Sun, Mar 27, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letter: China's renewed imperialism

By Donald Shih

On March 14, 2005, China promulgated an "Anti-Secession" Law with a vote of 2,896 to zero at its National People's Congress. The Anti-Secession Law authorizes China to "employ and execute non-peaceful means" against Taiwan when the Chinese president deems necessary to bring Taiwan into their authoritarian fold.

The intended application of this law is clearly targeted at not only Taiwan, but the US.

The motivation and contents are nothing but barbaric, malicious, and peace-threatening. It is a revival of historical Chinese imperialism.

We could handle this situation in various ways. We could leave it alone. After all, it is a domestic Chinese law. The People's Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan in history. Nor does this law have any jurisdiction over Taiwan.

Unfortunately, this do-nothing approach may encourage China to continually bully Taiwan and misbehave on the world stage. It could lead to increased instability and military conflict in the western Pacific.

We should not underestimate China's propensity toward brutal aggression. China invaded and occupied Tibet in 1959 and killed more than one million Tibetans. China attacked India in October 1962 and held a hostile relationship with India for nearly two decades. China wants its people to forget about its invasion of Vietnam in February 1979 by erasing it from their official history.

But the Taiwanese should not forget. The deployment of more than 700 Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan is a persistent threat to peace.

It appears that China was a peace-loving country when it was weak, and an arrogant and offensive one when it was strong.

But this new law could backfire. The Bush administration and Congress have expressed a heightened concern.

And the US has apparently imposed pressure on the EU, which is expected to delay its plan to lift the embargo of selling advanced weapon systems to China -- at least until next year.

Ultimately, a more pragmatic and peaceful approach is for the international community to re-evaluate the ever-popular "one-China" policy.

It is unrealistic and nightmarish, but most of all the "one-China" policy is detrimental to the Taiwanese people's fundamental right to self-determination, which has been trampled by various imperial powers since the early seventeenth century.

The international community should help foster negotiations between China and Taiwan so that peace across the Taiwan Strait can be ensured and further development advanced.

Donald Shih

St. Louis, Missouri

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