Friday, August 6, 2010

WA State Senatorial Candidates, Part 4: Schalk Leonard

Here is Schalk Leonard's response to my e-mail regarding candidates' stance on Taiwan:
Thank you for writing.
I agree with you - Democracy is precious and must be protected.
I believe that the relationship between Taiwan and China must be resolved primarily by the two - through peaceful means which respect the voice of the people.
Sincerely, Schalk Leonard
P.S. Have you seen my Chinese-language campaign video on YouTube?

I'm beginning to sense a bit of complacency within the Republican camp in their responses to my questions regarding Taiwan. While Mr. Schalk Leonard is running under no party affiliation, his response is similar to what the other Republican candidates (Paul Akers & James (Skip) Mercer) have stated - that they see Taiwan as a friend and must be protected. To that I say, by what means and to what extent. Perhaps I indeed needed to guide them more than I had, by asking specific questions in regards to arms sales, support for Taiwan on the international scale, and China's intimidation tactics.

Nevertheless, Mr. Leonard was able to touch on something that none of the previous responses had mentioned - the resolution of the Taiwan issue should be decided primarily between Taiwan and China. When you hear this, you often get a mixed response due to the intricacies of the relationship, often involving a third party - Japan or the US. I do believe that Taiwan's future ultimately needs to be decided by Taiwan themselves, not by China nor by the US. At the same time, the "One China" issue will have to be settled by China and Taiwan (specifically the KMT) as these are the two main parties that still maintain "One China" in one sense or another. But lastly, I do hope and see that the US maintains a part in this relationship and ultimately the resolution of the stand-off between China and Taiwan. History has shown that without the US involvement in the Taiwan Cross-Straits, Taiwan may already no longer be "Taiwan" as we know it today.

So while it sounds "right" for Mr. Leonard to state that this needs to be settled by China and Taiwan through peaceful measures, he may be overlooking the problem that a majority of Taiwanese already see themselves separate from China. Thus, a joint resolution of this issue is not in the best interest of Taiwanese, as the Chinese are not Taiwanese.

In regards to his statement in the voter's pamphlet, Schalk Leonard sort of vaguely describes America as a country in "deep pain." His statement does not really get into any specifics of today's issues, so it's a bit hard to understand what he's getting at. For the most part, it comes across as a, "we're in trouble, come lets get together and rebuild this great nation," type of hope speech. Here's an example:
As for our neighbors of the wider world? The peoples of the old countries from whence our forefathers came? They know to find their way in their own time and own way. They always have and always will. And we honor them as our neighbors. We join them for mutual endeavors, when they stumble and fall we lend them a hand, and we respect the fences they have built. Good fences make good neighbors.
I think he's talking about immigration issues here, but at the same time talking about allies across the world. If so, it makes me wonder if what he means when he stated that the Taiwan issue must be primarily decided between China and Taiwan, is that he hopes the U.S. stays out of it as, "they know to find their way in their own time and own way." Might be a stretch though, since he mentions right before that about the countries from "whence our forefathers came."

Anyways, that's Schalk Leonard on Taiwan for you! Oh, and do check out his video in Chinese, his pronunciation is quite clear... that is the Chinese zh ch sh.

For which candidate will I be spotlighting next, I'm not sure. That's all the responses I've received thus far. Those that have not responded for whatever reason are: Dino Rossi, Clint Didier (only sent an automated response saying he might not respond to every e-mail due to time), Mike Latimer, Charles Allen, and Senator Patty Murray. I hope to get at least one more, but this may be it.

Make sure to return your ballots before Aug. 17, 2010 as I believe that's the last day to do so. Please feel free to circulate these responses to anyone who may be interested in hearing what they had to say about Taiwan. All links have been updated on the first post.


Schalk said...


Regarding my party affiliation, I am running as No Party Preference.

With regard to my stances on issues, I hope you will visit my campaign website

Sincerely, Schalk Leonard

Richard said...

Surprised you found your way to my blog Mr. Leonard! Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for pointing out my error - I did see that in the voter's pamphlet and remember intending to state that you were of no party affiliation (although I obviously failed).

If you would like to add anything to what you had previously stated in regards to Taiwan or any of my comments, please feel free to comment here or e-mail me, and I would love to add it to this post.