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Ironduke
29 Nov 03,, 05:42
China 'concerned' at Taiwan bill

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China says it is "gravely concerned" over Taiwan's passing of a controversial referendum bill and repeated a warning it would never tolerate independence for the island.

Taiwan's parliament approved a bill Thursday that could allow the island to vote on sovereignty issues -- but the opposition managed to water down most of the provisions that would most likely anger Beijing.

"We are gravely concerned about the situation surrounding Taiwan's referendum law," said an unnamed spokesman for the Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"We are paying close attention to the development of the situation."

Though the statement did not amount to the "strong response" promised earlier this week, and failed to repeat threats of military action, it was a clear warning that Taiwan's independence could never happen.

"We are firmly opposed to anyone using the referendum law to push independence for Taiwan. Our position on the Taiwan question is very clear. There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's sacred territory," the spokesman added.

"China's sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be divided."

The official added that China remains "resolutely opposed" to anyone using a referendum to promote Taiwanese independence,

On Thursday, Taiwan's parliament threw out most of a radical version of the referendum bill proposed by President Chen Shui-bian's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), ultimately passing a much watered-down law that makes it difficult to call a referendum on independence under the current legislature.

However, lawmakers passed the so-called "defensive referendum" allowing the president to call a plebiscite on independence if China attacked the island.

In a blow to Chen, Taiwan's two main opposition parties --which control the majority of parliament -- were able to defeat most of the major provisions in the bill.

The legislation bars referendums on changing Taiwan's flag or the island's official name, the Republic of China. It also introduces restrictions that make it difficult to hold referendums to change Taiwan's constitution or to vote for a new or rewritten constitution.

Under the bill, Taipei cannot call a referendum unless a special referendum committee approves it before being allowed by the legislature.

As long as the opposition coalition holds the majority, it will be virtually impossible to allow a public vote on sensitive issues such as independence.

Following the vote, Chen's party criticized the opposition for watering down the legislation, saying it limited the people's right to choose their own destiny.

It is unclear what action Chen or his cabinet will now take. Taiwan Premier Yu Shyi-kun said the cabinet might try to repeal the legislation. Also, if Chen calls for a re-vote, the legislature will have to reconsider it within 15 days.

Chinese officials had expressed fears in the lead up to Thursday's bill that the vote would lay the groundwork for a series of referendums that could lead to independence.

China has said such moves would violate Beijing's "One China" policy, and warned of a "strong response."

Beijing insists self-ruled, democratic Taiwan is a renegade province that must eventually return to China -- by force, if necessary. The two split during a civil war in 1949.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/11/28/taiwan.vote/index.html

Leader
29 Nov 03,, 17:37
This would be primetime to move for independence in Taiwan because don't think China can do anything about it. Sure, they talk big, but if it came down to it, do they really want to risk a full-scale war with the United States over Taiwan. Such a war would be disastrous for the world, but china would take the brunt of it for sure.

Trooth
30 Nov 03,, 17:21
Tricky one all round.

The US and china would never actually go to war for two reasons :-

1) it could easily go nuclear and then both sides take a complete hammering
2) They are such happy trading partners and there is too much US investment in China for the big corporate lobbies to allow it and the investment is too good for China for the chinese to allow it.

This is one of the reasons Bush has been so aggressive towards North Korea, he knows that China won't get involved like last time.

More than likely Taiwan will earn gradual freedoms from China based on pressure from the US whilst China will sabre rattle and hold on to Soveriegnty. Both sides save face, both sides keep trading.

Officer of Engineers
02 Dec 03,, 06:54
You have to seperate the Chinese Communist Party from China. Ordinary Chinese and Chinese companies would definetely want to avoid a war on Chinese soil.

The CCP has banked its future on the TW Reunification Issue. It will lose its legitimacy to rule China if TW goes independent. Hence, they would have no qualms to goto war with the US. They're going to lose anyway, so why not go for the only chance they have left.

Praxus
02 Dec 03,, 21:37
I wonder what the Pacific Fleet would have to say to the PLAN.

Trooth
02 Dec 03,, 22:24
[i]The CCP has banked its future on the TW Reunification Issue. It will lose its legitimacy to rule China if TW goes independent. Hence, they would have no qualms to goto war with the US. They're going to lose anyway, so why not go for the only chance they have left. [/B]

Banked what with who?

