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KMT camp floats PRC-Taiwan alliance balloon

KMT camp floats PRC-Taiwan alliance balloon

The confusion bred by the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) administration of President Ma Ying-jeou on Taiwan`s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party - ruled People`s Republic of China reached a new peak of absurdity last week when the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum (TCF) Deputy Secretary General Hsieh Ming-hui declared it was unnecessary for the Chinese military to dismantle over 1,000 missiles aimed at our country before the initiation of cross-strait peace talks.

Previously, Ma himself has moderated his past demand for a dismantling of the offensive weapons before talks on a cross-strait peace agreement could begin to a meaningless call for the ``withdrawal`` of the medium-range missiles, most of which are loaded on mobile launching platforms that can be easily ``withdrawn`` from coastal provinces and just as easily redeployed when desired.

Ma`s position may well have moderated due to Beijing`s refusal to consider any concessions on removing missiles or abandoning its claimed ``right`` to use force to compel Taiwan to unify with the PRC.

Speaking for the pro-KMT TCF in a news conference December 24 calling for Ma to accelerate peace talks with Beijing, Hsieh turned a possible necessity into an absurd virtue by urging Ma to drop the precondition since the People`s Liberation Army missiles could protect Taiwan in a possible conflict with Japan over the competing claims over the Tiaoyutai or Senkaku islets.

Hsieh said that without such ``protection`` from the Chinese military, Taiwan would be at a great disadvantage since Japan, which can rely on assistance from the United States under the terms of the U.S. - Japan Security Agreement.

There are naturally a host of logical and substantive fallacies in the TCF`s position, not the least of which is that it should be obvious that PLA willingness to use its missiles to ``defend`` Taiwan from an improbable attack by Japan would constitute a military alliance not in keeping with the purpose of a ``peace`` pact.

Hsieh`s statement is also historically false as it is well known that the PLA began to deploy medium - range missiles and other offensive military forces across the Taiwan Strait in the early 1990s (and continues to do so) and conducted numerous military exercises based on scenarios to attack Taiwan in preparation of military action against Taiwan and against the U.S. and Japan if they assisted Taiwan.

Even pro-KMT military analysts, such as current KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang, incessantly emphasized in the 1990s that the PLA deployments were aimed at ``preventing Taiwan independence`` and made no mention of the notion that PRC military forces could be used to ``protect`` Taiwan.

Hsieh also apparently believes that most Taiwan citizens have forgotten that the PLA actually ``test fired`` missiles at targets near our major international ports of Kaohsiung and Keelung and over Taiwan in March 1996 as part of Beijing`s rhetorical and military ``intimidation`` campaign against Taiwan`s first democratic election and that the PRC regime has yet to retract its threat of force against Taiwan embodied in the March 2005 Anti-Secession Law.

PRC as military ally

Besides implying that Ma should make even more political concessions to Beijing, the TCA`s position clearly aims to ease international pressure on the PRC, which has been expanding its military budget by double digits for nearly the past two decades, to dismantle its forward offensive deployments in the Taiwan Strait.

The floating of the possibility that the KMT government might drop even this feeble precondition reveals both the effectiveness of the ``peaceful development`` propaganda adopted by PRC State Chairman and CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao and the unseemly and short-sighted haste by the KMT camp to throw away all of Taiwan`s bargaining chips and even international alliances in their impatience to strike a political deal with Beijing.

In the past seven months since Ma took office, the president and his KMT government have made a seemingly unending series of political concessions to the PRC beginning with openly accepting Beijing`s ``one China principle`` in the guise of the so-called ``Consensus of 1992,`` self-denigrating Taiwan itself from a ``state`` into ``region,`` accepting the PRC`s primacy on ``party - to - party`` negotiations and avoiding legislative oversight over cross-strait talks and, most recently, accepting Hu`s ``gift`` of two pandas whose arrival signalled to the world Taiwan`s acceptance of a status as part of the PRC.

Indeed, even though Hsieh`s trial balloon has yet to be openly backed by Ma or senior KMT government officials, the TCF executive has now openly introduced the grave possibility of an alliance between the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party - ruled PRC and the betrayal of Taiwan`s long-term democratic allies of the United States and Japan as the latest sacrificial offering to Beijing.

Whether such slavishness on the KMT camp`s part will lead Beijing to respond with ``goodwill`` or by taking advantage of the apparent weak-kneed ruling KMT to intensify pressure on Taiwan remains to be seen, but the raising of the spectre of a PRC-Taiwan military alliance warns that KMT-CCP reconciliation may not bring ``peace`` into the Taiwan Strait after all.