Archive for ‘Taiwan’

17/04/2019

Foxconn’s Gou throws hat in ring for Taiwan presidency, with blessing of sea goddess

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Terry Gou, chairman of Apple supplier Foxconn, said on Wednesday he will contest Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election, shaking up the political landscape at a time of heightened tension between the self-ruled island and Beijing.

Gou, Taiwan’s richest person with a net worth of $7.6 billion according to Forbes, said he would join the already competitive race, and take part in the opposition, China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) primaries.
His decision capped a flurry of news this week that began when Gou told Reuters on Monday he planned to step down from the world’s largest contract manufacturer to pave the way for younger talent to move up the company’s ranks.
He later announced he was considering a presidential bid and hinted he was close to a decision, and then told more than 100 people packed into a temple he would follow the instruction of a sea goddess who had told him to run for president.

The sea goddess Mazu is a popular deity in Taiwan and is believed to hold sway over one’s safety and fortune.

“Peace, stability, economy, future, are my core values,” Gou said later at the KMT’s headquarters in Taipei.

He urged the party to rediscover its spirit, the honor of its members and the lost support of the youth, and to establish a fair and transparent system for the primary race.

The KMT’s primary was already highly competitive, with contenders including a former KMT chairman, Eric Chu, and a former head of the island’s parliament, Wang Jin-pyng.

Gou’s bid, which requires KMT approval, comes at a delicate time for cross-strait relations and delivers a blow to the ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, which is struggling in opinion polls.

China-Taiwan relations have deteriorated since the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning DPP, swept to power in 2016.

China suspects Tsai is pushing for the island’s formal independence. That is a red line for China, which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo with China but will defend Taiwan’s security and democracy.

‘VERY PRO-CHINA’

A senior adviser to Tsai told Reuters he thought Gou’s bid could create problems, given his extensive business ties with China.

“This is problematic to Taiwan’s national security,” the adviser, Yao Chia-wen, said.

“He’s very pro-China and he represents the class of the wealthy people. Will that gain support from Taiwanese?” Yao said, adding he believed Gou would face a tough battle in the KMT primary.

Tension between Taipei and Beijing escalated again on Monday, as Chinese bombers and warships conducted drills around the island, prompting Taiwan to scramble jets and ships to monitor the Chinese forces.

A senior U.S. official denounced Beijing’s military maneuvers as “coercion” and a threat to stability in the region.
Gou has questioned Taiwan’s ties with the United States and said this week the island should stop buying U.S. weapons. He said peace was the best the defense.
William Stanton, professor at National Taiwan University and former head of the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei, said he would have concerns if Gou were to become president.
“I’d be concerned about how he would behave. He did not have a positive attitude toward the U.S.,” Stanton said.
The KMT, which once ruled China before fleeing to Taiwan at the end of a civil war with the Communists in 1949, said in February it could sign a peace treaty with Beijing if it won the presidential election.
Zhang Baohui, a regional security analyst at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University, said Gou’s run could mark the start of the most unusual election in Taiwan history.
This is something entirely fresh for Taiwan politics – here is a candidate who sees everything through the pragmatic angle of a businessman rather than raw politics or ideology,” Zhang told Reuters.
“He has no baggage and that will be a fascinating scenario.”
Gou’s news comes as Tsai is grappling with a series of unpopular domestic reform initiatives, from a pension scheme to labor law, which have come under intense voter scrutiny.
The KMT said this week Gou had been a party member for more than 50 years and had given it an interest-free loan of T$45 million ($1.5 million) in 2016 under the name of his mother, which had signaled his loyalty to the party.
Foxconn said on Tuesday Gou would remain chairman, though he planned to withdraw from daily operations.
It was not immediately clear when he planned to pull back or if his presidential bid would require him to step down from Foxconn. There were no regulations related to a company executive running for the presidency, the island’s stock exchange said.
Foxconn’s shares closed up 2.1 percent at T$91.80 ahead of Gou’s formal declaration, the highest in six months. His Hong Kong-listed FIH Mobile closed up 28 percent, tracking the strength in parent Foxconn.
Source: Reuters
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16/04/2019

McDonalds apologises to Chinese woman who was served tea contaminated with chlorine cleaner

