Kissinger's hands unclean
The Taipei Times recently printed an article that raises questions about Henry Kissin-ger's backroom deals ("Kissin-ger denies changing US-Taiwan policy," March 8, page 4).
The reporter implies that Kissinger is evading the inconvenient revelations of a verbatim transcript of his 1971 talks with Zhou Enlai (周恩來) of China. During those talks, Kissinger agreed that Taiwan's status was linked "to some extent" with those secret negotiations to get the US out of the Vietnam War. Did Kissinger trade off Taiwan for cooperation with China in one of his typical deals of realpolitik? What becomes clear, at least, is that he is not telling the whole truth.
Beyond any questionable judgment here, there are personal financial reasons for Kissinger to continue speaking out in support of the regime in China even at the expense of Taiwan's interests. Since 1982, he has headed his own consulting firm, Kissinger Associates -- giving expensive advice to multinational corporations. His foreign policy advice to the government was always linked up with his private advice to business, and vice-versa. Let me quote from an expose in Harper's (March 2001,page 96): "Kissinger is famous for his carefully constructed excuses for 1989's Tiananmen Square massacre and his opposition to linking US trade policy with human rights in China. Less famous is China Ventures, an investment partnership he created six months before the massacre. In the 1980's, Kissinger used his ties to the Deng regime to further the regional commercial interests of Chase Manhattan Bank, ITT, and H. J. Heinz."
Beyond this crass opportunism and greed is a darker story of Kissinger's international record of callous and destructive deals, in some cases leading to wars and assassinations. This has been ably documented by Christopher Hitchens in the same magazine, a book-length series that makes a solid case that Kissinger ought to be tried in an international court for crimes against humanity. Over the past year, Kissinger has not answered those charges; just as whenever he is questioned at a press conference, he dismisses any critical revelation with contempt, evasion and denials. At the very least, Kissinger is not to be trusted. At most, he may wind up on trial in a real court rather than merely in the press.
Decamp, but not to China
It is quite obvious that the eight-inch wafer technology has no future in Taiwan, and must be allowed to decamp elsewhere to make room for the development of the more advanced 12-inch technology. But, given the increasingly alarming numbers of entrepreneurs in Taiwan who have recently started advocating Beijing's policies, it is just as obvious that the eight-inch foundries must be allowed to emigrate anywhere else in this world -- except China. Some entrepreneurs might object that in other countries Taiwanese entrepreneurs would encounter entry barriers like a different language or a different legal system.
But in this case the government should act more pro-actively, dip a bit more into its pockets and offer interpreter/translation and legal services for free (and possibly also other incentives) to all entrepreneurs willing to relocate to Thailand,Malaysia, Vietnam and all other countries in the world without hostile intentions toward Taiwan.