Saturday, May 14, 2011

As China is growing a market with nearly 2 Billion Asian and Pacific States, Taiwan is being bullied still

Concerns are growing that an expanding China based Asian market will push through anti-Taiwan treaties throughout the region, just as Taiwan is set to benefit from new regional ties. This is worrisome. There are 3 articles below from the TAIPEI TIMES, which indicate worries about and activities of China--including bullying Fiji recently to turn its back on Taiwan.--KAS

Article 1

US expert warns of PRC economic trap

STAR WARS:Barry Watts warned that the weaponization of space is under way, and while China’s capabilities are limited now, ‘a space Pearl Harbor’ is possible in future

By William Lowther / Staff Reporter in Washington
A US military expert said China may be trying to take over Taiwan by using a strategy of “economic entanglement.”
Barry Watts, a senior fellow with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told a US congressional commission this week: “Why use military force if economic entanglement leading to economic capture is succeeding?”
In testimony before the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Watts said that the most common scenarios for a conflict between the US and China were built around a Chinese attempt to invade Taiwan.
“The first point to be made about the likelihood of such an attempt is that China has been fairly successful in pursuing the economic entanglement of Taiwan,” he said.
Watts, who was testifying on China’s military space program, said that he had discussed the possibility of a Chinese attack on Taiwan with senior Taiwanese national security officials in Taipei.
“What struck me during that trip was the growing migration of Taiwan’s advanced technologies and businesses to mainland China, lured by such incentives as lower labor costs,” Watts said.
“Since then, the indications are that the gradual economic entanglement of Taiwan has continued, and that it is leading — in the long run — to Taiwan’s eventual economic capture by the People’s Republic of China [PRC],” he said. “If this assessment is correct, then the chances of the PRC initiating a military takeover of Taiwan in 2012 or even 2020 appear to be quite low. Note, too, that this approach embodies Sun Tzu’s (孫子) dictum that the acme of strategy is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
Since China is a rising power whose conventional military forces remain substantially inferior to those of the US, Watts said, it was imperative for China to avoid a direct military conflict with the US “for the time being.”
“What role might China’s space capabilities play should such a conflict occur nonetheless?” he asked.
Watts — former head of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation at the Department of Defense — quoted one study by the Commission on US National Security in Space that warned that unless steps were taken to reduce the vulnerability of the US’ space systems, the country would face the real possibility of a “space Pearl Harbor.”
However, he said that after the PRC’s successful anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) test in January 2007, it was concluded that even with months of planning, the best China could do against US space capabilities would be to attack nine Low Earth Orbit satellites.
The short-term consequences of such an attack would be “limited,” and even under a worst-case scenario, a Chinese all-out ASAT attack would “only reduce” the US’ use of precision-guided weapons and satellite communications.
Watts said that it was not possible to forecast whether the balance might shift more in China’s favor beyond 2020, but that the “weaponization of space” was already under way.

