China & Taiwan War, U.S. involvement





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: China & Taiwan War, U.S. involvement
By Amylase (Amylase) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 10:38 am: Edit

I'm from china going to stanford this fall, but i am terribly concerned about the china & taiwan tension here. THe U.S. deployed seven air-craft carrier fleets near the taiwan-china strait, and still more land/marine/air forces are still on the way to be deployed on U.S. bases in pacific (guam, philipines etc). And what stressed me the most is that major newspapers here in china are all filled with headlines "possible war across taiwan strait in 2006". I hate this stupid war, it will destroy everything. Do you think there will be a war before 2008 (my graduation year)? and if China and Taiwan went to war, would the U.S. intervene?

By Soulofheaven8 (Soulofheaven8) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 07:09 pm: Edit

With the current quagmire in Iraq, I don't think the US would be interested in a war between China and Taiwan.

By Geodude666 (Geodude666) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit

yeah, I don't think we want to risk having another vietnam...

By Soulofheaven8 (Soulofheaven8) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 07:37 pm: Edit

..except that between China and Taiwan, the military might is about 5000 times that of Vietnam.

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 10:07 pm: Edit

China would totally whack Taiwan in a war since their army is like 1000 times bigger. The UN doesn't even recognize Taiwan as a country so they're unlikely to help. If there is US intervention, it would be minimal, I mean, the US isn't going to send troops to help Taiwan, and China doesn't need help.

In any case, war is highly unlikely. Despite recent tensions, I don't see sufficient reason for it.

By Soulofheaven8 (Soulofheaven8) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 02:35 pm: Edit

Taiwan's air force can do considerable damage to Chinese cities, but if a war is to break out, it'll be an invasion of Taiwan. In that case, Taiwan's forces will be relegated to the defense. I really don't see the US getting involved simply because of the shortage of military personnel and the fact that China is a permanent member of the UN security council while Taiwan is not even recognized.

By Geodude666 (Geodude666) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 03:10 pm: Edit

"Taiwan's air force can do considerable damage to Chinese cities"

hm, i wonder what nuclear bombs would do to taiwanese cities....

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 04:34 pm: Edit

China is more powerful, but they would never invade now.

-Even though they could win, they would suffer considerable damage because of tawain's superior airforce.

-Also, China is trying to become more westernized/capitalist. They have been experiencing a lot of proseperity in doing so and would not jeopardize this with a war.

- They are trying to become more friendly with the US, and the US would never support an invasion and takeover of Tawain, no matter what the "moral" UN says or does not say. China does not want to upset the US.

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

"Taiwan's air force can do considerable damage to Chinese cities"

Don't forget that bombing cities = civilian casualties = UN troops flying after your ass.

By Zuka (Zuka) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:33 am: Edit

what a laugh.

if the KMT party had not fled to the island, imposing a totalitarian rule, massecring 30,000 Taiwanese in the 22-8 incident, and banned the use of Taiwanese in schools and public events, then the mandarin language would not even be spoken in taiwan today.

modern Taiwanese are actually a mixture of Hoklo and Polynesian descent, which were the aboriginals of the island. Many Taiwanese look like Malaysians, even. the Taiwanese race looks so different from your average mainlainder, its easy to tell the difference.

i think its rather pathetic that you chinese need to keep telling Taiwanese that they are Chinese, when they all know thier true roots. Why do you want to tell people they are Chinese even though they are not, and dont want to be? how desperate are you?

China should stop bullying other smaller countries, its really sad i think. First its Tibet, now its Taiwan's turn to be taken over, right?


click here for some Taiwanese history
http://members.shaw.ca/wchen88/intro.htm

dont believe the communist lies, Taiwan functions as an independent country, and has been one for over 50 years.

TAIWANESE SOVIERIEGNTY FOREVER!

By Zuka (Zuka) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:35 am: Edit

why would you want taiwan to be part of china again? are you ignorant enough to think china actually needs to be bigger?

also, given the fact that both taiwanese and tibetans would break off from China proper in a heartbeat if given the chance to, tells us that they just dont want to be chinese. can you understand that? so stop being a chinese imperialists and let other peoples have thier own country.

now why would you want democratic, peaceful taiwan to be taken over by some human rights abusing, fascist state?

your blindly following whatever the fascist chinese gov. tells you, they fool thier own people into thinking a takeover of a tiny island would be justified. youve had too much propaganda pumped into your head. look at the facts, sir.

By Geodude666 (Geodude666) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:40 am: Edit

"now why would you want democratic, peaceful taiwan to be taken over by some human rights abusing, fascist state?"

"your blindly following whatever the fascist chinese gov. tells you"

wow....speechless.....
have u not ever learned about the political spectrum in civics before? fascist??!!
you clearly do not know what you are talking about.

By Zuka (Zuka) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:41 am: Edit

have any of you chinese thought about how if china has to reclaim taiwan by force, maybe taiwan just doesnt want to be part of the huge mass of land next to it? the islanders are resisting for a reason, arent they?? why do you wish to impose on the taiwanese something that they dont want?

also, it makes me sick how a country with such a long and rich history like tibet, has to be part of china. it is true that china has done much for the region, BUT THIER CULTURE IS BEING DISPLACED. its like, "WHOOPS, sorry we burnt down thousands of your temples!" Tibet is now "just another part of china." Tibet and Taiwan should be allowed be free.

tibetans and thier culture are being wiped out, fudge china get the hell out of tibet and give them thier own country again.

so step off, China.

By Zuka (Zuka) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:43 am: Edit

>>>>>>>>.wow....speechless.....
have u not ever learned about the political spectrum in civics before? fascist??!!
you clearly do not know what you are talking about.
---


hey there, genius. yes, i have passed high school. yes, i know what im talking about. yes, i know what fascism is. here is the dictionary definition.

"2. Oppressive, dictatorial control. "

china has oppressive, dictatorial control on its people, with its human rights abuses and State run media. you dont that thats fascist? you dont think tiannamen was fascist?

hah

By Zuka (Zuka) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit

heres a point for you all to ponder on.

Maybe this forum should just do everything a la China, censor everything remotely offensive for the government. but i dont think CC is like that.

I don't think Taiwanese hope for the day to go to war with China. Mostly I think they hope to be able to solve this in a civilized way. But with the Chinese, you never know.


Yes, TW was taken over by Japan at some point in history. Yes, Taiwan had its fair share of abuse by the KMT party. My question is, when was "motherland" China then huh? Where were you Chinese when the Taiwanese needed you, huh? Why didn't you come to help, huh? Why is it now, in the past 20 years, when Taiwan's economy has had its boost only that you have started strongly suggesting to reunite Taiwan to you, huh?

im a proud taiwanese!

