Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What are US interests?

Last Monday's editorial in the Taipei Times questions if the US government, particularly the State Department, knows what's in the best interests of the United States.

As the editorial points out, a NY Times report (about Taiwanese spying allegations) earlier had highlighted Taiwan's problem.
"I don't know of any senior officials who are pro-Taiwan," one former senior State Department official said.

He and others said Foreign Service officers largely viewed some Taiwanese officials' struggle to stay separate from China as a distraction, when the truly important relationship for the United States is China.

Carl W. Ford Jr., an assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research until he retired last year, worked directly with Mr. Keyser. He agreed that few if any State Department officials were openly pro-Taiwan.

He added that a handful of them "are at least neutral."

"And Don was very much down the middle. That did set him apart from the others."
Okay, I think if someone working in the State Department was spying for Taiwan, then throw the book at him. But, what on Earth is going on in the State Department? Isn't the State Department supposed to be pro-US? Why are there people who are "pro" China working there?

I can understand how there may be people who work hard to maintain strong ties with China, but a realistic view is that, at best, China is a rival to America in Asia, if not globally. Why would we turn our backs on some of the few friends we have in the region for the dubious benefit of the Chinese government's favor?