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Old 01-09-2020, 12:10 PM
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Taiwan is trying to fend off its own Donald Trump


TL; DR version: Taiwan is going to vote on Saturday, and faces its own Trump vs. Hillary choice.



In less than 40 hours, Taiwan is going to the polls. And its choice will be between its own Hillary Clinton or its own Donald Trump.

Background: Tsai Ing-Wen is the incumbent president of Taiwan, its first woman president. Her party is the DPP, the "Green" party, a liberal-progressive party that can be loosely described as Taiwan's version of the Democratic Party. Tsai has often been compared to Hillary Clinton: Highly experienced, competent and knowledgeable for the job, but too “stiff”, lacks charisma, and can't fire up a crowd; the political equivalent of a golf clap - and also often the target of misogynistic attacks.

Enter Han Kuo-Yu, the mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan ’s third-largest city - often been compared to Donald Trump. Han’s party is the KMT, the “Blue” party, a conservative party that is like Taiwan’s version of the Republican Party.

Han has been running on a platform that can be described as "Make Taiwan Great Again," constantly waxing nostalgic about how good the old days were and how to return Taiwan back to that bygone era again (never mind the fact that it was a brutal authoritarian regime, or that economics of today make a return to that era's trade dynamics impossible.) In the meantime, he has been derided for stunts like climbing a tree on TV or appearing on a talk show and walking on cross-legged knees. Pundits and political scientists were baffled by his popularity and seeming immunity to fact-checking - just like politicians elsewhere like Trump, Bolsonaro, and Duterte.

His demagoguery gained rabid support from his “Han fans” for making wild promises like expanding Kaohsiung's population from 2.7 million to 5 million (impossible,) bringing Disneyland to Taiwan, and having an F1 racing circuit in Taiwan. He is popular because of the perception that "he tells it like it is; he doesn't talk like a politician." And well, indeed he doesn't – he refers to Filipino and other workers in Taiwan as "chickens ”and“ Marias", says that Taiwan and China's relationship is like that of "a bastard and his daddy," etc. Among other things, he also got upset that people cleaned a beach of trash, thus preventing his campaign from doing beach-cleaning as a publicity stunt.

Han (often nicknamed "Korean Fish" in Taiwan) took the KMT by storm. The KMT has long prided itself on being a conservative, wealthy, staid party and the rise of this populist rabble-rousing maverick was deeply upsetting to many Blue leaders, just like Trump taking charge of the Republicans in 2016. But Han's voters were so rabid, and so fed-up with "normal, traditional politicians" that Han couldn't be stopped (for them, it was Han or no one), and the Korean Fish steamrolled his primary opponents en route to capturing the KMT nomination.

Due to Han and the KMT being significantly more pro-China than Tsai and the DPP (the KMT is in favor of Taiwan becoming part of China, the DPP wants independence from China,) Han's campaign has been boosted by a flood of Chinese trolling, interference , dark money, cyber agents and fake news, just like Russia helping Trump in 2016. A Chinese defector was recently threatened with death if he didn't create a video falsely claiming to have been paid off by the DPP. Han Kuo-Yu has made his intense opposition to Taiwan independence clear: "Taiwan independence is scarier than syphilis" (among other odd comments.) In particular, Han fans have taken up the debunked claim that Tsai Ing-Wen's thesis (from the London School of Economics, where she got her doctorate) was faked. It has become a Taiwanese version of “Hillary's emails.” This has risen in part due to Taiwan being the most vulnerable nation in the world to fake news, although there have been some efforts to combat it.

Tsai had become an unpopular president over the years, and Han was leading Tsai by a wide margin in the polls - around 15% - all the way up until the Hong Kong protests started last summer, at which point his support began to drop, because the Hong Kong protests served as a vivid warning to Taiwan what unification with China would look like, and suddenly Han's pro-China stance looked a lot less appealing. The KMT didn't help Han out by nominating some blatantly pro-China legislative candidates such as Chiu Yi, who has said before that "Taiwan independence supporters should be decapitated," (although Chiu's nomination was later withdrawn.)

