Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

To all the blog readers and participants,

China Watcher wishes you a wonderful New Year 2009.

As this is a China related blog, I do hope the Chinese people in China is strong enough to stand up to face new challenges especially in an economic environment which is deteriorating as the day passes by.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New military hotline signals further development of close ties between China and Russia

By China Watcher

This is certainly welcome news for the coming New Year in which there is another strong indication of the development of close military ties between China and Russia with the installation of the new military hotline, at the close of the year of 2008.

The hotline is for use by senior military officers of both countries mainly to obtain more accurate information from each other in order to defuse crisis or resolve issues that may cause diplomatic conflicts due to miscalculated perceptions. Additionally, it can also be used to exchange military information to counter ‘potential enemies’ common to each of them.

Over the weekend, the foreign ministries of the two countries also complimented each other on the strengthening of the strategic partnership and growth of business ties as well.

The phone link is a simple tool to overcome huge bureaucracies to reach the relevant person on the other end of the line. Put this simply, the Chinese or the Russian can now pick up the phone when there is a crisis and ask each other what is going on and what they are doing about it.

The Western media hidden disapproval noted that similar military hotline between Beijing and Washington appears to have stalled. This to a certain extent reflects the sincerity of the US government and the level of mistrust the US had on its relationship with China.

Friday, December 19, 2008

No religious freedoms in China is a myth

By China Watcher

Ever since, China opened up to the world 30 years ago and boldly adopted pragmatic economic reforms to improve the livelihood of its people, there are now 31.4 percent of the population who have practiced some forms of religious beliefs. This represents 300 million people, a huge number of religious believers as compared to the period of the Cultural Revolution when the numbers were very much smaller. Christianity is presently the fastest growing religion in China. The Chinese government recognizes five religions namely Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. The places of worship like churches, temples and mosques representing these 5 tolerated religions are allowed. In 2005, new regulations on religious affairs were passed allowing religious organizations to possess property, publish literature, train and approveclergy and collect donations as long as they registered with the state.

The Western media continuous slamming of China for no religious freedom is a myth. Tolerance of religion among the people has also been noticed by visitors traveling to China. It has been the practice of Chinese emperors in ancient times to impose a certain measure of control over religions as it could pose a threat to the existing Confucian order and the governance of the emperor as a mandate from heaven. Hence, it is no different now that the present government in a single party system continues to adopt such administrative style.

In future, I strongly believe that as the government and the people become more confidence and readily accept the demands of the people for a varied lifestyle without undermining the social stability, more tolerance and leeway will be allowed in the social systems. It is for the Chinese people to decide and not from the nosy Westerners and its media.

Yesterday, I have come across an informative article from the Singapore’s Straits Times on the same topic, which is quite enlightening as compared to the many anti-China bashing articles coming from the West. I have enjoyed reading it and I hope you do.

Straits Times dated 18 December 2008

Arrianna Liu, 30, feels more at ease now saying grace before a meal in a restaurant than she did before. It is not just that the government appears to have loosened the reins on religion. People are also generally more tolerant than they were before of religious practices, including those of a foreign religion like Christianity.
"A few years ago, I would worry about how others saw me. But now, yes, there is curiosity but no judgment," said the Beijing-based Liu, who works for a non-governmental organisation.
Indeed, in the 30 years since her birth in 1978 - the very same year that China embarked on economic reforms and opened its doors to the world - Chinese society has undergone tremendous changes that have led to a burgeoning of religious believers.
A government-sponsored survey last year found that 300 million Chinese, or 31.4 per cent of the country's adult population, considered themselves religious believers, much larger than the government estimate of around 100 million.
Two-thirds of the believers are Buddhists, Taoists or devotees of traditional deities such as the Dragon King or God of Fortune. The survey estimated that 12 per cent of all believers - or 40 million – were Christians, up from 16 million in 2005. That makes Christianity one of thefastest-growing religions in China. Some foreign estimates put the estimated number of Christians even higher, from 50 to 70 million. Many attend independent, unregistered house churches.
The government recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Buddhism, with an estimated 100 million believers, is the largest. There are around 20 million Muslims, many of whom are from minority ethnic groups such as the Uighurs.
Philosophy professor Liu Zhongyu attributed the spike in religious believers to the religious freedom the Chinese people have enjoyed over the past 30 years and the social problems they faced at a time of rapid change.

After Deng Xiaoping launched economic reforms in 1978, the government began to loosen its control over various aspects of social life, including religion, in order to facilitate the reforms. In 1982, an edict on religious freedom was passed that acknowledged that religion would exist for a long time before eventually fading away. Freedom of religious belief was granted on condition that believers also love their country, support the rule of the Chinese Communist Party and observe the socialist law - in other words, place the state and the party before religion.
The government's decision to allow for greater - if not full – religious freedom is seen by observers as both the result of its growing confidence and a response to society's demand for room to practice religion.

Certainly, Chinese society has undergone great transformation as a result of three decades of reforms. The reforms have increased social and geographical mobility. They have taken the state out of social life so people now have greater freedom to choose where they want to work and live, and whom they want to associate with. But such freedom also comes with insecurities, for the state no longer looks after people from cradle to grave, as it claimed to do during the Maoist era.
Prof Liu, in an interview with the China Daily newspaper, noted: "More Chinese feel unstable and harassed by the rootless lives they live now."

He told the Oriental Outlook magazine that standards of morality were declining and that "people don't trust each other any more. They are looking for something to anchor their lives to," including religion. Other analysts have noted that being part of a religious group, such as a house church, affords believers a social network they can trust.

Looking at it from a different perspective, particularly with regard to Buddhism, is Master Xuecheng, vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China, and abbot of four monasteries including the Longquan monastery in Beijing. He argued that once people have satisfied their basic needs and wants such as housing and food, they would have more spiritual demands.
He added: "Only when a society has prospered and developed can it have the strength to tolerate different kinds of thinking... Only after a society has prospered to a certain level can it have considerable numbers of people with relatively high standards of knowledge and, therefore, the qualification to devote themselves to the study of Buddhist scriptures."

He cited as evidence the fact that Buddhism flourished during ancient China's golden age, the Tang Dynasty, particularly in the region of Chang'an (present-day Xian), at the Chinese end of the Silk Road.

Ms Liu, who has also explored Buddhism, finds Buddhist scriptures too difficult to grasp. They run into thousands of volumes compared with the one-volume Bible for Christians and the Quran for Muslims. Besides, Buddhism "requires you to give up a lot in life", said Ms Liu,adding that she found this hard to accept. Buddhists strive ultimately to chushi, withdraw from the world, she argued.

