Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?

November 30, 2008

“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan at Princeton.

Chong-pin engaged Princeton University students and professors in a lively discussion Nov. 18 that focused on China’s relationship with Taiwan and China’s growing importance in world affairs.

A professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, Chong-pin was brought to Princeton by the East Asian Studies department. His lecture was titled, “More carrot than stick: Beijing’s adjusted Taiwan policy.”

Chong-pin mentioned beauty pageants and high-visibility sporting events as examples of China’s emerging emphasis on culture.

“Now I think it’s generally agreed that Beijing is using economic and cultural influence to establish its international status,” he said. “The idea is to make the rest of the world look to Beijing unconsciously or subconsciously as the future mecca of the world.”

By Megan DeMarco
The Times (Trenton, NJ)

Read about China’s “Grand Strategy” to ease the U.S. out of East Asia:
http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/
news-15/12280215089560.xml&coll=5

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Japan Slides Into Recession; Obama Presidency Seen as No Help

November 17, 2008

Japan’s economy slid into a recession for the first time since 2001, the government said Monday, as companies sharply cut back on spending in the third quarter amid the unfolding global financial crisis.

The world’s second-largest economy contracted at an annual pace of 0.4 percent in the July-September period after a declining an annualized 3.7 percent in the second quarter. That means Japan, along with the 15-nation euro-zone, is now technically in a recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction.

The result was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Kyodo News agency had predicted gross domestic product would gain an annualized 0.1 percent.

Japan’s Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano said following the data’s release that “the economy is in a recessionary phase.”

But the worst may be yet to come, especially with dramatic declines in demand from consumers overseas for Japan’s autos and electronics gadgets. Hurt also by a strengthening yen, a growing number of exporters big and small are slashing their profit, sales and spending projections for the full fiscal year through March.

Toyota Motor Corp., for example, has cut net profit full-year profit forecast to 550 billion yen ($5.5 billion) — about a third of last year’s earnings. And Sony Corp., whose July-September profit plunged 72 percent, expects to make 59 percent less this fiscal year than last year.

“What we’re starting to see is the extent of deterioration in external demand start to weigh more heavily on the Japanese economy,” said Glen Maguire, chief Asia economist at Societe Generale. “And I think looking forward, there’s every indication that dynamic is going to continue.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_bi_ge/as_jap
an_economy;_ylt=ApHIyzOiyEFeB_wFtelfrris0NUE

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For Japan, Obama Signals A Shift Closer to China, Away From “Traditional” Asian Allies
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The Japanese do not share the jubilation seen almost everywhere following the election of Barack Obama. 

Economically, Japan sees an Obama White House funding the American Big Three Automakers: GM, Chrysler and Ford.  And that’s bad for Japan’s automakers.

Japan, for one nation, prefers to allow the “system” to work without more government intervention.

On the foreign policy level, Japan fears North Korea’s erratic behavior and nuclear capability.  It also fears China as a tradition enemy of immense wealth, population and size which can easily overwhelm the economy of Japan.

Japan fears the presidency of Barack Obama.  “So far, no good,” one senior diplomat told Peace and Freedom.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapal, Virginia

Related:
Obama Not Such A Hero In Japan

Former Taiwan president led away in handcuffs

November 11, 2008

Former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian on Tuesday was led from a prosecutor’s office in handcuffs after being questioned for five hours on money-laundering allegations.

Taiwan television stations, which broadcast images of Chen being taken away, said that Chen arrived at Taipei district court, where a judge could order his detention.

Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian was arrested as ... 
Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian was arrested as prosecutors sought to detain him in connection with a long-running corruption probe.(AFP/Sam Yeh)

Chen could be heard shouting, “This is a political persecution” and “Cheers for Taiwan,” as he was being led away.

Associated Press

Chen said Monday night he believed his arrest was imminent. He linked it to attempts by newly installed Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou to placate China, following violent protests last week against a visiting Chinese envoy.

Chen, who has denied any wrongdoing, is an ardent supporter of Taiwanese independence, a cause decried by Beijing, which insists that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. China has threatened war if the island moves to make its 59-year break with the mainland permanent.

