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Thursday, December 06, 2007

China Buys Marshall Islands' Elections

China's move into the Pacific is not just about trade and cash. it is ultimately about political influence.

The Chinese have used illegal money to influence US elections. With New Zealand on the verge of a free trade deal with China, how long until the Beijing barbarians start buying Kiwi politicians?

From the Taipei Times, Taiwan-Free China

Taipei accused Beijing yesterday of pouring money into the Marshall Islands to help the opposition in the just-concluded national elections in a bid to encourage the country to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.

"We are fully aware of China's interference in the election, which had a great impact on the results," said Donald Lee, director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, during the ministry's regular press conference.

Although the ballot count has yet to be finalized, the opposition camp declared victory in the Marshall Islands' election last week.

A change of government in the Marshall Islands would raise concerns over its continued diplomatic ties with Taiwan, as Marshall Islands Parliamentary Speaker Litokwa Tomeing has declared his intention of establishing relations with Beijing.

Two days before the Nov. 19 election, Tomeing said the Marshall Islands had "wronged" China by recognizing Taiwan in 1998 and that it was time to "fix this problem by adopting a `one China' policy."

Tomeing defected from President Kessai Note's United Democratic Party the week before the election, joining the Aelon Kein Ad (AKA) Party, a main member of the opposition coalition known as the United People's Party.

"China has taken steps to work with the AKA, but the situation [how it views diplomatic relations with Taiwan] is now different," Lee said.

"We learned [on Monday] that Tomeing called our embassy and said that he was in no position to speak on behalf of the AKA [on the subject of] the Marshall Islands switching diplomatic ties to Beijing," Lee said.

Beside condemning Beijing's interference in the election, Lee blasted some Marshall Islands-based Taiwanese businessmen for "helping" Beijing's campaign for AKA candidates.

"With help from Taiwanese businesspeople there, Beijing poured substantial amounts of money into the AKA candidates' campaigns three or four days before the election. They were unscrupulous. It's hard to believe they would choose to be Beijing's stooges," Lee said.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, pal, it seems like just the thing that a "free market business person" would do - put his own self interest first.

The problem with libertarianism is that by taking power from legitimate and hard won democratic institutions, it replaces them with plutocracy - not freedom. In this case, the brutal state capitalism of "communist" China. Without one man, one vote, no matter how flawed, you are left with one dollar, one vote... take your pick, but don't pretend there's a benign alternative.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, pal, it seems like just the thing that a "free market business person" would do - put his own self interest first.

The problem with libertarianism is that by taking power from legitimate and hard won democratic institutions, it replaces them with plutocracy - not freedom. In this case, the brutal state capitalism of "communist" China. Without one man, one vote, no matter how flawed, you are left with one dollar, one vote... take your pick, but don't pretend there's a benign alternative.

12:57 PM  

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