Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The Irish Times & Taiwan

Dick has taken the time to repond to my postings on Taiwan with a defense of the Irish Times. He cites 8 different articles on China-Taiwan relations published by the paper since 1996.

Dick then goes on to say that "I think the world's media will be far more interested if China actually followed through with its threats". Well, I can't say anthing about the "world's media", but there has been a marked gap in interest between the British and Irish media on the recent threats by China against Taiwan. And, of course, China doesn't have to follow "through with its threats" in order to achieve what it wants. A gangster doesn't have to actually blow your head off to convince you that he means business. As soon as you know he's serious you have only two choices: comply or die. That is the stark choice facing the Taiwanese.

Taiwan has undergone a revolution over the past decade. The Chiang Kai Shek regime has been dismantled, democracy and freedom have taken root and feelings of Taiwanese nationalism have begun to surface.

Whether Taiwan is a nation or not is a difficult question. It's entirely possible that a referendum on the issue would show that most Taiwanese consider themselves Chinese. But, of course, if that referendum were held under these conditions, the Taiwanese people would go to the polls with a gun to their heads.

Dick also says that "this has been going on an awful long time" implying that not much changes and minimal attention is really required. Yet, this is completely at odds with the attention to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, which has been going on exactly the same length of time and with even fewer changes than in the China-Taiwan situation over the past decade.