By Geodude666 (Geodude666) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 09:48 am: Edit

no, because china is communist, and fascism and communism are on different sides of the political spectrum, so get your facts right.
and you know your cool when you do two posts in a row....

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit

actually, fascism is not on the other side of the political spectrum. Both advocate a large degree of govt control, with communism having even a larger govt control of economics. But both have large govt control of economics, social life, and deprive basic rights.

foreignboy, the UN is toothless. The UN didnt help in rawanda genocides, saddam's genocides and tortures, and other great atrocities. They are powerless and many times without a moral compass.

By Geodude666 (Geodude666) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 10:06 pm: Edit

what? communism is far far left and fascism is far far right, so they are on opposite sides. however, you are correct in saying that they have similarities. But, there are also large differences, or else hitler wouldn't have murdered all those communists under his fascist regime.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Oppressive, dictatorial control. "


While hitler did hate communism, that does not mean facism is the opposite of communism. People mistakingly think that because Hitler hated communism, his politics were the opposite. Facism, as the dictionary says above, is inherently leftist by having strong, totalitarian govt control. Facsism is not even close to the right, which is for less govt control and more individual choice/freedom.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:22 am: Edit

Don't underestimate Taiwan (or overestimate China) in any invasion of the island. China has some serious problems with their military, and if they attempt to invade a prosperous and nationalistic nation before fixing those problems they will be served one massive national embarassment. But a few of China's problems:

1) Their air force is a joke. Many of their planes have not been replaced since the 1950s and could not stand up to a Taiwanese counterattack (let alone give their ground forces adequate cover).

2) Numbers mean almost nothing in modern warfare. Did Somalia not teach us that? Many thousands of poorly trained enemy combatants can take hundreds to thousands of casualties to dislodge a few well-placed and well-trained troops, both of which Taiwan has.

3) You think Iraq is a terrible quagmire? Wait till you see an occupied Taiwan. China had to learn something from the US's mistake.

4) If nothing else, the West will wage a massive PR war against China. Even if China does a beautiful job of keeping international media out of the war zone, US military satellite info will give us an excellent idea of Chinese losses. Beijing will be powerless to cover up the casulaties it will incur against a tiny island nation that they still consider a province of China.

This is not even considering international military responses. Japan/Korea will undoubtedly go nuts over any Chinese intervention; this may result in a nuclear Japan.

By Geodude666 (Geodude666) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 10:20 am: Edit

"Facsism is not even close to the right, which is for less govt control and more individual choice/freedom."

yes, to the right favours freedom, but that's more towards the centre/right, but fascism is towards the far far right, therefore you are wrong.

"This traditional political spectrum is defined along an axis with Conservatism, theocracy, or Fascism ("the right") on one end, and Socialism or Communism ("the left") on the other."
>this is a quote from wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_spectrum#Left_and_Right

see? they are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, or are left and right not considered opposites to you??? and the truth is, with their secretive communist government, no one really knows much about the true powers, or lack there of, of the chinese military.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 03:36 pm: Edit

I read that site, and they say that left and right can be viewed in different contexts. Looking at fasicm in the context of what we call "left" and "right" today, it is in no way "right". The far right today would be considered libertarian, while the far left would be communism. The definition of facisim in no way makes it far right in today's context. If anything, it is to the left because of its leftist behavior (strong govt control, govt control of economy, powerful central govt...).

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 03:37 pm: Edit

But again, to stay on topic, China will not do anything in the near future to tawain. They are trying to ally with the US, and have been trying to become more capitalistic, and have been succeeding. Their economy has been growing very fast the last 5-10 years because of this, and they will not risk ruining their US relationship.

By Neo (Neo) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:47 pm: Edit

Dot.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:15 am: Edit

I am a student from China heading to Tulane this fall.Though the recent tensions across the strait drew considerable attention to this issue,war is unlikely in the foreseen future.China is now going through a new cycle of economic boom.Her GDP growth exceeds 10% for the first quarter and slightly falls to around 9.8% for the second quarter due to state measures to prevent the appearance of an over-hearted economy which showed up in 1979,1984,1988 and 1992.So the overall economic environment is great for domestic construction and investment.With foreign investment keep flowing tremendously in and economy developing steadily fast,there is extremely low possibility that a war will break out.As a Chinese citizen,I must clarify something to some superficial individuals.Yes,China is a communism-controlled country but it is progressing toward the aim of democracy-an open society that welcomes advice from all directions.And the government is striving to do so.In my city,citizens can not only make a suggestion to the municipal government,but also criticize the government for its wrongdoings.And government welcomes both applause and candid criticism.
To Zuka:I was wondering if you're still living the 70s or 80s.Now China has fully opened her door to the outside world.Besides Central Television which is managed by the communist party,you can have access to MTV Channel,HBO Channel,Discovery,Star TV,Hallmark Channel...almost any channel in this world.And just in my apartment,I am free to watch whatever Americans watch,even queer eye for the straight guy and sex & the city.So just take a deep thought into what you are trying to say before you blurt out words like bullets from your mouth.Thank you.

By Conker (Conker) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:01 am: Edit

China will never attack Taiwan. But to think that Taiwan actually stands a chance against the Chinese military is silly. Unlike America, the Chinese will not adhere to the "correct" rules of warfare. China, if it gets frustrated, WILL drop a nuke on Taiwan. Plus, they have an army that bigger than the population of the island. Chen knows that he can go pretty far because the Chinese government is trying its best NOT to attack (while maintaining an aggressive facade). In my opinion, Taiwan's already independent in all but name, and I think their best chance at achieving full independence rests in diplomacy.

By Takiusproteus (Takiusproteus) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:45 am: Edit

Yes, let's all have Taiwan be free because they want to be free. They -want- to be separate from the Mainland China, so we should just let them.

So, 150 years ago we should've let the Southern states secede from the Union. Then maybe the Northwestern states would say, "Hey, we don't like being controlled by the Eastern coastal government, let's secede too." Let's just have anarchy and a thousand little states. Let's just allow democracy to DIE.

By Justice (Justice) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:45 pm: Edit

OK Taiwan should not be and never will be a country. There I said it. Just because it's ethnically dissimilar from Han nomenklatura doesn't mean that it has a right to sovereignty. By that logic, since Hawaii is ethnically different from the U.S. and also not contiguous, it should be it's own country. China has extremely powerful political and economic force at this point and a loss of Taiwan would be intolerable. Furthermore, any further attempts by Taiwan to assert their independence will be viewed by China as acts of war (or rebellion as they like to say). No amount of diplomacy can convince a rising superpower to relinquish hard-fought land.

