John Tkacik on Taiwan: The US stake in Asian democracy

John Tkacik on Taiwan: The US stake in Asian democracy
Bevin Chu
January 30, 2007


John Tkacik at a Taiwan “independence” rally — Note the US Flag mounted above the “independent Taiwan” flag?

John Tkacik is a “senior research fellow” at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. He is also one of the most vicious “Yellow Peril” China Threat theorists in the US.

When Tkacik holds forth on “America’s Stake in Taiwan” he is speaking in code. What Tkacik really means is that US hegemonists must make full use of the rhetoric of democratic universalism, and take full advantage of the complicity of Taiwan’s Quisling nomenklatura, to prevent the rise of an increasingly wealthy post-Communist, free market capitalist China.

Is this just? Of course not.

Is this moral? Of course not.

Is this ethical? Of course not.

But John Tkacik is not concerned about what is just, what is moral, or what is ethical.

John Tkacik is concerned only about perpetuating US global hegemony, about indefinitely prolonging what fellow China demonizer Charles Krauthammer referred to as “The Unipolar Moment.”

Never mind that the unjust, immoral, and unethical means by which Tkacik and his ilk seek to perpetuate US global hegemony will inevitably lead to the very downfall they seek to prevent.

As you read what Tkacik has to say, don’t make the mistake of using your intellect alone to read Tkacik’s text. His text is a tedious collection of rationalizations which have been refuted elsewhere time and again.

Instead, use your intuition to decipher Tkacik’s subtext, which contains his hidden agenda. The subtext contains the real meaning of Tkacik’s pronouncements.

Tkacik’s subtext is actually quite transparent, once one knows what to look for. Tkacik’s hidden agenda is nothing more than the classic “Divide and Rule” strategy practiced by colonialist and imperialist powers throughout the ages.

As Wikipedia explains, the phrase comes from the Latin “divide et impera,” which translates into “divide and rule.”

Wikipedia: Divide and rule, also known as “divide and conquer,” is a strategy for acquiring and maintaining political and military dominance by dividing rival powers into separate parts, each less powerful than the one implementing the strategy. In practice it often means preventing weaker rivals from uniting or reuniting.

[The Taiwan region and mainland region of China are deliberately and maliciously prevented from reunifying]

Wikipedia: Typically this technique involves

— encouraging or not preventing petty feuds among weaker powers. Such feuds drain resources and prevent alliances that could challenge the overlord

— aiding and abetting those willing to collaborate with the overlords

— breeding distrust and enmity between local rulers

Divide and Rule requires an understanding of political science, history and psychology.

[The Stockholm Syndrome is the psychologically dysfunctional emotional engine that drives the Taiwan independence movement. A ben tu (nativized) version of the Stockholm Syndrome is what compels Taiwan independence leaders to artificially fabricate an ersatz “Taiwanese, not Chinese” ethnic and political identity]

Wikipedia: “Divide and Rule” works only if the subjects are willing to go along with it — because it is to their personal advantage, or because they are short-sighted and foolish.

[Taiwan’s Quisling nomenklatura is only too willing to go along with it, because it is to their personal advantage. The US government allowed Lee Teng-hui to keep the 50 odd suitcases filled with embezzled cash his wife attempted to smuggle into the US. The US government rubber stamped Chen Shui-bian’s stolen election to keep a pro independence puppet in office for a second term.]

Wikipedia: It works best in societies where competition between nobles, clans, or classes was fierce even before the overlord took over.

[The lingering, divisive after effects of the once fierce Chinese Civil War between Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists]

Wikipedia: The strategy has been used to great effect by administrators of vast empires, including the Roman and British, who would play one tribe against another to maintain control over their empires with minimal manpower. The strategy of ‘Divide and Rule’ gained prominence when India was a part of the British Empire, but it was also the strategy used by the Romans to conquer Britain, and by the Anglo-Normans to conquer Ireland. The British used the strategy to gain control of India, by keeping its people divided along lines of religion, language, and caste. The British acquired control over Indian principalities piecemeal.

One might well add that “Divide and Rule” is being used to great effect by the administrators of the vast US empire, who are playing Chinese on Taiwan against Chinese on the Chinese mainland in order to maintain control of Imperium Americanus.

John Tkacik, as readers aware of his hidden agenda can see, has only one aim — US hegemony, in perpetuity.

John Tkacik, as readers aware of his hidden agenda can see, has only one strategy — Divide and Rule.

John Tkacik is determined to Divide and Rule an increasingly prosperous, post Communist, free market China, by perpetuating the imperial master/colonial puppet relationship between the US government and Taiwan’s Quisling nomenklatura.

Everything else is window dressing.

