Thursday, July 27, 2006

Misunderstanding Taiwan

Michael has an important post critiquing a Washington policy paper on Taiwan. It might be difficult to read for those who are pro-China at all costs as I once was:
Taiwan is a headache for the foreign policy Establishment since its ornery democracy that insists on an independence of its own interferes with smooth relations with China (translation: Big Profits), and thus, much of the writing that comes out of Establishment institutions on Taiwan consists of attempts to find a language and a stance that rationalizes the writer's cognitive dissonance as he, usually a decent human being, discusses how democratic Taiwan can best be betrayed to Communist China. Often this involves blaming Taiwan for being "provocative," thus inviting the reader to subconsciously adopt the point of view that Taiwan is an obstreporous child in need of discipline, and deserves its fate. Reading such stuff, one is reminded of Jan Masaryk's visit to Downing Street after the infamous surrender at Munich, where he told Chamberlain and Halifax: "If you have sacrificed my nation to preserve the peace of the world, I will be the first to applaud you. But if not, gentlemen, God help your souls."
My own personal wish is to see an open and thriving China (not just economically)--one that can accept the co-existence of a prospering but independent Taiwan. When China can do that, it will truly live up to the greatness that is its potential, and will be a model for the world.


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