"China will never attack Taiwan." Good. That's right. Why? Because Taiwan will never be stupid enough to demand true independence. The tensions will cease soon--Zhou has an excellent understanding of the situation.

Taiwanese nationalistic gibberish is just as bad as Chinese propaganda, Zuka, and it seems that you bought into it at the price of your own understanding of the situation.

Purgeofdoors, I think that militarily it is absurd to think that Taiwan's air force will be a factor in total war. China could do a number of things to neutralize any possible air advantage. For instance, Israel eradicated the Egyptian and Syrian air force while they were still docking in the early morning in the Six Day War (1967) through strategic bombing. Against China's missiles, I think if this were a RTS you know who you'd want to control...

For your second point, Somalia was not our war. We sent over like a dozen dudes in a helicopter. And in case you didn't know, Somalia has a ton of people (more than a dozen dudes). If you are talking about internal struggles, well organization is a big thing. The Chinese military is fairly organized.

Occupied Taiwan would indeed be a quagmire.

"The West will wage a PR war against China." Hahahaha no way. The West is so dependent on trade from China that they could not afford the economic strain from bad relations with China. Why do you think no country in the West recognizes Taiwan in the first place??? It's been this way since the Nixon era.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

Applause!I think Justice has just given the whole situation a fair and logical judgement.By the way,are you an international relations major/minor,Justice?Your analysis is sensible,objective and acceptable.Yeah,I agree with Justice at the point that one should not judge whether one territory should secede from its motherland only by viewing its composition of races.According to what I have read and seen,the tension seems to have eased up a lot.China has become the No.1 nation in the world that draws the most foreign direct investment with US being the second.So,war possible?Yes,possible after 50 years when China becomes the world's leading economic,political and military forces.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:11 pm: Edit

"China will never attack Taiwan. But to think that Taiwan actually stands a chance against the Chinese military is silly. Unlike America, the Chinese will not adhere to the "correct" rules of warfare. China, if it gets frustrated, WILL drop a nuke on Taiwan."

That is totally idiotic. Me, you, China, and the entire world knows what the repercussions of a chinese nuclear strike would be. They would face total annhilation from a global coalition faster then they can say "oops"

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Certain people on here share their mentality with pre-WWI Germans. A curious mix of nationalism and jingoism supported by notoriously bad and untested military information.

The age of superpowers is over. Neither the US nor China will be able to exert global hegemony in 50 years; the rest of the world is catching up to both nations via good ol' demographic transition. In fact, China's one-child policy will catch up to them much the way low birth rates have caught up to the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe. As fast as modern China gains in medical modernization, the less it will be able to support a massive elderly population with less than one worker per couple.

But that's a long-term problem. Now we can talk the military facts of today.

Taikus, that should go in the Bad Analogy Hall Of Fame. Self-determinism has been a fairly good political strategy since the Wilsonian era without turning into the slippery slope you seem to imply. And there are so many things wrong with the US Civil War/Taiwan parallel that I shan't even go into them.

Zhou is basically right. China is turning into a Western nation with an economy largely based upon exporting goods to Western nations (US in particular). However, China's economy is by no means self-sufficient in agricultural or technological terms; the high rates of GDP growth and investment show a country that is rapidly growing but still sorely lacking (especially when one looks at per capita figures -- those place China well into the Third world). China is unique, however, in that it can have a first world competitiveness while maintaining bad per capita numbers.

That said, China can't economically afford the repercussions a war with Taiwan would bring. They know this.

"Purgeofdoors, I think that militarily it is absurd to think that Taiwan's air force will be a factor in total war. China could do a number of things to neutralize any possible air advantage. For instance, Israel eradicated the Egyptian and Syrian air force while they were still docking in the early morning in the Six Day War (1967) through strategic bombing. Against China's missiles, I think if this were a RTS you know who you'd want to control... "

Israel was a technologically advanced, prosperous yet small nation facing a very large yet technologically underdeveloped army. Taiwan is a technologically advanced, prosperous yet small nation facing a very large yet technologically underdeveloped army.

The strategic options work both ways. It's not enough to say "Well, China could do X". Sure, China could drop a nuke on Taipei and spend the next 50 years in economic isolation. But they won't. You can't show staggering figures of overseas economic investment and then claim that we are more dependent on China than vice versa. Foreign economic investment is the big thing for developing countries... and if that dries up, so does that nice fat GDP growth rate.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:22 pm: Edit

According to statistical figures from the government,China's powerful economic growth is mainly due to domestic consuming and great increase in infrastructure investment.The role that exports play in China's economy seems to be waning.
Purgeofdoors,though China's GDP per capita is relatively low,the growing number of middle-class families are giving China's economy a fair boost.What you see is only the nationa average GDP per capita.You didn't realize that in many regions in China,GDP per capita well exceeds the national average.For example,the average GDP per capita in my area has exceeded $7000 US dollars which is far above national average.People here lead a life which is not too different from the western world.We go to nightclubs,bars,roadside cafes and enjoy almost every kind of recreational activities.Private cars are prevalent and everyone is searching for a bigger house.Everyone's enjoying the prosperity that economic boom has brought.So please don't think everyone in China is poor.More than 300 million people lead a high quality of life comparable to western world.

By Conker (Conker) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

"That is totally idiotic. Me, you, China, and the entire world knows what the repercussions of a chinese nuclear strike would be. They would face total annhilation from a global coalition faster then they can say "oops"

The sad truth: nobody cares about Taiwan. No, not even the US. China and the US are mutually antagonistic forces, however friendly they may seem now. The US is merely looking for something to gripe about: Taiwan is one and human rights is another. Not that the US has any value for either. As for Europe, they've--according to the Taiwanese--"sold themselves out" to China. They're out of the picture.

If China launches nukes at Taiwan, the US and Europe will make up excuses to avoid any sort of confrontation with China. China knows this. On the other hand, I doubt that China would enter the scuffle if the US attacked Cuba.

Now, both you and I know that everyone wants to avoid World War III. But we differ in that I believe that launching a nuclear weapon does not necessarily mean a world war. I think that both the US and China know that they have quite some leeway in their respective regions, and that neither side will do anything to stop the other unless one gets too close for comfort...

