To Members and Friends
One China Committee Quarterly Update
Congratulations to Pamela You
Our member, Pamela You, married to Thomas Lee Robbins on August 9, 2008. Mr. Robbins is a captain pilot working for OMNI Air International. They are now residing in Columbus, Missouri.
Congratulations to Michael Shen
Our member, Michael Shen, is now teaching at School of Business Administration, Stetson University in Deland, Florida His first child, a son, was born in Chicago on August 31, 2008.
2008 Democratic and Republican Party Platforms on one China
The 2008 Republican Party Platform draft is opposed to one China policy and urges "one China, one Taiwan." The adopted version drops "one China, one Taiwan," yet is silent on "one China." The Democratic Party Platform supports "one China" principle. Below are two parties platforms on one China:
Republican Party Platform:
Our policy toward Taiwan, a sound democracy and economic model for mainland China, must continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act. We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island's future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the U.S., in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. As a loyal friend of Ameerica, the democracy of Taiwan has merited our strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms and full participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.
Democratic Party Platform:
We are committed to a "One China" policy and the Taiwan Relations Act and will continue to support a peaceful relations of cross-Straits issues that is consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan.
Ma: Taiwan and China are in "special relations"'
Ma Ying-jeou, ROC President, said the tie between Taiwan and China is not that between two nations, but rather a "special relationship" that can be handled invoking the "1992 consensus" between the two sides. Ma made the remarks in an interview with Mario Vazquez Rana from the leading Mexican daily, Sol de Mexico, at the Presidential Office on Aug. 26.
When asked to comment on the idea of "two Chinas" during the interview, Ma said that the PRC's constitution does not allow the existence of another country in its territory, and neither does the ROC's. "Therefore, we (Taiwan and China) have a special relationship, but not that between two countries," said Ma.
He said that the controversies surrounding the sovereignty issue cannot be solved in the near future, and in the meantime, the "1992 consensus" should serve as the basis for handling cross-strait ties until a final resolution is reached. He pointed out that the 1992 consensus sees both sides agreeing to accept the principle of "one China," but the meaning of "one China" remains open to different interpretations and disagreements.
Ma said his government will not spend all its time and resources on a sovereignty issue to which no immediate solution can be found. He said his policy at present is to focus on more pressing issues that the two sides can resolve together. (Source: The China Post, Sep 4, 2008).
U.S. should support moderate policies toward China
In an editorial, "China's Gold-Medal Moment," Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News & World Report (September 4, 2008) says that Chinese leadership views the 40-billion-plus Olympics as a centerpiece of refurbishing China's national prestige. He states "every detail of the opening was designed to honor and celebrate China's classical heritage and society, as well as its modern engagement with the world a sophiscated projection of soft power. Flawless was the message China wished to send, and flawless it was."
He also reports "the Chinese athletes performed splendidly, of course, but the gold the country's leaders were striving for was in the political agenda. They saw the Olympics spectacle as an opportunity to demonstrate that China has regained its national stature and power after the legacy of what it experienced as hundred years of national humiliations and the hands of foreigners."
Mr. Zuckerman reviews briefly the years of humiliation, Deng Xiao-ping's economic reform, modern tax collection, to public education with a result that more than 250 million people have lifted out of absolute poverty.
The author also notes China's limits, such as corruption, law enforcement, lack of national pension system, one child policy, ecological and health danger due to air and water pollution, and land degradation.
In spite of these problems, "China is still growing and dramatically sustained by a remarkable saving rate of 40 percent, a prodigious work ethic, and $1 trillions of foreign capital. The rapid improvement in the standard of living has helped justify the one-party system in a country that has always perceived chaos as the greatest societal danger," he states.
He also notes that Taiwan remains the last symbol of its humiliation, and no Chinese leader can afford to be seen as the one who lost it.
The authors concludes "the Olympics provided a unique window to China that should help us support our moderate policies towards this remarkable country and its people."
Foundation to be set up for cross-strait peace
Robert Tsao, founder of United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), the world's second largest contract chipmaker, and the pro-unification opposition New Party will set up a foundation in September to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait.
The foundation's main mission is to lobby the Taiwan government to reduce its spending on military and diplomatic affairs, two areas that Taipei sees major confrontation with Beijing, the paper said. Meanwhile, the opposition party ran a newspaper advertisement urging the government to demilitarize the island. The poetry-like contents of the ads start with the slogan of the ongoing Beijing Olympics, "One world, one dream."
UMC came under the DPP government's investigation for making illegal investments in a China-based foundry. The probe resulted in a fine and Tsao's resignation from the UMC chairmanship.
Cross-strait tensions remained high during the DPP administration. But a thaw has started since the unification-minded Ma Ying-jeou from the KMT became president in May.
Former Justice Minister Liao Cheng-hao from the KMT, who is expected to be appointed chairman of Tsao's foundation.
KMT Legislator Chiu Yi said the government revised its budget structure to reduce its emphasis on military and diplomatic spending. The money could then be reallocated to spending on infrastructure development, tax reductions, education, and others.
NP Chairman Yok Mu-ming said cross-strait peace cannot be maintained with "guns" but with "hearts." He said it would be useless to buy more weapons when young people no longer want any war. He said Taiwan should stop spending big on over-priced substandard weapon systems, purchases of which have often been plagued by scams. He even proposed to disband Taiwan's air force and navy, and keep a minimum number of army troops only (Source: The China Post, Aug 23, 2008).
Make diplomacy, not war
Nicholas D. Kristof, in his recent article, "Make diplomacy, not war, pointed out "the United States is hugely over-investing in military tools and under-investing in diplomatic tools. The result is a lopsided foreign policy that antagonizes the rest of the world and is ineffective in tackling many modern problems. After all, you can't bomb global warming."
He praises Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his argument for more balance between "hard power" and "soft power"and for more resources for the State Department and aid agencies. Gates said that military successes in Irag and Afghanistan is nnot sufficient to win.
"With the Olympics unfolding in China now, the U.S. Navy and the Air Force are seizing upon China's rise as an excuse to grab tens of billions of dollars for the F-22, for an advanced destroyer, for new attack submarines. But we're failing to invest minuscule sums to build good will among Chinese, " Kristoff said.
He said "for the price of one F-22, we could - for 25 years - operate American libraries in each Chinese province, pay for more Chinese-American exchanges, and hire more diplomats prepared to appear on Chinese television and explain in fluent Chinese what American policy is. And for the price of one MRE lunch for one soldier, the State Department could make a few phone calls to push the Chinese leadership to respond to the Dalai Lama's olive branch a few days ago, helping to eliminate a long-term irritant in U.S.-China relations."
On terrorists, he is opinion that one of the most cost-effective counter-terrorism methods in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan may be to build things up, like schooling and micro-finance. Girls' education sometimes gets more bang for the buck than a missile.
He cited a new study from the RAND Corp. that examined how 648 terror groups around the world ended between 1968 and 2006. It found that by far the most common way for them to disappear was to be absorbed by the political process. The second most common way was to be defeated by police work. In contrast, in only 7 percent of cases did military force destroy the terrorist group.
He gave advice to the next president who should absorb that lesson and revalidate diplomacy as the primary tool of foreign policy - even if that means talking to ogres.
In conclusion, he said "so here's a first step: Let's agree that diplomats should be every bit as much of an American priority as musicians in military bands." (Source: Nicholas D. Kristof, International Herald Tribune, Aug 10, 2008).