Some Chinese scholars like Professor Kang Xiaoguang of Renmin University do not think that Christianity will have significant success in China. But the reality is that it is growing at a tremendous pace and attracting many young people.

Kang, who advocates Confucianism as the basis for governance in China, held that those who are less mature, follow fashion slavishly and who worship things Western turn to Christianity, while more mature, knowledgeable Chinese tend to be followers of Buddhism. Christianity is popular among young people, Kang noted, who are liberal-minded, pro-America, anti-establishment and Internet-savvy, and who live in big and medium-sized cities.Xuecheng pointed out that Buddhism, a foreign religion, became rooted in Chinese society after it was localized, adopting the vocabulary of indigenous Chinese thought systems, such as Confucianism and Taoism, and developing its own Chinese canon. He added that Islam and Christianity face the same problem of localization.

However, he noted that Buddhist groups had adopted some Christian methods of spreading the religion, such as through charity work. They are also using modern tools: His Longquan monastery, for example, has a Chinese and an English website managed by volunteer devotees.
A survey of cultural nationalism among Chinese, done by Kang last year, found that 33.5 per cent of respondents thought Buddhism was the greatest of all religions or cultural traditions, 14.9 per cent said that of Confucianism, and 8.6 per cent of Christianity, including Catholicism. Taoism, China's only indigenous religion came in fourth with just 3 per cent.

Although Taoism appears marginalized in Chinese society today, it is very much a part of Chinese life. Xuecheng pointed out that the basic principles of traditional Chinese medicine and the ideas of yin and yang and the five elements all have their origins in Taoism. One might add feng shui, the basic principle of which is to live in harmony with the natural environment.
Analysts are in the main optimistic about the growth of religion in China so long as the government sees its usefulness in helping to maintain a stable society. The government's support for Chinese cultural traditions and indigenous or indigenized religions can be seen in its participation in the first World Buddhist Forum held in China in 2006 and in annual ceremonies to commemorate Confucius and the legendary Yellow Emperor from whom the Chinese are supposed to have descended. As for Christianity, it has adopted a policy of monitoring and controlling but not suppressing it, said Kang.

It remains to be seen whether Christianity will take root in China -and if it does, to what extent and in what form? Will it become a pillar of Chinese society together with Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism? It is difficult to tell at the moment, but Christianity's growth in China is one of unintended consequences of the reforms Deng Xiaoping launched 30 years ago this week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The US is only just a country in a very big world

By China Watcher

On December 1, 2008, Mr. Obama introduced US Senator Clinton as the incoming US Secretary of State with comments that he had known Mrs. Clinton as a friend, a colleague, a source of counsel, and as a campaign opponent. He further praised her that she is a woman of extraordinary intelligence and toughness, with a remarkable work ethic. Additionally, he added that Hillary’s good networking with world leaders will help to command respect in every capitol and will also assist to advance US’s interests around the world.

Not too long ago, Obama’s description of the same woman was the exact opposite as someone whose diplomatic records was “thin” and overstated during the Democrat campaign for the US President.

Hillary Clinton promised to make the United States a new force for positive change, saying that as Secretary of State she would work with the world community to solve global crises. She said that the American people have demanded not just a new direction at home, but a new effort to renew America's standing in the world as a force for positive change. What force is she referring to? And does the world really want 300 million voters to decide their fate? The US is just a country in a very big blue world of 6 billion.

Let move across to the music scene. Why? Yes, there is connection to what I am trying to point out.

I am not a great fan of the Oasis pop group which was popular during the 90s. Liam Gallager, one its singers, admitted that he was confused as to why Oasis was not bigger in the US, because their Stateside tours sell-out in record time. He believed that they are not big in the US mainly because of their outrageous behavior and unorthodox attitudes. And his last comment was what captivated me. He said that the US is not the be all and end all for Oasis and the US is a country in a f***ing very big world, so if they don't like us, somewhere else will.

I do hope the policy-making “think-tank” behind China’s future political strategic plan is aware of this fact that the US political influence is on the decline, and the world is moving towards one which is not overly dominated by one power like it is now.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tibetans fight for independence will be met with the full power and might of the Chinese security Police and the Military.

By China Watcher

There will be no covert plot for independence (disguised as autonomy to misled the West) as announced by the Chinese government. This means that only Tibet Autonomous region is up for discussion for LIMITED AUTONOMY and not Qinghai, Gansu or Sichuan, where there may be sporadic settlements of Tibetans. Though the Tibetans number only 5 million, there are spread across the four provinces and the Western world (short of a clear understanding of Chinese history) has provided the political religious leader, the Dalai Lama, with a “face” in the Tibetans’ 50 years struggle for “disguised autonomy’ from the Chinese government.

Last week in the quiet rebel base in India, the 500 over self appointed “exiled leaders” have decided to delay and play a “wait and see” attitude on its supposedly crafted decision to sever all ties with China and to follow the Dalai Lama “Middle Way” until a time when a consensus could be reached . The meeting was called by the Dalai Lama to all Tibetan exiles to discuss on the future direction of their “lost homeland” and the expected new initiatives against “Chinese rule” in Tibet. Some Western media had confidently predicted the formulation of a more radical approach in the Tibetan rebels’ struggle to achieve independence. How do you declare independence or sever ties with China when the Tibetan rebels or exiles do not even have a “country” or accepted as a recognized entity in the UN? Perhaps, the monks intend to resort to arms in its effort to achieve its goals.

I dare the Tibetan exiles to call for independence and to resort to military means to take back Tibet and the surrounding areas. Tibet is long gone. The Chinese government has a firm control in Tibet for the past 50 years with a strong paramilitary presence as and when needed. Even if the rebels adopt terrorist or military means, there is no chance that the Tibetans would be able to dislodge the Chinese total stranglehold of power from its centralized base in Beijing. This is the truth.

If violence is promoted in its independence plan, I believe there will be a sharp decline in international support (West support, most of the time) for the Tibetans and the objective would even be more remote than it presently is. India may have second thoughts of “leasing” the town for the Tibetan exiles to use given that the Chinese has become more politically influential at the world stage. The Western media will always try to portray a more optimistic outlook for the Tibetans than what it actually is, in order to keep their remaining spirit flying.

I am surprised that certain extremist groups like the Tibetan Youth Congress which has clearly ignored the Dalai’s leadership role in the March’s riots, was present at the meeting.

