The two are fundamentally different. It doesn’t matter whether anyone recognises Taiwan’s independence. Taiwan is effectively independent. You don’t need to apply to Beijing to get a visa to visit Taiwan. You don’t even need to ask Beijing for permission to conduct military exercises in Taiwan.
The obvious but often ignored fact is that Taiwan under the Republic of China has been an independent country since 1912. That’s longer than the history of the People’s Republic of China, PRC which has only been around from 1949. That is why the CCP was not recognised as the legitimate government of mainland China until Kissinger’s secret visit in 1971. Since the UN cannot recognise two Chinas, they decided to change their minds and recognise the PRC This piece of history is absolutely significant and cannot be ignored when we hear the ludicrous statement that the PRC does not recognise the “independence” of the ROC. If anything, it should be the other way around; that the ROC government does not recognise the legitimacy of the insurgents who had taken over the mainland.
It’s not really about Winnie the Pooh and there’s finally someone in the West who reads the CCP correctly. Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd (who speaks Mandarin) laments that China under Xi, has deviated from the path of reforms and “Red China is back”. Dutch history professor Frank Dikotter replies that Red China never really went away. It’s people like Kevin Rudd (myself included until about 5 years ago) who had been sleeping through the “new China” era.
Kissinger’s secret trip to China in 1971 in response to the Sino-Soviet conflict in 1969 gave America the impression that the PRC could become an ally. Later that year, ROC (Taiwan) was kicked out of the United Nations. With the death of Mao in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping ushered in what was ostensibly a new China. Mao’s 苦肉计 (self-inflicted by invading the USSR) would fool Americans for the next 50 years. You can read the details in my book 36 Dirty Tricks From Ancient China. When China was roped into the WTO in 2001, George Bush, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, John Howard were all convinced that China would democratise as it modernised and its economy grew. How naive.
The fact is, China never really gave up its party dictatorship and never planned to do so. Deng gave the Chinese people a lot more freedom than they had in the past, but once they overstepped the line and threatened party dictatorship, Deng’s government came down on protesters with a sledgehammer. When Fa Lun Gong founder Li Hong Zhi claimed that his movement had more members than the CCP, that was the last straw and Jiang Zemin’s government came down on Fa Lun Gong with a sledgehammer. When Jack Ma became better known and had more books written about him than Xi Jinping, Xi’s government had him in the crosshairs. The last straw came when social media was abuzz with the joke that if there were elections in China, Jack Ma would be president.
Not just Xi himself but the entire party realised that technocrats had grown too influential and were taking over. Thus the crackdown on various businesses, popular artists and the big push for 国进民退 and 内循环. Deng’s maxim of working hard and keeping a low profile 韬光养晦 could have been referring to private businesses which were the main engines that brought China to where it is today – not communist ideology. Allowing private businesses to flourish was merely a temporary measure to grow the economic pie. Communist doctrine dictates that anything and everything in China ultimately belong to the “country” and the “people”. The party decides who gets what when and for how long. Throughout the good years, the pigs have been fattened. It’s time for the communist dictatorship to show its true colours and harvest. They never changed. They had just been waiting for an opportune time to strike. Even if Jiang Zemin or Deng Xiaoping were in power today, they would be doing the same thing. They didn’t do it back then because the China was not ready yet.
Economic miracles seem to be unique to Asia, but there is really no such thing as an economic miracle. The problem with developed countries is that they have the habit of throwing all sorts of obstacles in the form of rules and regulations in the path of unbridled “wealth generation”. If Elizabeth Holmes were Chinese, she would be frolicking around like Meng Wanzhou instead of sitting in jail. Theranos would likewise be successfully listed and simply suspended when fraud is uncovered. Bad for investors, good for the economy. Behind every phenomenon that appears to be an economic miracle, is pile of skeletons in the closet.
“I’m a veteran involved in the June 4th 1989 quelling of riots at Tiananmen. I want to talk about my pension. Back then, me and my comrades have risked our lives to execute a mission to restore order and protect the Party. But now, it seems that the public is not recognising our efforts and sacrifices because the authorities have greatly downplayed and even erased that bit of history.
“I wish to ask whether that decision made back then was right or wrong. If it’s right, why is our heroism not recognised and rewarded? If what we did was wrong, at least the government and party should admit that they’ve made a mistake to justify why we should not be compensated.
