Saturday, March 17, 2007

Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
Chinese threat growing: Lee Jye
By Rich Chang
Minister of National Defense Lee Jye said yesterday the Chinese military has
conducted more than 30 military exercices focusing on Taiwan.
Lee said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been growing in strength, and its
military drills have been conducted under Chinese President Hu Jintao's principle of
"talk less while doing more, hide the real but show the fake".
He highlighted the Chinese military threat yesterday morning during a meeting of the
legislature's National Defense Committee. He said the Chinese military drills had
emphasized landings on Taiwan, and the Chinese military believed it could land in a
short period of time.
Lee said China has more than 20 satellites which were able to monitor Taiwan and the
Taiwan Strait 24-hours a day. He said the quantity and quality of Chinese warships
and submarines were increasing, and its power projection capabilities are also
Lee said China was also believed to be developing its first aircraft carrier. He said if
China built an aircraft carrier force, it would be able to attack Taiwan from more
Lee said China had targeted about 900 ballistic and cruise missiles at Taiwan, and the
numbers were increasing at around 75 to 100 per year. China was also developing
new missiles, Lee said.
He said about 500 advanced fighter jets with long-range missiles had also been
deployed at China's military bases.
Lee noted that China had earmarked 351 billion yuan (US$45 billion) for its defense
budget this year, an increase of 53 billion yuan over last year.
It was the the sharpest rise in the defense budget in a decade and a 17.8 percent
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
increase in Beijing's military budget, he said.
Lee warned the military balance between China and Taiwan has been tipping in favor
of Beijing.
The gap would increase if Taiwan did not build an advanced military force, he said.
Beijing to reduce number of executions
China -- the world's leading executioner of prisoners -- should reduce the number of
death sentences it carries out but cannot abolish capital punishment altogether, the
country's top legal bodies say.
In a joint statement released late on Sunday, the Supreme People's Court, Ministry of
Public Security, Ministry of Justice and the country's top prosecutor also said
condemned prisoners should not be paraded through the streets and suspects should
not be tortured.
China is believed to carry out more court-ordered executions than all other nations
combined. Amnesty International says China executed at least 1,770 people in 2005 --
about 80 percent of the world's total.
The true number is thought to be many times higher.
The London-based Amnesty has cited a senior member of China's National People's
Congress as saying some 10,000 people are executed each year.
"Our country still cannot abolish the death penalty but should gradually reduce its
application," the document said.
"But where there is a possibility someone should not be executed, then without
exception the person should not be killed," it said.
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
Along with crimes such as murder, rape and drug smuggling, the death sentence has
also been imposed in nonviolent cases such as tax evasion and corruption.
China has sought to tighten its rules on the application of the death penalty following
a series of high-profile cases involving wrongful convictions and torture. Rules
enacted last year restored a requirement that all executions first be approved by the
Supreme People's Court, something that had been waived amid the ongoing "strike
hard" anti-crime campaign.
Chinese police are often accused of torturing suspects into making confessions, and
the document said it was wrong to use statements or confessions obtained through
torture or threats "as the basis for a case."
Officials were obligated to "ensure crime suspects and defendants can fully exercise
their rights to defense and other procedural rights," the statement said.
The document said police must be more thorough and obey the laws in identifying
and collecting evidence.
In other developments, thousands of farmers and laid-off workers rioted in Hunan
Province on Friday, attacking police and smashing squad cars, a local official said
Nine police cars were burnt during the riot, in which 20,000 people clashed with
about 1,000 police armed with guns and electric cattle prods, the official said.
"They did it because they were not satisfied with some government behavior," the
official, surnamed Tan, said by telephone from Lingling District, which belongs to
Yongzhou City.
"They were also unhappy about official corruption," Tan said.
The overseas human-rights Web site Boxun ( said the riot was
sparked by dissatisfaction with rising public transport costs.
The site, which is critical of the government, is blocked in China.
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
The Hunan official said scores of the rioters had been arrested. The government was
tracking down the organizers, she said.
