Archive for ‘Taiwan’

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fun and Facts in Taiwan

Every year, there’s the fun

and the facts.

President Tsai’s 2022 new year’s remarks are also available in English.
____________

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Russia in the Indo-Pacific

The following is a translation of an introduction by Radio Taiwan International’s (RTI) Mandarin program “Serving the People” (為人民服務), discussing Russia’s role in the region loosely defined as the “Indo-Pacific”.

russian_built_gepard_3_9_frigate_quang_trung

Russian-built Gepard 3.9 frigate Quang Trung,
public domain

Lu Ssu-pin (魯斯濱), a columnist on Russian military affairs, discusses Russia’s involvement in the Indo-Pacific, and especially its ties with ASEAN, in “Serving the People’s” December 23 edition. The discussion can be listened to there (button top right).

No great secrets are revealed there, but while Russia’s business in the region doesn’t go unreported by Western media, it may often be underestimated. This includes areas of conflict with China.

Ssu also touches on the revival of the Russian language in Vietnamese lesson plans. The numbers don’t look overwhelming, but according to Ssu, Russian technology (such as military technology or its Global Navigation Satellite System) can be rather well absorbed by ASEAN countries, and is affordable, while a lot of Western technology isn’t.

Main link:
Russia also gets involved in Indo-Pacific, Russia and China singing different tunes (俄羅斯也插手印太 俄中各唱各的調)

The statement issued on December 12 after the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Liverpool emphasized that the G7 member states wanted to establish an investment and trade circle democracies so as to respond to China’s coercive economic policies more unitedly. Russia was also warned not to rashly use force against Ukraine as [Moscow] would face serious economic costs. U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken travelled right on for visits to Southeast Asia, with the clear intention to draw in allies to crowd around China.

12月12日在英國利物浦落幕的G7外長會議發表聲明,強調G7成員國要在民主國家間建立投資圈經貿圈,以便團結應對中國的脅迫性經濟政策,而且還警告俄羅斯不要輕易對烏克蘭動武,否則將面對沉重經濟代價。美國國務卿布林肯在會後更直奔東南亞訪問,拉近盟友圍攏中國的意圖非常明顯。

This G7 foreign ministers’ meeting’s main emphasis appears to be on building a united front in response to China and Russia. However, if the Chinese friendship with Russia is what it appears to be is a different story. Concerning the South China Sea, for example, Russia’s approach is rather indistinct. It does, by no means, support China as imagined by the outside world when it comes to the South China Sea.

這次G7外長會議,統一陣線應對中國與俄國,顯然是最大重點。不過,中國與俄羅斯之間是否如表面的友好,又是另當別論。比方在南海,俄羅斯的態度就非常模糊,並不像外界所想像的那樣在南海事務上支持中國。

A confrontation erupted in waters disputed between China and Indonesia not long ago. Beijing accused Indonesia of building exploratory wellheads in oil and gas fields delimited by China. A Russian state-owned energy giant happens to be this oil and gas field’s owner1. Before that, Russia also helped Vietnam with oil and gas extraction work, among them some fields also delimited by China in accordance with its so-called nine-dash line2. This lead to Chinese dissatisfaction.

中國與印尼不久前在南海有爭議水域爆發爭執對峙。北京指責印尼在中國所劃定的海疆線內為一處油氣田區塊開鑿探井。俄羅斯國有能源巨頭恰好是這塊油氣田的所有人。而在印尼之前,俄羅斯也幫越南從事油氣開採,其中的一些油氣田區塊因為同樣位於中國所劃定的所謂「九段線」內而導致中國不滿。

All the same, Russia’s cooperation with Indonesia and Vietnam has continued.

儘管中國不滿,俄國與印尼和越南的能源合作一直在進行中 。

Also, early in December, ASEAN carried out the first joint maritime exercise with Russia. In the southeast Asian region As relations between the southeast Asian region and China continue to intensify, the question against who these may be directed is also up to the outside world’s imagination.

