When the new president of Taiwan, Mr. Chen Shui-Bian, gave his
inauguration speech on May 20, he said, “In the focus of the whole
world, we have stood up. We have overcome our fear, harassment and
pressure. We bravely stood up.”
Taiwan’s new, democratically elected President Chen Shui-Bian
When the people heard that, they gave him a standing ovation. Those
words touched the hearts of all the Taiwanese people. His speech
brought to mind the painful memories of hundreds of years of control or
occupation by foreign powers.
Most recently, Taiwan has been under harassment by communist China.
But the citizens of the island nation are willing to pay any price for
democracy. They should be proud because they made a very brave choice
to stand up to the Red Giant.
Chen’s election marks the first time Taiwan has seen a peaceful power
transfer in its 5,000-year history, which is something that has never
happened in China.
The son of a farmer, Chen’s parents were tenants of the land they
worked. Before he knew how to read and write, he knew his numbers. He
couldn’t help but learn them because his parents would record their
debts on the walls of their home — they were so poor, they literally
could not afford paper.
Chen worked hard to make himself one of the best attorneys in Taiwan,
and he kept a very humble attitude.
After his inauguration speech, his celebration meal consisted of
dumplings and egg soup — not a fancy feast for a newly elected
But Chen is the people’s president.
Immediately after his inauguration, he went to the front lines of
defense on the Chinese border where he broke all of the traditional
class barriers. The president of Taiwan sat down with privates and
corporals in the army on a small bench, eating a box lunch that cost
Not only did he sit and eat with the soldiers, he told the generals
to join him.
Before Chen was inaugurated, communist China asked him to accept just
one policy: recognize Taiwan as part of China. But that isn’t just one
policy — it’s everything the Taiwanese people have resisted, and it’s
“Over our cold, dead bodies,” is the sentiment of Chen’s supporters
toward China’s policy. Knowing China as I do, I can say it may very
well happen that way.
China did not react strongly to Chen’s inauguration speech. Only one
statement came from President Jiang Ze-min of China: “Let’s wait and
see how far they will go.”
The reason Jiang didn’t react more strongly was because he was
waiting for what he wants: the vote in the U.S. Congress for
PNTR. And we delivered it to him, thanks to the almighty dollar. But, the burden of proof that this trade deal will benefit us lies with the supporters of PNTR. We have to watch China very closely with regard to its human rights and religious freedoms violations.
This White House administration not only delivered PNTR, but it also called Taiwan an intelligence threat to the U.S. and listed the country as a terrorist threat along with Russia, China, North Korea, Serbian-controlled Bosnia, Vietnam, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan.
Attorney General Janet Reno added Taiwan to the “secret” list that was made public just before Congress recorded its historic vote on PNTR for China.
From my perspective, Reno’s action gave communist China license to kill. Immediately after the vote on Wednesday and the news of Reno’s listing of Taiwan as a threat, communist China’s ruler announced military exercises for seven days at the Fu-jian — the closest province to the Taiwan strip.
|A map from a Chinese news source shows the proximity of the communist nation’s military exercises to Taiwan.|
China moved 800,000 troops to the coast of Fu-jian and is shelling the coastline near two small Taiwanese islands. Chinese officials may say the shelling is only part of a military exercise, but Taiwan knows they are warning shots.
All China understands is military power. They do not care about individuals’ power or democracy. Taiwan is a democracy, and our president, the leader of the world’s most successful democracy, does not care either.
As if that weren’t enough, China recently bought 24 SS-N-24 missiles from Russia that can be used to attack Taiwan and destroy U.S. Navy ships.
Sometimes I wonder where the money is coming from to buy those missiles. Definitely, part of it is from trade with the United States and arms sales to the countries that are on America’s terrorist list, except of course Taiwan. Yet they still continue to cry out, “We are weak!”
I know in my heart President Clinton owes communist China big time, and the Chinese government is using this to blackmail them. They know when to release information to hurt our president, especially regarding the Chinagate scandal. If China were to release the information they have about the scandal to Congress, Clinton would be finished — and he knows it.
The Chinese also know how to handle our president, and they’ve been especially good at it for the last 240 days. I imagine President Jiang’s conversations with Clinton go something like this:
“Mr. President Clinton, would you please jump?”
Then President Clinton replies, “Yes, sir. How high do you want me to jump? Would you like Al Gore and my wife, Hillary, to jump also?”
China has managed to get itself in the best position it’s had in the last 50 years — standing squarely on the shoulders of the president of the United States. From now until the November election, they will ask anything they want from this administration, and this White House will always deliver.
But I believe China will hold back on attacking Taiwan. The Chinese used the threat of attacking Taiwan because they know if they act before the election, the DNC and Al Gore will lose. They will just keep pushing the envelope, asking anything they want, and this White House and the DNC will continue to deliver.
A few days or weeks before our election on Nov. 7, President Jiang might pretend to offer Taiwan negotiations again. Of course, it would not be a good-faith negotiation. His goal will be to show the whole world he has a good heart and is willing to negotiate. But after our election and before the new president is sworn in, there is about a two-month window of opportunity. Tactically speaking, I believe that window would be the best time for China to attack Taiwan.
With 20 trips to China and in meetings with more than 2,000 Chinese government officials and business leaders, I was often told attacking Taiwan is China’s destiny. The same people also pointed to the legacies of past rulers. Mao Zedong’s legacy is founding communist China. Deng Xiao-ping was the architect for China’s economic reform. So what legacy is there for Jiang?
China lost three territories. In 1997, the British gave back Hong Kong. In 1999, the Portuguese handed over Macao. What’s left? Taiwan.
The legacy for this Chinese president will be a “united” China.
I see war clouds rising. The air is being filled with the sound of drums beating a message of attack, and the People’s Liberation Army dances to the rhythm.