Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh, yeah, that? Oops. Uh...sorry. I guess.

US Clarifies Statements on 'One China'

From the article:

At a Washington press conference on Wednesday, Chen [Bingde] said: “During my office call on Secretary Clinton this morning, she told me — she reiterated the US policy; that is, there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China.”


“The United States welcomes the recent improvement in cross-strait relations, opposes any unilateral actions by either side to alter the status quo, and believes that cross-strait issues should be resolved peacefully in a manner acceptable to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” the official added.


While the “clarification” seemed to go out of its way not to upset Chen, it also made clear — without directly saying it — that Clinton did not tell him that there was only “one China” in the world and that Taiwan was part of China.


Does anyone else think that Chen was 100% clear on what Clinton said, and he made the first statement regardless? Does anyone else think that this is a not-so-subtle ploy by the PRC to start twisting around the language of what is said in meetings to more quickly get people to accept the idea that Taiwan is a part of China? Does anyone else believe that Chen knew exactly what he was doing and will get praise for it back home? I don't believe for a second that this was a misunderstanding or miscommunication - I honestly believe that Chen deliberately skewed Clinton's words to his and the PRC's advantage, betting on the "you can't unhear something" principle? Just as a witness whose testimony is stricken by a judge has still said what she said, and the jury can pretend to disregard it but really, they can't unhear what they've heard? Like that.

In related news:

"Air China" tourism pamphlets criticized

Saying that this was some sort of backdoor deal, and that Air China knew exactly what it was doing by creating confusion about what is a domestic and what is an international airline, sounds more conspiracy theorist, and I don't deal in conspiracy theories.

But still.

For as much criticism as this has garnered, you can't undo a first impression, and impressions like the are what drive many people abroad who are not cognizant of the Taiwan-China political situation to believe that they are one and the same. It creates an impression in the mind. It makes implications that can't be un-implied. While I don't deal in conspiracy theories, I have to ask - was this done on purpose?

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