No sense in waiting for a worse time to act
Posted by aogFriday, 21 November 2003 at 08:05 TrackBack Ping URL

In other news, there is a reminder that the world doesn’t stop for anything. Wang Zaixi, vice minister of the Chine Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office, has stated

If the Taiwan authorities collude with all splittist forces to openly engage in pro-independence activities and challenge the mainland and the one-China principle, the use of force may become unavoidable.

In my view, this kind of rhetoric means that Taiwan should push for independence as fast as possible. The balance of forces is likely to become more unfavorable to Taiwan as time goes on, so if there is to be a clash it would be best to have it sooner. If the balance is sufficiently unfavorable to China then there might not be a clash at all.

The article notes that this statement “could also be directed at persuading the United States – Taiwan’s chief, though unofficial, ally – to head off the island’s increasingly maverick leader”. It seems unlikely that President Bush, having just given two major speeches on USA support for “freedom and democracy”, could turn around and sell out a free, democratic Taiwan to a repressive communist dictatorship. One might like to think that recent trade restrictions against China are a response, but probably not.

To honor the committments made in his speeches, Bush needs to speak directly in support of Taiwan’s efforts to create a more self-ordered society, exactly the kind of thing Bush claimed the USA would now support instead of coddling repressive regimes like the People’s Republic of China.