China says it will hold supporters of Taiwan’s independence criminally responsible for life

china-says-it-will-hold-supporters-of-taiwan’s-independence-criminally-responsible-for-life

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As someone who studied my doctorate in a relevant area, I want to add that it is worth examining these things very carefully. It's hip to be anti-China right now, and some basic research seems to support that view. But further research shows it to be a lot more complicated, and shows that there are two sides to every story.

The Chinese people are overwhelmingly in favour of their government. They don't want to be 'freed', and they look at the USA and see a very problematic system that they do not want. Make some friends in China, or try going there yourself. I don't know any Chinese people who want to be 'freed'. Furthermore, every Westerner (including Americans) that I know who has moved to China absolutely loves it and says it is much better than home.

Older Chinese folks remember the first several decades of Taiwan's existence, when it was an insane authoritarian military dictatorship under Chiang Kai-Shek (and then Chiang Ching-Kuo) that brutalized and tortured its population during the White Terror). Taiwan even remained under martial law right up until 1987). The USA aided and abetted the Taiwanese dictatorship in terrorizing its own citizens because it was the period of the anti-Communist Red Scare in the United States. Older Chinese folks saw all of this happen, and saw that the USA was happy to support any atrocity in the name of denouncing communism.

Taiwan has changed a lot since 1987, and is an open democratic republic now. But the memories run deep. The Chinese are concerned that the US will never allow them - a communist country - to keep existing without attempting military action or CIA shenanigans. They have watched the US overthrow governments in many other countries after all, right? And they are concerned that the US will use Taiwan as the trigger to make a war with China happen.

Meanwhile, the climate in Western journalism has become quite nuts. Journalists reporting on China have been repeatedly pressured over the last several years to write as many negative articles as possible. We are now at the point that any positive article about China is unpublishable in most media outlets. The US really is drumming up as much negativity toward China as they possibly can, and the government is very much encouraging and exploiting it. It is the drums of war, gradually beating and raising hostility. Trump did it, and sadly Biden is continuing it.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying Taiwan shouldn't be free. Of course it should. What I'm saying is that Chinese people living in China don't need to be freed, and nobody anywhere needs a war. The US government has used the media to drum up support for conflict and war over and over again; Vietnam and Iraq are not isolated cases by a long shot. Over and over, the American public has heard the drumbeats, supported conflict and then later been frustrated and angry that they were manipulated.

Please consider the possibility that - where China is concerned - the same manipulation is happening all over again. I know many intelligent, liberal-minded people who (rightly) criticized the US government for manipulating the public into the Iraq war back in 2003. And yet 18 years later, some of those very same people are now being manipulated in the exact same way that they once criticized.

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