It was only in the 90s’ that I noticed that there were opportunities for negotiation with the Chinese government since the religious leader fled to India in a failed uprising in 1959. In actual fact, the many chances to negotiate were made available through the western media and rights groups one sided articles threatening China with boycotting tactics like in the recent Olympics, the increased pressure and requests coming from Western leaders who championed the Dalai Lama’s perceived peaceful cause.

Of course, the many “protest” or “petition” by these groups would not have brought the Chinese to the negotiating table if China is not fully integrated in the world community through its opening up economic programs in the late 70s. China an emerging nation needs continued international support and trade linkages to implement its national policy of sustainable economic growth well into the next 30 years or more.

Being someone who can understand the Chinese way of thinking in the People Republic of China, I commended China for being pragmatic by allowing negotiations to take place for the overall economic benefit of its people. The Dalai Lama and his hordes of rebels must understand their limitations and the bargaining power they truly possessed and must not try to ask for “something” which is not on the negotiating tables.

If the Tibetans exiles adopt a radical approach to fight for independence, not by pretending to be one as it is now but by making a clear stance internationally, I am sure the Chinese government will be able to devise a new confrontational strategy of “non-compromise” to wipe out all resistance.

Sadly then, the Tibetan independence fighters will need to bear the full brunt and might of the Chinese Military, and without forgetting the full morale support of the 1.3 billion Han Chinese. The Tibetans will end up like the “Red Indians” in the US.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chinese people do not need a pro-Taiwan “white” man opinion on the development of mainland relationship and possibly, future integration with Taiwan

By China Watcher

I just happened to read an interview on the Taipei Times, a pro-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) organ, with a Danish citizen of Caucasian origin and a strong pro-independence supporter with his very strong pro-independence comments.

First of all, he is not Chinese and thus, his authority to comment does not carry much weight except perhaps to the 30% pro-independence minded Taiwanese.

I am not a racist person but what is this middle aged “white” man doing in this part of the region other than trying to spread its so-called democracy ideals and their forever pure “rightists” values to mankind in other parts of the world, which he deemed is not as civilized as his home country in Denmark or Europe. I suggest he makes his next stop in Africa, in which his values and contributions are much more appreciated, provided he did not get murdered in a civil war (Note: The Europeans are responsible for pillaging the resources of Africa during the colonial days).

His name, I don’t even bother to remember, it is not worth it.

In his comments, he constantly criticized the current Taiwan’s President friendly policies towards China. He claimed that the President is sending out very confusing signals to the world that Taiwan is a part of China. Hey Mr. White Man, Taiwan is an island which was part of Beijing’s territory and recognized by the world since the Ching dynasty until the losing KMT made it as a rebel base in 1949 at the end of the civil war, and ultimately the island became its only area of administration till today. So, legally speaking it is still Chinese owned.

The people in Taiwan can called itself Taiwan or Republic of China, it is still owned by the Chinese people and what this “white man” is insinuating is that if it is called Taiwan then it had a more independence fervor. I sense quite a lot of rubbish coming out from his mouth. Mainland Chinese and Taiwan’s Chinese are the same yellow skinned people from the same source and they speak the same language except for a few leaders who tried to mislead the general public that they speak Taiwanese, a mix of Mandarin and local dialect, and hence are not CHINESE. Rubbish, again.

The international community, even the State of Denmark, recognized China’s standing in the United Nation and that there is only one China. He must be the odd one out trying to convince the Taiwanese that they had the sympathy of the EU residents. I am not quite sure of this fact but I also know there are a lot of PRC’s sympathizers in his country. What he is trying to create is a big divide between the same people from two sides of the Straits so that future reconciliation would be impossible.

I supported the Ma’s administration of conducting pragmatic polices with China in order to develop closer economic cooperation that would benefit people from both sides of the Straits. I would not call it “concessions” as the Mainland would also have to “give a bit more” to arrive at a workable solutions. Chinese people, in limited batches, are now allowed to travel to Taiwan on sightseeing tours which would be deemed impossible just 10 years ago. Isn’t this a slight concession on Chinese side of it? And in future, Chinese students would also go to the island to gain knowledge from Taiwanese lecturers learning and understanding the Taiwanese way of life and that in future, these future leaders would have a say in how the two different rules of governments can integrate. It could be possible, perhaps, in another 30-40 years.

The political confrontation during the tumultuous era of the previous President between China and Taiwan have almost resulted in a war between the two sides, thus drawing in the only country which would come to her assistance, the US. The US heaved a sigh of relief that it did not take place because that would mean more stretched military resources considering the US is involved heavily in Afghanistan and Iraq. Maybe, his home country, Denmark could help in times of war.

Since the KMT came back to power early this year, I am sure most political analysts would agree that the political tensions were very much reduced. The possibility of a conflict is no longer present.

In the light of the improved relationship, I believe that China would allow Taiwan a bit of international political space to conduct its non political business especially in the areas of health and environment, which is better than the condition in which there is none. Taiwan is already suppressed in the international arena and having negotiations with China is the only practical and feasible way forward for the continued economic prosperity of its people. The future prospect of the Taiwan economy is tied to the economic success of the mainland and many Taiwanese have gradually comes to realize this but this “white man” thinks otherwise.

Cross-strait disputes are resolved by Chinese people from both sides and if I am not wrong, the Chinese government has never resort to any moderator role from the US or remotely the EU or Japan.

If there is any change in government in China, it is up to the Chinese people to decide and not from this “white man” or others like minded person of Caucasian origin who believed that they could spur the seed of change. There were already changes going on in mainland China and the voices of the people are slowly getting across to the government. The political developments from Hong Kong and maybe, Taiwan will play a stimulus role in the changes in the rule of government in China. It may not be multi-party at first but the vote will come from the people ultimately as a people based government is more sustainable in the long run.

The Anti-Secession Law is not ridiculous as it would prevent any Chinese province from breaking away from the motherland. If it is deemed ridiculous, what about the US’s Taiwan Relations Act, which I perceived more like a nosy piece of legislation which is legally binding on the US citizens that has nothing to do with US sovereignty.

Yes, Taiwan is a democracy and China is not but that does not mean that everything about democracy is good. I am of the opinion that various stages of economic development require different types of government and every particular political and economic model has its strong and weak points.