  • Doctors say drink contained anti-bacteria compound used by catering industry
  • Woman took ‘one sip and found it tasted bad’
Fast food chain McDonald’s apologised to a customer who was served milk tea contaminated with disinfectant at one of its stores in eastern China. Photo: Weibo
Fast food chain McDonald’s apologised to a customer who was served milk tea contaminated with disinfectant at one of its stores in eastern China. Photo: Weibo
Fast food chain McDonald’s apologised to a customer who was served milk tea contaminated with disinfectant in one of its stores in eastern China, damaging her digestive tract.
The restaurant said on Monday that it had reached a settlement with the customer, a woman surnamed Huang, after she suffered vomiting, a sore throat, a stomach ache and was taken to hospital on Friday for treatment.
Huang – who was still in hospital – suffered the symptoms shortly after taking a sip of the drink in a restaurant at Changle Airport in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province, the Strait Metropolis Daily reported.
“She just had one sip and found it tasted bad. But she already swallowed some of it,” Huang’s husband, surnamed Tang, told the newspaper.
McDonald’s apologises after advertisement showing Taiwan as a country draws criticism

When the lid was removed from the cup there was a strong smell of disinfectant, Tang said.

“I asked staff workers about the drink, but they just took it and smelled it, without giving any explanation. They threw the drink into the rubbish when we were not looking, but we took it back,” Tang said.

Doctors said the woman’s symptoms were caused by sodium dichloroisocyanurate, a chlorine compound widely used to kill bacteria in water by the catering industry and by the leisure sector in swimming pools.

On its Weibo feed, McDonald’s described the incident as unintentional and said staff would be given more training.

“McDonald’s has paid great attention to the incident and is deeply sorry for the error made by a staff member of our restaurant,” it said.

McDonald’s said that it would improve staff training after the customer was given tea tainted with disinfectant. Photo: Weibo
McDonald’s said that it would improve staff training after the customer was given tea tainted with disinfectant. Photo: Weibo
Source: SCMP
08/04/2019

Fears over Hong Kong-China extradition plans

Chinese flag in front of Hong Kong skylineImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionHong Kong is part of China but has its own judicial system

The Hong Kong government has proposed changes to extradition laws that could allow transferring suspects to mainland China for trial. The move has further fuelled fears of erosion of the city’s judicial independence amid Beijing’s increasing influence.

The Hong Kong government will also consider extradition requests from Taiwan and Macau after the new changes.

Officials say the change is needed so that a murder suspect can be extradited to Taiwan for trial, and that mainland China and Macau must be included in the change to close a “systematic loophole”.

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has pushed for the amendments to be passed before July.

What are the changes?

The changes will allow for extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau for suspects accused of criminal wrongdoings, such as murder and rape.

The requests will then be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Demonstrators march during a protest to demand authorities scrap a proposed extradition bill with China, in Hong KongImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionOver 100,000 protesters took to Hong Kong streets to rally against the government’s proposal.

Several commercial offences such as tax evasion have been removed from the list of extraditable offences amid concerns from the business community.

Hong Kong officials have said Hong Kong courts will have the final say whether to grant such extradition requests, and suspects accused of political and religious crimes will not be extradited.

Why is this controversial?

There has been a lot of public opposition, and critics say people would be subject to arbitrary detention, unfair trial and torture under China’s judicial system.

“These amendments would heighten the risk for human rights activists and others critical of China being extradited to the mainland for trial on fabricated charges,” Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

Lam Wing Kee, a Hong Kong bookseller said he was abducted and detained in China in 2015 for selling books critical of Chinese leaders and charged with “operating a bookstore illegally”.

During a recent protest against the government proposal, Mr Lam said he would consider leaving the territory before the proposal was passed.

“If I don’t go, I will be extradited,” he said. “I don’t trust the government to guarantee my safety, or the safety of any Hong Kong resident.”

Though some pro-Beijing politicians eager to defend China, dispute the criticism of its judicial system.

Hong Kong skylineImage copyrightEPA
Image captionHong Kong and China – one country, two systems

The changes have also attracted opposition from the Hong Kong business community over concerns they may not receive adequate protection under Chinese law.

The proposal has already sparked a legal challenge from Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau, who was convicted in absentia in a corruption case in Macau in 2014.

Macau’s government has not been able to have Mr Lau extradited because of a lack of extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Macau, but that will become possible if Hong Kong’s legislature decides to amend the extradition laws.

His lawyers argue in a 44-page submission to Hong Kong’s courts that the Macau trial was marred by “serious procedural irregularities that rendered the trial incompatible with internationally mandated standards of fairness”.

Every citizen can request a judicial review like Mr Lau has done, but it’s the High Court that decides whether this will be granted. Most observers say there is little chance Mr Lau’s request will be successful.

Why the change now?

The latest proposal has come after a 19-year-old Hong Kong man allegedly murdered his 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend, while holidaying in Taiwan together in February last year. The man fled Taiwan and returned to Hong Kong last year.

Taiwanese officials have sought help from Hong Kong authorities to extradite the man, but Hong Kong officials say they cannot comply because of a lack of extradition agreement with Taiwan.

