nothing if not consistent, in their own perverted way. Their “Beijing bad, Taipei good” spin for the Taiwan Straits is a virtual Xerox copy of their “Chetniks bad, KLA good” spin for the Balkans.

Just as Bill and Tony’s Amazing Balkan Adventure provoked the very “ethnic cleansing” they claimed to dread, so the China Threat Theorists’ foreign policy prescriptions, were any administration demented enough to implement them, would provoke the very sort of shooting war they have been sounding the alarm over.

If anyone wants to witness a self-fulfilling prophecy unfolding before their very eyes, like a slow motion film of a building rigged for demolition, just listen to the China Threat Theorists’ chest-thumping “Yellow Peril” alarmism, and watch as storm clouds gather over the Taiwan Straits.

Democracy, Shamocracy

Last week, China demanded that Taiwan start talks on reunification — or face invasion. A White Paper warned that China would be forced to take “drastic measures, including military force”, if Taiwan continued to delay talks on eventual reunification.

“Taiwan’s position is that reunification can indeed be discussed –when China is democratic.”

Spare us the “we must come to the defense of democracy” nonsense Mr. Shawcross. Please. Anyone who knows anything about Messrs. Lee Teng-hui, Chen Shui-bian and the Taiwan separatist elite’s real agenda, knows this is pure unadulterated baloney. Rather than repeat myself here, I will merely refer readers to an earlier piece, “Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome.”

Beijing has no interest whatsoever in imposing communism on the Taipei administered region of China. To anyone with even a shred of intellectual honesty, it should be abundantly clear that Beijing doesn’t even want communism for the mainland, let alone Hongkong, Macau, and Taiwan.

In fact Beijing wants to “de-communize” the mainland as fast as humanly possible. The most daunting obstacle of course, is massive, and I do mean massive, unemployment. To get a idea of the scale of unemployment we’re talking about, remember that China has a population of 1.3 billion. According to some estimates some two to three hundred million Chinese are out of work. That’s as much as the entire population of these United States. Millions of former government employees, out on the street, a sad but unavoidable consequence of the most ambitious jettisoning of socialist folly ever attempted in human history.

No. Beijing merely wants to prevent Taiwan secession, and eventual recolonization by neofascist forces in Japan. Taiwan’s “democracy” or more accurately, pseudo-democracy, has nothing to do with either Beijing or Taipei’s real concerns.

See:
Taiwan’s Pseudo-Democracy

When Will They Ever Learn

Shawcross does us the favor of providing a concrete illustration of the global interventionists’ arrogance, ignorance, and myopia for us.

“The transformation of Taiwan is quite astonishing. When I first visited it in the early 1970s, it was a dingy military dictatorship under the complete control of ageing Kuomintang generals. The press was under strict government control; dissidents were rounded up… Bookshops were filled with cheap, pirated copies of bestsellers published in the West… I called on the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, who informed me that communist China, still in the throes of the Cultural Revolution, would undoubtedly fail and that the Taiwanese model would be triumphant. I am ashamed to say that I thought he was talking nonsense. It gives me great pleasure that I was so wrong. On a recent visit, almost everything that I saw on my earlier visits had gone from Taiwan. Fruit and rice exports have been replaced by high-technology goods. Above all, the Kuomintang had turned the country towards pluralism and itself into a genuinely democratic party. Taiwan has problems, of course, but its successes are stunning. It has a system people can trust. In China, by contrast, such trust is largely absent.”

Back to the Future

This was vintage Shawcross, circa 1970. Three decades ago. What’s uncanny is how Shawcross 1970 sounds uncannily like Shawcross Y2K. The only difference being the object of his fear and loathing. Go back inside his passage and substitute “mainland China” for “Taiwan” and see what happens.

Allow me to write Shawcross’ March 4, 2030 editorial for him, thirty years in advance,

“The transformation of China is quite astonishing. When I first visited it in the late 1990s, it was a dingy dictatorship under the complete control of ageing Communist Party apparatchiks. The press was under strict government control; dissidents were rounded up… Bookshops were filled with cheap, pirated copies of CDs and videotapes published in the West… I called on the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, who informed me that Zhu Rongji’s ambitious program to radically privatize China’s state owned enterprises (SOEs) would succeed, and China’s reformers would emerge triumphant. I am ashamed to say that I thought he was talking nonsense. It gives me great pleasure that I was so wrong. On a recent visit, almost everything that I saw on my earlier visits had gone from China. Agricultural exports have been replaced by high-technology goods. Above all, the CCP had turned the country towards pluralism and itself into a genuinely democratic party. China has problems, of course, but its successes are stunning. It has a system people can trust.'”

Eery, isn’t it?

