We’re Praying For Our Friends in Taiwan
Image Courtesy: Ariaa Jaeger
(AP) 6.4 Quake in Tianan – 3 Confirmed Dead,
Many Hundreds Injured
Activists Shocked That Hillary Clinton Vowed Not to Let Human Rights Concerns Hinder Cooperation with the China Regime –CDT 2009
(WSJ) Taiwan held an historic election this week, with voters giving a landslide victory to the opposition and making DPP Tsai Ing-wen its first female president. The result has major implications for China, the United States and Asia, the wealthiest and most populous region in the world but did America’s future leaders notice?
Hillary Clinton who hopes to be the first female president and boasts of engineering the U.S. pivot to Asia said nothing about Taiwan this week. Clinton highlighted the tainted water scandal in Michigan, published paeans to Obama’s leadership and Tweeted about the scourge of “mansplaining” but there was no press release congratulating Taiwan and Tsai Ing-wen and no statement from the campaign trail.
Some Republicans did better. “Taiwan’s latest election once again shows the island to be a thriving democracy,” Marco Rubio said in a statement, calling for expanded economic, political and security cooperation with “one of America’s oldest and most loyal friends in Asia.”
Ted Cruz said, Taiwanese citizens “tenacious witness to the promise of liberty is a beacon of light to their neighbors, yearning to be free. America honors our friend and ally today.”
Former Florida Gov Jeb Bush, NJ Gov Chris Christie and Ohio Gov John Kasich may share these sentiments but they didn’t say so. Donald Trump was similarly mute.
U.S. foreign policy isn’t determined solely by what candidates do or don’t say while campaigning and thank goodness for that but campaign rhetoric reflects popular priorities and the general failure to note Taiwan’s election isn’t an isolated event. It reflects a too common practice of misunderstanding Taiwan’s importance as a U.S. partner, Asian bellweather and target of China (regime) aggression.
The U.S. assesses that preparing to fight Taiwan remains the ‘primary mission’ of China’s military. Taiwan once enjoyed technological military superiority along with ‘the inherent geographic advantages of island defense’ a Pentagon report to Congress said last year but recent Chinese modernization has ‘eroded or negated many of these factors.’
China’s Communists consider Taiwan a renegade province and threaten war if the island won’t voluntarily unify with China. — China State TV last year showed a military drill in which PLA soldiers stormed a replica of Taiwan’s presidential office…the phrase ‘use force to unify Taiwan’ exploded on Chinese social-media after this weeks election of DPP Tsai Ing-wen, whose platform emphasized Taiwan’s right to democratic self-government.
The U.S. pivot to Asia sought to deter Chinese aggression but ignored Taiwan. William Stanton, the career diplomat who represented the United States in Taipei from 2009-2012 said that, ‘the biggest failure of the Obama Administration’s policy towards China has been its handling of Taiwan, including ‘the omission of any references to Taiwan in describing the U.S. policy of reorientation to Asia.’ The U.S. last month announced a modest arms sale to Taiwan but that followed an unprecedented four year hiatus.
Taiwan’s size and economy certainly don’t justify its being overlooked. It has 23 million people, as many as Australia and more than most countries in the world. Largely due to its electronic exports, its America’s 10th largest trading partner ahead of India.
It’s peaceful transition from authoritarianism to democracy starting in the 1980s should be a model for the world, Chinese leaders and their boosters in the West sometime speak of a ‘Beijing model’ challenging the liberal-democratic ‘Washington consensus’ but Taiwan’s election showed how poor China looks in comparison.
China imprisons female human rights activists, lawyers and journalists; Taiwan has a female president-elect. Chinese citizens go to jail for asking their leaders to disclose personal assets; Taiwan president-elect Tsai Ing-wen asset disclosure was barely even noticed. — The Chinese doctor who became a national hero for curbing the 2003 SARS outbreak Jiang Yanyong, was soon detained for discussing the Tiananmen Square Massacre; Taiwan’s SARS hero Dr. Chen Chien-jen is now vice president-elect.
Then there is Hong Kong, where Beijing ‘promised’ to respect civil liberties and thereby create a model for Taiwan to come under its sovereignty. With Beijing’s promise of democracy now broken and mainland China agents accused of abducting government critics off Hong Kong streets, its no wonder, Taiwanese back politicians who pledge to preserve their distance from Beijing.
Studying a map reveals other aspects of Taiwan’s importance. Taiwan sits at the center of the Western Pacific’s ‘first island chain’ which stretches from Indonesia in the south to Japan in the north, bounding China’s coast and limiting Beijing’s ability to threaten the open ocean militarily. China’s control of Taiwan would mean that Chinese submarines based on the island’s east coast, with free access up and down the Pacific.
U.S. allies such as Japan consider Taiwan essential to their own security. The erosion of U.S. attention to Taiwan–and certainly the abandonment of Taiwan that some American scholars propose, could shatter U.S. alliances in Asia, which grave regional security consequences such as Japan and South Korea going nuclear.