另外,12月初, 東南亞國家協會(ASEAN)也跟俄羅斯舉行了第一次聯合海上軍事演習。在東南亞地區和中國的緊張關係不斷升溫的同時,聯合軍演到底針對誰,也令外界有無限想像空間。

We have asked Lu Ssu-pin to discuss his observations with us.

今天節目我們請魯斯濱談談他的觀察。

____________

Notes

1     Zarubezhneft, according to reports
2     Wikipedia, accessed Dec 24

____________

Related

America, Japan: a more equal Relationship, May 22, 2016
Gas Deal, but no Military Alliance, May 23, 2014
“Like Polar Bears, no bit of humanity”, July 22, 2012
Indonesia-Russia Relations, Wikipedia
Russia-Vietnam Relations, Wikipedia
____________

Saturday, October 23, 2021

North Korean Foreign Ministry Statement on Taiwan

The following press release was published by KCNA on Saturday, in Chinese, English, and probably in other languages, too.
No link from here, because KCNA doesn’t provide permalinks.

Saturday's KCNA headlines

Saturday’s KCNA headlines

Pyongyang, October 23 (KCNA) — Pak Myong Ho, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, on Oct. 22 made the following press statement: 朝中社平壤10月23日电 朝鲜民主主义人民共和国外务省副相朴明浩22日发表了谈话。谈话内容如下:
Recently, the U.S. is building up military tension by inciting independence of Taiwan, which is an inseparable territory of China. 近期,美国鼓吹中国不可分割的领土——台湾的独立,正在加剧军事紧张。
This year alone, the U.S. dispatched all kinds of battleships into the Taiwan Straits on the plea of “freedom of navigation” whenever occasion called. Some time ago, it even mobilized a battleship of its ally only to escalate tension in the Taiwan Straits. 仅在今年,美国打着“航行自由”的旗号,频频派遣各种军舰驶入台湾海峡,日前还动员盟国军舰,使台海紧张局势逐步升级。
The U.S. announced its plan for arms sale to Taiwan worth 750 million US$ by putting forth the unlawful “Taiwan Relations Act”, and it is staging large-scale joint military exercise in the waters near Taiwan. Like this, it is increasing all the more its military threats against China. 美国借用非法的“与台湾关系法”,出台价值7.5亿美元的对台军售计划,在台湾周边水域进行大规模联合军演等进一步加大对中国的军事威胁力度。
It is an open secret that the members of the U.S. special forces and the detachment from U.S. Marine Corps have trained the Taiwanese army while stationing in Taiwan for more than one year. 美军特种部队队员和美海军陆战队分遣队一年多时间驻扎在台湾且训练台湾军队,这已经是公开的秘密。
This is an actual proof that the U.S. is using Taiwan as a tool to put pressure on China and an outpost to overpower China in an emergency though it outwardly maintains “One China” policy. 这证实虽然美国表面上声称坚持“一个中国”政策,但实际上把台湾用做反华打压工具、有事时压制中国的前哨基地。
Taiwan is an integral part of China. The Taiwan issue, from A to Z, belongs to the internal affairs of China. 台湾是中国的一部分,台湾问题彻头彻尾是属于中国内政的问题。
The U.S. acts constitute a naked interference in the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and cause a grave threat to the international peace and stability. 美国此举是对中华人民共和国的露骨的干涉内政行为,也是对国际和平与稳定的严重威胁。
It is too natural and just demand that the Chinese government has, on several occasions, called for the U.S. to be as good as its word in abiding by the “One China” principle as well as a solemn commitment it made to China, not to have any kind of government-level exchanges with Taiwan, not to send a wrong signal to the separatist forces of Taiwan and to refrain from any action which aggravates the situation of the Taiwan Straits. 中国政府在各个场合敦促美国应以实际行动恪守“一个中国”原则和向中国作出的庄严承诺,不与台湾进行任何形式的官方往来,不要向台湾的分裂势力发出错误信号,不给台海形势制造麻烦,是理所当然的正当主张。
We fully support the Chinese government and people in their stand to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to realize the unification of the motherland without fail. 我们完全支持中国政府和人民要维护国家主权和领土完整,一定要实现祖国统一的立场。
The situation of Taiwan is, on no account, irrelevant to the situation of the Korean peninsula. 台湾形势与朝鲜半岛局势并非无关。
The indiscreet meddling by the U.S. into the issue of Taiwan entails a potential danger of touching off a delicate situation on the Korean peninsula. 美国在台湾问题上的无端干涉具有可能进一步促进岌岌可危的朝鲜半岛局势紧张的潜在危险。
It is a well-known fact that the U.S. troops and its military bases in south Korea are in use to put pressure on China and that the huge forces of the U.S. and its satellite states, which are being concentrated near Taiwan, can be committed to a military operation targeting the DPRK at any time. 驻南朝鲜美军兵力和军事基地都在用于反华打压工具,集聚在台湾周边的美国及其追随势力的庞大兵力可能随时投入到针对我国的军事作战行动,这是众所周知的事实。
The hostile forces are already speeding up the deployment of their forces from all directions which are aimed at our country and China while making lame assertion, like a guilty party filing the suit first, that the DPRK and PRC can, in cooperation, cause military tension in Taiwan and on the Korean peninsula. This reality proves that the U.S. is in its bid to stifle our country and China, both socialist countries, in order to hold its supremacy. 敌对势力早已采取“恶人先告状”的手法,传出朝中两国可能携手在台湾和朝鲜半岛加剧军事紧张的无赖主张,大举加快针对我国和中国的全防卫性军力部署步伐。这一现实证明,美国为了维持其霸权地位,企图同时扼杀我国和中国这两个社会主义国家。
The U.S. should bear in mind that its reckless interference in internal affairs, its attempt for division and an open act of double standard would only invite tragic consequences of lifting an ax to drop it on its own foot. 美国要搞清楚,其冒险的内政干涉、分裂活动和露骨的双重标准行为只会带来搬起石头砸自己脚的悲惨苦果。
It is in correlation with the situation on the Korean peninsula that we would continue to watch the U.S. very closely in its stance to hold hegemony over the issue of Taiwan. -0- 我们将美国在台湾问题上的霸权主义行为与朝鲜半岛局势联系起来,继续保持警惕予以严密注视。(完)

