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Old 03-06-2005, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
sob
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And China ramps up

Article

Quote:
China: U.S., Japan stay out
Sunday, March 6, 2005 Posted: 4:05 AM EST (0905 GMT)

BEIJING, China -- China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has warned Japan and the United States against interfering in internal matters, especially when it comes to Taiwan.
"Any practice of putting Taiwan directly or indirectly into the scope of Japan-U.S. security cooperation constitutes an encroachment on China's sovereignty and interference in internal affairs," Reuters quoted Li as telling a news conference on Sunday.
Last month both Japan and the United States listed security in the Taiwan Strait as a common concern.
One day after reiterating that China will never allow Taiwan's independence, Li said on day two of the annual session of parliament there was no need to jump to conclusions over an anti-secession bill to be unveiled later this week.
Some people worry the bill will give China a legal basis to take military action against Taiwan if the island moves toward independence, and are calling it a "war preparation" bill.
China has considered Taiwan a renegade province since communist forces drove nationalists from the mainland in 1949, and has repeatedly threatened to use military power against the island if it declares independence.
The measure has triggered vast opposition in Taiwan, with one leader saying it is a "dark cloud" hanging over relations between the island and mainland China.
Speculation is swirling about the content of the bill, to be unveiled Tuesday.
China has insisted the aim of the bill is peaceful unification, but has said unequivocally that a secession attempt by Taiwan will not be tolerated.
The other primary international concern is North Korea's nuclear policy.
China says its goal is a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons and it is urging renewed six-party talks in a bid to achieve that.
North Korea announced last month that it had built nuclear weapons and would boycott the talks indefinitely.
Besides North Korea, the nations involved are the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia.
Asked whether China would impose sanctions if North Korea continued to refuse to participate in the talks, Li refused to respond directly.
The task of re-igniting the talks is up to the two major sovereign nations -- the United States and North Korea, he said.
It is up to them "to increase their mutual trust and understanding," Li added.
I said ten years ago that the US might be in indirect combat with China by now. It looks like my timing was off, but maybe not by much.

China is also devoting a huge amount of resources to submarines. We are not, and subs are very long-fused to construct and man.

I haven't researched--does anyone know if we have a treaty in which we promise to defend Taiwan? I thought we did at one time.

In any case, I think this will make Iraq look tame. It also makes me wonder how hard Taiwan would have to work to achieve nuclear capability, which is the only thing that might keep China from sending troops in. Every terrorist in the world seems to have an angle on purchasing nukes, and the Soviets don't even know how many they're missing.

Sleep tight, peaceniks. Take a warm coat with you--Canada can get cold.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Long term, China would certainly stand in the way of the neocon imperialist agenda.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sob,

Look up Shanghai Communiques - I believe it outlines the US commitment to "One-China" Policy, reunification through diplomacy but not by force. I think the wording is a bit vague though. I think (not sure) but to Bush's credit, he reaffirmed recently the US commitment to Taiwan. Traditionally, Congress is the more avid supporter. Unfortunately, many Taiwanese think that the US will automatically come to their aid in the event of a problem. Subsequently, they behave as such - agitating Beijing.

Taiwan did have a nuclear programme but our CIA caught them and they promised to halt (which I believe they did). Taiwan most likely complied as they do not want to piss off their main (only) benefactor. Taiwan currently has 3 or 3 nuclear power plants.

Up to now, US policy has been to arm Taiwan "defensively" to "balance" Chinese "offensive" capability. But recently, the balance had tipped in favor of the Chinese as the US (and other nations) becomes increasingly reluctant to sell arms (reasonably good ones) to Taiwan.

Last purchases include Orion P-3 Sub hunters?, I think some Patriot batteries were in discussion but may have fell through. Taiwan was shopping for some decent subs but were only able to get some crappy Danish Diesel subs at 4 times their worth or maybe Dutch subs (crap). Also, we sold them either missile frigates or destoyers (Perry class and Knox class something, can't recall), like 3 of them or something.

Taiwan is especially vulnerable to a missile barrage or threat of one. It would cripple their economy.

I think you can get more info through Jane's Defense.