One support for my theory is the US policy with Iraq and North Korea. The US attacked Iraq, but they didn't attack North Korea. Of course, there were many reasons: Iraq has oil, and North Korea has nothing. But I believe that the central reason North Korea was NOT attacked was that the US knew that Korea was a real threat, whereas Hussein was never a threat. They of course beefed up Hussein's supposed nuclear capability so that it seemed like they were doing something, when really they knocked out the dummy, and avoided the real enemy: Kim Jong-Il.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:40 am: Edit

Conker,the relationship between China and US can not be described as antagonistic.Yes,there is competition between these two giant nations,but I see co-operations and opportunities more than cutting-throat competition.They can benefit greatly from one another if they improve their present relationship.To many US corporate giants,China means business,opportunities and gold.US will be very pleased if China places new orders for Boeing,IBM super-computers and techie stuff like that.You know,many senators are from the business field.They will object to anything that harms their interests.That's my point.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:42 am: Edit

I wanna add something here.China will NEVER launch a nuclear bomb on Taiwan since the radiative pollution will bring harm to many major Chinese cities including Shanghai,Shenzhen,Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

By Conker (Conker) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit

Zhou, every time China does something that the US doesn't like, Taiwan and human rights comes up. Is that how friends are supposed to behave? Look at how the US treats Saudi Arabia, a country that isn't without its fair share of human rights abuses. Heck, it even has ties to Al Qaeda. But you never see the US complaining about the Saudi royalty.

They are friends with China only as far as business goes. As long as China gives the American companies (especially multinationals) opportunities and sales, the US will go along with being China's "friend"

By Gxing (Gxing) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 01:29 pm: Edit

When the nationalists fled to taiwan following the civil war, the only reason that the communists did not follow them was because the US had ships in that area and threatened war if China attacked.

China would only attack Taiwan if Taiwan declared independence. Considering China's booming economy and military might as well as its role in international affairs, I doubt the US or any other country would interfere.

"That is totally idiotic. Me, you, China, and the entire world knows what the repercussions of a chinese nuclear strike would be. They would face total annhilation from a global coalition faster then they can say "oops""

That is completely false. As I said before, the US would not dare attack China if war occured. Think of Bay of Pigs Invasion on a much greater scale. As for Taiwan's air force, I highly, highly doubt they would a factor.

Addressing the issue of "antagonism" between the US and China, it is only because of the many failed attempts to "democracize" China. In reality, the two countries rely on each other economically.

Finally, China is NOT poor. Nor is it a third world country. It has the fastest growing economy in the world. Personally, think the fact that China is communist has caused a negative connotation to be associated with China. I completely agree with Zhou.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit

Conker,that US never complains to the Saudi royalty is mainly due to the fact that Saudi Arabia is the primary source of petroleum to the US.There is a strong interest tie between US and Saudi Arabia,so it is with China.

Gxing,glad that you share your point of view with me!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 02:16 am: Edit

Amylase, to answer your question, yes, if China invades Taiwan, the US will intervene. The war games involving seven US carrier groups (not fleets [sic]) and with involvement of Taiwanese forces are meant to underscore this point.

Even most American who despise George Bush and think he's a blustering bully would support action in defense of Taiwan. And it doesn't matter whether Taiwan were to declare independence or not...either way, the US would come to its defense.

I grew up in the era of Mao, Chou En-lai, Lin Piao, Liu Shao-shi, etc. (please pardon any misspellings) and have been following Chinese politics for quite a while, back to the Hundred Flowers Movement, etc.

You will find that educated Americans may know more about Tianamen Square and the current state of the Hong Kong independence movement than you do. You may find your exposure in the US to me more educational than you bargain for...though it's probably prudent if you keep your head down and ignore some of the things you come across if you plan on returning home.

By Oasis (Oasis) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 02:46 am: Edit

I have lived virtually all my life in Taiwan, and I'm still in Taiwan as I'm typing this. Even though I'm an American citizen, the worst I want to see is for a war between China and Taiwan to break out in 2006, one year before my graduation. I am a firm supporter of Taiwan soverignity, and a vehement supporter of Chen Shui Bien.

China will not attack Taiwan now because if it does, it'll cause a big wave in the Chinese economy. China also doesn't want to get itself in another crisis before the 2008 Olympics at Beijing. Although Taiwan is not recognized by any international organizations as an independent country, the reckless invation of Taiwan without provokation (declaring independence) will still be frowned upon by many countries. The US is bound by the Taiwan Relations Act to protect Taiwan if Taiwan is attacked by China without a sufficient reason to do so. It's not a matter of whether the US wants to help, they're obliged to even though they may not want another conflict with their hands full on Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, if President Chen Shui Bien declares independence tomorrow, the US is no longer obliged to do this, because President Chen is purposely "provoking" the Mainland. However, we are not doing anything drastic in moving towards independence, so China doesn't have a sufficient reason to attack us yet. China wouldn't kill its international reputation just yet for Taiwan.

Regarding the military size, China does have superior ground forces, but Taiwan has control of the sea and the air in the Taiwan Strait. As long as Taiwan maintains that control, China will not dare send troops over the Strait in an attempt to overrun Taiwan. However, why they are saying that China might attack Taiwan during 2006 is that China had been rapidly expanding its military, and in a few years China may gain the control of the Taiwan Strait it needs for a massive invasion of Taiwan. The Taiwanese still maintains a higher level of airforce than the Mainland in terms of defense. Our airforce is not sufficient for offense, but it is highly sufficient for defense.

Even though I agree strongly with Taiwan soverignity, I do not support an open declaration of independence from President Chen. Doing this is leading Taiwan towards a suicide, and as long as we don't give China a sufficient reason for attacking us, help from the US and international sympathy will still be there. Even though Taiwan has virtually no allies in the world, countries like UK, EU would still disagree on a major offensive against Taiwan without a provokation first.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Do not fully believe in propaganda from the government.They were trying to mislead you and cover up the facts.Use your own eyes to discern truth and lies.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 11:45 pm: Edit

China would not risk their relationship with the US. They know europe and the un wont have balls to help, but the US is a threat militarily and economicly to China. China needs the US to continue with their economic growth and a war would put that in jeopardy. They are not going to do anything in the near future.

By Oasis (Oasis) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit

I am not believing in propaganda from the government. Those information are all from international analysis, not from internal sources. Besides, China has more of a notorious reputation of spreading propaganda than Taiwan, so I might be asking you to not believe in propaganda yourself in the first place.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 11:37 am: Edit

"China would not risk their relationship with the US. They know europe and the un wont have balls to help, but the US is a threat militarily and economicly to China. China needs the US to continue with their economic growth and a war would put that in jeopardy. They are not going to do anything in the near future."

Bunmushroom, the reverse is true. Nowadays, 90% of everything we buy is labeled "made in China". If war happens, and these economic connections are cut off, it would be a severe blow to the US economy, for cheap labor is hard to find.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 12:41 pm: Edit

And you don't think that the ability to export all those goods is more important to China than our ability to import?

