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Chen Shui-bian stopover in San Francisco stirs conflict in Chinese community
by Robert B. Livingston (gruaudemais [at] yahoo.com)
Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
Beleaguered Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian arrived in San Francisco today to rest enroute to Nicaragua. Chen plans to participate in the inauguration ceremonies for newly elected former Sandanista Daniel Ortega day after tomorrow.
1.jpg
San Francisco
January 8, 2007

Many from the American Chinese community turned out in front of the St. Regis Hotel to greet Chen's VIP motorcade arrival to San Francisco today. The turnout of Chen loyalists and opponents appeared equally divided. Supporters wore the green of Chen's DPP political party; opponents the traditional Chinese red.

One observer mentioned that Time Magazine recently did a story about the most corrupt leaders in the world and Chen ranked as the fifth most corrupt. Chen is also controversial because of his avowed desire to make Taiwan an independent country.

His opponents, composed of Taiwanese and mainland immigrants who wish to see the eventual reunification of Taiwan with the mainland drew the most attention from passerbys and the Chinese media with their cries denouncing Chen. They were especially critical of the corruption charges that Chen has been able to narrowly elude to date.

Taiwan no longer has formal diplomatic ties with the United States. The People's Republic of China (PRC) has strongly protested Chen's ability to travel in the U.S. This has created little unease with the Bush administration which allows Chen to visit on occasion. That Chen should be one of a few government leaders to celebrate Daniel Ortega's inauguration draws attention to Taiwan's increasing isolation from the world community of nations. Daniel Ortega has indicated that he may break off formal ties with Taiwan (the Republic of China or ROC). The governments of Taiwan and Nicaragua have had a cozy relationship for years and Chen hopes to salvage it.

George W. Bush's father's administration worked hard to institutionalize political, economic and military support for Taiwan in spite of transference of official recognition to the PRC.

U.S. support today for Taiwan under his son may be less reliable however. Corporate interests are keen to make the most of the mainland's cheap labor and burgeoning market. They are also wary to placate the mainland whose growing economic reserves can be flexed to undermine an already shaky U.S. dollar. Also, critics of the Bush administration (including high-ranking generals and intelligence analysts) say that the U.S. military is now overextended and would have trouble responding to any new regional flashpoints. The U.S. must rely on the PRC to help deter North Korean aggression (even nuclear war) against South Korea.

Chen's visit, while tolerated by the Bush administration, is an embarrassing reminder of neglected world tensions. Not only does it fuel divisions among Chinese Americans-- it also suggests that Chen must play every card in his deck-- or bluff-- to win approval wherever he can find it.



Please direct correction, additional information and comments to this story below.

Some useful links:

Thumbs Down for Chen (Time/CNN)
http://tinyurl.com/yhg99w

At Least 13 Heads Of Government To Attend Ortega's Inauguration
http://tinyurl.com/yz3b9a

Chen Shui-bian (Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Shui-bian

Daniel Ortega (Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ortega

Million Voices against Corruption, President Chen Must Go (Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_Voices_against_Corruption,_President_Chen_Must_Go

Taiwan's Chen in corruption case (BBC)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6112668.stm

Taiwanese president arrives in San Francisco to cheers, protests (SFGate)
http://tinyurl.com/ymktyb
§Chen supporters
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
2.jpg
Just as George W. Bush escapes his crimes, so to it seems does President Chen. Both have their loyal boosters.
§Chen opponents
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
3.jpg
The San Francisco Chronicle said that they were outnumbered-- which was not clear to me.
§Faithful to Chen
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
4.jpg
There appeared to be much animosity between the two groups of people greeting Chen's arrival in San Francisco. The police had to keep them apart.
§Chen supporter carries flags and banners
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
5.jpg
§An opponent's red signs say "Fish-- Shame"
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
6.jpg
§Chen cannot escape his critics
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
7.jpg
§Ling-Chia Ku reports for KTSF Channel 26
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
8.jpg
KTSF
http://tinyurl.com/y2fpw9
§Sponsors of protest against Chen
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
9.jpg
§Self explanatory protest signs
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
10.jpg
§Shouting to be heard
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
11.jpg
§Leon Chow explains why Chen is not welcome in San Francisco
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
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§Mr. Chow's explanation
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
§Wo kan bu qi ni
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
13.jpg
"I despise you Chen Shui-bian!"
14.jpg
§Protesters' Statement in Chinese and English
by Robert B. Livingston Monday Jan 8th, 2007 8:44 PM
protester_statement.pdf_600_.jpg
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Update: embezzlers and US military China strategy: a story by John Chan at the WSWSRobert B. LivingstonMonday Jul 11th, 2011 11:06 AM
Chen Shui-bian travails: UpdateRobert B. LivingstonMonday Nov 17th, 2008 8:03 PM
Taiwan - FREE AND INDEPENDENT!MarcosWednesday Jan 10th, 2007 11:06 AM
This report is weird.anonWednesday Jan 10th, 2007 4:21 AM

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