The gaffes have continued. In a nationally televised presidential debate weeks ago, Han said, "Why don't you ask at what age I lost my virginity?" He was also rated as 62% misinformation during the debate by fact-checkers. Other gaffes include claiming that Taiwan was not hit by American bombing during World War II (yes it was, thousands died). Terrifyingly, though, Han's voters live in a completely fact-free world. Any criticism of Han, no matter how legit or factual, is dismissed as “fake news” or a “media attempt to smear him.” They are madly, madly obsessed with the guy – to the point that one fan shelled out $32,000 USD to buy one of his campaign jackets.

This is also a generational battle for Taiwan. The older generation is where the Korean Fish draws most of his votes – the KMT is an aging party and it's long been predicted that demographics will eventually consign it to irrelevancy (sound familiar?) The DPP is the party of the young. In Taiwan, generally, the older you are the Bluer (conservative) you are and the younger you are the Greener (liberal) you are. Indeed, the KMT is so overwhelmingly unpopular among Taiwanese youth that a recent mock election featuring votes from over 11,000 Taiwanese students saw support for Han fail to crack even five percent. Tsai Ing-Wen, on the other hand, garnered over 85 percent of the youth vote in that survey. In another decade or two, enough elderly voters are going to pass away from natural causes that the KMT will be at a severe electoral disadvantage.

Problem is, the youth in Taiwan often don't turn out to vote (sound familiar?) So even despite higher youth support for Tsai, the rabid intensity of older Han fans will probably mean there'll be considerably higher elderly Blue turnout than young Green turnout.

So, who'll it be, Trump or Hillary? We'll find out in two days.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the summation, Velocity. I haven't paid much attention to Taiwan politics since Freddy Lim first won office in 2016, altho I did hear last year that he was supporting Tsai Ing-Wen and had left the NPP because of it.
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:54 PM
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If you though Russian interference in American elections was fun hang on tight for this one.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:19 PM
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If you though Russian interference in American elections was fun hang on tight for this one.
Why would Russia interfere in Taiwan, isn't Chinese interference the bigger risk.

Considering that Taiwan is basically one race and ethnicity, I'm guessing racial, ethnic and religious divisions didn't play a role in his rise like they do in other western nations seeing a rise in trumpism.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:04 PM
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Why would Russia interfere in Taiwan, isn't Chinese interference the bigger risk.

Considering that Taiwan is basically one race and ethnicity, I'm guessing racial, ethnic and religious divisions didn't play a role in his rise like they do in other western nations seeing a rise in trumpism.
I'm pretty sure Grey meant Chinese interference, not Russian, just saying Russia-in-US-in-2016 by analogy.

- correct, there's not much religious or ethnic to divide about. It's mainly spreading fake news. For instance, recently there was a military helicopter crash in Taiwan. Before long, there was fake news being spread that the ruling party (the DPP) had previously cut the budget for aircraft maintenance, even though that's not true.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:05 PM
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Due to Han and the KMT being significantly more pro-China than Tsai and the DPP (the KMT is in favor of Taiwan becoming part of China, the DPP wants independence from China,)
I don't follow Taiwanese politics but that sounds strangely worded. Unless things have changed recently they want a single China, but not one ruled by the CCP.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:07 PM
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Here's the current polling for the presidential election, plus graphical history of the last six results.

That looks like quite a gap to make up there.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:08 PM
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Considering that Taiwan is basically one race and ethnicity,
I'd be careful with that. Nothing is simple.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:30 PM
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Here's the current polling for the presidential election, plus graphical history of the last six results.

That looks like quite a gap to make up there.
Yes, but there are a few factors in favor of the KMT:

1. A few weeks ago, Han Kuo-Yu had asked his supporters to sabotage the polls by lying to pollsters and claiming that they support Tsai (partly meant to lull the Tsai camp into a false sense of security). So the polls have some artificial inflation in Tsai's favor.

2. Although the polls do show a big lead for Tsai, they do not take voter turnout into account, and it is very likely that the rabidly enthusiastic Han blue vote will show up in force in turnout, as opposed to the less-enthused Tsai green vote (kind of like Trump vs. Hillary voters years ago.)

