Steve joined Trish Regan Primetime to discuss what economic sanctions on Iran mean for the region and the United States.
This article first appeared in Taiwan News.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former White House official and current CEO of DC International Advisory Stephen J. Yates told Taiwan News on Monday (June 3) that Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe's (魏鳳和) attempt to justify Tiananmen crackdown is "outrageous."
Wei, while attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, called the 1989 protests "political turmoil that the central government needed to quell, which was the correct policy."
On the night of June 3 in 1989, the Chinese government ordered armed troops to open fire on students and citizens demanding democracy and freedom. The estimated death toll, according to human rights groups, was in the thousands.
"What he [Wei] is asking us to do, is to ignore our own eyes in terms of what we witnessed," said Yates. "This is frankly what communist leaders do, it is what dictators do. I think it was deeply, deeply offensive."
Yates said he was in Taiwan when students gathered at the Tiananmen square in 1989. “As the demonstration lingered for a long time, people began to get almost a little optimistic, 'maybe something’s changing,'" Yates recalled his own memory of the event. "In the morning of June 4, we started seeing reports of the absolutely astronomical number of casualties and images that were extremely haunting and horrifying."
Calling the minister's remarks inappropriate and inaccurate, Yates said he wished more people from the diplomatic community would have spoken out immediately against such rhetoric. "What he said is not conducive to calming tensions in the Indo-Pacific region."
Yates also criticized China's military expansionism, calling Wei's remarks "chilling" and "immoral." Yates said, "here we have the most rapidly growing military and most aggressive territorial [claimant] in Asia and its defense leader basically trying to say 'it is no problem to kill thousands of its own people.'"
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, and the first anniversary of the Taiwan Travel Act, the Formosan Association of Public Affairs and the Taiwan National Alliance will be holding a fundraiser in Taipei on March 30, 2019. This event will commemorate the work done to build a strong relationship between the United States and Taiwan, and honor those who have made that relationship possible. Details of the event are below:
It’s no secret that negotiators for both the United States and China seek a deal that would end the so-called trade war and boost both economies. The rest of the world, too, seems to be anxiously waiting for a clear signal on the trajectory of these negotiations and the direction of the broader US-China economic relationship in general.
President Trump has an unmatched ability to say a great deal in very short snippets on Twitter. True to form, on January 21, he served a very strong volley to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, tweeting: “China posts slowest economic numbers since 1990 due to U.S. trade tensions and new policies. Makes so much sense for China to finally do a Real Deal and stop playing around.” There is a great deal to unpack in this short tweet, but all worthy of discussion.
There is a line between bare-knuckled, competitive politics and gratuitous, maniacal malice. Good people have a sense for when that line is crossed, and endeavor to stay away from that line. As leaders in government, politics and communities, we must own the impact of our actions (and inaction) and raise up those we interact with to the same standard.
While reports of the dramatic recent events in Venezuela have made headlines, many question the relevance of the situation to Taiwan. In my view, there are several major issues at stake in Venezuela that affect Taiwan’s national interests.
After what many believe was a rigged May 2018 election, a majority of Venezuela’s National Assembly contested the legitimacy of President Nicolas Maduro’s January 2019 inauguration and instead recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as Acting President until new elections can be held. The United States threw its weight behind Guaidó, drawing swift and harsh criticism from Maduro.
On its face, this question seems preposterous. After all, the Communist Party of China is dead set to impose its ‘one China’ framework for ‘peaceful unification,’ by force if necessary. How could the leader of China and his party possibly prefer to help re-elect a Taiwan president whose party only accepts a “one China” concept if it is accompanied by a separate and distinct “one Taiwan”?
As we enter 2019, a new election cycle is underway in both Taiwan and the United States. Since the 2018 midterm elections in the United States and the municipal elections in Taiwan, there has been a great deal of commentary and analysis, with many drawing inferences from the results to size up the prospects for both president’s re-elections in 2020.
In recent years, many friends have suggested that Taiwan could become the Switzerland of East Asia. This is an idea that comes with many risks of its own, and one that I do not believe Taiwan can afford.
Of course, on the base level, there is very little that Switzerland and Taiwan have in common. Switzerland is a landlocked nation at the heart of Western Europe, sharing borders with multiple major nations. Taiwan is an island nation, off China’s shore, looking out into the Pacific Ocean.