Even if China adopts a democracy system (one-party disguised as multi-party) like Singapore in the future, I doubt that the “white man” would be given a say in how things should be run. If he loves Taiwan so much, he should take up Taiwanese citizenship. But he is not. I wonder why?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

China should initiate a strategy to bring EU ties to a level befitting the present circumstances

By China Watcher

Earlier, the European Parliament ignored China’s request not to award the Human Rights award to one of its dissidents in October 2008. I was actually taken aback when China proceeded to hold the Asia-EU Summit in Beijing about a week after the announcement. I guess that this could be due to the agreed hosting commitment and that it is an Asian’s role played by China before the snub.

And yesterday, the arrogant, shallow minded and “less refined” French President stated that he will go ahead with the side-lined meeting with the Dalai Lama in Poland, next month further affecting Sino-France relationship which has yet to reach the level of cooperation enjoyed during the years of Jacques Chirac.

There is no doubt that France as an independent nation, will not listen or follow the instructions of another country in its foreign policy but the Sino-EU relationship is a core partnership of which free trade linkages coupled with joint ventures, technical engagements and climatic cooperation could benefit the people from both sides. France, being the current EU Presidency, should demonstrate its leadership in bringing the Sino-EU partnership to a new level and to view the progressive development from a bigger perspective than one which narrowly provides moral support to a political religious leader dream of achieving covert independence. One of the covert independence aims of the Tibetan exiles is to drive all Han Chinese from Tibet and the three surrounding provinces, which obviously cannot be supported by the Chinese – both within and abroad.

As such, it is of no surprise when Beijing announced unilaterally that it has cancelled the summit with EU next week. In fact, most of the European leaders’ political actions are playing to the tune of the human rights activists and Tibetan sympathizers, which is of no benefit to the economic prosperity and well being of people from the two emerging and complementary entities.

What is reported by the Western media that the Sino-EU summit is being postponed is untrue. In actual fact, it is deemed CANCELLED because there is suppose to be two summits every year and not one. If a meeting is held next year, then it will be a fresh NEW SUMMIT for a brand new year – 2009, which I believe will remain tumultuous with the rotating Presidency of the EU going to the Czech Republic, another human rights’ sympathetic country.

By canceling the event, the Chinese government has demonstrated the right thing to do reflecting the will of all prideful Chinese people. Bravo!

Friday, November 21, 2008

As a potential superpower, it is China’s right to close the gap in space technology with the US

By China Watcher

It is already a known fact that China is seeking accomplishment in space over the past decade and, it is possible that they may even pay a huge sum of money to acquire the necessary technology to close the gap with the US in this important scientific field, which to a certain extent, is a measure of a country’s high technology advancement.

Last week, a naturalized US citizen, of Chinese origin, is charged for violating the US Arms Export Control Act from 2003 to 2007 for providing “valuable assistance” in the design and development of a cryogenic fueling system (including pumps, valves, transfer lines, refrigeration equipments and components critical for liquefied hydrogen) for future space launch vehicles to be used at the heavy payload launch facility located in the southern island province of Hainan. He has also been accused for arranging for Chinese officials to visit various European space launch facilities and hydrogen production/storage facilities (yes, European owned and not US).

I would not call this as espionage as spun wildly by the US media (they just love to do this every time it involves China) with such reports constantly following a very familiar theme that the Chinese are “evil” (and communists in particular) and, they will use whatever means to acquire the technology to be used militarily to strike at the US and its residents. Why must the Chinese attack the US if it is not provoke? Isn’t the US the most powerful military in the world with a strong global presence? This is all hyped-up phobias with a hidden agenda.

A political analyst put this appropriately by saying that the accused did not “steal” the technology but he has breached his employment terms using his personal knowledge, overstepping the arm control laws, to generate income for himself. This kind of shady business deals are transacted daily all over the world that would include the Arabs, Russians, Indians, Iranians and Israelis but nothing was as much played up by the US media as those that concerns China. Why? Possibly, China is the only visible country in this world that would pose a strong threat to the US continued dominations in the political, economic, cultural and scientific realms in the future.

Does the world needs a country voted by only 250 million people to decide the world’s fate with a population of more than 6 billion? A multi polar world with the US, China, Russia and probably the EU is more tenable and accepted than one that is overly dominated by a single power.

The accused is one of the few persons of Chinese origin being systematically prosecuted by the US’s Justice Department. Let this be a clear warning to all bright Chinese students and for those dream of making the US as their home that getting a citizenship is not an insurance that those constant surveillance activities are kept out of your life especially if you are engaged in a high technology related employment.

A lot of the new scientific improvements seen in the US to a certain degree were contributed by scientists of Chinese origin who graduated from the US and reside in the country (About 26% of MIT students are of Asian origins) since the 80s. The trend of graduated students moving back to China is on the increase and in a survey conducted more than 40% of the Chinese students in the US is keen on contributing to the scientific development of China. Can the US stem the flow of this massive brain power in due course? Ultimately, the “imported” Chinese will be able to develop indigenous technology for the homeland and hopefully, China may not need to source its technology from the fearful US anymore.

There is no doubt that the US will continue to strengthen its monitoring mechanism and also, to enhance its arms control laws to deal with this so called “high technology proliferation” to China. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has stated in its annual report to lawmakers that aggressive Chinese space programs are allowing Beijing to more effectively target U.S. military forces. The report is hypothetical and it treated China as an “enemy”.

The US claimed that whatever technology gain by China in the course of cooperation with them will immediately be applied to China’s Military, which are deemed not “peaceful” because it is a communist state which ultimately threatens the freedoms which has made these successes possible.

The US has made no complaints about seeking technology cooperation with Russia, which is deemed a “democracy”, but the recent differences over the placement of defense shield right in front of Russia’s doorstep had created suspicions. Does a “democratic” state and a one-party state made any differences on technology cooperation? Even if China is a democracy, I still do not think the US would cooperate fully with one that does not share close values with them.

China will be forever a strong competitor to the US and, in a zero sum equation; one country’s gain is another loss to the other. China must follow Russia in developing its own technology. The increased spending on Research and Development in China bodes well for the development in this direction.

The new US President-elect Barrack Obama said in one of its campaigns during the US Presidential election that China is rising and it is not going to go away and added that Beijing is "neither US enemy nor US friend; they're competitors." Probably the many US neo-cons should take note of this. And I would point out also that China will definitely close the gap in technology between the US and them and it is their right to do so and not a single country would be able to take that right away by using man-made restrictions.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chinese President’s visit to Latin America underlined China’s growing economic and political diplomacy in the region

By China Watcher

Latin America, the backyard of the US, had been a monopolized stronghold in political and economic influence of the US for the past 80 years but lately these countries have slowly come out of its “past economic bondage” and accepted that the US is not the only nation that could guarantee its economic prosperity in the future.

