Monday, 31 January 2011

Wang Jyh-Perng 王志鵬

"...the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on its official Web site that a preliminary expert assessment suggests the problems were the result of faulty detonators or thrusters. It added that success rates of 73 percent conformed more to the norm. I doubt the problem lay with individual pieces of equipment. The usual way these live fire tests go is that roughly twice the amount of missiles expected to be launched are selected, each given the once over and tested for internal and external mechanical and functional integrity, for both stationary and moving parts. If no problems are discovered, they go through comprehensive simulated tests together with the launching systems, and if any issues arise with any link in the chain the simulations are repeated, from beginning to end. The equipment will only enter the official launch stage if it has passed all tests. How, then, could the poor performance of the missiles during this last test have been because of individual pieces of faulty equipment? I’m sure that if they just picked missiles at random and put them straight into the tests without checking them out first the failure rate would have been startling."
That's Wang Jyh-perng 王志鵬 in today's Taipei Times. Whilst that analysis seems sensible as a refutation of the MND's claims, it hinges on the assumption that weapons systems would only be allowed to reach the launch stage after passing the simulated tests - but could it be that they were rushed through this testing process for reasons of political timing? If not, then Wang's analysis leaves open the question of how to account for the failure rates.

Wang's piece isn't all that bad, and I am in broad, but qualified, agreement with his conclusion:
"Time and circumstance are no longer on Taiwan’s side and we can no longer rely on outside help for our national defense. We should be thinking about instigating a far-sighted strategic defense program that all political parties in Taiwan would find acceptable, so that we can liberate ourselves from the current dire straits in which we find ourselves."
Yes it is true Taiwanese cannot rely on the U.S. for military help (especially with the current Marxists in charge), but they never should have done in the first place. Why should the men and women of the U.S. armed forces be duty-bound to protect the people of Taiwan? Doesn't that responsibility properly belong to the people of Taiwan? I say it does, and, furthermore, that the instantiation of any such strategic defense program ought to be implemented with greater public involvement and cooperation with the Armed Forces, especially in respect of funding, and far less in the way of mediation by political parties.


  1. They should not have shipped the defeated Chinese Nationalists in 1949 in the first place. They should have come and occupied Formosa and the Pescadores after the war in 1945. Now this bunch of Chinese and their descendants have fouled up my country and are inviting their brothers and sisters from across the Strait to join in. Who the heck should come and clean up the mess?
    I personnaly think the allied nations who defeated my father's country should all share the responsibility of sorting out them.

  2. Well I certainly think that, given the publicly enunciated premise of destroying tyranny and protecting freedom on which the allies prosecuted WW2, it was a sell out for them to stop with just Germany and Japan whilst leaving Mao and Stalin in place. On this point I agree with Patton and I'm sympathetic to your argument that the U.S. and the UK should stand up to the commies in China - and I have made this point myself on this blog and in letters several times previously, but with the qualification that nobody should be forced into doing so.

    Anyway, that was then and this is now. And however much sympathy I have with you (and I have a lot), you've got no right to imply that young American men and women today (of my age and younger) should be forced to come and risk their own lives to help you or me in Taiwan simply because they were born in the same nation whose political leadership failed to deal with the CCP and KMT 66 years ago. Nobody gets to lay that responsibility on kids born 30-40 years later - if they are to have that responsibility, it ought to be voluntarily assumed.

    At any rate, the White House, State Dept and Congress right now are full of people who are ideologically collectivist, and they ain't gonna help Taiwan out of commitment to principles. So I say that Wang Jyh-perng is right when he says that we in Taiwan cannot rely on outside help. If it comes, great and all glory to it. But we shouldn't be dependent on it and we have to start taking seriously the threat against us.

  3. Mrs Thatcher honoured a treaty signed 100 years ago, and returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule. There was a civil war between the CPP and the KMT, a war between two Chineses, a war that was nothing to do with me. The Commies are my enemy because of the Treaty of Taipei, because in which we were made Chinese nationals. Worse still, because I was educated so since I entered primary school. I have not implied, and of course got no right to imply that the Americans have to risk their life for the island or for anything that their government did 66 years ago. Nevertheless, there's this treaty signed in 1952 by the allied nations, the San Francisco Peace Treaty. I don't think there should be a war when war is not inevitable if those who signed the treaty returned to the table and get it sorted.

  4. "I don't think there should be a war when war is not inevitable if those who signed the treaty returned to the table and get it sorted."

    And how do you think the U.S. could talk to the PRC to "get it sorted"?

  5. Interesting: that's where the conversation ends, it seems.

    That's where the conversation always seems to end on this topic. . . .

  6. Yeah well, I was very lenient with this guy - he starts out from a collectivist premise himself: "my country" - as if the island and all the people in it somehow belong to him, and him to them.

    I don't think a policy of compromise with the PRC can be sustained over the long term - and that's because of what the PRC is. I say we - anyone in Taiwan and China who values their freedom - have to confront the implications for us of what the PRC is and the question of what, if anything, we can do to change what it is. And pinning all our hopes on the Taipei or Washington governments to do this for us is irresponsible. It's a problem which demands thought, not reflexes.

  7. Good point. "Leaders" are not meant to think, they're meant to react. That's how this whole mess began in the first place: too much reacting, and not enough thinking. (I'm sure the collectivist can figure this one out. I mean, most collectivists put a ton of thought into their positions. I mean, most I talk to seem to be of the belief that mandatory collectivization is not coercive. The minute you ask them, "What if I don't want to be a member of a collective?" they retort something along the lines of "Why wouldn't you want to be?" or "After a long period of education [persuasion], you'll eventually come to your senses [see things our way]." Nice to see they've thought things through so nicely; they'll make good "leaders" of collectives. . . .

    This cross-Strait thing is no longer about politics (beyond the role identity plays in politics, anyway). Which is more or less Chinese (or not Chinese at all, even though we're all Chinese, by gum! and I'll show you based on maps and records and [forged] documents and a whole load of propaganda that you in fact are despite what you think!), and which is more or less nationalistic. It's quite sad. But when one begins to realize that the very terms used to discuss "state," "country," and "nation" are essentially the same in Chinese and that they've basically existed in the "modern" sense in the language for around 100-150 years, it becomes clear that nationalism and identity are far more important than "politics," and politics needs to cater to this to be legitimate. If only emotions could be thought through--then we'd none of us need leaders . . . to not think!


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