Taiwan still has several allies in the US, Lee says
Neurosurgeon C.T. Lee, president of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), talked
to `Taipei Times' reporter Jewel Huang about his visions and future goals as the head of the
Washington-based non-profit advocacy group promoting Taiwan-US relations to the American
Taipei Times: What is your opinion on President Chen Shui-bian's comments on
independence at the FAPA's 25th anniversary celebration. Do you think it was
campaign rhetoric or echoed the voices of the Taiwanese people?
C.T. Lee: We feel honored that
President Chen could give a speech
containing significant points of view at
FAPA's celebration. When it comes to
the issue of Taiwan's independence or
unification [with China], the FAPA
insists that it is the people of Taiwan
who are the ultimate decision-makers on
Taiwan's sovereignty. We think that the
speech given by President Chen, a
democratically elected president, is a
reflection of his constituents' views.
President Chen's comments reflect new
Taiwanese voices, wishes and
C.T. Lee, president of the Formosan
Association for Public Affairs, speaks
with the Taipei Times during an
interview conducted on March 5.
As long as President Chen works toward his goals using the principle of
self-determination, the FAPA will continue to support President Chen's push for
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
independence and the creation of a new constitution. We will also continue to urge the
US to give the Taiwanese encouragement, since encouragement from the US means a
TT: Recently, President Chen and former president Lee Teng-hui have publicly
disagreed on the beliefs and direction of the campaign for Taiwan's independence
and have traded criticisms through the media. What is FAPA's take on this?
Lee: Taiwan is a democratic country and everybody enjoys freedom of speech.
Everyone's opinion is important. Citizens and the media have the right to interpret the
words of public figures, this is quite normal in a democratic society. This phenomenon
is no different in the US. Whether Chen and Lee's remarks are simply electioneering
is subject to individual interpretation.
FAPA's standpoint on Taiwan's independence is that Taiwan is already a de facto
nation but it has not yet been recognized by the international community.
TT: What are the goals of FAPA for this year, and what are your strategies for
achieving these goals?
Lee: There are three major goals that FAPA aims to attain this year. First, to have all
the restrictions on high-level visits between Taiwan and the US lifted. Second, to
continue to promote Taiwan's bids to join the WHO and the UN. Third, to make a
breakthrough on China's "one China" policy.
We are targeting the normalization of relations between Taiwan and the US. Writing a
new constitution and changing Taiwan's official name are key to Taiwan's
transformation into a "normal" country and it would be helpful to normalize relations
between Taiwan and the US as well. We think that the power of the people of Taiwan
is the engine of this campaign and FAPA is willing to add fuel to the engine.
TT: Have you received any reaction from the US regarding the name changes to
state and corporate enterprises that have been going on in Taiwan?
Lee: We view the action to change the titles of Taiwan's international airport or other
state-run enterprises as "name changes," rather than "name corrections." Many in the
media in the US believe that the US should not interfere in the internal affairs of
Taiwan. The name changes are simply changes to companies' names and there is no
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
need for anybody to make a fuss about it.
We think that it is unfair that the US State Department always have comments on
small actions performed by Taiwan, yet keeps silent on China's actions such as
deploying more missiles targeting Taiwan or enacting the "Anti-Secession" Law.
TT: We are curious about the actual ways that FAPA advocates its objectives in
the US and how they work?
Lee: FAPA has 56 chapters spread across the US and about 2,000 to 3,000 members.
Our grassroots power is strong. We encourage our members to resort to any means
possible to achieve FAPA's goals. We hold many conferences, visit US governmental
departments and hold all kinds of activities to advocate our ideas to Americans.
For example, we just held a symposium on the 228 Incident at the Brookings Institute
two weeks ago. We also held a forum at the Congress building on the news that China
had successfully used a missile to destroy an orbiting satellite in January. Many
assistants to representatives, academics and officials attended this forum. We educated
the US media and congressional assistants at the same time. I would also like to
clarify that FAPA is an advocacy and non-profit group, rather than a lobby
TT: Have you noticed that there is a trend for the US representatives or senators
to lean towards China? Is it true that the Taiwan issue, as some media outlets
have claimed, is not an issue to the US anymore?
