Annie Wang at PostGlobal

Annie Wang

Shanghai, China

Annie Wang is a journalist, public speaker, and author who specializes women’s issue. She has published eight Chinese books and two English novels. Her English debut, Lili - A Novel of Tiananmen, (June 2001 Pantheon Books) published internationally to critical acclaims. A multi-layered novel, Lili, is a story of a "bad girl's" maturation and adventure in the Post-Mao Era leading up the Tiananmen Student Movement in 1989. Her most recent English novel, The People’s Republic of Desire (Harper Collins 2006) is a hilarious satire and an insightful portrait of China’s MTV generation, urban women, and cross-cultural relationships. It has been hailed as a cross between Sex and the City and Joy Luck Club. A child prodigy in her native China, Annie Wang studied mass communications at UC Berkeley and won the Berkeley Poetry Contest in 1996 with two poems, "Speaking to Mao Tse-tung, Tongue-in-cheek" and "A Woman from a Mountain Area". She has worked for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, and then served in the Washington Post's Beijing bureau and the US State Department. In 2004, she returned to China and ran a fashion magazine in Shanghai. Currently, she lives with her husband and son and divides time between the U.S. and China. Close.

Annie Wang

Shanghai, China

Annie Wang is a journalist, public speaker, and author who specializes women’s issue. She has published eight Chinese books and two English novels. more »

Main Page | Annie Wang Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Playing Hardball in the Cloak of Democracy

Don't get me wrong, I'm very much of a Western pro-democracy type of mentality. But I really think Taiwan's president is using his version of "democracy" to create chaos and provoke mainland China. The best way for Taiwan's leaders to protect their democracy is to avoid direct confrontation, especially as China engages in its own slow democratization.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (208)

alright:

taiwanese friends complaining about taiwan? if their friends with her, doesn't that say something?

if the taiwanese have trouble finding jobs, it'll be even more trouble now, when the chinese people come and take it all.

if the people who wanted a chinese president so bad, why didn't they just move to effin china.

TIFFANY:

TO BLUE SKY

Why are you so obsessed with Taiwan if your some chinese american? Why do the chinese want Taiwan to be a part of them so badly, when the Taiwanese themselves hate china, and rather die than to be a part of them. I know there's nothing more insulting to me than someone calling me "chinese" (only by rednecks, cause MOST asians know I don't look like a chinese :) )

JOAO DA ROCHA:

A CHINA NÃO É UM MAL, MAS UM BEM PARA A SOCIEDADE

CHINA BRECA AUMENTOS ABUSIVOS NO AÇO, COMO BRECOU INFLAÇÃO MUNDIAL ABUSIVA. E VEJA MAIS :

Será a primeira em fabricação de computadores portáteis e de televisão e a primeira produtora e consumidora de carvão e aço, mundialmente.

- Disputa o primeiro lugar da poluição mundial com os EUA, embora só tenha um terço da frota automotiva americana e esteja destacando voltosos recursos para a proteção do meio ambiente. Antes, os americanos respondiam por 1/3 da poluição mundial e a imprensa não criticava e se omitia completamente.

-- Nos Jogos Olímpicos de Pequim, o mundo
passará a ter uma verdadeira visão do País, que já é o segundo enderêço preferido para o turismo internacional.

A China não é problema para Brasil e também não é problema para o mundo:

- É o maior exportador mundial de aço e aumentou a sua produção, nos últimos três anos em mais de 40%;
- O aumento de sua produção foi p/evitar a escalada de aumentos internacionais abusivos ( mais de 170%) nos últimos quatro anos e essa iniciativa não beneficiou a China, isoladamente.

Já é o terceiro maior importador de produtos brasileiros, atrás somente dos EUA e da Argentina e, com certeza, será o primeiro em pouco tempo e nos últimos quatro anos deixaram um saldo positivo de mais de US$ 1,7 bilhões em nossa balança comercial.

- Como maior exportador de aço do mundo, a China irá forçar uma redução considerável nos prêços internacionais do produto.

- As reservas internacionais da china, superiores a USD 1,3 trilhões ( a maior do mundo), e com recursos proprios, já financiam mais de 10% do deficit americano;

- É o 2o. país em acesso à Internet;

- Produz 8 em cada 10 tratares do mundo, 7 em cada 10 relógios, uma em cada 2 máquinas fotográficas.

- Embora com somente um terço da área arável do Brasil, pode se tornar uma das primeiras produtoras agrícolas do mundo. O consumo de milho, no país, é superior a 140 milhões de toneladas ou seja, 7% acima de toda a produção nacional de grãos, embora com volume de chuvas anuais de 600 mm e Brasil c/ média de 1,300mm ( mais que o dobro).

- Tem desigualdades sociais gritantes como o Brasil e está corrigindo, inclusive combatendo a corrupção. Mas lá, eles penalizam os infratores e as riquezas ainda estão concentradas em mãos do Estado e não de uma privilegiada minoria capitalista. O mundo vai entender que a China é de importância fundamental para o equilíbrio entre o capitalismo selvagem e o socialismo democrático

Sano Ibrahima:

I agree with you and Taiwan is better off if they dont confront China... but how long will Taiwan have to wait to be internationally recognize as an independent state. China still want to have Taiwan under control and that is just not fair.
I believe the whole world should pressure china on this matter.
Sano

commiepingpong:

To Clive:

you sound so dumb in your statement about not being totally free because you can't drive through a red light? I think you should go ahead and drive through a red light so that the incoming traffic will free you from your dumbass!

commiepingpong:

To Clive:

you sound so dumb in your statement about not being totally free because you can't drive through a red light? I think you should go ahead and drive through a red light so that the incoming traffic will free you from your dumbass!

commiepingpong:

To Clive:

you sound so dumb in your statement about not being totally free because you can't drive through a red light? I think you should go ahead and drive through a red light so that the incoming traffic will free you from your dumbass!

Just do it Baby:

I say let the Taiwanese declare independence. The poker game comes to the last hand. Show your cards and let the chips fall. If the Americans would like to join the game so be it. I bet you the first "Nuclear Option" would be the selling of the mighty Dollars. The Chinese owned "The art of War." That is why they have so much US dollars in their reserve. No single bullet needs to fire. Both countries will bringing down to their knees by the selling of the mighty dollar. By then no one has the will to fight on. To those who aren't living in China or The US, you need to pray harder because if the 2 economy powerhouse collapse, you are not in a good shape either.

American Patriot:

To Traveler from Taiwan:

Your fight for Taiwan independence (if it ever comes to it) will be exactly that - your fight. If the Taiwanese are willing to fight for their indenpenece to the last man, then that's their choice and We will repsect their choice. But if the dream of Taiwan indenpendence is built on American blood and treasure then let me tell you -America would never let the tail wag the dog. If war ever comes between China and taiwan, US will repeal the Taiwan Relations Act, and let chips fall where they may. Maybe the Taiwanese will hold off the Chinese and achieve their long cherished indenpendence or maybe not.

Taiwan Province:

To Traveler from Taiwan:
Don't keep spreading rumors here.If you do have guts,claim your independence and change Taiwan's official name into "Republic of Taiwan" or wahtever,Let's see what will happen!!! Shut up your dirty mouth!!!!

Traveler from Taiwan:

So what's happened to this page? Look at all those comments that try to spread hatred of Japan, of China, and of the rest of the world! And all these were caused by just one single ignorant post on the WaPo by someone who doesn't understand Taiwan at all. To those who keep posting what they call facts on this page: Taiwan itself has never signed any legal document that surrenders its sovereignty to China. This issue is not a legal issue, as China desperately tries to portray it as. Rather, it is a matter of the self-determination of 23 million people whom China has been working to intimidate into silence. If Taiwanese people wish to form a sovereign state, they are entitled to the right to do so. In fact, Taiwan is already an independent country by itself, it is just not recognized by many members of the UN (some of those countries have apparently yielded their rule over themselves even before they have managed to coerce Taiwan into doing so) and a certain portion of its population. Yet, not having formally declared independence does not mean that China or any other countries have justifiable reasons to extend their rule over Taiwanese. Taiwan is a leading democracy in Asia, its people can resolve their OWN issues through democratic procedures. At this moment, the world is surprised by the quick rise of Chinese economic power and its reckless drive of jingoism. We do not want another war, but it is not Taiwan's responsibility to truckle China, China has the moral responsibility not to wage war (or threaten to do so).

Michael Turton:

BTW Ms. Wang:

During the bad old days here in Taiwan the police under the KMT used to round up prostitutes and give them the choice of doing time or serving in the military brothels on the outlying islands. Finally, in the early 1990s, a crusading legislator put an end to that system.

His name was Chen Shui-bian.

Blue sky:

The exclusion of Chinese governments (both ROC and PRC) in the negotiation process of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) nullified any legal binding power of the SFPT on China. In addition, the fact that neither ROC nor PRC government ever signed on to SFPT terms, prescribes that the SFPT is irrelevant to any discussion of Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

In Japanese Instrument of Surrender, Japan had already signed away Taiwan to China in 1945. Japan didn't even possess Taiwan's sovereignty in 1951 when SFPT was signed.

A Taiwanese American from I-Lan, Taiwan:

3.. 4 flags, fron right to left in the order of Britian, China, USA, and Russia.....

A Taiwanese American from I-Lan, Taiwan:

CCP and KMP were here to spread fabrications as facts.
1. Cairo declaration is invalid. Was not ratified by any country. Not important enough to keep a copy in US National Archive Offices.

2. San Fransisco treaty did not return Taiwan to any country. Japan simply surrender its ruling of Taiwan.

3. Chiang Kai-Shek simply occupied Taiwan on behalf of the Allied Force. His deputy accepted Japanes surrener in front of the 4 flags: from right to left, on the stage.

4. Accoding to the international law, as the occupying force (i.e Chiang's force) reached a stage where the occupied territry is stabilized. The residents of the territory should have a vote to decide their own political future.

5. President Chen's and his goverment is not corrupt. His son-in-law is involved in insider-trading. There were some inappropriaties, too. None is finalized in the courts of the law. KMT controlled news media fabricated a lot of stories. World news media used to be either CCP sympathizer or KMT sympathized. World news media ia just slowly coming to realize the existance of "Taiwanese".

6. Taiwanese are mostly "Han" Chinese settled in Taiwan after they have committed sins of exploited aboriginals there. Nonetheless, they have inter-married with aborginals into a unique group of people, except less than 15% of recent immigraants post-WWII, are not Chiness. Their DNA characterization is much different from northern Chinesem, no lesser than Vietnamese, Thai, or Cambodians, i.e. people moved from Africa taken the route via South Asia.

CHINESE IN Taiwan province:

Chinese civil war started in 1946. In 1949, the Communists founded the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Republic Of China (ROC) lost Mainland China, and held up positions in Taiwan in 1950. (Two governments in a typical civil war). In the United Nations, the ROC still occupied the seat belongs to China. ROC was the internationally recognized government of China, legally held the sovereignty of China (Mainland+Taiwan). PRC was still a rebel government. This all changed in 1971.

During late 60's, a movement started in the UN to make PRC the rightful government of China(Mainland+Taiwan). After a series of debates at the UN, as it was recognized by the UN resolutions 1668, 2025, 2159, 2389, 2500, 2642, finally in 1971, the UN passed resolution 2758, which states,

"Recognizing that the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations and that the People's Republic of China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council,

Decides to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it."

The debate was sealed---PRC is the rightful government to represent China (Mainland+Taiwan). With the passing of UN resolution 2758 the sovereignty of China (Mainland+Taiwan) has been transfered from ROC to PRC. This is decision still stands valid today. Therefore, Taiwan's sovereignty belongs to China.

bluesky:

to Facto:
Has Taiwan changed its official name into "Republic of Taiwan"? If not,why is Taiwan a country?

Blue sky:

To those claim self-determination, let me ask you a question. A Mexican family owns a ranch in Texas, they have brought in more relatives from Mexico. Now they want to have a referendum and declare the ranch independent. Can the Mexicans do that?

Facto:

Fact: Taiwan is a sovereign country. China, a totalitarian regimen, wants to grab Taiwan, by force if it can, or by systemic isolation and encroachment until surrender (or whatever term it can concoct). The people in Taiwan don't want to be part of China. They have been asked, warned, strong-armed or led to believe by others to allow slow encroachment for the sake of "peace" (and other countries' self-interest).

The responsibility of the leaders in Taiwan is to ensure Taiwan's sovereign. They should avoid the war until unavoidable. But they should also prevent encroachment on Taiwan's sovereign, and they should prepare to fight off aggression when it comes.

Taiwan is a democracy. Leaders unwilling or unable to take their responsibilities will not be elected. People in Taiwan can and should take referendum to vote like those in all democracies. People's voice through referendum is the most powerful weapon against encroachment on Taiwan's sovereign, and it can serve to correct misconceptions (propagandized by China) about Taiwan around the globe like the question posted here, and those in some journalists’ mind.

It is shameful to blame the victim, and it is hypocritical for people in democratic countries to entreat people in Taiwan to forgo their right.

青泫:

to nakko:
Are you still living in Cold-war time?
Wake up!

Chinese Too:

It will be helpful to clear several definitions for Taiwan and China.

Are people live in Taiwan ethnically Chinese or not? I believe yes, but some hardline Taiwan Independent movement people believe there are enough gene mutation and People in Taiwan are ethnically not Chinese. I believe they believed their own lie.

Is the nation (or the non-nation) of the Republic of China part of People's Republic of China? Apparently not. In the mean time, Independence people said ROC is dead, PRC said the same thing too. For this count, Taiwan Independence suppoirters agree with PRC. But ROC is apparently there, Last I checked, they are not bandits.

Being a Chinese, do they have to be PRC citizen? Can they be a happy ROC citizen? Or a US citizen?

For Taiwan, what exactly will change if Taiwan declared independence? Reaction from PRC is obvious, my question what will Taiwan get.

Is it absolutely necessary for ROC to be part of PRC? This is difference between answer from PRC and ROC.

If independence is declaired, the war will start. Taiwan will need support from US and Japan. How much sacrifice people in Taiwan, Japan and US are willing to make to fight this war. We may calculate this in terms of human suffering and economic suffering. How many mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, Americans and even Japanese are willing to die for Taiwan.

Is people in Taiwan and mainland China really want to sacrifice their life for this cause? Some people are willing to die for it. Question is how long the saciety are willing to accept the suffering.

As to Taiwan, will President Chen willing to fight this war? I think it's 50/50. To have hundreds of thousands people die is easier than to tell his wife not to accept paybacks from rich businessmen.

normal Chinese citizen :

to Anonymous:
taiwan is a part of China.
taiwan issue is Chinese internal business.
Chinese people will solve the taiwan issue successsfully just like we solve the Hongkong business successfully.

Great China:

TO A "Taiwanese" American:
Taiwan independence can not be legally achieved through a referendum by on 23 million Chinese live in Taiwan, but such referendum should also include all 1.3 billion Chinese citizens.

If Taiwan separatists want independence without an All China referendum, then separatists should expect a bloody fight to win their independence just like the Americans did in 1776, fair and square. Don't hide behind democracy as if China owes them anything.

China wants peace and prosperity, but China will defend its sovereignty over Taiwan as China has repeatedly warned. Those who refuse to listen will pay.

some history facts:

Part 1
The first internationally recognized treaty concerning Taiwan was the Treaty of Shimonoseki. In 1895, the treaty was signed after China lost the First Sino-Japanese War. Many Taiwan separatists like to stress the fact China ceded Taiwan to Japan "in perpetuality". But another fact should not be overlooked is that Taiwan's sovereignty belonged to China before 1895.Japan ruled Taiwan for 50 years until 1945, during this period many uprises occured.

In 1943, Cairo Declaration was signed to establish the framework of post WWII international relations, which stated "The Three Great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, >>>and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China."<<< So here the Allies decleared the intention for the returned of the sovereignty of Taiwan back to China.

Again, in 1945 the Potsdam Proclamation decleared the terms of unconditional surrender of Japan, which states in Article (8) "The terms of the Cairo declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine. " So here the return of Taiwan's sovereignty to China was the condition of Japanese surrender.

Finally, on 9/2/1945, Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, which stated in the first paragraph, "We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the Heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain on 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers." Now the return of Taiwan's sovereignty to China is complete. The "in perpetuality" clause in the Treaty of Shimonoseki was nullified by the signing of Japanese Instrument of Surrender. As we should note, the sovereignty of Taiwan was returned to the government of Republic Of China (ROC) in 1945.


