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  • Honor the Free Chinese: Light the Empire State Building Red and Blue on October 10

    The damage is done. The Empire State Building was lit read and yellow last night to celebrate the 60th anniversary China’s communist revolution. It is hard to imagine a more inappropriate – indeed, offensive – use of an iconic American symbol. No one begrudges China lifting its people from poverty. But that remarkable achievement has been accomplished only over the last 30 years – after China abandoned its communist moorings and began to embrace free market principles. Until then, the Chinese communist party was responsible only for terrible human tragedy. And unfortunately, even today, it presides over political and religious repression at home, brutally suppresses minorities, stokes a dangerous Han Chinese nationalism, and blocks America’s global interest in liberty at every turn.

    But the private owners and operators of the Empire State Building can make amends. Like October 1, October 10 is a foreign holiday. It is Taiwan’s National Day. And if 1949 is a year for the communists to celebrate, it is a year the Nationalists mourn. That is the year they relocated their government to Taiwan. There were two sides to the Chinese Civil War. The Empire State Building last night celebrated the Communist victors. But those on the losing end are still around, too. The free Chinese live on Taiwan.

    How about celebrating Taiwan’s democracy and determination to stay free? On October 10, light the Empire State Building red and blue.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Honor the Free Chinese: Light the Empire State Building Red and Blue on October 10

    1. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Let's just put a sculpured hammer and cycle on top of the Empire State Building and leave it there.

      It ought to make the vast majority of liberal elitests in New York City proud.

    2. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      "hammer and sickle"

    3. Evan, Washington says:

      I don't always agree with what I read from The Foundry, but this would be a very responsible thing to do. I think it's foolish to pander too much to a government that, despite having made some progress, remains far behind the "liberty curve." Economic friendship should not be reflected with politically charged action. Political friendship, especially the profound variety which the US has with Taiwan, deserves this kind of symbolic tribute.

    4. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Dear Evan,

      Ya think?

    5. Kris, Bonsall, Ca says:

      Why do we feel the need to bow down or honor every country, communist or otherwise? Do they light their monuments in Red, white and Blue on July 4th?

    6. Evan, Washington says:

      I don't think it is really "bowing down," and in fact, some citizens among nations that are our allies do celebrate the United States' National Day – usually with fireworks as we do. American independence was a global phenomenon, and the legacy of that remains today.

      I don't think it is an obligation or a concession to demonstrate respect for the worthy achievements and the lives lost by soldiers who have protected the freedom of their nations people against the incursion of authoritarian power. If you don't respect those achievements or those people, then you're free not to celebrate them. Just as non-Americans who disdain Americans and our values are free not to celebrate our achievements and our soldiers.

      I think that the cause of democracy and the increase of liberty should be celebrated in all those places where it has been observed – and Taiwan is certainly one of those places. As for China, I hesitate to comment.

    7. marcia says:

      that will happen about the time dogs start flying

    8. Tim Maddog, Taichung says:

      What about the Taiwanese in Taiwan — the ones who have gone to jail and/or died fighting for democracy? There aren't just "Chinese" on this side of the Taiwan Strait. In fact, a majority of the population identify themselves as "Taiwanese, not Chinese."

      Don't celebrate the KMT (Kuomintang or "Killed Many Taiwanese") colonists who are still persecuting Taiwanese and are still fighting against democratic principles.

      Tim Maddog,

      A Taiwan Matters blogger

    9. Chesapeake, VA says:

      I couldn't agree more! I can't agree that the Mayor of New York would even allow this to happen!

      People better wake up to what is happening all around them and see the direction this country is heading. We're being led like sheep into a situation in this country that our fathers and grandfathers faught for and died for. It's shameful at the least! Stand up for this country and what we represent and the freedoms we enjoy. If not, we'll become a socialist country and realize it too late. I remember Khruzchef pounding his shoe and stating this country will taken over from within without a shot being fired. Looks like he was right!!

    10. Bill, Malta, Ohio says:

      I don't hesitate for a moment on commenting about mainland China. Simply stated, it is diametrically opposed to democracy. It is a repressive and murderous regime. and That shoudl be clear enough even to the lamest of brains. But let me go one step further. Mainland China was, is and always will be our enemy, just as Russia, North Korea and all other communist countries. Honoring them is traitorous! Period! Only in commie-loving New York City could this happen. That's why you'll never see me, my family, or my money anywhere near that hell-hole! The only ground that is sacred in the entire state is where our patriots died on 9/11. But NYC seems to have forgotten about that amid the bickering about what, who, how, and when a memorial will be ever built in their honor. Instead, NYC honors a country sworn to destroy us; a country which would wantonly and without regard for even a single human life, invade and murder us all without hesitation. Stupid move, New York!

    11. Jerry from Chicago says:

      How many American lives have been lost fighting communism? How many tax dollars have been sent doing the same? what the hell did we spend all of those lives and tax dollars for?

      What's next, lighting up the ESB to salute the Nazis, the Khemer Rouge, the Islamo-Fascists?