“Long live Taiwanese democracy,” Chen declared to his supporters outside the prosecutors’ office. “Long live Taiwanese independence.”

Chen faced more than five hours of questioning Tuesday in connection with his alleged role in what prosecutors say was a money-laundering scheme.

There has been no official statement from prosecutors on the case.

Chen has been the object of a six-month probe into allegations he laundered money and made illegal use of a special presidential fund during his eight years in office that ended in May.

Two of Chen’s senior advisers already have been arrested in the case.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111
/ap_on_re_as/as_taiwan_former_president;_ylt
=AhXkKH4JuTTvXPix06e9AD.s0NUE

Senior China Diplomat Subject of Ridicule, Protest, Curses in Taiwan: Two People from Different Planets

November 6, 2008

He stepped off the plane with a mission: Make history by becoming the most senior Chinese official to visit Taiwan. Sign a landmark trade deal. Draw the wayward island closer to motherland China.

Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin did all those things during his trip that ends Friday. But his five-day visit also highlighted how — socially and politically — Taiwan and China are not merely like two separate countries. They are more like different planets.

While Chen hobnobbed with tycoons and officials on Taiwan’s banquet circuit, he was mocked by comedians, cursed by rowdy street protesters and scrutinized by the island’s aggressive media.

By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer
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China's top negotiator with Taiwan, Chen Yunlin, center, is ... 
China’s top negotiator with Taiwan, Chen Yunlin, center, is escorted by security to his waiting car after being forced to stay for some hours in the Regent Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, early Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. Chen was trapped in the hotel during a dinner meeting with ruling party leaders due to a raging protest of over a thousand pro-Taiwan supporters outside the hotel, denouncing his visit. Chen, chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), is on a five-day visit to Taiwan.(AP Photo)

The press dubbed his Elvis-style pompadour hairdo “airplane head.” A newspaper headline asked, “Who knows how much hair gel he uses?”

A popular chant by street protesters who dogged him was, “Chen Yunlin scram!” They unfurled a huge banner from a window at his hotel that called him a “Communist bandit.” He was trapped in a banquet hall past midnight Wednesday by demonstrators who surrounded the venue and blocked traffic.

A nightly TV comedy show that features impersonations of political figures targeted him, too, with a comedian appearing as a stiff, poofy-haired Chen with two thuggish bodyguards at his side and mimicking the slow, stodgy way Chinese leaders speak.

Parody and protests are common in Taiwan’s raucous democracy. They wouldn’t be tolerated in Chen’s communist police state back home, just 100 miles on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. The nation’s top leaders must be respected — by everyone.

Despite the insults and mockery, Chen’s visit was remarkable because it would have been virtually impossible a year ago.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_re_as/as_taiwan_china_envoy_28

Without Losing Face, China’s Diplomat Avoids Greeting Taiwan’s President

November 6, 2008

The meeting between Chen Yunlin and President Ma Ying-jeou, the highlight of a four-day visit to the island by Mr Chen, had been overshadowed by controversy over how the Chinese envoy would address his host.

In the event, he successfully ducked the issue – by offering no verbal greeting at all.

Richard Spencer in Beijing
Telegraph (UK)

He could not use Mr Ma’s title, since China does not recognise the Taiwan government’s autonomy.

But he could not address him simply as Mr Ma without paying disrespect to his host – and playing into the hands of Mr Ma’s anti-China opposition, who were already accusing him of selling out to Beijing by inviting him.

Taiwan democratically elected President Ma Ying-jeou (right) made history when he became fisrt leader of the island to meet a senior Chinese leader science the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Taiwan democratically elected President Ma Ying-jeou (right) made history when he became fisrt leader of the island to meet a senior Chinese leader science the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Photo: AFP / Getty Images

So during their five-minute public meeting, he uttered just one line, as he handed over a gift of a painting: “I offer this to you. This is by a master artist.”

Mr Chen’s visit is the fruit of a warming of ties between the two former enemies, who are still technically at war. Taiwan is ruled by the same political party that fought the Communist Party for control of China in the 1930s and 40s, and the People’s Republic still claims sovereignty over it.

Mr Ma has improved relations since his election in March by promising not to move towards a declaration of formal independence.