By Zhou (Zhou) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 12:43 pm: Edit

Yeah,Gxing is right.As long as mutual interests between the two nations exist,there will not be a war between the two nations.Oasis,to many Taiwanese,Taiwan doesn't have a very certain future.With investment moving to Mainland China and Taiwanese people rushing to settle down in Mainland China,Taiwan will finally become hollow.All the upper-class families will go and those who cannot move will have to stay to watch their "motherland" wither day by day.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 01:18 pm: Edit

Purgeofdoors, China can find many other markets to export its manufactured goods to besides the US. Whether the US can find cheap labor as they have now in China, however, remains a question.

I've noticed several things regarding this thread, the most important being that Taiwanese people are supporting Taiwan and vice versa for China. While from mainland China myself, I live in the US and I try to remain as objective as possible.

The fact stands that China would've tried and probably succeeded in overruning Taiwan a long time ago if it weren't for the US support of Taiwan, and now, diplomatic issues. Also, without backup, Taiwan, regardless of a superior air force and better training, would not be able to stop a massive Chinese invasion because of sheer numbers.

However, war is not likely, simply because of diplomatic relations and economic as well as political factors. Again, the only way China would attack Taiwan is if Taiwan suddenly declared independence, which is highly unlikely. In that case, like Oasis said, the US would not be bound by the Taiwan Relations Act to defend Taiwan in the event of war.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Gxing, might not be bound but I'll bet you a stack of $100 bills that the US would come to Taiwan's defense anyway. Note: the US has consistently urged Taiwan *not* to declare independence.

POD, you don't understand America if you think that cutting off a supply of cheap goods would deter America from conflict. Would the US suffer an economic dislocation? Yes. Would the US put up with it? Depends on how events unfold. It's very likely that the US would respond to an invasion of Taiwan the same way they responded to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. They might not like it but they would do it.

As a datum on American attitudes, you would be surprised at the number of "Free Tibet" bumperstickers I see driving around the city.
Okay, Los Angeles is very cosmopolitan and very oriented towards the Pacific Rim.... But.

By Masterchris (Masterchris) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 09:35 pm: Edit

yes, when the us liberated kuite, they put up with higher gas costs for a while but did it anyway.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit

Thedad, I doubt that the US would come in on Taiwan's side, and I'd be willing to take that stack of $100 bills. ;) A direct confrontation with China necessarily implies World War III. China is now a military superpower with nukes. And I refuse to believe that two superpowers will be willing to tough it out for several years, with outstanding casualty rates, without resorting to the use of nuclear weapons. I believe that both the US and China are willing to let the other do whatever they want in their own regions...as long as they don't come too close.

My stand is the same as Oasis's. I'm all for Taiwanese independence, but it would be foolhardy for the government to do so. I think that the Taiwanese should be content to maintain the status quo, which I believe the Chinese government is prepared to do for a very long time.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 01:27 am: Edit

"POD, you don't understand America if you think that cutting off a supply of cheap goods would deter America from conflict. Would the US suffer an economic dislocation? Yes. Would the US put up with it? Depends on how events unfold. It's very likely that the US would respond to an invasion of Taiwan the same way they responded to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. They might not like it but they would do it. "

I didn't make my point clear enough from my one-line statement. I agree with you that the US government does not care about a supply of cheap goods. I was stating that that China's ability to export those goods to the US is more important than our ability to import.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 02:09 am: Edit

POD: ah.

Conker: I'll stand by that bet. I hope the leadership is not as foolish as you are in believing the US would not protect Taiwan.

Fortunately, I don't think things would get to that point. Conventional US defense of Taiwan by naval air units would put the nuclear option in Chinese hands...and I don't think they'd risk getting blasted back to the Bronze Age in response.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 02:21 am: Edit

Thedad,many people there want to see an independent Tibet?Does an independent Tibet bring any benefits to the people there?Maybe more religion freedom but less life quality.After all,religion builds upon the abundance of material life.Without it,human does not exist,let alone religion.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 10:18 am: Edit

If the US comes to Taiwan's aid, it will be with great caution and after a lot of hesitance. Like conker said, the US would not risk a direct confrontation with China. It'll be Vietnam except worse.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 11:16 am: Edit

"I'll stand by that bet. I hope the leadership is not as foolish as you are in believing the US would not protect Taiwan."

Justify it. I've heard you say this several times, but I want to know your reasoning. What good would it do the US to defend Taiwan? Moreover, is the defense of Taiwan significant enough that it is worth the risk of the world being destroyed?

The US is not an altruistic nation dedicated to bettering the world. I can believe that the US will offer verbal support and perhaps furtively supply weapons technology, but it will not risk a direct confrontation with China.

By Psa (Psa) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 12:13 pm: Edit

I'm a student from Taiwan.

It is fairly amusing to see this thread. You want real facts about Taiwan from a Taiwanese? I'll try to be as unbiased as possible, but we all know that's impossible.

All high school students in Taiwan get military training classes. I have fired a rifle, and so have all my classmates, including girls. It was fun, as long as one forget the implications.

The fact is, we are a human beings- on an island with a hell of a bully beside us. Think Cuba versus the U.S. superpower in the 1970s. Except this time it's the U.S. who neglects basic human rights and has hundreds of missiles. For our people, this is no joke or chitchat, this is life, our life, our lives.

The Taiwanese people are themselves divided on the issue of our nation's status. Unification or Independence, or neither? We're constantly quarreling on this issue as well. We all have our own thoughts. But as a democratic country, we believe our people have every right to decide the fate of our nation, regardless of complicated international politics and trickery. But the fact is, we're being held at gunpoint, and nobody out there seems to dare help us. China it seems is just too overwhelming in every aspect.

So we spend billions of dollars on weapons, train our kids how to hit the bull's eye with semi-automatics, and pray that the leaders of the People's Republic of China don't forsake their basic empathy and compassion. That's life in Taiwan. Earthquakes, typhoons, nuclear missiles.

And then we see people discussing the outcome of possible war across the strait on countless boards and bulletins. With the overall progress of mainland China in these few years, I have no doubt China will have the force 'n firepower to overrun Taiwan soon. We do have a superior air force and navy (my father was once a naval commander), but at this rate for how long? All that is certain is that there will be plenty casualties on both sides no matter what. And boy, what a simple word casualty is. I prefer murder.

For the war against Taiwan can never be justified. I cannot see why this can even be questioned. Instead of simulating war, why can't we discuss peace? What would a fair, peaceful resolution be like?

One thing is for sure. The leaders of both sides aren't helping. The Taiwanese will never accept China's "one China, two systems" offer now that the sad situation in Hong Kong is clear. On the other hand, many Taiwanese will themselves refuse to accept independence (esp. immediate) as well.