Great China:

To Paul Chen,
If you think Taiwan is not part of CHINA,I don't understand why you still hold your Chinese family name"Chen"???????????!!!!
Where did you get the Chinese family name if your ancestors are not Chinese?
shut up your shoot mouth.

Great China:

There is no such a word"Taiwanese" ,but only Chinese that live in Taiwan. have to remind you guys.

Bruce Lu:

To Anonymous, I just want to present some facts to the public. Your insult on my background is really irrelavent to a rational discussion. Regarding Chinese government, its performance has been nothing but stallar in the past decade. As to what China may do, you can only find out by ceding Taiwan.

Down with DPP:


It’s funny you should mention corrupt government – the current Taiwanese government is the poster boy of corruption. You have a “president” who was “elected” by staging his own assignation – that, by the way, must be a world record. And what he has accomplished since his “election”, well no much else other than pilfering untold amounts of money from the government coffer to enrich his family… You should do some research of your own before you start attacking someone for telling the inconvenient truth – oh yea, truth is inconvenient, isn't it? If only all those pesky treaties could just go away, and you'd have your "republic of Taiwan”… Anyways if you really believe in Taiwan independence you should go enlist in Taiwanese military. I'm sure they can use some cannon fodder like yourself. As for me, I'll be happy to sign up with the PLA, if US ever intervenes on Taiwan’s behalf. I'll see you on the beach, you nameless, spineless swine.

Anonymous:

Hey Bruce Lee O I met Lu,

You must really love your current corrupt government to try and impose your will on others. By the way how did you get into this website, you must either be a foreign student or the integrity officer in China. If you are a foreign student good for you but bad for your family back in China – health reasons, if you are in China I guess you won't live long anyways….past 45 years old

What will China do??? NOTHING... If they try going to war with Taiwan, that will be the end of them, the government, the country and the people. Yes Yes Yes I heard that one of your general was willing to sacrifice all of the north east cost cities if war was to happen with the US. You rich people have no problems sacrificing other people lives. Get a life, we will see what the Chinese government do…..

Anonymous:

To "Normal Chinese Citizen",

Are you soon sure that Chinese people are willing to die for Taiwan?

China seems to have a great many issues within; the rich people in the city are living very very well with disregards to the mass population in the rural areas of the country. The rural areas are in a state of crises, for example mass protests, cheating land from the poor, salver (seems like life is cheap for the poor), poor work conditions, pollutions (water, air, food and who knows what else – I think people are not living that long in the current China), corruption (how can we forget this), and who knows what else (kept secret by the current corrupted government).

Now let's try and analysis "Why Chinese people will no die for Taiwan". The rich Chinese would either buy their kids a get of jail free card or move to America with their embezzled money- either way life will not be so good for them in China; business will not be good without foreign companies paying the bill and a source to steal from and what if the Chinese people decided to go back in time and have another Cultural Revolution again. If it happens China would go back to the stone ages.

The noble man will not fight, then the educated people (college grads) will fight. Well let's see, the current China is all about money. The educated are as much into money as any one else, heck they couldn't even afford a home in the city. They are not about to risk their lives for what, unless they are getting paid. They are not going to fight rather they will travel abroad to attend graduate school (gets their Masters and stay in America or Canada).

Who else do you have now, the poor. O yes they will fight for the unjust treatment they have been getting through the current corrupt local governments. Hey normal Chinese citizen, you first need to be healthy in other to fight or even die. If you are living in China, which I doubt (you wouldn't be on this website) – first fix the food you and your family eats then improve your health care – word is that health people go's to the hospital and then die. Fix your own country first before trying to inflect others.

Anonymous:

Below are just a few headliners from American's international newspaper "New York Times", it is no wonder why Taiwanese people would not willingly want to joint the one-party communist rule:

"China Bars U.S. Trip for Doctor Who Exposed SARS Cover-Up"

"China Orders Western Newsletter to Halt Operations, Editor Says"

"China: Legal Rights Advocate on Trial"

"As China’s Economy Roars, Consumers Lack Defenders"

P.S. who is going to be the defenders of the consumers or people in China if the communist government is going to put you in jail!!!

Also, WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING INSIDE CHINA..

Down with DPP:

The legal issues surrounding Taiwan are in favor of China, beyond any shadow of doubt. But the real issue in resolving this conundrum is that China must have enough strategic nukes to make the US realize any armed intervention on Taiwan's behalf carries an unacceptable risk to the US itself. Without the possibility of US intervention, Taiwanese independence is nothing but a wetdream. One of the blogger pointed out that US currently enjoys complete nuclear supremacy over China. It's true. But the point is that China does not need to achieve nuclear parity with the US - it just need to remove any doubt from US policy maker's mind that Chinese strategic nuclear force can survive a first strike and mount a devastating counter strike. Once the Taiwanese are disabused of the false illusion of an American security blanket, they will be more amendable to negotiate a peaceful settlement with China, and the Taiwanese independence movement will be in its
"last throes", to borrow a phrase from Dick.

normal chinese citizen:

one word: taiwan want war,just claim independent.
us want war,just support taiwan.
Chinese people will fight to die.

Bruce Lu:

Taiwan independence can not be legally achieved through a referendum by on 23 million Chinese live in Taiwan, but such referendum should also include all 1.3 billion Chinese citizens.

If Taiwan separatists want independence without an All China referendum, then separatists should expect a bloody fight to win their independence just like the Americans did in 1776, fair and square. Don't hide behind democracy as if China owes them anything.

China wants peace and prosperity, but China will defend its sovereignty over Taiwan as China has repeatedly warned. Those who refuse to listen will pay.

Bruce Lu:

Part 3 Taiwan Sovereignty

The reality of control and occupation of territory itself does not--I repeat---DOES NOT constitute sovereignty. When Saddam's Iraq occupied Kuwait in 1991, Iraq didn't have sovereignty of Kuwait. The occupation was illegal, had the world had not the power to expell the Iraqis, the sovereignty of Kuwait still didn't belong to Iraq, but only to the exiled Kuwaiti government, because no treaty had been signed to cede the territory of Kuwait to Iraq. The UN still recognized the Kuwaiti government, Kuwaiti seat was still held by the Kuwaitis. Once enough military power was assembled to expell the Iraqis, the sovereignty of Kuwait was only materialized on the ground, but it had existed all along.

It's the same with Taiwan. It is the UN that installs the sovereignty of Taiwan to China. At this moment, the sovereignty of Taiwan belongs to China(PRC), despite the fact that the jurisdiction of PRC has not reached Taiwan at this point in time. However, since the sovereignty of Taiwan belongs to China/PRC, it is well with in the legal rights of China/PRC to take necessary action to bring Taiwan under its juristdiction, if PRC ever chooses to do so.

The essencial point here is that juristdiction is equivalent to peaceful military occupation which doesn't bring about sovereignty, and the occupation is illegal without sovereignty installed to the occupying authority; however, if an authority legally possesses the sovereignty of a territory, that authority can bring necessary means to remove occupying forces and extend its jurisdiction to such territory.

Bruce Lu:

Part2 Taiwan sovereignty issue.

Chinese civil war started in 1946. In 1949, the Communists founded the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Republic Of China (ROC) lost Mainland China, and held up positions in Taiwan in 1950. (Two governments in a typical civil war). In the United Nations, the ROC still occupied the seat belongs to China. ROC was the internationally recognized government of China, legally held the sovereignty of China (Mainland+Taiwan). PRC was still a rebel government. This all changed in 1971.

During late 60's, a movement started in the UN to make PRC the rightful government of China(Mainland+Taiwan). After a series of debates at the UN, as it was recognized by the UN resolutions 1668, 2025, 2159, 2389, 2500, 2642, finally in 1971, the UN passed resolution 2758, which states,

"Recognizing that the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations and that the People's Republic of China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council,

Decides to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it."

The debate was sealed---PRC is the rightful government to represent China (Mainland+Taiwan). With the passing of UN resolution 2758 the sovereignty of China (Mainland+Taiwan) has been transfered from ROC to PRC. This is decision still stands valid today. Therefore, Taiwan's sovereignty belongs to China.

I hope this clearifies the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty, which rightfully belongs to China (PRC) at present.

Bruce Lu:

Taiwan's status is a legal issue. Here is a quick rundown.

Part 1
The first internationally recognized treaty concerning Taiwan was the Treaty of Shimonoseki. In 1895, the treaty was signed after China lost the First Sino-Japanese War. Many Taiwan separatists like to stress the fact China ceded Taiwan to Japan "in perpetuality". But another fact should not be overlooked is that Taiwan's sovereignty belonged to China before 1895.Japan ruled Taiwan for 50 years until 1945, during this period many uprises occured.

In 1943, Cairo Declaration was signed to establish the framework of post WWII international relations, which stated "The Three Great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, >>>and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China."<<< So here the Allies decleared the intention for the returned of the sovereignty of Taiwan back to China.

Again, in 1945 the Potsdam Proclamation decleared the terms of unconditional surrender of Japan, which states in Article (8) "The terms of the Cairo declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine. " So here the return of Taiwan's sovereignty to China was the condition of Japanese surrender.

Finally, on 9/2/1945, Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, which stated in the first paragraph, "We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the Heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain on 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers." Now the return of Taiwan's sovereignty to China is complete. The "in perpetuality" clause in the Treaty of Shimonoseki was nullified by the signing of Japanese Instrument of Surrender. As we should note, the sovereignty of Taiwan was returned to the government of Republic Of China (ROC) in 1945.

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India:

Absolutely absurd.

Tell me, which nation in the world could get its Independence from its colonizers without 'provoking' them? So what if the so-called leaders in the Mainland China get 'provoked' by the Taiwanese call for Freedom? Taiwanese should settle for nothing less than absolute Independence for themselves.

ff :

"Or they could decide to stay out of the conflict. Nothing in the taiwan relation act says the US must defend Taiwan at the risk of starting a nuclear war with China."

Well, that is presumably what the Chinese belligerents hope will happen, but it's very problematic. That is to say, how can the US "stay out of the conflict?" They could simply announce this afternoon: "we will not support Taiwan; go ahead and invade," but this amounts to giving in to nuclear blackmail (from a weaker power, no less) and so is pretty much unthinkable. And it would require an act of Congress anyway. So, absent an explicit renunciation of all support for Taiwan, a conflict would find the US committed to supporting Taiwan in some way. Beijing's nuclear threats, however, don't delineate what the bar is for nuclear retaliation (sending in aircraft carriers vs. sending supplies and arms vs. political support vs. etc.), which leaves the American leadership with almost no option other than a first-strike on China. Given that such a first strike would in all likelihood succeed, America has little incentive to give in to threats.

Of course, this would all be a huge mess, and so the sane leaders on both sides are committed to peaceful resolution of the issue. The only real dangers of escalation come from maverick Taiwanese politicians defying both China and the US by unilaterally declaring independence, or belligerent elements in China's military who are determined to get their way through intimidation. The real danger here is for China, however, in that they are provoking a country with overwhelming nuclear superiority.

A Taiwanese American from I-Lan, Taiwan:

The burnden of carrying ROC title is too heavy for local Taiwanese. By its name, KMT and remanants of CKS regime have insisted on making the goverment to govern as it still has the whole China domain. The Taiwanese government is still very inefficient and corrupt. Majority of the beaucracy is inherited KMT remanants. Reform policies and legislatures have been continuously blocked. The Taiwan government needs to be rationalized to govern its current territory only. The only way to do that is to totally revised their constitution. Since, it is opposed by the US Statement department China Lobby group, thus the policy of US president. Taiwan needs a referendum to let the whole world to know what they really wants. Therefore, a referendum is needed.

kk:

My god,

Now all the bottom of the barrel scums are beg. to come out. Run for our lives.

Nobody reads the theclearskyblogspot nonsense except
Rush Limbaugh and his crowd. Where are these people from? This is not going to help your readership, try it with Cheney's crowd at NY Post you'll have better luck.

Such high of price for freedom of speech on internet.

To what The?::

What The?:
23 countries recognized Republic of China but not "republic of Taiwan".
Please be aware of this fact.

TO What the?:

What the?:
you guy need to make up for your history knowledge. Taiwan has never been a country and won't be in the future,but Republic of China has and the official name of Taiwan is still "Republic of China". Taiwan is only part of Republic of China.
you guy stop spreading that rumor that "Taiwan " is a state.Shut up!!!

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/:

The Taiwanese are entitled to self-determination. If they wish to be an independent nation, then they have the right to be one.

However, most Taiwanese support eventual unification between Taiwan and mainland China. Read the analysis titled "Taiwan: the Hustler". http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#2693605625420434346

If the Taiwanese really wanted independence, they would have already changed their official name from "Republic of China" to "Republic of Taiwan". Yet, the Taiwanese refuse to change the name of Taiwan. The reason is neither Chinese threats nor American pressure. The reason is that most Taiwanese oppose such a change.

For most Taiwanese, being ruled by Beijing is just a mere inconvenience. They are willing to endure this inconvenience if they can earn plenty of money. Indeed, the Taiwanese have voluntarily made Taiwan dependent on mainland China by investing more than $100 billion into more than 50,000 businesses on the mainland. Further, about 1 million Taiwanese (which is 4.5% of the island's population) have already, voluntarily emigrated to China to live and work.

Why should we Americans sacrifice our time, money, and even our lives to prevent a mere inconvenience? We should terminate the Taiwan Relations Act and sever all ties with Taiwan.

Clive:

Hey,
Guys,You all need to go to school again to study history.Taiwan has never represented as a country .Taiwan's official name is "Republic of China" but not Republic of Taiwan".In 1945 ,Japan returned Taiwan to "Republic of China" ,at that time, Republic of China represented China in the international community.So guys,why Taiwan is not part of China?????
The current complex situation was all caused by the DAm Japanese and Americans. stay out of the matter.Shoot!!!

A Taiwanese American from I-Lan, Taiwan:

To me, the proposal for a referendum is a necessary step to rationalize the governance there in Taiwan by its local citizens. KMT party members and the remanants of Chian Kai-Shek regime continuously blocked every reform the goverment had proposed by claiming plots of ill will of the Ah Bien goverment toward independence. Only if and when the will of Taiwan public is known, KMT and CKS followers will stop theie nosense.

Why the world is afraid to know what Taiwan public really wants?

Free Speech:

I disagree. I think it is evident by the frenzy entries that it is an effective forum.
The problem stems from the downside of free speech. Which comes with the package. And that is not the fault of the Post.

Matter of fact, I think they should do more of these type of Q&R type of forum. I think by the entries of responses, this has been a health exchanges in opinions with the exception of few miserable few. Which I think was very obvious they are spewing propaganda. And it resulted participants’ snubbing and exposure.

I don’t think we should worried about the educated participants, rather it is the ignorant few that wonders into this forum that should be the focus as it might be a good chance to itch some senses onto their consciousness.

Down With DPP:

"That is, to the extent that American leaders take the threats seriously, they will have a very strong incentive to launch a first-strike in the event of conflict over Taiwan."

Or they could decide to stay out of the conflict. Nothing in the taiwan relation act says the US must defend Taiwan at the risk of starting a nuclear war with China.

Traveler from Taiwan:

The Washington Post is an independent source of news and a forum for its readers. Sure you can enjoy your freedom of speech and send whatever you want to the Post, and everyone respects your right, at least in the US. Of course, I understand your difficulty that you are only allowed to publish this kind of propaganda against democracy and the self-determination of an independent country if you wish to live in China, but you need not publish it and help the Chinese government to belittle the value of liberty and democracy. I lament the virtue of the Post that is lost in the rise of another irresponsible player of world politics, and I wish one day the Post will find the way back to its past quality and let people express their own views instead of propaganda.

ff :

"The US must realize that any armed intervention on Taiwan’s behalf has the potential to quickly spiral into a nuclear conflagration."

American policy-makers are well aware of this potential; indeed, a sabre-rattling Chinese general made very public threats to that effect not long ago. The salient fact about a nuclear exchange between China and the US, however, is that the US enjoys a state of nuclear primacy with respect to China, even without an operational missile shield. China's intercontinental nuclear capabilities are insufficient to target even 10% of America's ICBM silos, let alone American nuclear subs and strategic bomber units. On the other hand, America has sufficiently many weapons, and sufficiently stealthy delivery systems, to count on eliminating China's intercontinental nuclear weapons in a first strike. Chinese policy-makers know this, and so would never actually launch a nuclear attack on the US, since the US counterattack would devestate China. While such threats may make great rhetorical devices for showing Chinese resolve on the Taiwan issue, they carry very serious risks. That is, to the extent that American leaders take the threats seriously, they will have a very strong incentive to launch a first-strike in the event of conflict over Taiwan.

