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Posted by on Feb 11, 2010 in International, Media, Miscellaneous, Places, Politics, Science & Technology, War | 3 comments

We Taiwanese ‘Must Risk Our Lives’ for Freedom: Taipei Times, Taiwan

Often ignored in discussions about U.S.-China relations are the 23 million people of Taiwan who are caught in the middle – and the freedom that they enjoy, which seems to them to be on the line every day. In Democratic Taiwan, the subject of what America could, should and might do to protect the island is a constant preoccupation.

We posted two articles from Taiwan today. The first, by columnist Paul Lin for the independence-leaning Taipei Times, laments America’s apparent failure to stand up for its values and warns Taiwanese that they cannot rely on the United States.

For the Taipei Times, Paul Lin writes in part:

Give China an inch, and its rogue nature ensures that it will take a mile. This has been clear in the development of Sino-U.S. relations over the past half century. As Washington constantly backs down, Beijing continuously elevates the Taiwan issue, in recent years to a “core interest,” and this may come to impact other spheres of American influence. Why doesn’t the U.S. reclaim its founding ideals of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law – as its core interests? In decades past, America offered protection to the KMT dictatorship; but today, Taiwan has transformed into a democracy. What kind of country would the U.S. be if it sold Taiwan out to China now?

Taiwan shouldn’t pin its hopes on the U.S. To build a completely independent state, we must rely on ourselves. In the face of authoritarian China, we must all be determined to risk our lives.

Next comes this editorial headlined What are the Americans Actually Selling Taiwan? from The China Post, a pro-Kuomintang newspaper that favors a cautious reconciliation with the Mainland.

The China Post editorial questions the usefulness of the American weapons sale to the island:

The hardware that America is selling Taiwan isn’t sufficient to defend against the hundreds of Chinese missiles that target Taiwan. What the United States is selling Taiwan is a sense of security. And Taiwan is happily buying it, despite the exorbitant price.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s comment on the latest weapons sale is that Taiwan will feel “more secure and confident” when handling cross-strait relations. But that sense of security doesn’t come from hardware, but rather the implications attached to the weapons.

In fact, the president may not really want to buy these weapons, now that Taiwan seems to need them least, judging from the gradually easing tensions across the Taiwan Strait.

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