As a Taiwanese boy, I do not speculate on the odds of war on our soil. 70%? 30%? I may have to live these numbers. I prefer a simple 0%.

Okay, now I've stopped mumbling my angst over potential war. My point (yes, my composition is terrible, it took me this long to get to my point ^_^") is, it wouldn't matter if the U.S. intervenes or not. Even if the U.S. lives up to its word (and the Taiwan Relations Act), with China's missile capability, by the time the U.S. arrives, some of my friends and family will already be toast. And did someone forget that China has neutron bomb technology?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 09:13 pm: Edit

Zhou, you don't get it: freedom in this country is viewed as sacrosanct, which is why we get uppity when even our own government tries to infringe upon it. With Tibet, it's not just freedom of religion but culture and language. And, yes, people will trade material benefits for that.

Gxing, US defense of Taiwan would not be another Vietnam. It would pretty much be a naval and air action. *Defending* Taiwan does not mean an offensive against China per se; phase I would be shielding Taiwan from a PRC assault, phase II would be knocking out the Chinese ports to negate any naval capability and, if necessary, knocking out the hydroelectric power backing up the industrial capacity...the PRC offensive grinds to a halt. Compared to the XSSR, targeting would be duck soup. I think this is the reason, btw, that the PRC is currently putting intensive effort on development of its submarine fleet...it can't go toe to toe with the US with surface warfare so it pursues submarine development as something of an equalizer. [Note: I suspect that readers in the US have much more information on Chinese military developments available in open sources than is available to you. China has a lot of assets in both people and resources but labeling everything "state secret" is going to cripple your economy and developments.]

Conker, you don't get it either: the US would not defend Taiwan out of self-interest but because it is the right thing to do. The US has a long relationship with Taiwan and would not sit by.

PSA, I would prefer a 0 percent solution as well.
China-Taiwan is not as high on my worry lists as some other things, including an Islamist coup in Pakistan gaining control of nuclear weapons, re-ignition of Pakistan-India hostilities with nuclear weapons, or North Korea launching a surprise attack on the South Korea while the bulk of US forces are tied up in the Middle East...a terrible strategic mistake, imo. I doubt very much that China would use nuclear weapons on Taiwan...it would defeat the point of re-acquiring it.

One thing is for sure. The leaders of both sides aren't helping. The Taiwanese will never accept China's "one China, two systems" offer now that the sad situation in Hong Kong is clear.

Bingo. This is it in a nutshell. The PRC has not demonstrated the ability to deal with Hong Kong well. All others take note. The PRC hasn't jumped the big hurdle of living by the rule of law even when it's inconvenient to the Party or the Red Princes, etc.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 09:57 pm: Edit

"[Note: I suspect that readers in the US have much more information on Chinese military developments available in open sources than is available to you. China has a lot of assets in both people and resources but labeling everything "state secret" is going to cripple your economy and developments.]"

First of all, I am a US resident and citizen, so these military developments you speak of - I know them just as well as you do, and probably better.

"*Defending* Taiwan does not mean an offensive against China per se; phase I would be shielding Taiwan from a PRC assault, phase II would be knocking out the Chinese ports to negate any naval capability and, if necessary, knocking out the hydroelectric power backing up the industrial capacity...the PRC offensive grinds to a halt."

This is much easier said than done. Accomplishing all these tasks would mean a direct confrontation with China. That could turn ugly.

When I to Vietnam, I wasn't talking about guerrilla warfare, but the difficulty of the war itself.

About freeing Tibet, I personally think the idea is absurd. IMO, Tibet is part of China, just like Alaska is part of the US. With all this freedom talk, we must remember that China is communist and therefore has a different philosophy when it comes to such matters, and that fact should be respected.

Finally, there is a general negative connotation associated with communism, and the US throughout it's history has tried to "democratize" the world. Most Americans are totally for democratic societies. China remains one of the few significant communist nations in this world. Therefore, would opinion be slightly biased in this sense...???

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 12:39 am: Edit

I'm pragmatic about Tibet myself. But it was invaded and today it is patrolled by PLA troops and Tibetan culture is being actively suppressed and the region Sinoized. Alaska was not absorbed into the US by invasion.

Gxing, my apologies...I thought you were mainland. In my experience, some mainlanders are startled by the depth and amount of information on China available here that is not widely available in China. However, as a US citizen, I think you still misread the reaction of the US government were the PRC to invade Taiwan under any circumstances.

Oh, a confrontation would be ugly and so far the leadership has been very cautious and conservative. Worst case is if the PRC leadership is ever as inclined to rash and ill-considered moves as our current president is.

As for bias, the PRC is an interesting point and the powers that be appear to have no consensus on what they want to do. Conventional wisdom says that they want to give economic freedom while retaining political control...look at PRC controls on the content of the Internet, for instance...but I don't think this is going to work on the long run. There's also a curious dichotomy that there seems to be more of a consistent rule of law for foreign corporations and businesses than for domestic. Yet another puzzle piece is the tension between regional and central power.

China will be getting somewhere where a mainland poster can complain about their own leadership making rash and ill-considered moves.

China is interesting [to me], certainly can't be ignored, and certainly is in flux.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

Thedad,I am not surprised to know that US citizens possess a wealth of so-called truthful information about China.If you guys don't get the truthful information from Beijing,where did you get them?From FOX News?No,kidding!Where did news on FOX come from?FBI?CIA agent in China?Hardly.The fact is that American media creates some news and often negative about China.Television stations in the US are not state-run,right?They wanna make big bucks.Where did those bucks come from?TV commercials?Sponsorship from various sources?Or a huge leap in audience numbers?The fact is that a lot of people in America received false information about China.That false information created a China full of negative images.Some guys told me that some people in America still thought that Chinese still led a life similar to life during the Tsing Dynasty.That's totally absurd.When they heard the TV broadcaster blurt out about the oppressive,dull,non-US-style-democratic China,they would feel great,saying:"Hey,look at them.Their preseident seem more foolish than George W. Bush."The fact is that the situation in China is far better than described by US commercial TV stations.Will a nation that was only established 55 years ago be able to possess a kind of democracy similar to what US have right now?Definitely not.So be understanding.Hey,it's hard to feed 1.2 billion people.It's literally hard to do that.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Although I don't go as far as Zhou does by saying "the American media creates some news", I do agree that not all the information given to us is accurate.

I remember after 9/11, we commemorated the heroes that brought down flight 93 to crash in pennsylvania instead of its intended target. At that time, we were told that the crash was a result of a struggle between the passengers and the hijackers. Now we know that dick cheney had, in fact, ordered the plane to be shot down.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 02:24 am: Edit

[long low whistle] You guys are into conspiracy theories and while a blind pig finds a truffle now and then, it's not the way to bet.

