December 10, 2005


One China, One Taiwan: Bush's democracy-promotion doctrine doesn't square with his China policy. (Ellen Bork, 12/19/2005, Weekly Standard)

DURING HIS RECENT TRIP TO Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia, President Bush extolled the region's wave of democratization as "one of the greatest stories in human history" and lamented the holdouts who are "out of step with their neighbors and isolated from the world." The president also made it clear that democratic Taiwan, though itself isolated internationally, is as important to the United States as Japan and South Korea. He pointedly held Taiwan out to China as an example of a "free and democratic Chinese society."

Such praise of Taiwan--delivered in Kyoto shortly before the president arrived in Beijing--contrasts sharply with Bush's humiliating rebuff to Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian in 2003. Partly as a result, Bush's trip to Asia has been interpreted as a turning point, marking the application to Asia of the Bush Doctrine of U.S. support for democracy. This attractive notion, however, is complicated by one essential fact: The Bush Doctrine is incompatible with America's one-China policy, which holds that Taiwan is a part of "one China" and that there should be a peaceful resolution of the dispute between Beijing and Taipei. More recently, the Bush administration has added the demand that neither side change "the status quo."

Not only is Taiwan never again going to be part of China, the current China will splinter into its constituent parts -- Tibet, Uighurstan, etc. -- as it liberalizes. The sooner we bring our policy into accord with our ideals, and make them face facts, the better.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 10, 2005 9:27 PM

What evidence can you point to that Bush is that serious about protecting my beautiful island, let alone recognizing her? We know Clinton would sell Taiwan down the river for a photo-op and a couple of decent Guangzhou whores. In fact, Clinton gave the Chinese US nuclear secrets and did sell Taiwan down the river for campaign cash. Clinton is traitor. Bush a stateman: But Is he serious? IS HE SERIOUS? ABOUT TAIWAN'S FREEDOM?

Posted by: Chicken Leg at December 10, 2005 10:22 PM

How do you pronounce that second one? Eagerstan? Oogerstan? Weeghurstan?

Posted by: RC at December 10, 2005 11:03 PM

is taiwan serious about its own defense ? how many days worth of ammunition does it have ? has it finally taken delivery of the weapons systems it has delayed for 5+ years ? sort your house out first then come talk about how serious the u.s. is.

in my book taiwan is just another south korean cry baby false friend. look to japan for a good example.

Posted by: sun tzu at December 10, 2005 11:47 PM

Taiwan is very serious about their defense.

Right now, the PRC could obliterate Taiwan, but they couldn't invade and hold Taiwan.

That's why Taiwan needs the U.S., (or some stronger power), to take the annihilation card off the table. They can handle the rest.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2005 1:07 AM

Chicken Leg:

I don't know about recognizing Taiwan, but it seems to me that the U.S. Seventh Fleet says something. Don't worry about former-President Clinton. He's in the past.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at December 11, 2005 3:34 AM

not according to "The Dignified Rant". reportedly they have 5 days of ammunition and are also being tight fisted with regards to paying for new weapons systems.

Posted by: sun tzu at December 11, 2005 3:55 AM

You ger, I think

Posted by: oj at December 11, 2005 7:59 AM



Posted by: oj at December 11, 2005 8:01 AM

If it's a choice between obliterating Taiwan and letting it be, China will let it be.

Posted by: RC at December 11, 2005 9:41 AM

RC: sure, just like the russians decided to let chechnya be...a pile of rubble. the willful blindness of people to the reality of leftists is a continuing source of wonder to me.

Posted by: sun tzu at December 11, 2005 11:27 AM

Putting aside how long Taiwan's weapons would last or whether or not China could occupy Taiwan or how long it would take to reduce Taiwan to rubble or if the U.S. navy would come to its aid, the question is, why would China want to reduce Taiwan to rubble?

It's too unfathomable, even for the inscrutable east. The Chinese I know are far from stupid, so the argument that a war will take the peasants' minds off their misery, is bogus. It's no longer the dark ages even in China.

