Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute (and my former colleague at the Rocky Mountain News) has a column up today, July 16, at TechCentralStation on China’s efforts to position itself as the major Pacific power, with a lot of sharp elbows deployed in Latin America as well, with the enthusiastic assistance of Hugo Chavez.
Historically, China’s claim to rule Taiwan is very weak. In the five thousand years of Chinese history, there are only 17 years, in the late 19th century, when a government with actual sovereignty over the mainland even claimed to possess sovereignty over the entire island of Taiwan. If historical sovereignty is the test, Japan has a much better claim to Taiwan than does China, since Japan ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, a sixty year period in which the people of Taiwan made far more economic and educational process than in the earlier periods when part of Taiwan was ruled by China.
Whatever the historical realities, Chinese and Latin tyrants find common ground in political realities. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have inked numerous agreements expanding the relationship between the Beijing and Caracas, including a deal to jointly develop oil fields in Venezuela.
China is a ready friend for anti-American thugs, and not just Chavez. China has cozy relationships for energy development and arms sales with the genocidal Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe and the genocidal National Islamic Front regime in Sudan. China has used it power at the United Nations to ensure that no meaningful barriers are imposed on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.