Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Chirac can't be trusted

By Lee Long-hwa

Alain Madelin, chairman of the French Liberal Democratic Party, has been openly critical of how cozy French President Jacques Chirac has been with the Chinese dictatorship, particularly his recent rolling out the red carpet for Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).

When Madelin came to Taiwan to meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Chen took the opportunity to point out that the EU's experience in integrating former hostile Soviet satellites -- such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania -- could help Taiwan in developing a framework for resolving cross-strait relations.

Although wanting to laud such aspirations, offer support and encouragement and embrace the possibility that cross-strait conflict could be resolved through cooperation, Madelin lamented that such a scenario was impossible. He suggested Taiwan cannot possibly emulate the EU as long as China is determined to attack Taiwan, because the EU is based on "peaceful relations among all members."

How true. The former Soviet Union's satellites could not join NATO as long as the USSR was determined to attack it. Germany could not join the world as a respected democratic nation as long as it was determined to rule the world. Neither could Japan. But things change.

In the case of Germany and Japan, defeat in war, rehabilitation and democratic reform changed their situation. In the case of the Soviet Union, overwhelming US military might, free-market economics, democracy, and glasnost brought about the demise of communism and totalitarianism. What followed was unthinkable a decade earlier.

Madelin's comments highlight how arrogant the French government is to denigrate Taiwan's yearning for a change from China's bellicose ramblings. Instead of lauding Taiwan's yearning for freedom, the French have instead paid lip service to Chinese imperialism.

France talks up its purported democratic ideals and principles, but at the same time it rushes to Beijing to find out how many bombs, jet fighters, submarines and missiles it can sell to the world's most dangerous totalitarian dictatorship. While Madelin was visiting Chen, discussing constitutional and parliamentarian niceties, the French government was in Beijing hatching plans to sell bombs that could be used to destroy Taiwan.

Should we trust France under Chirac? Absolutely not.

Lee Long-hwa

United States

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