      Has New York finally made the complete transformation from liberalism to communism?

    12. Tim Az says:

      I say ostracize New York city or at least the Empire State Builing. Do not reward bad behavior with your hard earned dollars.

    13. James, Taipei, Taiwa says:

      This piece is interesting, but though it's easier to comprehend things in a black-and-white, good-vs-evil dipole, but the Taiwan-China cross-strait situation involves _three_ main groups:

      1) The Taiwanese that want to maintain their independence (greater than 80%, including most of those whose families have been in Taiwan for hundreds of years)

      And the two that are always mentioned:

      2) China and the Chinese Communist Party

      3) The Kuomintang, historical enemies of the CCP and communism, but are pro-unification with China and today very friendly with the CCP. Support for this in Taiwan is less than 10%, and mainly comes from the Chinese that relocated from China in 1949.

      Though the CCP's historical enemy has been the KMT, unfortunately, the KMT's record on liberty and democracy has been just despicable, and after the Japanese colonial period ended in 1945, they formed a strong man authoritarian government that brutally crushed any dissent. They went on to use the educational system and propaganda machine to brainwash the population into thinking they were Chinese and had to take back the "mainland" at any moment. Since democratization, people have realized what a cancer this was, and Taiwanese consciousness has rapidly grown to become the majority position.

      While the KMT has since become just one of two major parties functioning in a vibrant democracy, it is still estimated to be the world's wealthiest party, and regardless of the precise numbers, continues to use its huge spending advantage to corrupt the political system here in Taiwan.

      One should note that the KMT and the CCP used to be part of the same party and it was the KMT's corruption in China that led to the rise of the CCP.

      Most Taiwanese (>90%) had absolutely nothing to do with the Chinese civil war since Taiwan was not a part of China during the war (Japanese colony).

      The key thing to remember: Most Taiwanese want continued independence, and they would declare formal independence except that China has a gun pointed at their head. And the CCP and the KMT both want you to think of this issue as just a civil war with a "mainland" "Communist" China and a "free" China and not a China-Taiwan issue precisely because it conveniently makes you forget about the independent Taiwan position.

      Thus, the enemy of your enemy may not be your friend at all.

      My comment is long-winded as the situation is complex. But let's not ignore the true supporters of liberty and democracy just out of intellectual laziness.

    14. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      I'am waiting for President Obama's new flag. One day it will just appear with all the other flags.I bet he is working on it right now. He acts like a dictator, his congress passes everything the American people don't want. He is on TV every single day! His best friends are from the UN. How much more information do we need! It's not when we are going to become a communist nation, its how did America make such a big mistake!

    15. KC from Tempe,Az. says:

      Col.Jessup should order a "Code Red" on the private ownership of "our" iconic symbol of

      American Capitalism and Wealth in this great

      country, the U.S.A.

      Do the right thing and Light it up on Oct.10th for our Democratic Freedom Fighting Chinese brothers & sisters!!!

    16. James, Taipei, Taiwa says:

      They are Taiwanese, not Chinese. Calling them the "free Chinese" only encourages the Communist Party and their odd claims about "blood being thicker than water". For those that want to talk about blood, most Taiwanese are of partial Aboriginal ancestry anyways; but it's a ridiculous argument either way. No one tells Canada to "reunify" with the US or the US to "reunify" with the UK on grounds of common ancestry.

      Again, Taiwan was almost entirely uninvolved in the Chinese civil war between the Communists (CCP) and the Nationalists (KMT). The political-military-propaganda machine of the Nationalists, whom the US supported, and who you really mean by "free China", after losing to the Communists, promptly killed 30,000 Taiwanese and set up a dictatorship on Taiwan. They gained American monetary and military support for all this because the US was afraid of the Communists, and the KMT kept hyping their "democratic" leanings to the all too receptive US all the while instituting a draconian, corrupt authoritarian state.

      You do a disservice great disservice to the principals of democracy, liberty, and self-determination when you use the name "Free China" or "Free Chinese", a name sullied by the heinous acts of the KMT, both in China and in Taiwan. And you also continue to live up the gullibility of the ignorant American when you do so.

      Please, get the facts straight.

    17. Evan, Washington says:

      At last we have some more serious discussion.

      James, you've got it on the money – but keep in mind that the KMT publicly apologized for the White Terror and 228 (while in power, no less), while the CCP still refuses to acknowledge that the 30 million victims of the Great Leap Forward, the victims of the Cultural Revolution, etc. were a result of abuses of authority within the party. In the meantime, the DPP faces the shame of Ah-Bian's opportunist excess (he has even filed suit against the US claiming that Taiwan is technically still an American adminstrative zone – some independence activist he turned out to be).

      I think that it would be a shame to never forgive the KMT for their trespasses; there are many examples indeed, but in the interest of promoting self-determination the KMT should not be denigrated (and neither should the DPP, in spite of the past 8 years of inflamatory cross-strait relations and the despicable pandering of Mr. Chen). It is unfortunate that Taiwan has been forced into this position, but simply turning one's shoulder to it will give Beijing the rationale it needs to justify attack.