Mr Chen signed a number of trade deals on his visit, but the two sides did not attempt to make progress on all-important security issues, such as the 1,000 missiles the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has targeted at the island.

“We cannot deny that differences and challenges still exist, such as Taiwan’s security and Taiwan’s position in the international community.” Mr Ma said at the meeting.

Mr Ma’s opponents from the Democratic Progressive Party, whom he defeated in the election, staged noisy protests against Mr Chen’s visit and said the president was “selling out” the island.

“Ma is sucking up to China by degrading Taiwan’s sovereignty and this humiliates our country,” said Ko Kai-liang, 40, a chemical company worker.

Nevertheless the visit will be regarded in both Beijing and Taipei as a success – especially the subtlety of Mr Chen’s diplomacy.

For he did not quite fail to address Mr Ma: the picture was of a horse, the meaning of the Taiwanese president’s surname.

China-US ties seen smooth under Obama presidency

November 6, 2008

China-US ties should remain steady under an Obama presidency, due largely to Washington’s need for cooperation on the global financial crisis from an increasingly powerful Beijing, experts said.

Obama, who won office on Tuesday, criticised Chinese trade policies during his campaign, but not in particularly strident terms.

Chinese President Hu Jintao at a G8 press briefing in Sapporo ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao at a G8 press briefing in Sapporo in early July. China-US ties should remain steady under an Obama presidency, due largely to Washington’s need for cooperation on the global financial crisis from an increasingly powerful Beijing, experts have said.(AFP/File/Jewel Samad)

And with myriad other problems to face, including two wars and the US financial meltdown , his attention will be diverted from such concerns as China’s currency policy and its military build-up, analysts said.

By Dan Martin, AFP

“It should be a very smooth transition. Obama is not a president who ran against China,” said Professor David Zweig, an expert on Chinese foreign relations at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

By contrast, he said, the campaigns of the past four US presidents, with the exception of the elder George Bush, all featured tough words for Beijing.

“This could be the smoothest transition since 1980,” Zweig said.

The need to coax China into global efforts to address the world financial crisis could force Obama to mute criticism on other issues, observers said.

“Obama will not try to project China in negative terms,” said Bahukutumbi Raman, a fellow with India’s Chennai Centre for China Studies.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081106/wl_asia_afp/usvotechina
obamadiplomacy_081106062915

Taiwan welcomes China deals, ponders impact on autonomy

November 5, 2008

Taiwan Wednesday broadly welcomed historic deals with China as a boost for the faltering economy, but some wondered if closer integration would erode the self-ruled island’s autonomy.

By Amber Wang, AFP

agreements Signing deals on trade, transit and tourism will have solid benefits for Taiwan’s economy by improving links with its cross-strait rival and main market, media and analysts said.

But some questioned whether the deals were the first step towards Taiwan becoming a second Hong Kong, which became a Special Administrative Region of China’s post-colonial rule in 1997 and lost aspects of its autonomy.

Beijing is obviously the big winner from the talks and has Taiwan in its grip,” said Lee Shiao-feng, a political analyst at the National Taipei University of Education.

Heavy-handed security was also criticised as authorities appeared determined to protect Chen Yunlin, the most senior Chinese official to visit here since civil war ended in 1949, from pro-independence activists who roughed up his deputy last month.

The four agreements, potentially worth billions of dollars, introduce direct cargo shipping and postal services, increase passenger flights and shorten existing routes across the Taiwan Strait.

They also pledge cooperation on food security in the wake of several Chinese scandals, and China promised to let more of its citizens visit the island, just 180 kilometres (112 miles) off its eastern coast.

The deals Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which split from China when the nationalist Kuomintang lost the civil war and fled here.

It has more than 1,000 missiles aimed at the island and has vowed to retake it, by force if necessary, especially if it declares independence.

Chinese envoy Chen, head of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, signed the deals with Chiang Pin-kung, his local counterpart as head of the Strait Exchange Foundation.

Their meeting, the second between the two envoys and the first in Taiwan, has sparked widespread criticism and vocal protests that Taipei is making too many concessions to its once sworn enemy in order to win the deals.