“The government has promised that from now on, all veteran soldiers who have participated in military operations will be well compensated after retirement. Their monthly allowance has doubled from 600 RMB to 1200 RMB. Medical expenses are reimbursed 95%. Why is it that those of us who quelled riots at Tiananmen on 4th June 1989 are not recognised and are not compensated? We fought counter revolutionaries and protected the country and the Party. Have we done anything wrong?”
Comrade Wang cannot be faulted. He could even have said that he and his comrades put down a rebellion instigated by the West. That would have pleased the party even more. Politically, he is completely correct and that’s where the big irony lies. Something somewhere must be very wrong. What’s almost laughable is the ignorant young man at the other end of the line doesn’t seem to know anything about the Korean war，Sino-Indian and the Sino-Vietnam war in 1979. Interestingly, the young man even suggested veterans from the Sino-Japanese war. How many of them are still alive today? Aren’t the few who are still alive former KMT soldiers now residing in Taiwan? The Taiwan that they have threatened to unify by force?
Born in 1950, Jiang Kun is a very famous xiang sheng master who cut his teeth on stage during the 1970s. Xiang sheng is a Chinese form of “talk show” which involves two people in a dramatic, witty and humourous exchange.
In the following performances dated 1995, Jiang Kun and his partner on stage Li Jian Hua performed a series of satirical xiang sheng skits poking fun at the madness and absurdity of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution (1967-1976). As you can see, the audience was tickled and entertained.
Fast forward to the present, a talk show actor House Li has been arrested for “insulting the People’s Liberation Army”. A woman who defended him on social media had also been arrested. Some had suggested that the members of the audience who laughed should also be arrested. House had merely said that a couple of wild dogs he had adopted were emulating values of the PLA.
Could the currently retired Mr Jiang have ever imagined that his performance in 1995 would have gotten him into a lot more trouble than House did if he had performed it today? Back to 1960s and early 1970s.
I can think of a science fiction story. Imagine the duo performing their satirical xiang sheng on stage in 1995. Then somebody hits a dial on a time machine and everything around them is transported back to 1970. Red Guards storm the theatre and arrest everyone as 反革命。The two actors are paraded on the streets. Everyone throws rubbish at them. Those who don’t are arrested as “sympathisers”. Then, they manage to escape from their captors, sneak back into the theatre, find the time machine and try to dial it back to 1995. But the the dial is stuck. They use too much force and send themselves into the future in 2024.
The audience is applauding. They are relieved. It’s 2024, so China must be even freer and more open than in 1995. They continue their performance, only to be arrested again.
Exiled writer, labour and human rights activist Mr Yuan Hong Bing’s book would certainly be interesting.
When will mainland China invade Taiwan? That is a question troubling many of us. Mr Yuan predicts that it with remarkable confidence that it will be April 2025 – after Taiwan’s and US presidential elections.
Why? It’s the best opportunity to fight for a KMT victory in the former by infiltrating and misleading the electorate. It doesn’t matter who wins in the US. Just create bigger chaotic situation in the wake of US presidential elections like what happened at Capitol Hil in 2020.
With calm seas towards the end of April, conditions would then be ideal for an invasion. So Mr Yuan predicts April 2025.
A war in the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean will have a profound impact on global shipping. Ukraine is another lesson, but dictators who start wars are not rational people.
Breaking news. Italy has suspended all tourist visa applications for Chinese nationals. In recent days, 400 Chinese tourists who arrived in Italy with tour groups have disappeared.
There is a new hashtag made popular in China last year and it’s called #走线 . The number of Chinese nationals entering America via Mexico has increased several fold. While flying into the USA without the proper papers or overstaying would get them deported back to China, entering overland from Mexico would get them the same treatment as Latinos without visas, waiting for asylum. The tortuous route for the Chinese often starts from Hong Kong, then for ease of visa approval, they transit in Thailand, Turkey, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama.
Chinese immigrants who enter America this way have a less chance of saying 在美国我是美国人。在中国我是中国人。
They have a much better chance of getting asylum if they enter overland from Mexico.
In other words, two can play the game. When landlords refuse to refund the rental deposits paid in lieu of repair costs for the rented apartment, one tenant did what others didn’t dare to do. He made sure that his deposit would be put to good use!
This passport douche is funny, but what’s even funnier are his ignorant fans who have never left the country, never had a passport. There are hundreds of millions in this category. There are also 抖音 that are not as obviously stupid and false. Those videos may have billions of fans including those who live outside the firewall. China capitalises very well on ethno nationalism. They are not as unsuccessful in the propaganda department as many Westerners think.
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