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Listen to the voice

Ma delegation labeled .China, Taiwan・

CONTROVERSY: During their stay, members of the presidential delegation visiting the Dominican Republic were transported in vehicles bearing signs with the words

By Shih Hsiu-chuan

Monday, Aug 18, 2008, Page 1

The title .China, Taiwan・ has nothing to do with political ideology ... For people in the Dominican Republic, when they say China, they are referring to our country.;

X official at Taiwan・s embassy in the Dominican Republic

The delegation led by President Ma Ying-jeou (姶^E) on a state visit to the Dominican Republic X one of the nation・s allies X was referred to as :China, Taiwan; on embassy signs used to identify it.

An official with the embassy told the Taipei Times the signs were produced by the office as had been done in the past.

The flags of both countries were placed at the top of the signs, with the words :Special Mission; and :China, Taiwan; printed in Spanish underneath.

Ma・s delegation arrived in Santo Domingo late on Friday night and left yesterday morning. During their stay, members of the delegation were transported through the city in vehicles bearing the signs.

At the El Embajador hotel where the delegation spent two nights, a signboard bearing the words :embassy; and :China-Taiwan; were placed outside of conference rooms used by members of Ma・s delegation. Ma visited the Dominican Republic to attend the inauguration of Leonel Fernandez, who was sworn in for his third presidential term. Ma also held a bilateral meeting with Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca in a conference room with the title hanging on the outside wall.

Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Tsai Meng-hung (讐sЩ) agreed to a press conference to answer media questions about the signs, but did not turn up.

An embassy official initially told the Taipei Times that the placards on the vehicles were too small to include even the country・s abbreviated official title in Spanish, :Rep. De China.;

When asked why the office did not use larger signs, the official said it would have impeded vision, as the placards were placed on the front windows of the vehicles.

However, the official then said the words :China, Taiwan; had been chosen because most people in the Dominican Republic would not know what :ROC, Taiwan; meant.

:The title .China, Taiwan・ has nothing to do with political ideology. Since you live in Taiwan, you consider it a way of downgrading [the nation], but for people in the Dominican Republic, when they say China, they are referring to our country,; he said.

He said the embassy had only started adding :Taiwan; to its name in the past few years to distinguish the office from China・s representative office in the Dominican Republic.

Alex Wang (郁キ), president of Orquideas Santo Domingo, who has cultivated orchids in the Dominican Republic for more than 20 years, said most people in the Dominican Republic mean Taiwan when they say :China.;

:Our country has had ties with the Dominican Republic for more than 60 years, the People・s Republic of China [PRC] hasn・t,; he said. :When people in the Dominican Republic say China, mostly they are referring to us, not the PRC. But gradually, they are realizing we・re also called Taiwan.;

Asked for comment on the name used on the placards, National Security Council Secretary-General Su Chi (潮_), a member of the delegation, said :the Dominican Republic is our ally and the .China・ it recognizes according to its one China principle is the Republic of China. That・s why it calls us .China.・;

Also See: Taipei to resume FTA talks with Dominican Republic
Also See: EDITORIAL: Taking a stand is a president・s role

Listen to the voice

Real terrorists are those in Beijing

By Paul Lin LO仇
Monday, Aug 18, 2008, Page 8

On the eve of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, two ethnic Uighurs attacked Chinese armed police in Kashgar in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Then, after the opening ceremony, a police station in Kucha was attacked by Uighurs. Some media in Taiwan have echoed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in calling them East Turkestan terrorists. Why are they dancing to the CCP・s tune?

Xinjiang has not been Chinese territory since ancient times. It was only incorporated into China as a province in 1884. That is why it was named :Xinjiang,; meaning :new frontier.; An independence movement during the Republic of China period established an Eastern Turkestan Republic.

Following their military occupation of Xinjiang in 1949, the Chinese Communists set about sinicizing the region while ruling it with an iron fist. This hard-line policy was introduced by General Wang Zhen (_), the first Communist :Czar; of Xinjiang, who set up a production and construction corps and established military farming settlements. The national population survey of 1953 said Uighurs made up three-quarters of Xinjiang・s population, but the 2000 survey put them at only 45 percent. The region・s economic lifelines are in the hands of Han Chinese, and the government has gradually sinicized the education system and tried to replace local beliefs with those of the Han.

Xinjiang・s :autonomy; is hollow, with Han Chinese in the highest leadership positions. This situation has provoked incessant acts of resistance. Xinjiang was at its most peaceful during the 1970s, when the Han were busy killing each other in the Cultural Revolution and had no energy left for repressing the people of Xinjiang.