Zhou, the CP of the PRC is no different than any other entity in that once it achieves power, it has little interest in ever giving it up. Factor in the Chinese inclination towards nepotism and the political structure stagnates. You're not dealing with an idiot who thinks life in China is like the Tsing Dynasty or whatever.

Btw, I never watch Fox News. In fact, I get very little news from TV. And I'm good at cumulatively cross-checking takes on what is happening in and about China. Fwiw, I have conduits of information that run to the US Senate, the US Navy, and certain international NGO's.

By Conker (Conker) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 11:39 am: Edit

"Conker, you don't get it either: the US would not defend Taiwan out of self-interest but because it is the right thing to do. The US has a long relationship with Taiwan and would not sit by."

Every war is fought for self-interest. No country will be willing to spend billions for the defense of another country, simply out of moral obligation. I think the Iraq war is ample evidence. Bush and co. wanted oil, so they made up this reason about Hussein possessing WMD's. When that proved to be false, they changed their line of reasoning: they were "freeing the Iraqi people from oppression". On the other hand, the US was willing to settle on futile negotiations with North Korea, apparently not deeming it necessary to free ITS people from oppression. Why? I believe it stems from the fact that North Korea really DOES have nukes, and is not afraid to use them as a last act of desperation. Not to mention that China's right beside Korea.

The US does not stand for democracy around the world. Haven't Mobutu, Pinochet, and the Shah convinced you of that?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 01:54 pm: Edit

North Korea would involve a major land war; defending Taiwan from the PRC would not.

Iraq is irrelevant: Bush invaded Iraq to finish business his Daddy didn't complete...everything else was just justification to do what he wanted to do.

It's not a question of democracy; the US would defend Taiwan the same way it defended Kuwait...even though Taiwan has no oil.

By Conker (Conker) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

"North Korea would involve a major land war; defending Taiwan from the PRC would not."

It would at least involve sending troops to defend Taiwan. But the issue at stake is not the troops involved but the prospect of annoying a very dangerous country.


"It's not a question of democracy; the US would defend Taiwan the same way it defended Kuwait...even though Taiwan has no oil."

Firstly, the US knew that Iraq was no threat. I bet that Bush would have been singing a different tune, had Hussein really had the power to nuke Washington. Also, the US had numerous oil investments in Kuwait and thus had tons to lose from an occupied Kuwait. It was defending its investments, not Kuwait. The US has investments in Taiwan (especially in the chip industry), but they are not nearly as significant or as irreplacable as oil.

Had Iraq been a real nuclear threat and Kuwait had no oil, the US would have called for a UN condemnation of Iraq and not an invasion.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 02:19 pm: Edit

Amen Conker, amen.

We would've never invaded Iraq if it had nuclear capability or if we wouldn't gain anything. It's clear that China is a much more powerful country compared to Iraq in all aspects. Even with a president as reckless as Bush, I think we would have second thoughts on going to war with China.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 08:40 pm: Edit

I just hope the PRC leadership never miscalculates as badly as you guys do.

By Conker (Conker) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit

"I just hope the PRC leadership never miscalculates as badly as you guys do."

I hope you learn that stating something over and over again does not constitute an argument.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 01:09 pm: Edit

Thedad,sorry for my reckless accusation of your receiving the incorrect information.Glad to know that you are good at cross-checking information from all sources and use them correctly to reach your final judgement.As far as I am concerned,a war between China & US is not the best interest to both sides.I dare to say that you agree with me to some extent.China & US has shared good partnership in the business field and other fields and they need each other to maximize their benefits.A war between the two giant powers will set the world on fire.People will panick about the breakout of World War III and investers will have to experience huge losses due to uncertain future.We all know that the increase and decrease in the world crude oil supply could affect the world's economy,let alone a war between two powerful nations.Well,I do not wish to see a war or even a conflict happen between the two nations.I wanna see them co-operate together to maximize their mutual benefits.That's the best interest to people of both nations.I have always been a peace advocator and I hope there is peace.Hope the world is once again filled with peace and love,not hatred and conflict.

By Appliedmath (Appliedmath) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit

You guys are very unrealistic about the military might of the Taiwanese. Being from a family of proud Chinese warrior history I know that with the Chinese army's superior air power and naval capabilities the Taiwanese are hopeless and will seek asylum in nowhere since there's nowhere to run. Looking at the map I predict this to be very similar to the invasion of Crete by the Germans, except it will take approximatley 12 days to complete the entire invasion based on the altitude around the capital.

By Appliedmath (Appliedmath) on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:24 pm: Edit

My grandfather fought for North Korea and my 2nd uncle was a pilot for the Chinese in 1979 Southern Vietnam-Chinese Conflict.

I also forgot the mention that the Taiwanese orginated from the Chinese, therfore it's China's own responsibilities to discipline its own people for rebelling and seeking independence like a nutcase.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 12:16 am: Edit

Zhou, after one has acquired a framework for the world, when encountering new information the things to do are to ask: does it sense on its own? Is it consistent with what else is known (or does the pre-existing framework need to be changed to accomodate it and, if so, what/where/why?), and are there other data points that point to the same thing. As Stephen Vincent Benet once wrote, "Truth is a hard deer to hunt." I don't accept *anything* without some examination, even if it correlates with what I already believe. In fact, I think it's more dangerous to accept information without examination when it agrees with your preconceptions...Bush has certainly been prone to this.

AppliedMath, from the Nationalist perspective, it is the PRC which are the rebels. The fact that the PRC has used its economic and trade powers to bully most of the world into not recognizing Taiwan is beside the point.

Some of the things I don't know: public appreciation in China of the political legacy of the Long March and the ripple effects on the current leadership. Public understanding of the Hundred Flowers movement, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. Degree of awareness of what is a famous photo here in the West, the solitary man with bags holding up a column of tanks just outside Tienamen Square. The appreciation of Chinese family practices that have resulted in a birth rate of 120 males for every 100 females...and the social implication of this.
The closed-information society that makes phenomenon like AIDS and SARS even more deadly.
The degree to which the commercial concerns are heavily riddled with politically connected nepotism (you'd think the Chinese had been studying up on Haliburton, etc.). The rural-urban dislocations caused by uneven economic development coupled with uneven distribution of services. The environmental, cultural, and social costs of the Three Gorges Dam.

I have a small bet with myself about the answers to those questions.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 12:35 pm: Edit

This is strictly my opinion after visitng China...

Public appreciation - the vast majority of people are satisfied with the leadership. The Long March, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, etc are all considered a part of history, including Tianemen Square.

