The one China I party with
The local 96th anniversary party for the founding of the Republic of China, held a tad early last night at the Wellington Club, was a very fun do, and probably the best diplomatic function I have had for ages.
While HE John Chen, the Ambassador (or Representative of the Taiwan Economic Ofﬁce as the Truman–Kissinger–Nixon–Red China–Labour Party view might have it) gave a very enlightening speech, I must say that the Hon Peter Dunne MP, Minister of Revenue and leader of the United Future party, gave the address of the evening.
While being the ﬁrst MP to speak gave Mr Dunne some advantages in that every later speaker referred back to him, I admired the Minister’s choice of words (very clever and both KMT and Democratic or DPP sides were satisﬁed) as well as his passion (which, like John Major’s, never comes through properly on telly).
Mr Dunne referred to the Republic of China, the oldest republic in Asia, and played equally on the history and the need for the UN to recognize the self-determination of people.
The Māori Party, National, Greens and New Zealand First all were present, speaking with varying degrees on the idea of independence. National ﬁelded what must have been two dozen MPs. Showing its pro-Communist, anti-Tibet, anti-Republic leanings, Labour ﬁelded one.
So much for Labour’s beliefs: at a conference in August that I attended, the Hon Phil Goff MP, representing the government, spoke proudly of a free-trade agreement with the Reds. It is not something a room ﬁlled with members of the Chinese diaspora, who buggered off because of the Reds after 1949, wanted to hear. The local Red diplomat out from Beijing was pretty happy though.
Moving Labour’s oppositions aside, I have to say that I support the recognition of the Republic, but not in the exact way the Chinese Republic’s President or the DPP thinks.
I may be wrong on my history, but I always thought the notion of Taiwanese independence came not from the Taiwanese people originally, but from the Reds in Beijing.
When faced with the prospect of so much overseas support for the Republic, as opposed to the People’s Republic, Comrades Deng Xiopeng, Cho En Lai, Deng Ying Chao, Xie Xue Gong and others thought that the best way to undermine Gen Chiang Kai-shek and his KMT government on Taiwan was to start talking about Taiwanese independence.
This may be total bollocks and I invite others to correct me in the comments if it’s untrue. I certainly found little in Google. To those calling for Taiwanese independence today, which must amount to the millions, I do respect their views, however they were founded.
I personally still view it was conspiratorial, based on an insider campaign to disunite Chinese and Taiwanese people in the last place the Republican government stood. On that front, it has succeeded exactly as it was planned.
However, a trip is being planned to the island where I would like to uncover the truth behind this and maybe to share the traditional, conservative view from overseas with the locals. The Chinese diaspora, which outnumbers the population on Taiwan, and which ﬁnanced the foundation of the Republic in 1911, do want to see the country properly recognized. I want to see my people’s part in this be carried through to a logical conclusion. Any UN seat, we think, must be sought under the title of the Republic of China, not Taiwan, a province.
But for many (not all) 39 million overseas Chinese, the idea of recognition must be that of the pre-1971, pre-UN Resolution 2758 situation: that the Republic of China, a founding member of the UN, speaks for all of China. (It is a view that has been steadily eroded since military law ended in 1987 in the Republic.) That is at odds with the current situation where the People’s Republic does that, even if its own people have no self-determination: I would argue that Red China does not satisfy the requirements of a nation under the UN’s own Charter.
And sadly, the Red ways are too entrenched in Beijing; but as part of the country enjoys prosperity and propaganda leading to the ’08 Olympics, the Politburo should have little concern over its grip on power if it were to allow a hint of democracy to creep in. (Opposition parties, constitutionally, are permitted under the Reds. Just not in practice.) I wonder then if that will lead to a one-China idea—but then we have the ofﬁcial name of the country to contend with.
As a cynic, the change in ’71 only came because Tricky Dicky wanted a place to visit after ﬁguring he could be disgraced through Watergate, and chillin’ with Mao was more fun than visiting Brezhnev. But that is another story and I have no facts to back that one up. Christopher Hitchens might.
Posted by Jack Yan, 00:34
The betrayal of the Republic of China has had many midwives, staring with George C. Marshall when he was the US special envoy to China. There was much subterfuge during the war against the Japanese invaders. This is particularly troublesome to all of us who believe in individual liberty and western values. Policy makers in the US Government allowed Joseph Stalin to capture eastern Europe and Mao’s Communists to control the Chinese mainland. It is still a long protracted conflict.
# posted by Zak Klemmer: 10/12/2007 03:35:00 AM
I need to read up on Marshalls involvement, Zak, but I say Truman and Ike have to accept their fair share with their hands-off foreign policy.
"I want to see my people’s part in this be carried through to a logical conclusion. Any UN seat, we think, must be sought under the title of the Republic of China, not Taiwan, a province."
Who are "your people"? And who are you speaking on behalf of? "Your people"?
The fact that you describe Taiwan as "a province" pretty much answers my questions, but it's still important to be clear when writing subjectively on topics like these as some readers may not know more or have their own opinions on the subject.
# posted by Kathy Cheng: 10/27/2007 09:38:00 PM
Kathy, the answer is the Chinese people. I don’t think it is too unclear, subjective or not.
Then I find it a little humorous you feel qualified to speak on behalf of the Chinese people.
How about just speaking for yourself?
# posted by Kathy Cheng: 10/31/2007 05:05:00 AM
I don’t see where you are coming from, Kathy. I did not say I spoke on behalf of all Chinese: that is abundantly clear. I said I respected differing views. I do say that I want to see the sacriﬁces made by the Chinese people to establish the Republic to be honoured. If you want me to be very, very speciﬁc, then I suppose I could qualify my statement as referring to the Chinese diaspora.Post a Comment
It is my opinion so of course I am speaking for myself—but you seem to hint that my viewpoint is invalid, or at best humorous, based on one sentence? Is there something wrong with my having a desire to see the wishes of so many Chinese people carried through? Nevertheless, I think I am as qualiﬁed as any other Chinese person to speak for a group: it’s not as though my wish is one in isolation.
Please let me understand where you are coming from. Right now, and I may be wrong, it seems you are taking issue with something that wasn’t even remotely hinted at.
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