March 09, 2005

Anti-Secession Statute

Here's a what if for you. What if the anti-secession statute is not about Taiwan? Bear with me here. Imagine this, there's some evidence that some in the booming coastal areas aren't all that fond of being sucked dry to carry the interior forward into the 21st century. What if it isn't a formal secession declaration of Taiwan that gives Beijing the willies but secession talk inside the south China coast's elite?

Sure, the legislation serves double duty to brush back Taiwanese independence but it also serves notice on anybody getting bright ideas on the mainland too. Is this implausible? Well, why not a little test? Assume, for a moment, that the coast swaps allegiance and joins Taiwan and it takes enough of the PLA to make it stick. Most of the big factories, the big development, the big money ends up on the other side of a new border, is the world going to deny recognition to the newly enlarged ROC just because it doesn't have its capital in Beijing?

Now going a bit further, what happens if the central leadership starts taking out leading business leaders in the boom towns. The PRC can read the papers and do not want to emulate Russia in their very expensive government persecution of Yukos' Khodorkovsky. The PRC needs all the FDI it can get so they need to tread lightly. So the PRC passes an anti-secession law, creates the legal structure for a purge, and distracts everybody by making them think it's all about Taiwan.

The much more likely scenario is that things are as they seem but alternate scenarios should be at least entertained. This is one that merits a bit of thought prior to dismissal.

Update: I swear I didn't read this article before I penned my note above but the Strategy Page people are quite right to consider the mainland alternative.

Posted by TMLutas at March 9, 2005 09:42 PM