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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Taiwan, China & Australia

I recently read a report from Associated Press quoting Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith, as saying that Taiwan's decision to hold a referendum on UN membership is 'completely inappropriate'. This Australian would like to stand up and be counted as disagreeing strongly with our new government on this issue.

The unsuccessful previous Labor prime-ministerial candidate endeared himself to many of us by calling John Howard an 'arse licker'. It is good that our new prime minister is not crawling so far up the American arse. It is unfortunate that he appears to feel it is necessary to crawl up the even bigger Chinese arse.

Yes, there are 1.3 billion Chinese people. It is the biggest market in the world. I accept that Australia's prosperity can continue to grow if we cultivate this market but our integrity must be questioned if we do it by selling out the 23 million people of Taiwan.

The 1.3 billion people of China have very little say about their government and its policies. The English-speaking people I met during my two-month stay in China showed an amazing understanding of various political issues and how different countries handled them. I don't know how this compares with the rest of the population but if these people are representative, China is very much ready for greater community participation in government decision-making processes.

So please Mr Smith, tell me why this authoritarian government should have the right to impose its ways on the 23 million people of Taiwan. Taiwan has democracy. Can China do better for them?

China's claim for the right to rule Taiwan is based on historical-legal precedents. It has nothing to do with the good of the Taiwanese people. Why would Australia support handing over Taiwan to the invader of Tibet and the strongest supporter of the military junta in Burma?

I believe this is the best time for Taiwan to take the bold step of holding this referendum. China is in the middle of a massive propaganda campaign called Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. They want the world to see them as good guys. How embarrassing it would be for them if they had to actually deploy any of the many missiles they have pointing at Taiwan.

One never knows what the future might bring. Perhaps one day China will see reason why it should also rule Australia. Sure there are no historical precedents but the Chinese rulers are masters at twisting words to make the unacceptable sound acceptable. I hope this never happens but I am simply trying to make the analogy. If we Australians were in the same position as the Taiwanese, where would you stand, Mr Smith?

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John, I read that new from "Associated Press". Unfortnuately, it is a very biased, misleading press esp its reports on Taiwan! Stephen Smith does not know what he is talking about. He probably does not study the history. I am disgusted that someone in his position would make such comments.

Not sure if you read this blog http://michaelturton.blogspot.com. I personally think it's has very good report on Taiwan's situation. The blogger Michael also blogged on some previous reports by"Associated Press".

Good on you mate!
many thanks to your article. i agree with what you write.

taiwan, under the name of republic of china, was a member of the united nations until year 1971.
( republic of china was established in mainland china in 1911. in 1949, the communist red army took over china, and established a new government called people's republic of china. the defeated KMT party government and the nationalist army fled to taiwan, and continued to call herself republic of china until now. republic of china on taiwan represented the whole china in the united nations until 1971, then replaced by the people's republic of china as a legal representative of the whole china. in 1978, USA and taiwan diplomatic partnership dissolved, and USA changed to recognise people's republic of china as political representative of china, the so called " one china policy ". later on, many more countries in the world consecutively untied their diplomatic relationship with republic of china on taiwan, and because of " one china policy", they changed to recognise People's republic of china as the unique representative of china.

taiwan used to apply to rejoin the united nations in the name of republic of china, but it was stopped by the people's republic of china. the united nations had a resolution that only one government can represent one nation. since republic of china was expelled from the UN, it should not rejoin the UN with the same name. now there are only 23 small countries in the world recognise republic of china on taiwan, with diplomatic relationship, this year,

in 2007, the chen administration in taiwan tried to use " Taiwan " to join the UN as a new member. however, it was again rejected by the UN under china's great pressure.

on march 22,2008, there will be a referendum in taiwan on joining the UN in the name of " taiwan " as a new member. the people's republic of china, the communist china, is trying to interfere the domostic affairs of taiwan , which she thinks is part of china, and stop such referendum happening.

taiwan needs to become a normal country, just like many other nations in the world. by rejoining the UN, taiwan could have some kind of itnernational protecton from other UN members. when one day china attacks taiwan, it would be an international issue. secondly, taiwan passports would be recognised and respected by many more nations, and taiwanese travellers and businessmen can get diplomatic protection overseas. the taiwanese people and government can contribute their efforts much more in the global affairs, such as world health, climate change, fighting against terrorists, world peace, and so on.

before communist china changes to become a democratic nation that repects freedom of speech, the rule of law, human rights, free election, independence of legal system, capitalist economy,and so on, i don't think taiwanese would ever think of reunification with the mainland china.

7 million hongkong people dislike the communist china. however, they don't have weapons, and cannot fight against the 2 million liberation army of the people's republic of china. they have no choice but to accept the year 1997 handover back to china. taiwan has weapons, 23 million taiwanese should and would not give up their freedom and sovereignty so easily.

hsin chu
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