A Taiwanese:

To “Hypocrisy Rules”: Ha! Exactly what I’d expected from you. You slipped fast when you have no facts to counter. Run and hide all you like. You’re just cheating yourself. What a pity!

Down with DPP:

To Brian,
It’s not that China underestimates the US determination to defend Taiwan, to the contrary I think it's the US that underestimates the Chinese determination to retake Taiwan. To China, Taiwan is of existential importance. If Taiwan is allowed to declare independence with impunity, because it thinks it has protection from the US, then what's to prevent Mongolia or Tibet or some other region to do the same? The US must realize that any armed intervention on Taiwan’s behalf has the potential to quickly spiral into a nuclear conflagration – probably why GW is busy wasting my tax dollars and building his fantasy BMD. Of course we all know that thing has a slightly better chance of shooting down an incoming Ballistic missile than my little cousin's bb gun. But I digress… I do like your idea of declaring Taiwan part of mainland – and with agreement that there would be no unification talks until there's some semblance of democracy on mainland. Unfortunately, I doubt you'll get any Taiwanese to sign up for it - which leaves us in the predicament we are in now. Call me a pessimist, but in the end, I think everything will have to be settled on the battle field.

Down with DPP:

To hypocrite,
Personally I have never seen the fabled “little red book”. But if you insist that my description of you matches what's in the little "red book", I'll take your word for it – sounds like you are an expert on it. FYI, I don't need to scan any western dictionary; I'm a wordsmith – if you know what that means. In any case, I see no need to engage in a verbal jousting with a rustic half wit like yourself – because everything I say is beyond the grasp of your pea-sized brain.


Anonymous:

ANNIE WANG is a banana.

Hypocrisy Rules:

Can’t believe after two days, the trickling of opinion has continued.
I guess it shows the torrid of the topic.

Important points has been stated and documented, hopefully it will provoke abstruseness in the continuing debates. It has been a good exercise. And hopefully it will provide “outsiders” more “insightful” view to the feelings of “insiders”. Just skip through the mumble jumbles. Passionate sentiments tends to make people communicate that way.

Sorry for all the jabs to all you SOBs…but you deserved it. But don't let your blood vessel burst!

Well, like to thank PostGlobal for the opportunity to quip, it’s been a hoot.

Just remember, hypocrisy rules! Bad dog people.

Assassinate A-Hole Anonymous:

Oh please you red dog, do I have to write in simplest terms for you to understand?
Get loss! Build your vocabulary first.

Could any of the CCP staffers send out an assassin order and rid of this A-hole?

Ming-shunn Tsai:

Taiwan’s decision to hold a public referendum is based on the will of the Taiwanese people, and should not be subject to threats or intimidation from China. Holding a referendum is a standard act of a democratic government, as well as an exercise in basic human rights and democratic freedom. Whether or not China is “engaged in its own slow process of democratization,” as Annie Wang puts it, is absolutely irrelevant to Taiwan’s effort to solidify its own young democracy. Why dub it “a problem”? The so-called “Taiwan Problem” is only a problem because the authoritarian government of China chooses to make it one.

Should the Taiwanese government neglect its duty to respond to the will of the people for fear of provoking China? Taiwan is more democratic than that. Let Taiwan and China each pursue democracy in their own course. Rather than phrase the question of this referendum as an ultimatum between “Independence or Peace,” we should instead be asking, “When will the citizens of China have the right to a public vote themselves?”

Anonymous:

All of you above do not speak for Taiwan and China because you are all banana and Twinkies "yellow outside white inside". You will always live under a cloud of suspicions and your loyalty forever questioned. Shut up you banana!

Ming-shunn Tsai:

Taiwan’s decision to hold a public referendum is based on the will of the Taiwanese people, and should not be subject to threats or intimidation from China. Holding a referendum is a standard act of a democratic government, as well as an exercise in basic human rights and democratic freedom. Whether or not China is “engaged in its own slow process of democratization,” as Annie Wang puts it, is absolutely irrelevant to Taiwan’s effort to solidify its own young democracy. Why dub it “a problem”? The so-called “Taiwan Problem” is only a problem because the authoritarian government of China chooses to make it one.

Should the Taiwanese government neglect its duty to respond to the will of the people for fear of provoking China? Taiwan is more democratic than that. Let Taiwan and China each pursue democracy in their own course. Rather than phrase the question of this referendum as an ultimatum between “Independence or Peace,” we should instead be asking, “When will the citizens of China have the right to a public vote themselves?”

Ming-shunn Tsai:

Taiwan’s decision to hold a public referendum is based on the will of the Taiwanese people, and should not be subject to threats or intimidation from China. Holding a referendum is a standard act of a democratic government, as well as an exercise in basic human rights and democratic freedom. Whether or not China is “engaged in its own slow process of democratization,” as Annie Wang puts it, is absolutely irrelevant to Taiwan’s effort to solidify its own young democracy. Why dub it “a problem”? The so-called “Taiwan Problem” is only a problem because the authoritarian government of China chooses to make it one.

Should the Taiwanese government neglect its duty to respond to the will of the people for fear of provoking China? Taiwan is more democratic than that. Let Taiwan and China each pursue democracy in their own course. Rather than phrase the question of this referendum as an ultimatum between “Independence or Peace,” we should instead be asking, “When will the citizens of China have the right to a public vote themselves?”

Hypocrisy Rules:

A Taiwanese:

Awww! What's the matter? You don't like roast duck?

Taiwan is a much different place than what you and I give credit for.
For distemper inelastic like you to toss your baggage towards me and call it mine only show the juvenility of DPP. And language abilities has nothing to do with Taiwan’s sanctities.

A Taiwanese:

To “Hypocrisy Rules”: What Centuries you live in? Still holding onto the “Chinese” speaking centric nonsense? Calling all the English speaking people …. Which will you choose, the English or the Chinese? I’d suggest you do exactly what you preach - Get over your high horse, and drop the 5000 years old stinking baggage. You’ll find it’s refreshing.

SUN YAT-SEN:


Brothers fight and threaten each other all the time and as they mature, they will get closers together. China is currently in the stage of growth, they are making mistakes like any growing country. Hence it is better to assist them in its growth and enlighten them with kindness than oppose them – "Status Quo" for now it not that bad, establishing a strong relationship with China is even better. The current Chinese government will learn as they mature, that threats does not work, diplomacy is best.

Hypocrite rule:

A Taiwanese:

All I can tell you is…get over it! The father died, the son died! What ever poisonous in your system, let it go. The Kennedy did.

KMT and DPP are political polities that shapes the future of Taiwan and all Chinese speaking world citizens. All the citizens of Taiwan must carefully weight their responsibilities and decide with clear understanding of their action as it will affect generations to come, and not just in Taiwan but China and Hong Kong as well. Towering standards must apply to the current and the next elected “Leader” for Taiwan to be relevant and prosperous.

US have a saying: if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. And if you like duck soup then that is your penchant rights. But for the sake of Taiwan and all its people, lets roast the duck!

Hypocrite rule:

Hmmm…Jackals do comes in bunches. You seem less invective challenged then your counterpart. But obvious you are more challenged on the comprehension department. Read-through peoples points of view before barking off your threats and propaganda nonsense. We don’t like the water torture Mao so keen on.

I know words like scum bags, scourge, lunatics and separatists are standard vocabulary list in the little red book, but please scan through the western dictionary for additional adjectives. I know the civilities of words in your mind are not persuasive enough. Maybe you should try the swords, perhaps missiles.

The discussion at hand is about the future of Taiwan and the “Freedom” for all Chinese who standing up to defending it. That would include Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.
Stay focus if you want to joint the party.

Regardless how bad DPP are behaving, that is for all the Taiwan people to decide. That’s what a country with free election system do. And that is something Hong Kong people are shooting for. Don’t worried too much, China has been infected, just matter of time now.

And for all Chinese standing on the “Freedom” side of foyer, please do your part and apply every pressure you possibly can to impose change to the decaying authoritative regime. You the brain-washed RED Guard are public enemy #1 and are not qualified to discussed the future of Taiwan with Chinese compatriots gather here.

Paul Chen:

When a brother threatens to kill the other brother with 500+ missiles, I will advise the other brother to denounce the brotherhood ship. Will you not?

Sun Yat-Sen:

To all Chinese and Taiwanese people,

From history pasted, the mother land or China had always been weaker when there're in-fighting between the Chinese people (Hans'). That's how minorities such as Mongolians, Manchurians, and the Japanese were able to invade and rule China. Do not fall into the mistakes of the past, but look into the future. A war/in-fighting between the two would only benefit the Western Countries to create instability in the region and reduce all that the Chinese people and its respective governments had worked so hard and long for.

We are all decedents of the Hans people, that's not the questions here; the question is should China and Taiwan united? Well my opinion is "YES" – United we are stronger, apart we are weaker. The biggest question is the difference between the two current governments. First, China and Taiwan both need to site down and start open communication for the good of the Han people. Then either set a schedule to united or agree to disagree, but no threats – set up a free trade agreements between the two; Induce Taiwan to China not by war but by open discussions and communication. Taiwan with its expertise in international business as well as its own infrastructure could advise China to improve theirs. They can both share information and resources to first build a stronger relationship and then a country.

The government in China will take time to change for the better; in the mean time war of words does no good, except make the Han people look bad. So what if Taiwan decided not to unite with China, so it would be like the England – American relationship (they both help each other out). I know mine opinion is simple, but it is better that war between brothers.

A Taiwanese:

To “Hypocrisy Rules”: You must love Taiwan so much that you are holding Taiwan at a higher standard. Women and African Americans had no voting right for a long time in US history. So this must be your kind of democracy then: It’s ok to discriminate more than half of the population but not ok to buy votes.

Taiwan has a young democracy. And don’t forget KMT is still at force. The government that left the scars on many Taiwanese may not be in power but has NOT been silenced. Have you conveniently forgotten about the Defense bill that was shut down by KMT just because they can and they don’t care if Taiwan is annihilated by China?

KMT sent two total strangers to my grandma’s funeral to pay respect. They couldn’t miss the opportunity for “vote bonding”. Believe me, KMT is still at force, they’ve got the money and local base. Don’t forget it’s mandatory to be a KMTer when served in the military and that’s half of the population. Don’t forget it pays to be a KMTer if one wanted a life time position in the government.

It’s naive to believe a change in administration will erase a system that has been corrupted for 5 decades. It’s irresponsible to ask President Chen to clean up the government when in fact his hands are tied by the laws crafted by KMT. And Please don’t lump President’s son-in-law’s problem or his wife’s into the President’s. You’re educated enough to know better.

All KMT has done so far since losing the Presidential elections is pouting like a 3-year old, like the Chinese. Taiwan’s existence is NOT to serve as a role model or throne to China or to any country. Please re-examine your view for Taiwan. Just as you don’t impose your desire unto your children, love them and let them be who they want to be.

No one is yearning for the “good” old days under the Japanese. My grandma was illiterate and single handed raised 8 kids. We recycled US-AID flour bags for clothing and shared 2 beds among the 3-generation. We didn’t wear our shoes until we arrived at schools. Is that privileged?

It’s simply a fact what KMT had done to Taiwan is no less harm than that of the Japanese. The difference is KMT has many opportunities to make it right to the Taiwanese people and they still don’t or won’t get it.

Down with DPP:

Hypocrite rule

I can see you foaming at the mouth – I tend to have that effect on Taiwanese separatists. Scum bags like you are the scourge of the earth, you raving lunatic. And whatever sick fantasies you may have about your lilttle sister, keep it to yourself.

Anyways, back to the subject at hand. I think the Chinese should learn an important lesson or two from what happened in Chechnya and Kosovo. In the first case, even after the Chechen rebels mounted a successful insurrection (temporarily) and drove out the Russians, the western governments, i.e. EU and US, did not recognize its independence. When the Russian military embarked on a ferocious campaign to retake the territory, all the west could muster was to tell the Russians to minimize the civilian casualty - I'm with you, Mr. Putin. In the case of Kosovo, the NATO, i.e. the US, ruthlessly bombed Yugoslavia, til it succumbed to the western demands of withdrawing its troop from Kosovo, even though Yugoslavia was well within its rights, as a sovereign nation, to fight the separatists/terrorists in Kosovo. And today, once again the west is actively participating in the dismemberment of Serbia. So why the difference? Why is Chechnya safely in the Russian fold and Kosovo is on the cusp of independence – never mind the fact that Kosovo was the cradle of Serbian civilization. The difference is that Russia has enough nukes to send the US back to the stone age, and Serbia has 0 nukes. So the object lesson here is, if the Chinese wants a free hand in bring about the reunification of Taiwan, whether through peaceful dialogue or through “non-peaceful means”, China must have enough strategic nuclear weapons to make US realize any potential intervention could lead to a nuclear exchange. Only then, the US will be deterred from intervening, and only then the Taiwanese separatists will come to their senses.

Hypocrisy rules:

Anonymous:

You should really stop struggling. You sounded like a six grader trying disparately sling insults after you had been humiliated.
You have been exposed, you PLA F-head.

CCP should fire you immediately for embarrassing them on the international discussion platform. At least they should place a debater with more eloquent command of English language. Go home and eat your banana in peach my child.

Anonymous:

WILL, you are a banana, not Taiwanese. Annie Wang is a banana too. All you "yellow outside white inside" with western first names are banana and Twinkies.

Will Wu:

No one can decide our future, independent or unification. Only people live in Taiwan have reight to do so.

A poll indicated that more than 71% people live in Taiwan regarded themselves are "Taiwanese". Only 8% people identified they are "Chinese".

My inside voice told me--I felt very uncomfortable and so shame if people called me "Chinese".

Anonymous:

Banana "yellow outside white inside" Twinkies expats in both China and Taiwan will always live under a cloud of suspicion for their questionable loyalty. No banana and Twinkie will ever be trusted by Chinese and Twiwanese. Banana and Twinkie will never hold important positions vital to China and Taiwan's national security.

Hypocrisy rules:

Acerbities indeed.
But when you have these grotesques Gollum like creatures sputtering their masters’ blather, sardonicism seems to be the only appropriate response.

And for all your CCP SOBs, 1911 Xinhai Revolution established the beginning of a free China: Republic of China.
Planned and supported in part by the so call “banana” expats.

There will be another revolution in China again, and this time all you bastards will know who has the right to inherit the Republic. Down with CCP SOBs.

Well Brian, your ratiocinative reasoning is logical and normally expected from a responsible and sane government, but unfortunately, DPPs transgression are illogical.
Otherwise, these fervid discussion would have not taken place.

Taiwanness will have to correct their mistake comes the next election. Just as US must do in 08

Paul Chen:

If China can claim Taiwan is part of them because they had ruled Taiwan for a while, so can Spain, Holand, Portugal, Japan.

Anonymous:

If China can claim Taiwan is part of them because they had ruled Taiwan for a while, so can Spain, Holand, Portugal, Japan.

Anonymous:

BRIAN MATTYS AND WALTER,

There's some serious Kool-Aids you guys are drinking. All that creativity to rewrite history when you're "high".

The Whites mass migration to Hawaii to outnumber the natives. Of course Hawaii have no chance of independence. It all started when the whites forced out the queen of Hawaii and stole the lands.

The same in Puerto Rico. The whites mass migration to Puerto Rico to outnumber the natives. Puerto Ricans have no chance of independence because the U.S. lock up all pro-independence Puerto Ricans (political prisoners) in maximum security prisons.

The U.S. annexed Hawaii and Puerto Rico at the barrel of the gun.

Walter:

"how about let Hawaiian declare independent?"

Actually the United States doesn't hinder Hawaiian independence. The problem is that the Hawaiians themselves haven't come up with a majority to support the notion. It's not like the U.S. is aiming missles at Hawaii or anything.

To surprise you further, there's even a notion involving Vermont Independence, but same case here, there's no majority support there.

In Taiwan's case however, this is a country that's actually under threat here. Hawaii is not even under threat.

Another example is Puerto Rico. Nobody marginalizes Puerto Rican. We don't even call Ricans, "Americans".

Yet the Chinese insist that there is no "Taiwanese".

Taiwan has every right to be a normal country.

Brian Mattys:

Wow! what an acrimonious discussion!

