Scrap the Taiwan Relations Act

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US Vice-president
Dick Cheney recently warned PRC President Hu Jingtao that the
Taiwan Relations Act, or TRA, “legally obligated” the US government
to intervene militarily on behalf of Taiwan in the event it was

In fact the
TRA does not “obligate” the US government to intervene militarily
in the defense of Taiwan, legally or otherwise. The TRA merely
stipulates that the US government shall sell American weapons
to Taiwan, and only defensive weaponry at that.

Cheney was
either ignorant of the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act,
or he was merely pretending to be. I’m not sure which is worse.
Perhaps the TRA is one of Donald Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns.”
More likely the TRA is a cautionary tale about the omnipresent
hazard of “mission creep.”

Reasons to Scrap the Taiwan Relations Act

how the Taiwan Relations Act has been so loosely interpreted and
recklessly applied, congress should scrap it as soon as humanly
possible, for a multitude of compelling reasons.

The TRA is
an obsolete relic of the Cold War, irrelevant to America’s national
security in a post-Communist world. That’s one compelling reason
to scrap the TRA.

The TRA is
a blank check made out to Taiwan independence extremists, signed
in advance with American GIs’ blood, to be cashed not at the discretion
of American president George W. Bush, but at the whim of a foreign
dictator named Chen Shui-bian. That’s another compelling reason
to scrap the TRA.

The TRA is
not “defending democracy,” but propping up a Quisling dictatorship
unable to command the loyalty of the ROC’s deeply patriotic military
personnel. That’s yet another compelling reason to scrap the TRA.

If Taiwan
ever was a bona fide democracy – and that is debatable – it isn’t
one today. America’s indolent lapdog media is in the habit of
characterizing Taiwan’s cronyist dictatorship as a “lively / thriving
/ vibrant democracy.” Well Taiwan’s “democracy” is lively, thriving,
and vibrant no more.

As Pan Blue
signs protesting the fraudulent March 20 presidential election
correctly declared, “Democracy is Dead” on Taiwan. What 23 million
Chinese citizens on Taiwan live under today is a quasi-fascist
dictatorship, one that is becoming less quasi and more fascist
with each passing week.

in advance he was going to lose his bid for reelection by a humiliating
margin, Chen Shui-bian staged a patently phony Wag the Dog “assassination
attempt,” then falsified the election results to make it appear
as if he won. Chen, for all intents and purposes, staged a coup
d’tat. In doing so, the Taiwan independence nomenklatura regressed
Taiwan to the level of a Central American or Southeast Asian Banana
Republic, and forfeited what meager claim it might once have had
to moral and political legitimacy.

To give you
a sense of how little legitimacy the pro Taiwan independence Chen
regime enjoys, Chen has ordered all ROC Air Force F-16 and Mirage
fighters grounded, indefinitely. Despite the very real possibility
that the PLA Air Force could attack the island at any moment,
no weapons of any kind may be loaded aboard ROC military aircraft
until further notice.

Why would
Chen hand down such a bizzare and incomprehensible order?

Because the
traitorous Chen is terrified of what patriotic ROC Air Force pilots
might do to him – shoot down Chen’s Air Force One with him
onboard, or bomb or strafe the Presidential Palace on Inauguration
Day, then defect to the mainland with costly and irreplaceable
combat aircraft.

Is such a
contemptible regime worth even one American GI’s life? If so,
tell me his name, and I will notify his next of kin, in advance.

Tami Silicio Coffins

The photo that
cost Tami Silicio her job

Real Reason to Scrap the Taiwan Relations Act

The above
reasons for scrapping the Taiwan Relations Act are perfectly sound
and powerfully compelling. Anyone of them alone is enough to justify
scrapping the TRA, ASAP.

The real
reason for scrapping the TRA however, is far simpler and even
more fundamental.

The real
reason is the TRA is a legal and logical absurdity.

Global Hegemonists on the Neanderthal right and Humanitarian Interventionists
on the bleeding heart left routinely insist that “The TRA obligates
America by law to defend Taiwan.”

The obvious
response to these New Imperialists, which everyone seems to have
missed, is “Who gave you the right to obligate yourself in the
first place"?

