To Members and Friends
New Members Since Last UpdateMs. Julie Chan (NY), manager, Multinational Petochemical
Gregory Tong was 75
Gregory Tong, One China Committee member, died of heart attack n his home attack on February 29, 2008. He was 75. Mr. Tong, born on October 13, 1932, graduate from Chung Hsin University in Taiwan, had been working all his like in media. He was publisher and editor of the Chinese American News, a weekly newspaper published in Chicago.
Post-Taiwan Election and the Cross-Taiwan Relations forum
The Association for the Promotion of China Unification held its 2008 annual conference on March 29 at the Comfort Inn in Chicago. Delegations from San Francisco, Washington, D. C. and Chicago attended. In the afternoon, a Post-Taiwan Election and the Cross-Taiwan Strait Relations forum was held at the Union League Club of Chicago. The forum was jointly sponsored by the Association , the Association for Peaceful Unification of china and the One China Committee. Yong-gao Wang and Edward Ho presided over the forum. Tze-chung Li and Yu-hua Wei were keynote speakers. A farewell dinner was served at the House of Dragon in Chinatown.
Call for donations to China for snowstorm relief
Severe snowstorms in china since January 10 have paralyzed the China's transport system, leaving millions of people stranded at railway stations, airports and highways just as the vast army of rural migrant workers are heading home for the Chinese New Year on February 7. The winter storms in southern and central China, the worst in half a century, are forecast to last for several more days. The One Chine Committee requests in February members and friends to donate for snowstorm relief. Please make check payable to the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China and mail it to the Consulate-General in your area.
But are they really friends of Taiwan?
In reviewing the report, Strengthening Freedom in Asia: A Twenty-First Century Agenda for the US-Taiwan Partnership, J. Michael Cole asked the questions: whether these authors are really friends of Taiwan; and do these experts really care about a democratic Taiwan, or is their penultimate goal rather the containment of China to ensure that, as envisioned by Paul Wolfowitz in 1992, no power ever manages to rival US hegemony? The author says in part:
For the most part, these "defenders" of Taiwan are hawks at think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Heritage Foundation, the Project for a New American Century and Armitage International. One thing these organizations have in common is their intimate ties to the US defense establishment. In their view, international security is best served through further militarization -- greater investment in weapons, more reliance on force to solve problems and preemptive military action. All, furthermore, tend to ridicule the UN and have served as proponents of a "Pax Americana."
. . . what was best for Taiwan was a military-industrial complex of the kind that has led to the very military adventurism that, in the opinion of many, has made the world more dangerous for all and would likely result in an arms race with China, out of which no good can come. These hawks do not really care about democracy; what matters to them, rather, is preserving US hegemony. If that means supporting Taiwan as a hedge -- or an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" -- against China, so be it. But it is hard to imagine these same experts clamoring for Taiwan's democracy absent a China that, at some point in the future, could threaten US primacy. AEI and its kind are nothing more than poster boys for the US arms industry and the hardliners who seek to contain China. To them, Taiwan provides a convenient cover. Nothing more. (Source: J. Michael Cole, Taipei Times, Feb 27, 2008).
Albright: U.S. has no obligation to defend Taiwan
In her recently published book, Memo to the President Elect (2008), former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright states "The United States is not formally committed to rescuing Taiwan in the event of attack because we don't want the Taiwanese to be so sure of our protection [U.S.] that they provoke Beijing." She also considers that China's economy growth is not just because of cheap labor. She notes that "China is producing an increasing number of scientists and engineers; in 2003, it became the third country to launch man into space; its research budget is growing; and it is experimenting with new designs in such fields as environmental technology; civilian nuclear power, and bioengineering."
Guam becomes military base for defending U.S. interests
The Pentagon has chosen Guam as the prime location in the western Pacific for defending U.S. interests. Marines of thousands will be statioinede and estimated $13 billion will be spent over the next six years to deploy military night including Trident submarines, a ballistic missile task force, Navy Special Operations forces and Air Force F-22 fighter jets. Nuclear-powered attack submarines and B-2 stealth bombers have already arrived, and preparations are being made to accommodate aircraft carriers.
Guam, three times the size of the district of Columbia with a population of 173,000 has served as an important U.S. military outpost since World War II.
