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Posted: 12/13/2003 8:06:00 AM EDT
The Weekly Standard
12/22/2003, Volume 009, Issue 15

Stand by Taiwan
by Robert Kagan and William Kristol

To avert such a crisis, the president needs to revert to his core principles and make clear that the United States supports the Taiwanese democracy.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/495eqsfi.asp

Link Posted: 12/14/2003 3:02:27 AM EDT
[url]http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/495eqsfi.asp[/url]
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 4:37:10 AM EDT
Thank you.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:52:21 PM EDT
God what I wouldn't give for some good old fashioned isolationism...
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 9:00:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 9:01:59 PM EDT by 4v50]
Taiwan a democracy? I always thought of it as a military state. When the Nationalist Chinese got booted off the mainland by the commies, they settled on Taiwan (formerly occupied by the Japanese from 1905 to 1945). The Taiwanese resented some of the Nationalist orders and protested - until they were gunned down. Thousands were slaughtered by their government. To me, there's no difference between the Commies and the Nationalist. They're both dictatorships.
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 3:22:14 PM EDT
4v50 Your information is about 20 years out of date. The Nationalist Chinese (KMT) lost dominance with the legal and popular election of Chen Shuibian of the Democratic Progressive Party in 2000. Previous to this, since 1986 under the Generalissimo's son Chiang Ching Kuo, there had been considerable progress towards democratic elections and alternatives to the KMT. Taiwan is not run by dictators at this point. Repeat. Taiwan is not run by dictators. It probably is run by money, and possibly by corruption, but they nominally have a vibrant and occasionally fractious democracy. Brief history of Taiwan, post WWII: KMT were thugs and stole many millions of US Aid. True they machine gunned about 20,000 "native" Taiwanese in 1947. KMT dominance started changing under Lee Teng Hui. In the 1980s, Martial Law was lifted. Taiwan, for all its corruption and palm greasing can be considered a democracy. It is a fairly open and modern society, although it still possesses a certain provincial flavor. Just an FYI: The KMT is now a political party that has to grub for votes like all the other parties.
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 3:50:55 PM EDT
Ustulina, you are correct, Taiwan is really as much an independent democracy as any other republic, except that the spectre of attack from China looms over them on a daily basis. Here are the Cliff Notes of where we are in 2003 Taiwan wants to be a free soverign democracy, but mainland China threatens to kill them all to show how much China loves them. Taiwanese think of themselves as Chinese, just living in a different country. Many have family in China and only in the last 5-7 years have they been able to travel to China to reunite with them. Taiwanese hate communism, and they love capitalism. The US treats Taiwan like a wayward stepchild because China is so massivly powerful that the US can't ignore it, so to appease the commies, Taiwan gets 2nd class citizen status. Finally, When Chang Kai-Sheck left the mainland for Taiwan, he took TONS of treasure with him, the National Museum in taipei takes DAYS to go through and is amazing. They've only had 50 years of growing pains, unlike our 225, give them time and support them. X
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 5:09:23 PM EDT
Thanks guys, that's a hell of a lot more than I knew about Taiwan! Certainly a difficult situation. Personally I wouldn't consider it worth American lives to defend Taiwan (or really, any country 'cept the US.. Though I might be so generous as to allow a black eye or lost tooth for England should my plans for world dominace come to fruition), but I sure prefer knowing the whys and wherefores.
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 5:53:50 PM EDT
I should add that a KMT supporter could rightly point out that rather than turn an island nation into a pisshole like Marcos allowed in the Phillipines, the KMT embarked on an ambitious and largely successful campaign to industrialize and modernize what had previously been a primarily agricultural society. Of course, they had the fortune to inherit a population that had been under the thumb of the Japanese empire, so this probably smoothed the transition. In some respects the Taiwan situation has worked out better than one might expect given the usual tendency of dictatorships to produce appalling imbalances in personal wealth. In 2002, I was working on Prince of Wales island in SE AK. This is about 1/4 the area of Taiwan and has (I think) less than 10,000 residents. I then visited Taiwan with 22.6 million people on 4 times the area. I was pleasantly suprised with my Taiwan experience. I would recommend it as a tourist destination, and I did not even get out of the Taipei area much. My take on the Taiwan-China situation, is that the US is doing a reasonable job in trying to thread a needle between the opposing factions. Mainland China definitely needs as much contact with the West as possible so they do not ever again turn inward and develop into something more misbegotten and threatening than they already are. Hopefully, access to the i-net and a changing youth will bring China into a more benign configuration. I do not really consider them to be communist at this point, and I am not sure that a country of 1.3 billion Chinese souls does not need a firm government.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:43:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 4v50: Taiwan a democracy? I always thought of it as a military state. When the Nationalist Chinese got booted off the mainland by the commies, they settled on Taiwan (formerly occupied by the Japanese from 1905 to 1945). The Taiwanese resented some of the Nationalist orders and protested - until they were gunned down. Thousands were slaughtered by their government. To me, there's no difference between the Commies and the Nationalist. They're both dictatorships.
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Last time I checked Taiwan STILL has free elections. Comparing China to Taiwan is a disgrace to history.
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