MAKING ROOM FOR TAIWAN
U.S. imperialists invaded China's territory of Taiwan and has occupied it for the past nine years. A short while ago it sent its armed forces to invade and occupy Lebanon. The United States has set up hundreds of military bases in many countries all over the world. China's territory of Taiwan, Lebanon and all military bases of the United States on foreign soil are so many nooses round the neck of U.S. imperialism. The nooses have been fashioned by the Americans themselves and by nobody else, and it is they themselves who have put these nooses round their own necks, handing the ends of the ropes to the Chinese people, the peoples of the Arab countries and all the peoples of the world who love peace and oppose aggression. The longer the U.S. aggressors remain in those places, the tighter the nooses round their necks will become. Mao Tse Tung, September 8, 1958, at the Supreme State Conference.
Reunification with Taiwan has been China's core strategic goal for 60 years. Now the vagrant province is on the glide-path to reunification during President Xi's tenure. Happily, China has been reabsorbing wayward provinces since Jesus walked the earth and it's a familiar ritual whose celebrants know their roles.
For all but the terminally deluded like Taiwan's ex-President Chen Shui-ban, currently languishing in jail for his naivety, reunification was always a foregone conclusion. The Jovian pull of China's gravitational field is irresistible.
It's so strong that, during my annual visits to Australia the country's leading businesspeople – on the front pages of the national press and on their mainstream TV – loudly advocate replacing Australia's US alliance with a Chinese one. Australia's continued alliance with the US is a 'hindrance' they say, and a 'danger'.
The same tractor-beam that attracts big, distant Australia draws tiny, close Taiwan closer each day. Heads of both of Taiwan's major political parties – urged on by their leading industrialists – have already pilgrimaged to The Forbidden City and pledged allegiance to the Emperor.
Like repentant schismatics over the centuries they were sent back to their island-province laden with gold, fine silks, and even finer promises. Promises to upgrade the wealth and status of the Taiwanese elite, to grant privileged access for every Taiwanese industry, and promises to continuing to stream millions of wealthy mainland tourists to keep the island's hotels and stores filled to capacity. More than 3 million of them will arrive this year, and the program is just getting started.
Taiwan's banks and insurance companies, savvier marketers than their mainland rivals, get access to China's conservative, under-insured, increasingly wealthy consumers. Doors closed to foreigners will be opened for Taiwan.
New legislation already promise such obscure benefits as access to China's inland waterways, the cheapest freight access to the heartland. Soon Taiwanese vessels will sail thousands of kilometres up the Yangtze and the Yalu to deliver Taiwanese cargoes. No outside country – Japan or South Korea – can dream of such access. There's an exhaustive list of concessions and every item on it has an assigned 'minder', a mainland bureaucrat responsible for ensuring that good things happen for Taiwan.
In addition to the gravitational pull two recent developments have accelerated the convergence.
President-elect Xi's campaign to clean up mainland corruption (currently no worse than Taiwan's, according to Taiwanese investors) adds significantly to the attraction of reunification. Xi is an uncommonly moral man ("a Chinese Mandela" according to Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew). If he can do for China what he did for Shanghai – which has been exemplary in its honesty and efficiency since Xi's cleanup – it will be a powerful attractant to island Chinese who share mainlanders' longing for moral leadership.
Japan has hastened reunification by playing its familiar role as aggressor. On a clear day Taiwanese can see the Diaoyu Islands. Taiwanese regard them as 'theirs' just as passionately as mainlanders do. They know that only China can enforce their sovereignty in the face of Japan's grab. The threat to the Diaoyus has done more to weaken the Taiwan independence movement than any event since 1947.
It also helps that Xi has family in Taiwan. Given his genial image a 'family' visit to Taiwan is easy to imagine around, say 2020.
Reunification is all over bar the shouting.
The already muted shouting will be reduced to grumbling until Taiwanese public sentiment catches up. Then it's a matter of implementing the already-agreed negotiation terms. Taiwan is getting a deal so good – Keep your own system while we make you richer – that nearby Okinawans will eye it enviously (see this, for example: http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/10609).
In addition to privileged access to continental China, Taiwan will enjoy a 'peace dividend'. Most of the island's $20 billion annual defence budget will be plowed back into shiny new infrastructure. Taiwanese pilots will get new Chinese fighters, their generals promotions and decorations. That's why Taiwan isn't pushing for F-16s any more.
The Taiwan schism is the last wound still suppurating after our attacks on China began 200 years ago. Its healing will allow China to accelerate its social reform program and greatly relax its posture in the region and in the world. The celebration will make the Beijing Olympics look like a sideshow.
- Submarine fiber-optic cable links Taiwan, China.
- Taiwan to Let Banks do Yuan Trade.
- Taiwanese permitted to invest in Chinese public companies – a privilege heretofore given to mainland Chinese citizens.
- Beijing and Taipei plan exchange of government officials: Representative offices on both sides of strait will house government officials, who may be granted privileges enjoyed by foreign diplomats
- Senior U.S. senator faults Taiwan over arms "complacency"When it comes to Taiwan's military capabilities, there seems to be a puzzling sense of complacency in Taipei, said Senator John Cornyn. Gosh, I wonder why?
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait will soon begin a new stage of interaction in the wake of power transition in the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to local media reports.
Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang has confirmed that its honorary chairman, Lien Chan, will depart for Beijing Feb. 24 for a four-day visit at the head of a delegation of KMT officials and business executives.
Media reports said Lien, a former vice president of the Rwan), is visiting Beijing at the invitation of the CPC's upper echelons and that he wil
Taiwan slipping off US agenda: panel - Taipei Times
Defense policy adviser Eric Sayers, a member of Virginia Republican Representative Randy Forbes’ staff, said that Taiwan was not mentioned often on Capitol Hill because Taipei had established such a close relationship with Beijing. “That is not necessarily a good thing because there are some shortfalls going on in terms of arms sales,” he said. Addressing a Heritage Foundation symposium on the view of Asia this year from Washington, Sayers said that arms sales to Taiwan were winning less attention than in the past
More than half of the respondents said they do not trust President Ma, compared with 34.4 percent who said they are skeptical of the new Chinese leader
Taiwan will ease rules to allow Chinese banks to buy bigger stakes in local banks and permit more Chinese firms to invest in its financial industry, the island’s financial regulator said on Monday, marking a major advance in cross-strait ties.