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C&P: Aww shucks... does this mean no war?

ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
edited April 2005 in General Discussion
XI'AN, China (AP) - Nearly six decades after civil war split China, a politician from the losing side returned to his birthplace Saturday to huge cheering crowds that welcomed back an old foe with shouts of "Come home often."

Lien Chan, chairman of Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party, which once ruled China but fled to the island when the communists took power in 1949, is making a triumphant tour of his homeland. Thousands have surrounded him during his stops in Nanjing, Beijing and now Xi'an, the dusty city where he was born in 1936.

"Joy to Lien Chan," chanted an ecstatic crowd outside his former elementary school as they strained to catch a glimpse of the visiting native son on Saturday. "Come home often!"

The warm welcome for Lien reflects his party's newly positive image in Chinese state media as Beijing seeks to isolate Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, whose party favors formal independence for the self-ruled island - a step that Beijing says it would go to war to stop.

Lien met Chinese President Hu Jintao Friday in Beijing in the highest-level contact between the two sides since Nationalist dictator Chiang Kai-shek met Mao Zedong, then a communist guerrilla, in 1945 to try to form a unity government.

Lien and Hu promised to jointly promote peace and economic ties - a pledge that Taiwan's premier on Saturday suggested might be illegal.

Premier Frank Hsieh, the island's No. 3 leader, said it was up to the government to negotiate deals with China, not opposition groups.

"The opposition party must make an effort to become the ruling party, and then represent the people and go negotiate," he told reporters in Taipei, Taiwan.

On Sunday, Lien planned to visit his grandmother's grave, then head for China's business capital, Shanghai.

Under the Nationalists, Taiwan became a vibrant democracy but in 2000 the longtime ruling party was voted out of power. In China, the Communist Party still refuses to share power, and affection for the Nationalists was until recently a "counterrevolutionary" crime.

But "what's past is past," said Wang Ping, a 51-year-old office worker who was among the more than 10,000 spectators who crowded the streets leading to Lien's old school.

"Different parties may have different opinions, but there's nothing we can't discuss," he said.

The communists already have shown their willingness to compromise ideologically, bringing capitalists into their ranks in recent years to keep pace with a changing world.

Now they are wooing another old foe, the Nationalists, who support eventually uniting Taiwan and the mainland.

In Xi'an, the crowds held up pictures of Lien and waved blue-and-white Nationalist flags alongside the communists' hammer-and-sickle standard.

"It's a pity that a stalemate across the Taiwan Strait has been so serious for 56 years," Lien told an audience of students and teachers at his old school in comments broadcast live on television across China and Taiwan.

"We're all descendants of the Yellow Emperor," he said, referring to China's legendary first ruler. "Why shouldn't we all work together for a brighter future?"

Outside, the crowd couldn't hear his speech, but they roared their approval when he came out and waved.

"When we saw in the newspaper that Lien Chan would be here, we all hurried over as fast as we could," said Ye Mingjue, 72.

"We all welcome him here," she said. "We all want reunification."

The Nationalists' change of fortune wasn't lost on the surging crowd.

"When the Nationalists were in mainland China, they didn't do enough to fight Japanese imperialism," said Wang, the office worker. "Back then we wouldn't have welcomed them here, especially not Chiang Kai-shek."

"But today I want to thank Lien Chan for his visit, which shows that we're all Chinese people and we all want a future of peace and development," Wang said.

During Lien's visit to Nanjing, where crowds packed the streets for him, one man used the occasion to protest communist rule.

He unfurled a banner that read: "Restore the Republic of China," referring to the country's pre-communist name under the Nationalists. "Marxism is the greatest evil in the world."

Police grabbed him and took him away. His fate was unknown.

In Beijing, Lien drew standing ovations when he spoke at Peking University, promoting democracy and liberalism.

"No matter the speed and scope of political reform on the mainland, there is still considerable room to develop," he said,

The students applauded his sentiments - but only to a point.

"Democracy is a trend, and so is giving more rights to the people," said Su Yonggan, 28, who is studying software development. "But switching to full democracy all of sudden wouldn't be good because China is too big," he said. Poverty alleviation, not free elections, remains the priority for his far-flung country, he argued.

Others were less restrained.

"As we undergo democratic reforms, the mainland can learn from Taiwan and Taiwan can learn from the mainland," said Jiang Wei, a 19-year-old law student. "I thought his speech was excellent."

The very notion of anyone from Taiwan visiting the mainland would have been unthinkable even five years ago. Yet I've noticed little if any comment from the media or Bush or the State Department.