They have control over internal media, therefore if Taiwan was independant the last gropup to know would be the Chinese people, by which time so much spin would have been put on the event that it would seem like relief that the Chinese government had got rid of Taiwan.

Whilst a few hardliners might start waving "little red books" around the reality is that one thing China loves about the west is its money.

The only banking done in that area involves people from the west laughing on the way to cash in their dividend cheques.

Officer of Engineers
02 Dec 03,, 22:52
Originally posted by Trooth
Banked what with who?

The CCP's right to rule China without an official opposition.


Originally posted by Trooth
They have control over internal media, therefore if Taiwan was independant the last gropup to know would be the Chinese people, by which time so much spin would have been put on the event that it would seem like relief that the Chinese government had got rid of Taiwan.

They've lost that control a long time ago. Tiennamen signalled the end of thought control. They're now resorting the true and try nationalism as they are the only force capable of re-uniting the Middle Kingdom to its former glory. They couldn't even control the news about SARS and its damage control was laughable.


Originally posted by Trooth
Whilst a few hardliners might start waving "little red books" around the reality is that one thing China loves about the west is its money.

The CCP loves ruling China even more. The TW issue remains CCP dogma and a stated PLA mission. And they're spending saliva and ink as well as readying blood and bullets stating so.


Originally posted by Trooth
The only banking done in that area involves people from the west laughing on the way to cash in their dividend cheques.

Money has never been an alternative to war.

Trooth
02 Dec 03,, 23:07
More evidence is needed for those assertions.

Tiennamen was not an issue in China, only outside of China. Those that took part are no longer students, and many of those are activists that now believe they replaceed dogma with corruption.

Sars was word of mouth. Publicity, once again, happened outside of China.

As we know in the west, saliva and ink are cheap. What politicians say and do publically, even what they sign, is often of little consequence. TW will never gain independance as the US will not press it. China will have to give it more freedoms, but that is a very different thing. Look at HK.

When it comes to war and money, the latter is always in the middle of the former (with 2.5 exceptions that i can think of). Aside from those, money has always been at the cause of war and therefore the alternative to it.

Leader
03 Dec 03,, 00:51
Originally posted by Officer of Engineers
You have to seperate the Chinese Communist Party from China. Ordinary Chinese and Chinese companies would definetely want to avoid a war on Chinese soil.

The CCP has banked its future on the TW Reunification Issue. It will lose its legitimacy to rule China if TW goes independent. Hence, they would have no qualms to goto war with the US. They're going to lose anyway, so why not go for the only chance they have left.

Sorry, I just don't think the communists are that stupid. They are going to start a war to control something they never had in order to show what? They're tuff guys. Itís simple. If they leave TW alone, they get to rule for another ten or twenty years. Otherwise, the die in an atomic fire ball about thirty minutes after they attack a US ship that is defending TW.

Ironduke
03 Dec 03,, 00:54
I honestly don't think the United States would respond with nuclear weapons if the PLAN sank a US ship.

Praxus
03 Dec 03,, 01:00
If it were a Carrier(not that they could) then I wouldn't put it past us.

Leader
03 Dec 03,, 01:20
Originally posted by ironman420
I honestly don't think the United States would respond with nuclear weapons if the PLAN sank a US ship.

Either way that's were the war is going.

Sparky
03 Dec 03,, 02:36
Since the US considers its super carriers to be strategic assets the supposition has always been that we would respond to an unprovoked sinking as an attack on our strategic assets and that would mean a nuclear response if no other equivalent means was available.

Officer of Engineers
03 Dec 03,, 03:45
Originally posted by Trooth
More evidence is needed for those assertions.

I've wrote a length reply before I've discovered that I was trying to do something that I swore that I would never do again. Predict the future. My last prediction (either I die at the Fulda Gap or my grandchildren man the Iron Curtain) were dead wrong.

Therefore, I am going to state just the present.

Is the CCP willing to goto war over TW? Both the rhetoric and the military deployments suggest that they are.

The CCP up its rhetoric in recent years. They always had the 3 No Conditions for war (No foreign troops on Taiwan. No Independence for Taiwan. No refusal for unification with China (the CCP until recently stated that the People's Republic of China is China. Now, the definition is China consists of the Mainland and Taiwan)). They've added a Fourth No in recent years (No delay in negotiation with unification with China).