China, a growing economic power, had started to make dramatic inroads outside its normal spheres of influence in nearby Asia and stepped up the economic and political linkages, most prevalent in Latin America and Africa based countries.

This is also part of its global strategy to diversify its over-reliance on “Caucasian” ruled Western countries like the US and EU in the medium and long term so as to reduce the effects from unfair trade tariffs and the expected “boycott threats” from mainly Western governments arising from pressure of these various human rights groups and other Western based non government organizations openly unfriendly to China and its people. I strongly supported this move as it was suggested in my earlier articles.

In DEMOCRATIC Costa Rica (once again, the Western media proudly highlighted), China had started bilateral free trade talks and signed a number of business deals including a joint venture in which the Chinese will help modernize the country’s only state-owned oil refinery. And in COMMUNIST Cuba (there it goes, highlighting the anti-communist fervor of the Western media) the Chinese leader brought millions of dollars in aid and promises of closer future trade ties.

Though communism had been accepted as another political model in so-called “freedom of speech” countries like the US but the journalists and editors from the West are still a bunch of anti-communist people.

Personally, I have come to accept that China is not a Communist state but a “one-party” socialist country. If a country is truly communist, the economy should subscribe totally to a centrally planned model. But China’s economic system is deemed capitalist with a high degree of government interference as presently being practiced in the emerging economies of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

The Costa Rica trip’s also demonstrated to the many Taiwan’s allies in the region especially Paraguay and Nicaragua that cementing relationship with China is long term and, economically beneficial as compared to “the friendship with aid packages” deal handled out by the former. With the passing of time, China will grow stronger and it is only practical to have a meaningful relationship with a potential superpower.

Even the present Taiwan’s leadership under the Kuomintang is aware of the trade and economic dynamics but unfortunately, the opposition party which had led the provincial island astray for the past 8 years, still wanted to play politics recently by protesting close ties with mainland China.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia, the host for this weekend's summit of leaders from the 21 countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, has warmly welcomed the Chinese President and the two countries are expected to finalize a bilateral free trade agreement.

Trade between China and the region remains relatively small but is growing rapidly. According to Xinhua news agency, exports to Latin America grew 52 percent in the first nine months of 2008 to US$111.5 billion dollars.

This is really impressive considering the insignificant volume just a few years ago.

Monday, November 17, 2008

China aircraft carrier project is a Chinese right and it is not a threat

By China Watcher

Whether the western journalists and the surrounding countries are assured or convinced that the Chinese plan for a blue-water navy – one that project naval power well beyond its coastal waters – in the next 3-4 years is peaceful as being enumerated countless times by China’s Defence or Foreign Ministry spokesperson, their views are not relevant anymore.

The building of an indigenous aircraft carrier by China to protect its security interest is a RIGHT of the Chinese, similar to the RIGHT of the US or the Russians to do so. I do not see any difference. It could be a ploy of the Western media to exaggerate or to highlight a threat which does not exist at all. It is quite common whenever China launches, build or plan to build and test new technology and highly proficient military goods and equipments.

On November 16, a senior officer in a rare Interview with the British’s Financial Times at Chinese Defence Ministry, hinted that the world should not be surprised if China builds an aircraft carrier and he continued to assure the interested groups within China and abroad that the deployment of the battle craft is only for offshore defense and possibly, to protect its commercial shipping lanes from enemies or terrorists attacks.

Personally, I believe the speculation has been going on for the past decade and it is not new if the Chinese navy embarked on such an aircraft carrier program. Even the Pentagon said during the year that China is now actively engaged in aircraft carrier research and would be able to start building one very soon. There were also reports that the Chinese air force had begun training 50 selected pilots to operate fixed-wing aircraft from a ship and that there are modifications being made to the J-10, an advanced Chinese made jet, to land and takeoff from a moving ship.

The Chinese military officer has declined to comment whether China has started to build one but he pointed out that it is the dream of every great power to have one or more aircraft carriers. He also clarified appropriately that the purpose and the use of the aircraft carrier is more important than having one just to show off or to project one country’s as a superpower. The purpose would be different from the US which is to pursue the nation’s own global military objectives and for speedy military deployments in every corner of the world.

If you visualize a threat, it will be the country’s with the most advanced aircraft carrier and also, one that actively uses 11 carriers group to project its military powers throughout the world.

The US, however, will be worried of any matching Chinese military deployment as it is the only nation that will come to Taiwan’s defence in the event of an attack by the Chinese as a result of a declaration of independence by the ruling government on the island. Countering the island’s air force is not the only perceivable issue but the blocking of any military assistance from the US is possible with an aircraft carrier group supported by air power and naval vessels.

The introduction of aircraft carrier in China's military is long overdue and it should have been established more than 10 years ago, to reflect China’s growing status as a regional power.

I stressed, once more, the military deployment of aircraft carriers, possibly one or two in 3-4 years’ time, is not a threat but more of a Chinese RIGHT and it should not cause any unnecessary concerns as claimed by certain military analysts from the US and the West.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Credit Crisis: China is ready but not the US

By China Watcher

The credit crisis over the past few months has one major telling factor – the gradual decline of the US influence economically and the importance of China in the global financial system.

In short, are we saying that the US had lost its economic leadership status to the Chinese? No, not yet. Let us get real. The US is still the dominant economic power with a US$13 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) clearly well ahead of the second largest Japanese Economy at US$4.5 trillion. China’s GDP is expected to surpass the German’s economy to become the third largest with a US$3.4 trillion size by the end of 2008.

The US is currently the biggest debtor, owing creditors – both domestic and foreign - at almost the same level of its present GDP size of US$13 trillion. In fact, most of the world’s exports are being shipped to the US, a strong engine of growth for the world’s economy for the past 40 years.

With the credit crunch affecting liquidity in the US that has now spread across the Atlantic to the closely knitted European Community, the attention is now focus on China, which currently hold almost $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves. Certain national leaders had urged China to become a more responsible stakeholder while undertaking a leadership role in shaping the new world’s economic order. This will be one of the many important agendas in the coming special G20 meeting in Washington, initiated by the US to discuss affordable and feasible solutions to prevent the world’s economy from sinking into a deep depression.

But China also has its own share of problems and it is not completely insulated from the economic woes. The slowdown in orders from abroad has already resulted in the closure of many small to middle sized factories which inevitably will affect the growth of the Chinese economy and the loss of thousands of jobs that are critical for maintaining social order in the developing country. The good news is that the inflationary fears have more or less abated.