Article 2

China aid linked to Taiwan issue: cable

CANDID CABLE::The WikiLeaks release of a US transmission from 2009 showed that a New Zealand official said China had been candid about a ‘quid pro quo’ with Fiji
By Shih Hsiu-chuan / Staff Reporter
Sun, May 01, 2011 - Page 3
A diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks suggests the modus vivendi approach adopted by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) diplomatic policies has not kept the Taiwan issue out of China’s controversial aid policy.
For the past few decades, China has emerged as a major source of foreign aid aimed at securing access to resources necessary for its continued economic development and wooing nations as part of its competition with Taiwan for diplomatic allies.
Beijing’s “no strings attached” aid programs have often drawn concern from Western countries.
Released by WikiLeaks on Thursday, a cable dated May 19, 2009, from the US embassy in Beijing recorded observations by New Zealand embassy political official Tara Morton about China’s “massive” aid to Fiji, stating that “the People’s Republic of China [PRC] had been candid with New Zealander interlocutors in linking Fijian support on the Taiwan issue to China’s development assistance there.”
However, in talking to US officials, Zhou Jian (周建), then-deputy director of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Division of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied the link.
According to the cable, Zhou said that with the recent thaw in cross-strait relations, China’s policy in the South Pacific was looking past its traditional focus on checkbook diplomacy to buy UN votes to shore up its claim to Taiwan, and the Taiwan issue had become “less of a priority” in Chinese foreign policy with the South Pacific.
The cable showed disagreement between China and countries such as New Zealand and Australia over Western-led international efforts to persuade the leadership in Fiji, which came to power after a coup in 2006, to carry out democratic reform.
A Fijian embassy official told the US that a new package of Chinese economic assistance to Fiji, that was announced earlier in 2009, arrived just as Western sanctions were proving problematic and therefore had a political effect, the cable said.
Another cable dated Feb. 13, 2009, from the US embassy in Beijing showed that Australia and New Zealand expressed concern to China on the eve of a trip to Fiji by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平), saying the trip would send the wrong message in light of international efforts to urge the government in Suva to reform.
Beijing downplayed the Xi visit, calling it a transit stop on the way to Latin America, according to the February cable.
However, a cable in June 2009 quoted Zhou as saying that China had signed at least four economic agreements with Fiji during Xi’s visit and one of the agreements was for a 10 million yuan (US$1.54 million) grant, but the details of its use were still under discussion.
Aid programs offered to Fiji and the Solomon Islands by Taiwan were also a concern for the US. A cable dated Jan. 24, 2007, from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) showed that then-AIT director Stephen Young met with then-minister of foreign affairs James Huang (黃志芳) to discuss Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
Young told Huang that it was particularly important that Taiwan follow its democratic values in its relations with Fiji and the Solomon Islands, and repeatedly said that Taiwan should hold discussions with Australia on the Solomon Islands, the cable said.
A year before the Fiji coup, then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) made an unscheduled visit to Fiji — which recognized China — during a tour of allies in the Pacific.
In response to Young, Huang said Taiwan had a number of assistance projects in Fiji before the coup, but these had all been suspended, pending further review.

Article 3

Taiwan’s hopes of regional ties aided by ECFA: academic

By Shih Hsiu-chuan / Staff Reporter

The cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has enhanced Taiwan’s opportunity to participate in East Asian economic integration, but did not remove political factors that might hinder the progress, a visiting academic from New Zealand said yesterday.
Answering questions at a forum in Taipei regarding the chances of Taiwan signing a free-trade agreement (FTA) with New Zealand and joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), New Zealand APEC Study Center director Robert Scollay said that “obviously there are political issues that needed to be resolved.”
Scollay declined to elaborate on the “political connotations” attached to a possible Taiwan-New Zealand FTA, as well as Taiwan’s participation in the TPP and an initiative to create a proposed free-trade area of the Asia-Pacific, because he said he is not a political expert, but said that the political factors involved were not non-issues.
In his presentation delivered at the symposium hosted by the National Policy Foundation of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that addressed the implications of the ECFA on economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, Scollay said the ECFA has affected some regional economies.
The ECFA has prompted South Korea to re-evaluate its approach to economic integration with China and Japan, and to consider moving ahead with negotiating a bilateral FTA with China rather than waiting for the slower development of a trilateral FTA among the three economies, Scollay said.
China, South Korea and Japan have been unable to agree on the basis for a trilateral FTA, but the move by South Korea would in turn prompt Japan to re-evaluate its approach, he added.
The opportunity that the ECFA creates for Taiwan to develop FTAs with a range of countries has been touted by officials, but except for an immediate response from Singapore, Taiwan’s initiative to have FTAs with other partners is “seemingly likely to materialize rather more slowly,” he said.
Despite the slow progress, Taiwan should be able to become more closely integrated with the Asia-Pacific region through gradually developing its own FTAs in the region, as well as through closer and more balanced integration with China, Scollay said.
Regarding the chance of an FTA between Australia and Taiwan, Ken Waller, director of the Australian APEC Study Center at RMIT University, said there was much that could be done to enhance bilateral trade and investment without an FTA and suggested Taiwan review its domestic policies.
“Unilaterally, I have no doubt that [when] the door is open, you don’t need an FTA to do that. That doesn’t mean you should not have an FTA, but you don’t need one and you can benefit anyway,” Waller said.
Waller said Australia and Taiwan could proceed to expand their trade and investment relationship in a highly satisfactory and rewarding way in the absence of formal agreements.
Taiwan and Australia should continue to deepen their relationships within APEC and use that as a means of influencing reforms across the region to enhance growth and opportunities in member economies, he added.



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