Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The US & Taiwan

The New York Times claims that Taiwan has made a strategic blunder in pursuing the referendum on China's missiles. The US is happy enough to maintain the status quo, although this does run counter to all the fine speeches about democracy and freedom that the President has been making lately, as the Washington Post noted today.

I'm not sure I accept the Post's assertion that the President decided to side with the Chinese because "above all" he wanted "to avoid one more foreign policy crisis during an election year". Yes, the election will be a factor in all decisions, but the relationship with China is crucial with regards to trade and North Korea. These are two areas of prime importance for the United States, more important than Taiwan's status.

It's hard to disagree with this passage, however.
It's bad enough that the world's largest dictatorship might consider a nonbinding referendum opposing the use of force to be a provocation justifying war. But for the United States to accept such totalitarian logic is inexcusable.