I also thought China would be our greatest "threat"/competitor (a decade ago too!) but I think they do not have imperialist ambition. Rather, their primary interest is in Taiwan, and gaining respect or "face" worldwide. Second, maybe getting the Japanese to atone for their atrocities and getting closure on that whole episode. I do think there is great potential for internal collapse.

China's main interest is in acquiring an aircraft carrier so that they can become a bona fide "blue water navy". Secondly, they want to modernize in way of communications on the field, satellites, intl gathering, operations etc. Not necessarily military hardware but communications infrastructure.

On a side not, I cannot for the life of me understand why the EU would want to end the arms embargo? DO they hate Taiwan (rhetorical)? Manx, this would go to your arms discussion (we should open another thread just for arms). However, I heard an interesting take on China's military spending (still very small). China simply cannot afford to buy the weapons available and would be available from Europe.

In Taiwan, they held a referndum last year to increase defense spending but the people voted no! Why? Because they think the US will come to their aid (I'm gonna go out on a limb and speculate that Canada and others have similar feelings. EX: The EU polls show that Europeans lean a tiny bit towards superpower ambition, but when asked if they're willing to pay for it, overwhelming 68% (?) said no, not willing to pay for it. Similarly, maybe Canada (just my opinion and speculation) doesn't spend a lot on defense cause 1. Few enemies, and 2. We're buddies and would most likely come to their aid.

Last edited by jorgelito; 03-06-2005 at 01:32 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
Unfortunately, many Taiwanese think that the US will automatically come to their aid in the event of a problem. Subsequently, they behave as such - agitating Beijing.
That attitude stems back to that Ultimate Neocon President, JFK, and his "bear any burden" speech. As for their agitating....you're right. HOW DARE a country with a democratically elected government like Taiwan refuse to subjugate itself to Beijing without a fight? HOW DARE those people in Taiwan be unwilling to submit to a .32 bullet to the backs of their skulls while they are bound and on their knees? HOW DARE they be unwilling to go to the gulags to be organ donors against their will??? Those Taiwanese people know NO LIMITS on their affrontery!!!

Agitating, indeed. We should GIVE Taiwan nukes. Lots of them. The Chinese Communists are not our friends, and they NEVER will be. We must either stand with our TRUE friends in Taiwan, or we will have no true friends left.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Daswig, obviously a free and democratic country such as Taiwan has every right to their sovereignty. But agitating Beijing because they have a false sense of security is not wise. It's not a matter of Taiwan subjugating itself to Beijing without a fight, it's matter of having the capability to fight. SO, if the balance tips the other way, don't provoke them.

Before you go yelling at me, read my entire post. Your reply, no, your ranting implies that I am pro-Beijing, by the tone of your post. What does JFK have to do with my post or anything? I don't think my post warranted that type of response. Please calm down.

Now as to your other points, I'm not sure about nukes but I agree that we should stop being so wishy-washy about arm sales to Taiwan. On the other hand, China may read that as provocation.

As far as standing by our friends in Taiwan, we go back and forth on this all the time. Usually Congress supports Taiwan (as I said in my earlier post). Often times we don't. we act in our self-interest (as do others). As the realists say, "friends today, enemies tomorrow".
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
The Chinese Communists are not our friends, and they NEVER will be.
Except when they buy our debt and build everything for us - then they're our friends.

How DARE they decide what should be done with their own land!
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, Daswig... *That's* the solution... rattle your sabre right back at them...
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
How DARE they decide what should be done with their own land!
that is ignoring the entire problem. the people who actually live on the island don't necessarily see it that way.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
that is ignoring the entire problem. the people who actually live on the island don't necessarily see it that way.
See Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Nothern Mariana Islands.
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What is forgotten in all of this is that there are people who are actually native to Taiwan and never held an allegence to China.

If you go back far enough China has no land claim whatsoever on Taiwan, nor do the chinese who escaped there after the fall of the empire...
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
that is ignoring the entire problem. the people who actually live on the island don't necessarily see it that way.
No it is not ignoring the problem, it is an accurate description of the problem.

Unless you would accept interference from China if a State decided it wanted to secede from the Union. But I don't believe you would for a second.
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath
See Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Nothern Mariana Islands.
You forgot the Philippines. Ooops. Scratch that.