I’ve yet to collect on a $100 bet I made in the late sixties with a self-styled “Red Guard” at Rice University in Houston, Texas, who shared Shawcross’ interventionist, command economy skepticism about the transformative power of economic liberalization on a society’s social and political institutions.

Fools rush in, where Wise Men never stray

The Global Interventionists are truly amazing, aren’t they? They’re so out of touch, so far behind the curve, so plain wrong, so often, one almost feels sorry for them. In fact all of this would be amusing, if Shawcross’ and his ilk weren’t so dangerous. The antics of fools can be hilarious. The antics of fools able to exert an undue influence on American foreign policy are anything but amusing.

The “Shibboleth” of One China?

“Even so, whoever wins the Taiwanese presidential election, the threat from China will remain paramount. Beijing’s belligerence makes the reunification it demands ever more unlikely. A sense of a new Taiwan with its own civic consciousness is emerging. The shibboleth of “one China” seems ever more archaic.”

Beijing’s “belligerence,” which Shawcross refers to, is the only thing preventing the Taiwan separatist elite from hijacking a province of China, against the will of 80% of the ROC’s population, and handing it over to Japan, the same way the puppet Pu Yi (“The Last Emperor”) made a gift of China’s Manchurian region to Japan.

Those who remember Lee Teng-hui’s notorious interview with Japanese journalist Ryotaro Shiba, followed up by Lee’s “unofficial” official Cornell visit, know full well who provoked the current crisis. Frankly, I’m not the only ex-Cold Warrior in Taiwan who is astonished at how patient Beijing was before they finally reacted.

The “shibboleth of one China.” Finally we’re getting to the truth. This is what Benevolent Global Hegemonists really object to. This is what sticks in their craw. The prospect of a politically unified, economically prosperous 21st century Chinese superpower, which need no longer need bow before the likes of pompous gunboat diplomats George Will, Arthur Waldron and William Shawcross.

Taiwan’s Pseudo-Democracy

Taiwan’s Pseudo-Democracy
Bevin Chu
March 2, 2000

The Dump Save Effect

A term constantly bandied about in Taiwan political debate is “qi bao xiao ying,” or the “Dump Save Effect.” The Dump Save Effect is related to the “xi gua xiao ying,” or the “Watermelon Effect.”

The Watermelon Effect refers to the expression “The watermelon tilts toward the big end.” The Dump Save Effect refers to the way Lee Teng-hui’s KMT political machine exploits the Watermelon Effect in three way races, by splitting the opposition vote, and dumping one candidate to save another.

During the 1994 Taipei mayoral election, Lee Teng-hui ordered incumbent KMT Mayor Huang Ta-chou to run for reelection, against his will. Huang was reluctant because he knew he didn’t stand a chance. KMT Party Chairman forced Huang to run anyway. “Mr. Democracy” was determined to split the pro-reunification vote and ensure that the front-runner, the pro-reunification New Party’s Chao Shao-kang (he spells it Jaw Shao-kang) would lose, and the pro-separatist DPP’s Chen Shui-bian, whom Lee finds simpatico, would win.

During the 1996 presidential election, “Mr. Democracy” again exploited the Dump Save Effect, this time for his own “democratic” reelection. Even Lee’s supporters suspect he ordered the KMT, the wealthiest political party in the world, to covertly subsidize the hopeless and quixotic campaign of Chen Li-an. This had the predictable effect of splitting off enough of the reformist vote from the pro-reunification “native Taiwanese” Lin Yang-kang to ensure his defeat.

Lee Teng-hui, by exploiting the Dump Save Effect, has succeeded in undermining free and fair elections in the ROC twice during his 12 year authoritarian regime, and probably intends to do it a third time on March 18, 2000. Speculation is rampant that despite Lee’s outward show of support for Lien, Lee actually intends to “dump Lien, to save Bian.” In return, “Mr. Democracy” is counting on the “opposition” Chen Shui-bian to spare Lee from the same fate as corrupt South Korean former dictators Chun Doo-hwan and Roe Tae-woo.

Moses and Joshua

Several years ago, Lee Teng-hui boasted to visiting Japanese journalist Ryotaro Shiba, in Lee’s characteristically megalomanical fashion, that he saw himself as Moses, leading his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. What the Japanophile Quisling Lee meant was that he was leading the Chinese province of Taiwan away from China and toward Japan.

Later, in a meeting with Chen Shui-bian, he urged Chen to look up the relevant passage in the Bible, with the understanding that Lee, i.e., Moses, considered Chen, i.e., Joshua, the DPP’s rabidly separatist politician, his intellectual heir.

I’m no biblical scholar, but the Joshua of biblical lore, if I am not mistaken, blew his trumpet and the Walls of Jericho came tumbling down. Not Taiwan’s Joshua.

Mr. Chen, Tear down this Wall!