Well, I must say I generally take the view that Taiwan should be allowed to declare independence if they desire. China's claims to Taiwan are tenuous at best; the province was only considered part of China for a little over two hundred years before Japan defeated China in the Sino-Japanese was and "colonized" the island in 1885. Not only that, but Taiwan was incorporated into the mainland (along with Tibet and Xinjiang) at a time when the mainland itself was dominated by a foreign government. The facts remain that Taiwan has effectively been independent from mainland China for over a hundred years now. This is not the same analogy as if Hawaii or Texas were to declare independence; it would be more like the U.S. annexing the Philippines or Panama.

Now, the real issue is only partly about "maintaining China's territorial integrity". Of course the CCP is scared to death of independence movements within Tibet and Xinjiang, especially if Taiwan is able to declare final independence, but the real issue is that the CCP wants to claim "final victory" over the Guomindang. This whole issue is about status; about the CCP finally being able to say "We beat them".

In a perfect world Taiwan would simply be able to declare independence, but that isn't going to happen. Any war that broke out over the issue would be extremely bloody. China does underestimate the United States if it thinks that sinking an aircraft carrier would deter us from interfering; U.S. resolve is much stronger than the PLA thinks, plus China may be forgetting that it is mandated by law that the U.S. must come to the defense of Taiwan if attacked. China would most likely lose, especially in a protracted fight, but so would Taiwan. Any victory over the PRC would by Pyrrhic and in the end, pointless. Therefore, instead of independence, Taiwan should look for alternative solutions.

I think the best way to diffuse the situation and take the wind out of the PRC's sails is to simply restate that Taiwan is part of the mainland, but state in the strongest possible language that there will be absolutely no talk of reunification until mainland China is operating with full and free democratic, multiparty elections. Such a declaration would stymie any justification the PRC could come up with to invade Taiwan. It would also finally erase the issue of CCP "victory" over the GMD(KMT). At the same time the U.S. could certainly make arrangements to allow Taiwan a place in the WHO, WTO, United Nations (under some special status), etc. Down the road, when mainland China is finally operating under a democracy, if Taiwan still wants to declare independence there will most likely be little interference from the mainland. But the fact is that Taiwan and the mainland are becoming more economically integrated and it may not be the best option for Taiwan in the future anyway.

Anonymous:

"the people live in slums and the party officials like like kings. is that really a republic?"

Have you seen the slums in the U.S.?
It is the same anywhere in the world.

condition 1SQ:

Taiwan is not an independent country, it has always been part of China. This FACT is declared in the constitution of the republic of china (Taiwan). Get your facts straight before you speak. If Taiwan is seeking independence, the vote will have to include 1.3 billion people living in mainland China. Everything Taiwan has right now is owed to the people of China, because in 1949, when KMD moved to Taiwan, they took all liquid assets from mainland. I have no problem for Taiwan to seek independence, but first, return the money you stole plus interest, which in today’s term, equals to about $2 trillion plus.

sten:

I find it ironic that so many Chinese have said that US are hypocrites.

If this were a chinese newspaper website would we be able to have this discussion at all?

I don't think so...

Anonymous:

All you banana "yellow outside white inside" expats (especially those of you with western first names) shut up! You have no right to speak for Taiwan and China because you are not true Taiwanese and Chinese (especially those of you with foreign citizenships).


Lived in Taiwan:

Taiwan has a variety of people, some recently from China, many having left China many generations ago, and aborigines that have no tie to China. Mainland China can never speak for all these people. Let Taiwan speak for itself.

Jack:

First off there are a lot of biased views in your article. Do you even know why Taiwan wants to declare independence? Without a solid Taiwanese de jure independent state, Taiwan cannot be treated by countries around the world as one. Meaning that no FTAs will be signed because FTAs are signed between independent states. Therefore, like the situation we have now, South Korea has signed a FTA with the USA while the USA has refrained from signing a FTA with Taiwan in fear of angering China. This will cause a lot of business in USA to seek goods from S. Korea instead of Taiwan.

Another example, Taiwan cannot join the WHO because Taiwan is not an "independent state". I hope I do not have to point out how unjust this is. When SARS first broke out, China and Singapore received aid within 24 hours of its case while Taiwan had to wait more than 10 days for small amounts of aid to arrive (this is due to the objections of China).

Under here that the only person that wants war is China. Taiwanese people have not supported independence because they know China will attack if Taiwan declares independence. It is very funny, because a lot of people fail to recognize that China is the bully here - China is the one that threatens war on Taiwan, it is not the other way around. Before people start talking about Taiwanese president Chen aggravating China, one should start thinking about the view that China has in all of this.

wkl:

If Taiwan goes for independence, China will fight. That's a certainty. They will lose but thousands of people are going to die on both sides. In a bad case scenario, tens of thousands will die. Worse case scenario, the US tries to take out China's nuclear launch sites in a first strike and fails. See the current issue of the Atlantic on America's nuclear superiority. Or the conflict gets out of control, triggering a nuclear exchange. Then millions will die. Whatever the case, Taiwan will be devastated.

Gin-show Liou:

Political right never fall down from heaven.
It comes because human being pursuits.
Asking the people who doesn't have experience
of tasting it is meaningless.

Raj:

Annie

"But I really think Taiwan's president is using his version of "democracy" to create chaos and to agitate the mainland"

You mean not kowtow to Beijing and try to push for self-determination?

"this move is not for the sake of the Taiwanese people at all. Despite the cloak of referendum and democracy, the purpose of such action is to provoke the mainland and play hardball with mainland China's leaders"

No it's to try to get recognition for Taiwan's independence. Its ambiguous status makes it difficult to sign trade treaties, have officials travel abroad, buy weapons for its armed forces, etc. It's also fairly denegrating to have to play a global game of "the emperor's new clothes" to keep China satisfied.

How would you like it if you left your husband, but the court refused to let you be legally divorced or use your maiden name because your husband had threatened to close down his businesses and take them somewhere else? Annie, I doubt you would accept that for one minute.

"especially when mainland China is engaged in its own slow process of democratization"

HAHAHAHA! What nonsense. There is no democratization. That would imply China's leaders see democracy as an end goal. They don't - they're just twiddling things to try to stay in power longer.

----

I have a very simple comment to make for all the Americans out there. If Taiwan isn't allowed to have independence, then neither was the US. For every American that says they think Taiwan should not be independent, they should petition Washington to surrender its sovereignty to the United Kingdom and all the American fighters were rebels and traitors to the British Crown. Oh, wait, but that's not how hypocritical Yanks work - one rule for them, another for everyone else....

Ingrid, Taiwanese expatriate in Shanghi:

Guys, you really should go nextdoor and see what that Korean says about this issue. It's ridiculous. I bet most of you would have fun there, and it's quite empty now!

Hypocrisy rules:

Down with the CCP:

You sack of mind twisted ex-little red guard F-head. Isn’t it enough that you prosecuted your own families and burn the very books that suppose to help you to become a human being? Here you are teeing off on the same crap that CCP been feeding you along with those tinted groceries and daily goods.

Just as the African American screams at the whites for using the N word, I will scream at you for using DPP in the same sentence of “has no right to declare its independence without the consent of China”! No matter how bad DPP are, you have no place here to make any intellectual comments let along its bunch of CCP usual propaganda bull-sh*t!

As NYC has mentioned, Taiwan will have the chance in the near future to correct the mistake they made last time. That is Democracy. Something I will not spend time try to explain to you. It’s none of your business.

Just stop waving your little red books in pretentious Shanghai made Mao suite with the logo still stitched on the sleeves. Maybe some pretentious New York collectors might find hanging that Warhol imitating Mao waiving image is chic. But it is just as grotesque and repulsive as Mao and his followers.

David:

Don't get me wrong. I'm very much of a Western pro-democracy type of mentality. But I really think I should not be surprised at all to find this kind of article from a person with similar background as this author.

From my experience in contact with peoples from China or has root in China, it never cease to surprise me that 10 out of 10 peoples (Almost without any exception) even though those peoples had high level education from western nations don't understand the reality in Taiwan as well as think Taiwan is part of PRC. :-)

lehua, a Taiwanese:

I think the Chinese taking part in this discussion are stuck in the 19th century nationalism. It's 21st century and time for the Chinese to get out of this outdated nationalistic sentiment. be civilized and learn to respect other people's right to self-determination.

Ingrid, Taiwanese expatriate in Shanghi:

No one can deny the independence in terms of the sovereignty that the Taiwanese government has nor the democracy that Taiwanese enjoy. Though Beijing is reluctant to accept this fact, it hardly has the ability to interfere Taiwan's domestic and (most of its)international affairs. Therefore, Taiwan can be considered independent.
On the other hand, the vote will only infuriate Beijing and the U.S.(if it is nosy enough) even Japan and some other Asian countries that it brings no advantage (both political AND economic.)
Again, President Chen's purpose is not as idealistic as many American thought, it is for his own benifit. He is just trying to gain support from a group of ignorant people who don't know what is best for them.

Down with DPP:

Taiwan independence is nothing more than pipedream without the possiblity of US intervention. And to ensuer such possibility does not come to fruition, (in the event of war breaking out between taiwan and mainland,) china needs to siginificantly bulk up its strategic nuclear arsenal. Only then will the US and the warmongering neo-cons understand the determination of the chinsee people to recover taiwan, at any cost.

Hypocrisy rules:

Naiveness: The core of capitalism, without it, how does one prosper? Selling lemon and calling it apple, who’s buy your medicines? Opps, my mistake, a little bit more than the majority did buy it for the last six years. Disciples of Karl Rove, you all have been well trained in US political wises. It’s ironically how parallel the two idiots comes to power, only that Bush didn’t resort to the bullets. But then again, he had a brother and the Jews in Floraland.

ken2:

If Taiwan chooses to become independent from China, I fully support the use of force to bring it back.

Solves all problems and in 100 years later, all of us will have a united, strong, powerful, propsperous and peaceful CHINA agaist bully like USA.

NYC:

I don't believe I used China as an excuse for anything. But since the issue of incompetence was raised: in a representative form of governance, there is an established method for dealing with incompetence. Elections. No excuses, no evoking of shadowy enemies within and without. It's messy, and produces clowns at times, and requires accompanying institutions to operate correctly. But it allows the people of a polity to actually choose their government, without relying on big brothers to protect them from their own naivete.

Peaceandlove:

Any one here wants to be united with a communist state please raise his/her hand!!!

The answer is so clear.

I believe there's chance for unification, but certainly not before the Communist Dictatorship falls.

Taiwan girl:

While I respect Ms. Wang's credential as a journalist in women's issue in China. I am very disappointed that Washington Post will put Ms. Wang's writing on the front page of its website.

Do the Americans care for a British journalist's opinion about illegal immigrants in United States?

Taiwanese independence is a deep and sensitive issue within the Taiwanese community, it can not be conveyed fully and effectively by someone who has not been to Taiwan extensively, or raised in Taiwan. To have a Chinese journalist who merely referenced to her Taiwanese friends' comment about Taiwan, is to me, not qualified as professional nor accurate information with the current issue.

Ms. Wang preaches exactly what the Chinese government wants its elite to say: "Appease to my desire, and thou shall live". Ms. Wang missed an obvious point: You can not be intimidated by someone unless you let it happen. There are think tanks and advisers who have studied this issue for many years. President Chen did not simply come up with his proposal overnight in front of a laptop with a mug of coffee like Ms. Wang would have done on cranking her deadline.

On Election Day many Taiwanese will cast their ballot and vote on this initiative. After such a long mental struggle it will be the time to make a decision.

Hypocrisy rules:

The end of intelligence began with artificial masquerading as the real McCoy.
Using China as excuse for incompetence is as old and trite as Bush’s one liners of staying the course.

Taiwan is a vibrant and beautiful place. Its people are friendly and naive as any Islander should be, and I shall protect them as I would with my baby sister, from the small group of real enemies that sleeps with them. With the exception of NYC that I assume is sleeping in NY you bad dog.

NYC:

Yes, I think Taiwan should get rid of its ridiculous democracy, too. After all, authoritarianism is much better. Instead of holding elections to change unpopular leaders, Taiwan's government, too, could live in fear of its own population, remaining inflexibly aggressive in its dealings with China for fear of being overthrown. I think Francis Fukuyama is writing a book on this, entitled The End of Intelligence.

Hypocrisy rules:

Taiwan could be a real thorn in the eye of China…but their not.
Taiwan could be a real role model for China to follow…but their failed.
Like US, Taiwan’s reputation has been severely compromised, but do they care? No, these jokers still running playing musical chairs and playing Monopoly.

And all you blind clowns still putting up trinkets on the manure effigy and calls it Democracy?

Victor:

@Hypocrisy Rules: Why do you keep referencing Japan? No one said anything about the "good old days" of Taiwan being ruled by Japan.

"You should choose your high road carefully, for it is your seething action will harm the sons and daughters of the next generation."

Umm ok.

JACK CHANG:

Fred,

There are other ways to fight bullies, if you like to fight head-on, go ahead, sign up for the military and prepare to war if you have not yet done so. Or better, go to Iraq now and shed your noble blood there first. Or even better, go free the poor North Korean first.

Taiwanese are free to do whatever they choose to do but they have to face the consequences and that was my point, period. Have I ever endorsed the possible Chinese military action? Nope! Yet there is a significant chance it would be willing sacrifice all the economic progress in exchange to its national pride (or "face"). Hence a rational person should ask, is such Chen's action necessary and can it bring satisfactory results? Moreover, have you ever thought of the real motive behind Chen's action?

Hence if everyone behaves like you, the earth will be destroyed by nuclear war long time ago, my brave cow boy. If you are so supportive to a democratic Taiwan, you should push a motion to restore the formal diplomatic relation with the island and severe the tie with the "evil" China. But unfortunately even your hawkish president G W Bush knows better that Chen is the trouble maker , not the "bully" China in this case, who intend to drag the US into an necessary war. Has China attacked Taiwan and swallow it down now? Nope! Does it wish to do so this year? Nope! Do they want to war with anybody? Nope! DO they have any ongoing war with anyone? Nope!

China only want make money at this very moment.

So is there other way to tame the "beast"? Certainly! Be more patient and let China's growing middle class to push the political change. The political change in Taiwan and South Korea are the models for such transition if you care to learn more of international affairs.

Finally, if you do hold yourself to a higher standard, you should be back to Europe and return the land back to the Indians, Hawaiian and compensate the genocide, slavery you noble "Western" people inflicted on those "free" folks. A lot of the the current world unrest is the result of your people of West's doing.

P.S. I am not going to defend any wrong doings by the communist China, but "the mainlanders are virtual slaves"? "They can be made to disappear at any time at the whim of the party without due process"? Are you still in the the shadow of the cold war propaganda? Chinese has a lot to do in improving its human rights, but you should take care the on going US human right violation first. Hypocrite!

anony:

recent food safety flareup exposes the weakness and vulnerabilty of mainland china in the era of globalization as mainlanders started the usual strike hard`(yange~) campaign to straigten the fallout of its food safety regulatory regime.

by the same token, if mainland does something too much aggressive substandard acts against taiwan in near future after 2008, the international community will let it slip through. at least the next democrat party-leaning next president or even bipartisanship will be kicked in to preempt any too aggressive advances of mainlander against taiwan since taiwan is a buffer zone for the interest of us in the region.

if the taiwan is lost to mainlander, the oil line for japan and korea and other abutting nations will be in exclusive control of mainlander. this will encourage us's more extensive engagement in the area when the perception of us foreign policy making body on capital hill will change dramatically. to coerce or browbeat taiwan to some extent would be a permissible action for mainlander, but direct attack would be self-defeating, and this in turn creates the political machinating latitute for chen regime until he will be driven out of his presidency or his successor is out of line with chen's pro-independency provocation policy platforms.

NYC:

I have a faint belief in karma, and so am wary of really bashing Annie Wang's article....but, fates be damned, this has got to be the worst commentary I've ever seen. Truly award winning, world-historically bad. Zounds.

Steven:

Annie,

That was a ridiculous post. Taiwan is it's own country.

If China does not like it thats their problem.

The free and democratic people of the world must stand by Taiwan.

And Jack Chang: You are a weak, weak man.