____________

Related

“development path of their choice”, Sept 28, 2021
____________

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Tendencies: Germany’s next China Policy

China didn’t feature prominently in Germany’s 2021 federal election campaign – at least not at the surface.
Somewhat underneath, and not really overreported in the German media, are donations and sponsorships that benefitted the political parties – or one or two of them – in the run-up to the Bundestag elections on September 26.
The picture, according to statista.de (quoting Germany’s federal parliament administration and only recording donations of more than 50,000 Euros):

CDU/CSU (center-right): 3,340,860 Euros
FDP (neoliberal): 2,055,454 Euros
Greens (ecological): 1,790,548 Euros
AFD (right-wing, neoliberal): 100,000 Euros
SPD (social democrats): 50,000 Euros

This is not the full picture, of course. Donations from 10,000 to 50,000 Euros will probably only appear in the political parties’ annual accounts, likely to be published around a year and a half after they happen.
Also, [Update, Oct 8: committed event] “sponsoring” [of party congresses, for example] amounts don’t need to be published in detail – there is no way of knowing who donated, and which amounts.
Still, the above-50,000 statistics give us an idea: the social democrats were considered dead in the water. That, at least, was a general belief into August this year, and that’s as far as the statistics go. Some corporations and lobby organizations may have tried to make up for their negligence when the SPD began to soar in the opinion polls.
Before we get to the China issues, let’s take a look at the 50,000-plus donations in relation to the actual votes for the parties.

