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Second Biennial Conference on China on October 20, 2007
The second biennial conference on China jointly sponsored by the One China Committee and The John Marshall Law School Asian Alliance will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2007 from 9 to 4 at The John Marshall Law School, Chicago.
It is a whole day meeting consisting of two forums: Chinese Law and Business and their Perspectives. Panelists include Honorable Charles Kocoras (Illinois Federal court), Kevin Hopkins (John Marshall Law School), Cecilia Lou, Esq., Bill Liu (V.P., NaviAsia Consulting Group, Inc. ) Steve Markscheid (CEO, HuaMei Capital Company), Bill Darley (Darley Co.), Al Rosenbloom (St. Xavier University), Michael Shen (Dominican University). Professors Hopkins and Shen are panel chairs.
Lunch will be served.
Free to members, JMLS and Dominican faculties, and JMLS and Dominican students. Others $10 per person. Limited to 50 participants on the first-come-first serve basis. Pre-registration is required.
Publicity: Jian Wang and Pamela You.
Contact persons: Liping Qin; Tze-chung Li; Jian Wang
Conference Organizing Committee: Edward Ho, Kevin Hopkins, Wiley Kraft, Jr., Tze-chung Li Nikos Lambros , Bill Liu, Liping Qin, Michael Shen, Jian Wang, Pamela You, and Zhou Zhang.
China may ask UN to vote on Taiwan as part of China
China, to block Taiwan from seeking to join the United Nations, plans to ask UN members to cast vote on whether Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China.
The United Daily News quoted The Nelson Report, a daily newsletter on policy issues in Washington, as saying that the US was shocked that when Taiwan recently applied to join the UN, the UN rejected the bid by interpreting Resolution 2758 as ruling that Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Washington is worried that China may ask UN members to cast vote on whether Taiwan is part of the PRC. That would put the United States in an awkward position, because Washington will be asked to clarify its stance on Taiwan. In 1971, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2758, accepting the PRC and expelling the ROC, or the Taiwan government. Since 1993, Taiwan has tried to rejoin the UN under its official name as the Republic of China. After failing annually, this year Taiwan decided to apply for UN membership as Taiwan.
President Chen Shui-bian has sent two letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requesting UN membership for Taiwan. Ban ignored the letters, saying the UN abides by Resolution 2758, which says that Taiwan is part of China.
Chen argued that Resolution 2758 has solved the problem of China's representation in the UN but leaves unresolved Taiwan's representation in the UN. (Source: Monsterandcritics.com, Aug 11, 2007).
Taiwan textbooks revising references to China
Taiwan plans to revise school textbooks to drop any reference that recognizes Chinese historical figures, places and artifacts as "national [guo]." Some 5,000 alleged "inappropriate" references to"China [zhong guo]" will be revised in Taiwanese textbooks. "National opera," "the Ming Dynasty," and "this nation's historical figures" will be changed to "Chinese opera," "China's Ming Dynasty," and "China's historical figures" respectively. Other revisions include "national language" to "Chinese language," "well-known in China and abroad" to "well-known in the nation and abroad," and "Chinese and foreign tourists" to "domestic and foreign tourists."
The textbook changes are in line with the current thinking of Chen Shui-bian's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which favors Taiwanese independence and opposes identification with China.
Taiwan's school textbooks have traditionally given heavy weight to China's 5,000 years of history and works of ancient Chinese poets and philosophers, leaving little space for Taiwan's own history. (Source: sina.com, Jul 22, 2007; Annie Huangm Apm Washington Post, Jul 23, 2007).
Taiwan's UN bid rejected
The United Nations rejected July 23 Taiwan's application to become a member of the world body, citing a 1971 resolution that switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing as China's sole lawful representative to the world body. Taiwan's government held the U.N. seat until 1971. Its UN seat was transferred to the People's Republic of China.
On July 19, Taiwan applied to join the United Nations as Taiwan -- a departure from 14 previous post-1971 applications as the Republic of China. The bid reflected the policies of President Chen Shui-bian, who favors making the island's de facto independence permanent. Chen last month announced plans for a referendum that would support the government's bid to enter the U.N. (Source: International Herald Tribune, Jul 23, 2007).
U.S. views on Taiwan referendum
Randall Schriver, former deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, in an article in the newsletter of the Pacific Forum says that rather than rejecting outright Taiwan's efforts to hold a referendum next year, the US should encourage Taiwan to take steps that will strengthen its democracy. According to Schriver, from Washington's perspective, referendums in Taiwan could be categorized in three ways: a referendum on a topic that relates to good governance; a referendum that most clearly addresses the question of independence and/or sovereignty; and a referendum that is highly symbolic in nature that has no consequential impact on governance and policy and touches obliquely on questions of Taiwan's status or sovereignty.
While persuading Taiwan to drop its plan to hold such a symbolic and impractical referendum, the US should remind Beijing that Washington supports democracy in Taiwan, including support for democratic methods such as conducting referendums, Schriver said. Even if Taiwan ultimately decides to go ahead with the plan, Washington should urge Beijing to show restraint, he said.
After meeting with Vice President Annette Lu who was in San Francisco on July 3 for a transit stop en route to Latin America, Tom Lantos, chairman of the House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait was the most feasible and appropriate option for Taiwan at present. Lantos said it was impractical for Taiwan to seek membership in the WHO and the UN, adding that neither the administration nor congress were in favor of the plan to hold a referendum on applying to join the UN under the name "Taiwan." (Source: Taipei Times,. Jul 5. 2007).
Defense officials tried to reverse China policy
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, the U.S. Army colonel and a top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said in little-noted remarks early last month that "neocons" in the top rungs of the administration quietly encouraged Taiwanese politicians to move toward a declaration of independence from mainland China. The top U.S. diplomat in Taiwan at the time, Douglas Paal, backs up Wilkerson's account, which is being hotly disputed by key former defense officials.
The right-wing Republicans in particular continued to embrace Taiwan as an anticommunist bastion 125 miles off the Chinese coast, long after their own party leaders and U.S. big business embraced the communist regime.
With the election of George W. Bush in 2000, some of Taiwan's most fervent allies were swept back into power in Washington, particularly at the Pentagon, including Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, Douglas Feith, the undersecretary for policy, and Steven Cambone, Rumsfeld's new intelligence chief, and Pesident Bush's controversial envoy to the United Nations, John Bolton.
The Defense Department, with Feith, Cambone, Wolfowitz [and] Rumsfeld, was dispatching a person to Taiwan every week, essentially to tell the Taiwanese that the alliance was back on," Wilkerson said, referring to pre-1970s military and diplomatic relations, "essentially to tell Chen Shui-bian, whose entire power in Taiwan rested on the independence movement, that independence was a good thing."
Another key character in the minidrama was Therese Shaheen, wife of Rumsfield's spokeman, DiRita, the outspoken chief of the U.S. office of the American Institute in Taiwan, which took on the functions of the American embassy after the formal 1979 diplomatic switch. She openly championed Chen and the independence movement, at one point even publicly reinterpreting Bush's reiteration of the "one China" policy, saying that the administration "had never said it opposed' Taiwan independence." Powell asked for her resignation.
The independence issue, agrees China experts Richard Bush and Michael O'Hanlon, is Beijing's third rail--touch it and you die. (Source: Jeff Stein, CQ.com, Jun 3. 2007),