By announcing a fiscal stimulus package of US$586 billion to face the effects of the financial troubles coming from the US and also, perhaps on a bigger scale from Europe, China has prepared itself socially and economically, to bear the full impact of the recession. The fiscal amount announced represented 18% of China’s GDP, which may be sufficient to tie the Chinese through the tough period ahead.

On the basis of comparison, I am of the opinion that the U.S. is still not fully geared up to handle the problem, as the financial packages announced so far totaling US$700 billion constituted only 6% of its GDP, which is perceived by analysts to be inadequate to cope with the magnitude of the credit crisis. An adequate stimulus program would need to be in the range of 10% of the GDP, let say, at US$1.3 trillion.

China's stimulus program is meant for injecting money into the real economy like in infrastructural constructions and not into the balance sheets of troubled financial institutions while the US funds raised are more for bailout of illiquid financial institutions. The US is moving into a stage of the crisis in which the real economy needs direct intervention and not merely buying into the equities of US financial institutions. Unless there is another new pledge of funds going into the direct components of the economy, the recession could get worse.

There is also a fear in China that the present US government budget which is already in double digit deficit every month would go much higher with some analysts predicting that it will balloon to well over US$1 trillion for this fiscal year. It was reported that the US holds 8,133.5 tonnes of gold reserves valued at US$188.23 billion. Printing more money and issuing more debt instruments logically will continue to weaken the US currency, and that is why, there is an urgent need to expand its real economy to generate exports and bringing it the hard earned currency to lubricate its economy.

Just a few months ago in the run-up to the Olympics, right activists and Western governments were actively demanding more human and religious rights reforms in China but the tone now has changed to one, in which they are praising China for its existing efforts to stabilize the global financial system and hope that it could do more.

Let us face the fact that it is difficult for one nation alone to resolve the problem considering the size and it may require a concerted effort from the largest economies and trading nations at the G20 meeting to ensure the imminent recession from getting any worse than it is and, if possible speed up the recovery from its current state.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Arrogant Chelsea dumped by lowly Burnley

By China Watcher

I am not an avid fan of the English Premier League but there was certainly a piece of pleasing news as arrogant Chelsea was brought down to earth when the team lost to lower-league Burnley 5-4 on penalty kicks after the score is tied at 1-1 even after extra time.

What has this sports news got to do with China? Well, if we could recall not too long ago when Chelsea went on a tour of Asia to promote its “brand” and to reward its so-called legion of crazy supporters across Asia, the Executive Chairman said that Asian players (including Chinese players) do not have the caliber, competence level and the required skill set to make it big in the most competitive soccer league in the world. That was his basis when he was asked why there is not even a single Asian player on the team (including players in the reserves and the junior ranks).

I am impressed by his frankness but to me, it is just plain humiliating because I do sincerely believed that there are certainly a few good Asian players around and also, there must be a few junior openings at the club’s academy for Asian players.

I feel very sad to notice so many of our youths saluting and worshiping the so-called “stars’ of these teams who are not even from Asia. If Chelsea wins, what did you get in return? Probably just a heart warming psychological satisfaction that “YOUR” team had won and, that is about all you will get with no real monetary rewards or no presence of patriotic feeling or nationalistic pride.

To me, Chelsea and the many European clubs are only interested in signing lucrative advertisement contracts and making business deals to enhance its coffers so that they could buy more foreign players but not Asian players. With an impressive economic growth and the flow of funds in the Asia-Pacific region, it is not surprising that the European clubs are aiming for the riches of the region rather than genuinely contributing to the development of soccer in Asia. The many youth programs and joint soccer academies set up 10 years ago across Asia have yet produced any noteworthy talents.

It is a good time for the Asia Football Confederation to reflect upon the many unproductive tours made by these European clubs to Asia and ponders over an integrated self-development plan to raise the soccer standard in this part of the world.

We have to be extra firm and united, to tell these European Clubs to stay at home or go somewhere else when their season ends.

As for arrogant Chelsea, even with the best from Europe, Latin America and Africa, your management stinks and it is very unlikely that you will reach your target in 2008/2009.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taiwan's ex-leader on corruption charges trying to hide behind the veil of democracy

By China Watcher

Taiwan’s former President Chen Shui-bian who escaped prosecution in 2006 while he was holding office over the embezzlement of US$480,000 from the government coffers has conveniently tried to hide behind the democracy shield by saying that going to jail is worth it as he is doing it for Taiwan’s independence and democracy.

What a load of rubbish!

Practicing democracy ideals do not allow an elected office bearer to misuse public funds which was originally made available for the benefit of the country and its people. Prosecutors have found that at least a portion of the money was spent on diamond rings and other luxury items for Mr.Chen’s wife. The former first lady is also facing an ongoing trial for corruption and document forgery in connection with the same case.

The line of questioning by the special investigators on the corruption case and the subsequent arrest was definitely not “political prosecution” as alleged by the former President and was also refuted by the present administration.

Throughout Mr.Chen’s 8 years of Presidency, he had nearly caused a full scale war with mainland China over his confrontational policies and his stance on independence which had encouraged or provided the necessary boost to his hordes of pro-independence supporters or trouble-makers.

The largely Western media who is quietly supportive of Taiwan independence in its many comments during the period from 2000 to 2008 has only within the last few days made factual account of the case. Maybe these editors who suddenly felt that the leader who had been using the cause of democracy and human rights in all his campaign against China is not so “clean” after all.

Chen also took the opportunity to level accusations at the present Kuomintang’s government for being too close economically to the mainland. His mainly pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party supporters were actively involved in demonstrations during the Chinese envoy visit to the island from November 3 to 7.

During the envoy visit, the protests, at times, turned violent and ugly with demonstrators seen throwing stones and objects at the police. The protesters surrounded the hotel where the Chinese visitor was having dinner and prevented him from leaving until after midnight.

Adopting democratic principles of voting on the basis of one vote one person is certainly the ultimate form of people represented government but copying blindly Western liberal standards of protests with violent tendencies are certainly not for Asian societies in which I believed there are other avenues to express dissatisfaction and grievances in an orderly and peaceful manner. If there are ineffective platforms to express one’s opinion, then peaceful protest can be conducted provided it does not cause inconvenience to the people at large and the local laws must be respected.

