Thu, Mar 10, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Beijing has a new yes-man

While the US and Japan are busy expressing their concern over China's "anti-secession" legislation, the EU's silence leaves one to wonder if the union has disappeared from the face of the earth -- or has become the paid-for lackey of the autocrats in Beijing.

The past few years have shown us that the EU is partial to China when it comes to the cross-strait issue, believing that its business interests are best served by kowtowing to Beijing. It is also clear that the EU's desire to be seen as a competitor of the US in the international political arena has overwhelmed its common sense.

If it wants to be taken seriously in world affairs, then the EU might consider adopting some of the mannerisms of a serious player. It might consider being pragmatic, rather than simply posturing like a vain peacock.

The EU should remember that Taiwan has a larger population than two-thirds of the world's countries, and that its economy is bigger than many of the EU member states' economies. So if the EU wants to opt out of the market and leave the US and Japan to do business with Taiwan, then good luck to it.

Europe was the center of world power prior to the rise of the US, and the founding of the EU has given Europe the chance to rise to the position of global leadership once again.

But the irony is that the EU is failing to exhibit any of the traits of leadership. It cares nothing about the security situation in Asia nor about China's neglect of human rights. Instead, the EU is colluding with China, and the two even appear to be treating the US as their joint enemy. This has meant that the EU is ready to sacrifice Taiwan -- a stable democracy -- simply to differentiate itself from the US and pander to China.

How pathetic.

The details of the "anti-secession" law that were released on Tuesday show that Beijing regards Taiwan as an issue which is a remnant of the civil war between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the KMT.

This is wrong.

In 1683, the Qing general Shi Lang (施瑯) crossed the Taiwan Strait and occupied Taiwan by force. Prior to Shi Lang's invasion of Taiwan, Ming general Koxinga and his family ruled parts of Taiwan beginning in 1662 after evicting the European colonial powers which controlled parts of Taiwan since the 1620s. In 1895, China ceded Taiwan to Japan as a result of the Qing Dynasty's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War.

Taiwan has had a hodgepodge of invaders and imperial conquerors, and its people are a diverse reflection of the land's long history as a strategic crossroads.

So wherein lies the legitimacy of China's claim to sovereignty over Taiwan?

The only masters of Taiwan are the people of Taiwan.

The EU should recognize that being a force in the international political arena brings responsibilities, not just benefits.

How sad that after the hand-wringing rhetoric of some EU members in the build-up to the war in Iraq, that those same members are now glibly trying to justify selling advanced weapons to China.

The bureaucrats in Brussels need to open their eyes.

China wants advanced weapons to fight a war, and it wants an "anti-secession" law to legitimize that war.

Is this what the EU supports?

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