Saturday, March 22, 2008

Still Not Chinese

Even though the Chinese have had since the mid-twentieth century to win hearts and minds in Tibet, all is not well in the imperial provinces:

China said 19 people died in riots in the Tibetan capital last week and official media warned against the unrest spreading to the northwest region of Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims bridle under Chinese control.

The Chinese are not amused:

"No matter whether it's Tibetan independence, Xinjiang independence or Taiwanese independence, their goal is all the same -- to create chaos and split the motherland," said a commentary on the official Xinjiang news Web site (

"China and Beijing's holding of the Olympic Games in 2008 has led separatists at home and abroad to believe they have a golden opportunity. To put it bluntly, if they don't wreck things, they won't feel comfortable, because they won't have achieved their goal of spoiling China's image."

Yes, people who don't like being under the heel of the communist Chinese are taking advantage of China's invitation to shine a spotlight on China. But the Chinese will not be kind to these people:

"We must see through the secessionist forces' evil intentions, uphold the banner of maintaining social stability ... and resolutely crush the 'Tibet independence' forces' conspiracy," the People's Daily said in an editorial.

The article refers to the People's Armed Police being used. These are basically army troops. Over the last decade, the Chinese have "downsized" their army by taking the poorly equipped foot infantry divisions and slapping "police" labels on the equipment. Voila! An army division is now a police division.

Despite the show of how China deals with people in China who should know their place, the KMT won the Taiwanese election and the Taiwanese defeated the referenda on applying to the UN for membership:

The Central Election Commission also said two referendums calling on the government to work for the island's entry into the United Nations failed. China had warned that the referendums threatened stability in the region.

Ma has based his campaign on promises to reverse the pro-independence direction of outgoing President Chen Shui-bian and leverage China's white-hot economic boom to re-energize Taiwan's ailing high-tech economy.

Economic worries trumped worries about Chinese intentions.

The Taiwanese are perhaps lucky that Tibet has muffled the impact of their vote on UN membership by limiting the immediate Chinese response. But if China ever decides to apply their 1950 solution to Tibet to Taiwan by invading that island democracy, the Taiwanese might find they made a very dangerous choice by giving Peking the excuse that Taiwanese rejected independence with their vote.