Wed, Jan 12, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letter

A change in thinking

When the US went to war in Iraq, they said it was over what weapons of mass destruction could do to us if they fell into the wrong hands.

When they found none, they said we sacrificed our young people for democracy.

When they discovered that democracy in Iraq does not come cheap, they said we were there for human rights. But by then, no one was interested any more.

Taiwan has no weapons of mass destruction, but it is enjoying a democratic way of life.

The freedom of speech it enjoys even allows some to openly threaten the head of state without fearing punishment.

But the political blockade from the international community will not promote democracy or human rights in Taiwan, nor will it reduce the tension in the region either.

It does, however, lead to cynicism over the sacrifices made in Iraq.

China threatens Taiwan with missiles and political

isolation if the latter seeks independence, statehood or offers aid to tsunami victims. China is now also proposing an anti-secession law to "legitimize" action against Taiwan. Who will be next on China's list?

The US State Department went as far as supporting China's objections to a name-change for Taiwan's representatives offices as a threat to the "status quo." If this is changing the status quo, why did the US name its office "American Institute in Taiwan" in 1979? There is nothing uglier to witness than the US and China using the name "Taiwan" all these years, then opposing its use by the Taiwanese people.

Previous and current policies adopted by the US and the international community toward Taiwan have not defused tension in the region because the source of that tension is China. It is time for all of us to change the way we think about this matter.

Rao Kok-sian

Boston, Massachusetts

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