Local and international papers are reporting that China has done two very interesting things. First, it has asked the US to “rein in” Chen, and second, that China has appealed to the UN to do something.

The hypocrisy of these two moves is obvious and the subject of much commentary in the media and on the net. China has long said that Taiwan is an “internal affair” and excluded Taiwan from world bodies, and world bodies from Taiwan. Now it is literally asking the US and the UN — a body China has long blocked Taiwan from entering — to intevene in its “internal affairs.”

Great nations never mind looking like flaming hypocrites (look in the dictionary under IRAQ, US invasion of) but China has now established a precedent — the interference of others in its “internal affairs” — that will give it trouble in later dealings with Taiwan. The question is: why is China harming a propaganda line it has worked for the last three decades to establish?

You don’t give up precious and patiently-constructed leverage for nothing. These events suggest that China is up to something, something serious. It is hard to tell what is going on — but the fact that the opposition is considering a recall motion in the legislature might suggest that it is going to coordinate its actions with those of the pro-China parties in Taiwan.

The appeals to international entities also suggest that China is attempting to create the impression that it has exhausted all routes in attempting to rein in the crazed whacko Chen Shui-bian, who everyone knows must be off his rocker because he wants to live in an independent democracy and not under yet another in the string of colonial governments that have ruled Taiwan since the Dutch. What do you think China will do with this illusion of restraint and rationality it is busily creating?