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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Those darn inconvenient truths

A creepy method for keeping away the birds

That creepiest of political parties, the KMT 中國國民黨, has been inadvertently called out, and some members don't like it one bit. Recently, the party announced that it had "discovered" that Japan had ceded "sovereignty" of Taiwan to the Republic of China 中華民國 back in 1952 when the two sides signed the Treaty of Taipei 日本国と中華民国との間の平和条約. Why this "fact" had gone unnoticed for 57 years wasn't addressed, but the Nationalists were satisfied that they've had a legitimate reason for governing this island all this time after all. Being the rightful owners of Taiwan also means that, come the presidential campaign in 2012 and the expected reelection of Ma Ying-jeou 馬英九 in a landslide (and it will come to pass thanks to gerrymandering and entrenched corruption at the local level), the KMT will have the historical and moral authority it needs to conclude a political settlement with the government of China, without having to bother itself with a messy referendum approval process. So it's perfectly understandable why some faithful members felt a little piqued when a Japanese diplomat stated the obvious, inconvenient truth about that scrap of paper signed so many years ago, as the Kyōdō News 共同通信社 reports in this Japan Today article ("Taiwan ruling party renews calls to replace Japan envoy"):

"Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) renewed Monday its bid to expel Japan’s top envoy to the island, as a spat over inbound passengers from Japan who were possibly exposed to the new strain of influenza further strained bilateral ties. The tensions came as Taiwan’s envoy to Japan, John Feng, attended his first parliamentary interpellation on the state of Taiwan-Japan relations since becoming envoy in November. Feng told legislators that Japan’s envoy to Taiwan, Masaki Saitō, 'committed a very grave mistake' by saying last week at a symposium that Taiwan’s international status 'remained unresolved.' Saitō’s remark diverged from the Japanese government’s practice of refraining from commenting on Taiwan’s international status, merely stating that Japan renounced all claims to sovereignty over its colonial possessions, including Taiwan, after World War II."

In other (possibly) grave mistakes, it appears that some elements in the Japanese military and security establishments are starting to wake up to the fact that there may be more to Taiwan than just a nice, little former colony that doesn't hold any grudges about "unfortunate" past events. The Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ has the story ("Coast guard stresses protecting territory"):

"Protecting Japan's maritime interests from its neighbors has become a key element of the Japan Coast Guard's 海上保安庁 duties, according to annual report released Tuesday. The Japan Coast Guard Annual Report for 2009 includes for the first time a section devoted to describing recent threats to Japan's territory, saying unlawful activities and roaming by Chinese and Taiwanese ships have 'breached Japan's sovereignty.' 'We believed it necessary to separate the section on protecting Japan's territory from overall maritime safety,' a coast guard official told reporters. 'There were some severe (breaches), including demonstrations by Taiwanese activists and Chinese survey boats within our territory,' another official added. Japan, China and Taiwan all claim sovereignty over the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands 尖閣諸島 in the East China Sea 東シナ海. Two Chinese survey ships were spotted in Japan's territorial waters in December and a coast guard patrol boat collided with a Taiwanese sports fishing boat near the uninhabited islets in June, straining Taipei-Tōkyō ties. The annual report reiterates that the coast guard will handle future intrusions 'firmly and quickly' to protect Japan's rights. It also says China's natural resources development in the East China Sea has been monitored 'to protect Japan's maritime interests.'"

Chinese air and navy property speculators have no doubt noticed all that prime real estate available in Taiwan, ideal for developing airfields and naval bases. The day is coming soon when that "chaotic" Taiwanese democracy that really annoys Jackie Chan will be tidied up by the People's Liberation Army 中国人民解放军 and remade into a much more manageable Special Administrative Region. SARS!

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