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Thursday, June 11, 2009

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Congress Bites Back

The US Congress had some unusually strong words in support of Taiwan and further arms sales this week, also criticising William Stanton as now unsuitable for the job of AIT Director (he described the two imprisoned reporters in the North Korea as 'stupid'
The conservative Heritage Foundation hosted the conference to discuss “The Taiwan Relations Act’s Enduring Legacy on Capitol Hill.”

Congressman Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, said: “The US should not dictate any particular outcome of Taiwan’s relationship with the mainland. But we must see that the relationship develops peacefully and with the consent of the people in Taiwan. I am committed to ensuring that Taiwan has the military wherewithal to negotiate from a position of strength.”

He added that while the people of Taiwan may want to maintain the status quo forever, China does not and that is why it has more than 1,000 missiles aimed at Taiwan.

Wilson said that any well-meaning reconciliation would require dismantling the missile threat to Taiwan and there was no sign that China was prepared to do that.

He said: “What about the rest of the Chinese military build-up? They tell us it’s not aimed at us. Who is it aimed at? The Taiwanese know. That is why they want F-16s and that is why we should provide F-16s. It would be a deterrence to military adventurism and I believe it would promote peace through strength.”

Ros-Lehtinen was to say in her speech: “Beijing has given no indication that it has altered its ultimate objective of forcibly dominating Taiwan. Beijing has undertaken no confidence building measures to accompany the recent thaw. It has continued unabated in its buildup of missiles.”

All this implies that the recent cross-strait thaw may be no more than an early rise in temperatures to be followed by an even bleaker winter of discontent. Beijing also continues its expansion in submarines and other naval vessels seeking to turn the Western Pacific into a Chinese lake,” she added.
On almost any issue other than Taiwan I would usually find myself in vehement disagreement with such a neo-conservative and economically neo-liberal institution such as the Heritage Foundation. But here, for a nice change, we have political commentators and politicians themselves seeing right through Ma and the KMT's pretense of a new peaceful status quo and mutual non-recognition. Fact is, the status quo has radically shifted in China's favour as the KMT-CCP business fest continues at the expense of first Taiwan's economic sovereignty and then it's political existence as a de-facto independent nation. I wonder how long Ma will keep up the pretense that Beijing wishes no harm to the Taiwanese as long as we all behave ourselves and be good Chinese citizens ....

ps: thanks to Maddog for building the new team. I'm honored to join such illustrious and well read company.

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