3. The polls ended nine days ago (by law, no polls can be released within the last ten days of a Taiwanese election) and some events have given the blue KMT more resurgence of late, such as a fatal military helicopter crash that was blamed by some on the DPP.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:15 PM
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Due to Han and the KMT being significantly more pro-China than Tsai and the DPP (the KMT is in favor of Taiwan becoming part of China, the DPP wants independence from China,) [snip]
This is a really weird thing to say. I know that some people in Taiwan have become near-traitors, but naturally any sensible person there is going to be "pro-China." The legitimate government of all of China (and yes, there is only one China) has been sitting in Taipei for 70 years.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:31 PM
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De facto vs. De jure vs. De imagination is an interesting approach to China
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Last edited by Grey; 01-09-2020 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
TL; DR version: Taiwan is going to vote on Saturday, and faces its own Trump vs. Hillary choice.
That's already kind of frightening.



Why does this keep happening?

This could have been worse.

Quote:
Han (often nicknamed "Korean Fish" in Taiwan)
Why?

Quote:
Due to Han and the KMT being significantly more pro-China than Tsai and the DPP (the KMT is in favor of Taiwan becoming part of China, the DPP wants independence from China,) Han's campaign has been boosted by a flood of Chinese trolling, interference , dark money, cyber agents and fake news, just like Russia helping Trump in 2016.
I'm not surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised.

Quote:
In a nationally televised presidential debate weeks ago, Han said, "Why don't you ask at what age I lost my virginity?" He was also rated as 62% misinformation during the debate by fact-checkers.
That's not so bad... He's much more honest than Trump!
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
I don't follow Taiwanese politics but that sounds strangely worded. Unless things have changed recently they want a single China, but not one ruled by the CCP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
The legitimate government of all of China (and yes, there is only one China) has been sitting in Taipei for 70 years.

It's a case of legalese and the KMT dancing around words. On paper, they say Taiwan is the "real China," and that they hope for a future unification under a China that's not ruled by the CCP. But in practice, everyone knows perfectly well that the CCP rules China permanently, that Taiwan isn't "really" China and that any future unification is only going to happen under the CCP's terms.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimera757 View Post
Why?
Han Kuo-Yu sounds like han guo yu, "Korean fish."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimera757 View Post
Why does this keep happening?
People get tired of the establishment and boring politicians who read from a teleprompter, and in come maverick upstart populists who promise the sky and use colorful language - and also who promise a return to the "good old days."

Last edited by Velocity; 01-09-2020 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:36 PM
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I want you all to understand something and understand it right now: China will overtake Taiwan, and there is nothing that can stop them.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:41 AM
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Oh dear Lord.

...

...

...


The asahi Instant Doom Show has broken the bounds of US politics and gone international.

IT'S COMING FOR US!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:35 AM
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He's right, though. Look at a map. Taiwan is teeny-tiny and China is huge! There's no way it'll ever surpass China!
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:19 PM
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The legitimate government of all of China (and yes, there is only one China) has been sitting in Taipei for 70 years.
A government is "legitimate" when it rules with or without the consent of the governed. As Mousie-dung said, "Political power grows from the barrel of a gun." Taipei doesn't have as many guns and gunners as Beijing. Taiwan is nominally independent because US guns and gunners (that's a metaphor) float nearby. For Tramp to end his trade war, the deal will include giving-up Taiwan. No matter who prevails in the 2020 presidential race, I give at most five years till PLA troops occupy Taipei. Has any Dem candidate pledged to protect Taiwan?
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:48 PM
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What if they just want you to make that analogy? What if she's really the Trump and he's really the Hillary?What is the origin of this comparison, and who is really behind it? Could it be an attempt at reverse psychology? What percent of Taiwanese voters are for/against/whatever Trump? Or is it propaganda intended for US voters?
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:55 PM
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This is a really weird thing to say. I know that some people in Taiwan have become near-traitors, but naturally any sensible person there is going to be "pro-China." The legitimate government of all of China (and yes, there is only one China) has been sitting in Taipei for 70 years.
This is just absurd. There's a government that governs the vast majority of the Chinese people -- it's not the government of Taiwan. Concepts like "legitimate" are determined by the people, and the people of China generally consider the mainland government their government. Even the ones who oppose that government acknowledge the obvious fact that this is the government that rules China.