Hypocrisy rules:

A Taiwanese:

My democracy is defined by a congress majority that will chastise a hubris, reckless and incompetent administration.
Something seems to be lacking in your reasoning by citing CCP’s iron fists. Does that mean since they are Hypocrites, then so should you? And you can stand on the high ground bark at the rest of us?
I feel for your suffering, I understand the rage as my uncle was throw in jail for cursing CKS, and he was a member of KMT. But CKS’s nasty reputation is not at dispute here. Like many of the military strong man in history, he can be prosecuted many times over for his crimes and mistake. China civil war could have been diverted if were for CKS’s betrayal of his words of peace and imprisoned his once friend and General Chang Hsueh-liang for life. And as modern China histories begin to unfold to the truth diggers, we will uncover more atrocities and lies. But the government that left the scars on you has long silenced. For all the Iraqis died under Bush’s order to invade, should all their sons and daughters pack with bombs and arrive in US to seek “Justice”?
Bullies can not be tolerated but that don’t give you the license to become one.
You do not fight corruption with corruption.
You should choose your high road carefully, for it is your seething action will harm the sons and daughters of the next generation.
FYI: For all your yearning of the good old day under the Japanese rule, it was ruled by an “Iron Fist” many young Taiwanese were executed and torture and send to do hard labor and women forced into prostitution. If you want to recite history, please don’t tell it with one eye closed. Your family must be one of the privileged under Japan rule.

Bad people, bad actions. Bad dogs, bad dogs!

Hypocrisy rules:

Michael Turton:
Ms. Wang may not qualified to be in the center, but nor does Formosan Association for Public Affairs and the North American Taiwanese Professors Association

Down with DPP:

First of all, the concept of Taiwan being an “independent country” is absolutely ludicrous. It IS a province of China – the only question in doubt here is which China ? PRC or ROC. For those who claim that Taiwan is not part of China , please go take a look an official map of ROC. Until such time when Chinese nation relinquish its claims on Taiwan , it will never be a “de jure” independent country with UN representation.

Second, democracy does not equate sovereignty. As a province of China , Taiwan has no sovereignty of its own, and as such it has no right to declare its independence without the consent of China . One only has to look at what happen in Chechnya and Yugoslavia to see what’s in store for Taiwan , if Taiwan decides to declare independence unilaterally.

Third, Taiwanese independence movement would not be where it’s at without the support from the warmongering neo-cons at AEI. And despite numerous Chinese protest, Bush and his cohorts continue to push for the sales of advanced weapons to Taiwan separatist government. In the future, the Chinese government should make it clear that every time US sells so much as a single bullet to Taiwan , China will make its entire arsenal (short of nukes) available to Iran , Hamas and Hezbulla. And for you gullible Taiwanese who believe that the US will come to fight for Taiwan independence, I have some really nice beach front property in Nevada that I like to sell to you.

cime:

what will you say when the latinos will demand an independent southern california?

keadman:

Wow, I cant believe this article is in a major US paper; sounds as oblivious to reality as Gerald Ford saying "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe"...

"Don't get me wrong. I'm very much of a Western pro-democracy type of mentality."
Really? Sounds like your a shill for the peoples party.


"But I really think Taiwan's president is using his version of "democracy" to create chaos and to agitate the mainland."

As opposed to China's "democracy" hmmm since when was trying to vote agitation? Maybe you shoudl look up "agitation" on google. Oh wait that's right you dont have google you have chinese censored google. Imagine what would happen if people could read what they want...?

"Are Taiwan's people better off under the current leadership?"
Is America better off with our leadership? No but at least we voted for them. I don't remember Mexico protesting the last US election but could be the vast american censorship.

"I have many Taiwanese friends who complain to me that life isn’t as good as it used to be."
That's really scientific I coudl offer up tons of anecdotal frineds that say China's rule is a joke and are so glad to have left. However, thats not what we call "evidence" or "statistics"

"They say that Taiwan has become an "M society" -- the rich are richer and the poor poorer, with hardly anyone in between."

Ring... ring... Hello? Annie, it's the Pot she said "Your black". Replace Taiwan in your last sentence with "Urban China".

"At the same time, both my Hong Kong and mainland Chinese friends in general think their life is better off than before."
Yes, Annie, worldwide people are clamoring for communism. I hear Cuba patrol ships have to constantly patrol for illegal immigrants sneaking into Cuba. [/Sarcasm]

"When looking at the Taiwan issue, we can't simply say that Taiwan is a democracy and China is totalitarian, so Taiwan should have the freedom to decide its independence."
Yes, the right of self rule is so gauche. Ok So lets see your defense against such a pretty rediculous statement


"Apart from politics, emotional ties, economic ties, nationalism and a sense of pride and unity all play very major roles in this sensitive issue."

Ok I guess we should break down these points down individually.

"Politics"- China and Taiwan have completely different forms of government. Seems not too much alike here

"Emotional ties" - Seems like the main emotions here are China saving face. Could it be that Taiwan is such a threat because they ARE a democracy just 120 km away? Sounds like quite the bad example for the "peoples".

"Economic ties" - Yes, Taiwan is so very dependant on the money Mainland China send to them yearly. Oh wait my bad, China doesn't fund them.

Nationalism - Yes, Taiwan wants to be a independant nation, China doesnt want it. Soudns pretty simple to me.

"a sense of pride and unity all play very major roles in this sensitive issue." - See saving face.


"Taiwan has its own independence without the public voting on it." Annie, please look up and read the definition of "Oxymoron". Lets see what wiki says about independence: "Independence is the self-government of a nation, country, or state by its residents and population, generally exercising sovereignty." Hmm... Do you have wikipedia in china or is that blocked too?

"Taiwan’s leader wants to hold a democratic vote on whether to declare independence from China not because he believes that Taiwan’s people should decide their own fate;"

Who else is to decide their fate? Peru? Sri Lanka? Poland?

"this move is not for the sake of the Taiwanese people at all."
You're right it is clearly a move for the sake of migrant workers in Califonia. [/Sarcasm]. Yes of course a people voting to determine the fate of a nation is in its own interest.

"Despite the cloak of referendum and democracy, the purpose of such action is to provoke the mainland and play hardball with mainland China's leaders."
I guess that is why America plays hardball with Canada every four years when we elect a President. Has mainland China ever released a sane statement regarding Taiwan? All I ever here is apocalyptic rhetoric. The prevailing reunification theory is "join or die" Cant wait til China is number one in the world what fun awaits the rest of the world.


"I believe that the best way for Taiwan's leaders to protect Taiwan’s democracy is to avoid direct confrontation and possible war, especially when mainland China is engaged in its own slow process of democratization."

Yes, the best way to protect your democracy is to not have democracy. How is voting is direct confrontation but threatening war is not?

I dont remember Taiwan threatening annihilation of China? Seems it is always the other way around

Annie Wang in 30 years China will be a democracy and you will finally wakeup and see yourself for the complete brainwashed, ill-informed harpy you are for writing this thinly veiled propaganda.


signed
-didn't vote for my government but at least I voted...

Maurie Beck:

This longstanding problem between Mainland China and Taiwan is really a contrast between pragmatism and ideology. Of course, coming from the perspective of U.S. democracy (Please let's not debate whether there is democracy here. That discussion is for another day.), many of us believe that people have a right to determine their own political fate for themselves. However, mainland China is very touchy on this subject and I think it would be better to let sleeping dogs lie. In addition, as Ms. Wang points out, this is really more of a personal political ploy by the current Taiwanese president in his own political calculus.

A similar thing happened when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics. Many saw it as a power play by Vladimir Meciar, the first Slovak prime minister, to acquire and maintain power; something that was unlikely in a unified Czechoslovakia.

baiinshan:

sorry for duplicated posts. Its my fault.

baiinshan:

currently, mainland China's naval forces, particualy amphibian armored landing ships are not great in numbers to make a sweeping impact on the defensive lines of Taiwan. Chinese naval and airborne combatants will be wiped out right before setting foot on the beachheads.

Though during the last twenty years, China's military has been extensively engaged in military modernization, especially naval forces and airforces alike, their level of sophistication have not reached a level which may generate a imminent fear within the ranks of Taiwanese strategists.

Chinese missiles may hit some of Taiwanese targets. Yet, mainalnd China should pay the price for its nefariously selfish megalomaniac act of attaching its own supporter like Taiwan. Consider the current ever deepeing and expanding economic ties between mainland and Taiwan.

If mainland China really wants de jure and de facto unification with Taiwan, first it should democratize itself, then let both sides go the talking tables and engage into long drawn negotiations over the unification issue.

baiinshan:

currently, mainland China's naval forces, particualy amphibian armored landing ships are not great in numbers to make a sweeping impact on the defensive lines of Taiwan. Chinese naval and airborne combatants will be wiped out right before setting foot on the beachheads.

Though during the last twenty years, China's military has been extensively engaged in military modernization, especially naval forces and airforces alike, their level of sophistication have not reached a level which may generate a imminent fear within the ranks of Taiwanese strategists.

Chinese missiles may hit some of Taiwanese targets. Yet, mainalnd China should pay the price for its nefariously selfish megalomaniac act of attaching its own supporter like Taiwan. Consider the current ever deepeing and expanding economic ties between mainland and Taiwan.

If mainland China really wants de jure and de facto unification with Taiwan, first it should democratize itself, then let both sides go the talking tables and engage into long drawn negotiations over the unification issue.

baiinshan:

currently, mainland China's naval forces, particualy amphibian armored landing ships are not great in numbers to make a sweeping impact on the defensive lines of Taiwan. Chinese naval and airborne combatants will be wiped out right before setting foot on the beachheads.

Though during the last twenty years, China's military has been extensively engaged in military modernization, especially naval forces and airforces alike, their level of sophistication have not reached a level which may generate a imminent fear within the ranks of Taiwanese strategists.

Chinese missiles may hit some of Taiwanese targets. Yet, mainalnd China should pay the price for its nefariously selfish megalomaniac act of attaching its own supporter like Taiwan. Consider the current ever deepeing and expanding economic ties between mainland and Taiwan.

If mainland China really wants de jure and de facto unification with Taiwan, first it should democratize itself, then let both sides go the talking tables and engage into long drawn negotiations over the unification issue.

free taiwanese:

Anonymous:

I made the same mistake. It should be DPP.

What I try to say is that independence is not realistic. On the other hand, Taiwan can be a beacon
to China, showing that Chinses are capable of being self-ruled and democratic.

Hong Kong is not a democracy. However it has a high degree of the rule of law and a clean civic service. It has shined on China and provided mainlanders a better reference. Taiwan can paly a even bigger role. But the DPP limiting mainland tourists to Taiwan help the CCP propoganda.

I have a dream, somedays, people bornt in Taiwan would be elected as the President of the whole China. We have a headstart and are more experienced in free election. But this window of opportunity can be wasted, like the economic advantage may have been.

sph:

It is obvious that Annie Wang expressed her opinion from the standpoint of China as the center of the universe or the emperor of Taiwan. From that point of view, Taiwan can only be its subject or slave, and no better. Any expression of the will of Taiwanese people is in her view playing hardball in the cloak of democracy. The Communist China has never set a foot on the soil of Taiwan. Why does China believe that it has the right to the land and people of Taiwan? The assertion that Taiwan’s people are not better off today is very questionable, even ridiculous. Even if it were true in some respects, they have been caused mainly by China’s attempts to mess up Taiwan politically and economically.

Taiwan was ceded “permanently” by China to Japan in 1895. Taiwan was under the Japanese rule for 50 years until the end of the Second World War. At that time, the Allied Powers asked Chiang Kai-Shek of the Nationalist Government to take control of Taiwan from Japan. Taiwanese people were at first very happy to be relieved of the yoke of the Japanese colonial rule, only to find that they were not treated any better and in many ways worse by the Nationalist government, which was later defeated by Chinese Communists in China and retreated to Taiwan. It is true that Taiwan was under the rule of the Nationalist government for about 55 years until 2000, the year when Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party took over the presidency from the Nationalist Party, but Communist China has never ruled Taiwan.

The democratization of Taiwan in the last decade is a political miracle for everybody to see. No other nation has followed the democratic footsteps of the United States so closely. The people have just begun to learn that one great democratic method to express their will is through referendums. Taiwan (Republic of China as its official name) was expelled from the United Nations in 1971 when China (People’s Republic of China) was admitted. Taiwan has been an orphaned nation for 36 years, and it has been kicked around internationally by China. The people of Taiwan want to express their will whether they want to apply for membership to the United Nations with the name of Taiwan. Yes, China will no doubt use its veto power to block Taiwan for some time to come, but Taiwanese people should have their right to expressing their wishes. It is shameful that one of the top economical powers of the world is excluded from the international organization.

Mark Wu:

China is the country threatening war, that makes China the provocative country, not Taiwan. Taiwan has invested billions of dollars in China. China, however, has 1000 missiles pointed at Taiwan, has upset status quo by passing anti-secession law, and threatened to invade whenever it felt like it. So to blame Taiwan for "provoking" China is total nonsense.

The scariest thing to Chinese leaders is democracy. It's the one thing that can topple them, and they think they can scare it away. Taiwanese people will not roll over and give up their hard fought liberties. So Taiwan should vote, and vote often.

Victor:

@Jack Chang: "your military will not be so out of shape and has to rely on the "fantasy" of US military intervention after two weeks of war"

Have a look at the size and population of Taiwan and then have a look at the size and population of China.

I suppose we should brush the matter away. Fear of communism from the Cold War is gone. The old idea that Truman had where the US had a moral obligation to help struggling democracies from oppression is out of fashion anyway.

Fred :

Jack Chang:

I am just glad that you and your gutless ilk were not around where not around when Freedom was being fought for in France and The US, etc.

With your attitude nobody would be free.

Taiwan is it's own country, they need nobody's permission to exist. China has no claim.

Wake up, the people of Taiwan have freedom of speech and the press. The mainlanders are virtual slaves. They can be made to dissapear at any time at the whim of the party without due process.

Every nation who is democratic and free should stand by Taiwan's side.

If Taiwan falls to China then what the hell does the West stand for?

Peter:

So, according to Jack Chang, "might makes right" is not just a nasty, sometimes necessary part of international politics, but a bedrock principle of Chinese foreign policy? Because China has the military capability, it is -- in principle -- okay for the mainland to attack Taiwan if Taiwanese exercise their democratic rights in approving a referendum?
So much for peaceful rise.

baiinshan:

I am from Korea. So, sorry for those who may be hurt by my nation's sudden cessation of any recongized relationship with Taiwan.

I believe in self-determination. Chen's newl political gam would be very timely and politically very favorable for his party. Though this referendum may showcase his early defeat as this referendum would function as a referendum of confidence for his scandal-ridden regime and his political leadership.

There have been many political election survey studies done on Taiwanese as to thier preferences in relation to Cross-Straint relationship. Some years ago, my friend who worked in some representative studies found more than 50 percent of her survey groups in favor of independence. I believe there has been some turnaround among Taiwanese, particually those not yet determined on independent issue since Chen's regime has been a showcase of failures in many ways, thanks to KMT's very very aggressive propaganda and demonstrations.

Though it was a disgrace for Taiwanese history and political democratization to see Chen faked an assasination in his previous campaign, KMT's now presidential candiate like Mai Yingjiu's no so distant antics in his secretariat finance scandal may represent the currentl political culture.
Be that political culture aside, let the Taiwanese determine its own fate.

Aside, I am also very sorry for currentl CCP of mainland China to slow dow its own political opening gesture. Hu and Wen Dues Resplex is so distatorial, not that like of Putin regime, and I am continuously losing confidence in the very hope of seeing mainland China being democratized within one generation from now.

Michael Turton:

In addition to pointing out Ms. Wang's utter cluelessness and regurgitation of Chinese propaganda, one must also wonder why she was given space in a major national daily to spout this airheaded nonsense. With all the many academics and writers who spend their time studying and interacting with Taiwan who could comment cogently, with organizations like the Formosan Association for Public Affairs or the North American Taiwanese Professors Association that could comment, with the Taiwan representative officials easily available, with experienced journalists and writers all over the world, with a lively blogosphere in English and Chinese, why was this person who knows nothing selected?

Michael Turton
The View from Taiwan
http://michaelturton.blogspot.com

JACK CHANG:

Well, democracy is the political system which the voters have to bear the consequences of their choices. If the people in Taiwan choose to go alone with Chen's referendum, so be it. However, do not expect any help from the US and the rest of the world if China retaliates by economic or military means. The Taiwan Relation Act is not a blank check which guarantees unconditional US military support. Being a hothead with the "boxer rebellion" mentality will not get Taiwan anywhere except bringing in more defeats and disappointments. Life is not fair and the current international geopolitical circumstances simply do not favor Taiwan to stage such a "show" at all. There are other means to help elevating Taiwan's international status and improving its people's well beings than poking a stick into a lion's ass.
Just to remind those "stiff necked" Taiwanese, your current military doctrine is to "survive" Chinese attack for two weeks in hoping for US military intervention. If you guys are so brave to endorse such an unnecessary, useless and reckless referendum, you should not count on anyone's help, instead, be prepare to act like those who resisted the Roman siege in Masada. I sincerely doubt you guys have such courage and guts though, otherwise your military will not be so out of shape and has to rely on the "fantasy" of US military intervention after two weeks of war.

