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.

Friday, October 3, 2008

China is slowly closing the gap with the US in space technology

By China Watcher

On Thursday, 25 September 2008, at 9.10 pm local time, Shenzhou VII blasted off from a remote desert site in Jiuquan without any hiccups and, the craft eventually shifted from an oval orbit to a more stable round orbit about 350 kilometers above Earth. Jiuquan! we had a lift off was proclaimed by the scientist and engineers which congregate at the Space Control Centre. The most prominent reverberation was that the trip had demonstrated to the world that China has progressively closed the space technological gap with the US and the West, and hopefully to match the West space prowess and in particular, the US in the future.

It cannot be denied that in terms of the quality and appearance of the craft, China was at least 30 years behind the US. But the ability of the Chinese to build a reliable 3-man spacecraft on its own, perfecting the Long March 2F rockets and to perform the spacewalk (though only 15 minutes long), which in the past only 2 nations had been able to master this particular risky feat, is in itself a tremendous achievement for a country which only seriously committed to a manned space program about 16 years ago.

Another very significant development for China is the government’s confidence in broadcasting the launch event live on state television. Before the launch, the selected “taikonauts” were introduced to the media and the people in a specially arranged ceremony. The live telecast of the launching of the Shenzhou VII and the lunar probe in 2007, demonstrated that the Chinese government is willing to be more open and transparent in its space program as compared to the brief video clips on news channels for its earlier space missions. The possibility that the event may go very wrong and the losing “face” syndrome in Chinese culture is always present but the government preferred the live mode, and I wish to commend admirably of the sound decision which may be a prelude to an open government for the Chinese people.

For more than a decade, the U.S. government backed by the neo-conservative Congress representatives was the main culprit in rejecting Beijing's overtures to join the 15-nation International Space Station (ISS) Club. Besides being the main technology contributor and the main financial backer for the ISS, the US do possesses lots of influence and hence, the voting always tilted towards the US stance to block a China invitation to the space club.

The US did not outwardly provide any reasons for its decision but space experts know that it has more to do with its self-centered objectives of being the supreme space power and also, the hidden fear that China may apply to its military development whatever advanced space technologies the country’s may acquire through its participation in the elite space club.

The latter line of argument is seriously flaw as we already noted that space technologies are the core element in advancing one’s military warfare if satellites and laser-type weapons are to be widely used in the future. No independent nation with a proper thinking mind would use its space advancement strictly for commercial purposes and benefits. Even the hypocritical US’s NASA programs are fully funded by the government and if I am not wrong the US do apply, to a large extent, these space technologies in its military for example, in mapping war zone using satellites and enhancement of missile precision and most important, the development of a reliable missile defense shield.

Who appointed the US to set the standard and why must she or any other permitted Western nations be the only people who can apply the core space technologies to its military? Perhaps, it is because China does not share its so-called “liberal and western set values”. I am fully aware that any countries which do not hold the set of human "values" (approved by the US, of course) are deemed to be “unfriendly” to the powers in the West especially the US.

The successful execution of the spacewalk will undoubtedly provide ample and vital information for the Chinese to proceed to conduct another expedition to dock two orbiters which are keys to constructing a space lab and ultimately, to build a space station.

China has announced that the time gap to launch the next two Shenzhou missions will be shorter and I would not be at all surprise if China will have a workable space station by 2018.

Congratulations to China and it goes to show that you do not need to be in an exclusive club controlled by the US, to further your space programs objectives.