Reporting back on the early conversations on Armed Services
You are not my representative; you are district adjacent. I would like to think of you as my representative, though, because as you know, the lines are constantly moving around us here in NC. Thank you for your thoughtful newsletters. I hope you are not the only one doing this. The clear, precise and linear nature of the writing and the context provided is invaluable. I learned three things I didn't know about the Taiwan situation in this edition, and I usually think I'm reasonably well informed.
Thanks for educating on this, Jeff. One additional layer that’s important but rarely is spoken of in US policy circles: those 2 million Mainlanders who set up a government in Taiwan after fleeing the communists--there were already millions of people on the island. The new arrivals took over, imposed a dictatorship, forced Taiwanese people to speak a different language and adopt a different culture, and demanded they see themselves as “Chinese.” They were colonized by these American allies just as they had been colonized by the Japanese before them, the Dutch before the Japanese, and the Spanish before the Dutch. Now, the PRC wants to colonize them once again.
Taiwan has been a democracy for about 30 years, but this element is critical to understanding Taiwan and the will of the Taiwanese people. To most in Taiwan, it’s not just the PRC’s claims to China that are wrong. Even the concept of Taiwan being a separate Chinese society is wrong--Taiwan is and always has been Taiwanese, and it’s time for the world to recognize that.
Super grateful for the detail here on process in joining the House and also on substantive policy. Glad to have you as my representative.
I must say, I find your newletters quite refreshing. While you are not my representitive I applaud you for your efforts to reach out and inform in a very non-partisan way. You state facts and inform and don't stoke the fires of partisanship. I wish there were more like you on both sides of the aisle. You give me hope.
While I am not in your district (thus not able to vote for you), I really like your newsletter and the ability to communicate with you. As a former military officer, it is helpful to receive your updates. Keep up the good work. We get so little positive communication from Washington so thanks for the efforts!
Jeff this is exactly what good representation looks like, thank you!
I am a proud American who loves my country, but I was born in Taiwan and embrace that identity with equal pride. It comes down to shared values. Taiwan cares about democracy, human rights, the environment, etc. The Taiwanese also talk about their love for country the same way Americans do. Thank you for speaking to this issue directly.
Thank you so much for keeping us informed. I have never received as much information from an elected official. I appreciate your hard work for us.
Very informative article! I enjoyed reading it, thank you very much.
Thanks Jeff! I have a better understanding of the Taiwan situation now. Glad you are on this committee! Know you will make decisions based on facts!!!
Thank you Jeff. When I lived in Michigan in 1970 my neighbors had newly arrived from Tiawan. Not sure of their exact circumstances, but they fled Tiawan when her father, a high governmental official, was murdered along with many others, by the Chinese. We must stand for democracy..or we really stand for nothing more than petty dictatorships. May God bless your work.
Excellent explanation, Jeff, that, at least for me, clarified some issues. I think strategic ambiguity has a place in diplomacy because it allows countries at odds with one another to keep talking. I see it as akin to Vladimir Putin announcing today that Russia will suspend its role in the New START nuclear agreement with the US, but without completely withdrawing from the treaty. I continue to enjoy and learn from your dispatches from the House.
The clarity of your writing is greatly appreciated.
I can't vote for you, but I'm sending you money every month.
Hello from Taipei -- thanks for taking time to educate yourself and your followers about Taiwan.
Just a point of clarification for your readers -- Taiwan is not "largely" self-governed. It is *entirely* self-governed. The Communist Party of China has never controlled Taiwan in any form. It is not, contrary to common misconception, a special administrative region like Hong Kong was pre-1997 or is now. We have our own legislature, president, laws, system of government, currency, military, trade agreements, etc. China has no say in anything that goes on here. The only curbs on Taiwan's status on the world stage stem from Chinese pressure on other countries and international organizations, and from Taiwan's occasional acquiescence to Chinese demands (e.g. teams representing "Chinese Taipei" instead of "Taiwan"), for the sake of keeping the peace and participation in said international organizations.
This newsletter is quite unique. I have never been privy to a representative's viewpoint on committee meetings. This is very much appreciated by a person whose expertise in governmental diplomacy is nearly zero.