Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taiwan: Thoughts on US-China-Taiwan and Tension as Political Capital

View from Taiwan has some thoughts. Here is a bit:
The Chinese complaints about weapons sales to Taiwan are pure theatre designed to separate the US from Taiwan -- an excellent example ... of China's long-term plan is to sever that relationship.

The reaction to the decade-old weapons sales also shows how China consistently moves to transfer the tensions it creates with Taiwan to the US-Taiwan relationship. Chinese "anger" is a policy it uses to manage its relationship with the US. People who write that "tensions have eased" between China and Taiwan are simply missing how they've been transferred to the China-US and the US-Taiwan relationships. Tension with China is never eased; because China uses tension to manage its relations with other nations.
Yes. Very much so. You will recall, of course, how China always blames Taiwan. Here too Michael Turton cuts through the usual media muddle with a jolt of reality: "Taiwan is not China's nemesis. Nothing Taiwan does threatens China. The threats all run from Beijing toward Taipei."

UPDATE: Check out this post too.


Brian J. Dunn said...

Of course Taiwan is a threat to China.

China (and their apologists here) insist that democracy is not an Asian value but an alien Western concept.

So the sight of even a small group of Taiwanese voting for their leaders (or voting them out) and enjoying freedom is a dangerous thing for Peking's rulers. Especially if there is unrest on the mainland over faltering economic growth.

Taiwan could, in fact, be the most lethal threat China faces today.

Mad Minerva said...

I should have clarified that I was talking only in the most narrow sense of coastal missiles, threats of territorial annexation, machinations to isolate Taiwan in the international community, and such. But in the grand scheme of things, in terms of existential matters, you're right of course.

Mad Minerva said...

The "democracy is alien" idea is always one that's applied differently to different places, now that I'm thinking about it. China apologists who go on about this often don't talk about Asian democracy as it exists in South Korea or Japan or the Philippines or India (the world's biggest democracy) if the only thing that matters is the fact that Taiwan is, China isn't, and that this is a problem.

Brian J. Dunn said...

Not trying to be a jerk. Your focus on the lack of a Taiwanese military threat to China was perfectly reasonable in the context of who is raising tensions in the Strait. But I was thinking in non-military terms after my Horton Hears a Who post. :-)

Mad Minerva said...

No worries! ;-)

I shall link to the Horton Hears a Who post (great title, as usual, though lately every time I hear the word "who" I think of DOCTOR Who!).

I think there's no doubt that Beijing cannot stand the thought of a tiny island off its coast doing its own thing and being an embarrassment to the CCP simply by existing. It would LOVE to eat Taiwan. And nobody I know there wants to join Beijing -- what a piece of crapulous propaganda.