Lee: My observation is that the US still gives Taiwan very solid support. The US
concern for Taiwan has not changed. There is no doubt that China is becoming more
important and enhancing its diplomatic ties with Washington and that might lead
some to get the impression that the US is increasing its support of China and
decreasing its support of Taiwan. But I don't think that is a correct interpretation.
China has formal diplomatic relations with the US and realizes that it is important to
obtain the support of the US. There was once an argument that "the shortcut from
Beijing to Taipei is not via the Taiwan Strait but from Beijing to Washington."
We have also seen that China recently established a new organization in the US whose
function is similar to that of FAPA. This new organization has plenty of funds and
four times the manpower that we do. So you can understand the challenge that FAPA
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
now faces in the US. We really hope that the people of Taiwan will give us more
support and encouragement.
TT: Facing China's strong economic power and increasing military force, what
advantages or bargaining chips does Taiwan have when fighting for international
Lee: Taiwan's democracy, freedom and self-determination are the noblest advantages.
Taiwan's strategic position and economic power are also valuable bargaining chips.
China's human rights record is its achilles heel. We should not underestimate the
important role that Taiwan plays.
TT: Many pro-independence groups are facing a problem when it comes to
recruiting young people. Does FAPA also share those concerns? How can you
attract youngsters who identify with your beliefs?
Lee: FAPA does have similar concerns, but we have started to solve the problem.
FAPA has established an arm called the "Young Professional Group [YPG]". Members
of the YPG are young Taiwanese who are college students, graduates or young
professionals in the US. The YPG so far has recruited about 300 members. We
encourage the younger generation to acknowledge their Taiwanese roots and not to
forget their roots no matter where they are and how successful they are.
TT: What are your expectations of Taiwan's next president? What kind of leader does
Taiwan need today?
Lee: FAPA will support the new president, whether he or she is from the pan-blue or
the pan-green camp, as long as he or she identifies with FAPA's objectives. FAPA will
support any decision made by the Taiwanese people -- independence or unification --
as long as it is based on the principle of self-determination. We do not expect or want
people to label FAPA. We hope that the new leader understands the history of the
country and creates in Taiwan a first class nation. I hope the new president will have
insight and vision and I hope the voters do not elect candidates who attack others with
abusive language.
Some people have said that the 21st century will be China's century. But from our
perspective, we don't think that is possible. It is a fair and equal society that
determines whether a country is powerful and prosperous, not money. The reason that
Taipei Times /March 13, 2007
the US became so strong during the past 300 years is because of it's sound
governmental system. If we scrutinize China's systems -- its social system or their law
and order -- we doubt if China can really become a superpower in the world.
Many people have asked me whether the US would help Taiwan if Taiwan faced a
crisis. FAPA believes that the Taiwan Relations Act has already specified that the
security of Taiwan is of great concern to the US. FAPA is also pushing the Taiwan
Security Enhancement Act, which aims to promote the protection of Taiwan.
But we are concerned that the arms sale bills have been vetoed sixty times by the
Legislative Yuan. This misleads people in the US in to thinking that the Taiwanese are
not committed to self-defense. That is not the fault of the Taiwanese people, but they
are responsible for the election of legislators. We hope the people of Taiwan will make
wise choices in the upcoming legislative elections. We believe in an old saying: "God
helps those who help themselves."
C. T. Lee
􀂋 1942 Born on July 13.
􀂋 1967 Graduated from National Taiwan University's School of Medicine.
􀂋 1970-1974 Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, Houston,
􀂋 1974 until now Director of Neurological Surgery at Bethesda North Hospital,
Cincinnati, Ohio. Has served as the president of the Taiwanese Association in
Midwest America, founding president of the Sister Cities Association for
Cincinnati and Taipei County and founding president of the Cincinnati
Inter-Ethnic Council.

No comments: