Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 27-Mar-05
Massive Taiwan public demonstrations, the largest in history, protest China's Anti-Secession Law

Web Log - March, 2005

Massive Taiwan public demonstrations, the largest in history, protest China's Anti-Secession Law

Tensions between Taiwan and China skyrocketed on Saturday as Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian led close to a million Taiwanese (out of a total population of 23 million) chanting slogans like "Oppose War, Love Taiwan" and "Shame on China." Chen himself didn't speak at the rally, but sang a song -- "Taiwan is our baby."

Just last month, Chen was acting increasingly conciliatory towards China, with his "five noes" pledges speech, which include no declaration of Taiwan independence, no incorporation of "two states" into its constitution, no change of the so-called country's name and no referendum on Taiwan independence.

However, that attempt at conciliation came to an end quickly. First, many of Chen's own political allies furiously called him a traitor, and several resignations resulted in a governmental crisis. And next, Beijing passed the Anti-Secession Law that made a mainland invasion of Taiwan legal in case Taiwan moved toward independence, infuriating even moderate Taiwanese.

The most outspoken critics of China's policies were, not surprisingly, people in the younger generation who have no memory of the genocidal Chinese civil war that ended in 1949 with the establishment of the Taiwan government. Here are some of the remarks:

"In the past, I didnít understand the emerging situation across the Taiwan Strait - it seems that war across the Taiwan Strait will happen at any time," said Sue Rong-yin, a 24-year-old pharmacology student who described herself as a staunch Nationalist Party supporter who had never joined a political demonstration until Saturday. (NY Times)

Another student in the crowd, Mickey Shi, a 23-year-old Nationalist Party supporter who also had never been to a political demonstration before, said that he thought his partyís leaders should have joined the march. "If you think you are a party of the Taiwan people, you should stand up for them," he said. (NY Times)

"Taiwan is in such a sad position. It's like an international orphan. If we don't stand up and fight, no-one will fight for us," said 23-year-old student Jonathan Lin. "We should not be afraid of China. If they invade, I am willing to fight to the last moment." (Swissinfo)

"China has never ruled Taiwan, not even for one day, yet they treat us as part of their territory," Huang Ming-yu, who took his wife and 2-year-old daughter to join the rally after a nearly 10 hour bus ride from the southern county of Pingtung. (Swissinfo)

These are the voices of a young generation with no fear of war. They're just like America's own new generation of soldiers going to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no fear for themselves. (Read this for a description of Taiwan's political scene.)

So many times since 9/11 I've heard pundits and analysts and television try to compare today's society to the "Vietnam era" of the 1960s, with the expectation that "students will start demonstrating against the war once the body bags start coming back." These pundits and analysts could not have been more out of touch. In the 1960s, America was in a "generational awakening" period, characterized by a "generation gap" between the students and their WW II war hero parents.

Those students now are the elder generation, many of whose members just can't understand why today's students aren't holding rebellions like the 60s. They don't understand that America today is in a "generational crisis" period, now that the generation of WW II war heroes is long gone.

Taiwan poll results to question: "Do you feel Taiwanese, Chinese or both?" <font size=-2>(Source: WSJ)</font>
Taiwan poll results to question: "Do you feel Taiwanese, Chinese or both?" (Source: WSJ)

The same is true in Taiwan, as is shown dramatically by the poll results depicted in the adjoining graph, which shows the following:

This kind of generational change is not just occurring in America and Taiwan; it's occurring in every country that fought in WW II. As these generational changes take place, the world heads towards a new war, a "clash of civilizations" world war that will be worse than WW II.

In China, the younger generation is becoming just as intolerant as Taiwan's younger generation. But in China, the younger generation is less and less tolerant of Taiwan's separation from the mainland. Like their Taiwanese counterparts, they have no fear of war if that's what's necessary to settle the issue of Taiwan independence once and for all.

"Facts have shown again that 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces are the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits," says one Beijing commentary. "The [Anti-Secession Law] reflects the consistent stand of the motherland of exerting the utmost sincerity and efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. It also reflects the common will and firm determination of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, including people in Taiwan, to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and never tolerate 'Taiwan independence' secessionist activities."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, everything is proceeding as predicted. There will be a renewal of the 1940s civil war with 100% certainty, and the time is approaching quickly. China itself has announced double-digit war budgets for each the past several years, and is believed to be building a navy of amphibious vehicles capable of transporting an invading army to Taiwan.

China is giving all the signs of preparing for a preemptive attack to reunite Taiwan with China, a war that will involve America.

Generational Dynamics predicts that there will be major regional wars to reunite North and South Korea, to reunite Taiwan with China, and to give China and Korea revenge for Japan's actions in World War II. The statements we've seen recently have been getting increasingly ominous. China and North Korea are becoming increasingly militaristic, and are mobilizing for war. We can't predict when those wars will occur, but the kinds of statements we're hearing are typical of the things we would be hearing if these countries are planning a pre-emptive attack soon. (27-Mar-05) Permanent Link
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