Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hope and Change With Chinese Characters

The Chinese have their own version of hope and change for 2009:

China made a rare appeal for cooperation between its normally secretive military and Washington on Tuesday but said U.S. arms sales to Taiwan remain a "serious harm to Sino-U.S. relations."

The statements came as China issued a major policy paper on national defense that said blocking formal Taiwanese independence remains the chief concern for one of the world's fastest-growing armed forces.

A Chinese military spokesman presenting the paper made an apparent reference to Taiwan as one of the "obstacles" the Pentagon should remove for better relations with China.

They hope we'll abandon Taiwan. Indeed, they make a mildly worded threat to us that we must abandon them. And the mainland Chinese communists hope to change Taiwan to a de facto Chinese province.

So even as Taiwan's Ma proposes to reduce their defenses in the face of a "less threatening" China, Peking still plans to retain the military capability to block formal Taiwanese independence. That's the PLA's "chief concern."

Which of course answers my question of why China would care if Taiwan retains the ability to defend itself if China truly is willing to wait for the Taiwanese to voluntarily join China as a single country in fact as well as law.

China has no intention of waiting until the Taiwanese want to join China--for the Chinese surely know that as time passes, that result is less and less likely.

So China wages a charm offensive to disarm and lull Taiwan in order to make Taiwan more vulnerable to a Chinese assault. When near, appear far, eh?