Sun, May 11, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letters

Half-truths killing Taiwan

I live in Taiwan. I went onto the World Health Organization (WHO) Web site to check on the SARS situation here, but couldn't find Taiwan. Then I chanced across some statistics listed under "Province of Taiwan."

Taiwan isn't a province of anything. This is an independent country. From where I sit I can see the flag to prove it flying atop the library across the street.

Only last week Beijing would have the world believe: "SARS is not a problem and Taiwan is a Province."

This week the Beijing party-line has shifted to: "SARS is a problem and Taiwan is a Province." Still it's only half true.

People are dying in Taiwan right now who might have lived but for that insidious half-truth. The WHO wouldn't set foot in this country until now because of Beijing.

When they come they'll find Taiwan is a wonderful, free country and a democracy. It's high time that the WHO and the world community treat it as such.

We've all seen the price to be paid for pandering to Beijing's fictional assertions.

Enough!

William Stimson

Wufeng, Taichung County

The world needs sweet love

Brad Arnold of Minnesota warns Taiwan to steer clear of links with SARS-infected China lest the world shuns Taiwan together with China (Letters, May 4, page 8).

The letter reeks of ultra-conservative rhetoric. Armchair warmongering seems to delight in the misfortunes of countries that happen not to want to be subject to "Pax Americana."

Any country is vulnerable to SARS, even the US. After all, their northern neighbor, Canada, is one of the hardest-hit nations. Rather than rub our hands in glee when we see a perceived enemy experiencing a natural disaster, we need to show compassion, humility and cooperation.

We have had enough finger-pointing and saber-rattling. The time for sectarianism is over. Also, when it comes to Taiwan-Chinese links, only the people of both countries can decide the nature of their relationship.

They should not be subject to the divide-and-rule tactics that superpowers have been employing through the years in their quest to subjugate "lesser" nations.

As that trite, but true, 1960s song goes: "What the world needs now is love, sweet love!"

Mike Viveiros

Taichung

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