Afraid of losing control of Xinjiang, Mao Zedong (をAF) appointed an ethnic Uighur, Saypidin Azizi, more commonly known as Sayfudin, to head the region in 1972. Thanks to Saifudin・s moderate policies, there were no violent clashes during his tenure. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping (Hpキ) transferred Saifudin to a figurehead position in Beijing. Violent resistance in Xinjiang resumed during the 1980s and has continued to escalate.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, China has labeled any Uighur unrest as :terrorism.; In June, when the Olympic torch relay passed through Urumqi, Kashgar and other parts of Xinjiang, tens of thousands of residents were removed to make way for it. In Kashgar, where Uighurs are the majority, three Uighurs were executed shortly before the relay as a warning to others.

On July 8, police shot dead five Uighurs in Urumqi. At first they called them robbers, then :holy war trainees,; claiming they were armed with knives. However, only one police officer was slightly injured. Uighur men traditionally carry knives on their belts X does that make them terrorists? On July 9, the Kashgar Intermediate Court reportedly sentenced five Uighurs to death and a further 10 to life imprisonment. Two of those sentenced to death were said to have been executed immediately. The sentences caused apprehension among the local Uighurs.

On July 10, the Xinhua news agency reported that police in Xinjiang had busted five terrorist groups, in the first six months of this year who were planning to disrupt the Olympics. A report in the Hong Kong daily Ta Kung Pao on July 15 said that an official in Kashgar told the paper that 12 international terrorist groups had been smashed in the city so far this year. How could there have been more terrorist groups in Kashgar alone than in the whole of Xinjiang?

The recent attacks may have been acts of revenge by Uighurs against bloody state repression. The Aug. 4 attack was carried out by a taxi driver and a vegetable seller armed with homemade explosives and a homemade gun X hardly a sign of international connections. The facts of the Kucha incident are still unclear.

As to the overseas East Turkestan organizations, even the Chinese government does not believe they were responsible for explosions in Kunming and Shanghai.

The unrest and clashes we are seeing in China today are not all connected with independence movements. Most violent clashes have involved Han Chinese protesting against police and government officials, rather than terrorist incidents. China・s rulers are the ones who are causing a state of terror by arresting and shooting people at will and provoking extreme reactions. The real terrorist group is the Chinese government itself.

Paul Lin is a political commentator based in Taiwan.

Listen to the voice

Taking a stand is a president・s role

Monday, Aug 18, 2008, Page 8

President Ma Ying Jeou・s (姶^E) first state visit to diplomatic allies is under way. In the past, these small states in Central and South America learned to profit from the cross-strait diplomatic competition by approaching Taipei and Beijing with their hands out. Now, however, Ma・s stress on his cross-strait :diplomatic truce; means that they are weighing their options. Ma should be given credit for his new approach in so far as it means that our allies will not get everything they ask for, but the :diplomatic truce; must not mean giving up allies without a fight.

In a true diplomatic truce, both sides would have to lay down their arms. Now, Taiwan is at an extreme disadvantage in its diplomatic tug-of-war with China. The capital and energy invested in the past was intended to avert the crisis over Taiwan・s sovereignty and international space. In such life-and-death battles, there is no room for mistakes.

Diplomacy is a game of deceit, and the members of the international community look for substantial benefits. Ma・s new diplomatic strategy is ultimately dependent on China・s goodwill, and the fact that he is already leaning toward China leaves him no space for negotiation and compromise. If our allies turn to Beijing, one might say that such allies are not worth having, but we must remember that without those allies, Taiwan will become even more isolated and helpless internationally. Ma and his government will be the first to suffer if that happens.

Considering that China has always done all it can to suppress Taiwan internationally, it is absurd to pin our hopes on Beijing not trying to entice our allies simple because of the so-called :diplomatic truce.; Predicating the :truce; on China・s goodwill begs the question of how much trust there is between the two sides, and how long that trust, if it indeed exists, will persist. These are all unknowable variables

Before implementing the :diplomatic truce,; the focus must be on communicating our ideals and persuading China, and not on unilateral compromise. Since this is a new approach to maintaining national sovereignty, there can be no confusion between means and goals.

The Ma administration wants to abandon the money diplomacy but maintain our allies. What is the overall diplomatic strategy that will achieve this goal? As president, it is Ma・s duty to clearly explain this to the Taiwanese. While it is true that his administration has reduced cross-strait tension X at least for now X the closer relationship is a problem for the US because it is no longer clear where Taiwan belongs. Despite this, Ma has not offered an unambiguous explanation, and his government policy continues to lean heavily toward China without any signs that the government sees cause for alarm or a need to correct the situation.

Still, militarily, economically and internationally, the US remains Taiwan・s most important supporter. The US government is still waiting for Ma to react to the rumored freeze on US arms sales to Taiwan. A president is supposed to set a nation・s primary goals and deal with the big issues.

Rather than micro-managing and fiddling with trivialities such as saving a few dollars on chartering regular aircraft for overseas state visits, Ma should expend his efforts on designing the main direction of the nation・s future development.


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