      The ethnic politics of Taiwan are irrelevant, because whether Koxinga's descendants are aboriginal or Han or whatever, China lays claim to the island – and the island deserves the freedoms it has. The KMT gradual unification policy is intended to be a pragmatic, "ends before means" approach to defusing a situation which bears all too many similarities to what is visible in Xinjiang, Tibet, Aksayqin and Kashmir, etc. In this case, moderation is key and the term "Free China" and its derivations are intended to encourage the "ignorant American" to educate themselves on the complexities of Taiwan-China-US relations.

    18. Pingback: Grassroots in Nebraska: In the News: October 1-7, 2009 | Grassroots in Nebraska

    19. Patricia Brittell A says:

      This is such BS! Communisium has no place what-so-ever in America, PERIOD!

      If you want to celebrate their special days, MOVE TO THEIR COUNTRY!

    20. Tim Maddog, Taichung says:

      When Evan from Washington mentions above that the KMT "publicly apologized for the White Terror and 228 (while in power, no less)," he fails to mention that they recently renamed a landmark "Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall" in honor of the former dictator and the KMT's greatest "hero." During the previous DPP administration, it was renamed as "Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall" to honor those nameless Taiwanese who fought for democracy instead.

      The KMT's current chairman, President Ma Ying-jeou, still lays wreaths at the tomb of Chiang Kai-shek — the "main culprit" in the 228 Massacre. Therefore, those "apologies" are meaningless.

      Give Chen Shui-bian (A-bian) a fair trial, and I'll accept the verdict. But with judges being changed in mid-trial (right when there's a decision that favors Chen) and with a verdict that doesn't prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, there's a good reason not to trust the outcome.

      If, as Evan says, "The ethnic politics of Taiwan are irrelevant," you have to wonder why President Ma gave special thanks to China for post-Typhoon Morakot donations (which as of September 30 had still not arrived), throwing in a "blood is thicker than water" to top things off. Is the pro-Taiwan side not allowed to respond to such arguments?

      Getting back to the main subject: The KMT aren't "Free Chinese," so stop saying that, and consider the plight of the majority of (non-Chinese) Taiwanese. If the KMT wants to make up with the CCP, let them, but the Taiwanese want nothing to do with it.

      Tim Maddog,

      A Taiwan Matters blogger

    21. Michael Turton says:

      Evan:

      I see no reason NOT to denigrate the KMT — the billions stolen from the people of Taiwan and China, the millions killed, the inefficient, lawless, corrupt construction-driven state it erected in taiwan, and the total inability to advance beyond that mode of thinking evinced in the current round of KMT (mis)rule.

      You say in reference to the DPP:

      "the past 8 years of inflamatory cross-strait relations and the despicable pandering of Mr. Chen"

      This is a common error among observers of Taiwan's foreign relations. Chen did not "inflame" China. Rather, the DPP's hard-nosed bargaining in cross-strait relations, and its willingness to continue an independent foreign policy, caused Beijing to paint Chen as "provocative" in an attempt to discredit his pro-sovereignty policies. Many overseas bought into this. "Being provoked" is part of Beijing's policy arsenal, not a visceral reaction. Commentators' claims that Chen "provoked" or "unnecessarily provoked" Beijing simply repeat this propaganda device — all "provocations" are unnecessary in Beijing's eyes, and any move to deepen and broaden Taiwan democracy is a provocation. For its own reasons, the Bush Administration regrettably decided to fall in with this policy.

      By contrast, the KMT is currently handing the island over to Beijing, as evidenced by its concessions in the various trade talks (see the cases of gravel shipping and direct flights — just today DPP legislators were asking why the government did not get the fifth freedom of onward flights, something the DPP insisted on).

      China is currently deploying this same armory of propaganda claims against India in its attempt to annex Arunachal Pradesh state. However, the world community treats India differently than Taiwan, despite the fact that the situations — Chinese expansionism and colonialism — are exactly the same.

      Thus Chen's real problem was not that he was "inflammtory" or "provocative" but that he had the misfortune to be conducting a strongly democratic, anti-expansionist, and pro-sovereignty foreign policy from Taipei, not Tokyo or New Delhi.

      Michael Turton

      The View from Taiwan blog

    22. '??????, Greece says:

      Who provokes?

      Did China remove the missiles aimed at Taiwan after President Ma took office and actively pursue cross-strait co-operations?

      Why did the mainstream media and most State Department advisors see TW's former president Chen's policy to be provocative and China's missiles not provocative?

      I don't understand how "provocative" is defined when it comes to Taiwan China relations.

    23. Alison, Greece says:

      Did China remove the 1300+ missiles aimed at Taiwan after Ma took office and started his policy of friendly "engagement" with China?

      I don't understand why the mainstream media and most advisors in the State Dept see Taiwan's former president Chen to be provocative but China's missiles not provocative.

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