Posted by: erp at December 11, 2005 12:54 PM

erp, if they were willing to kill 77M citizens of the PRC itself, then what in the world makes you think they won't hesitate to exterminate every person on formosa? why is it so difficult to accept that leftists are irrational and any effort spent on trying to understand them is futile.

Posted by: sun tzu at December 11, 2005 1:16 PM

Sunny, I don't think Chinese leaders would hesitate to kill as many people as would be necessary to gain their ends. My question is why do so many people think it would be in their best interests to reduce Taiwan to rubble? You're right that leftists are mostly irrational, but they are usually pretty rational when affects their comforts or their purses.

Posted by: erp at December 11, 2005 3:58 PM

erp, the logic of why the Chinese Communists would be more than willing to destroy Taiwan is actually quite rational.

The ultimate goal of the CCP is to hold on to power. But it can't do so anymore by portraying itself as the vanguard of China's working class, because no one believes in Marxism-Leninist fantasies anymore. Instead, the CCP now tries to acquire political legitimacy by pretending to be the fierce patriotic defender of China's unbreakable unity.

In this new fascist fantasy, the drive to recover Taiwan has become the most holy of missions on which the CCP can't be seen to make even the slightest compromise. Given a choice between losing power by losing Taiwan and holding on to power by destroying a Taiwan that has declared independence, the Communists would not hesitate to kill every Taiwanese down to the last woman and child. It would be a very rational decision by China's dictators.

Posted by: X at December 11, 2005 5:33 PM

"your rationale is not my rationale".

Posted by: sun tzu at December 11, 2005 5:43 PM

Kill all Taiwanese and then what do they for a second act?

Posted by: erp at December 11, 2005 5:51 PM

erp, what the CCP's second act would be after it'd killed off the Taiwanese is a separate question. The point is that for the time being at least, through their act of democide, the Chinese Communists would have been able to continue to hold on to power.

Many years ago, Dutch Schultz, a notorious New York City gangster who was entering his period of decline, was being pursued by Thomas Dewey, who was at the time an aggressive crimefighting district attorney. Schultz was so angry he wanted to assassinate Dewey, and asked the other top gangleaders for their permission. His underworld colleagues refused, believing Dewey's murder would create long-term troubles for the entire criminal underworld. Dutch Schultz decided to put a murder plan in motion anyway. He didn't care about the long-term problems an assassination would bring on everyone else. He only cared about getting rid of the immediate pressure Dewey was putting on him.

I would suggest that the CCP's leaders, who are also now in their period of decline, are far less likely to think as Dutch Schultz's colleagues did and far more likely to act as the bloody-minded Dutchman did.

Posted by: X at December 11, 2005 6:44 PM

x. From Wikipedia: Mobster Dutch Schultz was reportedly killed because he was planning to assassinate Dewey, which his compatriots felt would draw too much unwanted law enforcement attention to their operations.

Dare we hope there is someonhe in China ready and able to perform the same courtesy as Dutch's pals did to save their operation and the gazillions trade with the U.S. brings them.

Posted by: erp at December 11, 2005 6:57 PM

erp, that's an interesting thought!

Posted by: X at December 11, 2005 7:16 PM

yes, the same brave souls who stopped mao.

Posted by: surrender dorothy at December 11, 2005 8:47 PM

dot. You must see that China is a far different place than when Mao was in power.

Posted by: erp at December 11, 2005 9:48 PM

more pollution and less women.

the best chinese live in America and we are the better for it.

Posted by: surrender dorothy at December 11, 2005 11:30 PM

No argument there. Everyone is better off living here.

I worked with a lot of Chinese, both from the mainland and from Taiwan and found them charming, great sense of humor and pleasant colleagues.

This was about 15 years ago, and the Reds, as we called them then, were a bit defensive when they first arrived, but warmed up considerably as the weeks passed. They were only here on loan and we were all sad when they had to go back.

The Taiwanese were Americans who were born in the wrong country. Fit in right away. Many found a way to stay and of course, their kids, were indistinguishable from the rest of our kids.

Posted by: erp at December 12, 2005 4:07 PM