I'm unaware of any significant independence movements by any of the places you mentioned, particularly Puerto Rico.

More:

Link

Quote:
Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony for four centuries, with early military preoccupations replaced by agricultural and economic concerns by the 19th century. Puerto Rico was formally ceded to the United States on 10 December 1898 as part of the Treaty of Paris, which was signed at the close of the Spanish-American War. At first, the islanders were Puerto Rican citizens under American rule. In 1917 they were granted United States citizenship. Neither a state nor territory, Puerto Rico has a unique status as a Commonwealth of the United States.

Although Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States and have most of the rights, privileges and obligations of other citizens, they do not vote in national elections. Instead, they are represented in Congress by a Resident Commissioner who has a voice but no vote. Federal income taxes are not collected from residents, but because of its commonwealth status, Puerto Rico is eligible for many federal programs.
Yeah, Puerto Ricans are really howling to give up THAT deal.
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Long term, China would certainly stand in the way of the neocon imperialist agenda.
I know I'm going to hate myself for asking this, but perhaps you would let us all in on what the "neocon imperialist aganda" is.

Mainly because a friend of mine saw this, shook his head, and wondered how you make this shit up.
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
Sob,

Look up Shanghai Communiques - I believe it outlines the US commitment to "One-China" Policy, ...
Thanks. That was very helpful.
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Old 03-06-2005, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
I know I'm going to hate myself for asking this, but perhaps you would let us all in on what the "neocon imperialist aganda" is.

Mainly because a friend of mine saw this, shook his head, and wondered how you make this shit up.
I'm not the one making shit up - that'd be PNAC.

And you can tell your friend I'm shaking my head and wondering when the both of you will open your eyes.
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Old 03-06-2005, 05:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
You forgot the Philippines. Ooops. Scratch that.
What does this even mean? The Phillipines have been independant for almost 60 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
I'm unaware of any significant independence movements by any of the places you mentioned, particularly Puerto Rico.

More:

Link



Yeah, Puerto Ricans are really howling to give up THAT deal.
Maybe we should look into the issue a little bit deeper?

Quote:
Under the Commonwealth formula, residents of Puerto Rico lack voting representation in Congress and do not participate in presidential elections. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are subject to military service and most federal laws. Residents of the Commonwealth pay no federal income tax on locally generated earnings, but Puerto Rico government income-tax rates are set at a level that closely parallels federal-plus-state levies on the mainland.
If they aren't, it's just out of ignorance. I'll grant that they've voted it down a few times, but I suspect it might be more complex than you think.

Regardless, I just think it's a bit of hypocrisy to cry foul about China's treatment of Taiwan and yet not campaign for the rights of US territories.

Link
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Old 03-06-2005, 08:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Puero Rico has voted many times not to leave the US, they have been given the choice, they chose no.

They have also voted many times to official statehood, they chose no.

I think it's a bit arrogant to accuse them of ignorance when they clearly enjoy the benefits of being a US territory as it is.
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Old 03-06-2005, 09:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath
What does this even mean? The Phillipines have been independant for almost 60 years.
That would be the point I was making. How "imperialistic" of us was it to grant them independence? Not to mention that we closed our bases there when they didn't desire our presence anymore.


Quote:
If they aren't, it's just out of ignorance. I'll grant that they've voted it down a few times, but I suspect it might be more complex than you think.
There you have it. There's always someone who knows what's best for someone else, and if anyone disagrees, it's "ignorance." I'd be interested to know if you have anything other than "suspicions," too.

Quote:
Regardless, I just think it's a bit of hypocrisy to cry foul about China's treatment of Taiwan and yet not campaign for the rights of US territories.
You may have missed the point of my post. Firstly, I never cried foul about China's treatment of Taiwan. I pointed out that we could get sucked into their affairs.

Secondly, Taiwan is wanting independence. When you show me some credible evidence that there is a significant independence movement afoot in US terrritories, I'll grant you the point of hypocrisy.

