China's offensive cyber hacking and more
How can they call their actions "self defense"?
In a BBC interview of China's then-ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Sha Zukang (沙祖康) which was broadcast on August 18, 2006, Sha talked about China's position on Taiwan's independence and about China's military spending. He told other countries (especially the USA) to "shut up" and claimed that China's military expansion was solely for the purpose of self-defense, protecting China's territorial integrity, and preventing other countries from harming China.
7:08 YouTube video: " FW: China at war over Taiwan (inteview w/ Mr. Sha)"
The interview lets us see Sha as a state spokesman (or from the POV of the Taiwanese, a state-sponsored terrorist -- see 1:04 - 1:20 in the video above) vowing to wage war against any country that dares to recognize Taiwan's de facto independence.
The ripples from last December's cyber attack on Google have still not settled, and the even-more-recent wave of attacks on Yahoo leaves us wondering whether China justifies its cyberspace intrusions into others' properties -- as well as its military expansion -- as merely constituting China's "self-defense."
If an uninvited person enters private property (or even if the person is invited by an earlier intruder), it's considered an act of trespassing. Cyber hacking is an act of trespassing into privately-owned (or other countries') cyber properties and is a criminal offense. If the UN is serious about world peace, it should bring this topic up for discussion in a special conference.
China's twisted geopolitical logic
Getting back to Sha's interview, if China could claim Taiwan as "an inseparable part of its territory" [sic], so too could the Netherlands, Spain, or any other country that had set a foot on Formosa in the past claim Taiwan (or part of it) as theirs. As I discussed in a May 2009 post on Talk Taiwan, if China could claim Taiwan as "an inseparable part of the motherland" [sic], today's Mongolia could equally claim any part of the historical Mongol Empire, including China, countries in central Asia and some countries in Europe; and Turkey could claim what used to be the Ottoman Empire, including some countries in southeastern Europe, northeastern Africa, and elsewhere.
Modern China (The "Republic of China" [ROC] founded in 1911 by Sun Yat-sen) did not claim Taiwan as part of its territory in the 1925 draft of its constitution, nor did they do so in 1947 when the ROC constitution was promulgated. It couldn't because the predecessor of the ROC-China, the Qing Dynasty, had given Taiwan away "in perpetuity and full sovereignty" to Japan in 1895. When the ROC overthrew the Qing dynasty in 1911, Taiwan was under the jurisdiction of Japan. How could the PRC-China (The "People's Republic of China," founded under Mao Zedong), which evicted and replaced the ROC in China in 1949 (and which was eventually recognized as representing China by other countries since 1971) claim Taiwan, a territory that it has never governed?
Besides, how could the ROC, a Chinese government-in-exile, claim sovereignty and representation over Formosa, a land where it took refuge while in exile? If the exiled Tibet government could claim sovereignty over its place of refuge as part of its territory, India would be in trouble!
Clearly, Taiwan's sovereignty must be placed in the hands of its resident citizens in a plebiscite to decide its eventual status.
Neither an exiled Chinese government (the ROC) nor one recognized by most countries as representing China (the PRC) should be able to claim sovereignty over Taiwan. Taiwan's future status should not be determined via negotiations between these two governments, nor should either of them represent Taiwan's interests in any international organizations.
Sha Zukang is a Chinese diplomat who is currently head of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). He was previously the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva. The UN General Assembly or the Secretary General must have forgotten UN's founding mission of promoting world peace, and instead has promoted a Chinese state-sponsored terrorist (threatening Taiwan's de facto independence with the possible use of force in his interview) to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on July 1, 2007 to a 4-year term.
2:53 YouTube video: "Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs"
The UNDESA contains several important divisions. These include the Development Policy Division, the Financing for Development Office, the Division for Sustainable Development, the Division for Social Development, the Division for Public Administration, the Statistics Division, and the Population Division. It is also in charge of the follow-up to the major United Nations Summits and Conferences.
Since Sha holds such an important UN post, he should use his influence to encourage his government colleagues and his fellow countrymen to respect intellectual property rights, commercial patents, human rights, and individual privacy rights. He should also put an end to China's cyber crime. If Sha can't use his UN post to convince his countrymen to be law-abiding citizens of the global village, he should be removed from the position.
But can we really expect anything like that from someone who said during the SARS crisis, "Who cares about you (Taiwanese)?"
0:31 YouTube video: "攜手護台灣 加入聯合國"
Translation: Hand-in-hand to protect Taiwan, join the United Nations
* PLA modernization and the implications for Taiwan
True, the village bully could use his brand new baseball bat to play baseball, but given his tendencies, can we entirely ignore the possibility that he could use that same item to beat neighboring weaklings with it?* Liberty Times (自由時報): 斥「外交部」竊台說帖 by 沈建德 (Translation: Rebutting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Memorandum on the [ROC's] Theft of Taiwan['s sovereignty])
Comment: I wonder if our MOFA office was pressured by the PRC government to write this memo to pave a "smoother" way for Taiwan's handover.
* Michael Turton on The View from Taiwan writes: China Hacks Media and Activist Yahoo Emails
Not only were journalists in both China and Taiwan hacked, including people I personally know, but as the report notes, many others working on democracy and freedom issues in Taiwan and China-related areas were hacked. Also hacked were individuals of pro-Taiwan sympathies but who are not necessarily high profile about it. Certain listmembers of the China discussion list ChinaPol were hacked [...]* DIGITAL AGE - How Ready Are We For A Cyber-War? Adam Segal
26:49 YouTube video: "DIGITAL AGE - How Ready Are We For A Cyber-War? Adam Segal. Feb. 28, 010"
* Cyber Warfare: Media confusion is yet another good reason why Taiwan should drop the name of Republic of China, a name used and liked only by the Chinese Nationalist Party (aka the KMT)! See the text on the screen through much of the video which says "Rep. of China's Communist Party" instead of the "People's Rep. of China's (or PRC's) Communist Party."
4:36 YouTube video: "Cyber war across the Pacific - RT 100125"
(Tim Maddog edited this post)