Xi JinpingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionUnder Xi Jinping, Beijing is seeking increasing control over Hong Kong

“Are we happy to see a suspect that has committed a serious offence staying in Hong Kong and we’re unable to deliver justice over the case?” Mrs Lam said on 1 April while responding to media questions.

She added that mainland China and Macau were included in the proposed change to address a “loophole” in current laws.

Isn’t Hong Kong part of China anyway?

A former British colony, Hong Kong is semi-autonomous under the principle of “one country, two systems” after it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

The city has its own laws and its residents enjoy civil liberties unavailable to their mainland counterparts.

Hong Kong has entered into extradition agreements with 20 countries, including the UK and the US, but no such agreements have been reached with mainland China despite ongoing negotiations in the past two decades.

Critics have attributed such failures to poor legal protection for defendants under Chinese law.

Source: The BBC

28/02/2019

Taiwan game ‘Devotion’ upsets China with Winnie the Pooh reference

Devotion game screengrabImage copyrightRED CANDLE GAMES/DEVOTION
Image captionWhen players interact with the poster (L), the poster (R) appears – with the words “Winnie the Pooh” and “Xi Jinping”

A Taiwanese games company has had its latest release pulled from mainland China, after players noticed subtle references mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping, including comparing him to Winnie the Pooh.

Red Candle Games released Devotion, a first-person horror game set in 1980s Taiwan, on games platform Steam on 19 February.

The game quickly went viral after players spotted so-called “easter eggs” and publicised them. However online discussion has since been censored.

An “easter egg” is a hidden message or joke in a computer game, normally only picked up by some players paying close attention.

Red Candle Games has apologised, saying it will refund offended users.

Taiwan is an island that is for all practical purposes independent, but China sees it as a rebel region and insists that other countries should not have diplomatic relations with it.

Taiwan’s current president has sparred with Beijing over the island’s political future. In January, Xi Jinping said Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with China.

Hidden messages

One of the easter eggs in Devotion is a poster containing the words “Xi Jinping” next to “Winnie the Pooh”, in an ancient style of writing. Winnie the Pooh has been censored on Chinese search engines and social media since 2017, after bloggers began comparing Mr Xi to the children’s story book and film character.

Gamers have also spotted an old newspaper in Devotion that refers to an individual who has received a prison sentence, nicknamed “baozi” or “steamed bun”.

Composite picture of Xi Jinping, Barack Obama and Winnie the Pooh charactersImage copyrightAFP/WEIBO
Image captionThis meme showing Xi Jinping and former US President Barack Obama began circulating in 2013

“Steamed bun” is another sensitive term in China, as social media users have used it to refer to the president and evade government censors.

‘Awfully unprofessional’

Red Candle Games confirmed that Devotion had been removed from Steam China on 23 February, and issued an apology, saying the poster with the Winnie the Pooh reference had made it into the game by accident due to a technical issue.

It said that it was aware some players may have been offended by the images, and said that it was in touch with Steam to ensure that such players could obtain a full refund.

“The whole team of Red Candle Games bears the responsibility of this awfully unprofessional mistake,” a statement on Monday said. “It is not Red Candle’s vision to secretly project extensive ideology, nor is it to attack any person in the real world.

“We sincerely hope that this ends with Red Candle, and please do not take it out on all of our innocent partners.”

Taiwanese Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai has praised the game, saying: “Only in countries with democracy and freedom can creation be free from restrictions.”

Red Candle Games' apologyImage copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionRed Candle Games apologised and confirmed the game had been removed from Steam China

Chinese online censors, meanwhile, are trying to scrub references to the game and its hidden messages.

Searches for both “Red Candle Games” and “Devotion” in Chinese on Weibo are showing no results.

What’s On Weibo, which tracks content on the site, said that over the weekend posts containing the hashtag #Devotion were racking up hundreds of millions of views.

But on Monday, a search of the hashtag #Devotion showed only four posts, none of which refer to the game.

Posts that mention the game’s title in English, which the censors are often lax in censoring, show that China-based users are receiving messages on Steam saying that the game is “no longer available” to play in their country.

Meanwhile Red Candle’s account on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo service has been suspended, preventing the company from publicising its game in the mainland.

A Weibo user shares a post saying Devotion is no longer available to playImage copyrightSINA WEIBO
Image captionWeibo users shared posts saying they were no longer able to play the game

In Taiwan, where social media is not government-controlled, thousands of social media users are joking about the easter eggs.

Some on Facebook are posting pictures and gifs of Winnie the Pooh, and others are showing printouts of the offending poster.

Gaming in China

The episode has raised questions as to whether Steam will be the latest overseas online platform to be blocked in mainland China.