You sure haven't showed me anything to back up your position in regard to Puerto Rico, though.
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Old 03-06-2005, 09:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath
Under the Commonwealth formula, residents of Puerto Rico lack voting representation in Congress and do not participate in presidential elections. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are subject to military service and most federal laws. Residents of the Commonwealth pay no federal income tax on locally generated earnings, but Puerto Rico government income-tax rates are set at a level that closely parallels federal-plus-state levies on the mainland.
"Subject to military service?" When was the last time a Puerto Rican was drafted?


And what does their local tax have to do with their receiving tax money from the 50 states? Are you saying that Puerto Rican tax receipts are sent to the US?
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Old 03-07-2005, 07:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The question is not whether Puerto Rico or any other U.S. colony desires sovereignty - the question is, if they did would you accept China's interference in the matter?

Imagine Puerto Rico wanted a more socialized government, independent of U.S. control. Based on the Latin American policies of the U.S., Puerto Rico would find significant resistance to any desire for sovereignty. If China started putting subs in the Caribbean to protect Puerto Rico from U.S. military action, you'd all be fine with that, right?
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Nice analogy, I find it hard to counter Manx.

Though, I've never been on the militaristic side of Tiwanese support. I believe we're there because at the time we thought Chang would have a viable resurgence, and we're stuck there now because we've sent so much of our best military technology it'd go to China, and make us look like backstabbers.

SO, how do we get ourselves out? I dont think we can at this point.
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:45 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
The question is not whether Puerto Rico or any other U.S. colony desires sovereignty - the question is, if they did would you accept China's interference in the matter?

Imagine Puerto Rico wanted a more socialized government, independent of U.S. control. Based on the Latin American policies of the U.S., Puerto Rico would find significant resistance to any desire for sovereignty. If China started putting subs in the Caribbean to protect Puerto Rico from U.S. military action, you'd all be fine with that, right?
Again, you put the US and China on the same morally equvialent plane. I don't see it that way, nor do most Americans. I think it may be helpful for you to detach youself from your hatred and guilt of the West and look at the China/Taiwan issue rationally.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:06 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
That would be the point I was making. How "imperialistic" of us was it to grant them independence? Not to mention that we closed our bases there when they didn't desire our presence anymore.
How much are the Phillipines worth to the U.S. versus what we have to spend on them? It was cost effective to let them go. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:59 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Again, you put the US and China on the same morally equvialent plane. I don't see it that way, nor do most Americans. I think it may be helpful for you to detach youself from your hatred and guilt of the West and look at the China/Taiwan issue rationally.
Spare me.

That you choose to turn a blind eye to the quite obvious negative actions of the U.S. and simultaneously focus exclusively on the negative actions of China does not mean I need to alter my perception of the world. Quite the contrary.

And again, you mention guilt - so I'll remind you of what I said last time: I do not feel guilty for the express reason that I hold people with your philosophy at fault.
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Old 03-07-2005, 06:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Again, you put the US and China on the same morally equvialent plane. I don't see it that way, nor do most Americans. I think it may be helpful for you to detach youself from your hatred and guilt of the West and look at the China/Taiwan issue rationally.
Let's stay respectful, please. I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say that you don't see America and China in the same moral standing. Please elaborate.

Also, you might not want to use "most of Americans" as support for anything, as most Americans are terribly misinformed about many, many things. Ever watch Jay-Walking?
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Old 03-07-2005, 07:14 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Again, you put the US and China on the same morally equvialent plane. I don't see it that way, nor do most Americans. I think it may be helpful for you to detach youself from your hatred and guilt of the West and look at the China/Taiwan issue rationally.

.... You realize that while most Americans may not put it on the same moral plane, most Chinese people do.

Please everyone, think about the situation rationally. No matter how much you might hate China, no matter how emotionally scarred from the Cold War you might be, please realize that military action between the US and China will not be a good thing.

Like it or not, China is a nuclear power and has the largest standing army in the world. It's navy and air force may not be up to snuff, but a serious conflict would result in heavy casualties on both sides. China does have missle technology that could impact both Taiwan and any carrier groups that the US might send to the area.

Aside from the sheer military casualties, the economies of China and the US are so intertwined that it would be economic suicide for both countries to engage in a prolonged battle. Think of all the "Made in China" stuff that you own, and realize that American companies invest heavily in Chinese subsidiaries. Like it or not, our two countries are tied in economic matrimony, a union that will probably last much longer than our life spans.

