Friday, February 18, 2005

China Needs to Be Put in Her Place

Pacific Rim Bureau ( - Describing U.S. policy on China and Taiwan as "intellectually dishonest and antiquated," a Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives calling on the administration to restore diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado said there was no good reason why the U.S. could not have the same type of relationship with Taiwan's democratically elected government as it has with "the autocratic regime in Beijing."

America's need to have strong diplomatic ties with Taiwan is long overdue. Not only would it be strategic economically, but in spite of China's vast human rights violations and their steadily improving status in both the global market and "community", it only makes sense that we recognize a fact they deny, the Communists.

Taiwan is a perfect example of what happens when oppressed people are given freedom. This is a nation that has, over the course of a few decades, become an economic powerhouse and a fully functional and civilized democratic society. In 2000, the Republic of China (not the "People's Republic", mind you) even broke a fifty year tradition of Nationalist rule through free elections - something uncommon in the Southeast Asia. It would be a symbolic gesture as well as good political sense to treat the free nation of Taiwan with as much if not more respect than the despotic regime of China. Increased relations with Taipei would pressure the Chinese to reform, in a sense, or at least it would unnerve Beijing enough to provoke a legitimate reaction. Not only are our relations with Taiwan not as good as they should be, but anything that can belittle China and reinforce our status as the world's unchallenged superpower is a general positive.

The truth is that the "One China" policy that has worked so well for past presidents has done anything but that: work. It has long been past time for us to abandon this childish denial of Taiwan's status as a sovereign nation capable of functional governance. They have performed much better than Red China has proportionally and it is time for the US to take a stand and remember the Reagan Doctrine on anticommunism and the triumphs thereof. Communism should be challenged whenever possible, and when we start denying a victory for freedom over the tyrannical practices of Stalinist China we should review our priorities, both politically and morally.

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