--- As Long As Taiwan Exists, Asia's Future Will Blossom
Long As Taiwan Exists, Asia’s Future Will Blossom
Closer relations between Taiwan and the United States and between Taiwan and Japan would bring numerous advantages, in both the economic and political realms. As I have repeatedly stressed, Taiwan has a future only if it exists, and Asia’s future is tied to the continued existence of Taiwan. One could say that as long as Taiwan exists, its future will blossom, and its presence will help secure the future of Asia.
Taiwan has its own identity as Taiwan, Tibet as Tibet, Xinjiang as Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia as Inner Mongolia, and the Tungpei as the Tungpei. Ideally, if each one were allowed to affirm its own existence, we would see Asia’s regional stability enhanced. For purposes of effective management alone, “ Greater China” would be better off divided into perhaps seven autonomous regions, which could then compete among themselves and with the world for progress.
Taiwan’s people and government together worked to bring about the transformation of its politics and society. And yet the mainland clings to the civil war mentality of the pre-democratic reform era, continuing to dangle the possibility that it might take unilateral military action against Taiwan Civil war is a thing of the past. Taiwan faces mainland China in a relationship that transcends the “internal affairs of China” thesis, placing two political entities on a de facto equal footing.
“The problem of Taiwan is the problem of the Chinese people,” in effect endorsing mainland China’s position on the peace of the Taiwan Strait.
Such fuzzy pronouncements amount to the relinquishment of control by the United States and Japan over their own vital interests. Taken to the extreme, this kind of thinking gets dangerously close to being trapped by Peking’s ploys to weaken the United States and Japan while contriving to take over leadership in Asia. If Washington and Tokyo make any concession on this issue, the Chinese mainland will interpret it as waning concern with the Taiwan Strait, in turn encouraging Peking impulse to hold military exercises of the type we saw in 1995-96.
President Chiang Kai-shek, who ably defended Taiwan; and President Chiang Ching-kuo, who built the foundation for economic and political development.
It is only natural that Taiwan should be the one most seriously concerned that the mainland makes changes in these areas. For one thing, Taiwan hopes that one day its own people together with their cousins on the mainland will enjoy the highest level of freedom and democracy. Just as important, Taiwan is eager to see the end of the threat from the Chinese mainland.
I want our American and Japanese friends to understand that this is not just Taiwan’s problem. Taiwan’s existence is important to Communist China and the world. If Taiwan can create and maintain an affluent, peaceful society, the mainland will be unable to sustain the current status quo and China as a whole will move toward the Taiwan model. But if Taiwan is swallowed up and controlled by Peking, the whole of China will fall under a hegemonic system, becoming a major threat to the world.
In case that should happen, furthermore, Japan will be next to face a mortal threat. Its geographic position is such that if Taiwan and the areas nearby were eclipsed and the sea lanes were cut off in the crisis, Japan would be isolated economically and military. However, very few Japanese fully appreciate how strategically important Taiwan is for their country, Taiwan is not just another island located somewhere to the south that happens to import a lot of Japanese high-tech goods; for Japan it is literally a lifeline.