Blue: donations >50,000
Red: actual votes
(relations, no numbers)

This doesn’t mean that the SPD wouldn’t like to get donations, and grassroot donations can make a difference too, but it is obvious that the industry didn’t bet on the social democrats and the left party.

China issues in the campaign

Hong Kong’s political activist Ray Wong, now living in German exile, German sinologist David Missal and other activists and human rights groups put a “China elections check” online for those who were interested in the party’s positions concerning China.
They asked each political party represented in Germany’s incumbent federal parliament, the Bundestag, eight questions, and according to the organizers, only the AFD didn’t respond.
That said, the CDU/CSU were “neutral” on seven out of the eight statements.
All eight statements can be considered a demand Missal, Wong and the organizations supporting the project would subscribe to.

The parties’ positions in detail

Statement 1


Statement 2


Statement 3


Statement 4


Statement 5


Statement 6


Statement 7


Statement 8


Political parties by rates of agreement, neutrality or disagreement with / towards the statements, in descending order (respectively)

Party / party group agrees with the statements (pro)

The Greens 6
SPD 4
FDP 3
The Left 3
CDU/CSU 0

Party neither agrees nor disagrees with the statements (neutral)

CDU/CSU 7
FDP 5
SPD 1
The Left 0
The Greens 0

Party / group doesn’t agree with the statements (opposed)

The Left 5
SPD 3
FDP 0*)
The Greens 2
CDU/CSU 1
________
*) corrected (Oct 8), down from 3

Outlook

At least for now, the CDU/CSU’s chances of heading (or even just joining) a government coalition have deminished, as both the FDP and the Greens are currently moving closer to the SPD, with some unfriendly noise especially from the CSU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party.
This would mean that exactly the three parties that find most common ground with the Wong/Missal statements would be in government.
The picture would become much friendlier for pro-China lobbyists if the tide turned again,in favor of the CDU/CSU.
The proof of the pudding is the eating, and the industry will almost certainly become more generous with its donations to the Social Democrats, but for those who want to see a government with clear-cut positions on Chinese crimes against human rights, the trend isn’t looking bad.
The CDU/CSU didn’t really care, and documented that publicly.
____________

Related

Germany after the federal elections, Sept 27, 2021
Guanchazhe flatters Austrian Supernova, April 7, 2018
____________

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Special two-hour transmissions by Radio Taiwan International in German

As custom at Radio Taiwan international‘s (RTI) German service, there will be a number shortwave broadcasts directly from Taiwan this summer, as announced here.

qsl_card_2019_national_radio_museum_minxiong_taiwan

Weekday Dates
Friday July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20.
Saturday July 31, August 7, August 14, August 21.
Sunday August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22.

On each of the above days, there will be a broadcast on 11705 kHz from 17:00 to 18:00 hours UTC and one on 9545 kHz from 18:00 to 19:00 hours UTC.

We can probably expect one hour of different program items per day, at 17:00, repeated at 18:00 UTC. RTI’s German program output per day is about sixty minutes, but routinely, only half of it is aired on shortwave, as regular broadcasts via the Kostinbrod relay in Bulgaria are only 30 minutes long. The remaining half is provided online.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Radio Taiwan International Shortwave Test Transmissions 2021 to Europe (updated)


Radio Taiwan International‘s (RTI) German service has announced test transmissions from Tamsui transmitter site, northwestern Taiwan, targeting central Europe on July 17 (UTC).

Time (UTC) Frequency
from to
17:00 17:10 11995 kHz
17:15 17:25 11705 kHz
18:00 18:10 9545 kHz
18:15 18:25 7250 kHz
RTI QSL: Shennong Street, Tainan

RTI QSL: Shennong Street, Tainan
中央廣播電臺 QSL卡: 台南 神農街

According to RTI, the two frequencies that do best during the tests will be chosen for one-hour transmissions that start later this month, and continue into August, apparently every week from Friday through Sunday. It sounds like a pretty ambitious schedule, and if lucky, we will get to listen to programs that are usually only available online as those broadcasts will be 60 minutes each.