As the Nationalists are the main opposition party, perhaps this means there is a chance to avoid a war over Taiwan? Oh, I'm sure Japan isn't very happy (having pledged to defend Taiwan and all) and all those folks who were keen to have us show China what the Seventh Fleet can do, but hey, we can't all get what we want....

Rats... all that war talk wasted. Doesn't it suck when diplomacy is given a chance?[V][;)]


  • idsman75idsman75 Member Posts: 14,524
    edited November -1
    Interestingly enough, a LOT of people in Taiwan are FROM the mainland originally. Figure that one out.
  • ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
    edited November -1

    Not so hard to figure out. Most of them or their folks fled to Taiwan after the communists won in 1949.
  • steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,920 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    EMM, I guess its final then. Problem solved. All billion people are in total agreement.[:D] This is a step in the right direction nothing more.
  • PinheadPinhead Member Posts: 1,485 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    China is on the same road that Japan was on in the 1930's. The Political, economic and phycological domination of Asia. She has already put the western powers on notice that Asia is for Asians (China)and their presence is only to be tolerated as a buyer of Chinese goods. As much as the extremist element in the arab counties poses a threat to America, Japan and the european countries, it is not on the same order of magnitude as the threat posed by China. China is by far the dominate military power in Asia right now and that includes the U.S. That is the reason that her "parliment" recently voted to authorize force to take Taiwan if necessary. She no longer is afraid of a naval or air confrontation with the U.S.. She knows that the American Navy relies on aircraft carriers for quick reaction air power and that the anti-ship missiles that China possesses would make any attempt at getting too close to Taiwan in direct conflict with her almost suicide for the carriers. I may be wrong but I think that China is the next great war threat to the U.S..
  • ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
    edited November -1

    Maybe, maybe not. But I think you are grossly mistaken in saying that it's treading the same path as Japan seeing as how Japan was never a world power prior to the mid 20th Century.

    What we have here is China's re-emergence into what has been the typical state of affairs in that region of the world for millennia - namely that China is the big dog and everyone else plays second fiddle to it.

    And not that ther's anything wrong with that. You've seen how paranoid folks got when a Chinese-owned company won the contract to maintain the Panama Canal - we pitched a fit of epic proportions. Is it any wonder that China, in its own backyard, might want to see us gone from the neighborhood?

    If a war comes, it will be by our own design and stupidity. Only Western thought advocates war as a glorious means of proving one's patriotism and manhood. Eastern philosophy is much more practical - winning without fighting makes much more sense than winning after beating yourself and the other guy stupid.

    China doesn't need to fight. It can buy or steal what it wants and let us beat our chest all we want over Taiwan or trade deficits or whatever... They know any talk we throw their way is empty bluster so long as we're bogged down in Iraq... and more to the point, if we can't handle a few thousand insurgents with RPGs, then what hope have we against a semi-modern military with millions of men?

    And I think we're smart enough to avoid that. China is much more useful to us as a trading partner or even a trading competitor than as a wartime adversary. MacArthur said, "Never get involved in a land war in Asia," and then was brilliant enough to prove that he should have listened to his own advice.

    If Taiwan rejoins China peacefully, so much the better. The one and only threat of war in the region disappears. And I for one hope it happens before anyone stupid on either side of the Pacific decides that starting a war is just the ticket for livening things up.
  • PinheadPinhead Member Posts: 1,485 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    EMM, I guess I didn't explain my point very well. Some things do not change. As long as China does not embark on a course of conquest we will not have much to say about what she does-like it or not. We have allowed aoursleves to get into a position of being spread all over the globe militarily. Not good. That means we cannot be strong more than one place at a time. As good as the German ARmy was Hitler managed to get it surrounded on all sides and from that point on it was just a matter of attrition. China is far more patient than Japan was in the 30's. Japan knew that whatever she did was going to have to be quick as she had no raw materials herself and only about 6 months or so of the vital supplies at any one time. Japan also had false illusions about her own military power. Outside of having maybe the best navy in the world at the time she had nothing else that could stand up in sustained conflict. China on the other hand, has no ilusions about her superiority at this time. What she is willing to do is to bide her time and build her military strength up and beyond what she will need. She is currently building a blue water navy and already has probably the most dangerous army in the world-a modern one at that. Her airforce is also on the build and has modern fighters that can take us on if necessary. She doesn't call attention to her military build-up and rarely uses it except to make threats which she takes care to cache in vague terms. As I said China is both patient and resourceful but she is th looming dnger on our horizon and we had better be aware of the threat she can pose. The good part is that I don't think she wants a conflict with us at this time and if possible we do need to maintain good relations with her.
  • ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
    edited November -1


    Yeah, like I said, here's hoping no one stupid on either side of the Pacific gets twitchy, eh?[;)][:D]
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