Technically, Steam has not gained official approval to operate in the country, but it remains accessible. Some 30m people are estimated to use it in China.

The platform allows China-based users to download and play games that have not received official authorisation.

Over the last decade, the government has banned games if their content is considered to be violent, or anti-Beijing. However many recent releases have never made it to China anyway because of a years-long backlog of games that regulators are yet to examine.

The top media regulator has also just announced that it will not be granting any new licences to gaming companies until the backlog is cleared.

The result is that wildly popular games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, both of which were released in 2017, remain neither banned, nor authorised in the country.

Source: The BBC

27/02/2019

Beijing says it can ease power and water shortages on Taiwans’s Quemoy, Matsu islands

  • Different social systems should not be ‘a barrier to unification or an excuse for separation’, according to mainland’s cross-strait affairs office
  • After Quemoy began importing water from Fujian in August, preliminary research has been done to supply water to Matsu chain and electricity to both

News

Beijing says it can ease power and water shortages on Taiwan’s islands

27 Feb 2019

Taiwan-controlled Quemoy Island – which is just 2km from Xiamen – began importing water from the mainland in August. Photo: Weibo

Beijing says it is prepared to supply electricity and water to islands controlled by Taipei in the Taiwan Strait despite escalating tensions between the two sides.

An Fengshan, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, also said their different social systems should not be “an excuse” to separate the country, and any deal between the mainland and Taipei should be struck in the interests of a “peaceful unification” agenda.

Speaking at a monthly press briefing on Wednesday, An said the mainland could supply power and water to meet the needs of residents on Quemoy, also known as Kinmen, and the Matsu island group. Controlled by Taipei, the islands are located off the mainland’s southeastern Fujian coast – Quemoy is just 2km from Xiamen – and have been on the front line of cross-strait tensions since 1949.

Taiwan’s cold war island begins to thaw

“The people of the Quemoy and Matsu islands have long hoped that the mainland could help to resolve the difficulties they face with power and water shortages, and they have made numerous appeals for gas and bridge connections [with the mainland],” An said.

“Our attitude is very clear – that in regards to these demands, the mainland will make every effort to provide opportunities and conditions to help them achieve bigger and better development.”

An said Fujian province authorities had completed preliminary research and planning to supply electricity to the Quemoy and Matsu islands, as well as water to the Matsu chain. Plans to supply gas and build bridges were expected in the future, he said, without elaborating.

Water is released into the Tianbu Reservoir on Quemoy island in August when the mainland supply began. Photo: EPA-EFE
Water is released into the Tianbu Reservoir on Quemoy island in August when the mainland supply began. Photo: EPA-EFE

Quemoy began importing water from Fujian to ease its water shortage in August, three years after it signed a 30-year agreement with the mainland province to supply water via an undersea pipeline.

But Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles cross-strait ties, asked the Quemoy county government to downplay a ceremony marking the start of the supply
because of moves by Beijing to suppress Taipei.

Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province subject to eventual reunification, by force if necessary. Relations across the strait soured after Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, became president in 2016 and refused to accept the one-China principles.

Since then, mainland China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan, suspending official communications with the Tsai government, poaching its diplomatic allies and staging war games near the self-ruled island, which is edging closer to Washington.

In an interview with CNN last week, Tsai said she would seek re-election next year and there would be no peace deal with the mainland unless Beijing ruled out using force against Taiwan.

On Wednesday, An said the different social systems across the strait should not be a barrier to unification, which President Xi Jinping sees as part of his Chinese dream of national rejuvenation but has been rejected by Tsai.

“Peaceful unification and ‘one country, two systems’ are the basic policies for us to resolve the Taiwan issues, and the best way to realise the motherland’s unification,” An said.

He was referring to a speech by Xi in January calling for Beijing and Taipei to start talks on “one country, two systems” in Taiwan – first proposed by late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s – as the path to bring the island back into the China fold.

“The differences in the systems should not be a barrier to unification or an excuse for separation,” An said.

China protests against US ‘provocation’ after two American warships pass through Taiwan Straits.
Asked about Beijing-friendly Kuomintang chairman Wu Den-yih’s recent remarks that Taipei would sign a peace deal with the mainland if his party won the election in 2020, An said the two sides could explore a deal “as long as it benefits and safeguards the peace of the Taiwan Strait, increases the peaceful development of relations and pushes the peaceful unification process of the motherland”.