Normally, Radio Taiwan International’s German service only broadcasts one half-hour program a day on shortwave, but its actual program output (shortwave and online) is about 60 minutes per day.
RTI welcomes reception reports.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Trans-Pacific Press Review (TPPR), April 14

Happy reading …

Date Item
April 1 Argentina has sought Chinese support in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Argentina started with reaching an agreement with the IMF. China is one of Argentina’s biggest trade and investment partners. According to a report by Argentina’s embassy to China, Argentina’s ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, has had meetings with high-level Chinese officials. The purpose was to ask China to support Argentina in its talks to have deadlines extended and interest on debt lowered.
April 9 Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and a master of innocuous small talk, died last Friday.
April 9 Also on Friday, the world’s biggest Mazu pilgrimage started in Dajia District, Taichung, Taiwan.
April 9 Still on Friday, China’s ambassador to Canada had reassuring news for Michael Spavor‘s and Michael Kovrig‘s fellow citizens: the “vast majority” should not worry about being kidnapped by the police, he reportedly told a Zoom audience Memorial University of St. John’s.
(I suppose his wording was a bit different from kidnapped by the police, rather something like “people engage in those criminal activities, whether it’s Canadians or other nationalities”.)
April 12 Gao Fu (高福), head of the Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, has been quoted as saying that China’s current vaccines  “don’t have very high rates of protection”, but later referred to this statement as a “complete misunderstanding”.
April 14 US climate envoy John Kerry is in China, and two authors on Foreign Policy have some advice for him.
April 14 Also, a US delegation is in Taiwan at President Joe Biden‘s request. President Tsai Ing-wen will reportedly meet with the delegation on Thursday morning.

____________

Related

Universal topics, Mar 22, 2018
RAE adds Chinese programs, Jun 10, 2013

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Before you define your next China policy, learn from Lu Xun

Chinese nationalism has had its share of wishful thinking. But in recent decades, the West has fallen into similar traps, although its humiliations – the 2008 financial crisis and the flat-footed reaction of most Western countries to the Covid-19 pandemic – have been comparatively minor humiliations.

True story

But humiliations they have been, and nothing shows this more clearly than the way some of the West’s governments have reacted to China’s handling of the pandemic. To quote one of the more civil criticisms  – by Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party -, “the world would have had more time to prepare for the pandemic if Chinese leaders had been more forthcoming”. No worries, though, he switched into another gear right away:

For too long, nations have lamely kowtowed to China in the desperate hope of winning trade deals. Once we get clear of this terrible pandemic it is imperative that we all rethink that relationship,” he said.

Politics, that much is true, must never let a crisis go waste, and there are reasons to “rethink” the West’s, and possibly the world’s, relationship with China.

But China only bears a limited share of responsibility for this global crisis. If people in the West don’t understand that, they don’t understand their own political class.

We don’t need to reconsider our relationship with China because its role in the pandemic was questionable.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because we must not tolerate the way Chinese authorities treat Chinese citizens. Human rights violations often hit “national minorities” like Tibetans or Uyghurs hardest, but the political malpractice doesn’t stop there.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in Hong Kong, Beijing has shown complete disregard for the rule of law, within Hong Kong’s autonomy (that’s nothing new, China has never understood the concept of autonomy anyway), and complete disregard of international law.

We must reconsider our relationship with China because in the South China Sea and other international waters, China has adopted a policy of annexation.

And we must reconsider our relationship with China, because with his “Resist America, Aid Korea” speech in October, Chinese CPC secretary general and state chairman Xi Jinping has made China’s disregard for international law official, by suggesting that Maoist China’s war against the United Nations had been a “war against imperialism”.