The KMT’s Party Headquarters building was erected in flagrant violation of Taipei’s municipal building codes.

During the Taipei mayoral election of 1994, Chen Shui-bian sold himself as a reform candidate. If elected, Chen declared, he would raze KMT Party Headquarters to the ground. This was touted as evidence of Chen’s Solomonic impartiality, his “tough love.”

As everyone knows, Chen won in ’94. Yet rhe granite monstrosity that is KMT Party Headquarters stands, intact, near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where my father used to work, blighting an already blighted Taipei skyline.

So what the hell happened? Simple. Lee scratched Chen’s back, and Chen scratched Lee’s. Lee Teng-hui “dumped Huang, saved Bian.” Once Chen became mayor he immediately issued a Certificate of Occupancy for Lee’s precious party headquarters building, granting it what’s known as “jeou di he fa,” or “On the Spot Legalization.”

Obviously, the Rule of Law remains a foreign concept in Taiwan’s “vibrant democracy.” Instead, the Golden Rule prevails, as in “He who has the gold, makes the rules.”

From Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves

The political evolution of the Republic of China, typically but erroneously referred to as “Taiwan,” has essentially gone through three phases.

Phase One. Politically authoritarian but uncorrupt and economically liberal dictatorship under Chiang Kai-shek, similar to that of Singapore under Lee Kuan-yew, makes possible the Republic of China’s “economic miracle” and swift rise to status as one of the four “Asian Tigers.”

Phase Two. Lifting of martial law, democratization and liberalization under Chiang Ching-kuo confirms laissez-faire capitalist observation that political liberalization tends to follow on the heels of economic liberalization.

Phase Three. Alarmingly swift descent into Ferdinand Marcos style corrupt, cronyist authoritarian dictatorship under “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui, lacking the redeeming virtue of the Generalissimo’s clean government, confirms Chinese addage “fu bu guo san dai,” or “Wealth never survives three generations,” and our own American expression “From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

The Good Guys are the Ones wearing the White Hats

China Threat theorists and Taiwan independence fellow travellers, typically one and the same, are either blithely oblivious to Phase Three, or are deliberately looking the other way. Let’s not mince words. They are either stupid, or dishonest. I’m not sure which is worse. Their motive? To promulgate their simplistic Black versus White, Good versus Evil, David versus Goliath dichotomy, and provide themselves with an excuse to “contain,” translation, “premptively squash” China.

Let’s not be naive. Whether Lee Teng-hui’s real hand-picked successor is Lien Chan, or Chen Shui-bian, aka “Joshua,” only Lee knows for sure. But when “Mr. Democracy” Lee Teng-hui “hand-picks his successor,” we’re not talking about Ronald Reagan giving his blessing to George Bush, or Bill Clinton giving his blessing to Al Gore.

Taiwan’s political system, lest we forget, like mainland China’s, is explicitly modeled on the Leninist system of parallel governmental and party hierarchies, with real political power weilded not by government officials, but by party officials, the real powers behind the throne. In Beijing, the CCP calls the shots. In Taipei, the KMT.

A Vote of Non-confidence

Taiwan has a bizzare, probably unique political polling convention, which to the best of my knowledge does not exist anywhere else in the world. Pollsters in Taiwan, after conducting their surveys, typically publish two sets of poll results.

The first is “zhi ze du” or “level of support” for the candidates. These percentage figures reflect respondents’ answers to the question, “Whom do you intend to vote for?”

Recent polls show independent presidential candidate James Soong leading with about 25% of the vote, Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian trailing slightly with about 23% of the vote, and ruling Kuomintang nominee Lien Chan trailing noticeably with about 20% of the vote.

So far so good.

Now comes the funny part. Taiwan polls also include a second set of figures, called “kan hao du” or “degree of confidence.” These percentage figures reflect the answer to the question “Whom do you think will win?”

Recent polls suggest 40% believe the KMT ticket of Lien/Siew will win, 18% believe the independent ticket of Soong/Chang will win, and 14% believe the DPP ticket of Chen/Lu will win.

How’s that again?

China-demonizers and Taiwan independence abettors like Gregory Mastel and George Will never tire of asserting that Lee Teng-hui’s Taiwan is a “lively/thriving/vibrant” democracy. Really? So why does Taiwan’s voting public, which intends to vote for James Soong by a considerable margin over Lee Teng-hui’s “hand-picked successor” Lien Chan, assume that Lien and not their own candidate will win?

The answer of course, is that the ROC voting public, in contrast to ignoramuses like Mastel and Will, know that Taiwan’s “lively/thriving/vibrant” democracy is a “farce/hoax/sham.” The ROC voting public is painfully aware of the power of the KMT political machine. The ROC voting public is resigned to the likelihood that even though they intend to vote for a pro-reunification candidate, “Mr. Democracy” will probably manipulate the system to ensure a victory for his “hand-picked” successor, whoever the hell he is.

