Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Media Fails to Report Major World Event

I found it today on page A3 of the Los Angeles Times. CNN and FOX are not bothering to report the news:

The head of the Kuomintang (Nationalists) went to Beijing for a summit with the Chinese President Hu Jintao. It was broadcast on live TV on both sides of the Taiwan straits. They agreed to work to end hostilities, push for direct transportation, and permit Taiwan to join organizations like the WHO (a 180 degree reversal for Beijing).

Of course, the nationalists are not in power. Taiwanese President Chen Shue-Bien was forced to bless the event, giving his rival the spotlight. What a fantastically brilliant move by the Chinese to offer real peace to the Taiwanese (after raising threat ante with the anti-secession law) through the Nationalists, thus sidelining and isolating the pro-independence factions. It is very shrewd, and signals that China is willing to use all manner of political machinations, rather than brute force, to handle its issues with Taiwan. Very clever. And who would have thought the Chinese communists could get the KMT to be their agents to undermine the Taiwanese government?

Let's just say that the picture of Hu and Lien Chan shaking hands in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing is unbelievable. But no, all that's on TV today is some woman in Georgia who faked a kidnapping to avoid her own wedding. So Hu and Lien Chan can talk, but Georgia brides can't say to their families or fiancees, "I'm feeling overwhelmed." The pastor said on TV that he felt betrayed. Cold War? You ain't got nothing on southern family and religious pressure on women.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aw! I was going to post something about this this morning! You beat me to it!

This is a big deal! The Economist online has a report  on it of course.

On the one hand it loooks like the Communists are offering the hand of peace to their one time foes from a position of new found strength and prosperity. On the other hand this could represent the greatest victory of Chiang Kai-shek, the founder of the nationalist KMT and the pseudo-state of Taiwan.

The way the Communists run China today is very much like the way the KMT dictatorship ran Taiwan before that country democratized in the 1990s. The ideological differences between the Chinese Communists and the KMT have largely dissapeared...in the KMT's favor!

There will much praise for this event and there should be! Along with the growing detente between India and Pakistan (and China) this event promises to help avoid war in Asia.

However, let's not forget that the KMT is not the government party in Taiwan. While the KMT supports reunification with China, popular opinion in Taiwan is complicated. From talking to Taiwanese friends, it seems to be a lot like the statehood/independence debate in Puerto Rico. As a whole, the Taiwanese people are deeply ambivolent about their desires on this issue. I think that if the Chinese government opened to democracy, much of the opposition to reunification among the Taiwanese would evaporate.

I see this overture to the KMT as a statement by the Chinese Communists that they are not interested in reunification through democracy, but rather a through new nationalist (and anti-democratic) coalition...a reunification of Sun Yet Sen's movement. And so while this is a big deal and it may indicate an attempt by the PRC to undo some of the fear the recent nationalist mob violence in China has provoked in the region, it is really just another indication of the danger of growing nationalism in China.

 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

I agree with you gents that the runaway bride from Georgia is non-news.

But if you're interested in some critical analysis of the Military Bridal Industrial Complex (a $70 billion industry in the US), there is a really great article that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 2001 called "The Wedding Merchants." I can't find a free copy online, but I have one somewhere.

-Seventh Sister

Anonymous said...

Hm, would that be an "iron triangle" of matrimony?  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Update:

A friend of mine from Taiwan tells me that this particular KMT politician has been blamed for two recent losses for the KMT in Presidential elections there. She said that "no one listens to this guy." (but she admitted the Taiwanese press was buzzing about it) When I suggested an analogy of "so it would be like Al Gore making a trip to Cuba or something" she agreed that would be the same level of "diplomacy" going on. In other words, it is way too early to read anything at all into this other than political opportunism by both parties involved.

I also asked her how many Taiwanese would support independence if a vote were held tomorrow. She suggested something a fifth. And firmly said that number would be higher if people weren't afraid of a military response from China. She is of mixed mainland and Formosan heritage and considers herself Taiwanese rather than Chinese. She also expressed some serious anger about another Taiwanese student who identified himself as being from Taipei, China (she thought he should have said "Taipei, Taiwan").

I got the distince impression from her tone that any statistics she quoted were not to be accepted at face value. Nevertheless, I do believe her when she says more broadly that most Taiwanese do NOT want to be reunified with China - even if it were a democracy. And I believe her when she said that there is a broadly felt and growing Taiwanese national identity distinct from Chinese identity. I just think she exagerates these developments for rhetorical effect. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

More dramatic than Al Gore going to Cuba, I should say. More like John Kerry and Bill Clinton going to Cuba, perhaps with McCain in tow. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

This Taiwanese woman was pretty insistant that the particular politician in question was not popular and had "no charisma." I'm not sure how much of her views are object though. Nevertheless, I'd be inclined to believe her that this guy is not the big shot he wants to be - or wants us to think he is.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Well, he's the leader of the Kuomintang, the party that created Taiwan and broke away from China. The fact that his party is out of power in Taiwan for the first time in more than half a century does not diminish the historical importance. It would be nowhere near as important if they roles were reversed (if, when the KMT was in power, the losing party met with China). 

// posted by The Law Talking Guy

Anonymous said...

Well, that's true I suppose. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

If, when the KMT was in power, the losing party met with China, the losing party would probably have been tossed in jail upon their return.

BTW RBR, when you say "Chinese Communists" are you refering to the "Chinese Government" or to everyone in China who belongs to the party? 

// posted by Gaoshan

Anonymous said...

"And who would have thought the Chinese communists could get the KMT to be their agents to undermine the Taiwanese government?"

Uhm... anyone who knows much about politics in Taiwan. 

// posted by Gaoshan

Anonymous said...

Yes, absolutely, the KMT - while it was in power, especially while "Generalisimo" Chiang Kai-shek was alive - was not exactly the happy warm fuzzy party of political freedom. They were a dictatorial party based on nationalist devotion to the state/nation in exchange for continued provision of economic prosperity (hmmm, sound familiar? It should; it's a common enough perversion of the social contract).

By "Chinese Communists" I'm refering really to the leaders of the Communist party. Its such a huge party that I'm sure there are factions and differences of opinion within it. Ultimately, its a convenient way to differentiate because so many people regard both Taiwan and mainland China as "China" and so it would get messy talking about "The Chinese Government" I differentiate.

I'm also aware that the Chinese Communist party is not really a communist party anymore but much more of a nationalist party ruling through an authoritarian/semi-dictatorial government along the lines of the KMT after Chiang Kai-shek's death or the PRI in Mexico during the 1970s/1980s.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

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