P.S. To those "patriotic" Taiwanese: do not bother to brand the Ms. Wang or anyone who consider Chen's act as irresponsible as Chinese propaganda machine and the Post should have someone from Taiwan to write the article instead -- if that is the case, that article will be discredit to publish by your standard as well for lacking "objectivity".

Anonymous:

@Free Taiwanese: lol I just realised I wrote DDP instead of DPP. Anyway, I don't really understand you. Do you mean that DPP should say that they are Chinese just so that China has real opposition?

@Ken2: China isn't democratic and Taiwan has its own government. Do you really think everyone in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan will vote on the issue?

"Anonymous:

Annie Wang is a banana "yellow outside white inside". She is a traitor to Chinese. She does not speak for the Chinese people."

I don't really know whether you're serious or not.

NYC:

The analogy with the US Civil War comes up again and again in these discussions. So I guess that means that the American South was only under the loosest control of the United States government since the US revolutionary war, and then experienced around 110 years of absolute separation from United States government control. Yeah, I see what a good analogy this is now....

Michael Turton:

It's a shame that the Post makes itself a vehicle for such propaganda nonsense.

First, Chen does not "provoke" China. Chen acts and China acts. Each has equal agency. China *chooses* whether it will be provoked -- for China, being provoked is a policy choice. China has used this to gain leverage over US policy and to paint Chen as a "radical," although he has been a pragmatist and centrist throughout his political career. China generally does not react to moves by other actors.
Anyone remember them lambasting Taiwan for getting rid of the National Assembly, reducing the number of legislators, or any of several other changes? Have they criticized the KMT for proposing that the party's charter be amended to include the word "Taiwan?" Nope. Beijing's "provocation" campaign is aimed to discredit the Taiwan-centered actions of Chen Shui-bian. Moves by other actors are greeted with silence. In sum, any construction of reality that makes only one actor an agent -- such as the one Ms. Wang posits -- is a propaganda construction.

Note that when China is "provoked" nothing concrete ever happens. China does not forbid Taiwanese to enter or leave China, permits funds to flow in and out, does not seize assets or imprison Taiwanese, and so on. In short, "being provoked" is simply a staged response aimed at the foreign media and at the US State Department. It has nothing at all to do with reality.

Second, Ms. Wang has a warped sense of what democracy is. Imagine thinking "voting" is playing hardball. So when China shot missiles at Taiwan in 1996, that was....a love tap?

Third, Ms. Wang manages to criticize Chen without ever mentioning the 1,000 missiles that China points at Taiwan, and the military build-up aimed at murdering Taiwanese to take over their island. She apparently is clueless about the constant campaign of China to suppress Taiwan's presence in the international sphere. Apparently in Ms. Wang's view, it is OK to threaten to murder Taiwanese in order to annex their island, but not to fight back against that.

Additional reality check for Ms. Wang: China possesses a veto in the UN, and thus, Taiwan can never enter it. Hence, any response by China is unnecessary and exists solely to make Chen look "provocative." Yes, in the way Czechoslovakia provoked Hitler. In the warped world of Mad Chen the China Provoker -- democracy "provokes" China, but missiles pointed at Taiwan are OK.

The reality is that the UN referendum is aimed solely at domestic political concerns and has the support of 70-80% of the people. Mr. Chen, as both the pro-democracy and pro-China sides in Taiwan's politics do, is stoking his own side's support base. Since people vote their identities in Taiwan's politics, moves like this are sensible electoral ploys.

The referendum will have no effect on anything. There will be no war. Trade and investment will continue. So will other exchanges. China will not take concrete action. Life will go on, except in the foreign media, which is generally clueless about Taiwan (though the Post's own Ed Cody generally does a pretty good job).

Again, one can only shake one's head at the Post's willingness to make itself a vehicle for anti-Taiwan, anti-democracy propaganda like this. Shame on you.

Michael Turton
The View from Taiwan
http://michaelturton.blogspot.com

ken2:

Taiwan and mainland China are all part of CHINA just like Hong Kong and Macau. So they belongs to the Chinese people. If any one territory wanted to be independent which is to be determined by so called democratic mean ie. voting-every citizen gets to vote, then all the people in mainlanf China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan should votes together to determine its cause.

A Taiwanese:

To "Hypocrisy Rules": It seems to me that you know quite of bit, which is good, but half done, which is really bad. Whether my democracy is by vote buying or gangster intimidating, it’s still better than CCP’s iron fists. Just an FYI, KMT was the richest single party in the world and is lot richer than DPP and has lot more gangsters and assassins. I’m curious: is your democracy defined by the recent hanging chad, missing absentee ballots, or the past voting tax imposed on the African Americans?

Martial law, why martial law in the first place? Resentment towards KMT? Of course. I was physically punished and fined in grad school and high schools for speaking Taiwanese and verbally abused for not being a Chinese. I could not get any job in any state run agency because I am a Taiwanese. Just to name a few. Parties logos do not matter only if they put Taiwan first. As for Chinese speaking people being “back to their homeland”, have you heard the British asking the English speaking people to re-unite under one roof? Taiwan would love to share and being a beacon for the Chinese. The question is really: can China let go of the 5000 years of baggage and let Taiwan breathe? Why is China so insecure?

FYI: Japan built Taiwan because they saw Taiwan as the satellite in their conquest of Asia. KMT killed Taiwanese intellects because CKS only wanted China, CKS brought corruption into some relative clean administrative systems built by the Japanese, which will take years to wipe off the corruptive government systems.

free taiwanese:

"A Taiwanese":
I am on your side of arguements vs Wang's. There is no question that Taiwan is a democracy. Annie Wang may take a trip to Taiwan to experience it sometimes. Since you are a Chinese American, no visa is required to enter Taiwan, easier than your trip back to Shanghai.

However, "Boycott 2008 Genocide Olympics in China" will not success. Be courageous, face the reality, not run away from the mainland.

"Victor:
Is there perhaps any opposition now? Are there any signs of this occurring soon?"

If the DDP and KMT land on mainland, you would get two real opposition parties. And shame the CCP and
its numerous puppy "oppositions". The auguement which the CCP has long used against democracy has been that it is a foreign concept and institution unsuitable to Chinese. So the "Greens" actually support the CCP's arguement by claiming they are not Chinese. The CCP used to say that democracy is unfitted to Eastern Asian. After South Korea, they have to retreat the scope to Chinese. Some of the DDP actions actually help the CCP's hold on power.

IM SURE TAIWAN WILL LOVE...:

...an Tibet-style invasion?

Oh those were the days, weren't they? Blood and guts and genocide in the name of revolution.

I have no faith in China. Given the chance, they will rape Taiwan in the name of... what, exactly?

a taiwanese in canada:

My family has been in taiwan since ming dynasty, we are as taiwanese as anyone can claim to be. After living in US and canada for decades, I realize taiwanese are culturally more chinese than people in china, whose heritage have been eroded by half-century of communism.

But democracy vs communism or taiwanese vs chinese is not the real question. The real question is which civilization will prevail? Will the taiwanese in their naivety allow america to use them to help limit the restoration and rejuvenation of the largest and oldest civilization in history, not realizing that they too are guardians of its culture, or will they see past the divide and conquer tactics used by the west since colonial times and help restore china, not as a political party or political entity but as a civilization, back to its former position of pre-eminence?

Consider the Aztecs. If the tribal enemies of the aztecs realized they shared the same fate as the aztecs, they would have joined with the aztecs in neutralizing the spanish rather than joining the spanish in destroying the aztecs. The result is that 99% of the original native population has been wiped out by european disease and warfare and their current descendants now occupy the lowest economic status while the european descendants form the elite in all of the americas.

Anonymous:

Annie Wang is a banana "yellow outside white inside". She is a traitor to Chinese. She does not speak for the Chinese people.

L R Feng:

Why does the Washington Post feature a commentary written by someone who is not even an expert in areas which she is commenting on? Is it to attract readers who may click on advertisements? Are there no experts on this issue who bring light upon the complexities? Of course, there are. Why choose Ms. Wang, when her expertise is in matters other than that under current consideration?

Ms. Wang divides her time, it says, between the US and China. Shocked, shocked I am to read of another Chinese person who loves their country so much but prefers to live outside it. Frankly, that is hypocrisy. And her commentary--as brief and shallow as it is here--reflects the sentiment held by many people of the same ilk: wanting the best of both worlds, and able to enjoy them because they have a green card or citizenship but will not criticize the Chinese government lest their access to return (and do business, for example) be restricted in any way. Such is this commentary.

"I have many Taiwanese friends.."--a very telling comment. Ms. Wang has not been to Taiwan. And she has not done so because having a visa stamp from Taiwan in one's passport makes it very difficult to get back into China. And here, the Post is having her comment? Has she ever been to Taiwan? Or is this simply hearsay?

Ms. Wang's commentary is not very telling about China or Taiwan. But it speaks volumes about herself and like-minded compatriots. Shame on the Washington Post for choosing her to offer a perspective that is uninformed and biased in the extreme.

BE KIND ON ANNIE WANG:

C'mon, give her a break. We know that if she says otherwise she'll have to face the firing squad. "Within the laws," of course.

free taiwanese:

"Yao:

The key is that people in Taiwan should have the right to decide their own future, be it independence, re-unification, or federalism of some kind."

Dear Yao, as a fellow with the same ethnical character as you, unfortunately, the principle which you picks up, perhaps in US, does not even apply in US. The example at point was the US Civil War. The Southerners were not granted the right which was in the Consitution. Do you know how Lincoln becomes one of the greatest President by "violating" the laws of the land, like arresting representives from Maryland, for example?

So if you and your smiliarly minded fellows have spent a little more time in real reading and study of history and politics, you would likely to arrive at the opinions expressed by, e.g., "Be realistic" or "Rick".

For your trigger-happy "democrcy crusaders", pay attetion to what Rick said: "But the politics, histories and cultures intertwined Taiwan and China beyond the comprehension of outsiders." For my fellow taiwanese, to "For that matter, even beyond the grasp of its citizens and cousins. China and Taiwan is a divorced couple fighting a nasty custody battle for its children."

The Chiang's lose of the Civil War to the communist army was so spetacular, from a strong starting position to the miserable defeat in a few short years, the defeatist psyche still shapes the outlook of most if not all Taiwaneses/Chineses who live on the island. The "independence movement" is an outlet of this psyche, giving some of my fellow taiwaneses a macho appearance, standing up to the commie Monster on the mainland. However, be honest, how many of you really are ready to face off the PLA, or you want the US boys to fight on your behave?

If you really have guts, go reclaiming the mainland. Don't say that you are not Chinese and you belong to a different ethnical people. If you speaks the so-called "Taiwanese language", you know that it is but a dialect of southern Fukien where our grand fathers came from. If you are really that macho and believe in the power of democracy, etc., why dare not negotiate with the Communist Party of the mainland? For example, asking them to allow operation of the Democratic Progressive Party on the mainland, allow publication of Taiwan newspapers and broadcast of Taiwan TV on mainland. Then we will see who are really afraid of the unification. By not abandoning our "suffering brothers and sisters" living on mainland, (ironically, these cold-war languages turn out more true now than during the KMT days, which Ms. Wang might better notice if she bothers to step outside the bubble of Shanghai. It is the mainland that it is more likely the M sociaty, and I bet most Chinese on mainland would prefer the sociaty existing in Taiwan if they get the chance to know the real Taiwan of today.) we actually have the upper hand in dealing with the mainland government, provided that we step outside of the shadow of the defeat half a century ago, and regain the confidence of winning, studying the relative strength and weakness on the two sides of the Trait instead of knowing only sloganing.

We have reformed the KMT, one party of the "divorce" in Rick's language, what ahead of us is to reform the CCP. There is no escape of this. Not only the CCP would not allow the "Taiwan Independence", majority of mainland Chinese are willing to shed blood to fight it. However, if we face the challenge and set ourselve to the task of reforming the CCP and mainland politics, the majority of mainland Chinese will be on our side. Don't underestimate the power of justice and history on our side. Recall the spirit of "楚三户,叫秦灭" of the central China, where our ancestors come from before their stopover in southern Fukien. Let us bury the days of "divoiced parents" and have our own days.

Victor:

@Hypocrisy rules: "Bad choice, bad people. Bad dog, bad dog!"

Wtf?

@Annie Wang: "...his version of "democracy" to create chaos and to agitate the mainland."

What do you mean by his [Chen Shui-Bian's] version of "democracy"?

I agree that he and his family did let Taiwan down. After all, DPP did promise to get rid of corruption in the government. Unfortunately the only other choice would have been KMT, and their track records have been worse.

I think that it would be wrong to say that Chen has changed Taiwanese democracy for the worse.

Why shouldn't there be a referendum? The only reason I see is the possibility of tampering with the statistics and I really don't see that happening as the referendum would be attacked by either side if something like that happened.

"Taiwan has its own independence without the public voting on it."

The fact that so many people do not think the Taiwanese public should vote on it for fear of agitating China suggests how much "independence" Taiwan really has.

"especially when mainland China is engaged in its own slow process of democratization."

China is enjoying economic growth and greater wealth but please give examples of any signs of "democratization." How has the government changed to say that it is "democratizing"? Is there perhaps any opposition now? Are there any signs of this occurring soon? Do Chinese citizens have freedom of speech? Are there new laws made for China to take a step towards freedom of speech?

Hypocrisy rules:

Speak Truth:

But Lee Teng-hui the God-father of DDP loves the Japs that he calls them his father.

Their vision consists of being the step-child of Japan, not in the likes of Singapore.

Anonymous:

Ukrainians and Russians are ethnically the same people, but Ukrainians bristle with indignation when others call them "Russian".

If Ukrainians do not want others to call Ukrainians "Russian", why Ukrainians insist on calling Taiwanese people "Chinese"?

Speak Truth:

To CWS:
Sorry, I thought u r the chicken hawk from Taiwan.

I read your post again. Your intention is well.
but there is thing called "Taiwan Relation Act".
passed by congress. The bill is very simple,
US is to provide help to Taiwan in case of conflicts.

That means that this country will be dragged into the war in case of trouble. it is terrible to see the two nations who really are benefit of each other get into conflict. Believe me, Chinese really love American. Gratitude is the word. American help Chinese a lot in the modern history.
the best University in china is funded by the US with money that china paid for indemnity.
A lot of American died during the WWII fighting Japs in china.

Hypocrisy rules:

A Taiwanese: Is your democracy rule by vote buying? Gangster intimidation? And I am sure KMT did not allowed the relaxation Martial law during their last real ruler Chiang Ching-kuo?

Were your family Were your family prosecuted because they were collaborators after WWII to hold such resentment towards KMT?

Parties logo do not matters. It matter that Chinese speaking people elect the right leaders that puts their homeland back on the right path again. That goes for all three: Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

China is sad and will take a long time and effort.
Taiwan is even more depressing consider it should of taken on a role model for China to follow. Instead, the government is a farce and people's livelihood are more at stake.

Bad choice, bad people. Bad dog, bad dog!

A Taiwanese:

It’s disappointing to read such post by Washington Post.

Don’t get me wrong, Annie. Your reasoning skill is rather skewed in your role of a “journalist”. Whether President Chen’s “democracy” fits into your “Western democracy”, it’s a democracy China dare not to speak of and the Chinese have no concept of. Did the demonstration demanding for democracy in Hong Kong few days ago tell you anything at all?

Many of your Taiwanese friends complain. Have you asked them if they dare or can do the same without being jailed/exiled/vanished/executed when they were under KMT rules or God forbid, under CCP rules. Democracy is not for the faint hearted, it actually requires work. I elected my President and I support him. I’m way better off with a President who listens to his people instead of the every whine of some CCP leaders who suffer from severe superiority-inferiority-complex. Doesn’t China get agitated easily?

Boycott 2008 Genocide Olympics in China.

ihk:

Clive, your comment "I can't continue driving when the traffic light is red here.If I enjoy totally freedom,why I an't drive through when the traffic light is red."

Simply incredible that your understanding of democracy is a comparison to a traffic light!

Democracy is a process and the people's participation in the process of making laws that govern them.