The Taipei District Court must have discussed the issue at length before ordering the arrest of the once powerful man in Taiwan for suspicion of graft, bribery, forgery, money laundering and illegal possession of state assets.

I have mentioned in my earlier write-ups on the election of the new President from Kuomintang in March this year that the next step is to investigate Mr. Chen many suspicious financial dealings and if there are any incriminating hard evidences, there should not be any let up in bringing him to books. Mr. Chen is an intelligent man and he will willfully twist the facts using his cause for democracy, human rights and independence to shield him from the arms of the law.

I do hope the Taiwanese people especially the pro-Independence camp are smart enough to see through his many masquerading acts. At least, I do not need any gadgets to do so.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Interesting Indian mentality

By China Watcher

I have not been able to write anything of late either due to the dearth of anti-China news other than the daily over-saturated China’s food quality issues on melamine which I think has been blown out of proportion by the Western media. On a personal level, I did not deny the fact that from all these negative publicities, which to a greater degree, will push China to introduce a result-oriented, cost-effective food monitoring mechanism with less avenues for corruptions especially to improve the Chinese people’s confidence towards the food production process in the world’s fastest growing economy. I am not unduly concern about China food exports as the West and other importers’ nations constituted a small percentage of the total production volume.

But there was this piece of news report that caught my eye about the Indians communities (in India) constant use of the Chinese as the sole barometer (or an easy punching bag) whenever there is a rare progress made in the economic and scientific fields, much to the envy of much of its readers like myself.

If we revisit 50 years ago to the days of the two great Asian statesmen, Chou En-Lai and Jawaharlal Nehru, we would have noticed that both China and India were developing nations with a high percentage of its people living under the United Nation’s defined poverty status. The size of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of both the countries was about the same. Unfortunately, there was an outbreak of hostilities in the short Sino-Indian war in 1962 over certain territorial disputes along its borders which remain unresolved till to this day. Since then, both of them have embarked on their very own economic development strategies and growth programs.

India is believed to be the largest democracy bogged down by its heavy bureaucratic elected government, with countless differing opinions which would take ages to arrive at a much needed compromise like for instance the inherent difficulty to secure a position even for a simple matter to build a steel plant over a highly sensitive and populated river. China, on the other hand, was embroiled in the Cultural Revolution which set them back, possibly 10-15 years. Fortunately, the course of the “revolution” was short and it requires the foresight of an inspiring leader to chart an “open-door” economic policy in 1979.

Today, we could see the glaring differences between the state of economic development between China and India. China’s coastal cities are booming with high rise buildings and mega-structures which would have been impossible 30 years ago. Shanghai is gradually but slowly taking its place as one of the dynamic financial centers across Asia, possibly eclipsing Hong Kong in the near future. India’s development path is sporadic and its cities are clogged up due to poor planning. If you drive in Mumbai, you need to be “street-wise” to avoid crashing into its hordes of pedestrians. The only bright spark in its economic development is the successful creation of Hyderabad as the Information Technology and Outsourcing Center for Western corporations.

About two weeks ago, when India successfully launches its lunar probe, there was a full round of applause from the Indian scientists on its space achievements who apparently were not provoked but openly proclaimed out of an inert psychological “beat China” desire as reflected in the many nationalistic comments, "We're catching up! We're better than China in some areas and we can beat China”.

The prideful Indians, though not glaring, and tainted with sheer jealously, were dented on many occasions when China commenced its first nuclear program in the 60s, China’s own “astronaut” from its indigenous space program in 2003, the many successfully mega business-ventures, the success of China’s diversified industrial growth, the 30-years of sustainable economic growth, the significant achievement in its sports and the current GDP size which is more than three times the size of its own.

In China, the people are not bothered with what India is doing. The Chinese are looking at the US as a country to benchmark against in its economic and scientific developments. The Chinese being pragmatic recognized that they still have a long way to go before they could match the US in the areas of scientific development and space exploration. But the Chinese are slowly working on its weaknesses in its quest to be a developed nation, possibly in 40 years’ time.

The support and the all-weathered partnership with India’s rival, Pakistan, also does not help to build trust and even though efforts have been made especially in the past 10 years to strengthen bilateral relations but China is still view within the Indian circles as a hidden “enemy” which India must always be on top in terms of defense.

The Western media hyped up reports that India will surpass China in terms of economic and technological excellence with a projected GDP’s standing next to China, overtaking the US, in 2042 did not help to reduce India’s highly charged emotions and nationalistic sentiments which were largely vented against China.

I believe China has always viewed India as an important neighbor and also an equal partner in which closer economic cooperation will indisputably advance their present economic status and prosperity of the two countries for its people, creating the next economic engine of growth for the world.

The Indians should monitor and measure its own economic and scientific progress from within its targeted objectives and goals based on its internal resources rather than comparing with China, in almost all its major achievement to date.

On a final note, the Chinese holds very strongly to its Confucian values which is present in other East Asian countries as well (including South Korea and Japan) and I have no doubt these highly disciplined traits will continue to bring measured success to China in the areas of economic, cultural and scientific (space included) developments. Perhaps, we may see a Chinese winning a science related Nobel Prize in the not too distant future.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

China should retaliate strongly on EU's award of human rights to the West's promoted Chinese activist

By China Watcher

EU's award of its European human rights award to one of its activists, Hu Jia, is a clear sign that the EU is out to provoke China's patience on the issue. The parliament head commented that it is sending a clear message to China that the authorities in China need to give more prominence on human rights to its people. What type of rights? The European standards?

This is a gross interference in the affairs of the Chinese.

I hope the Chinese government will be able to take a more stronger stance by boycotting all rights dialogue with the EU and also, to put EU relationship at a lower level. It looks as though China's protest has fallen on deaf ears and this involves the plea from the majority of the Chinese people here and that is why China should take a more firmer retaliation on this matter.

Further, I believe the actions of the European Commission on human rights is going to be counter-productive and provoking act like this will hardly move a potential superpower like China.

To China, there is a clear need to diversify the country's economic activities from depending too much on Europe and US.

Taiwan’s opposition group is out to stir more troubles

By China Watcher

Chen Yunlin, the appointed Chinese negotiator and the head of the Association governing Straits relations, will make a landmark visit to Taiwan either in late October or early November under the invitation of the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, who is perceived by Western media to be a more China-friendly government.

These opposition members and its pro-independence activists plan to stage the biggest rally this weekend as a protest against China's continued claim of sovereignty over the breakaway island.