“I don’t see the Ma government upholding Taiwan’s sovereignty by banning the national flag during Chen’s visit,” political analyst Lee told AFP.

“Instead it is embracing Beijing’s ‘one China’ stance,” he added, referring to Beijing’s official position that Taiwan is part of China.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081105/ts_afp/
taiwanchinapolitics_081105071202

Once hostile Taiwan, China set to sign more deals

October 31, 2008

Negotiators for China and Taiwan will meet next week, as Beijing sends its highest-level official in decades to the self-ruled island that it claims as its own to sign a list of deals over a din of protests.

The November 3-7 talks mark another thaw in relations between the two sides since Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May on pledges to improve the island’s economy by getting a piece of China’s booming markets.

By Ralph Jennings, Reuters

Negotiators for China and Taiwan will meet next week, as Beijing sends its highest-level official in decades to the self-ruled island that it claims as its own to sign a list of deals over a din of protests.

The November 3-7 talks mark another thaw in relations between the two sides since Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May on pledges to improve the island’s economy by getting a piece of China’s booming markets.

A plane flies past the entrance of the Grand Hotel, which is ...
plane flies past the entrance of the Grand Hotel, which is the location of the upcoming talks between the mainland and Taiwan, in Taipei October 31, 2008.(Nicky Loh/Reuters)

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek‘s KMT fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.

“Symbolically, the meeting is important because it conveys a message from the Chinese government and leadership that they are supporting this process to enhance interaction,” said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Taiwan think tank, China Council of Advanced Policy Studies.

“It’s also conducive to (President) Ma’s commitment to keeping peace,” he said.

Chen Yunlin, Beijing’s top negotiator on Taiwan affairs, will lead a 60-person team to the island on Monday.

During the week, he and Taiwan counterpart P.K. Chiang will negotiate shortening routes for direct flights, which started in July following landmark two-way talks in Beijing after a decades-long ban due to security concerns.

They also aim to add six new Chinese airports to the destination list and allow daily direct flights, up from four days a week now.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081031/wl_nm/us_taiwan_china_1

McCain tilts towards Taiwan, Obama may favor China

October 30, 2008

Republican presidential candidate John McCain would seek to defend Taiwan and play hard ball with China if he comes to office, but Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama would further sideline Taipei as he courts Beijing.

By Ralph Jennings, Reuters

Analysts say neither candidate would radically change today’s status quo, but the former World War Two commander McCain is seen favoring Taiwan, which Americans of his generation called “Free China” but which now struggles for an international voice.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the island back under mainland rule, by force if necessary, but relations have improved since the inauguration of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in May.

The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, recognizing “one China,” but remains the island’s biggest ally and arms supplier. Taiwan is recognized by only 23 countries compared with about 170 recognizing permanent U.N. Security Council member China.

Like current President George W. Bush, Obama proposes working with China on economic and security goals while pushing Taipei and Beijing to settle their differences peacefully.

“People in Taiwan tend to think McCain takes a rather conservative view toward China and his war veteran image appeals to them,” said Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at City University of Hong Kong.

Individual candidates aside, recent U.S. administrations have tried to improve their relations with former Cold War enemy China to get a share of its booming markets.

China is also an important voice in the current global credit crisis, an ally in the fight against terrorism and host of talks trying to rein in North Korea‘s nuclear program.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081030/pl_nm/us_
taiwan_usa_election_1

Taiwan Building 300 New Cruise Missiles

October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008: Taiwan officially announced it will be producing 300 of the new Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missiles. The 19 foot long missile weighs a ton (with a 450 pound warhead) and has a top speed of 800 kilometers an hour. Max range is 600 kilometers. It uses inertial and GPS guidance.

Taiwan tends to develop its new weapons quietly, and then suddenly reveal them. The Hsiung Feng 2E suddenly began showing up in military parades recently, with little official comment. The Hsiung Feng 2E was developed from the Hsiung Feng 2 anti-ship missile. This was a smaller weapon (.685 ton), with a range of 160 kilometers. It entered service in the early 1990s, and by the late 1990s, developers were working on turning it into a cruise missile. The Hsiung Feng 2E can be launched from ships or from land and can threaten Chinese targets several hundred kilometers inland.

From Strategy Page