Democracy is not when a small group of men or women uses guns and bullets to take control and impose their will (law) on citizens who have never understood or participated in the making of such laws. No matter how good their laws maybe, it is still a flawed system. As in the case of China, N Korea, Cuba and many other, it is 100% a failure.

Hypocrisy rules:

Hey Anonymous, I gather you ain't from around here either?

Anonymous:

Hack why is the price of gas still going up after Iraq??

Anonymous:

David,

You mean like the U.S. is in Iraq: greed?

Anonymous:

Hey Pete, I gather you ain't from around here?

David:

I don't think China would be so adamant about Taiwan's inclusion if that island-nation weren't so profitable.

China claims Taiwan is part of China out of tradition, but what drives their present political machinations is pure, unadulterated greed.

Hypocrisy rules:

What is the definition of “Ethnic (Native) Taiwanese”? Would the "Green" skinned Taiwanese (originated to South China Fishermen) compare them to the likes of Native (Ethnic?) Americans? True “Taiwanese” are the aborigines that’s been silenced by the so call independent minded good folks. Just as they claim what the Blueskinned people did to them.

To win the heart and soul of the American people Greenskins should award casinos to the aborigines. That will warm the True Americans’ heart.

Of course, liken the idea that Japan similarly originated from China three thousand years ago; greenskins continued that argument when ever cornered. To all the poor aborigines around the world, these hypocritical, GOP like minded jackass’ just don’t give a dame to your inheritance rights. Colonization is just a weapon they point outwards. And you are the true victims of all the hypocrisies they are gargling out.

CWS:

speaktruth:


I don't believe I advocated going to war in my post. All out war between the US and China would serve niether country (or the world for that matter) well. I merely said what should be obvious to any person who values democracy and freedom. We should stand by them and let China know that they are incorrect.

Taiwan is it's own country.

And FYI, Uncle Sam had his shot at me nearly 20 years ago and turned me down (eyes and back). Although with their new lowered standards, they might take me now-a-days.

deedaa:

Nakko, that was funny

Peter:

Anonymous,

What is "the interest" of America? An exclusive devotion to our own security and wealth, threatening or attacking any country that interferes with that goal? I hope to god I don't live in a country that operates along those lines. US policy can be epically misguided at times, but it is motivated by principles larger than "mine, back off".

Anonymous:

We the people of America should only look out for the interest of Americans, if any country becomes a threat we will deal with it. If any country threatens our economy we will deal with it. Hence do not take our kindness for weakness.

Yao:

The key is that people in Taiwan should have the right to decide their own future, be it independence, re-unification, or federalism of some kind. The moves that Taiwan government are making currently, although having no chance of succeeding and thus making no sense to some people, have indeed served the purpose of leading to discussion such as this one and, over the past decade, have resulted in better and better understanding of Taiwan by the general public all over the world. And that is part of the strategy of the Taiwan government. Judging from the comments posted, I think they are doing the right thing for Taiwan.

ihk:

Who can blame the people of Taiwan if they do not want to live under the communist rule of mainland China. Nobody wants to live in communist state including the mainland Chinese themselves.

This is a non-issue if China was a democratic country enticing others to join rather than to run.

This is not about China itself. It is about group of people trying to hold onto power regardless of what the people of that country desires. Their monopoly on power is more important than the fate of a nation, culture, and mostly people.

Disappointed by the Post:

Annie Wang did not make a single compelling argument in this piece, and leaves me wondering what is the purpose of PostGlobal? It's obviously not to educate the American public on informed opinions on important issues around the world. If the purpose of PostGlobal is to boost advertising revenue by providing a space where people are hired to say stupid things and inciting irritated reader response, then it is probably quite successful in this comparatively trivial objective.

The headline says this is a conversation with Ignatius and Zakaria. But where is their opinion? I want to hear what they think on the questions, not what some confused and uninformed writer has to say.

Furthermore, there are plenty of very informed thinkers that can present much more cogent arguments on these issues. Just ask your foreign desk.

And by the way, Ms. Wang has stated before that she is a Chinese American. Why would you represent her as a voice from Shanghai?

Speak Truth:

CWS: are you going to fight, or let American's young man fight for You?

The cry for help by the Chinese people for justices. :

Should the Chinese people consider changes its current government structure "CCP" – CAN it? How long can the in-justice last in China – the abuse? The power and irresponsible of the local government and the central government.
How can the rich expect to live in good health at Shanghai with shady medical treatments/drugs, water, air, and food? What is the answer?? Whatever happened to the travel restrictions imposed by the CCP –Shanghai used to be such a nice place when it was just for the Shanghainese- until all the people from the country side started to come in to work and then sleep in the parks. What to do, we Shanghainese should move to American.

Barney:

Why are you publishing this Chinese propagandist's absurd nonsense?

TEXAN SEPARATIST:

I AM A TEXAN AND I WANT INDEPENDENCE FROM THE DISUNITED STATES.

Rick:

Is Taiwan a democracy country? Yes…and No!
Is China a totalitarian country? Yes!...and No.
Is the current China regime fit to rule? No!
Should we encourage and assist China to reform? Yes!
Is the current Taiwan regime fit to rule? No!
Should we encourage and assist Taiwan to reform? Yes!

Are people of both Taiwan and China brothers and sisters? Yes!
Should Taiwan give in to reunification demands from China? No!
Should Taiwan consider some form of union with China if one day they succeeded in becoming democratically reformed states? Yes!
So should Taiwan current leaders’ irresponsible rampage uncheck? No!
And do US understand what type of instability it will bring to the region and world prosperities should the Red and Green’s divergence escalate? Yes!

To Taiwan or Not To Taiwan? Give me independence or give me death! That is the question, or is it? US are predisposed to independence sound bits, and skillful green politicians use it like a Pedophilia uses candies to seduce it’s pray. Like it or not, most US thinks like their current president, in B & W whenever they see “Freedom” or “Self-determination”. History of Boston will always be their predilection towards Taiwan’s sovereignty.
But the politics, histories and cultures intertwined Taiwan and China beyond the comprehension of outsiders. For that matter, even beyond the grasp of its citizens and cousins. China and Taiwan is a divorced couple fighting a nasty custody battle for its children. The only hope for the welfare of their children is to elect a set of father and mother that puts their children’s’ wellbeing over and above their own monetary and power grab desires.

CWS:

If the people of the United States do not side with the peaceful, free and Independent nation of Taiwan, then we stand for nothing.

China has no business at all claiming Taiwan as their own. They are wrong, pure and simple

Peter :

Admittedly, Chen Shui-bian irritates everyone...China, the US government, the majority of people in Taiwan (check out his approval ratings). Despite his "in your face" pushing of the envelope before leaving office, Chen wants something -- to an outside observer -- that seems not so outrageous: international recognition of Taiwan's long (close to 60 years) sovereign status.

Let's be more modest: 58 years to date.

Chen likely well understands the constraints that Mainland public opinon places on China's leaders. A failure to respond to Taiwanese moves toward independence risks re-directing Mainland public anger toward the CCP itself. And I imagine Hu Jintao and his colleagues, like any politicians, want to stay in power.

But the failure clearly lies with the Mainland government's inability to exercise any kind of meaningful flexibility regarding Taiwan's status. Repeating "submit!" ad nauseum is not an effective strategy for peacefully resolving a conflict. It does allow the CCP to stay in power, though, for now at least.

Peter :

Admittedly, Chen Shui-bian irritates everyone...China, the US government, the majority of people in Taiwan (check out his approval ratings). Despite his "in your face" pushing of the envelope before leaving office, Chen wants something -- to an outside observer -- that seems not so outrageous: international recognition of Taiwan's long (close to 50 year) sovereign status.

Let's be more modest: 48 years to date.

Chen likely well understands the constraints that Mainland public opinon places on China's leaders. A failure to respond to Taiwanese moves toward independence risks re-directing Mainland public anger toward the CCP itself. And I imagine Hu Jintao and his colleagues, like any politicians, want to stay in power.

But the failure clearly lies with the Mainland government's inability to exercise any kind of meaningful flexibility regarding Taiwan's status. Repeating "submit!" ad nauseum is not an effective strategy for peacefully resolving a conflict. It does allow the CCP to stay in power, though, for now at least.

The Chineses People of Reason:

The "M Society", China is the definition of an "M Society"!! If you are rich or a local party leader you can have as many kids or salves or sea cumbers or massages (by outsiders - of the city)as you want. Please do not compare life in China vs. Taiwan unless you have gathered your facts. City living Chinese friends does not represent the population of China; they are just a very very small portion of it. In the tier 2 or even 3 cities the average Chinese people can't even afford an apartment of their own. Money RULES, people don't see your face they see you wallet.

Chinese people are very easily influenced by the government, case in point: the issue with Japan three years ago or with American a few years back with the Chinese embassy. When the government played the nationalism card to get the Chinese people to protest against Japan they allowed it, when it got out of hand (and maybe spill into something else they step in and stop it) – and we are talking about the educated portion of the Chinese people being influenced here / college kids.

Yes, from recent news the Taiwanese President and his close families/friends are not much of a leader, but that is not a fair representation of the Taiwanese people (and yes in a democratic country we can say this). "Western pro-democracy type of mentality" of all people you would have to agree that the people should decide the future of their destiny/country and not act like an abused wife waiting for the husband to come home and beat her.

Eric Weng:

If you are someone born in mainland China, who has never been to Taiwan. It is quite challenging for you to understand why people of Taiwan wanted to have its own say. As an Asian American, I have travelled and seen how the Chinese government propaganda trying to bend the minds of its people to believe Taiwan was always "historically" a part of China. But when one really examine the Chinese history closely, there are so many places such as northern part of Vietnam, Russian Pacific coastline, and even Okinawa were part of the "China" before.

While as you look at the history of Taiwan, it has always been a so-called "renegade" province ever since the Qing dynasty (note: Taiwan was NOT recognized as an official part of China until 1885, when Qing organized it into a province). It was the last stand for the Ming dynasty which was overpowered by the Manchurians on the mainland. During the Sino-Japanese war of 1895, China ceded Taiwan to Japan in a treaty which started 50 years of Japanese colonial rule.

Had China had any care for the well-being of people in Taiwan, would it have ceded Taiwan to Japan back in 1895? Had Chinese communists cared about the feeling of their "fellow countrymen" in Taiwan...Would they have hollered the slogans such as "wash Taiwan with blood" before? Even now, China has estimated 700 short range missiles aiming in Taiwan, ready to fire at will. Is this the way to express Chinese people's love and caring for their own compatriots?

After considering all the bits of history and facts above, is any reason why people in Taiwan who would like to rejoin the "great motherland" with this type of treatment?

If the Chinese government is able to discern and respect such feeling of people in Taiwan, politicians like Chen and Lee would have no excuse to play their ethnic biases in the elections. Unfortunately, PRC government never really get it. Chinese military sabre-rattling and harsh words have always cause more resentment from the people in Taiwan toward it.

Moreover, it is important to point out that Chen is doing this so-called referendum to boost his scandal-haunted party supporter turnout in 2008 elections. If Beijing overreacts in some retaliatory ways, PRC is playing into Chen's hands and push the heart of Taiwanse people further away from the called "reunification"

Thus I'll say: let people Taiwan cast their votes like they wanted. Taiwan has one of the best educated population in Asia. Vastly majority of the people can make good decisions on their own.
If PRC wants the referendum results to be in their favor, then it can lure the powerful economic incentives, business interests as well as cultural and family ties. PRC needs to avoid hardball with Mr. Chen but talk gently and strike him out. Once Mr. Chen and his DPP party members are out of power, then China may find itself dealing with a much pragmatic, economic-minded people like Mr. Ma to deal with.

Jane:

Why did Post choose a Chinese who grew up in Mainland Communist China to be panel of this discussion instead of a Taiwanese intellect?

Anonymous:

John Whitesell:

"The U.S. would probably be inclined to let the Hawaiians vote on independence if the Hawaiian's actually wanted independence. The movement only has much strength among native Hawaiians however. The whites outnumber the natives these days.

In Puerto Rice, where independence movements are stronger there have been three popular votes, the most recent in 1998. In all three of these, neither the independence vote nor statehood vote could win a majority, meaning the status quo was maintained.

Clearly, China should learn from the U.S. model. We have our cake and eat it too!"

As I learned from books and documentary, the U.S. lock up Peurto Ricans advocating independence in U.S. maximum security prisons.

Now the whites outnumber the natives (by means of mass migration), of course the natives of Hawaii and Puerto Rico have no chance of winning independence, voting or not.

lehua, a Taiwanese:

spaek truth: if you want to argue, argue with reason. and be more like your name, speak truth. "Adolph Hitler is quite popular with his party"?! don't lie!

Jon:

My "favorite" part of the post is the title. Since when is letting people vote "playing hardball"?

Playing hardball, to me, is pointing missiles at an island, threatening it, and bribing other countries into opposing its nationhood.

Saya:

I don’t think Annie Wang has made correct statements about the life in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. First of all, she did not have sufficient evidence to support her statements because there is no data were generated for her report. Secondly, her bias on a small size of sampling by just asking her friends is an ethnical issue.

In addition, I don’t think anyone (including Annie Wang) has a right to interfere what Taiwanese wants to do for their country unless you are a Taiwanese citizen.

Saya:

I don’t think Annie Wang has made correct statements about the life in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. First of all, she did not have sufficient evidence to support her statements because there is no data were generated for her report. Secondly, her bias on a small size of sampling by just asking her friends is an ethnical issue.

In addition, I don’t think anyone (including Annie Wang) should have a right to interfere what Taiwanese wants to do for their country unless you are a Taiwanese citizen.

Paul Chen:

Annie Wang does not live in Taiwan. She definately can not participate in determining Taiwanese's fate. Taiwanese should have the right to decide the fate of their country, just like anyone else in this universe.

The only people who can decide Taiwanese's fate is Taiwanese themself. Not others, especially not Chinese.

I do not know what history you are reading. But from what I have read, Taiwan is NOT part of China.

Speak Truth:

the current president of Taiwan Chen is play a game here. He want to provoke the mainland and get more votes for his party. if something going wrong, there is Uncle Sam.

I don't care about the commis, but the Chen is a Veiled Nazi indeed. before 80s, there was no such thing as outsiders or locals(those come from mainland, those born in Taiwan) difference in Taiwan.
Chen's party start to classify people. after this constantly talking about the Provincial concept,
the people from mainland who lived in Taiwan for 40 years were viewed with suspecious and contempt.
I personally know quiet a few old gentleman who are very upset and heartbroken about this.
that is Chen's Democratic Progressive party.

Adolph Hitler is quite popular with his party.

terrance, houston, USA:

Politics aside, it is quite clear than ethnic Taiwanese don't, and have never, considered themselves Chinese. The Nationalist Chinese colonized Taiwan subsequent to their defeat on the mainland. What we've seen since then is a gradual over-turning of this colonization in the reassertion of native Taiwanese rule. All to say, Taiwanese culture and sense of nationalism are real; not simply manufactured to avoid totalitarianism in lieu of democracy. Ms. Wang's comments on Taiwanese concerns about their current quality of life because they are separate from China border on the bizarre and are almost surely untrue.

Inserting politics, the cultural revolution in China wiped away an old, Confucian-based culture and replaced it with a new, less traditional one formed around a sense of what it is to be Chinese. Ironically, the U.S. is probably the most similar in culture to China in that both are effectively newer countries that rely more on a sense of nationalism, rather than tradition, to guide their action. So China's interest to absorb Taiwan is palpable and quite real, but is no more based on Taiwan's inherent Chinese-ness than is Taiwan's desire for independence based on China's totalitarian government. China wants Taiwan because because it is a prize that boosts national pride and it is achievable.

Both sides have played power politics; The Taiwanese through their U.S. connection. On the one hand, with time there's been a growing sense of inevitability that Taiwan would eventually capitulate to Chinese rule under some deal. On the other hand, China's growing wealth makes it more costly to its economy and people should it choose to invade (and destroy) Taiwan. All to say, time is not on the side of the Chinese if their approach is intimidation and control. If, on the other hand, the Chinese continue to foster Taiwanese economic and cultural connections without pre-condition and take threats off of the table, then over time, Taiwan and China may become two fish that swim close together to become both one and two.

Jane:

Jerry, You are wrong about why China would care about Taiwan being just ” a small island off their coast “.
In fact Taiwan’s GDP per capita is over $30,000 US dollars in 2005 and China is less than $7000 even after all these years’ double digit economic growth. The Foreign Exchange Reserve of Taiwan is still more than $260 billion US dollars which ranked the top five countries in the world.
There are a lot China want from Taiwan practically besides saving its face. Unfortunately in terms of Taiwan’s future the world either was ignorant about Taiwan’s establishment and way of life or just plain try to accommodate China. Is it so hard to imagine Taiwanese people want to maintain their prosperity, way of life and freedom even though their unfriendly neighbor is getting more powerful in the world stage?


