Sun, Mar 07, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Strength, peace go hand in hand

By the Liberty Times editorial

Recently, during an international seminar on national defense held by the Institute for Taiwan Defense and Strategic Studies, Andrew Scobell, a research professor from the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College, said that in facing China's military threat, Taiwan must demonstrate the determination to rise in self-defense in the event of invasion.

He also said that he believes that the strategy most capable of eliminating thoughts by the People's Liberation Army of invading is to display non-provocative war power. Moreover, Taiwan should continue to emphasize that its response to Chinese aggression will be a declaration of independence, he said.

This military scholar was not evasive about the question of possible change in the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. He reminded both the ruling and opposition camps that there is no need to be too fearful of Chinese repercussions or to excessively retreat and compromise in the face of Chinese military threats.

Scobell said that war power can be demonstrated through large-scale exercises and through good training of military officers and soldiers. However, a demonstration of the determination to counter a Chinese invasion would require a display of determination and will by the leaders and the people of the country.

In other words, the leader must have the courage and determination to counter overwhelming political, military, diplomatic and economic pressure from China, and to defend the interests of the Taiwanese people. He must not be a phony peace advocate who retreats in the face of threats.

The pan-blue camp's fear of provoking Beijing, and its policy proposal about casting aside the issue of sovereignty for now for the sake of illusory peace, run counter to the strategy pointed out by Scobell.

With respect to the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally participated in by people across the country, the pan-blue camp not only did its best to blacken the name of the event and belittle it beforehand, but also criticized it afterwards. Such behavior is in total disregard of the prevalent sense of national identification and community that is built on mainstream popular will and the native consciousness of the nation. Members of the pan-blue camp ignore the fact that this sense of community and identity has become the core value of democratic Taiwan, and they even scornfully asked, "What is the big deal about holding hands."

Actually, the rally not only held special historical significance but also served as a "democratic stimulant" that warmed the hearts of the people. On this great day, more than 2 million people formed a human chain by holding hands at the same time to protest against China's deployment of missiles targeted at Taiwan. It was their way of humbly making the pro-peace and anti-war case and standing up against the bullying of the Chinese regime.

Scobell's wise words precisely explained the historical, strategic and cultural significance of the rally.

As a result of Chinese pressure and because of the political self-interests of various countries, the world has never treated Taiwan fairly -- though, during unofficial interactions, some countries have recognized and identified with the political and economic accomplishment of Taiwan from the standpoint of universal values, such as human rights, democracy and freedom.

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