Tag Archives: Taiwan

The glaring problem with a recent multinational pledge against nuclear war

Five of the world’s most powerful countries took a stand against nuclear weapons. So why are they modernising and increasing their stockpiles?

By Paul Rogers.  Published 1-8-2022 by openDemocracy

A ballistic missile and launcher in a military parade, North Korea, 2013 | Stefan Krasowski, CC BY 2.0

Last Monday, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Russia, China, France and the UK – signed a joint pledge to reduce the risk of nuclear war. The pledge states that:

“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.  As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war.  We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented.” Continue reading

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Amid Years of Funding Cuts to Public Health, First US Case of China’s Coronavirus Detected

Public health advocates say state, local, and federal agencies are underprepared to cope with the spread of a new infectious disease.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-21-2020

Coronavirus. Photo: CDC

Officials in Washington State reported Tuesday that a resident was diagnosed with the coronavirus which was first detected in Wuhan, China last month, leading federal public health agencies which have suffered billions of dollars in cuts in recent years to issue warnings and post information about the illness.

“This is an evolving situation and again, we do expect additional cases in the United States and globally,” Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Washington Post. Continue reading

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China Rejects Hague’s South China Sea Ruling as “US-Led Conspiracy”

Ruling in favor of the Philippines, tribunal court “cut the legal heart out of China’s claim” to the disputed marine region

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-12-2016

Chinese dredging vessels seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this video image taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

Chinese dredging vessels seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this video image taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

An international tribunal at the Hague overwhelmingly rejected China’s claims to the South China Sea on Tuesday, in a move that observers say is likely to stoke tensions between the Asian powerhouse and its primary rival, the United States.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China’s actions have violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines, which brought the case to court. Further, the court ruled that China’s practice of dredging sand to build artificial islands on the region’s disputed reefs has caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment.”  Continue reading

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The Rehabilitation Of Chiang

Chiang Kai-shek. Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Chiang Kai-shek. Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Over the last sixty years, one of the constants of life in mainland China has been the demonization of Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of China from 1926 to when the Communists took power in 1949. He was portrayed as an imperialist and an enemy of the people  both for his leadership of China during that time and for his leading of Nationalist forces against the Communists during the Chinese civil war.

After Chiang was expelled from the mainland, he ruled what was then known as the Republic of China (what we know as Taiwan) until his death in 1975. During most of his time as President of the Republic, the Taiwanese government was recognized as the official Chinese government by the U.S. After Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, the tension between mainland China and Taiwan began to ease, but Chiang was still seen both officially and in popular Chinese culture as an enemy of the state.

However, over the last few years, he’s slowly but surely becoming part of mainstream culture in China. His image is used to sell various goods, and restaurants are named after him. For its part, the Chinese government has softened the official view of Chiang and the KMT (Nationalists) by painting them as misguided patriots instead of enemies of the state. But, why the change? Politics, of course.

Since the Chinese first started becoming the economic powerhouse it is today, relations with Taiwan have become even warmer. And, during this time, China’s relations with Japan have grown much colder. In the Chinese media of today, Chiang and his KMT troops are painted as patriots bravely fighting the evil Japanese invaders instead of as corrupt and greedy officials living off the labor of the hardworking Chinese people.

Ironically enough (or maybe not), Chiang’s legacy’s seen differently in Taiwan by some. Chiang ruled Taiwan with an iron fist, and imposed martial law that lasted for nearly forty years – twelve years after Chiang’s death. Student protesters in Taiwan see the thawing of the relationship with China as possibly leading to the return of the repressive government that the country had under Chiang.

Recently, students from seven Taiwanese high schools united to commemorate the anniversary of the ending of martial law, and demanded that the statues of Chiang that festoon school campuses on the island be removed. Tung Lee-wei, 16, a first-year student at Cheng Kung Senior High School in Taipei and one of the campaign’s organizers, said; “Just because students are used to seeing his statues doesn’t mean they think the statues are right.”

By watching how the Chinese view Chiang, we can tell how the Chinese government feels in respect to Japan and Taiwan. But, by watching the students in Taiwan and their rejection of the memoralizing of Chiang and other policies of the Taiwanese government, we have to wonder what the thawing of relations between China and Taiwan will lead to,

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