There may be some reason to believe that many within the CPC believe that the speech has been a non-starter, because they haven’t dwelled too much on it in the media since, and because the faces of many of the leaders during Xi’s speech appeared to speak volumes. But there is no reason to believe that Xi’s speech wasn’t an honest attempt at rewriting history, at the expense of truth. This attempt must be taken seriously.

All that said, when reconsidering our relationship with China, we must not walk into the Ah-Q trap. This is something we might learn from China indeed: the way Chinese intellectuals used to be self-critical was part of China’s more recent successes, just as China’s more recent pompousness and triumphalism may earn it serious setbacks.

The same is true for us, and especially for those who consider themselves our “elites”. For decades, China has been described as an opportunity too big to miss, and to justify throwing valuable Western-made technology at it. To make this foreign-trade salad more palatable to the general public (and arguably also to the propagandists themselves), China-trade advocates added that trade and engagement with China would lead to improvements in the country’s human rights practice, or its economic and social system.

“The party is over,” a long-forgotten “expert” crowed in the 1990s, in a huge, long-forgotten book. Others suggested that the CPC might become a “social-democratic” party. But nobody seemed to ask the CPC people if they had any such intentions, at least not seriously. And if they did, they only heard the answers they wanted to hear.

There was never a doubt that China’s political system is a dictatorship. And when that dictatorship began to succeed economically and technogically, quite a number of Western intellectuals, and especially business people, began to admire that dictatorship:

I have fantasized–don’t get me wrong–but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.

Don’t get me wrong either. I don’t think Thomas Friedman argued in favor of the introduction of authoritarianism, let alone totalitarianism. But he didn’t apply any logic – and he’s no exception among Western intellectuals. He’s full of ideas and without a plan when it comes to these issues.

Because if we could be China for one day, we could be China every day. And then we would be the kind of society that we now want to reconsider our relationship with. (OK, maybe not Friedman.)

But the worst thing is to think of ourselves as Santa. The guys who only want the best for China, etc.. I’m pretty sure that half of my fellow Germans, in as far as they have misgivings about China, don’t worry about China’s human rights record. They worry about its economic clout, and the preparedness of a lot of Chinese people to work harder, for less income, then we would.

That’s legitimate self-interest, but nobody should confuse this interest with something like international solidarity. To do that, to suggest that “we are nice, we are generous, we’ve done everything for them, and they are bloody ingrats” is typical Ah-Q thought.

No, guys. Our bosses threw our technology at China, technology developed with support of public institutions we paid our taxes for. That’s what our bosses usually do. Sometimes at the Chinese, sometimes at other promising markets. But as our bosses’ greed for profits from China knew no limits, they fooled themselves, too. Occasionally, they complained once it went wrong. But this wasn’t “Chinese” greed – they only picked up what was thrown at them. And even if they never told us that they would make good use of it, with or against the law, daily practice could have shown us in a year that this transactional model wouldn’t work – at least not for the West.

China – not just the CPC, but most of the Chinese people – have always told us that their rightful global place was at the pole position.

They have always told us that they would “re-take” Taiwan, once they had the power to do so.

Every bloke in the street told us that Hong Kong was no stuff to negotiate about – it had been taken by the imperialists, and had to be retaken by China. Besides, those Hong Kongers shouldn’t think of themselves as “special”. Yadayada.

We played along, one year after another. We still do. I’m afraid we’ll continue to do so. Our governments, for example, keep participating in the diplomatic charade to this day that, for some incomprehensible reasons (depending on what individual Western nation’s memoranda with Beijing have made up out of thin air), Taiwan wouldn’t be quite a sovereign country.

In short: it was hard to get China wrong, but we managed anyway. And if we don’t stop suggesting that our intentions in this relationship had always been honest, we won’t get our next China policy right either.

To reshape our relationship with China, let’s learn from Lu Xun first.

%d bloggers like this: