Cultural swindle indeed
After reading your editorial ("The great cultural swindle," Jan. 11, page 12) I am bound to ask how a state like China can proclaim a "one China" policy while operating under the false pretense that today's China, centered around the Beijing government, represents a national unifier for a common Chinese culture.
As the writer eloquently stated, many nationalities in Asia, including Taiwanese, have an affinity toward China because over the centuries the Chinese have contributed to their own cultures. By the same token, however, and over the same period, these same cultures have contributed to building Chinese culture.
In my opinion, a large factor that lies at the heart of the problem with the PRC government, but more importantly, the Chinese people, is that when a foreign ideology such as communism is adopted by, or forced, onto a people, they loose their own cultural identity.
This usually results in an identity crisis whose victims try desperately to grasp and thus perpetuate a foreign ideology that symbolizes the one aspect left in their current culture that appears to unify them -- even when it is in direct conflict with their deeper cultural heritage.
The most pressing problem for Taiwan with respect to Bei-jing's "one-China policy," is that the international community sometimes seems to assume that China does not have a comprehensive strategy for accomplishing the integration of Taiwan into China, in fulfilment of its policy.
Those of us who keep the most remote of tabs on Beijing's activities regarding the "one-China" policy know that it has effectively garnered international acceptance through a superficially freer market that creates global dependency on the country's vast, cheap labor pool, manufacturing capabilities and resources, as well as through a token level of tolerance for human rights. Though the international community has obviously tried to be cautious about getting into bed with China, it has, because of economics, ultimately had virtually no choice but to do so. The scales of the debate on "one-China" have become tipped in favor of China, despite rhetoric to the contrary. This is exemplified by the acceptance of China into the WTO.
More serious than the overt way in which China seeks to influence the international community is the covert way in which it seeks to ensnare Tai-wan by accepting direct foreign investment from Taiwan and making it very easy for Taiwan-ese industrialists to set up manufacturing bases in China. Tai-wan is basically mired in the same web of dependency on China as that in which much of the rest of the world is entangled and this will make it harder and harder for Taiwan's voice for independence to be heard.
I may be acting alarmist, but I hope that both the world community and Taiwan recognize China's actions for what they are so that Taiwan does not lose its independence.
George Dennis III
President needs to wake up
Wang Chien-chuang's (