Your definition would seem to set up some absurd scenario in which, given enough secessions/defections/etc., a single person in a cave with no power over anything but rocks could be considered the TRUE legitimate governing authority of China.

The government of China is the organization with governing power in China. That organization is headquartered in Beijing.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:51 PM
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No matter who prevails in the 2020 presidential race, I give at most five years till PLA troops occupy Taipei.
Want to bet? Because there have been predictions about this for decades, claiming that Taiwan will be occupied by PLA troops by the 1990s, 2000s, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Peebles View Post
What if she's really the Trump and he's really the Hillary?
Care to elaborate...? This is a bit like, "What if Ted Cruz is the real liberal and Ocasio-Cortez is the real conservative?"
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:56 PM
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What if they just want you to make that analogy? What if she's really the Trump and he's really the Hillary?What is the origin of this comparison, and who is really behind it? Could it be an attempt at reverse psychology? What percent of Taiwanese voters are for/against/whatever Trump? Or is it propaganda intended for US voters?
If only there was an entire OP, with links and cites, that you could read.

Or you can continue your tenuous relationship with reality.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:04 PM
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Want to bet? Because there have been predictions about this for decades, claiming that Taiwan will be occupied by PLA troops by the 1990s, 2000s, etc.
Robert Reich, before the cabinet stint, gleefully proclaimed his prediction of the 1987 economic meltdown. He'd predicted it on weekly TV shows for over a decade and was eventually correct. He admitted that's how it works.

So I'll pull a Reich on Taiwan. Predict something long enough and it'll happen, probably. Except a North Korean invasion of the US. Probably. But I know better than to bet.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:32 AM
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Well. Preliminary results have Tsai absolutely eating Han's lunch
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:07 AM
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Want to bet? Because there have been predictions about this for decades, claiming that Taiwan will be occupied by PLA troops by the 1990s, 2000s, etc.



Care to elaborate...? This is a bit like, "What if Ted Cruz is the real liberal and Ocasio-Cortez is the real conservative?"
Five years may be too short a window, but China will wait until the US influence in the region declines, which may happen sooner than we think. China's inevitable annexation of Taiwan will probably be similar to how Russia has taken Crimea and how they will likely take more of the former Soviet Union: a combination of information and economic warfare first. They'd rather take Taiwan slowly and without a violent conflict if possible.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:17 AM
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Final result: Hillary beats Trump by 18%.

https://international.thenewslens.co...ractive/126882
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:09 PM
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People get tired of the establishment and boring politicians who read from a teleprompter, and in come maverick upstart populists who promise the sky and use colorful language - and also who promise a return to the "good old days."
Or to "put the fat cats in their place", so that in other world regions there's also a left-wing trend of Nationalist Populists (such as Latin America where its biggest star was the late Hugo Chavez). Same thing: "the base" gets sick of the establishment politicians who make empty promises, and decide to go for the guy who's out fo f**ks to give.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:52 AM
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It looks like, Tsai, whom you have metaphorically identified with Hillary, has won. Come join the celebration in the comments at breitbart.com:
https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...jing-candidate
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:52 AM
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It looks like, Tsai, whom you have metaphorically identified with Hillary, has won. Come join the celebration in the comments at breitbart.com:
https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...jing-candidate
Yeah, it's an oddity. Generally, Taiwan's support in America comes mainly from Republicans and neocons in particular (such as Steve Bannon, John Bolton, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, etc.) even though the pro-independence party in Taiwan (DPP) is a liberal party that is feminist, pro-LGBT, anti-death-penalty, etc.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:25 AM
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It's a case of legalese and the KMT dancing around words. On paper, they say Taiwan is the "real China," and that they hope for a future unification under a China that's not ruled by the CCP. But in practice, everyone knows perfectly well that the CCP rules China permanently, that Taiwan isn't "really" China and that any future unification is only going to happen under the CCP's terms.
I disagree with most of this. Not only dont most Taiwanese want to be part of a CCP ruled China, but Han Chinese are not the native population. And if you think that the CCP is going to rule China permanently than you havent read any Chinese history. 2 of the last three Chinese dynasties were non Han and foreign (by way of conquest). Also Han arent the native population.