According to the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) representative, the party will use the protest to display its power to show that they are not supportive of the progressive reconciliation effort made by the government and the mainland. Saturday's demonstrators will also be demanding that Beijing apologize to Taiwan for selling milk and other products tainted with the chemical melamine. If I am not wrong, China through its State media had already apologized to the Taiwanese public for exporting tainted milk products to the island. So, what is the fuss?

Chen’s visit is expected to discuss matters on establishing closer shipping and air cargo links. The opposition (DPP), of which its former Chairman and President, Chen Shui-bian is under investigation for corruption, is attempting to thwart the warming of relationship between the present government and the mainland.

Trade and travel links between China and Taiwan have been severely limited since 1949, but talks in June 2008 led to the first regular direct flights between the island and the mainland in nearly six decades.

Chen's number two Zhang Mingqing was jostled and shoved to the ground by pro-independence activists initiated by the DPP during his visit to the island earlier this week. Do we really need this kind of outward violent and unruly behavior promoted by the DPP? In Chinese traditional customs, a perceived “enemy” guest must still be accorded the best possible hospitality when he calls at the host home, although his untrustworthy antics and devious back-stabbing are being constantly monitored in the courts.

As usual, in the Western press line of reporting, the same sentence keeps repeated very often - “China and Taiwan split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but China claims the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification and has threatened an invasion if it declares independence”. I reiterate, once again, that majority of the countries, except for about 14 or 16 small nations recognized the sovereignty of China over Taiwan but the Western media keep harping that only China claims the island as part of its territory. Isn’t this continuous parroting of the same message tantamount to “brain washing” of its readers whether consciously or unconsciously. Fortunately, there are still a lot of smart readers in the world.

Personally, I think reconciliation talks are the best solution on offer to reduce the political and military tensions created by the previous administration that last for 8 long unproductive years. A government survey which was loosely conducted revealed that 50 percent were positive about Chen’s visit and believed that it would help Taiwan to further ease tensions with Beijing and possibly, to allow mainland authorities to understand that democracy principles, other than the unruly behavior of its elected representatives, can co-exists and be part of Chinese societies when the electorate are more mature. Linkages with China will also allow trade to flourish improving the economic conditions and livelihood of the average Taiwanese.

The people of Taiwan should reject the uncompromising stance and the dangerous independence overtures of the main Opposition party who is only out to stir troubles without any end in mind. Moving Taiwan towards independence will only bring catastrophic consequences.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Arms sales to Taiwan, China responds rightfully by canceling and postponing military exchanges with US

By China Watcher

There is a common saying that you cannot have both the cakes and enjoy eating it as well. The double-faced US, self-appointed supreme power of the world, in its normal unilateral way arrogantly informed other nation that this is the only deal on the table, “Take it or leave it”. And of course, the US would use its own standards to justify its decision in order to show that it is listening and that it is the best course of solution for everyone. Most of the reasoning has more to do with protecting US interest. So it is just a lot of cocky stories.

In response to the Pentagon proposed arm sales to Taiwan worth US$6.5 billion for US Congress notification, the Chinese has responded within its authority to cancel or postpone several military exchanges with the United States. This would comprise senior officials level visits and exchanges involving humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief issues that had been scheduled to take place before the end of November.

A high ranked US official commented that the Chinese reaction is unfortunate and these may results in missed opportunities. I would not give a damn of missed opportunities. This is more to do with the respect of Chinese sovereign rights over Taiwan and the US had so many times mentioned insincerely that there is only one China but promoting actions that is the opposite. So how could you trust the US?

The US is the only country in the world who still feels remorseful for “betraying the Taiwanese” when it officially recognized the People Republic of China in 1979. To placate itself of being a “traitor” it passed a controversial Taiwan Relations Act to tell the US residents that while it recognized a “communist” government it is under an obligation to protect Taiwan (or US interest in Asia). But the Act runs counter to the Joint Communiqués signed between the US and China to establish diplomatic linkages and relationship between the people of both countries.

Do you think the Chinese government can accept this? Obviously not and so far, the Chinese can only protest and make its voices heard across the Pacific but as it gets stronger and more influential, and the US is getting weaker, we’ll see whether the double-faced US can really hold its ground based on the US-Taiwan Relations Act. By the way, the US is the ONLY country which still sells weapons to Taiwan and also, the ONLY country which has a unilateral act as the Taiwan Relations Act. I believe no other trustworthy country in the world who has established genuine diplomatic relationship with China would act this way.

The selling of weapons to a state of which a country has sovereign right is like giving a gun to a disobedient kid who has a highly disciplined father so that the parent will not be able to reconcile with the liberal son even though the father has many times said he will only use the cane if the son follows the step-father.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the package includes 330 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and associated equipment worth up to 3.1 billion dollars. The advanced missile defense system has never been sold to Taiwan before. The Pentagon is also proposing selling Taiwan 30 AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire missiles to beef up its anti-armor capabilities, and for close air support of its ground forces. Are the helicopters defensive in nature?

In the proposal it mentioned that Taiwan has requested to buy 31 UGM-84L submarine-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 182 Javelin guided missiles with 20 Javelin command launch units. The missiles are portable anti-tank weapons.

The Chinese side had already sternly warned the US of the impending arms sales which would affect bilateral relationship and it is of no surprise that the Chinese military has temporary called off all military exchanges with the US.

To address common security challenges, it is important to build trust between the two powerful militaries but the selling of arms to a province which is recognized as a part of China, it actually creates more mistrusts.

Besides, the usage of the Act, the US has also tried to justify its sales by saying that China’s military expansion leads other to hedge and one way is to arm its allies. But it will come a time even if a country’s hedges, would this be sufficient to prevent an outright invasion if there is no intervention from a bigger power. Historically, small nations are swallowed by bigger and stronger nations and the course and outcome of war is still the same. China is a big country and in 20 years’ time, hedging against an invasion would be useless. Even the Pentagon think-tank knows about it but they are still pushing sales trying to build comfort and misleading the American public. Personally, to deal with a potential superpower, it is important to build trust with the Chinese military and getting them more involved responsibly in international security programs.

The Western media always end its article with the words that Taiwan and the mainland have been governed separately since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but Beijing sees the island as part of its territory that is awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The majority of the countries who have established diplomatic status with China recognized that there is only one China and that China has sovereign rights over Taiwan but why must the media continually emphasize that only Beijing sees it as part of its territory and not them. Are the media implying that these countries do not recognize Beijing’s right over Taiwan? This is why I have over the years become less trustful of western news agencies because of its hidden anti-China crusade.