David S.:

In reality, Taiwan is independent now. Therefore, it is probably well advised to shut up about it and avoid needlessly annoying China.

If one has the misfortune to live next to a well-armed homicidal maniac, would it really be a good idea to let one's dog stray onto his yard?

DC:

How much do you really know about the Taiwanese political process? Please do not make generalization about a government, if you have not done your homework. It really discredits your public image and I am baffled that they have even published your propoganda. Did the chinese government pay you to say those things? These allegations are unacceptable, even if it comes from a person who lives in a country w/out freedom of the press. As an educated person, you should be able to think beyond what the government's constant brainwashing tactics.

Jack Chang:

Chen and his predecessor Lee have been playing the same tricks of antagonizing China so to get votes for years. If some self-righteous American are willing to shed his/her own blood for that irresponsible person, so be it. However, if the US cannot even handle Iraq, I doubt it can deal with China. It is true that China is not a democracy at this moment, nevertheless, as its economic situation getting better, its growing middle class population will demand democracy -- just like Taiwan did 20 years ago. On a side note, Taiwan's "democracy" is still quite immature and hence it can still be manipulated by populist like Chen. By the tactics Chen and his party stirring hatred among its own people, reminds me of how Nazi grasped the power in Germany.

Shu C:

Annie Wang's argument is tipical Chinese thinking - It's all about China, whatever Taiwanese think doesn't matter. Whatever Taiwanese do which is unfavorable to China is just to provoke China. I say that's China-ecentric.

From Ms. Wang's article, she implied life in China is better off than that in Taiwan. Really? Has Ms. Wang ever lived in Taiwan? Has she ever lived in country side of China? Ms. Wang claimed many of her Taiwanese friends complained about Taiwan. She seemed to forget that "Birds of a feather flock together."

Shen Dade:

I have lived in Taiwan for nearly 10 years, studied its people and culture extensively, and know that it is an independent country with a distinct identity. On the other hand, I have visited China twice, and knowing recent history (the 100 years of foreign and western control) can understand why "recovering" Taiwan is so important as it will mark the reversal of foreign occupation and control.

But the reality is that economics are driving the two sides together. In the long run, if the political and military voices will stand aside, economic pressures and the need to have direct transportation links will bring about some sort of unification. It may not be what China wants, or want Taiwanese independence advocates want, but it will happen.

However, in the meantime the best thing is to tone down the rhetoric and let people on both sides of the Taiwan strait live at peace.

denis:

As Americans, we need to recognize the fact that our country has already agreed, formally, that Taiwan is part of China. As I'm sure that China recognises our ownership of Texas, which may not be universally recognized.

The US has no reason or interest served by provoking China by seeming to support independence. We should remember that the ongoing diplomatic settlement with North Korea is largely due to China's influence, for example.

Getting into some crazy Cold War relationship with China may serve the interests of arms makers and certifiable lunatics like John Bolton and Dick Cheney, but the rest of us need a peacful and even cordial relationship.

China has democracy problems, and now we have illegal detantion and torture problems. Let's base our foreign policy on rational considerations and not dangerous proposals by people who just want to use us for their own political ends..

Zap B:

Hehe.. Taiwan is hardly a part of China. However, it seems the CCP employs a legion of people to post FUD on the internet about Taiwan's status. If you think the Scientologists are crazy about jumping all over critics, just sample some Chinese posts about Taiwan. And the funny thing is they like to speak like China knows what's best for Taiwan. Right.. as if the commies know what's best for a democracy..

F. Lin:

Annie, I think your words underscore the problem with the status quo perfectly. It's patronizing for you (and China) to say that Taiwan would be *allowed* keep its de facto independence if the people of Taiwan don't "agitate the mainland." What kind of independence is that?! Is it really so hard to understand that Taiwan wants a voice on the international stage, in UN, in the WHO, and other international organizations?

Jerry:

I agree mostly with Ivan (last comment) and the author. The question of Taiwanese independence is one of political posturing. It is idealistic and naive to believe it is simply a matter of whether Taiwan wants independence or not. After all what impact would declaring independence have on Taiwan? Would it effect their current internal legal system in the slightest? Is it really about becoming globally recognized and having a seat at the U.N. or about creating their equivalent of our "abortion" issue to redistribute political affiliations? And what of China? Do they really care that much about a small island off their coast or are they more concerned about other factions (i.e. like Tibetans) getting similar notions and creating instability? And yes, loosing face probably has some value as well - especially for a government which lives in a perpetual state of political insecurity. I believe Taiwan has little to gain by this action and China has much to loose. If all you gain is making China angry then chances are it is a real bad idea. I think there is a much better chance that this issue will resolve itself in time when both Taiwand and China are different political entities than they are today.

What The?:

And in response to Be Realistic Taiwan is currently recognized by about 23 countries (not many and admittedly none powerful but 23 nevertheless). Also, many countries that don't formally recognize Taiwan, particularly in Europe, have fudged this legalistically by recognizing mainland China's claim to Taiwan but implicitely not endorsing Chinese sovereinty over the island. I don't think any of that strengthens China's claim.

What The?:

Actually Wang Bang you're completely wrong. Because of the economic dynamism and relatively well respected individual liberties even a majority spanish speaking, mainly Latino Texas would most likely want to stay part of a successful and prosperous United States. Hispanics have in only a few decades made up 13 percent of the U.S. population and we already obsessively debate what kind of minority protections, if any, they should be given, particularly relating to the illegal immigrant population whose children will indeed be U.S. citizens. All of these are good things that make the U.S. an attractive place for immigrants. When was the last time China had a debate on Xianjian (I probably spelled that wrong) province in the west of the country where the ethnic Ui-Gar population are utterly marginalized. Maybe if China made itself a more attractive country to be a part of Taiwan would be more engaging to the prospect of some sort of union. Once again though Taiwan has every right to assert its independnce because it already is independent.

ttchou2001@yahoo.com:

The reality is Taiwan is independent today and for more than five decades. It has full democracy, its own government, currency and military.

Red China has not ruled Taiwan for one day. Yet China tried to use its rising economic and political power to bully Taiwanese people and threaten or harass other countries if they don't agree with their ridiculous one China claim. Communist China's political system and way of life are not what Taiwanese people want and it's hard to find an analogy in the world to compare how ridiculous a dictatorship threatens a thriving democracy that it never rules one day as part of it and try to tell the whole world it’s just the way it should be. (If your country does not agree with China it’s going to jeopardize your trade and many relationships with China). The world needs to stand up for Taiwan for its moral stance.

Be realistic:

In the realm of International politics, "de facto" independence does not matter, what matters is recognized independence. The Confederate States of America was "de facto" independent, but no country dared to recognize it, and it was soon defeated by the United States. In all official documents from the last 60 years, Taiwan has been recognized as part of China. That's the status quo, whether people like it or not.

Can Taiwan become independent? That depends on how much military power Taiwan and its allies have and how much price they are willing to pay to defeat China in a war. Right now, it looks like Taiwan's allies are not willing to support it in a war of independence, and the Taiwanese people are not willing to face war and destruction themselves. That makes the moves of Taiwan's president dangerous for the Taiwanese people.

KK:

I heard the purpose of the referendum is for Taiwan/ROC to join the UN. Even Taiwanese people vote yes to join UN, will US and UN support Taiwan/ROC? What will be the world's reaction for this democratic decision?

Wang Bang:

Hawaii IS relevant, but you can't see it because you are too wrapped up in your own hypocrisy. Don't you think the native Hawaiians wanted to be independent before they were overrun by Americans?

When Texas is 90 percent Mexicans and they want to secede, let's see how your tune changes about people wanting to be independent.

It's laughable how you all keep preaching about freedom giving your overwhelming history of subjugating people. You're pathetic. By the way, Annie Wang, you are hot.

Ivan Groznii:

China's ultimate goal is to make Taiwan another province within China. Now, it is difficult to do so. They seem to believe that it will be easier in the future.

Once Taiwan has acted, China must react. They might invade, they might not or they might decide to do something different, like institute a naval blockade or economic sanctions.

China can't win if Taiwan declares independence. No matter what they do short of accepting Taiwanese independence, it's going to make them look like thugs. For China, "face" is everything.

It seems then that China wants to wait until the time is ripe for them. So, it is imperative that, until that time arrives, that Taiwan not take any steps (or as few as possible) towards independence. China can't stop it diplomatically, economically or culturally. Instead they make threats.

The question is, if Taiwan declares independence, will China make good on those threats? If no, then Taiwan should go for democracy now. The longer the Taiwanese wait, the more difficult for them this question becomes.

David Martin:

Independence for Hawaii is not possible under the doctrine that states may not secede from the Union. And I don't suppose Congress could sell Hawaii or grant it independence, either.

Puerto Rico, as an associated free state, is voluntarily affiliated with the US. A similar deal would have Taiwan residents accept Chinese citizenship in return for the right to declare independence by popular vote. Somehow, I don't think Taiwan or China would agree to that.

I've only briefly visited Taipei. It's certainly a lively city with an impressive economy.

Fred:

When are you goddamn Americans going to ever mind your own goddamn business?

Paul:

Why does everyone keep talking about Hawaii? It is not at all relevant. China is engaging in the old practice of "repeat a lie long enough, and people will believe it." Taiwanese are lucky (and thankful) they have not had to live through Communist rule. Rather than declaring independence, they should say "we will talk about reunification when the Communists are gone." Otherwise they give Beijing's claims validity.

nakko:

Hawaii is owned by the Japanese.
Japan hates China. China hates Korea. Korea hates N. Korea. Thailand hates Laotins. Cambodians hate Cambodians. Burma hates India. They all hate each other. If US involved then there will be everyone hating US. Hawaiians are like poi. They like Okainawans South Africans hate the Dutch, Italians hate Slavinians and I hate everone. Taiwanese eat things with the heads left on. Like chickens and fish etc. Asia has foul odor.
I like steak.

Tony:

All you Communist Chinese need to stop lying.

The history of Taiwan is one of non-involvement and non-control by the mainland. In fact, Chinese authorities were known for saying "that's Taiwan, we don't control it" in response to allegations of various crimes committed by Taiwanese.

If anything, Taiwan belongs to the Allies in World War II. Chiang was merely the Allied representative who took possession of Taiwan from Japan.

I am sick and tired of supporters of the Communist regime in mainland China lying about the history of Taiwan.

Don't you have food to taint and people to torture for practicing a non-state sanctioned religion?

nakko:

Chinese red are very bad peeple, They have all money and want to steal money of people from Taiwan. Chinese people work hard and always love momma china other than little island of Taiwan.
But, China needs to accept Taiwan as a svveriegn nation, US stay away. I see everythig in US made in china nostly a lot. Some good some suck. Also, they are crooked.

John Whitesell:

Hawaiian:

The U.S. would probably be inclined to let the Hawaiians vote on independence if the Hawaiian's actually wanted independence. The movement only has much strength among native Hawaiians however. The whites outnumber the natives these days.

In Puerto Rice, where independence movements are stronger there have been three popular votes, the most recent in 1998. In all three of these, neither the independence vote nor statehood vote could win a majority, meaning the status quo was maintained.

Clearly, China should learn from the U.S. model. We have our cake and eat it too!

Jon:

I lived in Taiwan for a year and was often struck by Taiwanese frustrations with the denial of their nationhood or soveriegnty. The ordinary people were ruled by Japan for fifty years, then by a KMT leadership that Beijing never accepted for thirty more. Now there has been democracy for twenty or so years.

For 110 years, Beijing has not had direct control over Taiwan. But Taiwan is still treated as being a part of China? Taiwanese are often mad that they have no UN representation, no WHO support, etc. The public will has not been honored.

I think the Taiwanese leaders are smart to do this now before the Olympics. They fear payback, but it will be harder for China to do much militarily now.

I also think Beijing is very contradictory about its understandings of soverignty. Mongolia was allowed to be a state, Tibet was not, Taiwan was claimed as a state, etc.

Taiwan simply wants to state what has been de facto reality for a long time.

shhhhh:

Clive, you got it all wrong and too simple. The rules you are referencing were put there by 'elected' officials for the safety of the public. If the public disagrees with the rules, it would elect other officials or representatives to change the rules in our democracy. It would be completely different for the premier and his cronies to decide what rules to enforce and by whom.

Hawaii, if Hawaiians wants to secede, then let them try.

Annie, without playing 'hardball' or remonstrations against authoritarians, history has shown that it takes many generations of suffering to make little or no progress toward democracy.

What the?:

I'm tired of countries living in states of denial about what is actually going on around them (and yes I would include those in the U.S., namely the president who refuse to see the reality of occupied Iraq). However, Taiwan is a de facto independent country and China needs to learn to live with it regardless of historical grievances or ties in the same way the Arabs have to live with Israel in the same way pre-invasion Iraq had to live with Kuwait in the same way the Argentines have to learn to live with the Falklands. It doesn't matter what other countries claim. All of these places exist as entities independent of the country's that claim them and to deny it is to deny reality.

Not to mention I take serious issue with the assertion that China is becoming a democracy (Similarly I take issue with the writer's inability to use a verb or sensible arguments. Seriously post global who are you going to have next? An apologist for Turkmenistan?). This is not to say China won't one day become such, but the reality is no one knows what is going to happen with China simply because there is no good example of a country that has embraced economic liberalism and shunned social/political liberalism in a way that China currently does.

No offense China but get with it. Germany doesn't insist that Austria or Switzerland or the Czech Republic are part of her terrirory because both were part of the Holy Roman Empire (at least not in 50 years anyway). Taiwan is independent simply because it is not subject to Chinese laws and regulations, nor is it a part of China's political institutions, nor is it even economically intergrated with the mainland. My advice to numerous writers for this site is to stop being so emotional and start being a little more practical. See things for what they are not what you or others would like them to be.

Kuohsien Huang (Tokyo):

In response to Gill, Taiwan is not voting to decide whether or not to join China. Taiwan is part of China, like it or not. The vote is about Taiwan's secession from China, which carries a whole different set of emotional baggage (1861-1865, The American Civil War, enough said.)
As it stands, the two sides are still nominally at war, without even an armistice a la North/South Korea. If your much larger foe is willing let sleeping dogs lay and maintain the status quo, why stir up trouble for petty political advantage? I'm not sure this president has put his people's best interests first.

Clive:

This is totally nonsense.Mainland China and Republic of China(Taiwan) belongs to one country. What we should do should be determined by both sides across Taiwan straight. We don't need the writer's guidance.

I would like to ask Americans what is freedom? Is freedom with no restrictions? I am in America now,but I can't continue driving
when the traffic light is red here.If I enjoy totally freedom,why I can't drive through when the traffic light is red?To put it simply, I believe that freedom is under the frame of some kinds of rules.
Don't keep misleading American public that China does not have freedom. We do have freedom under the frame of laws.

hawaian for independent:

how about let Hawaiian declare independent?

Gill Doyle (California):

As an American, I have embraced the notions of
independence and self-determination. My ancestors
came to America in search of more control over their
own lives -- for freedom of speech, for freedom to
worship as they chose, for the opportunity to
pursue happiness as they saw fit.

The Taiwanese want this same freedom. They don't
want a government in Beijing telling them what to
do -- what a person can say publicly, where she
can worship, etc. At least, a majority in Taiwan
feel this way. A minority want Beijing's guidance.
The Taiwanese people themselves ought to vote on
this issue if it's important to them. Currently,
the Beijing government threatens to launch its
missiles at Taiwan if the Taiwanese people so
much as schedule a non-binding referendum with
the purpose of sampling public opinion on this
issue. This is wrong of China. The Taiwanese people
should be allowed to determine their own fate.
If they vote to join China -- fine. If they
vote for independence, China should recognize
their right to self-determination.

Post a comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

Categories

  • America's Role
  • Business and Technology
  • Culture and Society
  • Environment
  • Human Rights
  • Interfaith Issues
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Islamic Movements
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Morality
  • Personal Religion
  • Religion & Leadership
  • Religion & Politics
  • Religious Conflict
  • Rule of Law
  • Security and Terrorism
  • Spirituality
  • The Global Economy
  • The New Asia
  • Theology
PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send your comments, questions and suggestions for PostGlobal to Lauren Keane, its producer.