Realize also that China has close economic ties to Taiwan. It is naive to think that there is some sort of viceral hatred between the two countries. Hong Kong, being a huge banking center, undoubtly has banking intrests in Taiwan, and Taiwanese electronics manufacturers undoubtly have manufacturing plants on the Mainland. Suffice it to say, war just isn't good business.

Please look past the bullshit and see this for what it is. Sabre rattling and politics. Much like religion/gay marriage is used as a polarizing issue in the US, Taiwanese independance is used as a polarizing issue in Taiwan. Taiwanese politicians condem or condon independance to rile up Taiwanese voters, much like some politicians in the US point to the Ten Commandments or gay marriage to rile up voters here. In order to "save face", the Chinese buracracy must respond in kind. China, conciencious of it's first steps entering the First World, doesn't want to appear weak on the world stage. China feels that other countries won't take it seriously unless it responds to Taiwan, so they make threats of invasion. This, of course, plays right into the politician's hands.

In any case, invasion, and the consequences thereof, is not a situation anyone wants to be in. Not China, not Taiwan, and not the US. Please approach this tense situation with calm and rationality. Don't fall into the politicians' trap. Don't let them make this into a dividing issue. No matter who did what in the past, the reality is that it is the future we should be safeguarding, and military action in the region would lead to a bleak future indeed.
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:18 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Our economic interdependency (US & China) may very well be the the best deterrent of all. (IMO).

Sob, did you ever get your original question answered?
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:13 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by willravel
I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say that you don't see America and China in the same moral standing. Please elaborate.
Well, the US doesn't use political prisoners as living organ-donor banks. The US doesn't execute political prisoners en masse. The US doesn't force women to have abortions against their will. The US doesn't have a history of employing the military to massacre pro-democracy demonstrators. The US doesn't use virtual slave labor. The US doesn't generally slaughter people engaged in labor protests. The US doesn't censor all media. And I can't remember the last time the US forced the Dalai Lama (sp) to flee his country after we invaded it and supressed it's people and their religion.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:24 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
Well, the US doesn't use political prisoners as living organ-donor banks. The US doesn't execute political prisoners en masse.
We are more than willing to torture political prisoners who have not been found guilty by trial, despite the fact that information from torture is generally considered to be unreliable (in other words, the torture is not serving some nobel purpose, it is torture for the sake of torture). Which is worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
The US doesn't force women to have abortions against their will. The US doesn't have a history of employing the military to massacre pro-democracy demonstrators.
You've got me there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
The US doesn't use virtual slave labor.
But our government does not take steps to stop our largest corporations from using slave labor. Also, it doesn't stop immagrent workers from working in our most terrible jobs for next to nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
The US doesn't generally slaughter people engaged in labor protests. The US doesn't censor all media.
We may not often slaughter protestrers, we do have a great system to censor media. The chinese government does not censor all media. Like the US, it censors and changes what suits it's ends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
And I can't remember the last time the US forced the Dalai Lama (sp) to flee his country after we invaded it and supressed it's people and their religion.
You got me again. It's not like Americans came to America and there were already people here. It's not like we took their land. It's not like we almost exterminated their entire race. It's not like we called them pegan and savage for their beliefs.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:38 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
The US doesn't use virtual slave labor.
I'm not going to bother listing a bunch of morally bankrupt things the U.S. has done, such a tit for tat seems ultimately pointless and my experience tells me such a list would simply be blindly dismissed anyway.

But that one item you mentioned sure is funny.

The U.S. certainly does use virtual slave labor - who do you think sells the goods produced by the near-slave labor in China? And who do you think buys them?

Last edited by Manx; 03-08-2005 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:44 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
We are more than willing to torture political prisoners who have not been found guilty by trial, despite the fact that information from torture is generally considered to be unreliable (in other words, the torture is not serving some nobel purpose, it is torture for the sake of torture). Which is worse?
Since when have terrorists who's aim is to kill innocent civilians... turn into "political prisoners"?
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:09 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Since when have terrorists who's aim is to kill innocent civilians... turn into "political prisoners"?
Soldiers are not "innocent civilians", they are (from the rebelians perspective) invaders, therefore your question is at fault. Also, the insurgents are NOT terrorists. A terrorist is one who uses or threatens use of force or violence against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. These people are not trying to scare anyone, they want the soldiers to leave. If you consider them to be terrorists, you have to also consider the US soldiers to be terrorists. Something tells me you arren't willing to see our soldiers as terrorists.

