Monday, December 27, 2004

Chinese rattling jians again

The Communist government of China is back to threatening any independance for the Taiwanese government.
The present People's Republic of China consider Taiwan a province of China, however the same could be argued from the Taiwanese point of view. It was after their civil war that General Chiang Kai-shek led what was left of the Nationalist Kuomintang Army across the Straight of Taiwan in 1949 to establish a still free China after a bloody war which saw the rise of Mao Tse-Tung. (Zedong today) The enthusiasm of those free Chinese and their energy made Taiwan an example of freedom's growth and success in Asia and envied around the world for their emergence as a bustling trading nation. One wonders what the 'other' China could have become with a free people?
But this is very complicated. The US has an obligation via treaty to protect the democracy in Taipei in direct confrontation with the communists. Yet American businesses eager to operate in mainland China, would willingly throw the Chinese island democracy aside for their pieces of gold from the People's Republic. And the very presence in Mainland China of American trading, building, expertise and know how, is what is allowing their Chinese masters to direct more sinister attention toward the real American ally, Taiwan. The island is heavily armed and knows it would be a last stand if attacked.
I was in Hong Kong on April 4, 1975 when the Generalissimo died. Victoria Island's rough slopes were filled with communist China refugees, who had made it to Hong Kong by stealing across the border, cramming themselves into sampans or junks in the night, or even swimming to freedom in the then British Colony. These people lived in lean-tos, perhaps a two foot by four foot piece of canvas or rusted tin the only roof over their heads. Sometimes a whole family living day-to-day making artificial flowers or anything they could do to survive. Beside many of these shabby lean-tos rose the red and blue Nationalist China flag of Chiang Kai-Shek. Flying at half mast to respect the venerable old soldier. Strong symbolism that even a scant life in freedom was better than under a bleak communist rule.
I am hoping that China puts its swords back in their scabbords and leaves Taiwan to continue on its own way, but I fear the example of what a free Chinese people can attain is too much embarrassment for the failures of a government which suppresses the creativity and potential of twenty-two percent of the world's population.

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