2006-08-06

Taiwan's friends: One down, 24 to go?

Nine months ago, when Senegal recognized the mainland as the sole government representing China, I predicted in a post ,
  • "...the next to go (other than the well anticipated Holy See) will be those with large population and/or GDP, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Chad and less likely, Guatemala, Dominican Republic or Paraguay."
I was right. Taiwan lost another friend yesterday, as the land-locked African country of Chad severed diplomatic relationship with the Republic of China, in favor of the People's Republic of China. The ROC Foreign Minister Michel Lu's speech was comical

  • "Knuckling under China's huge pressure, Chad has decided to restore diplomatic ties with Beijing," foreign ministry spokesman Michel Lu told a midnight press conference. "To safeguard national dignity, sovereignty, the Republic of China, Taiwan government decided to cut off diplomatic ties with Chad and immediately suspended all of the aid projects to the country," Mr Lu said.

Yeah, I said I dumped you before you said you dumped me. Ha!

But Taiwanese people should celebrate for losing such an unreliable friend. All it can do to Taiwan is taking bribe and blackmailing.

Chad has proved itself to be a flip-flopper, incentivized solely by bribe. It befriended ROC in 1962 soon after it became independent, flipped to PRC in 1972 when PRC replaced ROC as the only legitimate government representing China in the UN, flopped back to ROC in 1997 presumably taking an enormous bribe. Then it flip-flopped again yesterday.

  • Ironically, the switch this time is perhaps not a result of bribe because pure bribery no longer works on Chad, as its "mighty" GDP/cap of $1555 puts it in the middle class in Africa where the normal is 1/3 of that level. Moreover, Chad's fortunte has risen steadily with the oil price.
We should not have to wait too long for another to go, either among the shortlist in my previsous post, or Solomon Islands.

One down, 24 to go? I do not really think so.

  1. The number has more or less been at an equilibrium for the past few years. Taiwan's list may drop to below 20, but not likely to fall further. For every 2 friends lost, Taiwan may be able to bribe one back
  2. Because all these micro-states are bribable, as demonstrated by the case of Chad and all previous cases. However, the larger the state, the more expensive it is to bribe (compared with natutal economic benefits for befriending the mainland government, PRC)
  3. So we would see larger states going, and nano-states joining the list. i.e the average population, area, GDP for Taiwan's friend will continue to dwindle, so will the total
  4. Although it is unlikely for ROC to gain new friend when Chen Shui Bian is too busy with his own family's (and his own) multiple scandals, in the rest of his term (if he succeeds in severing his ties with the scandals), hopefully the bleeding will stop when the more mainland-friendly Ma takes position in 2008 - perhaps some agreement will be reached
---

Tidbits of Chad geography

  • Chad Lake, once the 2nd largest in Africa, has shrunked by 90% in the past 3 decades. An ecological disater
  • Chad is about 3x the size of California (countries near the equators are bigger than they appear on the maps). Chad is the largest country in Taiwan's list of 25, with half a million square miles. The runners-up are Paraguay and Burkina Faso (Upper Volta). Perhaps B.K will be the next to go.
  • Territory dispute with Libya on Aozou Strip, relics of their colonial masters (recognizable by the ruler-straight boundary of the strip), led to 2 wars and an International Court of Justic verdict


Categories:

9 comments:

Raj said...

24 friends?

You forgot about those countries that have "trade offices" (i.e. embassies) with Taiwan.

Taiwan is never going to get UN recognition simply by buying off states. Economic relations with other countries is its primary goal.

Sun Bin said...

raj,

i agree, though trade offices are not embassies. they are sub-status consulates.

apple daily has this commentary (jiang chun nan). i think he made very good points.

---
中共暗助台獨

該來的總是會來。台灣與查德斷交,對中共外交也許是一種勝利,但對台灣卻談不上外交挫敗,因為我們與查德的關係只是單純的金錢交易,還談不到外交層次。
現在與我維持邦交的二十多個國家之中,大都與台灣沒有什麼經貿往來,談不上投資,沒有僑民和文化交流,也沒有戰略安全利益,許多友邦的人權紀錄剛好與台灣的民主價值形成強烈對比,這是一種畸形的邦交。
投入無數金錢,維持這些友邦,像肉包子打狗有去無回。斷交之後,大都斷得一乾二淨,沒有留下什麼痕跡,好像從來未建交過。

逼用「台灣」闖國際
當我們還有邦交時,台灣都用中華民國的國名,但這個國名,常與中華人民共和國搞混。即使有邦交,當地人民也分不清這兩個國家有何不同。等到斷交之後,他們才知道中國與台灣的不同,台灣才恢復真實面貌。
君子絕交不出惡言。查德多年內戰,經濟蕭條,中國所提出來的建交條件比台灣好,我們不能怪人家投向中共。弱國無外交,查德為了生存,必須有所選擇。外交部長黃志芳無需為此道歉,即使老謀深算的周恩來當我外長,也只能坐困愁城。
不過,在兩岸的外交爭奪戰中,中共所打敗的並不是台灣,而是中華民國。它讓中華民國這個國號在國際走頭無路,連象徵性的功能都難以立足。台灣只剩一條路可走,就是完全放棄中華民國這個國名,以台灣的名義正式走上國際舞台。
就這方面而言,中共的打壓,剛好助長台獨的合法性和正當性。許多人對中共這種打壓,在憤慨之餘,心中也不免竊喜。

江春男

Raj said...

Yeah, the "trade offices" aren't officially embassies. But they do most of the important work.

I always thought of them as being embassies/consulates, but with everyone going around with their fingers in their ears saying "LALALA, not listening - not listening", ignoring their status ;)

Michael Turton said...

That's essentially it, raj. Key relationships with Japan and the US remain good. Chad is of no real consequence to Taiwan. The real strategic loss here is not for Taiwan, but for the US as China advances in Africa -- just more fallout from the illegal occupation of Iraq.

Of course Ma is more mainland-friendly. He wants to sell out the island to China!


Michael

Sun Bin said...

chad is a burden :)

it is not a loss for US either, china has diplomatic relationship with all but a few of the african countries already. chad is hardly a star among them.

Sun Bin said...

more sensible comments

Anonymous said...

your blog sucks! what a lousy post!

Sun Bin said...

thank you. i have not received that honor for a while.

dghnfgj said...

Catch the wow gold star that holds your gold in wow destiny,cheap wow gold the one that forever maplestory money twinkles within your heart. Take advantage of precious opportunities while they still sparkle before you. Always believe that your buy maplestory mesos ultimate goal is attainable cheap mesos as long as you commit yourself to it.maple money Though barriers may sometimes stand in the way of your dreams, remember that your destiny is hiding behind them.wow gold kaufen Accept the fact that not everyone is going to approve of the choices Maple Story Accounts you've made. Have faith in your judgment.wow gold farmen Catch the star that maple story money twinkles in your heart and it will lead you to your destiny's path. Follow that pathway and uncover the sweet sunrises that await you. Take pride in your accomplishments, as they are stepping stones to your dreams. Understand that you may make mistakes, powerlevelbut don't let them discourage you.ms mesos Value your capabilities and talents for they are what make you truly unique. The greatest gifts in life are not purchased, but acquired through hard work and determination.maplestory mesos Find the star that twinkles in your heart?for you alone maplestory powerleveling are capable of making your brightest dreams come true. Give your hopes everything you've got and you will catch the star that holds your destiny.