Source: SCMP

24/02/2019

China’s military build-up just starting – a lot more to come, expert warns

  • Military watchers can expect ‘something new’ at this year’s National Day parade in October, Professor Jin Canrong tells forum in Hong Kong
  • As tensions rise over Taiwan, Beijing is building a naval and missile force as powerful as any in the world, he says

Beijing’s military build-up just starting – a lot more to come, expert warns

24 Feb 2019

Submarine arms race seen heating up in Indo-Pacific amid China ‘threat’

16 Feb 2019

The US could send more nuclear attack submarines, such as the Virginia-class, to the region. Photo: AFP
Military vehicles carrying DF-16 ballistic missiles take part in China’s National Day parade. Taiwan says Beijing has such missiles trained on the self-ruled island. Photo: Handout
Military vehicles carrying DF-16 ballistic missiles take part in China’s National Day parade. Taiwan says Beijing has such missiles trained on the self-ruled island. Photo: Handout

Beijing will show the world “something new” when it rolls out its arsenal of short- to medium-range ballistic missiles at its National Day military parade in October, according to a Chinese expert on international relations.

Speaking at a seminar at the University of Hong Kong on Saturday, Professor Jin Canrong, associate dean of the school of international studies at Renmin University in Beijing, said China had made great strides in expanding its military capability, but there was a lot more to come.

US commander pushes for more funding to counter China’s influence in Indo-Pacific

While he did not elaborate on what the “something new” might be, he said the country was gearing up for a possible conflict over Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as a wayward province awaiting reunification.

Over the next five or 10 years, Taiwan could provide the “biggest uncertainty” for Beijing, he said, especially if the United States decided to “ignite” the situation.

Known for being outspoken on sensitive issues, Jin said that while Beijing wanted a peaceful reunification, it was wary of “pro-independence factions [on the island] and right-wing American [politicians] creating trouble”.

In a speech on January 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of Beijing’s call to end military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that “the political division across the strait … cannot be passed on from generation to generation”, apparently signalling his determination to bring it to an end.

Xi said China would not abandon the use of force in reunifying Taiwan, but stressed the military would target only external elements and those seeking independence for the island.

In 2017, Taipei said that it had detected the deployment of DF-16 ballistic missiles on the mainland that were aimed at Taiwan.

Jin said China was rapidly expanding its missile capabilities. The People’s Liberation Army had already stockpiled about 3,000 short- and medium-range missiles, he said, even though it had been using just 15 per cent of its production capacity.

“Just imagine if we were running at 100 per cent,” he said.

Beijing will show the world “something new” when it rolls out its ballistic missiles at its National Day military parade in October, an expert says. Photo: Xinhua
Beijing will show the world “something new” when it rolls out its ballistic missiles at its National Day military parade in October, an expert says. Photo: Xinhua

Under its plan for military modernisation China had achieved “great advancements in space, electronics and cyberwarfare”, the academic said, but its achievements to date were only the beginning.

As well as the expansion of its missile force, Beijing was investing heavily in its navy, he said.

Is China about to abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy?

With the deployment of the new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer – which some Chinese military experts have said is as good as anything in the US Navy – the balance of power was shifting, he said.

“For the first time in 500 years, the East has combat equipment that is at least as good as the West’s.”

With the deployment of the new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, the balance of power between China and the US is shifting, according to Jin Canrong. Photo: Handout
With the deployment of the new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, the balance of power between China and the US is shifting, according to Jin Canrong. Photo: Handout

And as the navy continued to modernise and expand, the US might be forced to rethink its position in the region, he said.

“When we have dozens of destroyers and four or five [aircraft] carriers the US will not be able to meddle in Taiwan.”

China’s first aircraft carrier may become test bed for electromagnetic warplane launcher

Jin said that China would also soon have all the scientific, academic and research personnel it needed to achieve its military ambitions.

“China had nearly 30 million university students in 2018, which is twice as many as the US. More than half of them are studying science or engineering,” he said.

“Every year we produce about 4 million science and engineering graduates, while America produces just 440,000.”

Professor Jin Canrong speaks at a forum in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout
Professor Jin Canrong speaks at a forum in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout

Beijing also had the money to support its plans, Jin said. Based on his own calculations, he said China allocated about 1.4 per cent of its gross domestic product to military spending, which was lower than “Germany’s 1.5 per cent”, and less than half the “3 per cent in Britain and France”.

“The tax paid by Chinese smokers is more than enough to cover [the country’s] military expenses,” Jin said.

According to figures from Nato, Britain spent 2.1 of its GDP on defence in 2017, France 1.8 per cent and Germany 1.2 per cent. Both the World Bank and the United Nations put China’s military spending in 2017 at 1.9 per cent of its GDP.

Source: SCMP

05/01/2019

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen open to cross-strait talks, but has some demands for Beijing first

  • Leader explains her rejection of Xi Jinping’s proposal to start talks on unification based on ‘one country, two systems’
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 6:13pm

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday she was open to talks with the mainland if Beijing was willing to promote democracy and renounce the use of force against the self-ruled island.