The original article in this thread tells that the rhetoric is strong.

More than that, the military deployments across from TW is receiving the most attention and the most money. The M9/M11 SRBM batteries across the Straits are meant for one thing - to intimitate Taiwan as it happenned in the 80s, forcing then US President Clinton to deploy two CVBGs to the area.

What's more, we (the West) now have identified specific units (38 and 42 Group Armies, the 15th Airborne Corps and the newly formed but still paper 16th Air Army) from three Military Regions (Fuijan, NanJing, and Beijing) tasked with the TW issue.

Is it sabre rattling? Only if you call the two armies staring across the Iron Curtain sabre rattling as well.


Originally posted by Trooth
Tiennamen was not an issue in China, only outside of China. Those that took part are no longer students, and many of those are activists that now believe they replaceed dogma with corruption.

Sars was word of mouth. Publicity, once again, happened outside of China.

You've missed my point here. My point is that the CCP is no longer the spin masters of yesteryears. The only spinning that they can do now is based upon the age old attage of nationalism.


Originally posted by Trooth
As we know in the west, saliva and ink are cheap. What politicians say and do publically, even what they sign, is often of little consequence. TW will never gain independance as the US will not press it. China will have to give it more freedoms, but that is a very different thing. Look at HK.

Points that counter mine in trying to predict the future. I won't even try to prove you wrong.


Originally posted by Trooth
When it comes to war and money, the latter is always in the middle of the former (with 2.5 exceptions that i can think of). Aside from those, money has always been at the cause of war and therefore the alternative to it.

I do believe that there would be alot of soul searching in Beijing in deciding to goto war or not. As a military man, I don't look at the enemy's intent. It's damned near impossible to read my CO's mind, let alone the enemy CO. However, I do look at his capabilities which tells me what he can do and what he cannot do.

And what the People's Liberation Army is doing is doing their damndest in trying to get ready for TW.

Trooth
03 Dec 03,, 04:22
In my opinion the US will not go nuclear unless provoked by a nuclear threat that can only de dealt with in kind. It is more likely to use conventional "pre-emptive defence" to take out a nuclear threat.

The US v China would be a pyric victory for whichever side won in a nuclear exchange. Even assuming that it was settled by the one nuke theory - that once the first one is used everyone backs off - then this would quite clearly be a foreign policy disaster that would lose the war of words. The US holds the dubious distinction of being the only nation to actually have gone nuclear and that decision is still something that is debated today. I don't wish to re-open that debate here, merely hghlight that it does exist.

Losing a captial ship is bad, but when military people get caught up in conflict there is the general feeling of "its their job" that comes into play. Civiilan casualties is another matter , but again a nuclear response is not something easily undertaken.

I genuinely believe it is sabre rattling. Even the odd skirmish would be just that, but would remain conventional. Both sides are getting too close now economically. As discussed elsewhere, China is turning into a boom economy (at least if you allow for it being a communist nation). Rather than being a complete pariah it is gaining increasing favour with the west (especially the US) over trade.

Officer of Engineers
03 Dec 03,, 05:00
Originally posted by Trooth
In my opinion the US will not go nuclear unless provoked by a nuclear threat that can only de dealt with in kind. It is more likely to use conventional "pre-emptive defence" to take out a nuclear threat.

That's from the American side. The Chinese side if far more precorious.

In any action against TW, it would be certain the PLA's action would be directed by the Central Military Commission Headquarters. As per American doctrine, the CMC HQ is considered a legitimate military target.

The problem is that the CMC HQ is also the release command for the 2nd Artillery Corps, the Chinese nuclear strike arm. There would be strong temptation on the Chinese part to release the nukes before they lose the ability to do so (ie use them or lose them).

Trooth
03 Dec 03,, 09:42
Losing them or using them would still be a pyric victory if they hammered the US into submission, There wouldn't be much left pf Beijing for the victory parade. As we know there are very few instances were anything other than a tactical Nuke can produce an actual victory in war, and then only if only one side has them.

But, i stand behind my earlier comments, the political situation in both countries is not on a grounding for war. Just like the last set of manoeuvres in the area. Both sides move some capital ships around, and then get on trading.

