|Oriented to the East|
Taiwan has started talking up independence from mainland China again and
threatens to hold a referendum to settle the issue once and for all.
Officials representing the People's Republic of China are (once again) squealing
with indignation at the suggestion that 20 million people on an island off
their coast, controlled by Beijing for only five years in the last century,
could even think of independence.
They have condemned the independence calls and said they will not let the
democratic rights of the of the people of Taiwan be taken away by 'a few
These indignant squeals ring a bit hollow coming from the largest dictatorship
in the world. Further, Chinese officials may have a bit of a credibility
problem if these 'few troublemakers' turn out to constitute a majority in a
Taiwanese referendum. Ten million people would be considered a significant
number even in mainland China - it's as many people as members of the Chinese
George (WW-III) Bush earlier indicated that the US would defend
Taiwan against being 'liberated' by the People's paradise utopian Republic of
China, but at the moment he's trying memorize the names of the capital cities
in the Middle East, and doesn't want to be distracted by trivialities like a
real war with China. He would really like the Taiwanese to just shut up and
shop (preferably in China), and not make 'provocative' remarks.
Exactly why 20 million people on their own island saying they want to make
their own decisions independently of anyone else could be considered
'provocative' is one of the many mysteries of The Orient.
Hopefully though, the Chinese rulers will orient themselves. They wiped out most
of their intellectual elite during the cultural revolution (even a fool is now
and then right by chance), and they are therefore smart enough to know that the
Chinese government would not survive a war with Taiwan, regardless of who actually
As the Chinese curse goes: 'may you live in interesting times'. The Chinese
risk making the times interesting for themselves.