Also, the whole Trump v Hillary thing is a bizarre analogy. There is literally little or no similarity between the two. If you must make an analogy, I would guess a Ukrainian election cycle might be a better match.

Quote:
Taiwan's support in America comes mainly from Republicans and neocons in particular (such as Steve Bannon, John Bolton, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, etc.) even though the pro-independence party in Taiwan (DPP) is a liberal party that is feminist, pro-LGBT, anti-death-penalty, etc.
Again, this is the strangest thing I have read. Are you arguing that Dems favor China conquering Taiwan in a similar way to Russia absorbing the Crimea? Name me a handful of Dems who support Chinas absorption of Taiwan?

The OP sounds like thinly veiled Chinese propaganda.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:32 AM
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Or to "put the fat cats in their place", so that in other world regions there's also a left-wing trend of Nationalist Populists (such as Latin America where its biggest star was the late Hugo Chavez). Same thing: "the base" gets sick of the establishment politicians who make empty promises, and decide to go for the guy who's out fo f**ks to give.
The CCR has always been rabidly nationalistic. Starting with the Sino Japanese war. They have had some level of military adventure against many of her neighbors (Vietnam, India, USSR). They are a neocolonial government. Look at recent Chinese activity in Africa.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:24 PM
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Not only don't most Taiwanese want to be part of a CCP ruled China, but Han Chinese are not the native population.
Han Chinese may not be the "native population," but they comprise 98% of the populace.



Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Also, the whole Trump v Hillary thing is a bizarre analogy. There is literally little or no similarity between the two.
It's not just me making the comparison. As cited above, others have compared the two to Hillary and Trump as well.

http://www.ketagalanmedia.com/2019/0...iwan-politics/

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Taiw...f-Donald-Trump


Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Again, this is the strangest thing I have read.
This article notes that Taiwan's main supporters tend to be Republicans such as Cruz, Rubio, etc.

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/arti...iwan-dppp-tsai



Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
The OP sounds like thinly veiled Chinese propaganda.
If I were to write Chinese propaganda, I sure wouldn't be comparing a pro-China candidate to Trump, a disliked figure.
  #33  
Old 01-12-2020, 04:59 PM
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Again, this is the strangest thing I have read. Are you arguing that Dems favor China conquering Taiwan in a similar way to Russia absorbing the Crimea? Name me a handful of Dems who support Chinas absorption of Taiwan?
What a bizarre reaction and query; I'm not sure you understood what you quoted.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:01 PM
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Final result: Hillary beats Trump by 18%.

https://international.thenewslens.co...ractive/126882
Actually it was "Taiwan will decide its own destiny" Tsai (57%) winning a LANDSLIDE victory against Communist China supported Han (38%). President Tsia has absolutely nothing in common with Hillary and Han has nothing in common with President Trump.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:09 PM
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President Tsai has absolutely nothing in common with Hillary and Han has nothing in common with President Trump.
Again....

http://www.ketagalanmedia.com/2019/0...iwan-politics/

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Taiw...f-Donald-Trump
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:47 PM
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Tsai has the best interests of the Taiwanese people in mind and beat the Chinese Communist supported Han. Hillary has the best interests of Wall Street in mind and as Secretary of State did nothing to prevent the sale to Communist Russia of US uranium. Because of this Tsai was a landslide WINNER and Hillary was a landslide LOSER (304-227). From your article "There are many reasons why Hillary Clinton eventually lost the 2016 election that are unique and not applicable to President Tsai’s current predicament..." Are they similar because they are both women?

Han accepted support from Communist China. President Trump hates Communism and has placed the harshest sanctions on Communist China and Communist Russia that have ever been placed on it by a US President. Are they similar because they are both men?
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Last edited by Mangosteen; 01-12-2020 at 11:48 PM.
  #37  
Old 01-13-2020, 12:44 AM
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Communist Russia? Are we back in the 80s?

AND bringing back the Uranium One "scandal". Too bad Russia can't actually use that uranium...


Congratulations on ignoring all the evidence to support the case and offering your own "facts".

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 01-13-2020 at 12:45 AM. Reason: Changed a nut
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