So the election of Tsai Ing-wen, would be a good moment for Taiwan to regain American’s attention. China’s attempts to bully Taipei’s new government economically, diplomatically or militarily may soon force the U.S. to pay great attention to some crisis but that only underscores the issue’s importance now. Something for presidential hopefuls to consider as they traverse Iowa and New Hampshire.
Obama Administration Should Back Taiwan Voters Clear Choice to Remain Free & Separate from China -Image Courtesy: Kellvan Cheng
- Flashback: Remember in 2010 when Obama bowed to China’s Hu Jintao — Remember in 2008 when Obama promised his Marxist China counterpart before and after the presidential election that he would continue to support China totalitarianism for U.S. ally Taiwan
Russian Rebels Hoist Flag in Newly Captured Ukrainian Town of Debaltseve -Image: KURV Radio
(WSJ) Ukraine has withdrawn troops from the embattled strategic railway hub of Debaltseve early Wednesday, after pro-Russian Rebels overran the town in violation of the ‘so called ceasefire’ that was to have begun on Sunday.
The Russian Rebel forces say they have taken hundred of Ukrainian Soldiers as prisoners. Ukrainian soldiers reportedly were describing desperate conditions as fighting raged–One said they hadn’t been able to get food or water because of the rebel shelling.
The Obama Administration has been silent on these latest reports. Why should this matter to Americans and our allies?
On March 09, 2014 I wrote here that in 1994, then President Bill Clinton together with British Prime Minister John Major and Russian President Boris Yelstin, executed ‘The Budapest Memorandum’ promising to protect the sovereignty of Ukrainian territorial borders from an invading army as part of the denuclearization of the former Soviet Union.
Why should anyone have confidence in any agreements past, present or future made with the United States when we have a history of reneging on them when it is either politically inconvenient or when we have an appeaser-in-chief for president like Obama, who has withdrawn American GI’s from Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming less than a year ago that, “the Iraq war is over…We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq,” only to declare war on ISIS in Iraq less than 1 yr later?
When we have a president who undermines our allies such as Israel and Taiwan, while chummy with Islamic Fascists such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and China regime Marxist Xi Jinping, claiming recently to “welcome China’s peaceful rise,” all the while declaring “the world is less violent than it has ever been.”
Obama seems to live in a world of an alternate reality, based more on how he perceives the world should operate than on how it really is.
(RFA Chinese) Human Rights Activists Petition the White House
to Stop Suppressing Taiwan and her National Flag
Flashback: In 2008 then presidential candidate Sen Barack Obama promised his Marxist counterparts before and after the election that he would continue to support the ‘One China Policy’ of totalitarianism for U.S. ally Taiwan.
Obama Will Defend Hong Kong Democracy Advocates Like he Did Iran’s, Watching Them Die –Image: Anne Bayefsky@Twitter
(BBC) The Obama Administration continues to fail to support Hong Kong pro-Democracy advocates, only merely asking that the China regime exercise restraint–The CCP calls the demonstrations illegal and chaotic, warning if they continue, ‘consequences will be unimaginable’ according to state media.
Flashback: Remember in April 2010, when Obama renewed his commitment in support of the Marxist Totalitarianism ‘One China Policy’ for Taiwan which speaks volumes as to why Obama doesn’t support Freedom & Democracy in Hong Kong.
Taiwan Taipei Rally in Support of HK — Sign Reads: “Today’s Hong Kong Tomorrows Taiwan” –Image: Formosa Nation@Twitter
Taiwan Rally in Support of Hong Kong –Image: SBS News
Hundreds in Sydney Support Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activists
Image: SBS News@Twitter
(Vatican) Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the families of the victims of Trans Asia Airways that crashed near Makong Airport in Taiwan Penghu on Wednesday:
“The Holy Father learned with sadness of the air accident near Makong Airport and he asks you to kindly convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the assurance of his prayers for all affected by this tragedy. Upon all he invokes God’s blessings of consolation, strength and peace.”
According to Taiwan transportation authorities, 47 people were confirmed dead and 11 injured from the ATR 72 aircraft which carried 54 passengers and 4 crew members.
More here from Taipei Times
(Taiwan News) As President Obama departs for Asia to reassure allies of the U.S. commitment in the region, Taiwan (again) is notably absent on Obama’s agenda.
While Obama can’t seem to find the time to visit Taiwan, what trip would be complete if he didn’t visit a giant Mosque in Malaysia?
According to the USA Today Obama’s trip to Malaysia will be largely symbolic than substantive, given that its on the CIA’s ‘Watch List’ for the sexual exploitation of Women and Children that some govt officials are reportedly complicit in.
(Washington Post) President Obama has led a foreign and domestic policy agenda based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality–this is evident in Obama’s “miscalculations” in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Taiwan, China, Russia, Ukraine…
While foreign policy crisis’s continue erupting on Obama’s Watch, today the Obama Administration forges ahead with its Progressive, domestic green agenda of a narrow, isolationist view of their responsibilities, announcing new stricter EPA regulations, further weakening an already overly regulated, anemic, struggling U.S. economy, which further emboldens our adversaries throughout the world.
H/T: FOX Nation