Tsai’s comments came two days after she rejected Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal for the two sides to start talks on unification based on the “one country, two systems” model which applied in Hong Kong.

“As the democratically elected president, I have to defend our democracy, freedom, and way of life,” she told foreign journalists in Taipei to explain her rejection of Xi’s proposal, made in a speech on Wednesday to mark 40 years since the end of military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait.

Tsai said Xi’s statement highlighted two fundamental dangers posed by Beijing to freedom and democracy in Taiwan.

“First, by emphasising ‘one China’ and ‘one country, two systems,’ particularly in the context of the so-called 1992 consensus, China has made clear their political intentions towards Taiwan and their steps for unification.

“This is a major disregard for the fact that the Republic of China, Taiwan does exist, and is in full operation like all other democratic countries,” she said.

“Second, China’s plan to engage in political consultation with the political parties instead of the democratically elected government of Taiwan, is a continuation of its deliberate campaign to undermine and subvert our democratic process and create division in our society.”

The 1992 consensus refers to an understanding that there is only one China, though each side may have its own interpretation of what constitutes “China”.

In his speech, Xi rephrased the consensus as an understanding that “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China, jointly seeking to achieve cross-strait unification”.

Beijing suspended official talks and exchanges with Taiwan when Tsai was elected president in 2016 and refused to accept the consensus.

Since then Beijing, which considers Taiwan a wayward province awaiting unification by force if necessary, has staged a series of war games to intimidate the island and poached five of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to try to pressure Tsai into accepting the consensus.

“As a democracy, cross-strait interaction must follow the rules and oversight of the people of Taiwan, and therefore any discussions must be between governments that are representative of the people on both sides,” Tsai said on Saturday.

She identified a lack of mutual trust as the key problem keeping the two sides from consulting on a possible way of dealing with each other.

“The lack of democracy and protection of human rights, as well as the military threats from China are the major reasons [that people here do not trust Beijing],” Tsai said.

This was why majority opinion in Taiwan opposed cross-strait unification, as people there did not want to live in a system without democracy and human rights, she said.

Asked if the Tsai administration would want talks with Beijing, Tsai said her government did not oppose talks, but Beijing must “move towards democracy, protect human rights and renounce the use of force against us”.

“Only when the two sides step up efforts to accumulate adequate trust will the room for [negotiation] be widened and options [for talks] increased,” she said.

Tsai said Taiwan had long adhered to the principle of refraining from provoking Beijing and had done all it could to maintain stability in the region.

On the contrary, she said, Beijing had tried to suppress Taiwan and refused to cooperate with the island, even on health issues like the outbreak of African swine fever which threatened the well-being of the public in Taiwan.

Tsai added that she had also sought international support to defend the self-ruled island’s democracy and way of life, as well as Taiwan’s refusal to accept the one country, two systems approach offered by Xi for unification talks, given Beijing’s snubbing of democracy and human rights.

She asked Beijing to take note of the democratic mindset of Taiwanee.

03/01/2019

Xinhua Headlines: Xi says “China must be, will be reunified” as key anniversary marked

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-MESSAGE TO COMPATRIOTS IN TAIWAN-COMMEMORATION (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers a speech at a gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing Message to Compatriots in Taiwan, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 2, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

BEIJING, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said China must be and will be reunified, as he addressed a gathering in Beijing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Chinese mainland’s Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.

“It is a historical conclusion drawn over the 70 years of the development of cross-Strait relations, and a must for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era,” said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Speaking at the Great Hall of the People, Xi called for joint efforts across the Taiwan Strait to advance peaceful national reunification.

The long-standing political differences can not be dragged on generation after generation, Xi said.

The Taiwan question originated from national weakness and disorder and has lasted for 70 years.

Xi said since 1949 the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people have always unwaveringly taken resolving the Taiwan question to realize China’s complete reunification as a historic task.

He expressed confidence that the Taiwan question will definitely end with national rejuvenation.

BEST APPROACH

On Jan. 1, 1979, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee issued the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan. It was considered a declaration of the mainland’s policy for peaceful reunification.

Halt to military confrontations was proposed. Visits, cross-Strait transportation, postal services and economic and cultural exchanges were promoted. A page on cross-Strait relations has been turned.

On Wednesday, Xi raised a five-point proposal for peaceful reunification.

He said the principles of “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” are the best approach to realizing national reunification.