Guam's government says it needs $2 billion to $3 billion in federal funds to cover outside-the-fence costs of the military move. (Source: Blaine Harden, Washington Post, Jan 25, 2008).
Taiwan's three-no policy
Ralph A. Cossa gives his interpretation of Ma. Ying-jeou's three nos. Below is part of his interpretation:
Koumintang (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou has proclaimed a "three no's" policy no unification, no independence, no use of force in outlining his planned approach to cross-Strait relations should he win the March 22 Taiwan presidential election.
Ma's first no actually reads, in full, "no negotiations for unification during my presidential term(s)." This serves several important purposes. It aims first to reassure those at home who fear that if Ma were elected, he would somehow "hand over Taiwan's sovereignty" to China.
Some may harbor hopes that reunification would somehow be in the cards should the KMT prevail. While being careful not to preclude reunification as one possible long-term outcome to do so would trigger Beijing's Anti-Secession Law (ASL) Ma's message reminds Beijing that talk about reunification remains premature.
In truth, nothing short of a remarkable complete political transformation on the Mainland will ever make reunification attractive to the people of Taiwan.
Ralph A. Cossa is president of the Pacific Forum CSIS (email@example.com), a Honolulu-based nonprofit research institute affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. (Source: Korea Times, Feb 1, 2008).
China calls for greater contacts with Taiwan
Jia Qinglin, a top Chinese Communist Party official, called on March 3 for more economic and cultural exchanges with Taiwan and avoided mentioning the use of force to bring the island under Beijing's control.
"We should ... actively promote cross-strait contacts and exchanges, improve mutual understanding, and promote economic, technological, educational and cultural exchanges across the Strait," Jia Qinglin told the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body that meets once a year.
China has repeatedly said it will not rule out using armed force if Taiwan opts for formal independence, but Jia avoided such language in his speech. (Source: Ben Blanchard, Reuters, Mar 3, 2008).
Military Power of the Peoples Republic of China
The Department of Defense released its 2008 annual report to Congress on March 3. Its summary is as follows:
The United States continues to encourage China to participate as a responsible international stakeholder by taking on a greater share of responsibility for the stability, resilience and growth of the global system. However, much uncertainty surrounds Chinas future course, in particular in the area of its expanding military power and how that power might be used.
The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is pursuing comprehensive transformation from a mass army designed for protracted wars of attrition on its territory to one capable of fighting and winning short duration, high intensity conflicts along its periphery against high-tech adversaries an approach that China refers to as preparing for local wars under conditions of informatization. Chinas ability to sustain military power at a distance remains limited but, as noted in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report it has the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States and field disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional U.S. military advantages.
Chinas near-term focus on preparing for contingencies in the Taiwan Strait, including the possibility of U.S. intervention, is an important driver of its modernization. However, analysis of Chinas military acquisitions and strategic thinking suggests Beijing is also developing capabilities for use in other contingencies, such as conflict over resources or disputed territories.
The pace and scope of Chinas military transformation have increased in recent years, fueled by acquisition of advanced foreign weapons, continued high rates of investment in its domestic defense and science and technology industries, and far reaching organizational and doctrinal reforms of the armed forces. Chinas expanding and improving military capabilities are changing East Asian military balances; improvements in Chinas strategic capabilities have implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region.
Chinas nuclear force modernization, as evidence by the fielding of the new DF-31 and DF-31A intercontinental-range missiles, is enhancing Chinas strategic strike capabilities. Chinas emergent anti-access/area denial capabilities as exemplified by its continued development of advanced cruise missiles, medium-range ballistic missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles designed to strike ships at sea, including aircraft carriers, and the January 2007 successful test of a direct-ascent, anti-satellite weapon are expanding from the land, air, and sea dimensions of the traditional battlefield into the space and cyber-space domains.
The international community has limited knowledge of the motivations, decision-making, and key capabilities supporting Chinas military modernization. Chinas leaders have yet to explain in detail the purposes and objectives of the PLAs modernizing military capabilities. For example, China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure figures, and engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies. The lack of transparency in Chinas military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation. This situation will naturally and understandably lead to hedging against the unknown.
DOD is required to make annual report to Congress on Chinese military power by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000.