They are political prisoners because they are involved in a political dispute, they say we have no rigght to impose a government, we say we do.
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:04 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Hmm, finally, a thread on China, something I expected earlier. Talk about thread derailment though.

I'll give a little information - my parents are from Taiwan. They moved here in the 70's for college and so on and have been extremely successful in American, well among the tops. Their parents went to Taiwan in 1949 after the Nationalist government fled China, both sides of my family for various reasons.

A little background - my family heritage can be traced back generations and generations to China. Mom's side would be from the Zhejiang province which is just a bit south of Shanghai. Dad's side is from Hubei province which is inland, a few hundred to a thousand miles west from the coast. As I stated earlier, my grandparents left China in the wake of the Nationalist defeat at the hands of the communists. On my dad's side, my grandfather fled without any family members except his new wife (grandmother), with little knowledge of what lay ahead - he fled because by this time he was a Captain in the Nationalist Army for well over 8 years (fought the Japanese and then the Communists). His family owned an estate and had a lot of land, but due to years and years of war, he had little contact with them and so could only flee without knowledge of what happened to them. He did know that his brother, who was older than him, had died leading men earlier in his life fighting the communists. It turns out that decades later when contact between Taiwan and China was allowed that my grandfather's mother had actually been sentenced to stone to death by the communists simply for being a landowner. Of all his family members, only his sister (who later immigrated to Houston) and two uncles (both of whom were generals in the Nationalist Army before even WW2) went to Taiwan.

So yes, I do have quite a stake in what happens. You see, what many people outside don't realize on this issue of Taiwan is what people do think. Taiwan itself has its own people - Taiwanese. To call my family Taiwanese would only be partially correct - from Taiwan, yes, my parent were (though I was not, born in the U.S. myself), but by no way do we even call ourselves Taiwanese or do others call us that. We consider ourselves Chinese, from Taiwan, simply separated by war and politics.

It would be akin to the division in Korea - almost everyone in America who is Korean is from South Korea. To call them South Korean would only be partially correct - yes, most of their parents/themselves came from S. Korea, but they're still Korean.

So to say somethings immediately, there are many misconceptions and notions floating around those on the outside looking in.

To begin with, the rift between China and Taiwan is largely a media and government play thing we like to hear about out here in the U.S./West. Yes, its a big part of politics in those two nations, make no mistake about it. But the idea that there is this distrust/hate between the two? No, not at all.

It has been 80 years since the original wars between the communists and the nationalists, 60 years since the end of WW2, and 56 years since the communists defeated the nationalists. My grandparents are old now, and time has healed many of the wounds. For one, direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan have been talked about and are going to resume after all these years. Other notes as well - up until Madame Chiang Kai-Shek's death, China every year held a compettion of students to write a letter in English to her, and the winners would be given a free trip to visit the U.S. The father of the Nationalist Party, Sun Yat-sen, is adored by both Taiwan and China.

Not only is there little animosity, indeed, much of Taiwan is now linked to China economically. You need only look at technology to see what has happened. Taiwan, in the 90's, boomed economically through the technology industry. Computers, chips, etc. were made in Taiwan. There was much talk of the 4 tigers/dragons in Asia among them Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore. Since then, however, Taiwan has been hurt by the technology bubble bursting, which we saw in the U.S.

Since then, companies in Taiwan have increasingly gone to China. Businesses have moved to China's ever-freer market. Manufacturing is going to China - cheap and abundant labor. Sales go to China - sell products to larger markets. My uncle, born in Taiwan, for instance has started a web-design and CD-manufacturing company in Shanghai.

This brings an interesting thing of note - beginning in the 60's and 70's, a larger and larger group of Asian peoples immigrated to America. We of course saw a large diverse amount. There were war refugees from Southeast Asia, which often made up the poorer immigrants from Asia. From Taiwan, many of the immigrants that came sought higher education in universities and colleges in America, and many of these immigrants originally had money, and quickly established themselves, taking much higher jobs. In the 90's, we saw a new wave of immigrants largely drawn due to the technology boom. With China opening up, we also saw some very poor and also some very rich immigrants from mainland China immigrate to the U.S.