He proposed that the mainland and Taiwan conduct democratic consultation on cross-Strait relations and the future of the nation, and establish institutional arrangement for peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

He said on the basis of ensuring China’s sovereignty, security and interests of development, the social system and way of life in Taiwan will be fully respected, and the private property, religious beliefs and legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots will be fully protected after peaceful reunification is realized.

The president pledged “utmost sincerity and greatest efforts” for the prospect of peaceful reunification and said Taiwan will be guaranteed lasting peace after reunification.

“We are all of the same family,” Xi said.

While stressing that the “Chinese don’t fight Chinese,” Xi said, “We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means.”

This targets only the interference of external forces and the very small number of “Taiwan independence” separatists and their activities, he added.

IRRESISTIBLE TREND

“‘Taiwan independence’ goes against the trend of history and will lead to a dead end,” Xi said.

The president said achieving the country’s greatness, national rejuvenation and cross-Strait reunification is the trend of history, which can never be blocked by anyone or any force.

The peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait situations and the progress of cross-Strait relations are the tide of the time that can never be stopped by anyone or any force, he said.

Liu Jieyi, head of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, noted the strengthened political, economic, cultural, personnel exchanges over the decades.

Between 1988 and 2018, 134 million cross-Strait visits were logged; two-way trade reached 2.6 trillion U.S. dollars; and the mainland has been Taiwan’s largest market and top investment destination outside the island, Liu said.

In his speech, Xi said the future of Taiwan lies in national reunification.

“We sincerely hope all the compatriots in Taiwan treasure peace as much as they treasure their own eyes, and pursue national reunification as much as they pursue happiness.”

NO INTERFERENCE FROM OUTSIDE

Xi said the Taiwan question is China’s internal affair and allows no external interference.

The Chinese people’s affairs should be decided by the Chinese people, Xi said, stressing that the Taiwan question concerns China’s core interests and the national bond of the Chinese people.

China’s reunification does not harm any country’s legitimate interests, including their economic interests in Taiwan, Xi said, adding that it will only bring more development opportunities to other countries.

Over the 70 years, more and more countries and peoples have understood and supported China’s cause of reunification, the president noted.

Wednesday’s gathering was attended by Li Zhanshu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, presided over the event.

Wang said Xi’s speech demonstrated the historical trend of cross-Strait relations and called for joint efforts to forge ahead for the peaceful national reunification.

Chen Ching-lung, a 54-year-old hotel operator in Xiamen, Fujian Province, followed Xi’s speech, which was broadcast live by China Media Group and on Xinhua News Agency’s website (xinhuanet.com).

A veteran who was once stationed in Kinmen, Chen joined the influx of Taiwan compatriots who found bristle business chances on the mainland.

“The direction of peaceful development is totally correct,” he said. “What the two sides should do is to mitigate differences and enhance their communications.”

Hsueh Ching-te, another Taiwan compatriot who runs a business in Fujian, said he looks forward to complete reunification so that “all Chinese people will live in peace, prosperity and with dignity.”

02/01/2019

Xi highlights breakthroughs in cross-Strait relations over 70 years

BEIJING, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping highlighted the breakthrough progress made in the cross-Strait relations since 1949, at a gathering on Wednesday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Chinese mainland’s Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.

Over the 70 years, estrangement between the mainland and Taiwan was ended in line with the common will of compatriots across the Strait, and Taiwan compatriots have made great contributions to the reform and opening-up in the mainland, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

During the seven decades, the mainland and Taiwan reached the 1992 Consensus based on the one-China principle, and the political exchanges across the Strait have reached new heights, Xi said.

Over the 70 years, the basic principles of “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” were established, and the basic policy of upholding “one country, two systems” and advancing the national reunification was laid out, according to Xi.

He continued that more and more countries and peoples have understood and supported the cause of the reunification of China over the 70 years.

Furthermore, over the 70 years, a series of major victories in the battles against “Taiwan independence” and separatists have been achieved, Xi said.

20/10/2013

Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years – StratRisks

We can only hope that the article below is a worst-case scenario that will not actually happen.

From: http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/15914

On July 8, 2013, the pro-PRC Chinese-language newspaper, Wenweipo, published an article titled “中國未來50年裡必打的六場戰爭 (Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years)”.

The anticipated six wars are all irredentist in purpose — the reclaiming of what Chinese believe to be national territories lost since Imperial China was defeated by the Brits in the Opium War of 1840-42. That defeat, in the view of Chinese nationalists, began China’s “Hundred Years of Humiliation.” (See Maria Hsia Chang,Return of the Dragon: China’s Wounded Nationalism. Westview, 2001.

Below is the English translation of the article, from a Hong Kong blog, Midnight Express 2046. (The year 2046 is an allusion to what this blog believes will be the last year of Beijing’s “One County, Two Systems” formula for ruling Hong Kong, and “the last year of brilliance of Hong Kong.”)

