Thursday, April 28, 2005

Historic Moment: Two Foes Formally End War


Now you would think this would be headline news. The news of troops withdrawing from Lebanon (hello, civil war time!) got loving and close coverage in America. Every little propaganda piece flung out of the Vatican is immediately regurgitated in America. The long death of the old previous Pope dominated headlines for weeks in between headlines about a dying brain dead woman.

But when the world's biggest economic power finally succeeds in winning over a previous foe who is vying for the Presidency of one of the world's top economies, dead silence in America.

This is most odd because "who lost China (to the commies)" wracked the State Department after WWII and led directly to the HUAC hearings run by far right winger, McCarthy. An entire era was named after him. The USA was the sole supporter of the Nationalist Party in China and when defeated, protected and coddled them when they took over Taiwan.

Taiwan became a democracy only very recently. Embarrassed by Tiananmin Square, unable to critisize China because of the Nationalist grip on power in Taiwan thanks to fake elections the rules for running for office and the tools used to run were changed and the playing field was leveled somewhat and elections were freed up. This doesn't mean parties don't play games to win, it does mean that finally there is some semblance of democracy there.

It is with great joy I read this, mostly because I enjoy predicting events and then seeing them unfold exactly as I reasoned:

Two old foes embrace.

BEIJING, April 29 -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomintang (KMT) Party, whose leader Lian Chan has just arrived in Beijing today in a historial visit, are reportedly to end decades of hostilities at a meeting between their leaders on Friday, Reuters reported.

Lien,69, chairman of the KMT, or Nationalist Party, arrived at the Beijing Capital International Airport Thursday morning for what he has called a "journey of peace".

"It is a historical mission for all of us to shoulder and represents the irresistible trend of public opinions to build a peaceful and win-win future through reconciliation and dialogue," Lien said in his brief speech at the airport.

"As you all know, I myself and my delegation will exchange views with General Secretary Hu Jintao and other leaders on major issues concerning peace and economic, trade and cultural exchangesacross the Straits," he said.

All the pictures show smiling faces. Note Lien says, "win-win" just like I editorialized yesterday.

Analysts said Hu and Lien may jointly announce an end to the civil war and boost exchanges, a move Shi described as "tantamount to a peace agreement between the two parties."

"But there is still tension with the government in power in Taiwan, which is for independence," he said.

A shot across the prow.

Both mainland and Taiwan media have given Lien's visit blanket coverage. TV networks broadcast his arrival live and newspapers splashed the story on front pages.

Analysts said Lien's visit and another by James Soong, the chairman of Taiwan's second biggest opposition party, from May 5-12, would prod Chen to mend fences with Beijing.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's mass circulation United Daily News said Hu also would offer Taiwan gifts in each of his meetings with Lien and Soong in the form of a Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which would eliminate import taxes on Taiwan farm goods and other products.

Chinese analysts say there could be more goodwill gestures in the pipeline from Beijing

McClellan puts a good face on this saying Bush wants peace (he has a reputation for lying that is so great he is horizontal). I am certain there is a great deal of consternation in DC. Taiwan is the dagger at the breast of China. Whoever controls Taiwan controls the China Sea. Any rapport between the mainland and the island is bad news for American hegemonism.

Meanwhile, after utterly and totally ignoring the real news broiling out of Asia, the NYT decides it is time to renew the attacks on the Chinese leadership.

China's selective memory"

EVER since June 4, 1989, when the world's cameras embarrassed the Chinese government by recording the slaughter of unarmed protesters in Beijing, spring has been a sensitive period in Chinese politics. Public demonstrations of all kinds have been repressed as if they were vicious cancers. It is indeed news, then, that people have been protesting in the streets of Chinese cities about Japan's wartime past, its textbooks' reluctance to face history squarely, and its proposed accession to the United Nations Security Council.

Of course, the fundamental nature of these protests is different from that of the demonstrations of 1989, because they so far have had the tacit approval of the authorities. The protesters have incurred essentially zero risk, and suspense over the outcome has also been near zero. But even when protests are government-sanctioned, they still offer the Chinese people a rare chance to let off some steam.

I know the NYT has really crummy editors who refuse to fact check editorials or stories for that matter but this is an outright lie and reveals the writer is either a liar or a fool. There have been a number of arrests of rioters. It is in the Chinese news every day. Anyone doubts this better start reading Asian news instead of American news.

This comparison haunts me. When I think of the forced labor in Japanese prison camps, I am reminded of forced labor camps in China, and also of the Chinese miners who lose their lives when forced to re-enter mines that everyone knows are unsafe. Are the rights of China's poor today really so much better protected than those of the wretched "colonized slaves" during the Japanese occupation? There was the Nanking massacre, but was not the murder of unarmed citizens in Beijing 16 years ago also a massacre? Is Japan's clumsy effort to cover up history in its textbooks any worse than the gaping omissions and biased blather in Chinese textbooks?

OK. About Tiananmin Square: I was directly involved in that. I was proud that China allowed even one day of the Tiananmin protests because if that were America and the protest were happening in the Mall in DC, the military and police would have brutally suppressed it totally on day one. The Chinese allowed this to grow for weeks! The Chinese killed many protestors. It was horrible. I immediately posted a formal complaint both at the Chinese Consulate in NYT and at the UN.

We tried to force the UN into voting to condemn the violence only BUSH SENIOR himself not only nixed this but tried to deport the hundred students demonstrating quietly for a month in front of the UN under the aegis of my umbrella. Every time the cops came to move in and the immigration officers tried to arrest the students I barricaded them out and said on CNN live, "You will have to kill me". They retreated thanks to CNN whose wonderful film crew spent the month camping with us. "You are my shield" I told them.

If this were DC and 100,000 students were camping there demanding Diebold machines be banned from elections you can bet our government (sic) would literally drop bombs on them. I remember when Reagan used helicopters with poisonous gases that made you vomit on my neighborhood of Berkeley when I lived six blocks from the campus. To this day I always track helicopters and they make be snarl with fear. I even warned the students in China about this when to my alarm I saw helicopters on CNN hovering over the square.

But this fracas with Japan isn't about "history" or who is right or who is wrong.

It is about power and who has a right to push around someone. Japan is trying in vain to push around China and China stomped on Japan. It was Godzilla vs Mothra and Mothra lost.

NO country is fair about history. England's history with China is very dirty. They invaded China to force illegal drug dealing that was destroying the Chinese people! They looted palaces like Mongols on the rampage. Then they occupied the country and the famous signs, "No Chinese or dogs allowed" littered China. To this day they refuse to return any items stolen from China. Many of these precious things sit in London's museums taunting the Chinese.

The NYT editorialist wants China to treat workers better. Hello? How about America? The Republicans want to end workman's comp and cut back on health care and unemployment insurance and social security. Help! We need a Tiananmin Square event here in America.

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