Praxus
03 Dec 03,, 13:15
The problem is that the CMC HQ is also the release command for the 2nd Artillery Corps, the Chinese nuclear strike arm. There would be strong temptation on the Chinese part to release the nukes before they lose the ability to do so (ie use them or lose them).

What if we accidently gave them some Cruise Missiles and they blew it apart?

They wouldn't nuke Taiwan, because we would hit them with a few hundred nukes.

Officer of Engineers
03 Dec 03,, 19:17
Originally posted by Trooth
But, i stand behind my earlier comments, the political situation in both countries is not on a grounding for war. Just like the last set of manoeuvres in the area. Both sides move some capital ships around, and then get on trading.

The decision may not rest with neither Beijing nor Washington DC but with Taipei itself. There is no doubt that both BJ and DC are very comfortable with the status quo.

This push for a referumdum is anything but.

Trooth
03 Dec 03,, 23:05
It seems to fall in line with my earlier comments regaridng China giving some ground on Twiwan whilst retaining sovereignty. In the article it does say that the law passed is heavily watered down and that a fairly special set of circumstances must be invoked before the actual referendum can be called.

Sparky
04 Dec 03,, 02:22
I believe it became a referendum to prove the right to have a referendum instead of a referendum to declare independence. Taiwan succeded in this much more limited regard

Officer of Engineers
05 Dec 03,, 05:27
Originally Posted by Leader
Sorry, I just don't think the communists are that stupid.

My apologies, Leader, for late reply but I had to come to terms with your statement

And my response is

Yes, I think that they are that stupid!

I can list their stupid thinking in a spreadsheet but that wouldn't serve any purpose,

The point is that the CCP has ALWAYS under-estimated their enemies and it's our job (read the West) to make sure that they undestand everything before starting a war,

Trooth
11 Dec 03,, 22:01
Bush warns Taiwan over referendum

The two leaders held talks in the Oval Office
US President George W Bush has warned Taiwan against any steps towards independence, after talks with the Chinese prime minister in Washington.
Taiwan's president is planning a referendum next year to ask people if they feel threatened by China's military posture towards the island.

The US sees the vote as a move towards independence, a view shared by China.

After talks, Mr Bush made clear the US is against any unilateral moves which threaten its 'one China' policy.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House after a 40-minute meeting with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Mr Bush said: "The United States' policy is one China.

Stability can only be maintained through unswerving opposition to pro-independence activities

Chinese Prime Minister
Wen Jiabao
"We oppose any unilateral decision by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo, and the comments and actions made by the leader of Taiwan indicate that he may be willing to make decisions unilaterally, to change the status quo, which we oppose."

Correspondents say his comments were the US administration's strongest statement to date in opposition to the referendum.

But White House officials insist that criticism of Taiwan should not be seen as a "green light" for Beijing to intimidate the island with its military might.

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian - leader of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party - says the proposed "anti-missile, anti-war" referendum is aimed at asking China to dismantle hundreds of ballistic missiles targeting the island.

'Separatist activities'

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province, but Mr Wen said China's goal was to pursue peaceful reunification with Taiwan.

"Stability can only be maintained through unswerving opposition to pro-independence activities," he said.

Mr Wen accused the Taiwanese leaders of "using democracy as an excuse and attempt to resort to defensive referendums to split Taiwan away from China".

He added: "Such separatist activities are what the Chinese side can absolutely not accept."

North Korea

In his comments on Tuesday, Mr Bush also expressed his appreciation of China's role in convening talks to resolve the stand-off between North Korea and its neighbours over the secretive communist state's nuclear weapons programme.

"The goal is to dismantle a nuclear weapons program in a verifiable and irreversible way, and that is a clear message that we are sending to the North Koreans," he said.

"We will continue to work with China and the other countries involved to solve this issue peacefully."

Mr Bush has urged the Chinese Government to fully integrate into the rules and norms of the international financial system.

In particular, the Americans are calling on China to make its exchange rates more flexible and buy more of their goods.

In response to a question on trade disputes, Mr Wen said China had been taking steps to reduce the massive US trade deficit with China.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3302339.stm
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Doesn't look like the US is going to nuke China over this refernedum after all.