Midnight Express 2046 (ME2046) believes this article “is quite a good portrait of modern Chinese imperialism.” What ME2046 omits are:

  • the original Chinese-language article identifies the source of the article as 中新網 (ChinaNews.com).
  • The Chinese-language title of the article includes the word bi (), which means “must” or “necessarily” or “surely.” That is why  the word “sure” in the English-language title of the article.

PLAN

THE SIX WARS [SURE] TO BE FOUGHT BY CHINA IN THE COMING 50 YEARS

China is not yet a unified great power. This is a humiliation to the Chinese people, a shame to the children of the Yellow Emperor. For the sake of national unification and dignity, China has to fight six wars in the coming fifty years. Some are regional wars; the others may be total wars. No matter what is the nature, each one of them is inevitable for Chinese unification.

THE 1ST WAR: UNIFICATION OF TAIWAN (YEAR 2020 TO 2025)

Though we are enjoying peace on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, we should not daydream a resolution of peaceful unification from Taiwan administration (no matter it is Chinese Nationalist Party or Democratic Progressive Party). Peaceful unification does not fit their interests while running for elections. Their stance is therefore to keep to status quo (which is favourable to the both parties, each of them can get more bargaining chips) For Taiwan, “independence” is just a mouth talk than a formal declaration, while “unification” is just an issue for negotiation than for real action. The current situation of Taiwan is the source of anxiety to China, since everyone can take the chance to bargain more from China.

China must work out a strategy to unify Taiwan within the next ten years, that is, by 2020.

THE 2ND WAR: “RECONQUEST” OF SPRATLY ISLANDS (YEAR 2025 TO 2030)

After unification of Taiwan, China will take a rest for two years. During the period of recovery, China will send the ultimatum to countries surrounding the Islands with the deadline of 2028. The countries having disputes on the sovereignty of Islands can negotiate with China on preserving their shares of investments in these Islands by giving up their territorial claims. If not, once China declares war on them, their investments and economic benefits will be taken over by China.

At this moment, the South East Asian countries are already shivering with Chinese military unification of Taiwan.

THE 3RD WAR: “RECONQUEST” OF SOUTHERN TIBET (YEAR 2035 TO 2040)

China and India share a long border, but the only sparking point of conflicts between the two countries is only the part of Southern Tibet. China has long been the imaginary enemy of India. The military objective of India is to surpass China. India aims to achieve this by self-development and importing advanced military technologies and weapons from the U.S, Russia and Europe, chasing closely to China in its economic and military development.

In India, the official and media attitude is more friendly towards the U.S, Russia and Europe, and is repellent or even hostile against China. This leads to unresolvable conflicts with China. On the other hand, India values itself highly with the aids from the U.S, Russia and Europe, thinking it can beat China in wars. This is also the reason of long lasting land disputes.

In my opinion, the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India. By dividing into several countries, India will have no power to cope with China.

THE 4TH WAR: “RECONQUEST” OF DIAOYU ISLAND [SENKAKU] AND RYUKYU ISLANDS (YEAR 2040 TO 2045)

In the mid-21st century, China emerges as the real world power, accompanied with the decline of Japan and Russia, stagnant U.S. and India and the rise of Central Europe. That will be the best time for China to take back Diaoyu Island and Ryukyu Islands. The map below is the contrast between ancient and recent Diaoyu Island and Ryukyu Islands (map omitted).

From the historical records of Chinese, Ryukyu and other countries (including Japan), Ryukyu has long been the vassal states of China since ancient times, which means the islands are the lands of China.

THE 5TH WAR: UNIFICATION OF OUTER MONGOLIA (YEAR 2045 TO 2050)

Though there are advocates for reunification of Outer Mongolia at the moment, is this idea realistic? Those unrealistic guys in China are just fooling themselves and making a mistake in strategic thinking. This is just no good to the great work of unification of Outer Mongolia.

China should also pick the groups advocating the unification, aiding them to take over key posts in their government, and to proclaim Outer Mongolia as the core interests of China upon the settlement of Southern Tibet issue by 2040.

THE 6TH WAR: TAKING BACK OF LANDS LOST TO RUSSIA (YEAR 2055 TO 2060)

The current Sino-Russian relationship seems to be a good one, which is actually a result of no better choice facing the U.S. In reality, the two countries are meticulously monitoring the each other. Russia fears the rise of China threaten its power; while China never forgets the lands lost to Russia. When the chance comes, China will take back the lands lost.

When the Chinese army deprives the Russians’ ability to counter strike, they will come to realize that they can no longer match China in the battlefield.

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