Welcome to Taiwan’s pseudo-democracy.

I Told You So

Last week I predicted Chen Shui-bian would milk the Politically Correct, but historically fraudulent conventional reading of the notorious 2-28 Incident for all it was worth.

See:
Taiwan Independence and the 2-28 Incident

Consider this CNA article:

228 INCIDENT VICTIMS REMEMBERED Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA)
“… Chen Shui-bian, the standard-bearer of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, also visited the memorial park to pay tribute to the victims of the incident. Chen… said that if he wins the March 18 presidential election, he will push for the establishment of a national-level 228 memorial museum.”

What can I say, except “I told you so.”

What’s wrong with this Picture?

The article by the CNA, or Central News Agency, Lee Teng-hui’s official government mouthpiece, characterizes the 2-28 Incident, which occurred February 28, 1947, this way:

“The 228 Incident was triggered when an elderly Taiwanese woman selling untaxed cigarettes in Taipei was severely beaten by an inspector of the Wine and Tobacco Monopoly Bureau.”

The Taiwan Wine and Tobacco Monopoly Bureau was an oppressive statist bureaucracy imposed on the Chinese people of Taiwan by the Japanese colonial regime. There was no Chinese Wine and Tobacco Monopoly Bureau, certainly not at the time of the 2-28 Incident. Throughout several millennia of Chinese history it has been completely legal for private individuals to manufacture their own alchoholic beverages without any government interference whatosever. Note the deliberate omission of the word “Taiwan” from the name of the bureau.

“Faced by an angry mob, the inspector shot dead a bystander and fled to a nearby police station.”

The panicked inspector, surrounded by an angry mob, fired a warning shot into the air. The shot went wild, accidentally killing a curiosity-seeker emerging from a nearby building. Note the deliberate and misleading implication that the shooting was cold-blooded murder, rather than manslaughter or wrongful death.

“Faced by mass protests and rioting (emphasis added) and unable to control the situation, Taiwan Governor Chen-yi appealed for help to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in mainland China, who sent troops to the northern port city of Keelung, from where they spread out over the island, killing indiscriminately.”

So what’s wrong with this picture? Here’s a hint. Riot control troops arrived in several waves. The earliest wave reportedly arrived on 3-09.

So what happened between 2-28 and 3-09?

Blaming the Victim

The answer? Taiwan separatist Quislings and diehard Japanese fifth columnists crazed with the spirit of “Kamikaze,” spread out over the island, and in a sickening echo of the Rape of Nanking, indiscriminately slaughtered any and all mainland Chinese they encountered, women and children, young and old, then dumped their corpses into drainage ditches to float out into the Taiwan Straits.

Notice how any mention whatsoever of that abomination was completely missing from the Central News Agency “news” report. Instead the “news” report camouflages the massacre which ensued with the coy phrase, “mass protests and rioting.” This is typical of “news” reports relating to Taiwan independence. When it comes to the Big Lie, Jamie Shea and NATO have nothing on petty tribalist Taiwan independence hate-mongers.

The Taiwan independence elite are reminiscent of Japanese neofascists, who piously weep over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while suffering selective amnesia at any mention of the Rape of Nanking, Pearl Harbor, the Bataan Death March, or Joseph Mengele-style “medical experiments” conducted on American and Chinese POWs by the Japanese Imperial Army’s notorious Unit 731.

Born a Taiwan Person, Die an American Ghost

Lu Hsiu-lien, aka Annette Lu, is the Democratic Progressive Party’s Vice-presidential candidate, Chen Shui-bian’s running mate. Antiwar.com readers may recall seeing her display her reverence for democratic governance and parliamentary procedure on CNN. She was the one standing on top of a table in the ROC Legislature, swinging a baseball bat at those who took exception to her views on Taiwan independence.

Last week Annette declared on a Vice-presidential candidate debate, televised island-wide, that “sheng wei Taiwan ren, shi wei Taiwan guai,” or “I was born a Taiwan person, and will die a Taiwan ghost.” The Taiwan independence elite, I’m sure, was moved to tears.

That was before James Soong’s campaign committee made public a fascinating little tidbit on ol’ Annette. Apparently Ms. Lu was the proud owner of a burial plot in the good ol’ US of A. Imagine that.

Now I suppose her ringing declaration of undying devotion to Taiwan will have to be amended somewhat, to “Sheng wei Taiwan ren, shi wei Mei Guo guai.” For those who don’t speak Chinese, that’s “I was born a Taiwan person, and will die an American ghost.”

So much for the Taiwan independence elite’s braggadocio about being “martyrs for their beloved Taiwan.”