Taiwan Relations Act is an Affront to National Sovereignty

the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs, is regarded in Chicano
folklore as an area that includes California, Arizona, Nevada,
New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas. Spencer believes the
aim [of “La Voz de Aztlan,” the Voice of Aztlan] is to create
a sovereign state, “Republica del Norte,” the Republic of the
North, that would combine the American Southwest with the northern
Mexican states and eventually merge with Mexico. – – Art Moore,

The Taiwan
Relations Act, United States Code Title 22 Chapter 48, enacted
10 April 1979, was an Act of Congress. It is domestic US law.
It is not an international treaty.

Does domestic
American legislation, enacted unilaterally by the US government
without the consent of the Chinese people, legitimize US abetting
of ethnic secessionists undermining China’s territorial integrity?

In case the
answer isn’t immediately obvious, let me turn the question around.

Would domestic
Chinese legislation, enacted unilaterally by the PRC government
without the consent of the American people, legitimize PRC abetting
of ethnic secessionists undermining America’s territorial integrity?

How for example,
would the US government feel about a PRC “Aztlan Relations Act?”
Suppose the PRC “obligated” itself to intervene if the US government
used force to prevent “Republica del Norte” independence? How
would Americans react to PRC Vice-president Zeng Qinghong warning
George W. Bush that the Aztlan Relations Act “legally obligated”
the PRC government to intervene militarily on behalf of Chicano
secessionists in the event they were attacked?

Is the answer
clearer now?

If so, why
wasn’t it clear earlier?

When was
the Golden Rule repealed?

Do ordinary
Americans have any clue as to how angry the US government’s abetting
of Taiwan independence makes 1.3 billion patriotic Chinese on
the Chinese mainland, 6 million more in Hong Kong, not to mention
a democratic majority on Taiwan?

Hu Jingtao
could have told Dick Cheney,

You had no
right to “obligate” yourself to meddle in another nation’s internal
affairs. You “obligated” yourself. Now “unobligate” yourself.
End of “obligation.”

He however,
was too much of a gentleman.

Hispanic Challenge, by Samuel P. Huntington

Careful What You Ask For. You Might Just Get It

The state or condition of being free from dependence, subjection,
or control. Political independence is the attribute of a nation
or state which is entirely autonomous, and not subject to the
government, control, or dictation of any exterior power. – – Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition

Chen Shui-bian
and fellow Quisling Lee Teng-hui shrilly insist that “Taiwan is
an independent nation.” Independent means not dependent. An independent
nation is a nation that is not dependent on other nations. An
independent nation does not depend on another nation for its military
defense. A political entity that depends on another nation for
its military defense is not an independent nation. It is not a
nation at all. It is a colony, dominion, mandate, possession,
protectorate, satellite, or territory of another nation.

If the Taiwan
independence nomenklatura genuinely wants the US government to
treat Taiwan as an independent nation, they should act like an
independent nation. They should stop clinging to America’s apron
strings, stop hiding behind America’s skirts, stop being dependent
on the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet. They should assume responsibility
for their own independent national defense.

If Taiwan
independence fellow travelers genuinely consider Taiwan an independent
nation, they should treat Taiwan as an independent nation. They
should stop treating Taiwan as if it were Guam or Puerto Rico.
Taiwan is neither an American protectorate nor an American commonwealth.

Taiwan is
an integral part of China. China is a foreign nation. If the US
government ever had any plausible excuse to muscle itself in between
Beijing and Taipei, it has no longer. Congress should scrap the
legal and logical absurdity known as the Taiwan Relations Act,
along with the Orwellian “Taiwan Security Enhancement Act,” PDQ.
Twenty-five years after its passage is much too late. Yesterday
is none too soon.

Ted Galen
Carpenter of the Cato Institute put it succinctly:

the earlier pro-Taiwan policy nor the latest pro-Beijing posture
[advocated by George W. Bush] serves the best interests of the
United States. It is not America’s proper role to take a position
on Taiwan’s independence or other issues involving relations between
Taipei and Beijing… U.S. leaders should make it clear that Taiwan
must bear all of the risks entailed in whatever policies it adopts.
In particular, Washington should state that it will not intervene
if an armed conflict breaks out between Taiwan and mainland China.”

You want
independence? You got independence.

6, 2004

Chu [send him mail]
is an American architect of Chinese descent registered to practice
in Texas. Currently living and working in Taiwan, Chu is the son
of a retired high-ranking diplomat with the ROC (Taiwan) government.
His column, “The Strait Scoop” is published on his website, The
China Desk

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