Tue, Mar 22, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letters: China's law no surprise

While the atmosphere in the Taiwan Strait is heated by the "Anti-Secession" Law and even sending hot air across the Pacific, it is interesting to take a look at what is really happening behind the curtain. One may ask, "What purposes does Beijing want to achieve by passing this law?" One may also ask , "Why does Uncle Sam treat Taiwan as a domestic affair?" by considering the Taiwan Relation Act (TRA) passed in 1979 as a US domestic law.

If we look at the TRA closely, we should not be surprised that a counter-TRA law will eventually be passed by the People's Republic of China (PRC), especially when Uncle Sam has repeatedly acknowledged that Taiwan is part of China. The critical point to ask is, "Why was the TRA installed in the first place as a US domestic law, especially when Taiwan is considered a part of China?" Was it because of differences in ideological affiliation? Or was it because of some other hidden agenda?

We should know that Uncle Sam calls Formosa Taiwan, not the Republic of China (ROC). However, based on strategic considerations regarding the US role in the Western Pacific region, it is not to Washington's advantage to see Taiwan officially ruled by Beijing. It would also be disadvantageous for the US to see China and Taiwan becoming two sovereign countries, either in the form of Taiwan/PRC, or ROC/PRC. The reason is obvious -- once Taiwan is no longer considered a part of China, the US will lose the chance of putting its hands into China's affairs.

In other words, Uncle Sam wants to preserve a "divided China" as long as possible. The US wants to manipulate China through Taiwan. A "divided China" is therefore the optimum scenario for Washington to dominate both Beijing and Taipei.

The US can keep making profits by selling weaponry to Taiwan in the name of "self-defense." The US can keep being friends with Beijing by endorsing its position that "Taiwan is part of China" so the US can keep its profitable businesses going in the PRC. The best position for Washington to take is to say that "Taiwan is part of China; resolving the status quo must be through a peaceful solution." The key word is "peaceful solution," a Nevernever Land goal.

Where does Taiwan stand in this game? It has no role at all. Given that the game players are, without any doubt, the big guys in Beijing and Washington, officials in Taipei are merely cheerleaders. Taipei's politicians neither challenge Washington regarding the US role in Taiwan based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty, nor challenge Beijing, although they take the position that Taiwan is not part of the PRC. Statements released by Taipei officials can only keep reiterating the fictitious slogan that "Taiwan [ROC] is an independent sovereign country," which is considered a practical joke by every other country. The purpose of such a proclamation by Taiwan's administration is to calm its voters, and nothing else.

Since March last year, Taiwan's officials have given the impression of being weak and incompetent. They portray themselves as a group of power-grabbers whose ultimate political objective is to win elections without caring if sovereignty is in the US' hands or in the PRC's hands. As long as there are political positions to occupy, it is OK for them. The government has done nothing to deal with the ridiculous political fiascos orchestrated by the pan-blue camp after the presidential poll. It has also failed to play with the two superpowers by utilizing Taiwan's strategic position.

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