But what has happened has been that Taiwan realizes that its independence cannot be maintained easily due to its own people. Not only has much of its young, best, and brightest moved out of Taiwan to around the world (including here), but also many have moved to China now to pursue capitalist gains in the growing market of China.

Google some articles that recently came up about the extremely low birth rates in Taiwan. Statistics show that 85% of married couples have to have at least two children to keep the population from falling in Taiwan. Long story short, its population is decreasing from a cominbation of people simply moving out to economic decline.

Some other misconceptions are that the people of Taiwan want independence. No, what has happened is that the politics involved have created a status quo, one where nothing is done because nothing happens, thus perhaps to the benefit as well as detriment of all sides involved. There is no clear cut majority in either fashion - instead, the political leaders have made their statements, made bluffs, called bluffs, and in the end, done just about nothing on either side.

From the 50's through 60's, U.S. forces were on Taiwan. In fact, my father learned his love of American music, such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other bands through listening to American Armed Forces Radio beamed from the base. Heck, his family owned one of the first cars on the island buying a used Mercury from military men stationed there.

But as we saw, when the U.S. recognized the PROC, that meant the "One-China" thing kicked in and the U.S. removed recognition of Taiwan as an independent country. U.S. forces withdrew, and instead, left Taiwan in this position to this day.

What has happend of course is that there is this problem.

The people of Taiwan are a mixed bag - there are those who are native to China, aboriginals, and would probably want to see the Chinese from the mainland gone. There are those who call for independence. There are those who prefer reunification, citing economic gain. Others prefer gradual reunification, similar to what Hong Kong has, where its "One country, two systems."

As you can see, theres quite a wide range of thoughts on the issue, and to say they prefer independence or anything without knowing what the people believe, is at best hard to do. The government in Taiwan realizes this as well.

The Kuomintang (Nationalist Party - the right wing party in Taiwan) is part of the Pan-Blue coalition, which is more open to reunification than the Pan-Green colaition, which prefers independence. The Democratic Progressive Party (the left wing party in Taiwan) is part of the Pan_Green coalition. President Chen of Taiwan is currently of that party.

What is of note, however, is that when Chen came to power, the party has moderated its stance on China. It was thought to be very pro-independence and instead it has turned moderate on the issue, instead, preserving the status-quo. What has happened, actually, is that in legislative elections, the Kuomingtang and the Pan-Blue coalition did very well, holding a majority in the legislature.

So to simply say that Taiwan prefers independence is hard - they're split at best. Indeed, the fact that Taiwan's population is in decline, its economy as well as people are moving to China, there is growing reconciliation between once enemies (my grandparents actually lean towards reunification or are neutral at most), has pushed the pro-independence parties to seek actions that continue the status quo, to instead avoid any action.

What the U.S. and China has done in recent weeks and months is the old game of sabre rattling and bluffing. The idea that there was ever a military balance between just China and Taiwan is laughable - Taiwan relies on mandatory military service (a big reason why many of its best and brightest minds leave Taiwan early for college abroad to avoid service) and foreign aid (which is few and far now that China has much bigger economic power in the world). The only balance there would be if the U.S. was directly involved.

What is happening, however, is that the U.S. and China are playing a manuevering game of politics over a Taiwan that has little say in this affair.

Defense analysts and experts predict China to be on par with the U.S. military technologically within 20 years. Its Navy is projected to be larger than the U.S. Navy in 10 years. Its weapon systems have been designed to counter U.S. strenghts in technology, stealth, aircraft carriers, robots, and so on. Of course I cant say much about this because I dont live there, I doubt either country would tell their military secrets either

What is to be said on that is that Chinese analysts need only look at U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq to see doctrine, technology, and our military at work, and to plan ahead themselves. Though they're essentially neutral on our involvement in the Middle East, I get this feeling in my head that they're sitting back and chuckling a bit at us allowing ourselves to reveal and test our technology out there, for them to analyze and see.