Three gorges dam - the benefits of the dam greatly outweigh the negative aspects.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 01:32 pm: Edit

Those who sweep their history out of sight are doomed to repeat it, if not worse.

China will be hamstrung in achieving its potential until their can be vigorous debate and dissension.
It needs a true Hundred Flowers. Also, everything is precarious until the rule of law firmly subdues nepotism and the influence of the Red Princes; China is still stuck at a point where family, Party ties, and regional loyalties--note that profile is remarkably similar to that of warlord societies--hold large sway. I'm still not *completely* convinced that the Chinese center will hold...I think it will, I hope it does, but I'm not convinced. At times and places, Beijing is far away.

I confess that I have my romantic and sentimental streaks. I understand exactly how ruthless that Chou En-lai could be...and yet, I wonder would he would make of today's situation and how he would play the cards if he were at China's helm.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 03:28 pm: Edit

" At that time, we were told that the crash was a result of a struggle between the passengers and the hijackers. Now we know that dick cheney had, in fact, ordered the plane to be shot down. "

That has been proven?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 09:59 pm: Edit

No, it hasn't. But it's too tedious to argue with *every* over-the-top assertion on the Internet.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 10:20 pm: Edit

it has not been proven, but it is undoubtedly true.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 02:55 am: Edit

Actually, it's not true. The debris field from a plane shot down is different from a plane crashed out of control. The black box readings from the Pennsylvania plane are consistent with a cockpit struggle, not any sort of attack.

However, in my experience, there is no conspiracy theory that won't garner its share of advocates.
The idea of having secret knowledge or that you know better than everyone else is irresistable to some.

Conspiracy junkies are like those who bet on long-shots at the race track: every once and a while they're right...but usually they've gone broke several times over.

By Gxing (Gxing) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 11:39 am: Edit

The debris field from a plan shot down is different from a plane that crashed. Exactly. The debris from Flight 93 was scattered over a large area. If the plane had crashed, the debris would've never traveled the distances it did. However, if it were shot down while still in the air, then it is highly likely.

By Zhou (Zhou) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 01:59 pm: Edit

We're not sweeping history out of sight and we won't.
Regarding those historical events like Hundred Flowers movement,the Great Leap Forward,the Cultural Revolution,we were taught about those events since junior high.Enough.It's the past yet not forgotten.Every generation will keep it in mind that the previous generations made the wrong decisions and therefore had to pay the painful price.
I must admit the law system of China is not well-strengthened,but National Congress is striving to draft and pass more laws and regulations to base the whole society upon a systematically-structured foundation of rules and regulations.
China is not currently in the state of a warlord society.It's a constitutional republic,the power of which consists of five steps.
Yes,the urban-rural dislocations caused uneven development.Well,it is the same case with many developing countries.Not a surprise.We have a 8000 GDP per average here but in some rural areas,the average GDP amounts to a few hundred dollars.That's just the case.But they are trying to minimize the difference.
Nobody can ever persuade China into adoping the western-style democracy because China is a different case.Most people are happy about being led by the communist party,especially those who benefit the most from the economic boom after the 1980s.In fact,most Chinese don't care about political freedom as long as economy continues to grow and living stardards continue to rise.And history proves that communist party can just do that.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:57 pm: Edit

LOL!

You pass your course, comrade.

By Priglet (Priglet) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 09:24 pm: Edit

Zhou--have you ever read The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene? A lot of what you say about quality of live being more important than freedom of conscience to most citizens of the PRC is rather incomprehensible to Americans. After all, many of our ancestors came over here on slow, leaky boats just to worship God in their own way. The Power and the Glory talks a lot about the conflict inherent in the revolution--between the spiritual and the material (although that is an oversimplification). It's very moving without being sentimental. You might like it.

By Lethalfang (Lethalfang) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 01:54 am: Edit

There will be no military action across Taiwan Strait in the forseeable future.
Military threats from Mainland is aimed only to prevent Taiwan from a formal declaration of indepedence. I think, that China thinks as long as Taiwan is not officially a sovereign nation, they can eventually take it back by political means, when one day China is more democratic and Taiwan has a government that is in favor of reunification.
Taiwan, on the other hand, would not risk war with Mainland by formal declaration of independence. I think, that Taiwan thinks, as long as they can keep China from taking real control of their territory, one day China will eventually relinguish claim of Taiwan, when potential political uncertainties in the future distracts Mainland from the Taiwan situation.
The US, of course, will never militarily intervene if Mainland goes to war with Taiwan. The deployment of 7 carriers is more aimed toward North Korea than China.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 02:01 am: Edit

Right. Which is why the US carrier groups are carrying out integrated exercises with Taiwanese forces.

By Lethalfang (Lethalfang) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 02:25 am: Edit

Exercising with Taiwan is not such a big deal. The move is merely making China think twice before invading Taiwan, and of course strengthen Taiwan's military capabilites just in case there is an invation.
But make no mistakes, China has limited, but real capabilities of striking not only US naval forces should US intervene, but also US homeland. China has thousands of missiles capable of reaching Taiwan, as well as US forces deployed in Asia, plus handful of missiles capable of reaching US homeland. Should there be an all-out war, the first thing China will do is speeding up arm production.
However, I do not think Chinese government is stupid enough to invade Taiwan, and US is not reckless enough to militarily intervene.
For the communist government, the end result may as well be gaining a Taiwan, but losing the country. The government is currently suppressing oppositions very well, but they may not be able to sustain that after being severely weakened in a war.

By Lethalfang (Lethalfang) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 02:32 am: Edit

One of the main reasons that the communists are able to suppress the opposition is good economy. When the people are not desperate, they are less likely to rebel.
Should there be a war with Taiwan, the government can say bye-bye to the past 20 years of economic properity, a combination of damages incurred in wars, money spent on arms instead of economy, and certain Western sanctions the minute the war breaks out. The government may take Taiwan back, but previously suppressed unrest will rise up. The government may even be further weakened when rebellions in Tibet breaks out as they see Chinese forces diverting to Taiwan as an oppotunity.
All in all, there will be lots of talks and lots of threats as usual, but there will be no action.

By Stb5voy (Stb5voy) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 09:42 pm: Edit

Sorry to resurrect a dying thread, but I would reccomend an article in either the January/February or March/April (I don't remember which one off hand) edition of Foreign Affairs Magazine (It's the thick blue one) entitled "Ties that Bind". It has very ensightful analysis and suggests that Beijing views Taiwan as key to the maintaining a cohesive Chinese state (it sees a secession threat from Xianjiang (sp?) as well). It also argues that China values Taiwan much more than American relations and would risk full military conflict. It's a good read.


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