John Tkacik on Taiwan: The US stake in Asian democracy
By John Tkacik
Published on Taipei Times
Thursday, Jan 18, 2007

As the US started this year with a Congress controlled by the Democrats, I wrote an opinion piece for the Heritage Foundation on “America’s Stake in Taiwan” to help new congressmen and senators put Taiwan into a global perspective. Now that the Legislative Yuan in Taipei is contemplating this year’s defense budget, I thought I would share my observations on the relationship between the US and Taiwan.

In a nutshell, I want our new representatives in Washington, Democrats and Republicans alike, to focus on one fact: Taiwan is one of the most important nations in democratic Asia. After all, its population is bigger than Australia’s, its GDP larger than Indonesia’s and its technology base second only to Japan’s.

Taiwan is the US’ eighth-largest trading partner — with two-way trade at US$60 billion last year — and its sixth-largest agricultural customer. For more than half a century, the nation has been one of the US’ important defense and intelligence partners, first as a bulwark against the former alliance between the Soviet Union and China, later in support of forces resisting communism in Southeast Asia and now as a partner monitoring China’s expanding strategic presence in the Pacific.

But it is a partnership in peril as Washington is distracted by Iraq and the Middle East and as Taiwanese politicians and voters sense — rightly or wrongly — that US commitment to their democracy is wavering.

In a vicious circle, an uncertain US commitment undermines Taiwan’s consensus on its own defense, which, in turn, annoys US leaders and policymakers. Complicating matters further is the vast expanse of business networks that have intertwined the US, Taiwan and China.

This has widened the gulf between national security interests and business interests in the US and Taiwan about China.

Conventional wisdom in Washington — and perhaps Taipei as well — holds that economic freedoms are inextricably tied to political reforms and hence China will become democratic because its economy is liberalizing.

While there was evidence for this in the 1980s as China’s political and economic freedoms blossomed together, the exact opposite has been the case since the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. China’s political and human rights are far more repressed now than they were in 1990, while the economy is far more open.

Yet, China’s economy cannot be called “free.” It remains a mercantilist structure with sole authority vested in the state — and ultimately the Communist Party.

Taiwan’s export economy is now caught within China’s orbit.

Taiwanese politicians must also consider a future in which responsibility for Taiwan’s defense, like Hong Kong’s, rests in Beijing’s hands.

This would become inevitable if Taiwan declines to keep its own defenses strong.

And Taipei could save a lot of money if it would let Beijing assume the responsibility for defending it from any other power in the region. Some in Taiwan may find it perfectly benign to rely on Beijing for security but most, I suspect, do not.

In 2005, People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) issued a joint communique with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) declaring that “military conflicts shall be effectively avoided so long as there is no possibility that Taiwan moves toward Taiwan independence.”

Soong later indicated that Hu’s pledge meant that Taiwan needs no defenses from China.

Today, some Taiwan politicians call for a peace agreement with China whereby Taiwan would agree that it is part of an undefined “one China.”

With Taiwan’s defenses growing obsolete while China’s military modernization accelerates, Taiwan’s military can no longer rely on its technological edge to defeat a Chinese attack.

Taiwan’s defense budget for this year faces major program cuts in the opposition-dominated legislature. Nonetheless, the nation’s politicians certainly must see that a defense accommodation with China would supplant any security relationship with the US or other Asian democracies.

As uncertainty over Taipei’s defense budget continues, I fear that Washington must now calculate what its position in Asia would look like should Taiwan drift into China’s sphere.

Does it matter if Washington acquiesces to Taiwan’s absorption by China? It should.

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell observed that “whether China chooses peace or coercion to resolve its differences with Taiwan will tell us a great deal about the kind of relationship China seeks not only with its neighbors, but with us.”

It would be a shame to let war threats from the world’s most powerful dictatorship damage one of the world’s most dynamic democracies.

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned that an international system which makes peace the highest priority is at the mercy of its most ruthless member, and there is an overwhelming incentive to appease its demands regardless of how unreasonable they are. Given China’s myriad territorial claims on India, Japan, South Korea, etc, one must ask if China’s war threats would end with Taiwan.

Moreover, given China’s reliance on international manufacturing supply chains, war is clearly no more in China’s interests than the US’. In this sense, Taiwan is a touchstone of the US commitment to democracy in Asia.

Until Asia’s democracies can rest assured, as the magnitude of China’s military might catches up with its economic power, that Beijing does not seek military preeminence in the region, US strategists should resurrect their historic rule of thumb for Asia: Keep “island Asia” out of the hands of “mainland Asia.”

The US’ strategic position in Asia is approaching a tipping point vis-a-vis China. Some believe the US’ only interest in Taiwan is to ensure that the “Taiwan issue” is resolved peacefully, a policy in which “process” trumps “outcome.”

In 1945, US president Harry Truman declared that a “strong, united and democratic China” was in “the most vital interests of the United States.”

Two out of three is not good enough. Until China is democratic, the most vital US interest must be to maintain its strategic posture in the western Pacific, and Taiwan is essential to achieving that end.

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