I think, however, the biggest deterrent between the U.S. and China getting into a war within the next 20 years are our economies. We are so intertwined now that war would bring severe economic problems in the world. Too much is at stake between the country's companies, people, and militaries to risk it right now. Both sides have had their quarrels and problems, but both sides have done nothing.

I will tell you this though - my senses say that Japan and China are bumping heads again, and possibly in 10 years, may be at war. And when that happens, the U.S. will have to choose - stand with Japan, an economic giant in its own right, or China, an economic giant that will probably be a superpower as well. Then, we'll see what happens.
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:05 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fckm
Please look past the bullshit and see this for what it is. Sabre rattling and politics. Much like religion/gay marriage is used as a polarizing issue in the US, Taiwanese independance is used as a polarizing issue in Taiwan. Taiwanese politicians condem or condon independance to rile up Taiwanese voters, much like some politicians in the US point to the Ten Commandments or gay marriage to rile up voters here. In order to "save face", the Chinese buracracy must respond in kind. China, conciencious of it's first steps entering the First World, doesn't want to appear weak on the world stage. China feels that other countries won't take it seriously unless it responds to Taiwan, so they make threats of invasion. This, of course, plays right into the politician's hands.

In any case, invasion, and the consequences thereof, is not a situation anyone wants to be in. Not China, not Taiwan, and not the US. Please approach this tense situation with calm and rationality. Don't fall into the politicians' trap. Don't let them make this into a dividing issue. No matter who did what in the past, the reality is that it is the future we should be safeguarding, and military action in the region would lead to a bleak future indeed.
Truer words could not have been spoken. *applause*
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:52 PM   #35 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
The question is not whether Puerto Rico or any other U.S. colony desires sovereignty - the question is, if they did would you accept China's interference in the matter?

Imagine Puerto Rico wanted a more socialized government, independent of U.S. control. Based on the Latin American policies of the U.S., Puerto Rico would find significant resistance to any desire for sovereignty. If China started putting subs in the Caribbean to protect Puerto Rico from U.S. military action, you'd all be fine with that, right?
No, of course not. I didn't say I WANTED us to get involved; in fact, I'd be very happy if the US steered clear.
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:55 PM   #36 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
How much are the Phillipines worth to the U.S. versus what we have to spend on them? It was cost effective to let them go. Nothing more, nothing less.
I disagree with the last sentence. Our leaving disproves the claims that the US is "imperialistic."
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:00 PM   #37 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
Our economic interdependency (US & China) may very well be the the best deterrent of all. (IMO).

Sob, did you ever get your original question answered?
Well, I didn't really come right out and ask a question, but the responses have interested me, and I didn't mind the digressions.

Besides, Zeld2.0 gave us such a great post I don't think much can be added.

Which is good for me, because work is taking up so much time lately that I haven't been able to post much.
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:01 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Our leaving disproves the claims that the US is "imperialistic."
Nonsense. Imperialism does not require direct control of every square inch of the planet - only the valuable areas.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:00 AM   #39 (permalink)
Muffled
 
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Location: Camazotz
Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Well, I didn't really come right out and ask a question, but the responses have interested me, and I didn't mind the digressions.

Besides, Zeld2.0 gave us such a great post I don't think much can be added.

Which is good for me, because work is taking up so much time lately that I haven't been able to post much.
I noticed you still managed to kick out three posts in a row like you usually do. It would really help me out if you could condense.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:29 AM   #40 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
I disagree with the last sentence. Our leaving disproves the claims that the US is "imperialistic."
The problem is that we can't know for sure what the actual intentions were. We can only guess. I choose to guess one way, you choose to guess another. Neither of us are wrong or right until we know for sure. As Manx pointed out, the US leaving does not prove the imperialistic theory is wrong.

Until we sit down with the administration and decision makers responsible for the withdrawl and a lie detector, we can't be sure. The only way we can guess is to watch for patterns of behavior in America. We can watch and see how much control the US wants over resources and how much the US is willing to do to get it. What resource did the Phillipines represent? How would the investment of US control pay off in the long run? In my humble opinion, there would really be no pay off. While the Phillipino econemy is on the rise, it does not represent a major export that the US needs (unless you're like me and you love lumpia).
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