Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Letters

Just what is the EU up to?

Just in case anyone in Europe thought China has become less of a threat to democracy and peace in the world, it hasn't. It has become worse. As China increasingly tests its power to control the free world's democracies through economic blackmail, its danger becomes more apparent. A peek inside the danger of giving China even a hint of market power can be gleaned from its recent hostile proclamations toward -- and perhaps sanctions against -- Taiwanese companies that invest billions in China. China has threatened to sanction those it considers guilty of supporting the pan-green camp and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). In other words, China

is threatening to destroy businesses that support Chen, using economic blackmail to effect its sinister political goals. Today, Taiwanese businesses. Tomorrow, EU businesses.

Suppose the EU contemplates a vote to censure China on human rights. What would happen if China threatened to block the tens of billions of euros the EU plans to plow into China's market? China already uses economic blackmail every single day all over the world to enforce policies on Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The blackmail is always the same: "You will not be welcome to do business in China if you don't agree with China's political agenda" -- namely, anti-democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwan and looking the other way over eugenics in Tibet.

And now the EU is thinking of selling the latest weapons

to China, pretending there is nothing wrong with arming a dictatorship. What will China do with advanced weapons? Defend itself? With offensive weapons? Defend itself from whom? Taiwan? The US?

Does the EU want to be in the

business of arming countries against the US? Perhaps it does.

Perhaps the EU wishes to oppose the US in every aspect of international policy, from the Middle East to Asia. Perhaps the EU believes that opposing the US (and gaining market share in China) is more important than upholding democracy and freedom around the

world and checking totalitarian regimes. The EU wants to establish itself as another "pole" of influence in the world. Or perhaps that is the agenda of France and Germany, the two most avidly pushing arms sales to China -- and the most likely to benefit from sales. You can call it teaming up with perfidy to regain lost glory and make some cash. Sounds sort of like selling one's soul to the devil.

Lee Long-hwa

United States

Caring about care

Kudos to your newspaper for publishing stories on restoring ethical values and compassion to our deteriorating society. They have boosted our concern over undesirable interpersonal relationships on the one hand, and the prospect of reinvigorating moral consensus and compassion on the other.

It's shocking to read recent reports on domestic homicide, particularly those cases initiated by parents. A mother is one who loves her kids the most, but we keep wondering why the situation nowadays is so pathetically different.

After the social transformation Taiwan has experienced over the past decades, people seem to be suffering from more stress -- very likely caused by financial, educational and political variables. It seems that there are a growing number of people of all ages afflicted by mental aberration. We fear the consequences will be grave if the authorities fail to take proper precautionary measures.

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