Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Xinhua (the one in China not America) yesterday reported that the Party of elite bureaucrats voted unanimously for a new law to authorize military force against Taiwan. The vote was 2,896 to 0. (Seems you probably don't want to be the only one to vote against the totalitarian leanings of the Party!) Actually they didn't say "military force" exactly; instead they said "non-peaceful means". Getting a bit Orwellian in the twisted language again!
Don't you love it when someone uses "non-peaceful means" to persuade you? As the old saying goes, to resort to violence is to admit that your ideas are not working. China does not yet have the ability to seduce Taiwan into its fold, so it raises a fist instead. But imagine if China actually was able to seduce Taiwan with a country full of happy, prosperous, free people, with no censorship, no Xinhua, no forced labor camps, no death sentence, no authoritarian corruption, with at least the appearance of elections as in the USA, and with peaceful rather than "non-peaceful" means. Can't imagine it? Well, that's the problem.
The new law authorizing force-- actually mandating force-- is aimed at preventing Taiwan from "seceding". Taiwan in reaction is trying to pass its own law against being "annexed" by China. Here again is that schizoid discourse I blogged about a month ago, the crazy split between de facto and de jure. Both sides must beg the question. How can Taiwan be annexed if it was part of China? How can Taiwan secede if it is already a separate independent country?
The Chinese Squeeze includes the almost simultaneous resignation of the Chief of Hong Kong, installed by the Party 8 years ago when China regained the British colonial territory. Back in May, Chinese President Hu Jintao raised a stir by strongly criticizing Hong Kong's governing officials, insisting that they bring more order. Hong Kong has increasingly faced a crisis of legitimacy, with growing unrest and democracy protests. One such protest reportedly brought out 500,000 people into the streets, which in Hong Kong is really quite impressive.
So now the ex-Chief, Tung Chee-hwa, is out. Leaving thereby a power vacuum. Here's the tricky part of the political dance move: the people of Hong Kong, who were promised a degree of autonomy under "One Country, Two Systems" will again not be allowed to choose their next Chief.
So my letter from the East is just to say that the squeeze is on. China is consolidating its power in preparation for the next phase of its international strategy.
Yahoo! News - China Enacts Law to Authorise Attack on Taiwan